Former Edrington whisky maker Max McFarlane has partnered with master distiller Shen Caihong to create a baijiu and Scotch whisky hybrid, known as Kylin Duality of Spirits. Produced in small batches by Kylin Spirits Group, the new offering combines Chinese spirit baijiu, produced by Luzhou Laojiao, with Highland single malt whiskies from Scotland.
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 Edrington for more than 25 years.
“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,” explained McFarlane. “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 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.
“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,” said Caihong. “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.
In April, Camus International partnered with leading baijiu company Shede Spirits to create a baijiu, called Shede Founder’s Reserve. That same month, Buffalo Trace Distillery announced the limited release of a Baijiu style spirit aged in new American oak casks as part of its on-going Experimental Collection of spirits.