So I just tried my first Sake. Not impressed, but hey, nice trying something new, right?

Here is what I dont understand. It seems like many sakes has ethanol added to them. We all know what would happen if a beer would be treated this way - it would no longer be rateable. So why is it ok for Sakes?

Ethanol on the label or does it just feel hot? I don’t personally read Japanese labels & see that ingredient.

Honjozo Sake must be milled to 70% or less of it’s original size and as far as ingredients go, it contains a small amount of distilled brewer’s alcohol, which is added to the sake to achieve different flavor & aroma profiles.

I believe this is only style with the small addition of alcohol. But to exclude this one style on minor technicality would be odd. There are but a few of us sake raters here at ratebeer let us live in peace. :blush:

Sakes to me are wine, and they go with Japanese food. If I am having a Japanese dinner, I will want a Sake.

Technically they are way closer to beer than many modern beers, for example the mikkeller spontan quad-peta-hexa, that are fruit wines (most alcohol comes from fruit), or pastry sours (mostly fruit juice/puree, with some beer added)…

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I tried Akita Fuji Nigori. According to various sites it says "Made from rice polished 70%, Koji, brewer’s alcohol and corn syrup. Found other Sakes described in similar terms. So “many” was maybe an exaggeration, but at least it seems to exist.

Sorry, not trying to ruin anything, just curious about the difference.

Another style that uses brewers alcohol seems to be Futsu-shu. This quote is taken from this very site:
“Brewer’s alcohol is added in more amounts than allowed in Honjozo and organic acids are usually added.”

Unless it is junmai, all other sake are blended with distilled alcohol. However, in non-junmai it is a fairly small percent compared to the naturally fermented alcohol for premium sake (up to 25% of total alcohol). More in non-premium. Here is a helpful website:

Why is this allowed on the site? Well, partially because some sake’s are purely fermented with no addition of alcohol. Premium sake use a small addition while it is still a traditional grain fermented beverage. Adding vodka to a 5% beer, even if it is only to bump it up by 2%, would taste pretty differently. Adding a little bit of spirit to a ginjo or diaginjo sake makes it almost imperceptible. And, finally, there is not much concordance on how certain beverages are allowed and not allowed to be rated on this site. The site has been around a while with many different users fighting different battles. I think we should be allowed to rate hard kombucha :slight_smile:

Finally, I would recommend you find a small bottle of a junmai diaginjo sake, which are plentiful for under $20. Try those sake to get an idea for quality sake. I generally stay away from anything less milled than ginjo sake unless its something traditional or atypically produced.


I am not a fan of sake, at least those that I have already tried, which is not much. I agree with @troopie that I also consider sake as wine.

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