This sake is made from non-standard "Togai" Yamada Nishiki rice, we cannot use this rice for the regular Dassai series because the grains do not have an optimal size. The grains are polished down to 30%, so for the connoisseurs: It is a Y.K.30.
This "non-standard" rice is known to make the sake deteriorates quicker after bottling. For this reason we decided to limit this product to Japan, and will not export it.
About Yamada Nishiki, Dassai's rice
Generally the Yamada Nishiki rice used to make Dassai come from western Japan, mainly from Hyogo and Okayama prefectures.
However, we needed more to be able to craft the current amount for Dassai, so we have recruited farmers who are willing to grow Yamada Nishiki for Dassai. We are now producing Yamada Nishiki in 21 prefectures, half of all the 47 prefectures in Japan.
The following prefectures are producing Yamada Nishiki: Fukushima, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Shizuoka, Niigata, Toyama, Mie, Shiga, Nara, Kyoto, Hyogo, Okayama, Tottori, Shimane, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Saga, Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto Prefectures.
What is "Togai"?
Like edible rice, there are different grades of sake rice. Sake rice is often referred to as "Special grade A" in the Japanese language and the rice used to make sake, such as the "Uonuma Koshihikari Special grade A".
Dassai is a premium Junmai Daiginjo sake, and there is a rule in Japan stating that the rice for Junmai Daiginjo sake must be of high quality: third grade or higher.
However, when farmers grow Yamada-Nishiki rice, about 5% to 10% of the rice harvested does not meet the criteria for Dassai.
The fact is, we ask farmers who have never grown Yamada-Nishiki before to grow Yamada-Nishiki for us. Many of the farmers have worked hard to produce better rice for us, through trial and errors. So we cannot possibly tell them that we can't buy all their rice, in face of their efforts, in face of the risks they are taking.
Therefore, in order to fulfill our role of sake producer, to make sure to craft a great sake with all the Yamada Nishiki produced for us, we craft sake different from the usual Dassai. These are called "Togai", "Tozai 23," "Amazake," and "Shinsei Amazake".
Yamada Nishiki rice, polished down to 30% of the original grain size.