Samai Distillery is a premium rum distillery in Phnom Penh. They have only been operating for 4 years, but have already won 8 awards for their high-quality rums. The distillers seem to be two guys from Venezuela, but they also have some help from a Latvian lady, and probably a few more people.
I went to their distillery on a Thursday, which is the only day they’re open to the public. The place is located at 830th Street, not too far from AEON Mall. The place they are serving their rum at is actually also their distillery and workspace so it has a very wearehousy feel to it, which of course fits perfectly for the patrons that would visit a place like this. Basically, the place is cosy and hip as hell.
The warehouse vibe is further strengthed by Samai Distillery reusing things. An example of this would be having some of their barrels, that they have been using for barrel-ageing their rum, as tables. You can actually even see their offices and the distilling equipment at their space. The barrels look really impressive.
My friend described it as being “production-facility-hip”, which is not too inaccurate.
At Samai Distillery they have a Rum flight which lets you try 3 of their current rums. The cost of this is $8 and you will have the chance to try their Gold Rum, Kampot Pepper Rum, & their Spiced Rum. My favourites were without a doubt the Gold Rum & the Kampot Pepper Rum, but to be fair, they are still working on the recipe for the spiced rum. The tasting notes, including some information, is as following:
- Gold Rum: Dark chocolate, Vanilla & Caramelized Honey. Barrel-aged in French and American oak barrels Cherry casks.
- Kampot Pepper: Kampot pepper, Guava, Eucalyptus, Spicy. Made with Red Kampot Pepper from La Plantation. Award-winning.
- Spiced Rum: Cinnamon, Vanilla.
The Gold Rum was very light, with plenty of vanilla flavour. The Kampot Pepper was a bit minty but the pepper and spiciness were the dominant flavours. The Spiced Rum was very Christmasy, and not really my style, but nevertheless a good rum, which I would definitely see that people could like. Both the Gold Rum and the Kampot Pepper Rum were fantastic.
They also have chocolates made with their rum, which should be a good pairing for their liquors. A piece of chocolate is $3, but you can buy them in bundles of 3 and 6, which is $8 and $15 respectively. If you like cocktails they also have several carefully crafted cocktails for you.
Sadly, Samai Distillery is only open on Thursdays, but that might even add to the charm of it. They are currently working on several new products, and we are really looking forward to seeing what they have to offer. Rumour has it that they are even making rum of some not-so-successful beer batches from some of the local Cambodian Craft Beer Breweries. Exciting!