Luzhou Laojiao - One of China’s Oldest Baijiu Brands
The First Kind Using Wheat Yeast (Daqu) to Ferment Liquor
The yeast is vital for the flavor of Chinese liquor. Guo Huaiyu, the master of the traditional brewing technique of Luzhou Laojiao, successfully invented the wheat yeast, or Daqu and created Daqu liquor in 1324 AD, which was a new type of liquor in China at that time. Daqu is a kind of liquor yeast made from barley, wheats and certain amount of beans. Before Daqu was invented, the yeast was made of rice, called Xiaoqu. The liquor fermented with Daqu has a better quality and flavor than that with Xiaoqu. Now, Daqu liquor has own the biggest market share among Chinese liquors, and the Daqu yeast is regarded as the top liquor yeast.
Ancient Fermenting Cellars Dating to 1573
The older cellars have more microorganisms multiply in the cellar mud, thus more substances are metabolized by microorganisms to produce aroma of liquor, and the liquor fermented inside is better. The ancient cellar of Luzhou Laojiao built in 1573 AD is the longest used and best-preserved among all cellars, and is a living relic and a national treasure of China. In addition, there are 1,619 ancient cellars aged over hundred years used for the fermentation.
Proved Brewing Techniques of 23 Generations
The main producing methods include making Daqu yeast, fermenting in mud cellars, distilling and blending. The techniques of making traditional Daqu yeast and making Luzhou Laojiao Liquor are within the spoken words between masters and apprentices. And the traditional technique have witnessed nearly 700 years and it has been continuously improved. Till now, it has been passed down for 23 generations.
High Qualified Water and Sorghums to Make Great Liquor
Luzhou has abundant water resources of good water quality and suitable hardness, which is very suitable for liquor making. In ancient time, people got water from famous Longjing Spring to brew Luzhou Laojiao. Now the water of Yangtze River is applied into production.
The company owns a large land to plant red sorghums carefully on their own, to ensure the quality of the materials, which is nicknamed as the “the First Workshop of Luzhou Laojiao”.
Moderate Climate for Liquor Fermentation
Luzhou, on the side of upper reaches of Yangtze River, is praised as one of the perfect places for the production of high-qualified pure distilled alcohol by Food and Agricultural Organization of UN. The pleasant climate with rich rains, slow winds and mild temperature, is beneficial to the survival and growth of microorganisms needed to make Daqu yeast and for the materials to ferment.
Luzhou Laojiao Price & Brands
The price is quite different from one another. There are some cheap ones as well as very expensive ones. The most expensive one is a bottle of Guojiao 1573 that was auctioned off at a price of 48,984 USD.
Below is officially announced price for the main brands of Luzhou Laojiao on sale:
Guojiao 1573: CNY 1,099
Luzhou Laojiao 100 Years: CNY 588
Luzhou Laojiao Tequ: CNY 308
Luzhou Laojiao Touqu: CNY 98
History of Luzhou Laojiao
The origin of Luzhou Laojiao can be dated to the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC - 220 AD). It had gradually developed and flourished later. Up to Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD), people in Luzhou made the steamed liquor and stored it for half a year before selling. The alcohol is very close to Luzhou Laojiao Liquor in aspects of raw material selection, making process, fermentation method and liquor’s quality. It can be taken as the predecessor of today’s Luzhou Laojiao Daqu.
In Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), the mud cellars were built and the brewing method was improved. At that stage, as the Daqu yeast had been invented and adopted to make wine, Luzhou Laojiao was officially formed and developed stronger. By the establishment of People’s Republic of China, especially after 1978, modern technologies are applied in producing process, the liquor brand welcomes a new age.
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