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 and Reviews for Asian Spirits

212715
Sơn Tinh
Nếp Cẩm Sticky Red Rice "Port" Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218133
Kirishima Shuzo
Akane Kirishima
Brilliant clear color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of kirschwasser, dried apricot, and spiced honeydew with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, layered, long powdered sugar, pistachio oil, lilac and orange blossom water, and pink pepper and radish finish. A delicious and remarkably fruity shochu that drinks a bit like a fine eau-de-vie.
93 points $11 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218131
Kirishima Shuzo
Kuro Kirishima
Clear color. Roasted, complex, spicy aromas and flavors of vanilla caramel bonbon, dark toasted nut bread, toasted whole grain, and dill pickled tomato with a silky, soft, dry light body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long almond oil, chestnut honey on fennel, light caramel pudding, and peppery spices finish. An elegant and nuanced shochu with fine flavor and balance; try mixing like a rye whisky.
92 points $9 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218079
Tori Kai
Shochu
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203050
Miyazaki Honten
Honkaku Mugi-Shochu "Kusu"
Clear color. Earthy aromas of kidd leather, flax, yeasty fruit pastry dough, and bison grass with a soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a soft, waxy rice paper and radish finish. Very clean and precisely etched flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218362
Kinmen
Baoyue Spring Kaoliang Liquor
Bright clear color. Aromas and flavors of papaya-pineapple yogurt, yeasty fruit cake, and overripe banana with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, pickled bamboo shoots, birch beer and ginseng gum, sugared fruit pits, and sandy grassy beach soil finish. An intriguing and enigmatic white-whisky-like spirit with a nice mix of fruity and spicy flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218130
Kirishima Shuzo
Shiro Kirishima
Clear color. Grainy, roasted, umami aromas and flavors of salty dark roasted nuts, soy rice cakes, and roasted barley soup in a clay pot with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-long chestnut skin, vanilla milk, plantain, and radish finish. A very interesting and savory shochu with tons of roasted umami aromas and flavors; this will be fun to mix with like a whisky.
91 points $9 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218129
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.
Kuramoto No Kakushishochu
Clear color. Tropical, toasty aromas and flavors of Asian pear, roasted pineapple and rice, toasty nut brittle, and hint of beeswax and clay with a silky, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a seamless, amusing, medium-length anise seed, powdered milk, and limestone finish. An elegant, fruity, and toasty shochu that has a pleasing combination of sake and white whisky tones.
91 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202833
Vinn
Baijiu
Clear. Bold grainy aromas of raisin bran cereal, red licorice, and toasted nuts are reminiscent of white whisky with a silky dryish light-to-medium body and a nut oil, cayenne pepper, sweet cream, and birch bark accented finish with lingering warmth. A very clean, subtle, and highly mixable baijiu.
91 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218360
Kinmen
Kaoliang Liquor
Clear color. Interesting aromas and flavors of conditioned saddle leather, caramelized nuts and dried tropical citrus, black and smoked tea, and pickling spices with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length polished wood, spiced nuts and water chestnuts, white chocolate maple fudge, and earth finish. A very interesting Asian spirit with lots of cocktail possibilities.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab