Each kind of sake is unique and to help differentiate between them they are separated into different categories. There are two types of categories; Junmai and Honjozou.
Junmai (純米)– Literally means pure rice. Made with only rice, water and koji mold. The rice used must be polished to at least 70%~78%. Often a full and solid flavor profile, clean and well structured.
Junmai Ginjyo (純米吟醸)– Brewed with labor-intensive steps, eschewing machinery for traditional tools and methods, using highly polished rice (at least 60%**) and fermented at colder temperatures for longer periods of time. Light, fruity, refined.
Same for Tokubetsu Junmai. Tokubetsu means “special”. Must have a specialty about the sake such as brand of rice and brewing method.
Junmai Daiginjyo (純米大吟醸)– Brewed with very highly polished rice up to 50% or less with even more precise and labor intensive methods. The pinnacle of the brewers’ art. Generally light, complex and fragrant.
Honjozo(本醸造)– Like junmai, describes a family of sake and a level of sake within that family. Honjozo sake is made with the addition of a small amount of distilled alcohol. Usually the alcohol is added to lighten the flavor and to accentuate the fragrance.
Same for Tokubetsu Honjozo. Must have a specialty about the sake such as brand of rice and brewing method.
Ginjo(吟醸)– Ginjo grade sake requires rice that has been polished down to 60% or less of its original size. Ginjos are more fragrant and complex than honjozos. Some may be rounder and more aromatic than their junmai ginjo counterparts.
Daiginjo(大吟醸)-Daiginjo grade sake requires rice that has been polished down to 50% or less of its original size. Daiginjos are lighter in body and more refined than ginjos. Daiginjos will generally be more aromatic than their junmai daiginjo counterparts.
Check out S.M.V!! (Sake meter value)