Taizi in New Zealand, Vinn in the United States and Dragon Mist in Canada rank among the rare companies making baijiu beyond China. But others are popping up, including in Australia, and East Coast is among them.
I just learned about this project yesterday from Siong Tan, a scientist at Charles Sturt University who is studying fermentation in sorghum. I’ve fired off a message to the company and hope to hear back soon. For now, here is some more info from their site and other online sources.
- East Coast makes Kaoliang, a type of light-fragrance baijiu that is associated with Taiwan. No surprise as distiller James Mylne, a native of Brisbane, spent time making gin and vodka in Taiwan and also learned about baijiu making there. He uses Australian red sorghum and imported qu to “create classic Baijiu styles as well as new and exciting Baiju flavors aged in various wine and spirit oak barrels.”
- East Coast’s ‘Classic Kaoliang’ is described as smooth. sightly sweet and earthy: “The yeast provides the Baijiu flavor with hints of soy sauce and caramel.”
- East Coast puts some of that Kaoliang in American and French Oak Barrels for a minimum of six months. This gives the liquor “an extra dimension of character, flavor and sweetness,” states the site. “Some would say it’s in between Baijiu and Whisky…” and is the perfect gateway for Baijiu and Whisky lovers to cross over.”
East Coast has three products. It’s ‘classic’ kaoliang plus options aged in American or French oak. The classic lists for AU$85 for a 750 ml bottle from Australia drinks chain Dan Murphy’s.
I’ll post more about East Coast soon!