Baijiu is atraditional Chinese spirit that has been loved by many people in China for hundreds of years. As Baijiu is breaking into worldwide markets you may have started to develop a curiosity for this popular clear spirit. Before you decide on your ultimate Baijiu of choice we recommend you understand and then test out all types of Baijiu.
Baijiu can be categorized into 13 varieties according to factors such as production, distillation, smell, and fermentation. However, there are 4 main styles of Baijiu, also known as the basic Baijiu aromas, which are most notable for beginner Baijiu drinkers to learn about. Without further ado, let us introduce you to the 4 varieties of Baijiu!
Introduction To The Types Of Baijiu
Light Aroma Baijiu
The light aroma is the best Baijiu for those who are unfamiliar with the unique taste of Baijiu. Made with sorghum, this Baijiu has florals notes alongside an overarching sweetness.
However, don’t be fooled by the name. This Baijiu may be light on the flavor, which is why it is popular with beginner drinkers, but like all Baijiu it’s certainly not low on alcohol content. Typically Baijiu falls between 35-60% ABV with light varieties rarely dropping under 55% Proof.
A light aroma Baijiu we love is Red Star Ergoutou for its nutty aroma and sweet potato undertones.
Rice Aroma Baijiu
Generally produced and sold in the south of China, the rice aroma is usually lighter and more affordable. The glutinous rice used produces a sweet, subtle flavor, and is often infused with fruit and herbs.
Although it’s a popular variety in the south of China, it’s somewhat hard to find outside this region. So you may have to look closely to find a rice aroma in your area.
To our knowledge, the most readily available rice aroma in the US is the Vinn Baijiu.
Strong Aroma Baijiu
The strong aroma of Baijiu is dominating the market, currently making up 70% of Baijiu sales. As you may have guessed from the name, this style is all about strong, and bold flavors.
When tasting a strong aroma examine for notes of pineapple, melon, dates, and earthy flavors. Overall the strong aroma balances firey, complex flavors with fruity tastes to increase the palatability.
The strong variety of Baijiu can be further subcategorized into:
• Single-grain style
Using sorghum as the sole grain this sub-variety is a more delicate flavor profile.
• Multi-grain style
Using a mix of at least two grains to develop a more well-bodied, pronounced flavor.
Sauce Aroma Baijiu
The sauce aroma is the most unique Baijiu. You may notice the mellow notes of cucumber, soy sauce, cloves, herbs, fermented beans, and rice in this type of Baijiu. Sauce aroma is a strong flavor, and often the kind you might get exposed to first at a celebratory feast.
If you are looking for a full-bodied Baijiu the sauce aroma should be on your radar. Sales of this variety are ever-increasing so it may slightly easier to get hold of due to the growing popularity in recent years.
Kweichow Moutai, otherwise known as ‘the king of Baijiu’ is a variety of sauce Baijiu that retails on the higher end at $420 per liter! For a less expensive style try the Kweichow Moutai Prince variety. The Prince makes a wonderful gift for anyone who loves Baijiu.
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To keep track of your favorite Baijiu aromas we recommend you create an account with Baijiu Review to keep score of your preferred styles and interact with our community of Baijiu enthusiasts to discover new varieties that you can fall in love with.