About Honjozo Daiginjo Sake

About Honjozo Daiginjo Sake
Honjozo Daiginjo sake has at least 50% of rice polished away with a small amount of distilled alcohol added. These are elegant and ethereal sakes with refined, nuanced aromas and flavors including anise, melon and exotic tropical fruits and flowers. Pair with the finest sushi, seafood, vegetarian dishes, or enjoy as a superb aperitif.

During WWII, as a result of significant rice shortages, the government allowed saké brewers to supplement their saké with an additional amount of brewer’s alcohol. While this was initially a cost control measure, the brewer’s found that the added alcohol extracted more aromatics and flavor from the saké mash. The Honjozo style makes for a somewhat lighter style of saké. Honjozo saké is much more prevalent in Japan today, while Junmai saké is more common in U.S. markets. A point of clarification: whichever style is used the overall alcohol content of the end product will be the same, typically 14-16%. Much like wine, these are the New World and Old World styles of saké. When looking at bottles of saké at your local retail store, Junmai saké will always state that on the label. When the word Junmai doesn’t appear on the label the saké it’s generally a Honjozo.

Top Picks for Honjozo Daiginjo Sake

Okunomatsu  Shizuku 18th Generation Ihei Daiginjo Sake
94 points
$130
Silvery straw color. Aromas of granny smith apple, carnation, and lychee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a warming, interesting, medium-length ripe apricot, key lime, focaccia, toffee, custard, and sea salt finish. An upstanding Honjozo Daiginjo sake with great balance, bright acidity, and stylish profile.
Kurosawa  Daiginjo Premium Reserve Sake
91 points
$55
Silvery straw color. Aromas of toasted rice, melon yogurt, and pickled ginger with a supple, bright, dryish light body and an even, brisk underripe plum, rice cracker, whipped butter, and dried herbs finish. A smooth-sipping, soft-spoken Sake with great drinkability.
Joto  Daiginjo Sake
84 points
$49.99
Emerald straw color. Aromas of honeydew melon, ripe mango, and strawberry with an crisp, light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length meringue and mango mochi finish. A fruity, silky sake that is a pleasure to drink.
84 points $49.99