The Delightful World of Junmai and Ginjo Sake

, the traditional rice , is a that brings joy to many. Its unique flavors and variety of styles make it a versatile and enjoyable drink for any occasion. In this article, we will explore the different types of sake, with a particular focus on Junmai, Ginjo, Genshu, and Nigori.

Let's start with Junmai sake, which translates to “pure rice.” This type of sake is brewed using only four ingredients: rice, , , and koji. The exclusion of any additional additives or results in a pure and clean taste. Junmai sake often has a rich and robust flavor profile, with notes of rice, earthiness, and a hint of sweetness. It pairs well with a wide range of foods, making it a popular choice for both casual and formal dining occasions.

Moving on to Ginjo sake, we enter the realm of premium sake. Ginjo sake is made using rice that has been milled down to 51-60% of its original size. This extensive milling process removes the outer layers of the rice, resulting in a more refined and delicate flavor. Ginjo sake is known for its aromatic qualities, often exhibiting floral, fruity, and sometimes even tropical notes. It is best enjoyed chilled and can be a delightful accompaniment to sushi, sashimi, or light appetizers.

For those seeking a more intense and powerful experience, Genshu sake offers a cask-strength option. Unlike most sake, which is diluted with water after , Genshu sake is undiluted, retaining a higher alcohol content and a richer flavor profile. Genshu sake can be bold and robust, with a higher level of umami and a deeper complexity. It is often enjoyed at room temperature or slightly warmed, and pairs well with hearty dishes, grilled meats, and spicy cuisines.

Lastly, let's explore Nigori sake, which is characterized by its cloudy appearance. Nigori translates to “cloudy,” and this type of sake is unfiltered, allowing some rice sediment to remain in the bottle. This gives Nigori sake a slightly thicker and creamier texture, as well as a sweeter and more full-bodied flavor. It is often served chilled and pairs well with desserts, fruits, and cheeses.

The world of sake is vast and diverse, offering something for every palate. Whether you prefer the pure and clean taste of Junmai sake, the delicate aromas of Ginjo, the boldness of Genshu, or the creamy sweetness of Nigori, there is a sake out there that will bring joy to your taste buds. So, why not embark on a sake-tasting journey and discover the flavors that resonate with you? Cheers to the joy of sake!

Junmai and Ginjo Sake 1699182839

What Is Junmai Ginjo Genshu?

Junmai Ginjo Genshu is a type of saké that is known for its pure and powerful flavors. It is brewed using only rice, water, yeast, and koji, which is a type of mold that is used to break down the rice starches into fermentable sugars. This traditional brewing method results in a saké that has a rich and full-bodied taste.

The term “Junmai” refers to the fact that this saké is made using only rice and no added alcohol or sugar. It is a pure and unadulterated form of saké that showcases the natural flavors of the rice and the fermentation process. The use of only rice gives Junmai saké a slightly earthy and robust character.

On the other hand, “Ginjo” indicates that the rice used in the brewing process has been milled down to 51-60% of its original size. This milling process removes the outer layers of the rice, which contain impurities and unwanted flavors. By removing these outer layers, the saké becomes smoother and more refined, with delicate and fruity aromas.

“Genshu” means that the saké is undiluted and cask strength. Unlike other saké types, which are often diluted with water after brewing, Genshu saké retains its original alcohol content and is not watered down. This results in a higher alcohol percentage and a more intense flavor profile. Genshu saké is known for its bold and complex flavors, with notes of tropical fruits, spices, and a lingering finish.

In my personal experience, I have found that Junmai Ginjo Genshu is a fantastic saké to pair with rich and flavorful dishes. Its robust and full-bodied nature can stand up to bold flavors, such as grilled meats, spicy curries, or aged cheeses. The undiluted nature of Genshu saké also makes it a great choice for those who prefer stronger and more concentrated flavors.

Junmai Ginjo Genshu is a type of saké that is brewed using only rice, water, yeast, and koji. It is known for its pure and powerful flavors, thanks to the absence of added alcohol or sugar. The milling process of the rice gives it a refined and delicate character, while the undiluted nature of Genshu saké results in a higher alcohol content and a more intense flavor profile. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with food, Junmai Ginjo Genshu offers a unique and enjoyable saké experience.

Are There Different Types Of Sake?

There are indeed different types of sake. I have had the opportunity to try various kinds and each has its own unique characteristics and flavors. Let me walk you through the five main types of sake.

1. Junmai-shu: This type of sake is made purely from rice, water, yeast, and koji (a type of mold). It has a rich and full-bodied flavor, often with earthy and savory notes. Junmai-shu tends to have a higher acidity and can be enjoyed at different temperatures, both chilled and warmed.

2. Ginjo-shu: Ginjo-shu is a premium sake that undergoes a special brewing process. The rice grains are milled to remove a larger portion of the outer layers, resulting in a more refined and delicate flavor profile. It is known for its fruity and floral aromas, with a smoother and lighter taste. Ginjo-shu is typically enjoyed chilled.

3. Daiginjo-shu: Daiginjo-shu is considered the pinnacle of sake brewing. The rice grains are polished even more than in Ginjo-shu, resulting in a very refined and elegant sake. It has a complex flavor profile with subtle notes of fruits, flowers, and sometimes even herbs. Daiginjo-shu is best enjoyed chilled to fully appreciate its delicate flavors.

4. Honjozo-shu: Honjozo-shu is a type of sake made with the addition of a small amount of distilled alcohol. This addition helps to create a lighter and smoother sake, with a slightly lower acidity. It often has a clean and crisp taste, making it a versatile choice that can be enjoyed at various temperatures.

5. Namazake: Namazake, also known as unpasteurized sake, is sake that has not been heat-treated to kill bacteria. It has a fresh and vibrant flavor profile, with more pronounced fruity and floral notes. Namazake is typically enjoyed chilled and should be consumed within a shorter period after production to maintain its freshness.

Each of these types of sake offers a unique drinking experience, and I have found it fascinating to explore the different flavors and styles. It's worth noting that within each type, there can be variations based on the specific brewery and brewing techniques used.

The world of sake offers a wide range of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you enjoy a rich and full-bodied sake or prefer a delicate and aromatic one, there is sure to be a type of sake that will appeal to you. I encourage you to explore and try different varieties to discover your personal favorites. Cheers!


Joy Sake offers a diverse range of sake options to cater to different preferences and tastes. Whether you prefer a pure and traditional Junmai sake, a refined and fragrant Ginjo sake, or a powerful and undiluted Genshu sake, Joy Sake has something for everyone. Additionally, their Nigori offerings provide a unique and cloudy experience that adds a touch of novelty to the sake-drinking experience. With a careful selection of ingredients and meticulous brewing processes, Joy Sake ensures that each bottle delivers a rich depth of flavors and a truly enjoyable drinking experience. So, whether you are a seasoned sake connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of sake, Joy Sake is sure to satisfy your cravings and provide a delightful journey into the world of this traditional Japanese beverage.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.