President Nixon famously enjoyed Moutai during his visit to China where it’s considered the ‘national liquor’. Made from red sorghum grain grown in Guizhou (Kweichou) Province, the fermented mash is distilled seven times. Batches are kept separate then matured for years in earthenware jars which allow the alcohol to ‘breathe’. Finally, the distillates are subject to an elaborate vatting process, supervised by a Master Blender to achieve the spirit’s unique aroma and flavour.
Often served at state banquets and presented as a diplomatic gift, Moutai’s floral / yeasty / grainy flavour has also been compared to soy sauce, while its popularity is such that limited editions have become highly collectable. According to a report by Fortune Magazine, the spirit’s “fiery flavour and potential to appreciate in price is driving blistering demand. That in turn has pushed its market value to more than $145 billion, well past British whisky giant Diageo.”