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Review: Vinn Baijiu

November 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

Baijiu translates roughly to “white liquor”, and while Vinn Baijiu is labelled “vodka” it has characteristics that make it feel like it’s somewhere between vodka and white whiskey. Given that it’s made of brown rice, it also likely will confuse some who will think it a shochu or soju. Outside China, all baijiu have these categorization issues as well as being known for having a harsh nose that may put off many Western drinkers, which is going to give Vinn some market barriers to overcome.

Nose: not very alcoholic, but seriously funky like the nose of some white dog whiskies, a bit floral, with scents of wet grass, cooked rice, Nigori sake, nutty, yeasty, light earth, slightly sour, wet clay, light sulphur, light touch of maple, rubber, fusel oils.

Taste: light bodied, mix of sweet and sour, fairly smooth though a touch oily, with a light warmth with white pepper and a bit of Szechuan pepper notes, vegetal, nutty, rice, a touch lemony, with odd earthy minerals coming through, wet clay, lemongrass, kombu, parsnip.

Finish: mild sweetness and sourness persist, with some lingering white pepper and mineral salts, oddly a touch metallic.

Sipped on its own, Vinn Baijiu has a lot of odd complexity to the nose, and the taste. It has some similarity to a white dog spirit and weirdly also to a some tequilas and quebranta piscos. From some initial attempts grapefruit and lime juices seem promising cocktail components. More ideas as we experiment further.

Vinn Baijiu, (Tanoshii, Wilsonville, OR) $20

Sample provided by Vinn Distillery.


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  1. […] a struggle to hit a “right” cocktail for the spirit. But as unusual a spirit as the Vinn Baijiu rice vodka is, something about the nose reminded me of a quebranta pisco, oddly enough. But that […]