Luzhou Laojiao (泸州老窖; Luzhou Old Cellar) is a Chinese liquor distilled from fermented sorghum. It is a baijiu of the ‘strong aroma’ class. It is produced by Luzhou Laojiao Company Limited, which is headquartered in Luzhou, in southern Sichuan, China. The distillery dates back to 1573, in the Ming dynasty, and it is the oldest continuously producing baijiu distillery in the world. It was included in the first ‘List of National Intangible Cultural Heritage’ in 2006. The company produces a baijiu brand named Guojiao 1573 (国窖 1573, ‘National Cellar 1573’), in commemoration of its founding year. Luzhou Laojiao was reportedly the favourite liquor of China’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping.
Luzhou Laojiao is a complex, premium baijiu of the ‘strong aroma’ (nóngxiāng) class. It is a strongly alcoholic (45% alcohol). It is fermented in old cellars (fermentation pits), whose walls are coated with a unique clay composition with naturally harvested yeast cultures. After two months, the mash is ready to be distilled using using a traditional Chinese pot still that gives the spirit its aroma and palate.
Luzhou has a mild climate with extreme temperatures of -1 to +40 °C, and annual precipitation of 750 to 1615mm. This climate is ideal for local soft cereal quality and microbial groups. The Yangtze River water, after treatment by the water plant, is rich in calcium, magnesium and other trace elements. Water quality is weakly acidic, with a suitable hardness.
A bright, vibrant and flavoursome spirit that is clear liquid and comes with a sharp pleasing aroma of fermented peaches.
Enjoy with ramen, tempura, mushrooms all to go well as food accompaniments. It is also good to enjoy as an aperitif amongst friends!