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

Kirishima Shuzo Akane Kirishima Shochu
93 points
Clear color. Floral aromas of violet, tea rose, pear blossom, mixed melon, and cherry with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, complex, long floral waters, pink peppercorn, and fresh sweet potato noodles finish. Swap this Asian spirit for pisco or gin in craft cocktails or just sip the vividly floral tipple on its own to experience an avant garde approach to shochu.
Awards: 2018 Best Shochu
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 Kuro Kirishima EX Shochu
92 points
Clear color. Savory, smoky aromas and flavors of baked sweet potato, preserved lime, black snake, alliums, and marinated mushrooms with a satiny, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a graceful, complex, medium-length finish that exhibits overtones of roasted carrot, pickled ginger, and mint finish. A chewy, savory Shochu that will make a great dinner pairing; lots of nuance to explore.
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 finish with elements of 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 finish with notes of 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
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 finish revealing nuances of 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
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 finish displaying notes of 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
Clear with a platinum blue color. 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 finish that presents notes of 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
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima Shochu
91 points
Best Buy
Clear color. Savory aromas and flavors of marinated mushrooms, soy-glazed seaweed snack, salted pretzels, and bell pepper with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-long finish that presents accents of fresh bread and caramelized shallots finish. A food-enhancing shochu with lots of umami notes to explore.
91 points $19.99 Best Buy
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 finish with touches of cane stalk, bamboo, grilled citrus, and ginseng pudding finish. A robust, sweet and savory baijiu with a wide range of applications.