Ganbei Baijiu

Ganbei Baijiu

Ganbei Baijiu is a startup baijiu brand here in the US – like the other new entrants they are distilling in China but bottling a western-friendly blend with marketing that appeals locally. It’s distilled in Bayan Nur in Inner Mongolia, and proofed down to an approachable 42%. (Or, at least, approachable for baijiu!) Ganbei is founded by Alec Fotsch, Andrew Hoogerwerf, and Kockyo Xiong, and they’ve already penetrated the Minneapolis market pretty well: you can find Ganbei at great bars and restaurants there, as well as liquor stores. At press time they’re running a Chinese New Year’s special across several bars in MSP, with specialty cocktails at each location.

But let’s taste already!

Ganbei is a strong aroma product, so the nose has some of the expected horsiness – but not much, and very mild for a strong aroma baijiu. Our tasting panel found a sharp tang that you experience in a sauce aroma as well, which was surprising!

The taste fits more traditionally in a strong aroma category: it’s not cloying but a kind of musky sweetness, round and fruity. It’s very smooth, with a nice clean profile that never verges on raw.

The finish does come back with a sauce-like tartness to it; a bit surprising again, but not inharmonious with the rest.

In short: it’s really interesting! Get yourself to the twin cities and try it yourself.

PS: Ganbei just got a nice profile by Sarah Brumble at MSP Citypages. It’s a good read, and the writer has this tasting note: “Imagine if a bag of Tropical Starburst were to over-ripen, then mix in a little wet hay, plus a pinch of mild flowers—except the delivery vehicle for these aromas is a high-proof spirit like aguardiente with a splash of arak. ”



    Alec Fotsch

    (January 31, 2020 - 5:11 pm)

    Thanks for trying Ganbei! We are now available in select location in Nevada as well, mostly Las Vegas. We’ll update our product finder as we get more information.

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