If you are a sake lover, you may have heard that junmai-shu is better sake than jozo-shu. Is it correct? Not necessarily. Now let’ learn about some basics of sake. I checked several English information on junmai-shu and jozo-shu, but I think non of them explains the difference very well.
First of all, sake can be categorized into two big groups; junmai-shu and jozo-shu. (Honjozo is one type of jozo-shu.) Junmai-shu is made only from water and rice, and the alcohol is naturally brewed during the process whereas in jozo-shu, alcohol is added at the end of the making process to the flavor. According to a sake maker, it is true that it requires more technics to create good flavor without adding alcohol. However, sometimes well blended jozo-shu has great flavor and taste. You’d find many great jozo-daiginjo or jozo-ginjo (the ones with added alcohol are simply called daiginjo and ginjo, whereas non-alcohol added are called junmai-daiginjo and junmai-ginjo), for example. You have no reason to avoid jozo-shu, as long as they are produced at traditional breweries.
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