By Jim Boyce | For those beyond China and in need of baijiu, there are worse places than the province of Ontario in Canada. The government-owned LCBO shops there list not a handful of Chinese spirits, as is common elsewhere, but more than forty.
True, some are currently listed as out of stock—eight to be exact—while others are only available at “select” outlets and thus require a longer drive or filling an order form. But the LCBO nevertheless has a pretty good range. Here are some brands—most are 500 ml. (You can check the buy jiu series for baijiu availability elsewhere.)
- Gujinggong, an Anhui baijiu that one study found has 60 aroma compounds, is priced at $31.05 and $77.80. A 100 ml bottle is $13.95 while a 750 ml Expo 2017 special edition is $98.45.
- Fen Chiew from Shanxi province has the most entries. They range from less pricey option at $31.10 and $44.20, including a 375 ml bottle at $17.25, to aged varieties, with 10-year-old at $58.80, 30-year-old at $158.80 and $204.25, and 50-year-old at $2,622.80.
- LCBO has a quartet from Yanghe in Jiangsu province that, not surprising given the brand’s signature colour, are named Blue ($31.10), Daqu ($32.50), Blue Classic Sky ($136.50) and Blue Classic M6 ($303.20).
- Xī Fèng (西鳳), which translates to “Western phoenix”, is from Shaanxi province and an example of phoenix aroma baijiu. There are two options, one at $31.95, the other at $100.30.
- The most famous brand, Moutai, is also available, including the labels Yingbin at $67.45 and Prince at $90.95.
- Yantai Guniang is made in Shandong province by, as best I know, Changyu, known for wine. LCBO has three options, with a standard bottle for $29.95 and a 125 ml one for $9.05.
- Wuliangye is also represented, including its pricey Jiaobei at $497.85 and its Wulian Chun, Third Generation at $43.70.
- Lots of Er Guo Tou, including a 50 Year Old for $187.30. Alternatives include a 100 ml bottle for $5 and full-sized ones for $18.05 and $36.60.
- Others options include Luzhou Laojiao Guo Jiao 1573 at $192.95, Tuopai Shede Classic 52% at $127.95, Beijing Red Star 8-Year-Old at $25.30, Blue Classic Ocean at $46.95, Dukang Guohua Lanhuaci at $61.85, Xi Jiang Jing Pin at $35.15, Confucius Family Liquor at $25.95, with a 10-year-old version at $71.95.
Whew. I don’t know all of these brands and labels, so apologies if I mistyped or mis-categorized anything. You can check out the LCBO options here.
World Baijiu Day is August 9. See the 2018 events list here. Sign up an event here. And follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I also run China wine site Grape Wall and nightlife site Beijing Boyce.