Dassai sake, produced by the Asahi Brewery of Yamaguchi Prefecture, has earned a reputation for being one of the best types of nihonshu on the market. Falling into the premium junmai daiginjo grade, the Dassai range is characterised by a high rice polishing rate that unlocks fruity and floral flavours.
After tasting the sexy Dassai 23, I fell down the rabbit hole of wanting to discover the entire Dassai range and have got around to sampling Dassai 45.
Why did I choose the bottle?
The bottle was supplied by London Sake, a UK supplier that offers an eclectic variety of nihonshu.
The story of the Dassai 45 is a continuation of the evolution of the Asashi brewery. Previously labelled as Dassai 50, the brewery decided to introduce an extra 5% polishing in 2019 to enhance the quality of the sake and reinvent themselves.
To learn more about the brand, check out my review of the elegant Dassai 39.
Dassai 45 carries the typical fruity aromas of junmai daiginjo. My first thought on tasting the drink was ‘this reminds me of the best qualities of a white wine.’ Smooth and airy, the 45 is so easy to drink.
Notes of apple, orange and pear dance on the tongue, unfurling into a graceful bouquet of mellow fruitiness. This is complemented by a crisp, dry undercurrent that’s referred to as tanrei karakuchi in Japanese.
Another great aspect of the Dassai 45 is its versatility with food. For a main course, I paired it with salmon and rice and it provided a clean aftertaste with the fish. For dessert, I paired it with banana bread infused with blueberries and the fruity qualities became even more enjoyable.
Of the Dassai range, I’d say the 45 is the most suitable sake for someone who’s never tried junmai daiginjo. Its overall gentleness means you’ll have finished your first glass before you know it and you’ll soon be reaching for the second.
Grade: Junmai daiginjo
Seimaibuai/Rich Polishing Rate: 45%
Rice: Yamada Nishiki