KWEICHOW MOUTAI Moutai Prince Baijiu 500ml
Spirits Business ranked Kweichow Moutai as the world’s valuable spirits brand in 2021 beating the likes of Jack Daniel’s Hennessy Smirnoff Bacardi and Johnny Walker again. So this is a bottle that deserves a place in any serious drinks cabinet.
While Flying Fairy might be Kweichow Moutai’s most famous bottling Moutai Prince is a fresher lighter more everyday Baijiu. So while we have to limit the number of bottles per customer on Flying Fairy feel free to stock up on this beauty…
The Moutai Prince is a perfect introduction to the world of Moutai Baijiu. Although crafted in the ever-popular ‘sauce’ style it’s fruitier and more delicate than most. The distillation period is slightly shorter resulting in crunchy apple crisp pear mellow peach toasted almonds pumpkin seeds chocolate drops and subtle soy sauce flavours. Its perfect balance of sweet and sour makes Moutai Prince a fine choice for experimenting with in cocktails. A Banana Dynasty – made with Baijiu banana liqueur sweet red vermouth aromatic bitters and orange peel – would be a wonderful place to start.
Named after the town of Maotai in Guizhou province where it originated Kweichow Moutai have been making Baijiu for over 200 years. The town was called Moutai originally but this was changed after the revolution in 1949 to honour Mao Zedong. The brand kept its name though and it shot to fame outside of China when it picked up a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and later when it was served by Mao Zedong to visiting dignitaries at state dinners.
Baijiu has been China’s national drink for more than five millennia and is the most-consumed hard liquor on the planet (18 billion litres are made each year). Although the West has been slow on the uptake that’s all about to change. Sales of this fascinating spirit are exploding around the world. And it’s worth noting that Baijiu is as important a part of Chinese heritage as silk tea ceramics martial arts and calligraphy all of which have become very popular on these shores.
The name translates as ‘clear spirit’ and Baijiu can be distilled from sorghum wheat rice sticky rice or corn. What makes it unique is two-fold. Firstly it’s an ingredient called ‘Qu’ – bricks of damp grains left in a warm place until they grow yeasts fungi and microorganisms – that is used to kickstart the fermentation a little like koji for Japanese Sake. This gives Baijiu a distinctive aromatic funk which reminds us a little of high-ester Jamaican rum. Secondly it’s the fact that Baijiu – unlike any other spirit we’re aware of – is created by distilling the solids not the liquid. Baijiu is then matured in ceramic jars; something that’s becoming increasingly fashionable in the world of wine also. These breathable containers allow micro-oxygenation of the spirit and remove impurities all without adding flavour.
Again like fine wine production methods vary and there are strong regional variations. So the Chinese generally classify Baijiu by its distinctive smell. The primary categories are ‘rice’ a sweet and floral style from the south; ‘light’ a delicate style from the north made with sorghum; ‘strong’ the most popular style crafted using at least two grains and mud pits for fermentation; and ‘savoury’ or ‘sauce’ an expensive and umami style thought to resemble soy sauce. Following a similar trajectory to other strong artisanal spirits like Mezcal Baijiu is traditionally sipped neat but it has recently captured the attention of cocktail aficionados and the world’s finest bartenders. Baijiu now looks set to cement its status as the greatest spirit on the planet by increasing its global reach.
SKU No.: 3841177
Style No.: 902673
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 53%