We’re often asked what the big and bright “g” stands for on g joy and g fifty bottles. Is it Junmai “Ginjo”? Is it Garth Brooks or Google? (these are our favorites). No, no & no. G is for Genshu.
Genshu — 原酒 — (pronounced Ghen-shoo)
Undiluted, this style of saké is bottled without adding water to temper the alcohol percentage. Many brewers believe that the flavors and textures are best expressed in their naturally fermented state. Saké naturally reaches around 18-20% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) during normal fermentation, making it one of the highest naturally occurring alcohol contents in a beverage. It tends to be slightly higher in alcohol than the industry average saké which is usually diluted with water to 14-15% alcohol before bottling.
A Genshu is not necessarily more boozy tasting. Some saké are so clean and crisp that you would never guess the alcohol content is so high (dangerous, right?). With undiluted saké there is a sense of all the elements being more intense in flavor and aroma. Some Genshu end up dryer because the extra alcohol dries up the flavors as it passes your palate. Others can taste exceedingly sweet and fruity. In some Genshu you’ll find a powerful punch, with a fiery feeling on the tongue. The characteristics of each Genshu as a style are related to the body and aroma of the saké itself.
Though uncommon, some Genshu can be finished with less than 18% ABV by adjusting temperatures, using special yeast, or filtering the saké before fermentation is complete.
We brew a few wonderful Genshu at our Kura in Forest Grove, Oregon. Check out our signature g lineup.
g fifty, Junmai Ginjo Genshu:
A brighter and even more revolutionary take on Genshu with equal parts of power and elegance, polish and panache. Medium-dry on the palate, g fifty features a silky texture with subtle notes suggestive of grape, green apples and refreshing mint that are artfully melded against a backdrop of minerals and spice. It’s our most premium and most polished saké to date.
Enjoyment: Its’ high acidity and fruity flavors make it the perfect match for fresh cuisines like shrimp tacos, grilled meats, and pasta.
Polish: 50% SMV: 0 ABV: 18%
g joy, Junmai Ginjo Genshu:
Handcrafted using ancient Japanese techniques and American sensibilities, g joy is the essence of East meets West and past meets present. Being Genshu, it retains the big and bold aromas and tastes that are typically diluted out to soften and smooth the natural heartiness of saké. This is not a shy brew and we suggest you be equally open and share a bottle with friends. It’s bold, rich and full of exceptional flavors like melon, cherry with a pepper finish.
Enjoyment: Wonderful on its own or on the rocks. It’s our favorite BBQ saké, but works well with anything smoked or hearty like lamb kabobs or spicy Thai.
Polish: 60% SMV: +3 ABV: 18%
We also carry Momokawa Pearl, a Nigori Genshu, Moonstone Coconut Lemongrass Nigori, and Murai Family Nigori Genshu.
If you’re specifically looking for a Genshu at your grocery store, most will have the word “Genshu” on the front or back label. If the label isn’t forthcoming, you can also look at the alcohol content. Anything above 18% is a good bet.