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What is in this bottle? (Chinese liquor)

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http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvpv8Yv

If you know, could you fill me in a bit about it please? One of our exchange students brought it over from China and since I don't read Chinese characters I haven't a clue how to drink the stuff....

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  1. Its a bottle of moutai, considered chinas "national liqour." Traditionally drank straight up room temp as a shot or neat. I prefer to chill the bottle before imbibing. Also note that it is bottled at various abv's

    1. It certainly *looks* like moutai - trademark 1970s oilcan bottle design. We had friends who ran a Chinese resto in Montreal and the dad once gave me a bottle of this (the bottle was the same shape, but with less "flash", no foil, just a plain white bottle with red/white labelling). He praised it to no end, saying it was very famous in China.
      It is not available in Montreal (they said they obtained it in Toronto and I assumed black market), so I did think quite highly of it.
      Until I got home...
      Lets just say that its perhaps (to me) an acquired taste. Its easily in the top 5 worst tasting liquors I have ever tried (quite possibly top 2).
      I ran a bar awhile back and people would ask about the strange bottle on the top shelf. I'd tell them the story and ask them if they'd like to try. The ones who did were given about 1/4 shot and it was amusing to watch their face as they tried to put the stuff back...

      My Chinese friend has since passed and the restaurant is no more.
      Mrs. Porker and I were in NYC last year and walked into a liquor store on the edge of Chinatown near the Manhatten bridge. I was perusing when the wife says "hey look at this!" and she's pointing to a bottle of moutai. 750ml was about $120 and I could not believe it!

      Let us know what you think of it!

      3 Replies
      1. re: porker

        I love Moutai but it is not for the faint of heart.

        Have you ever tried stinky tofu? It's like stinky tofu crossed with grappa.

        Or to be more graphic, fermenty dumpster / old baby diaper crossed with grappa.

        Just as blue cheese would be totally foreign to most non-western folks. Some of the pungent Asian flavors are pretty intense to the American palate. Balanchan anyone? (very strong fermented shrimp paste.)

        Moutai hit's you with a STRONG ammonia fermenty note before you even get it to your mouth. One of those straight to the brain stem sensations. Again not for the timid and really only for those with a REALLY open mind for new flavors. Otherwise give it to a Chinese friend, it is considered one of THE most important gifts you can give someone, even if they (many Chinese don't) appreciate it themselves.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          There is great economy in this. Your Moutai-hating Chinese friend can then regift this imporant thing to another Moutai-hating Chinese friend. ;)

          1. re: EvergreenDan

            I believe that at least 30% of ALL Moutai ever manufactured historically continues to circulate in this fashion, and honestly, that is not even a tongue in cheek statement. Stuff is so darn expensive (at least the real stuff) that few folks actually drink it.

      2. Yes, Moutai. Not to my taste even though I wanted to like it...Nixon, I think, got soused drinking it during the big dinner with Chou EnLai.