English language descriptions of baijiu constantly repeat that "sauce flavored" baijiu -- meaning 酱香型 -- is called this because it smells like soy sauce (醬油). I believe this is sheer ignorance and just shows they think all Chinese sauce is soy sauce. Am I wrong? Does the word 酱 in the phrase 酱香型 refer to 醬油?

In fact, I see that Google Translate does not even render 酱香型 as "sauce flavor," it renders that phrase as "Maotai flavor." I guess that seems less misleading to me, but only because it is completely uninformative.

To be clear, I have a bottle of Maotai here as I write, which I have enjoyed over the past three weeks since friends brought it to a dinner. I do know what it tastes like. But people may differ in what resemblances they notice.

  • 酱, when on its own, refers to fermented bean flavor. 酱油 is no exception.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:39
  • @NS.X. Thanks. As to my question, whether the word 酱 in the phrase 酱香型 refers to 醬油, the link in Naomi's answer says no. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


"sauce flavored" baijiu has a fermented bean sauce flavor.In my opinion,this flavor shares some similarity with soy sauce's flavor as the soy sauce is also made from fermented beans.However,the baijiu's fragrance is far more strong and abundant than soy sauce's.It's a mixture of various fragrance. See more in What's "sauce flavored" baijiu?

  • Your link contains my answer: 当然,酱香不等于酱油的香味. "Of course, 酱香 does not refer to soy sauce fragrance." Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 11:26

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