Last month I joined a select group of people from Richard Nixon to Jackie Chan, who have been afforded the opportunity to drink Moutai. While their experiences probably came at Chinese feasts with foreign heads of state or distinguished guests, mine was at the launch of Kweichou Moutai. Now if you’re still scratching your head, Moutai is a luxury spirit made exclusively in the Guizhou province of China using sorghum, wheat and water from the ‘Fine Wine River’, which is kept absolutely pure by not allowing any industry near it. Moutai is distilled nine times, and takes at least five years to make. The flavour is complex, and hard to describe. I tried the popular Flying Fairy 53% alc/vol [RRP $125/200ml] and 43% alc/vol [RRP $165/500ml], and identified yeast, wheat, floral notes and something that reminded me of Vegemite. Admittedly the product is a pricy, special occasion item for the average person. My cleaner Charlie recounted a story of the first time he tried it being upon returning to his homeland after a decade in Australia: “Ten years come back to China, very long time – must drink good one!” However the luxuriously appointed store full of beautiful commemorative bottles, lit using cute Moutai lights, is well worth checking out anyway!
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