Firewater Baijiu

Firewater Baijiu

Firewater is a bit of a mysterious entry here: it’s found in the Phoenix market, but hasn’t made much information available. It’s repped by the Sazerac brand, which is the second-largest conglomerate in the US. It’s clearly marketed to be a Western-friendly intro to baijiu; it’s got some of the hallmarks of baijiu, but otherwise […]

Snowbridge No. 1

Snowbridge No. 1: Light Aroma (Green)

Snowbridge has two new editions available: we’re reviewing them both! Snowbridge selects and imports baijiu from small producers in China, and bottles them under the Snowbridge name. Their next available offering is this, ‘No. 6 Light Aroma’, produced by Donkey Creek Distillery in Jiangjin, Chongqing. The light aroma category as a whole has a lot […]

Golden Bell Kaoliang baijiu kao liang chiew

Golden Bell Kao Liang Chiew

Golden Bell is a Kaoliiang – a light aroma baijiu that mostly comes from Taiwan. You can find it pretty widely distributed here in the US, though, and this one in particular is made in Tianjin. The bottle is notable because it’s got an older, traditional jar shape, including a wonky plastic cap that pressure-fits […]

Red Star Erguotou 8 Year

Red Star Ergoutou – 8 Year

  [ed. note: this review comes in from brent1334 – thanks Brent! ] This aged light-aroma baijiu pours clear, lest anyone think its aging was done in barrels. It has a nutty aroma with sweet-potato undertones. The pallet surprisingly comes across to me as a single flavor note: a sweet but mellow nuttiness similar to […]

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 […]