Dassai sparkling nigori
Photo: Dassai sparkling nigori junmai daiginjo 39.

A Frankenstein of unnaturally joined parts: daiginjo nigori sparkling sake.

Man, what a party-pooper I am. I was hoping to like this. Ooh, sparkling sake! Freakalicious! I had tasted some sparkling sake in John Gauntner’s sake seminar, in the “Other Types” tasting, which included a red rice sake, a nigori, and a low-alcohol sake, among others. I just looked up my tasting note for Chikurin’s Houhoushu sparkling sake. I wrote, “Eww.” Hmm, problem here.

But I wanted to be surprised by the Dassai, have my mind opened.

I really didn’t find the taste all that compelling, but my problem was more a texture thing: I enjoy some nigori sakes for their creaminess on the palate. The effervescence in this sake fought against the nigori creaminess and didn’t really enhance the sake taste or the floral daiginjo nose. In champagne, the bubbles take the bouquet and the tartness up from your palate and into your sinuses, a deeply pleasurable feeling. With this, I felt the bubbles fighting the low-flying nigori-sensation. Not enough tart acid to fly up with the bubbles, an okay nose, but sort of lost in all the frenetic, confused activity.

Not my thing.

I’ve enjoyed some other Dassai products, but this one tasted like a marketing experiment.