Today the CWA, Chinese Whisky Association press release publiced that China will start bourbon production summer 2013 around the city of Xingtai in the Hebei Province in north central China, which has a continental climate not unlike that of Kentucky, USA
So far 4 distilleries has been planned, 3 regular sized with a capacity well over 5 million LPA and one micro with a much smaller capacity.
The micro distillery will not be constructed near Xingtai but on Kentucky Island in Shangdon Province, thus making Kentucky Straight Bourbon made in China available for coinnoisseurs in the future
Kentucky Island, Shangdon Province
Corn production has doubled in China since the mid nineties and there is currently more corn harvested than rice
Corn regions of China
The newly appointed Chinese secretary of whisky, 威士忌書呆子, says to the Danish Ministry of Whisky :
"We are currently the second largest corn producer in the world, but with a projected production in the future to be the worlds number 1. It is natural for us to exploit every possible aspect of processing corn into food, not only for animals but also for people. This extends to the production of alcohol"
What about oak ?
"We will be using the oriental white oak, qeurcus aliena, but also imported american white oak from Missouri in the new "wood for shoes" and "wood for toys" trading programs. We will use the existing chinese cooperage Semi-Independent Staves Company just outside Xingtai"
What about the American Bourbon regulations that classifies Bourbon as a domestic american made product only ?
"Thats an american rule and its not valid in China"
The Danish Ministry of Whisky has also consulted a range of american bourbon experts:
M Kaplan: This is great news. I have actually been hired as advisory master blender for Jimbim (one of the 4 distilleries currently under construction). Expect a Marsala finished bourbon in 2016
T Borschel: I am moving to China
A Herz: I suspect the two bottles of chinese bourbon currently on sale at Bonhams might be fakes, but maybe the chinese has reverted the time machine I use to get dusties from the past to actual sell whisky from the future today!
Sku : I only drink cognac and armagnac these days so I can't really be bothered
C Cowdery: If it looks like bourbon, smells like bourbon and tastes like bourbon, then it is bourbon
PS China has chosen the spelling whisky, also for its bourbons.. The traditinal spelling of whiskey is unpronouncable for chinese and this spelling is not even used unanimously in America