“Our rivals are wine and champagne”: U.S.-Produced Dassai Blue to Hit Shelves in Japan Later This April

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Dassai Blue on sale in Japan

Japanese sake manufacturer Asahi Shuzo Co., known for its flagship sake Dassai, released Dassai Blue, a special Junmai Daiginjo sake produced at a brewery in the United States, in Japan on April 23.

It is the first time for the product, which is brewed with sake rice brought from Japan and local water, to be sold in Japan.

The Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture-based Asahi Shuzo opened its first overseas brewery in the state of New York in 2023 as part of its efforts to expand sales channels.

High-grade, Japanese-grown Yamadanishiki sake rice is used to brew the product, which is 14% alcohol by volume, slightly lower than its other sake products available in Japan and about the same as grape wine. As a result, the sake has a light, sweet flavor.

The product has been on sale at restaurants and liquor stores in the United States since September last year.

“We aimed to produce sake that tastes good even when paired with foods different from those in Japan,” said President Kazuhiro Sakurai in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun in Fukuoka City. “Wine and champagne are our rivals.”

A total of 26,000 bottles of the product, in two types, are on sale at stores handling Dassai. A 720-milliliter bottle made with rice polished down to 50% of the original grain size is priced at ¥3,800 without tax, and another variety using rice polished down to 23% is priced at ¥10,000 without tax.