Legal Names and Designations

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• Ultra-premium Sake with rice polished at 50% minimum and at low temperature. With just a little bit of added alcohol. Usually very fragrant and complex.


• Normal Sake—anything without a special designation.


• Undiluted Sake, the equivalent of Natural Cask Strength.


• Premium Sake with polished under 60% at low temperature Every step of the complex brewing process is performed in old, time-consuming ways that provide a handmade touch of quality. Up to ten percent of pure alcohol can been added. No additives. Lighter and more fragrant than Junmai Ginjō, with floral flavours.


• Sake brewed with rice milled so that no more than 70% of the grain remains. Up to thirty percent pure alcohol can be added (less than 10% of the weight of rice) at the end of the fermentation just before pressing. No additives. It is light and dry.


• Sake from smaller, local kura (not mass produced)


• Literally meaning "pure rice". Sake that is just made from rice, kōji, water and yeast. No minimum polishing rate required since 2005. Usually powerful, full-bodied Sake with notes of rice and often some hints of fruit.

Junmai Daiginjō:

• Ultra-premium Sake brewed with rice having a polishing rate of at least 50%, kōji, water and yeast. Combines great harmony of flavour and Umami. Brewing Junmai Daiginjō requires the highest level of skills from the tōji. This is the Sake along with Daiginjō for the most demanding connoisseur.

Junmai Ginjō:

• Sake brewed with rice having a polishing rate of at least 60%, kōji, water and yeast. Sturdier than Ginjō, but fruity and flavourful.


• Sake that has not been pasteurised. Very fresh taste, can have sometimes a slight fizziness.


• Sake that got only slightly filtered through rough cloth. Cloudy color, fresh taste and creamy texture. Can also be obtained by adding back some kasu (lees) to Sake.


• Literally meaning "pure or clear Sake". Legal term for Sake required by the National Tax Agency.


• Sake stored in wooden barrels made from Japanese cedar (sugi). This infuses the Sake with the distinctive aroma and flavour of cedar.