Types of sake and their features
|A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Sake
A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Sake|
Daiginjo-shu is a orm o ginjo-shu made with even more highly polished ricerom which at least 50% o the outer layer o the grain has been removed. It hasan even more rened taste and stronger ginjo-ka than ginjo-shu.
3.1.3 Junmai, tokubetsu junmai
Junmai-shu and tokubetsu junmai-shu are made only rom rice, koji and water,highlighting the avor o the rice and koji more than other varieties. There are norequirements regarding polishing ratio.Junmai-shu is typically high in acidity and umami, with relatively littlesweetness.
3.1.4 Junmai ginjo
Because ginjo brewing techniques are used in making junmai ginjo-shu, theacidity and umami are toned down and there is a clear ginjo-ka.
3.1.5 Junmai daiginjo
Junmai daiginjo-shu is regarded as the highest-grade sake. The best products inthis class deliver a good blend o rened taste with acidity and umami.
In honjozo-shu, the emphasis is on lavor and there is little ginjo-ka or aging-induced aroma. It has a reasonable level o acidity and umami and rather thanasserting the aroma and taste o the sake itsel, it helps to bring out the taste o ood.
3.2 Futsu-shu (ordinary or non-premium sake) andits characteristics
The bulk o the sake produced in Japan is classied as utsu-shu. The rice used tomake utsu-shu is polished to an average o around 70% and the amount o jozo-alcohol used is equivalent to around 20% o the weight o the polished rice. The aroma o utsu-shu is less pronounced than in specially designated sake.At most, it can be said to have a aint caramel aroma, a result o aging. The tasteproiles o utsu-shu also relect regional taste preerences to a greater extentthan premium sake (Sec. 8.10).
3.3 Characteristics of sake made using other manufacturingprocesses
3.3.1 Nigorizake (cloudy sake)
Nigorizake has a cloudy appearance caused by yeast and ine particles o steamed rice. It has a pronounced taste o rice.Normally, when the moromi (main mash) is ltered, it is placed in a cloth bag,so the ltered sake is almost clear and contains just traces o sediment. However,or nigorizake a coarse meshed cloth or a net is used, and so some yeast and neparticles o steamed rice remain as sediment in the ltered sake.
3.3.2 Namazake (unpasteurized sake) andnama-chozo-shu (sake unpasteurized at storage)
Namazake and nama-chozo-shu are varieties o sake with the lavor o reshlybrewed sake.Normally, sake is pasteurized twice beore being bottled. The purpose o rst pasteurization is not only to sterilize it but also to stabilize quality by haltingthe action o enzymes. Sake is pasteurized a second time at the bottling stage orsterilization. Namazake is not pasteurized at all. Nama-chozo-shu is sake that isstored (chozo) at low temperature at the brewery in unpasteurized orm and onlypasteurized at the bottling stage.
3.3.3 Koshu (aged sake)
The color o koshu ranges rom yellow to amber. It has little ginjo-ka, but has acaramel aroma (with hints o honey, dried ruits, molasses and soy sauce), similarto sherry and madeira, as well as an aroma suggestive o nuts and spices. It hasa slightly bitter taste and a long inish. Bitterness is not normally considered adesirable trait in sake, but it is one o the characteristics o long-aged sake.Sake is usually allowed to age in storage or about six months to a year beoreshipment. With koshu, the aging process lasts at least three years, during whichtime the color and avor change due to the Maillard reaction between the sugarsand amino acids present in the sake.
3.3.4 Genshu (undiluted sake)
Because no water is added ater production, genshu has a high alcohol content inthe 17%–20% range. It normally has a strong taste.
Figure 3.1 Grades of sake
57,094kl28,041klRice, koji, waterand jozo-alcohol
Rice, koji, water, jozo-alcohol,sugars and other ingredients
Specially designated sake
DaiginjoSeimai-buai50%60%GinjoHonjozoJunmai ginjoJunmaiRice, koji andwater70%Futsu-shu49,248kl337,562kl