When it comes to liquor you can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Kweichow Moutai, it is however one of the world’s largest liquor brands and we have all the info you need to get to know this global powerhouse and China’s “National Liquor”. We recently enjoyed a unique introduction to Moutai, including a wonderfully matched dining experience that demonstrated the versatility and subtle nuance of this liquor. As it makes its introduction to Australian liquor purists, here is everything you need to know about Moutai.
What is Moutai?
Moutai is the official liquor of China, and is a beverage that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years. Moutai is named after its origin and is produced exclusively within the town of Moutai, Guizhou Province. So exclusive is this incredible liquor, it’s produced in just a 15 square km area of the province and given its popularity it’s safe to say that it is the most valuable patch of land by square metre on earth.
That 15 square km production area produces one of the three most famous distilled spirits in the world and has done so for over 100 years. Kweichow Moutai is exactly that, a distilled spirit that has captured the hearts and minds of China for a long time and is now venturing into Australian markets for the first time.
How Moutai is made?
The climate in which Kweichow Moutai is made is partially what makes this long standing liquor so unique, experiencing a truly variable climate of warm winters and cool summers. It’s these conditions that help breed the microorganisms required for brewing and creating the incredible Moutai. The distinctive purple soil of the Moutai town is moderately acidic and has good permeability which results in a fantastic water source for baijiu or Chinese liquor making.
Coupled with this fantastic water quality and source, an ancient grain is found in the town of Moutai which makes this beverage possible. The glutinous sorghum is the only grain used in the production of Kweichow Moutai and is one of the truly unique parts of this drink. The farmers who grow and collect the grain follow strict organic requirements to ensure the highest possible quality for the Moutai liquor.
Arguably the most fascinating aspect of this traditional process is how the Kweichow Moutai is fermented. Moutai follows the change of seasons and specific steps must be taken according to the lunar calendar. It takes an astounding 5 years for an ordinary bottle of Moutai to leave the distillery. This dedication to their craft is what makes Kweichow Moutai such a wonderful experience to try.
Where to enjoy Kweichow Moutai in Melbourne
Melbournians can rejoice as Moutai makes its entrance into the Melbourne liquor scene and sets up in a prominent location. Located in the heart of Chinatown, Moutai has set up a store that not only sells Moutai, it tells the story of this amazingly crafted drink. The shop itself is a shrine to the excellence of Moutai, and offers Melburnians a chance to understand, experience and enjoy Moutai and its heritage throughout China.
Guests at the Moutai Boutique can choose from a variety of Moutai products and experiences to get a genuine sense of its complexity, richness and exclusivity in the liquor world. The store interior was specifically designed by T-A Square architects and takes inspiration from the iconic Moutak bottle with its rippled texture.
The space holds up to 12-guests at a time for intimate tasting flights, single drinks or cocktails. We were treated to an incredible Moutai cocktail with banana liqueur and fresh orange rind, a flavour combination unlike anything we’d tried before. If the distinctive and complex nature of this ancient liquor peaks your interest then you can fully immerse yourself in the Moutai experience with their masterclass experience.
Our experience was similar to the masterclass, hosted by a Moutai Sommelier and guided through a ritual comprising 78 steps, it truly was a once in a lifetime experience. To really do justice to the craftsmanship of Moutai, the masterclass is something we can absolutely recommend.
Experience Kweichow Moutai as it’s intended
Following a soft opening in early-July, Moutai is now partnering and collaborating with many bars, restaurants and venues across Melbourne to offer Moutai products, including Fable Melbourne. The Moutai Boutique is now open and is located at 195 Exhibition Street, Melbourne and is open from 11am – 8pm, 7 days a week. You can discover all about the experiences and products on offer by visiting moutai.com.au or by following them on Instagram @moutaiaustralia.