Category Archives: Chinese Whiskey

AK Bar Whisky, 40%

It’s Chinese New Year starting on the 5th of February.

As part of celebrating the Lunar New Year I cracked open the wonderfully labelled AK Bar Whisky from China itself.

AK Bar produce an impressive array of spirits.

AK Bar brands
AK Bar brands c/oAlibaba

Quite what is in them is hard to define.

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All you need to know? c/othewhiskeynut

The Alibaba site for AK Bar Whisky makes for interesting, confusing & entertaining reading to say the least. Form your own conclusions by having a look here.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained – I poured a generous túath glass for tasting.

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Feel the roar! c/othewhiskeynut

Now the colour – for a stated 3 year old – is a little on the dark side & suggests added caramel.

The nose is very muted.

It’s like sniffing a chocolate biscuit liquid toffee filing.

No hint of 40% alcohol strength here.

It starts off almost watery & smooth to begin with. The sweet toffee, caramel & honey all blend together before a softly growing heat makes a pleasant entrance towards the end.

The heat slowly fades leaving a gentle sweet kiss of burnt toffee at the end.

It’s verging on liqueur territory – which is probably a more accurate appraisal.

It’s not offensive – just way too sweet for my liking – but the one thing I agree with in the Alibaba description;

large power after drinking

holds true.

乾杯, gán béi, cheers, sláinte

Good Logo

 

 

Goalong Liquor Special Small Batch Whiskey, Blend, 40%, China

And now for something completely different.

Chinese Whiskey.

The Chinese know a thing or two about the art of distillation. The biggest selling spirit drink in the world is baijiu – sorghum is the usual ingredient – although other grains can be used – and has been made in China since the late 11th Century.

Young Chinese are also looking westwards for their inspiration – as shown by this Chinese Hip-Hop group Higher Brothers.

So when some enterprising Chinese company decides to make whiskey – it should come as no surprise.

I present to you Goalong Liquor Special Small Batch Whiskey.

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Made In China c/othewhiskeynut

The bottle is suitably attractive in a gothic almost heavy metal style. There is also a smidgen of flowery sales patter on the front – as well as more on the entertaining website here – quite how much you wish to believe is up to you – whilst it’s in Chinese on the back.

I’d be happy for someone to translate for me.

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Chinese whiskey legalese? c/othewhiskeynut

Despite a quick internet search – I couldn’t find anything resembling a Chinese Whiskey Association – there are plenty of baijiu rules however – so I did what I normally do when presented with a bottle of whiskey. Open it – drink it – and let my palate tell me whether I enjoy it or not.

To begin with – the dark colour suggests added caramel – which is a common feature for entry level blends worldwide – but on the nose I didn’t get that sickly sweet cloying sensation.

I got a very muted caramel sweetness with a slight burnt note and a soft woody aroma – and then nothing.

There was an almost total absence of anything else – no sweet grain or earthy barley to pull you in.

The taste was exceptionally – and rather surprisingly – very soft & smooth. No rough edges here.  Just an easy going delivery that again lacked any depth or flavour characteristics to give it body.

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Added or natural? c/othewhiskeynut

This rather ’empty’ experience finished off with a slight warming to the back of the throat as if to remind you about the 40% alcohol content – otherwise you could down a fair few of these without knowing.

It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. In fact I found teasing out what this whiskey does contain very enjoyable – but my conclusion is that it’s mainly a domestic product.

It reminded me of a New York made soju I had once. Soju is a Korean style of rice based distilled spirit similar to baijiu. I found it rather novel – if a little lacking in character.

There is a world of whiskey out there waiting to be drunk.

I certainly enjoyed my chance to taste some Chinese Whiskey.

Sláinte.

Good Logo

My sample was kindly procured in China by my Asian Correspondent.

Many thanks Mr G.