A Conversation for Sang Thip and Mekhong Whisky
aaron76 Started conversation Apr 11, 2007
Sang Thip isn't really available in Thailand anymore. It disappeared around 4 years ago. Mekong, Sang Som and Hong Thong are still around. Hong Thong seems to be everywhere nowadays.
In my experience, drinking Thai whiskey isn't nearly as bad as people make out (and believe me, i have a lot of experience!). It doesn't send me crazy anymore than a "real" whiskey would...
Example.... A few years ago my parents visited me in Bangkok and as a gift they gave me a bottle of Black Bush Irish whiskey. Now, one night after they had returned to the Emerald Isle, I was enjoying my usual half bottle or so of Sang Som while reading the Bangkok Post. I had drained the Thai stuff when i spotted the Irish whiskey on top of my wardrobe. I must point out at this time that a half bottle of Sang Som diluted with soda water and ice isn't that strong. No, really. Any, the point is as soon as I had a few glasses of the authentic whiskey, I started to feel that familiar whiskey head that has made the drink infamous.
Okay, I admit, I had a bit too much to drink, but I can testify that the Thai stuff never does that to me. How shall I describe it? Is a little "crazy" the right word?
Let me make it clear, I am not denying the killer, almost unique, hangover this stuff gives you. Although even that pales in comparison to Thai beer such as Singha (pronounced "Sing" by the way) or, God have mercy Chang. I have not yet tried the version of Chang available in the UK (is it is available), but I guarantee it is tamer than the version sold in Thailand.
Anyway, my point is, it's bad, but not that bad. The taste is nowhere near as bad as people say (personal opinion of course) and I quite enjoy it. I think a problem might be that it goes down too easy once you are used to it. I have finished off a large bottle before and paid the price. I could never, ever drink a whole bottle of Scotch etc.
This may seem like bragging, but it's just fact relating to all the myth and tales surrounding Thai whiskey.
One more thing. I have heard about the formaldehyde contained in Thai whiskey. I admit, I have no proof but if I was to believe every person that has told me this story in a pub in Bangkok, then EVERY alcoholic drink in this country includes this chemical in it's recipe. Oh, except of course, the drink that the storyteller has in his or her hand. I haven't heard it for a while, although at one time it was a regular bar tale in the city.
As I said, this is just my experience, not scientific research. I'm no expert. It's just that my common sense has alarm bells that sound when I hear the same story in different versions time after time.
Oh yeah, Hong Thong IS to be avoided. If only for the truly awful, toilet cleaner smell.
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