Dec 21, 2014

Son Tinh Bo Sa Pa...

Son Tinh Bo Sa Pa (38.0%): When Teresa came back from her South East Asia trip this fall and handed me this wee bottle with a suspicious smile in her face I knew I was getting pulled into a shady set up. I guess that time I subconsciously avoided the confrontation and put the bottle behind all the other sample bottles on my desk and tried to forget about it. But lately its tall neck started to keep poking out and I kind of decided to bite the bullet... Son Tinh is a Vietnamese brand with a huge line up of traditional Vietnamese liquors named Ruou. Bo Sa Pa is a herbal liquor based on rice spirit which was traditionally made by herbalists in North Vietnam in Sa Pa (Cloud City). According to their website their modern interpretation contains more than 30 herbs matured in sticky rice spirit from three to five years. They distill their own spirit in Hanoi using German stills, it is not chill filtered and does not contain any additives and flavoring. So, let's dive right in... Color: Reddish amber, cognac like. Nose: Old straw mat and wet burlap sacks. Tiger balm, Chinese medicine jars and rice paper. Not a single edible aroma is coming out of the glass... Palate: Like chewing your straw hat soaked in your own sweat. Cinnamon and dried ginseng roots. Very bitter and medicinal. It is so dry that I had to rush and grab a full glass of water in the midst of it. Finish: Short, dry, bitter and bitter. Overall: Ok... That happened... I have to admit that this experience wasn't nearly as bad as I first tasted Maotai (gosh...) but I also don't think that I will have any urge to have another sip from this bottle in near future. It is interesting for sure and possibly would be a great social adventure sharing a few shots with locals at a bar in Hanoi but definitely not my cup of tea... What was I thinking to begin with anyway? Thanks to Teresa Hartmann for the sample bottle. It was quite an experience for sure...