Sake Classifications

Sake Classifications are important to understand. They influence both the taste and price of the sake. This chart below outlines the major classifications of sake which are based on ingredients and rice milling rate:

Below are the basic classification grades of Sake:


Junmai / Honjozo:

Rice milled to 70% of it's original  sizeJunmai Sake is brewed using only rice, water, yeast and koji. There are no other additives. To qualify as a Junmai, there is technically no minimum milling requirement, but the sake must be the “pure rice” style… no distilled alcohol allowed.

Honjozo Sake must be milled to at least 70% of it’s original size and as far as ingredients go, it contains a small amount of distilled brewer’s alcohol, which is added to the sake to achieve different flavor & aroma profiles.


Junmai Ginjo / Ginjo:

Rice milled to at least 60% of it's original size Junmai Ginjo Sake is brewed using only rice, water, yeast and koji. There are no other additives. To qualify as a Ginjo, the rice grain must be milled to at least 60% of it’s original size.

Ginjo Sake is the same as Junmai Ginjo except a small amount of distilled brewer’s alcohol is added to the sake to achieve different flavor profiles.


Junmai Daiginjo / Daiginjo:

Rice milled to at least 50% of it's original sizeJunmai Daiginjo Sake is brewed using only rice, water, yeast and koji. There are no other additives. To qualify as a Daiginjo, the rice grain must be milled to at least 50% of it’s original size.

Daiginjo Sake is the same as Junmai Daiginjo except a small amount of distilled brewer’s alcohol is added to the sake to achieve different flavor profiles.

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