Classification: Junmai Daiginjo

Bottle size : 1.8L

Region / Area of Production : Yamaguchi

Sake Rice: Yamada Nishiki

Dassai is a brand of sake produced by The Asahi Brewery based in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. The Asahi Brewery in Yamaguchi is not to be confused with the beer brewery, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, headquartered in Sumida, Tokyo. Asahi Brewery is known for making ultra-premium Junmai Daiginjo and is relatively young Sagakura or Sake Brewery, having started only in 1948. Under the hands of President Hiroshi Sakurai, he reinvented the brewery into an ultra-premium sake brand from producing Futsushu or table sake under the brand name Asahifuji. The name Dassai translates to Otter Festival and is part of the local Yamaguchi legend.

After becoming Toji or Head Brewer, Sakurai turned his focus into the rice polishing ratio which determines the grade of the sake and decided upon 45, 39 and 23. The number 45 represents 45% of the rice grain’s original size and number 23 represents 23% of the rice grain’s original size after the rice polishing process (the remaining percentage of rice). Sakurai uses Yamada Nishiki, a short-grain Japanese rice famous for its use in high-quality premium sake and polishing the rice to 23% takes time and skills. The finished sake is cleaner, lighter and more fragrant the more the rice grains are polished. (For Reference: Futsushu or Table Sake is more than 70%).

The term Junmai used in front of premium sake grade means that the sake is brewed exclusively with rice, water and koji with no alcohol added. The term Daiginjo refers to premium sake grade with minimum 50% or more of the rice grain polished away. Junmai Daiginjo refers to the sake being made without added alcohol and with less than 50% of the rice grain remaining after polishing.  

Dassai 39 Junmai Daiginjo is a premium grade sake made with no added alcohol and the rice grains used has been polished to an extraordinary 39% of it’s original size. Bottled at 16% ABV. Recommended to drink cold.