10 Best Dassai to Drink in Japan
Japanese Sake guide: Top 10 Dassai products
Do you like drinking Japanese Sake or are interested in trying it out when you come to Japan? If you have tried drinking sake before and want to know more about it, then this may be the article for you. If you haven’t tried Japanese sake yet, don’t worry. This article may also be helpful.
In this article, I will introduce to you the Japanse Sake brand “Dassai”. If you are a Sake connoisseur, then you might have heard of this brand before. This is because this is one of the most popular Japanese Sake not only in Japan but also internationally.
I will briefly explain the reason why it is so popular as well as introduce to you the 10 Best Dassai to Drink in Japan. Most of these can also be purchased online!
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What is Dassai?
Dassai (獺祭) is a Sake brand made by Asahi Shuzo (旭酒造) in Yamaguchi prefecture. As I mentioned in the intro, this Sake brand is popular both within Japan and internationally. This sake brand has been covered by the media for several reasons, and because of that, it has sparked a new trend for drinking Japanese Sake.
It was covered by the media when late former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe gave a bottle of Dassai as a present to various world leaders such as former US president Barack Obama. Dassai also appeared in the Japanese Anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. These kinds of appearances on mainstream media made people curious about Dassai. Funny thing is, that both Shinzo Abe and Hideaki Anno (creator of Evangelion) are from Yamaguchi prefecture.
But this is not the only reason why Dassai is so popular. Of course, the main reason for its popularity comes from its taste. Dassai has a sweet fruity taste that doesn’t linger too much in your mouth as well as a pleasant fruity scent. This has made people who don’t usually drink Japanese Sake become interested, therefore, creating a trend.
From here, I will introduce to you our picks for the 10 Best Dassai to Drink in Japan.
1. Dassai 23
Dassai 23 (純米大吟醸 磨き二割三分) is the flagship product of this brand. So if you are not sure where to start trying, this should be the one. the 23 in the name represents the percentage of how much percentage of the original rice grain remains after being polished. This means that about 77% of the rice grain used in this sake has been polished to remove impurities.
2. Dassai 39
Dassai 39 (純米大吟醸 磨き三割九分) is similar to the previous Dassai 23, but as you can see, the amount of bran removed from the rice grains is less in comparison. What this causes is that the end product has a little more punch to its flavor in comparison to Dassai 23. It still has the characteristic sweetness to it, having an elegant honey-like sweetness.
3. Dassai 45
Dassai 45 (純米大吟醸45), as you can imagine, is similar to the previous two types, but just has a difference in the percentage of bran removal. The main characteristic is that it is neither too sweet nor too dry, making it another good choice to be the first Dassai type that you try. It goes well drinking it cold. Many people like drinking it in a wine glass.
4. Dassai Sparkling 45
Dassai Sparkling 45 (純米大吟醸 スパークリング45) is the sparkling version of the previous Dassai 45. Since this is a relatively sweet Japanese Sake, it goes well drinking it alongside western cuisine. According to the producers, it is good to keep it really cold before drinking it. This can be a unique option to bring to a party.
5. Dassai 23 Enshin Bunri
Dassai 23 Enshin Bunri (純米大吟醸 磨き二割三分 遠心分離) is Dassai 23, but manufactured in a different way compared to the regular Dassai 23. Enshin Bunri (遠心分離) is a method of extracting the alcohol without the pressing or squeezing process that usually takes place. By doing this, the end product will have a more pronounced fragrance and flavor.
6. Dassai 39 Enshin Bunri
Just like the previous one, Dassai 39 Enshin Bunri (純米大吟醸 磨き三割九分 遠心分離) is the “Enshin Bunri” version of Dassai 39. Unfortunately, this is a Dassai that you can’t find online at this moment, but it might be interesting if you can go to a Sake bar and try out both this one and the regular Dassai 39 to compare the difference in fragrance and taste.
7. Dassai DEX 23
Dassai DEX 23 (新生獺祭 純米大吟醸 磨き二割三分) is Dassai 23, but this time it is prepared in a way that focuses on the fermentation process. Usually, during the fermentation process, many substances that are said to be good for your health are created but also disappear, all this during the fermentation process. What this product does is that it prevents these substances that are good for you disappear.
8. Dassai DEX 45
Same as the previous product, Dassai DEX 45 (新生獺祭 純米大吟醸 45) also focuses on this special method of fermentation, making that substances that are said to be good for human health stay in the end product without disappearing during the fermentation process.
9. Dassai Beyond
Dassai Beyond (獺祭 その先へ) is Dassai prepared with an undisclosed percentage of bran removal. This product is created with a strict standard that is different from that of Dassai 23. This is a product you will want to try after you have tasted Dassai 23.
10. Dassai Togai
And lastly, on this list, we have Dassai Togai (獺祭 等外). One concept you need to understand is that the rice used for preparing sake is divided into 6 levels. Togai (等外) refers to “ungraded rice”. These rice grains are uninformed in size. It is a product that shows how no rice grain is put to waste in this brewery.
Thank you for reading this article. If you like Sake and other Japanese drinks, be sure to check out these other articles as well!