The classification of “Junmai” is an important indication of the purity of a sake – and it certifies that the sake has not been diluted with cheaper forms of alcohol to “stretch” it or with other unwanted additives.
Fu-Ki Sake, whose name translates as “rich and noble,” is proudly designated in the Junmai Shu classification. While many sake products are made with distilled alcohol added, Fu-Ki is produced by cold fermentation and made purely from sun-nurtured rice and superior spring water – no brewer’s alcohol from other grains is added.
The rice is “polished”, meaning the outer husk is removed. Although 30% of the rice is lost in this process, it ensures clarity of taste.
Fu-Ki also takes an extra step in the finishing process by separating and removing the rice mash to dilute and filter it, giving it greater clarity, which will be immediately appreciated in how it cleanses the palate.
Also known as “normal sake”, Futsuu-shu accounts for the majority of sake that is produced.
It could be thought of as similar in many ways to the role of table wine…widely available, frequently selected on a local basis, and acceptable for simple occasions .
It doesn’t qualify for special designation, and is often produced with brewer’s alcohol for greater volume and may have sugar or other flavor enhancers added.
The Ginjo-Shu classification is given to sake from which 40% or more of the outer layer has been removed from the by milling.
Ginjo-Shu is said to have a light, and somewhat fruity flavor, but that may vary from brewer to brewer
Unlike Junmai-Shu Ginjo-Shu may contain brewer’s alcohol.
Sakes from which 50% or more of the rice has been milled away are classified as Dai-Ginjoshu.
Honjozo-Shu is made from rice from which 30% or more of the outer layer has been removed by milling.
It is said to assert little of its own flavor which makes it a good choice for bringing out the taste of food.
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