Dijiao – Bamboo Aged Spirits

Derrick Lin


Designer: Michael Cardwell-Clarke
In-house Graphic Designer: Xyfil
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Student Project
School: University of Central Lancashire
Tutor: Pete Thompson & Andy Bainbridge
Packaging Contents: Spirits
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Bamboo Case, Ceramic Bottle, Bamboo Pulp Stock

Inspired by traditional West Indies Rum, Chen envisioned a Chinese approach by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to those of the Caribbean to create a unique kind of rum. The Dijiao Distillery is thus the birthplace of Chinese Rum. The Distillery is nestled deep in Bamboo Sea, Sichuan province. The largest natural bamboo forest in the world where the purest waters of China flow and over 400 kinds of bamboo flourish.

In the absence of an oak barrel, Chen Chao uses live bamboo trunks to age his spirit, a method reputed to confer a unique aroma. The spirit is introduced into bamboo trunks via high-pressure injection techniques, where it will mature with the bamboo and mingle with the sap released from the trunk. The result? A pure white rum that is fresh and gently sweet with herbal notes that holds essences of Chinese bamboo sap and flavone.

Chen wanders through the south-eastern mountains of China to his ‘celler’ (dijiao) where he will check on his prized blends. When bottled the segment of bamboo used to age the blend will be used as casing, leaving all original markings on the exterior for a distinctive look.

What’s Unique?
The packaging solution Chen’s Dijiao Distillery reinforces the story of how the bamboo aged spirits are born.

The naturally weathered and scratched bamboo exterior provides a distinct look, a reflection of the aging process and how natural elements can stand the test of time. After chopping, the bamboo starts to weather naturally causing it to brown, making it the indicator of the spirits age.

Each touch point is inspired by Chinese origin. The bottle is crafted from ceramics and the label uses bamboo pulp stock. Each element is crafted by mother nature.