About Sake

Sake Classifications

Sake classifications are important to understand, as they influence 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.

Junmai:
Junmai 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 added distilled alcohol allowed.

Honjozo:
Honjozo Sake must be milled to 70% or less of its original size.
As far as ingredients go, it contains a small amount of distilled brewer’s alcohol, which is added to the sake to achieve different flavors and aroma profiles.

Junmai Ginjo / Ginjo:
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 60% or less of its 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:
Junmai 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 50% or less of its 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.