Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Top Rated Sakes

Japanese rice field (Photo: Wikipedia)

Sake is a rice-based, alcoholic beverage, which originated in ancient Japan. It is the product of a brewing process more similar to beer than wine. These are the best Sakes we've tasted, starting with our highest ratings.



Asahi Shuzo Brewery
Dassai "Migaki Ni-wari San-bu" Daiginjo
Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
15/20Balancing sweet, sour and dry flavors, this bold sipping sake boasts tropical fruit aromas and a clean finish.
$80 (720 ml)

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Daimon Shuzo Brewery
Tozai Ginjo Nigori ("Voices in the Mist")
Osaka Prefecture, Japan
14.5/20Offering lush tropical aromas on the nose, this Ginjo sake displays flavors of banana, white rice and black licorice in the mouth.
$25 (720 ml)

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Kitamura Brewery
Syou-Jyou Junmai Daiginjo
Nara Prefecture, Japan
14.5/20Brewed with water from the Yoshino River, this lightly fragrant selection offers fruit and flower on the nose and a very clean finish.
$67 (720 ml)

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Kizakura Sake Brewing
Tozai Junmai ("Living Jewel")
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
14.5/20This sulfite-free, gluten-free and kosher Junmai sake is medium-bodied, offering complex flavors, a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth, lingering finish.
$17 (720 ml)

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Higashiyama Shuzo Brewery
Konteki ("Tears of Dawn")
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
14/20The sweet, banana-scented nose doesn't match the unusual palate of this crisp, clean-finishing Daiginjo.
$39 (720 ml)

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Marumoto Brewery
Chikurin Karoyaka Junmai Ginjo Organic Sake
Okayama Prefecture, Japan
14/20A light, bright, crisp and dry Junmai Ginjo sake with good structure and clean aftertaste. Try it with sushi, sashimi and salads.
$50 (720 ml)

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Marumoto Brewery
Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Sake
Okayama Prefecture, Japan
14/20A light, semi-sparkling and unfiltered Junmai sake with sweet/tart flavors of pear, melon and almonds.
$15 (300 ml)

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Sakata Brewery
Jokigen Junmai Ginjo
Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
14/20This sweetish sake displays stone fruit and mineral notes and a food-friendly acidity.
$30 (720 ml)

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Shimizu-No-Mai
Pure Dawn
Akita Prefecture, Japan
14/20Orange peel, floral and mineral aromatics precede this Junmai Ginjo sake’s fresh pear and apple flavors and sweet, creamy finish. Pairs well with seafood.
$34 (720 ml)

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Shimizu-No-Mai
Pure Dusk
Akita Prefecture, Japan
14/20This Junmai Daiginjo offering features pear and green apple on the nose, honeydew on the tongue, and a smooth, dry citrus finish.
$40 (720 ml)

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Takasago Shuzo
Ginga Shizuku ("Divine Droplets")
Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
14/20This clean and crisp Junmai Daiginjo sake offers banana on the nose, vanilla on the palate and a long, comforting finish.
$19 (300 ml)

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Tentaka Shuzo
Tentaka Kuni ("Hawk in the Heavens")
Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
14/20Brewed using water from the region's natural underground springs, Hawk in the Heavens is a crisp, smooth, clean-tasting junmai sake with herbaceous flavors that linger on the palate.
$30 (720 ml)

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Wakatake
Onikoroshi Junmai Daiginjo
Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
14/20Round and alluring, this balanced mild sake has the texture of raw silk and a slight sweetness. It should only be served cold.
$40 (720 ml)

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Gekkeikan
Horin Junmai Daiginjo Sake
Japan
13.5/20This ultra-premium imported sake has a pleasant nose, and clear, clean, smooth flavor.

$30 (720 ml)

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Yuki No Bosha
Limited Edition Junmai Ginjo
Akita Prefecture, Japan
13.5/20This refreshing sake, technically a daiginjo, has virtually no aroma, but features a supple mouthfeel and a hint of peaches on the palate. Use it to cool down spicy Asian fare.

$36 (720 ml)

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Yuki No Bosha
Junmai Ginjo Nigori
Akita Prefecture, Japan
13.5/20Creamy and cloudy, this rustic sake is earthy on the tongue, has a meaty mouthfeel and ends with a dry finish. Try it chilled, with steak or spicy Thai food.

$36 (300 ml)

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SakeOne
Momokawa Junmai Ginjo
Oregon, U.S.
13/20This rich, creamy sake is certified organic and sold in an environmentally-friendly bottle. Layers of coconut and pineapple are followed by notes of almonds and honey. This sake should only be served cold.

$13 (750 ml)

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Gekkeikan Sake
Black & Gold
California, U.S.
12/20Produced in Folsom, California, this medium-bodied sake features aromas of cocoa and dried pineapple. Fruit flavors are followed by a smooth, mellow finish.

$12 (720 ml)

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Gekkeikan
Zipang Sparkling Sake
Japan
No RatingThis carbonated sake is lighter and sweeter than the more traditional variety.
$6 (250 ml)

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Hakutsuru
Sayuri Sake
Japan
No RatingTame a spicy meal or enhance a chocolate dessert with this mild-mannered nigori sake.
$7 (300 ml)


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