Produced on the island of Taiwan itself, the Red Kaoliang Chiew is just as renowned for its meticulously designed packaging as for its exceptional gustatory qualities. Its name is derived from Taiwan’s highest mountain, Yu Shan, which translates as the “Jade Mountain.” Whereas one of the brand’s most famous products, the kaoliang XO, is aged in casks for a period of five years before bottling, the alcohol we are describing here is aged for up to 16 years, and this remarkable aging period is duly celebrated by the outstandingly sophisticated packaging it comes in. The product is contained in a small porcelain bottle shaped like a statue of a delightful little mythological character. Its sophisticated shape justifies the presence of an outer case to protect it from any dangerous shocks.
The clear and limpid alcohol displays a refreshing cleanliness that transfers well to the nose and is complemented by tremendous finesse and splendid notes of roasted sorghum that evolve into moderately spicy vegetal tones. The product shamelessly boasts its 52% alcohol content without overly dominating the mouth, and develops an appealing palette of flavours that oscillate between liquorice, almond, and cereal before concluding on a sumptuous aftertaste of toasted bread. This exquisite blend of high-quality characteristics led the Monde Selection jury to confer the Red Kaoliang Chiew a well-deserved Grand Gold medal as well as a “coup de coeur” for the third consecutive time.
“Each year, one product per category is awarded the Prize of the Jury as a token of excellence in know-how and quality. In order to qualify, the product must be unanimously selected as a “coup de cœur” by the jury members. The winner of the Prize of the Jury is then selected from a group of just 5 nominees, which makes this award an even greater honour for the recipient.”