A bottle of Kewichow Moutai Aged 50 Years. Photo: china-moutai.com

A lawyer has filed a lawsuit against leading Chinese distiller Kweichow Moutai Co for making what he alleges were false claims about the vintage baijiu liquor he purchasd.

The lawyer, surnamed Xing, who lives in Chengdu in Sichuan province, is demanding financial compensation after he discovered that two bottles of baijiu he bought contained a base liquor blended in with the aged spirit. At the time of purchase, he had the impression that it was a purely vintage product, thepaper.cn reported.

The Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone People’s Court heard that Xing paid 61,996 yuan (US$8,948) for one bottle of Kewchow Moutai aged 50 years and another bottle aged 30 years.

Xing understood from the labels and the packaging that the liquor had been aged for 50 years.

However, he later saw on the company’s official website that the bottle of 50-year-old Kweichow Moutai was blended with a non-vintage base. It also said the company adhered to the national standard for brewing 50-year-old liquor.

Xing said he was cheated and demanded 185,988 yuan as compensation. He had twice negotiated with the liquor company but failed to reach an agreement, prompting him to file a lawsuit.

The court heard that the “Chinese National Standards for Product of Geographical Indication – Kweichow Moutai Liquor” issued by the Standardization Administration of China defines “aged Kweichow Moutai” as liquor “aged not less than 15 years and blended.”

Baijiu blending involves a crafting process that incorporates various base liquors but no other additives. However, the company did not state the percetage of base liquor contained  in the vintage product.

The case was adjourned until June 27 .

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