Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo Sake 720ml

  • Sake
  • Japan, 720ml

Pours a pale, water white colour in the glass. Supremely elegant on the nose, showing honeysuckle, white strawberry, watermelon rind, along with subtle cream and nougat. Likewise the palate is equally elegant and pure, with green melon and white strawberry sitting alongside pastry, nougat, panna cotta, and vanilla notes. Extremely refined, and with more than a passing resemblance to a crisp white wine, serve this sake chilled on its own or along with fresh dishes such as squid or red snapper sashimi.

  • Sake Brewery: Asahi Shuzo
  • Grade: Junmai Daiginjo
  • Region: Yamaguchi, Japan
  • Rice variety: Yamada-Nishiki
  • Rice polishing ratio: 23%
  • Alcohol: 16%
  • Volume: 720ml
  • Food pairing: Perfect as aperitif, prosciutto and melon, foie gras pate, cheese, oysters, mushrooms, whitebait, sashimi, mutton bird

Brewed by Asahi Shuzo based in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Dassai focus on high quality, supremely modern Junmai Daiginjo sake using only Yamada Nishiki rice. Dassai are also unique in the industry having adapted their methods and brewery to be able to brew year round. To craft the ultimate Junmai-Daiginjo sake, they polished down Yamada-Nishiki rice to 23%. Delivering delicate floral aromas with a palate reminiscent of honey and an elegant lasting finish.

Asahi Shuzo Co is a Japanese brewery that produces sake under the Dassai brand. Founded in 1948, it is located in the mountains of the Yamaguchi prefecture, well positioned for supplies of clean water and equipped with a 200-feet (60-meter) deep well. The brewery is unusual in focusing entirely on premium Junmai Daiginjo sake.

Top-grade Yamada Nishiki rice is sourced from contracted farms in nine different prefectures. Dassai was the first sake to be made with a centrifuge in place of a conventional press – a process reputed to achieve extra smoothness and cleaner flavours in the final sake.

The three core bottlings are labelled 23, 39 and 50, which refer to the percentage of the grain of rice remaining after polishing, or milling – the lower number is best. While 50 percent is the minimum for the Junmai Daiginjo classification, 23 is a very low percentage for sake generally.

The "23" label is correspondingly pricey, and supply is limited as multiple batches of 23 can be downgraded on assessment. In all, the process of polishing one batch requires seven days and nights – a total of 168 hours' labour.

In recent years the brewery has introduced the rare "Beyond", which is one of the most expensive sakes on the market. Unfiltered Nigori 50 and a Sparkling 50 complete the range.

The brand name Dassai means "otter festival". The name, in part, refers to the river otters which were common in the region of the brewery.

Since 2011, all Dassai products have been annually certified kosher by Chabad Tokyo Japan.

  • Gold - 2021 International Wine Challenge
  • Gold - 2020 International Wine Challenge
  • Silver - 2022 International Wine Challenge
  • Silver - 2015 TEXSOM International Wine Awards
  • 94/100 Points - Anthony Rose, Decanter
  • 93/100 Points - Liwen Hao, Wine Advocate


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