The Chinese are known to imbibe some pretty strong spirits, Baijiu being one, and it’s polarising stuff. To the Western palate, it’s challenging, to say the least. The more pungent examples have large amounts of ester compounds, which in combination with the high alcohol can impart a sharp solvent/varnish-like note. The various styles are grouped primarily by fragrance.
Two of the more common varieties of Baijui are ‘Moutai’ and ‘Erguotou’. The former is produced in a town of the same name. Described as “a sauce aroma baijiu because of its pure, mild, and mellow soy sauce-like after-taste”, it’s distilled from fermented sorghum, and bottled anywhere from around 55% to 35% ABV.