Sake Categories & Styles
If you say that wine is made in the field, then you can say about sake that it is made at the brewery. Sake is the most complex of all fermented alcohol types. The production process is a true pandora's box, which contains a wealth of phases, from unique multi-parallel fermentation to rice polishing. The lengthy and demanding brewing process allows you to work with many different sake categories and styles. In our sake selection, we strive to show this stylistic diversity to the fullest. It is one of the great joys of sake that you have an incredibly large selection of styles, depending on regionality in Japan, brewing technology, raw materials and Terroir.
Junmai (pure rice sake) is a quality sake made with sake rice that has been polished down to at least 80% of the original grain size or less. It does not contain added distilled alcohol, only naturally occurring alcohol. The taste is full-bodied, with rounded sweetness, as well as high Umami content.
Category: Junmai Ginjo
Junmai Ginjo is a premium quality sake made with sake rice that has been polished down to at least 60% of the original grain size or less. It does not contain added distilled alcohol, only naturally occurring alcohol. The taste is fruity and nuanced, with rich texture and floral aroma.
Category: Junmai Daiginjo
Junmai Daiginjo is a premium quality sake made with sake rice that has been polished down to at least 50% of the original grain size or less. This style is extremely demanding for the brewer. Therefore, Junmai Daiginjo sake is often seen as a reflection of a brewer's skills. The body is vinous and clings to the sides of the glass. On the palette, the taste is delicate and fruity, with a pronounced floral aroma. It is a complex sake with a taste profile that varies, but which is always long and remains lingering in the mouth and palate.
Honjozo sake is a premium sake made with sake rice that has been polished down to at least 70% of the original grain size or less and containing added distilled alcohol. This style is typically found at Izakaya or Tachi-nomi in Tokyo. A type of sake that is easy to drink for a long time. It is dry and often crystal clear. You also experience that it is fresh and delicious just like good spring water. It is important to emphasize that adding alcohol to sake at this level is a brewing technical intervention, emplyed to achieve a particularly desired taste profile.
Tokubetsu indicate that it is a "special" sake. It is not always easy to figure out exactly what is special, since it is not mandatory in Japan to write it on the bottle label. Usually Tokubetsu alludes to a rare rice variety or brewing technique. Tokubetsu is thus a quality indicator that informs about a special attention paid to sake production.
A form of Namazake (unpasteurized sake), which has been bottled with rice particles (kasu) from sake production. Nigori means cloudy and may have varied turbidity and thickness, ranging from Usu (fine) to yogurt -like consistency and everything in between. Since Nigori is often bottled very quickly from the tank, it will also contain naturally occurring Co2, which is perceived as a light spritz. All Nigori sake is filtered, but the roughness of the filter varies and thus the consistency of the Nigori sake in question.
Style: Kimoto sake
Kimoto is an older and more manual brewing technique, which is used to achieve a more complex acidity and characteristic taste profile. During this special brewing process, only naturally occurring lactic acid is utilized, rather than adding it, as in conventional sake production. With this manual brewing technique, spontaneous yeast bacteria and enzymes are preserved, which make it possible to produce a richer and more complex acidity, as well as higher Umami.
Our Kimoto sake from Sohomare contains a mix of vintage and young sake that creates a unique, complex taste profile. Pour it into a large wine glass so that the taste can fully open and to enjoy the delicate aromas.
Namazake is sake that has bypassed the pasteurization stage. Expect a sake which is more energetic in both taste and aroma, with an intensely fruity palette. Just call it NAMA. Historically, Namazake was only released on the market in winter, as a way to celebrate the first sake of the year. Due to the popularity of the style, it is now available year round.
Genshu indicate that this is an "undiluted" sake, containing the natural alcohol content of about 18%. Usually, sake is diluted with spring water before pressing, to bring the alcohol percentage down to about 15%. The alcohol content is of great importance for the taste of sake, thus the alcohol percentage which is stated on the bottle (mandatory) is an indicator of the taste in line with other brewing parameters.