Wu Liang Ye Liquor - A Famous Chinese Baijiu Brand

Wu Liang Ye is a famous Chinese liquor brand that has a very long history. It is made in Yibin, Sichuan Province of five grains: sorghums, rice, glutinous rice, wheats and corns, hence the name, literally “five grains liquid”. Traditional skills and techniques, like fermenting and distilling, of more than 600 years are applied into production.

Wuliangye Liquor is of strong aroma, colorless and pure. It tastes mellow and refreshing. Its common volume is 52%. There are also lower volumes of 45% and 38%. It was awarded the Gold Medal of the Panama International Exposition in 1915, since when it has won more than 30 international first prizes. The main products of Wu Liang Ye today include the series of 52% vol, 45% vol, Old Liquor, Tequ, Touqu, Wuliangchun, and Baijiayan, etc.

Scientific Ratio of the Five Grains

A scientific ratio of five raw grains to make Wuliangye Liquor has been found after years’ brewing experience: sorghum is 36%, rice 22%, glutinous rice 18%, wheats 16% and corns 8%. This ratio is in line with the body's need for nutrients of grains.

How is Wuliangye Liquor made?

1. Smash the five grains depending on strict requirements;
2. Steam the grains chaffs for more than half an hour and cool it down;
3. Open the sealed cellar to take the aged fermented grains out;
4. Mix smashed grains, fermented grains and chaffs well with suitable amount;
5. Ferment the mixture twice with liquor yeast in the cellar over 600 years old;
6. Distill the fermented mixture in the special ancient earthen utensils to get liquor;
7. Store the liquor in cellars;
8. Blend the liquor made in different years and of different batches to get different types pf Wu Liang Ye.
Wu Liang Ye uses a unique yeast that looks like bread, which is obviously different from the flat yeast used by other liquor brands. The bread yeast plays a very important role in accumulation of liquor’s aroma and in producing the unique taste. The single fermentation period is more than 70 days, and fermenting twice needs over 140 days. Thus the producing period of Wu Liang Ye is about 5 months.

Wuliangye Yibin is blended under the guidance of computer blending system and artificial blending skills, so as to make the perfect liquor. In addition, the basic liquor is sifted by quality. This method solves the problem of quality fluctuation of the different batches and seasons and maintains the long-term stable quality of Wu Liang Ye.

Place of Production: Yibin, a Great Wine Brewing Place

Wuliangye Liquor is a specialty of Yibin. It has a subtropical humid monsoon climate. The annual temperature difference and the temperature difference between day and night are small, and the humidity is very high, which are very beneficial to the growth of grains and suitable for the survival of microorganisms needed in wine brewing. The unique weak acid yellow soil in Yibin is also an excellent material for making liquor cellars.

What’s more, good liquor needs good water. The water of Minjiang River in Yibin is well-protected and rich in trace elements. It is clear and transparent all year round, with moderate acidity and alkalinity, which tastes mild sweet and refreshing. It is great for liquor production. All these above constitute a great environment for making Wu Liang Ye.

History and Origin of Wu Liang Ye

People of different ethnics in Yibin brewed liquors since very old age, and they could make good-qualified liquors since Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 - 256 BC). In Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 - 589 AD), local Yi ethnic made the first model to brew liquor with varied grains instead of single one grain.

In Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD), local people made a liquor with four grains and received a lot of praises. By Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD), the liquor had been brewed with five fixed grains and proven techniques, which had its unique flavor that was similar to Wuliangye Liquor today.

Up to Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), the liquor industry in Yibin had become more and more strong. The liquor cellars of Wuliangye Yibin was built at that time. In the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), it was named as Wu Liang Ye, and the name handed down to nowadays.

Further Reading
Kweichow Moutai - the No. 1 National Liquor of China

Jian Nan Chun Liquor - A Traditional Alcohol Brand in China

Luzhou Laojiao - One of China’s Oldest Baijiu Brands

Xifengjiu - One of the Four Famous Alcohol Brands in China

Fenjiu - One of the Top 10 Famous Alcohol Brands in China 

Top 10 Chinese Alcohol Brands

The 10 Most Expensive Bottles of Chinese Liquor

- Last modified on Sep. 04, 2019 -
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