What are the various categories of sake?

The National Tax Administration Agency has developed several categories for different sake's distinguished by their own individual characteristics. This categorizing of sakÿs began in 1989. The different categories were developed for two reasons: there are many great varieties of sake in Japan, and sake brewing techniques have continued to develop over the years.

Sakes are classified in 8 different categories based on the ingredients and the rice polishing ratio (See diagram below.) Each category reflects a specific characteristic fragrance and taste, so you can use a category name in searching for your favorite sake 

Distilled alcohol is typically made from the fermentation of sugar that is refined from sugarcane.

Distilled alcohol can be added to four types: Dai-Ginjo, Ginjo, Tokubetsu (Special) Honjozo and Honjozo. The quantity of distilled alcohol has a direct effect on the fragrance of the sake as well as its shelf life. The distilled alcohol that can be added must be less than 10% of the total weight of the polished rice. This is one of the essential regulations involved in the process of making sake.