On the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, there is a tributary called the Chishui River. It is contained between precipitous banks with a lot of river bends and rushing current. Because of the high silt content, the river is reddish yellow and is named after its color (the Chinese character of “Chi” means “reddish yellow”). For thousands of years, this river has been winding its way through numerous mountains endlessly towards the Yangtze River.
In China, it is not uncommon to see high mountains and big rivers. Some stretch to the horizon; some are magnificent; and some are elegant. But the Chishui River is famous both at home and abroad for its nickname of "Liquor River". The reason why it has this nickname is that on both banks of the river are Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits manufacturers. As a result, the Chishui River has become a “golden valley for Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits” famous in both China and the whole world.
In Tucheng Town, Xishui County down the Chishui River, there is a brand of Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits with a history of more than 100 years. By 2020, it has a reserve of nearly 10,000 tons of base spirit for making hard Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits. In the near future, its annual production capacity of hard Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits, high-quality high-temperature hard Chinese spirits, and Chinese spirits stored in pottery jars will reach 20,000 tons, 60,000 tons and 100,000 tons respectively, making the company lead the industry of high-end Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits. This company is Guizhou Anjiu Group.
On June 18, Guizhou Anjiu (classic), a new type of high-end spirit made by Guizhou Anjiu Group, made its first appearance and became a big success.
After ten years of obscurity, the aroma of the Chinese spirits has permeated through half of the city
Why did this product become a big success?
All successful products have a distinctive package. Guizhou Anjiu (Classic) is packaged in blue-glazed bottle, which gives people a feeling of expansiveness and profoundness and distinguishes it from other spirit products in the market, and consumers can recognize it immediately. In the front of the bottle, there are four elegant and masculine Chinese characters of "Guizhou Anjiu". The seal of the character of "An" next to "Guizhou Anjiu" echoes with the characters of "Peace Button" at the bottom of the bottle, which not only represents the oriental esthetic philosophy but also is an allusion to the Chinese "An” (peace) culture, such as in people’s pursuit of "national peace and prosperity" and "inner peace". As the saying goes, without a good name, a product cannot be successful. This is what China’s spirits lovers care most about.
Gently open the cap, and you will smell the soft and delicate Jiang flavor as if you were in the spring breeze and spring rain. If the aroma of Maotai spirit is overwhelming, the aroma of Guizhou Anjiu (classic) is soft and persistent.
Pour the spirit into a cup and you will find that the flow of the spirit is unobstructed and that the hops are fine and persistent. Viewed from the back light, the spirit is transparent and crystal clear, and the spirit body is sticky and thick, flowing like grease. Tilt the cup and rotate slowly so that the legs are evenly distributed on the wall of the cup, then you will find that the spirit’s contour is clear, smooth and continuous, and the beautiful legs on the cup wall are like pearl necklace. After the spirit sits quietly for a moment, the tiny droplets on the top edge of the cup wall are like twinkling stars at night, so appealing.
Lowering your head to drink the spirit, you will smell its compound aroma. The front aroma is pure, and the Jiang aroma is infused with comfortable bitterness, similar to the smell of curing something. The middle aroma is rich and infused with the aroma of honey gathered from both summer and spring flowers. The end aroma is long-lasting infused with jujube aroma of base spirits of many years' standing and oil aroma of vintage flavoring spirit. Layers of layers of aroma “blossom” like flowers, strong and persistent.
Guizhou Anjiu (Classic) has a smooth and mellow flavor without being pungent, a hint of mild bitterness without being overt, and a trace of woody aroma, infusing the spirit with a sense of sophistication and complexity. Gently run your tongue over your mouth so that the Jiang aroma, bitterness, sweetness, honey and acides will permeate through your mouth without conflicting with one another and being too conspicuous. Rather, these aromas complement and integrate into each other well. This is the advantage of the fully-aged hard Jiang-flavor Chinese spirit: the taste is pure without being dominant, and the aroma is authentic and in distinct grades.
Bitterness is one of the most prominent characteristics of Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits. Most high-end Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits are very subtle in their treatment of bitterness: a little more is annoying, and a little less waters down the Jiang flavor. Only moderate Jiang flavor makes top-grade Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits. Guizhou Anjiu (Classic) is a perfect example. It is a little bit bitter yet not pucker, and its moderate bitterness adds to the fullness of the spirit body.
Whether a product is favored by the market or not depends not only on whether it is of good quality but also on whether it stands out among similar products with its unique characteristics. In today’s market of Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits, it is the profound history and unique characteristics that make a brand succeed. The past ten years of development of Guizhou Anjiu finally pays off. Both its package and spirit body have demonstrated its strength as a high-end Jiang-flavor Chinese spirit brand.
Devotion to spirit making by the Chishui River throughout the long history
After the introduction of Guizhou Anjiu (Classic), the recently launched product, let’s continue to take a look at the centuries-old brand of Guizhou Anjiu.
Looking back at the history of Guizhou Anjiu, we can credibly describe it as a "treasure" brand because of its high potential value and concealed glory.
In the 1930s, Zhou Shaochen, a native of Zunyi, Guizhou Province, founded the “Drunken Beauties” tavern. Since he was born into a family of traditional Chinese Medicine, he synthesized “Baiweisan” on the basis of the secret recipe of yeast making by Chinese herbal medicine to make distiller's yeast and made the popular “Anmao” spirit. Later, like almost all famous time-honored spirit brands, Anmao was nationalized soon after the founding of PRC. Then it began to develop fast and has a profound influence on the development of China’s spirit-making industry.
At the first national conference on spirit making in 1955, two spirits made in Guizhou Province were selected as "Class A spirits": one is Guizhou Anjiu and the other is Maotai, ranking 8thand 17th respectively, attracting wide attention in the industry. In 1963, in the first Guizhou Spirit Fair, Guizhou Anjiu and Moutai were both rated "Provincial-level Excellent Spirit" and Guizhou Anjiu won the honorary title of "Famous Spirit in Guizhou".It continued to win this title in the years to come, becoming one of the “Eight Famous Spirits in Guizhou”. In 1989, at the 5th National Spirit Fair, Guizhou Anjiu was rated as "National Quality Spirit" and was included into the list of "53 Excellent National Spirits".
It can be said that all these honors are like the “record of merits” of the centuries-old brand of Guizhou Anjiu.
In addition to the intangible assets of the “record of merits”, the excellent technical team of spirit makers, and the craftsmanship Guizhou Anjiu has been adhering to are its core tangible assets, which contribute to Guizhou Anjiu’s sustainable development.
Mr. Jin Huiyuan, a famous spirit master and the chief engineer of Guizhou Anjiu, learned from the same master with Mr. Ji Keliang, a famous spirit expert and the former Chairman of Maotai Group. In 1964, they were both assigned to work in Guizhou province. Jin Huiyuan worked in Guizhou Anjiu while Ji Keliang in Maotai. Over the next 50 years, Jin Huiyuan and his technical team have been striving for perfection and overcoming difficulties to make Guizhou Anjiu’s spirit-making techniques at the forefront of the industry.
Prior to the launch of the new product, in May 2020, the construction of "Anjiu Chishui Spirit Valley" started. This is a large production base of Guizhou Anjiu that can produce 20,000 tons of hard Jiang-flavor Chinese spirit, 60,000 tons of high-quality high-temperature hard spirit, and 100,000 tons of spirit stored in pottery jars.
In fact, in 2010, Guizhou Anjiu began to build its Jiang-flavor spirit production base in Xishui County along the Chishui River to produce Jiang-flavor Chinese spirit. Not far to the southeast of Anjiu in Guizhou province is the famous Moutai Group and Xijiu Group. These spirit companies are all located in areas suitable for making Jiang-flavor Chinese spirits, and they all have a profound culture and history, as well as strong technical strength. They are like the buried "treasures" waiting to be discovered and unearthed.
And that is indeed the case. After setting up the production base by the Chishui River, Guizhou Anjiu ushered in a new era of development. Its adherence to the spirit of craftsmanship is the reason why it has kept a low profile over the past ten years.
Guizhou Anjiu 100% uses glutinous sorghum native to Guizhou province, 100% adopts the “12987” traditional process to make hard Jiang-flavor spirit, and 100% stores the spirit in pottery jars for five years. These are the core qualities of Jiang-flavor Chinese spirit and what Guizhou Anjiu has been adhering to over the years.
Now, after being “buried” for a decade, the high-end Guizhou Anjiu (Classic) and the centuries-old brand of Guizhou Anjiu have been finally discovered and “unearthed”.
Let's wait and see.