Optimal serving temperature: 5 to 10-degree celsius
Brewer: Asahi Sake Brewery
Sake Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice-polishing ratio: Undisclosed
Storage conditions: Away from direct sunlight
A while ago, I had a taste of Dassai’s new umeshu (plum wine) and it reignited my passion for the brand itself. When I was told “Dassai beyond” has arrived in China, I got my bottle for tasting immediately.
“Dassai Beyond” is the most luxurious sake within the Dassai brand. More than a decade ago, Dassai made a sake that has a 23% rice polishing ratio “Dassai 23”. Its tropical fruit aroma was so captivating, it completely changed the concept of sake and got themselves a few other breweries following their steps. Being a trendsetter in the sake industry. Asahi Sake Brewery didn’t just stop right there. They soon announced the release of its top sake, “Dassai Beyond”, which took over a decade in R&D and its rice-polishing ratio was undisclosed.
The first sip tasted delicious, but then what followed by was boredom. “Dassai Beyond” tasted pretty standard for a sake this costly, and I failed to see the difference between “Dassai Beyond” and other Dassai sake. Dassai 45, the beginner’s favourite, or Dassai 23, which is Dassai’s attempt to take over the luxurious sake market, all seem like an all-rounded perfect student. Everyone loves them.
Nevertheless, as this advantage goes further up the ladder, it becomes a disadvantage. For the premium sake market, an all-rounded people-pleasing sake has no character. My expectations were high at first, but it is clear that “Dassai Beyond” did not deliver quite enough. It doesn’t have the sweetness of Juyondai’s “Yuki Megami”, nor the rich aroma like “Chotokusen”. “Hakurakusei Zankyo” also markets itself having a low rice-polishing ratio and has a clearer taste than “Dassai Beyond”.
As a luxurious and premium sake, “Dassai Beyond” could not deliver more substance “beyond” its nice facade. No wonder my friends also did not see the hype of this sake.
(Disclaimer: The author has given consent to Sakeholic for re-posting and translating, the original passage can be found on the author’s Weibo. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the website and its company.)