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Jun 28, 2006 08:07 PM

Kirin Distillery Company ROC

Cleaning out my parents basement, I came across quite a few bottles from this company. The bottles have never been opened, and I'm not sure but the bottles look like they are hand painted. My father says they were gifts from vendors of his and date back to the late 1970's and early 1980's. Very little English is writing on the bottles and boxes, and I'm wondering if the liquor is still good, and if there is a site that I could visit, or a collector of such I could contact to learn more, and possibly sell them.

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  1. Is there any English writing on the bottles or boxes?

    Is it Maotai / Moutai, Fen Chiew, Huang Chiu, Hua Diao, Du Kang, Gu Jing Gong, Wu Liang Ye, Er Guo Tou or some other distilled liquor (Baijiu/Shaojiu) you are talking about?

    Or is it a fermented rice wine (Huangjiu) ?
    Or a grape wine (Putaojiu) ?

    Confusingly, the same name is used for the rice/grain wine and the distilled liquor made from rice/grain wine. Jiu in Chinese means liquor, whether it is a wine or spirit. In general all the liquor whether a spirit or wine, are called wines.

    Look on the box or label to see if you can see the percent alcohol. If you see something like 40% or greater it is a liquor. If you see something 20% or less it is a wine.

    Either way they are still good. The high alcohol liquor will stay good for centuries and the lower strength Chinese wines are pasteurized and stay good almost as long.

    The Chinese serve their liquor and wine differently from Westerners. If it is a wine, it should be drunk warm/heated, not cold. If it is a liquor serve it chilled as cold shots in small glasses, or rarely on the rocks.

    I don’t know if they have any worth, but there is a good chance they may have some. Ancient, as in 100 or more years old are valuable and collected and sold. A 150 year old keg of Chinese liquor that weighed 96 kilos/211 pounds sold a few years ago for almost a million dollars.

    Here are some links with some information that may help you start to figure out what you have.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      thank you for the information and links. i'll take a closer look at the bottles and boxes this weekend.