A few weeks ago, I was kindly invited to attend the opening launch event for the Kweichou Moutai (aka Moutai) store. For those who immediately thought "What or who is Moutai?", this is actually the national drink for China whereby only the upper privileged class were able to afford drinking this mysterious spirit with a few of their oldest spirits costing you more than $5000! Despite the high price tag, it was fascinating to learn about the history of Moutai, how it was produced and exploring the many varieties of the liquor that were available inside the store.
This results into an interestingly strong and complex aroma and taste of the liquor with over 155 different flavours and aromas in each drop. This ranges from wheat, grain, soy sauce, strawberries and even chocolate and caramel to name a few. You may only sense these flavours if you smell the aroma before saying "Gambei!" (cheers!) to your friends or family and enjoying the drink.
Outside the store, there was the usual welcome and good luck bouquets of flowers that you often see every time an Asian shop opens. Inside, there were friendly staff in traditional Chinese dress greeting guests with empty Moutai bottles used as decor for the ceiling.
There were three types of Moutai available for tasting on the night. Ended up trying them all. Personally I thought they all seemed very strong to me with a sensational after taste.
1. Moutai Flying Fairy (43% alcohol/vol - various sizes available) - the most popular in the range with its unique sorghum sauce flavour. Also available in 38% and 53% alc/vol.
2. Moutai Prince (53% alcohol/vol. 500mL) - lighter, mild and sweet with a shorter distillation period.
3. Moutai Shenzhou (53% alcohol/vol 700mL) - similar distribution as the Flying Fairy but sweeter. This was created to commemorate the launch of Shenzhou Manned Spacecraft.
L-R: Moutai Shenzhou, Moutai Flying Fairy, Moutai Prince
There were many other types of Moutai available on display at the store including the fruity Moutai Hanjiang, the highly prestigious Shenzhou Tianjiang, and the aged Moutai ranging from 15 to 80 years old!
We were all treated to Chinese finger food provided by the team at Golden Century Restaurant. Like wine, you can enjoy this drink when matched with Chinese dishes.
During the night there were heaps of prizes for anyone who takes a random card out of a bowl full of lucky cards. Depending on the card you get you may win the Shenzhou Tianjiang Moutai - the highest quality of Shenzhou Moutai with an outstanding strong flavour with an elegant bottle. Which is what happened to me when I pulled my card out of the bowl. I was too shocked that I was unsure if I should accept because I didn't know who would enjoy this liquor. Luckily, the parents were pretty damn happy when they saw it. So were the mates. Might bring this to house parties later this year.
The Moutai liquor is perfect as gifts for special occasions whether it is a birthday, wedding or anniversary. If you end up receiving a gift of Moutai but not sure if you can finish it anytime soon, the staff kindly advised that Moutai gets better with age, which will be a perfect gift to share with you children and grandchildren!
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie attended the launch event as a guest of Polkadot PR and Moutai Australia.
398 Sussex Street, Sydney
(02) 9212 2288