Sake Daiginjo/Junmai Daiginjo
Daiginjo-shu is made by a rice polishing to 50% for 48 hours and then undergoing a time-consuming process called “Ginjo-zukuri”. It has a clean taste with few impurities and a fruity aroma despite the fact that it is made from rice.
Junmai Daiginjo-shu is made only with rice. It is the highest grade of Sake that tests the skill of breweries.
It is usually drunk chilled or at room temperature, as its aroma is lost when heated.
Sake Ginjo/Junmai Ginjo
Ginjo-shu is made by a rice polishing to 60% for about 24 hours, and then undergoes a time-consuming process called “Ginjo-zukuri”. Like Daiginjo-shu, it has a clean taste and a fruity aroma.
Junmai Ginjo-shu is made only with rice and is a high-class Sake that tests the skill of breweries.
Although its aroma is inferior to that of Daiginjo-shu or Junmai-Daiginjo-shu, it can be said that the emphasis is on the taste rather than the aroma. The aroma is lost when heated, so it is usually drunk chilled or at room temperature.
Junmai-shu is made only with rice. Since there is no regulation on a ratio of rice polishing, it is a Sake that reflects the taste of the rice used to make it and is highly individualized by the Sake brewery. While the above four types of Ginjo-shu are sake for enjoying the aroma, Junmai-shu is sake for enjoying the taste.
Tokubetsu Junmai-shu requires the rice polishing ratio of 60% or less (or a special production method), so it has a clean taste with few impurities or the characteristics of each brewery.
Sake Honjozo/Tokubetsu Honjozo
Honjozo-shu is made in a similar way to Junmai-shu, but with the stipulation that a rice polishing ratio must be 70% or less, making it a sake with a well-balanced taste and aroma. Brewing alcohol is used to bring out the flavor and aroma.
Tokubetsu Honjozo-shu requires the rice polishing ratio of 60% or less (or a special production method), so it has a clean taste with few impurities, or a sake that is unique to each brewery.
Sake other than the above eight types is called Futsu-shu. About 70% of all sake is Futsu-shu. It is produced at a low cost as Sake for everyday drinking, but it can be drunk every day without getting tired of the taste, and it can be said that it goes well with home cooking. Many people say that Futsu-shu is best when drunk hot.