Sake question

Just bought my first bottle of Sake. Hakutsuru draft sake. The bottle says Junmai. On the back it says Hakutsuru Junmai Draft Sake (Namachozo) . Our database says Hakutsuru Draft Sake is a namasake. Not sure what to do.

Drink it.

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yes. How should I rate it though? There is also an Hakutsuru Organic Junmai listed in the database, and I could rate it as that, to at least get the style right. Or I could enter a new Sake in the database, but not sure if I should.

Looks like those two sakes are the same. Here’s what Hakutsuru has to say:

“Namachozo-shu (fresh storage ‘sake’)”
“Namazake” is “sake” not subjected to heat processing, and “namachozo-shu” is “sake” stored without heat processing. When delivered as products, they are first heat-pasteurized. Either is mainly consumed as cold “sake”, and makes it possible to experience a “just-squeezed” taste."

sometimes barcodes can help with sake. Not ideal, but another clue in finding right sake

Our site saysof namasake that it is "Fresh or raw saké that is not pasteurized. Sensitive to temperature and will spoil easily, turning milky and possibly sour. Alternative themes on the word nama include namachozo, which is pasteurized once before bottling, or namazume, which is pasteurized once before storage. " So it seems like it was not correct to list this as a Namasake, which is not namachozo, IIUC? But that is what it is listed as.

Which implies the Hakutsuru words are a bit misleading. I read the English as saying both are heat processed at some point.

Any sake with the label “Namachozo” should be a “Sake - Namasake”. RB’s description page has a pretty good description:é---namasaké/90/

@KyotoLefty could probably explain this.

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The definition here is correct but too vague. It can be interpreted either way.

Generally, I think that the difference between namazake and namachozo is huge, and that the latter is not particularly special. I tend to categorize them based on other factors.

There has been no consistent approach to this style on RB, which you can see if you look over sakes with that in the name. Some come up as nama, others in just about every category. We should probably formulate a coherent policy.

The other, more basic issue, is that many of our styles overlap. I personally think that Genshu and Nama are not really styles, but more like tags. I’ve had many Junmai Ginjo Nama Geshu. Sometimes also Nigori. It is hard to have a consistent system of classification where each one has to be just one style. Also, for some breweries, all their sakes are nama and genshu, and they don’t even use the names. In such a case, it has made sense to classify them according to words that are in their names, like ginjo.

I have not figured out a better way to do it than the one we use, though, so I don’t propose to change the system. It has also been the case that very few people outside of Japan could get their hands on nama or genshu, so it wasn’t a big issue. Now that is changing too.


Thank you @KyotoLefty