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.

Honjozo sake has at least 30% of rice polished away with a small amount of distilled alcohol added. These are clear in appearance with flavors such as banana, toasted nuts and mushrooms and are quire subtle and elegant. Pair with tempura or fusion cuisine. (Wine/Classification & Attributes)