About Junmai Sake

About Junmai Sake
Junmai literally translates into “pure rice”. This is the older, more traditional method of brewing sake. Junmai saké can only contain four ingredients: rice, water, yeast and koji with no added alcohol. Junmai sakés will be richer and fuller bodied than the other major type, Honjozo saké. Until recently, at least a 30% rice polish (70% remaining) was required for this definition, but that has now been eliminated.

These are generally dry to off-dry and pair well with sushi, fusion cuisine or even seafood risotto.

Top Picks for Junmai Sake

Kenbishi  Mizuho Junmai Sake
94 points
$42
Rich yellow straw color. Roasted, attractive aromas and flavors of toasted rice with tamari and butter, honey roasted nuts, and carob with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, long finish that shows impressions of nectarines with malted chocolate, figs and melon rind, and praline finish. A complex combination of sweet and savory tones makes this a natural choice for pairings; sherry-lovers need apply!
SOTO Premium Junmai Sake
91 points
$5.99
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of dates and marinated mushrooms with a supple, vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length carob, caramelized vegetables, and hints of berries finish. A rich and savory Sake with dark undertones; excellent pairing for grilled seafood and fermented foods.
91 points $5.99 Best Buy
SOTO Premium Junmai Sake
90 points
$19.99
White gold color. Aromas of strawberries, cream, and apples in yogurt with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a sleek, interesting, buoyant white grape, lime, hints of pecan, and green tea finish. A supple, creamy Junmai Sake for delicate dishes.
90 points $19.99
Manotsuru  "Crane"Junmai Sake
89 points
$12
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of pineapple and guava pastry, yogurt drink, sweet tea, and banana candies with a crisp, dryish light body and an effortless, brisk finish displaying notes of almond milk. A fruity and friendly Sake ready for the sushi bar.
89 points $12 Best Buy
Roga  Junmai Sake
88 points
$15
Best Buy
White gold color. Fruity aromas of sticky rice, jicama, honeyed peach, ripe melons, and strawberry with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, snappy white peppercorns and hints of preserved ginger finish. A fruity entry point into Sake that’s easy to love.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Joto  Junmai Sake
87 points
$42.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of starfruit, pomelo, jasmine, pimento, and golden raisin with a soft, dry thin body and a smooth, crisp birch and grilled brioche finish. A food-friendly sake with aromas of exotic citrus and florals.
87 points $42.99
Joto  Junmai Sake
87 points
$22.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of tapioca, peach jam, cashew brittle, and papaya and paw paw with a round, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, medium-long finish manifesting notes of apple custard tart, candied yams, pepper, and blue raspberry finish. A juicy, fruity, easy-drinking junmai with pleasing warmth.
87 points $22.99
North American Sake Brewery  Real Magic Junmai Sake
85 points
$18
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of gooseberry, grapefruit peel, fresh cut grass, buttered toast, and green bell pepper with a satiny, crisp, fruity light body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish. THE Sake for Sauvignon Blanc drinkers; ready for summer.
SakéMoto  Junmai Sake
85 points
$10
White gold color. Aromas of dried citrus, sliced cucumber, and cherry yogurt with a silky, crisp, dryish light body and a smooth, quick peach, pineapple, minerals, and hint of ginger tea finish. A clean and easy-drinking sake.
Shichi Hon  Junmai Sake
85 points
$32.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of toasted hawaiian roll, banana cream, mango, and minerals with a soft, vibrant, dry light body and a peppery, interesting, brisk brioche and sea salt finish. A crisp and peppery Junmai that can pair well with rich soft cheeses.
85 points $32.99