About Asian Spirits

The Asian spirits category includes baijiu, shochu, soju and other spirits indigenous to the Asia Pacific region. Wildly popular in China, Japan and South Korea, these spirits have not gained much market share out of these regions, with only a few international brands currently exported outside of the Asia Pacific region.

Top Picks for Asian Spirits

Sơn Tinh Nếp Cẩm Sticky Red Rice "Port" Liqueur
94 points
Bright dark amber color. Bright, interesting, fruity umami aromas of spicy baked goji berries, dried mushrooms, soy roasted nuts, and peppery spices with a satiny, racy, sourish medium-full body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long fresh cut wheatgrass, honeyed dried cherries, dusty beets, and peppered kale finish. A very interesting earthy, fruity, vegetal spirit; try as a vermouth in cocktails.
Kinmen Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor 1958
93 points
Brilliant clear color. Aromas of plantain peel and flesh, galangal, banana nut bran muffin, water chestnut pressed linen, and grass with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, nuanced, very long zucchini bread with chestnut honey, pink peppercorns, nut brittle, and minerals finish. A vivacious and tasty baijiu for all occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Baijiu
Kirishima Shuzo Akane Kirishima
93 points
$21.99
Best Buy
Brilliant clear color. Fruity, floral, attractive aromas and flavors of violet candies, rosewood, fresh panettone with lady grey tea, fruit stripe gum and fruit loops, and pear blossoms with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, nuanced, long tropical fruit salad, papaya-lychee milkshake, and asian coconut water finish. An ultra-floral botanical garden of a shochu with endless cocktail possibilities; mix as pisco or gin.
Awards: 2017 Best Shochu
93 points $21.99 Best Buy
Kinmen Baoyue Spring Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor
92 points
Brilliant clear color. Aromas and flavors of toasted nut brittle, peppered roasted pineapple and apple, fruit pastry and teas, and model glue and chlorine with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, intricate, long nut and honey syrup, caramelized nuts and root vegetables, pepper and garlic, and fish tank finish. A rich, yet nuanced savory baijiu that will appeal to whisky drinkers.
Kinmen Battle Spirit Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor
92 points
Brilliant clear color. Aromas and flavors of yeasty dough, drying paint and licked manilla envelope, magic marker cap, and roasted coconut water with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, captivating, long chestnut syrup, jackfruit, and pepper and olive tapenade finish. A vibrant, tropical baijiu for stimulating shots and rum cocktails.
Gekkeikan Bizan Barley Shochu
92 points
$24.99
Brilliant clear color. Earthy aromas and flavors of wax and parchment paper, moss, plum water, and yeasty dough with a silky, soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length powdered sugar, rice licorice candy, and date finish. A clean, food-friendly and lengthy shochu that is a delight to sip; white wine drinkers will love this elegant shochu.
92 points $24.99
By The Dutch Batavia Arrack Indonesia Rum
92 points
$64
Brilliant gold color. Complex aromas and flavors of grilled and caramelized whole plantains and nuts, hot copper pot, and ground nuts and minerals with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an even, interesting, medium-long wet alpaca wool, leather bound book, rice water and plant, and brown sugar in chamomile tea finish. A rich and refined Batavia Arrack for sipping or cocktails.
Tori Kai Shochu
92 points
$39.99
Clear with a platinum blue cast. Exotic, tropical aromas and flavors of Asian pear, overripe pineapple, banana-papaya custard, and white chocolate mint with a satiny, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long starfruit and radish, rice pudding, and hint of fennel finish. An exotically flavorful shochu with lots of Daiginjo sake-like qualities.
92 points $39.99
Kinmen Superior Kaoliang Liquor
91 points
Brilliant clear color. Aromas and flavors of kimchi and toasted tofu, mineral spirits, anise candy, and marinated garlic with a tannic, vibrant, fruity full body and a hot, long cane stalk, bamboo, grilled citrus, and ginseng pudding finish. A robust, sweet and savory baijiu with a wide range of applications.
Kinmen Kaoliang Taiwan Merchant Selection Liquor
91 points
Brilliant clear color. Vaporous aromas and flavors of paint, caramelized bananas, roasted nut brittle, and hot pepper carob bar with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, compelling, long maple nut rice puff cereal, marinated figs and yams, wet wood, and beans and peas finish. A stalwart baijiu that is reminiscent of reposado tequila.