Yellow Rubber Duck

It’s come and gone. The world’s largest yellow rubber duck stole all the headlines last weekend in Toronto. People jammed Harbourfront to witness the giant duck’s landing in Canada to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Friends of mine were in the crowd to see the duck. They all complained about the hot weather but were happy to take tonnes of photos; and my Facebook feed, therefore, was flooded with the duck updates.

While individuals at Harbourfront were sweating and struggling to get the best pictures of the duck, I relaxed at home to sip at the Dassai 50 I bought from LCBO’s Markham store last week. Dassai is a famous brand created by Asahi Shuzo Co. Ltd.. The brewery is renowned of crafting quality Junmai-Daiginjo sake because it focuses all resources and efforts on making the premium grade sake; and hence,  Asahi Shuzo has attained legendary reputation in Japan’s sake industry.

Since Dassai 50 is the lowest grade in the Dassai series, the rice used for brewing this sake is milled down to 50%, and the alcohol content is 16%. It is known that Junmai-Daiginjo sake is best served chilled, so I cooled it down in fringe to between 6 and 13 degrees Celsius. In a hot summer afternoon, I believe the best place to enjoy a chilled Junmai-Daiginjo is outdoor, therefore I took the sake out to the patio of my house.

Once I opened the bottle, the fruity and floral aromas penetrated my nose. As I am born with allergies which affect the sensitivity of my nose, I do not have a very good sense of smell. Having said that, I could clearly remember the delighted feeling of my first encounter with Dassai 50 because its aromas were intensive and impressive. I also had to give credit to the wine glasses I used. It’s the small tulip-shaped glasses that kept the premium sake staying at the right temperature and enhanced the gorgeous aromas while sake was being consumed.

Dassai 50 had a clear pale yellow body. After the first sip, the exquisite balanced sweetness and acidity spread throughout my palate. A couple seconds later, the light honeydew melon and litchi flavours still lingered in mouth. This sake had a smooth, silky feel with a crisp, refreshing finish. Immediately after I had taken a few sips, it became my favourite chilled alcoholic drink for summer afternoon.

People often like to pair liquor with food. On the contrary, I recommend to enjoy Dassai 50 without pairing with food because the taste of food would affect the taste of this delicate sake. You should have a clean palate to feel all beautiful flavours presented in Dassai 50. Price for a 300ml bottle of Dassai 50 Junmai-Daiginjo Sake at LCBO is CAN$25.50. Comparing the price on Amazon at 2500 yen, and Rakuten online store at 1706 yen, it seems that the retail price set by the Canadians is quite reasonable.

While the giant rubber duck is still on “Ontario 150 Tour” to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, why don’t you bring a Dassai 50 to consume in cottage country? Enjoying sake while seeing the duck, it sounds fun to me.

Owen Sound Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9 @ 1st Ave W. Owen Sound
Sault Ste. Marie Thursday July 13 to Saturday July 15 @ Clergue Park, Sault Ste. Marie
Midland Friday July 21 to Sunday July 23 @ Midland Town Dock
Amherstburg Saturday August 5 to Sunday August 6 @ Downtown Amherstburg
Brockville Thursday August 10 to Sunday August 13 @ Rails to Trails (event)

How big is the duck?

  • 61 feet tall
  • 79 feet wide & 89 feet long
  • 30,000 pounds
  • Renting for CAN$120,000 (paid by Ontario government)


Tasting Summary : DASSAI 50



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