Chinese whisky lands in the UK

by Georgie Collins

Spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange will offer the first Chinese whiskies to be made available outside of China in the UK market.

Located in the Hunan province of south-central China, Goalong Distillery is the first to make its whiskies available outside of the country. Goalong’s portfolio currently comprises a blended whisky and a duo of five-year-old single malts, as well as a gin. Head of buying at The Whisky Exchange, Dawn Davies MW, said: “‘We have recently seen a growing interest in whiskies that come from all over the world, not just those that from traditional whisky-producing countries, so to add the first Chinese whisky to our range and introduce it to the UK is very exciting. ‘There are many new distilleries opening up in China, both local producers as well as the bigger more established companies like Pernod Ricard and Diageo, and it will be fascinating to see those come to the market over the next few years. “Could China be the next Japan? We will have to wait and see.” The Goalong Distillery was founded to create 'uniquely Hunanese spirits'. Goalong 5 Year Old Bourbon & Brandy Cask Single Malt Chinese Whiskey (RRP £59.95/US$78) has been matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-brandy casks, and boasts aromas of jasmine, malt and vanilla on the nose, with candied citrus, sandalwood and raisin on the palate. Meanwhile, Goalong 5 Year Old Bourbon Cask Single Malt Chinese Whiskey (RRP £52.95/US$68) was matured for five years in ex-Bourbon casks. The temperature variance of the region is said to have accelerated the whisky's ageing process, which has provided the spirit with complex aromas of hazelnut and honey on the nose, with cinnamon and toffee on the finish. Goalong Blended Chinese Whiskey (RRP £37.75/US$48.25) uses a combination of grains matured in oak barrels. It is described as creamy in texture, and has aromas of hazelnut, apple, and toffee on the nose, with malt, honey, and baking spice on the palate. Goalong Botanical Gin (RRP£29.95/US$38) is produced from corn and distilled with 20 Chinese herbs and spices including green tea, coriander seeds, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper. It is described as a ‘one-of-a-kind gin that will shine in your next Martini’. Goalong Blended Chinese Whiskey and Goalong Botanical Gin are now available exclusively from The Whisky Exchange online and in-store. The whisky and gin are also available for trade orders via Speciality Drinks.

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