Review: Sampan Vietnam Rhum Overpoof

A cane juice rhum made by a Frenchman in Vietnam on the site of his hotel & bar by the sea. Antoine Poircuitte built the Distillerie d’Indochine in the late 2018 in the Quang Nam province in Vietnam. All the cane for the distillery is local from the area of Hoi An, 40km away.

This area is very fertile and ideal for sugar cane growing – the cane itself is organic, grown using environmentally friendly practices, without any pesticides and it’s delivered to the distillery within 12 hours of harvest. According to a previous review made by the Lone Caner, the resulted juice is fermented for 3 to 4 days before being distilled in an 11-plate copper column still at a strength of about 70% ABV.

The unaged rhum isn’t bottled straight away, but instead it’s rested in inert steel tanks for 8 to 12 months first. The label of my bottle states that it was distilled on the 20th of October 2019 and that it was bottled on the 9th of October 2020 – quite a long time to rest, I’m curious how it affects the distillate.

Sampan Vietnam Rhum Overproof is cane juice based, column still distilled and rested in stainless steel tanks for 8 to 12 months. Bottled at 54% ABV without any additives.

On the nose it smells… salty. Olive brine, gherkin juice, pickled bell peppers and grassy cane juice. Violets, unripe plums and a little bit of honey. It feels quite pungent and sharp. Corn on the cob, cider vinegar and a touch of diesel.

On the palate it has quite the kick. Muscovado sugar, floral honey, Earl Grey tea and a touch of liquorice. Menthol, yellow apples and blackberries. It tastes more rounded and richer than on the nose, almost like an aged spirit. Pear eau de vie, maraschino cherry liqueur, white grapes and nutmeg. Some olive brine and cane juice as well. The finish is long with orchard fruits and Demerara sugar.

I have to say, this rum from Vietnam is pretty damn tasty. It has body, it has complexity, richness and it’s not as pungent as I thought it would be. It might be that the long resting period polishes the rough edges leaving us with a pretty enjoyable and layered unaged cane juice rum.

Sampan Vietnam Overproof can be bought for £50 (The Whisky Exchange) and I find that to be good value considering its ABV and how far it comes from.

Sampan Vietnam Rhum Overpoof score:
Flavour/taste: 53/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 83/100


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