Food & Drink

Asian alcohol vs Western alcohol

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  • Apr 11th, 2019 12:55 am
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2017
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Asian alcohol vs Western alcohol

What's the major difference here?
I find there is a certain similarity between Chinese, Korean and Japanese alcohol. I can drink most of them without a problem even the alcohol grade and taste varies a lot.
But when it came to western alcohol such as brandy, whiskey and vodka, I don't get used to most of them. I can occasionally drink vodka but not too much.
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T.O. Lotto Captain
??? They make it the exact same way. Except for maybe regionally specific styles of booze.
Like rice wine or rice derived spirits. Like soju and sake. Or moutai with its mix of earthy and herbal flavors.

Otherwise they produce beer the same way. Almost every Asian country has their own go to beer that they produce. Singtao, Hite, Tiger, etc... The Japanese are known for making great whisky.

But if you're comparing some sort of rice wine variant like Soju to whisky.... of course their is a huge divide. One is a 15-20% rice wine. The other is a 40% spirit.
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What do you mean you "don't get used to them"?

From your examples there are 2 spirits made by (mostly) grains and one from grapes. Those spirits are widely available in Asia too. Are your Asian examples you drank mostly rice derived? Or sorghum (like moutai)?

What about agave and sugar cane spirits?
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[OP]
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No Frills wrote: What do you mean you "don't get used to them"?

From your examples there are 2 spirits made by (mostly) grains and one from grapes. Those spirits are widely available in Asia too. Are your Asian examples you drank mostly rice derived? Or sorghum (like moutai)?

What about agave and sugar cane spirits?
I feel most whiskey/vodka I tried have a very strong taste immediately. Yet most Asian alcohol' taste usually come after I actually swallowed.
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Can you give examples of this "Asian alcohol"?

If not, the last alcohol I had that that was super clean in the mouth with hardly and burn with a long finish like you described was Beluga Noble Russian vodka. I suppose it's still "Western alcohol" even though the distillery is east of the Ural mountains.

Otherwise you must have had some really cheap vodka that people drink just for the burn. The whisky that you drank must have been bourbon...it's sweet but tastes harsh because they are aged in new oak barrels.
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No Frills wrote: Can you give examples of this "Asian alcohol"?

If not, the last alcohol I had that that was super clean in the mouth with hardly and burn with a long finish like you described was Beluga Noble Russian vodka. I suppose it's still "Western alcohol" even though the distillery is east of the Ural mountains.

Otherwise you must have had some really cheap vodka that people drink just for the burn. The whisky that you drank must have been bourbon...it's sweet but tastes harsh because they are aged in new oak barrels.
When he metions asian alcohol i just assume he is drinking some sort of soju or sake.
I guess these because i assume OP is an unrefined drinker because of his description.
If thats the case... soju and sake are kinda “bland” in a way. And they’re lower in alcohol % usually 15-20%

Maybe the guy took a shot of 15% soju and compared it to some 40% vodka.
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UrbanPoet wrote: When he metions asian alcohol i just assume he is drinking some sort of soju or sake.
I guess these because i assume OP is an unrefined drinker because of his description.
If thats the case... soju and sake are kinda “bland” in a way. And they’re lower in alcohol % usually 15-20%

Maybe the guy took a shot of 15% soju and compared it to some 40% vodka.
Perhaps, but I think I got it now....

Most of North American vodka and whisk(e)y comes from rye or corn (or majority of the mash or blend is corn+rye) which makes a spirit more spicy.

Malt whiskies (like scotch) are softer in the mouth.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2017
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UrbanPoet wrote: When he metions asian alcohol i just assume he is drinking some sort of soju or sake.
I guess these because i assume OP is an unrefined drinker because of his description.
If thats the case... soju and sake are kinda “bland” in a way. And they’re lower in alcohol % usually 15-20%

Maybe the guy took a shot of 15% soju and compared it to some 40% vodka.
yes and no.
I know Korean and Japanese alcohol usually are lower in %. However, even with certain Chinese high % alcohol, I still feel more "comfortable"/"easy to drink" comparing to vodka brand such as grey goose.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2017
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No Frills wrote: Perhaps, but I think I got it now....

Most of North American vodka and whisk(e)y comes from rye or corn (or majority of the mash or blend is corn+rye) which makes a spirit more spicy.

Malt whiskies (like scotch) are softer in the mouth.
I don't know much about vodka and whisky type. Any particular brand in LCBO which is "softer" ?
[OP]
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I have this question because some of my Canadian friends tried our alcohol at my place. They are ok with Korean/Japanese ones but really don't like Chinese high% ones.
So I've been wonder what makes the difference.
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I really don't understand your question. Is it about you not liking "Western" alcohol or about your Canadian friends not likely high proof Chinese alcohol?

I am Asian, In terms of alcohol, I don't mind drinking any of them. But I have preference and favorites. e.g. Scotch (highland and speyside), Sherry, Tawny and vintage port, red and white wine (specific region and grape varieties), Bourbon, Rum, Gin (Gin&T), vodka, sake, Makgeolli, aged Shaoxing wine, beer, craft beer (IPA, sour beer), cider...etc etc

However, there are specific ones that I don't prefer (e.g. I can't handle the "hay earthiest" of Moutai.)

I don't think there's a difference of "Western" and "Asian" alcohol. There are so many of them and I won't group them into just 2 groups.

May be the general preference in Asia market is more "smooth, subtle and mellow" (Notice that in Whiskey by distillers in Asia. I am not a fan of Japanese Whiskey which is very popular now)
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Andrewhl wrote: I have this question because some of my Canadian friends tried our alcohol at my place. They are ok with Korean/Japanese ones but really don't like Chinese high% ones.
So I've been wonder what makes the difference.
It would be helpful if you can give us the names of the alcohol you tried...
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I was watching a video of an American guy who lives in SE Asia. He was in the Philippines and said he misses craft beer, because the local beer (San Miguel), they don't use hops.

I can see that. The beer there is more light in taste. Good for warm weather but rarely does it hit that spot if you want that beer flavour hit. So that might explain difference. Korean beers too. Very bland.

Now with harder liquor, western alcohol ages their alcohol generally so the flavour intensifies. My guess is Asians don't really have that culture and history of drinking like that.

Also, the major alcohols of Japan and Korea is much lighter than whiskeys n vodka. If anything, vodka can be much cleaner than soju despite the % difference.
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Andrewhl wrote: I don't know much about vodka and whisky type. Any particular brand in LCBO which is "softer" ?
Stick to whisky made from malted barley. Teachers Highland Cream, or for more money, Glenmorangie Original.

If you live around Markham, those LCBOs carry lots of different types of alcohol from Asia.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
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Andrewhl wrote: I have this question because some of my Canadian friends tried our alcohol at my place. They are ok with Korean/Japanese ones but really don't like Chinese high% ones.
So I've been wonder what makes the difference.
Did you not answer the difference in your post? One is high % alcohol and the others arent.
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The only Asian alcohol I know that has comparable alcohol % to vodka is Kaoliang/Baiju (Of course this is not including Japanese/Taiwanese whiskies).

I never had Maotai, but having tasted a handful of other sorghum based liquors I don’t think really think this stuff is sippable lol. I’m sure most westerners would prefer vodka/rum/whisky to it lol.
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So how 'bout that Wuliangye? That stuff is like motor oil. Blech!!

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