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Dassai Future - with Farmers

No matter how skilled a farmer is in growing Yamada-Nishiki rice, it is inevitable that about 10% of the harvested rice will not be fit for sake making. Such rice is called "Togai" (or "out-of-grade rice"), and most sake producers will not purchase this rice because even if used - then the sake produced cannot be branded with a specific category name such as Junmai or Honjozo.

Therefore, farmers have no choice but to give this rice away as a byproduct. Taking this situation into consideration, we have always had the desire to use such rice to "make a sake with a different flavor profile from that of the classic Dassai" and "make sake that will satisfy customers who understand such sake's background, rather than customers who only value cheap sake".

One day, I was told that we could not polish the rice below a certain polishing ratio because the "shinpaku" (i.e. the starchy white core of the grain) of Yamada-Nishiki rice would crackle. Suddenly, it occurred to me: "How about we use a high polishing ratio for the "out-of-grade" Yamada-Nishiki rice? The polishing machine is set up so as rice grains that are polished below 6% get sorted as bran, so we decided to set up the polishing ratio to 8%. However, I wondered: "Will this rice really turn into koji?" Well, the resulting 8% koji rice had relatively less saccharification power, but it turned out to be excellent koji. Moreover, the steamed rice for the fermentation was also 8%, so this koji rice actually did its job pretty well.

The resulting sake has a low glucose value, which may seem unattractive, but the high level of "polish" compensates for it, giving it a unique, beautiful charm. Please enjoy it!

Hiroshi SAKURAI - Chairman at Asahi Shuzo

Yamada Nishiki "Togai" (out of grade) rice - polished down to 8% of the original grain weight.

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