Jesus Christ. I’m sorry. I wish I could find a respectful way to say this, but I simply can’t. My taste buds are in revolt. As is my tact. There’ll be no pulling punches here, as this is – quite frankly – ruddy foul stuff. Like overtly offensive, if I’m being totally up front.
So…is this actually whisky? I honestly don’t know. I bought it in a section labeled ‘whisky’. The tag beneath it said ‘whisky’. But nowhere can I find reliable information as to whether or not anyone actually considers this a whisky. It is, however, a distilled beverage made from barley (and other stuff), so let’s proceed anyway, if for nothing other than shits and giggles (and an occasional foray into masochism).
An ingredients list that features sorghum, barley, peas, sugar and bamboo leaves should be your first clue that things may be a little squiffy here. However, that sort of mixture should logically give a rather organic and earthy profile, shouldn’t it? Not a chance here. This one is an ‘x-file’ of a drink. It’s a soupy-smelling, meaty anomaly and should actually be left on the shelf…or maybe used for cooking.
Chu Yeh Ching Chiew is served up in a 500 ml bottle. That’s about 480 ml too much considering I probably needed only about 20 ml for this write-up. Now ‘scuse me while I go scour my tongue with an S.O.S. pad.
If anyone out there knows more about this one please feel free to share.
Nose: Nose: Beef ramen flavour packet. BBQ Beef Hula Hoops (for those of you with access to UK snack fare). Miso. Very savoury and spicy. Dried meats and tea leaves. Maybe sweet peas (but that could be nothing more than the power of suggestion). Polish, citrus zest and a fleeting aroma of chocolate. But really all that other stuff is buried behind the big beefy Oxo/Bovril/Beef ramen scent. This is the meatiest drink I’ve ever nosed, and that includes the time I tried ‘bone-luging’ Lagavulin 16 down a freshly de-marrowed beef bone.
Palate: Gah! Less meaty now. More on over-the-top sugar sweetness and vegetable soup. Tomato. Kale. Lemongrass. A bit of meatiness now. Plain egg noodles. Fuck, is this ever weird. No more. I’m done.
– Images & Words: Curt