Review Review

If you haven’t accessed yet, then have a look.

To someone who might not know that much about Baijiu, this is not a bad place to start. There are links to several sources of information such as:

The site also gives a very interesting list of unique links to the various ‘aromas’ of Baijiu too, such as:

The general overview really condenses a complex subject so that you get a sense of what Baijiu is and the many aromas, not just the common 4 of sauce, strong, light and rice.

The site manages to summarise a brief history of Baijiu and it’s interesting to note how early the evidence of alcohol in China stretches back to – 9000 years incredibly. Baijiu itself (it becomes apparent) really began to take form during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368AD) then really classified itself as the unique drink of Baijiu during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644AD). That’s still over 600 years of evolving technique, evolving into complex categories and perhaps more latterly even branching into the many sub categories listed on the site.

In the Baijiu FAQs section – it is very interesting to note a small but crucial factor in making Baijiu. Each baijiu brand is different. This marks a change perhaps from other noted spirits such as whisky, vodka, gin, rum and brandy. With whisky for example, you have Speyside malts, Islay malts, Island malts, Highland malts and Lowland malts. Of these all, perhaps Highland or Island malts are the most varied as a whisky from Isle of Skye will have quite distinct characteristics compared to a whisky from Orkney, with the islands being nowhere near to Skye.

Baijiu takes this distinction a stage further. So although you have quite wide aromas such as strong aroma Baijiu, each brand in that aroma has a distinct difference. This means that each brand of Baijiu that someone might buy will be able to say that that particular brand is different even from others in the same aroma (category). Perhaps it might also be to do with the distillation of yeast and the use of solid grain material in the production process. Regardless, the outcome really gives a fascinating separation of all Baijiu brands in all of the aromas covered.

Reading over the home page on ‘What is Baijiu’ and skipping to the faqs page gave a good insight into this complex but interesting spirit and it was simply staggering to understand the value of Baijiu brands. With the enormous sales in China alone, Baijiu doesn’t just have 5 of the top 10 spirit brands in the world. Closer inspection reveals they command 4 of the world’s top 5 spirit brands, including the top 3. If sales began to rise globally outside of China, they would far outstrip the power of almost all the other spirit brands outside of Baijiu combined. The sales figures are simply astronomical.

At the top left of the page where specific links are, you can also discover best foods to eat with baijiu and baijiu cocktails – it can be interesting to think of how any spirit can be paired with food as it is so often wine which consumers are told match foods well but with some cuisine, particularly Asian, Baijiu can often bring out complex flavours or even match spice well. Being able to discover how to drink Baijiu in cocktails is handy as the palate of the spirit can be challenging and it can be possibly more pleasant in a cocktail. Knowing which ones and what ingredients are in them helps.

Overall, the site gives a lot of information without sounding boring or being irrelevant. Most of the main questions around Baijiu – whether it is breaking down the history, how it is made and the various aromas or talking about how to drink it, top brands or matching it with food – seem to be answered with some degree of knowledge and passion.

It may be that the site continues to expand as Baijiu becomes more prominent outside of China but as a beginner’s starting point, it is a good place to find out more.