Spirits Review

HKB Hong Kong Baijiu

The great spirit of China, baijiu has yet to make inroads into western culture, probably because even the greatest examples, like Moutai, exude flavors that are challenging—and, let’s face it, bizarre to most of us: rubber tire, perspiration, ripe compost. Rather than try to convert Westerners to the eccentric flavors of this distilled grain-based spirit, Frenchman Charles Lanthier engineered Hong-Kong Baijiu to play down the funk, allowing baijiu’s tropical and fl oral notes to take center stage. The cherry, pear, and papaya nose is almost sickly sweet, but it’s deftly balanced by the savory, peppery palate.

Reviewed in W&S Winter 2015.