China’s premium moutai spirit introduced to UK

Kweichow Maotaizhen moutai baijiu A premium expression of Chinese spirit baijiu has been introduced to the UK through spirits specialist Mangrove.

Kweichow Maotaizhen is a moutai – a baijiu made by the only non-government-owned distillery in China and is one of very few to gain a licence to export.

Moutai can only be made in the town of the same name, which is in China’s south-western province of Quizhou. Using methods similar to whisky making, it is made by distilling malted sorghum, a gluten-free cereal grain.

Ageing takes place in large earthenware pots, which means it remains a clear white spirit. It can be matured for up to 30 years.

Nick Gillett, managing director of Mangrove, explained: “Moutai is steeped in centuries of history and custom. It is a particularly special product in China where traditionally it is given as a gift or enjoyed on special occasions.

“We are delighted to be able to add the brand to our portfolio, and the aim is to have it available to consumers at various five-star hotels and oriental-themed restaurants that are aligned to its super-premium nature.

“Around 14 million bottles of moutai are produced annually. However, only around 1% of it is exported. This means there is real capacity for growth, particularly when one considers the large Chinese population here in the UK as well as our nation’s love of Chinese food and culture.

“We are incredibly excited to have Kweichow Maotaizhen and are looking forward to seeing how it integrates into the market.”

Coming in 50cl bottles with ABV of 53%, it will be available as a three-year-old, five-year-old and nine-year-old, priced £99, £125 and £150 respectively.

Kweichow Maotaizhen joins other spirits and liqueurs in the Mangrove portfolio which includes Blackwell, Elements 8 and Santa Teresa rums, Herradura and El Jimador tequilas, Beluga Vodka, Mozart liqueurs and Portobello Road gin.

Click here to see the latest news stories from

Previous Bars sign up to be part of International Sherry Week
Next Jose Cuervo turns bar Mexican for summer