Scotch and baijiu combine in Kylin Duality of Spirits

by Melita Kiely

Former Edrington whisky maker Max McFarlane has partnered with master distiller Shen Caihong to create a baijiu and Scotch whisky hybrid.

Produced in small batches by Kylin Spirits Group, Kylin Duality of Spirits combines Chinese spirit baijiu, produced by Luzhou Laojiao, with Highland single malt whiskies from Scotland. Master distiller Caihong is director of National Solid-State Brewing Engineering Technology Research Center and director, vice-general manager and chief engineer of Luzhou Laojiao. McFarlane was a lead whisky maker for Famous Grouse and Highland Park owner Edrington for more than 25 years. McFarlane said: “The spirits of golden wheat colour had a pleasantly balanced aroma with evidence, but not strong fragrance of Chinese baijiu, accompanied by a fruity scent. “The sophisticated taste was balanced, with touches of liquorice, sweet cream and star anise, while the finish delivered a subtle salted butterscotch taste, followed by peanut butter and American cream soda.” The baijiu used to make Kylin Duality of Spirits is said to be Luzhou Laijiao’s most prestigious product. It is made from organic red sorghum, which is fermented in a pit, distilled and then left to mature. Caihong added: “Our mission has been to bring the Chinese national liquor – baijiu – to the world, with a vision to become an iconic name in 21st century spirits technology and innovation. “We have always recognised the importance of promoting a deeper cultural exchange alongside an inspiring duality of spirits and we are committed to developing meaningful cultural collaborations between nations and two craft industries blessed with esteemed heritage, provenance and a spirit of innovation.” Kylin Duality of Spirits will launch in May 2022 in London with a number of bottlings. The company is planning to bring out a new baijiu for the global market, as well as a new whisky made with Chinese ingredients and distilling techniques. Kylin Spirits Group is headquartered in London and has a research centre in Scotland. In other baijiu news, earlier this year Camus International partnered with Shede Spirits to create a baijiu, called Shede Founder’s Reserve. Meanwhile, last year, Hi-Spirits launched Chinese baijiu brand Ming River in the UK.