For a long time, Dassai 50 was the most popular and widely accessible sake of the Dassai line. Asahi Shuzo Company decided to push the polishing on the rice a bit further to set themselves apart from other junmai daiginjos and brought the ratio down to 45. Thankfully, this extra polish has not rendered the sake too “precious”. This is a very versatile daiginjo that could go with a wide variety of hot and cold dishes. Compared to the previous two Dassai, the alcohol is much more present on the nose here: drier, fuller in body, with higher acidity that make this sake more bold and assertive than its siblings. There are aromas of cantaloupe, almond and white flowers, and sweet flavors of ripe peach, grape, and blueberry. Barbecued chicken is such a hit during the summer so Dassai 45 would go really well with chicken legs glazed in a honey-chili sauce and a cucumber salad on the side. This sake has plenty of body to accompany its bold flavors, fruity notes to balance the heat from the chili, and enough acidity to negotiate the honey’s sweetness; and it would be great with the cucumber salad to lend a nice cooling factor to the meal.