There is no denying Moutai is an incredibly great baijiu.
Moutai is ingrained in Chinese culture, there is nothing more Chinese than Moutai other than the Chinese people themselves. In China Moutai is an institution in its own right, it is a premium luxury brand that oozes opulence. It is considered by many in China as an investment commodity as well as a huge gainer of face. Moutai is the biggest and wealthiest baijiu brand in the world.
Just because your the biggest does not mean your the best…
It is impossible to understate just how valuable Kweichow Moutai is as a brand. It is claimed that annual sales top US$10 billion, with 70,000 tonnes of Kweichow Moutai shipped each year. This is aided by Kweichow Moutai’s reputation as the premier baijiu brand for consumers and collectors alike. This baijiu boasts a 56% share of the premium baijiu marketplace, ensuring that anybody able to afford a high-quality liquor will invariably turn to Kweichow Moutai. Just 9% of sales come directly from consumers, though. The remaining business is conducted with wholesalers and distributors.
So given the sheer size and financial clout of Kweichow Moutai how can any baijiu brand compete with this corporate monster? The short answer is they can’t. No baijiu brand can match Kweichow Moutai’s brands awareness in China and their huge marketing budget.
Maotai (aka Moutai) is informally referred to as, “China’s National Liquor” as it is a firm favourite of politicians and prominent figures throughout the nation. This baijiu is named after the territory in which it is produced. Maotai Town can be found in the Guizhou (Kweichou) Province of Northern China.
Maotai is believed to date back to the fabled Qing Dynasty. This critical period in Chinese history unfolded between 1644 and 1912. During the peak of Maotai production, this province was at the forefront of baijiu creation. Manufacturers of Maotai introduced and refined a vast array of distillation techniques. Maotai Town and baijiu became synonymous with each other, as numerous distilleries popped up in the area.
The Moutai Distillery as we know it – aka Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd – first rose to prominence in the early 1950s. This was the point that the state took an interest in the affairs of Moutai. Three local distilleries – Ronghe, Hengxing and Chengyi – were merged into one powerhouse production house manage by the Chinese authorities. This was just the beginning, though. The distillery has enjoyed countless expansions since as it has risen to such a position of prominence.
Further Reading: Maotai History
V.I.P Jiu 8 History
V.I.P Jiu 8 is Britain’s first authentic Imperial craft baijiu. The V.I.P Jiu 8 recipe was first conceived 300 years ago by the Kangxi emperor one of China’s greatest ever emperors.
The resurrection of V.I.P Jiu 8 began on the 2nd of July 2014. A tale that begins with a wrongly attributed, chipped and cracked imperial wine cup with a connection to King Louis XIV of France, a group of five Jesuit priests and China’s longest-reigning emperor, Kangxi, who ruled China from 1662 until 1722.
Further Reading: V.I.P Jiu 8 – Ancient And Modern Timeline
Moutai Scientific Analysis – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Scientific Analysis
Of course, anybody can make claims of superiority. These assertions need to be backed up with evidence, preferably of a scientific nature. This is why we decided to send a bottle of V.I.P Jiu 8 and a bottle of Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy – to a laboratory for examination.
We ensured the lab in question was both registered and UKAS approved. This acronym stands for United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The purpose of UKAS is to ensure that any product comparison meets standards agreed upon by the UK government and any overseas associates. This ensures that all analysis conducted was above board and met the highest possible standards.
The two bottles were labelled sample A and sample B.
- Sample A – V.I.P Jiu 8.
- Sample B – Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy.
The laboratory concluded that the two bottles were very different, with sample A (VIP Jiu 8) being considerably more complex than sample B (Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy).
The chart below clearly shows that sample A (VIP Jiu 8) contains many more compounds with positive attributes than sample B (Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy).
Here are just a few of the many compounds known for their positive qualities found in V.I.P Jiu 8.
- Alpha-Pinene and beta-Pinene – a wide range of pharmacological attributes have been reported, including anticoagulant, antitumour, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Beta-Myrcene – has a role as an anti-inflammatory agent and an anabolic agent.
- Alpha-Terpinene – a known antioxidant.
- Gamma-Terpinene – displays antimicrobial properties against various human pathogens.
- Alpha-Terpinolene – produces a mildly sedative effect and can help reduce anxiety.
- Alpha copaene – anti-proliferative, antioxidant.
- Linalool – known to have anti-anxiety, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Trans alpha-Bergamotene – effective against inflammation in the intestine.
- Beta-selinene – exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These benefits may reduce the frequency and severity of painful gout attacks.
- Beta Ocimene – known to work well with other terpenes and has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Moutai Price – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Price
A 500 ml bottle of Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy on average retails for around £240. Buy Moutai
A 700 ml bottle of V.I.P Jiu 8 retails for £88. Buy V.I.P Jiu 8 Baijiu
Moutai Proof – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Proof
- Kweichow Moutai Flying Fairy has an ABV of 53%
- V.I.P Jiu 8 has an ABV of 58%
In western media Chinese produced baijiu is often described as firewater or liquid razor blades. It is not the high alcohol content to blame for this reputation. There are a number of factors to take into consideration for example the inclusion of the heads and the tails.
Baijiu distillation is divided into three parts: the heads, the heart, and the tails. The heads is the first part of the distillation. The heads can contain harsh chemical compounds like acetone or toxic methanol.
The heart, or the middle part, comes after the heads, and is the highest-quality part of the distillation.
The final part of the distillation is the tails. The tails are typically low in alcohol and contain unpleasant sulphates and fatty acids that feel heavy and oily on the palate.
When making V.I.P Jiu 8 we only use the ‘heart’ of the alcohol produced during the distillation process. The heart is the purest, best-tasting part of the alcohol. By using only the heart we remove all the poisons, fats and oils that lurk in the heads and tails.
Moutai Taste – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Taste
Moutai Taste Profile – From the Moatai official website: Light to deep smell, you can smell the aromas of flower, grass, fruit, sweetness and dried plant.
V.I.P Jiu 8 Taste Profile – From Darren Packman (Craft consultant): My initial reaction to the aroma was that it was surprisingly fresh – quite minty with a spicy, almost ‘green’ quality. The flavours are complex. Lots of spice and a nice, warming vein. The alcohol is clean though, unlike the other baijui brands I have tried.
International Research Centre for Spirits (IRCS)
A meeting was held in London in 2019 by the recently formed International Research Centre for Spirits (IRCS). The IRCSI launch event was attended by more than 120 movers and shakers within the baijiu industry. The purpose of the meeting was to find ways of introducing Chinese baijiu brands to a western audience. Industry leaders concluded the only way to introduce baijiu to the masses in the west was as a mixer in cocktails as the pungent smell and taste of baijiu would never gain consumer appeal in the west.
Moutai – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Conclusion
Mao Zedong modernised the Chinese alcohol production industry in the 1950s, at the time thousands of small independent distillers were producing liquor all over China. Mao sent representatives from China to the USA to learn modern industrial alcohol production techniques and what later resulted was the closing and merging of all the small family run alcohol producers into large state run distilleries.
Shortly thereafter the familiar pungent Chinese baijiu aroma and taste profile as we know today was created and the setting up of the baijiu aroma classification system. The taste and smell of Chinese baijiu was originally created to appeal to a Chinese audience and has barely changed since its inception.
This being the case then it is hardly surprising Chinese baijiu has a limited liking to the western palate.
On the other hand the recipe for V.I.P Jiu 8 was created 300 years ago, well before the modernisation of the Chinese alcohol production industry. V.I.P Jiu 8 consists of nine natural ingredients and nothing more. No blending, no artificial flavourings or additives. During all phases of the recipes resurrection V.I.P Jiu 8 remained true to Kangxi’s original recipe, and forever mindful and respectful of its imperial pedigree.
The scientific analysis confirms Kangxi was a master herbalist, the scientific analysis confirms V.I.P Jiu 8 is much more complex than the worlds biggest baijiu brand and finally the scientific analysis proves without a doubt that V.I.P Jiu 8 is packed full of positive compounds.
Further Reading: V.I.P Jiu 8 – The Restorative Baijiu
V.I.P Jiu 8 may not have the financial clout and brand awareness as Moatai but it is unarguably:
- Historically THE BEST BAIJIU IN THE WORLD!
- Enjoyably THE BEST BAIJIU IN THE WORLD!
- Resoritvaley THE BEST BAIJIU IN THE WORLD!