Vietnamese Rice Wine, Highway 4, Hanoi Old Quarter

Fern, whimpers “this is horrible, I feel like I’m taking medicine but it’s not good for me…”

Dopest, burps “I can’t, I can’t finish it.”

Fern, “Don’t worry, after I got some candy for you.”

Dopest, “O thank god.”
  

The flavors are heavy on the nose, reminiscent of tinctures, ever have ecenacea extracted in white alcohol? Well imagine a shot of it. The newest way to get hippies drunk.
Highway 4 is a little bit of a tourist trap with multiple locations on the outskirts of the old quarter. It was definetly trying to emulate an upscale western wine bar with an Asian fusion bistro vibe. The meals cost large sums of money by Vietnamese standards, even by tourist standards. The hostess for some unknown reason sat us in the less premium downstairs seats, mystery… O wait! Our Flip flops!

We ordered the “mountain forest” set which was more like a scotch tasting in the heaviness of its flavors and high alcohol percentage. But what does one expect when ordering liquor!

We were asking for trouble but absolutely had to choose the herbal option, because of course the fruit one will be a “more approachable” flavor but “it tastes like passion fruit” does not make for interesting material. 
Tasting the “Mountain Forest” set of herbal infused rice wines made by Sontinh Original Ruou, at Highway 4 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
#1 Minh Mang : The most similar to an ecenacea tincture except it has these sugared floral notes with a little bit of ginger on the tongue. The finish is somehow simultaneously honey yet dry and lingering with a little hint of ginseng. It has an amber hue and is the rice wine equivalent of a Belgian sour/lambic. Definitely makes the sides of the tongue curve.

#2 My Tuu: Strong cherry notes on the nose. The flavor stays all up in the nasal cavity with strong notes of herbal bark, citronella and cinnamon. Gives some serious “whiskey” shivers, man my burp is so strong… The rice wine equivalent to a seasonal Christmas beer, like Lagunita’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.

 
#3 Moc Sa Pa: Features expanding flavors of apple, cinnamon, peppermint and ginger that raise to the nose for full exposure but don’t overwhelm the pallet. The most herbal but also the least cloying. Smells like a port, starts like a scotch and drinks like a dry pine forest. It is the rice wine equivalent to Russian River’s Pliney the Elder.

#4 Vuong Tuu: Tastes so much like that ticture “Good Mood Tonic” it’s got some ginseng fo’ sure. Other notes of sweet and sour plum and cloves make a cone shaped flavor attack that expands from the front of the tongue to the back. Reminiscent of pine needle tea with sweet caramel stirred in. The rice wine equivalent of a Strong Ale, if you added a little bit of bubbly water it would be the infamous Zebra, without a doubt.
Resiliency: 3/10 I literally can’t finish all four shot glasses. So so strong of flavors.

Affordability: 4/10 Much more expensive than the roadside infused rice wines, the only difference, stored in glass and less likely to cause blindness.

Cannabis Pairability: 9/10 The pairing options are literally endless, I would strongly recommend staying away from earthy strains an instead pair with sweet fruity options.

Dopeness: 5.5/10

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