heng shui lao bai gan baijiu

Heng Shui Laobaigan

This baijiu – I don’t really know which aroma category this belongs to, but it seems like a light aroma – is the bottom-shelf version of a well-known brand. The higher-end products win big spirit awards, so they’re probably better. It’s made in Hebei province in the north of China, and uses wheat qu. This […]

Jiangxiaobai Joyouth

JOYOUTH from Xianglaobai is a light-aroma baijiu, and one of the most prominent that’s targeting younger drinkers. The founder Tao Shiquan is on a mission to get baijiu into the hands – and glasses, and cocktails – of China’s millennial. Their baijiu is in very non-traditional bottle designs, and they do a lot of event […]

Xifeng Jiu

Peppery! Actually quite delicious despite the low end bottling. Horsey smell but no detectable barnyard taste. Warm but not fiery. There’s a sharp, greenish flavor here – this is pretty delightful. Interestingly, this is neither Strong nor Light aroma, but ‘Phoenix Aroma’ – one of the smaller subcategories. The baijiu is fermented in mud pits, […]

Huadu Beijing Erguotou

If you know Red Star, you’ll appreciate this Beijing Erguotou; you’ll immediately recognize a similar flavor profile, but a marked quality increase. It’s clearly an upgrade from the cheap-but-everywhere baijiu. And there’s a reason for the similarity! Beijing was formed by former employees and executives at Red Star, creating a new company that could focus more […]

Golden Star Kao Liang Chiew

A light-aroma fenjiu from Tianjin in northern china, this baijiu is made from the typical sorghum but also includes barley, wheat and… peas, which I guess are grain-like enough. It’s a reliable choice, and widely available in the US. It’s got a chocolatey nose, perhaps like the avenging ghost of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate. The back […]

Red Star Erguotou

Red Star is the world’s go-to low-end baijiu, and it’s an acquired taste if ever there was one. It’s the Budweiser of baijiu – cheap, everywhere, but incredibly reliable its quality. It’s a known quantity, and you’ll see it all over the world. In the US  where we focus, you’ll still see it pretty much […]

Kinmen Kaoliang 58

Kinmen Kaoliang is a widely available Kaoliang baijiu – it’s sweet, light aroma, and relatively balanced. The 58 is a proof designation, so it’s seriously boozy. It’s also available in a 38° version.  It’s a famous brand of baijiu, and a good starter for beginners! I found this bottle in St. Louis at Olive Supermarket, […]

Gu Jing Shao / Old Well Liquor

Gu Jing – the name means ‘Ancient Well’ – is a 100-proof baijiu. For something so high-octane, it’s relatively mild; sweet on the front end, and goes down smoothly. There’s the usual bit of equine barnyard tang at the end, but it is partially subsumed by the almost burnt-bubblegum flavor. The distillery draws its name […]