Thursday, April 14, 2011

King Cobra Whisky


The majority of you have most likely heard about it, and quite a few of you may have actually seen it or own a bottle of it. Vietnamese whisky aka “snake wine” is a liquid claimed to be good for all sorts of things. Locals declare that king cobras infused in a bottle of whisky or rice wine have medicinal purposes including the claimed ability to create arousal on consumption. On my recent trip to Nam, on any given street in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, bottles of all shapes and sizes containing cobras and other interesting reptiles could be found for next to nothing. This exotic Asian beverage is certainly a rare gift and one for the cabinet. I personally did not bring my self back one of these transparent bottled treats as it would have only got confiscated if found. Out of the thousands that pass freely through customs I would have been the one stopped and checked. Let me be honest, even if I brought back a bottle I would not have the courage to consume it. For those who will be making a journey to Vietnam and would like to make a purchase but hesitate and don’t, good news, you have one last chance at both international airports. If any Whiskies R Us readers have had a shot, please feel free to review this venom-fuelled liquid.


For further information take a look a Wikipedia, the site has an interesting description on snake wine that may be of interest.


11 comments:

  1. Fantastic post.
    are the whiskys a barley/malt based spirit or sugar cane as with mekon whisky?

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    1. The word whisky is a widely used mistranslation, maybe the result of the colour blended by the snake's blood. As is 'wine', from the lack of distinguishing words for wine and spirits in many Asian languages. Vodka is a closer translation that I hear a lot but actually it's just their local rice spirit. Hope that helped. Thanks Clint for top post

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  3. Sorry David I some how managed to delete my follow up comment.
    Interesting question, I myself wanted to find out but due to the language barrier I couldn't get a straight answer. From what I gathered they work on the "what ever is around" principle.

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  4. They make a few whiskys in Vietnam, none of which I was game to try even without the snake involved.

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  5. My buddy here has a bottle sitting on his shelf. I'll have to give it a try one of these days.

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  6. Brian (dramtastic)-there have been reports that at least 100 or so people die yearly from alcohol consumed in Vietnam. I dare say this is not specifically related to their whisky but I dare say whisky would be included in the list. It is said there are a lot of fake brands (including Scotch) on the market with all sorts of things in it that are lethal......and yes that is without the snake in it.

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  7. whiskywall-please do let me know how the tasting went. Some of summed it up with "old scales and cheap whisky". But as we all know, each to there own. Look forward to a review :)

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  8. From your earlier post . . . if I live to write a review on it!

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  9. A few years ago I had a dram from a bottle of Suntory Kakubin containing a viper that the bar/izakaya owner had put in a few years earlier. Unfortunately I was rather sloshed to the point of not being able to remember much of the flavour, and sufficiently in such a way as to accept an offer to eat a small portion of the snake itself. Perhaps not one of the smarter things I've done...? (Hey, I have a lot to choose from).

    Sure as hell wouldn't buy a full bottle of the stuff, though! :P Never been quite comfortable around reptiles.

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  10. Just wanna ask u ...King cobra are rare species right ?So why they killed at a large scale in Vietnam for just making it 2 wine and isnt it illegal in Vietnam ?

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