Dassai 23 Years Old, Junmai Daiginjo, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 16.5% abv.
Dassai 23, Junmai Daiginjo, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 16.5% abv.
獺祭 23 (だっさい), 純米大吟醸, 山口県, 16.5% abv.
Dassai actually means "Otter Festival" and has long been considered a highly valued sake. The 23 means the rice grains have been milled down to 23% of its original grain size. This helps give a more higher quality spirit for brewing. The Junmai Daiginjo classification just means the sake uses rice that has been milled down to at least 50% and no additional alcohol was used. Supposedly there are brewing criteria too, but I haven't found anything concrete or reliable yet.
I generally find Dassai quite sweet among nihonshu (日本酒); actually I find all sake to be sweet nowadays. There are noticeable differences between the 23, 39, and 50, with 23 being the best in my opinion. Its great stuff as an everyday sipper and does bring value to the palate.
Image courtesy of Eric Yee.
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