Hanoi’s Về Để Đi distillery has launched private cask sales of their whisky, the first single malt to be produced in Vietnam.

Về Để Đi opened in 2020 and has gained popularity in its home country for crafting gin made with locally sourced botanicals, as well as producing a creme de cacao made in collaboration with well known Vietnamese chocolatiers Maison Marou.

However, the long term goal for the distillery was always to become the first full scale whisky distillery in the region. Under the stewardship of master distiller Edward Tiege, formerly of Copalli Rum in Belize, the distillery has been producing corn and single malt spirit. Both have already earned plaudits; their unnamed corn and new make single malt won awards at The Spirits Business - Speciality Masters 2023.

The first casks filled with the award winning spirit were laid down in October last year and have now been made available for private investors. The single malt spirit will be matured in first fill ex-bourbon, American oak casks for a period of two to three years.

Even though research is still being conducted on the effects of maturing whisky in warmer climates it is generally accepted that the wood expands and contracts more quickly than in cooler climates, which in turn means that spirit develops a flavour profile faster than it would elsewhere. As such, it is hoped that the spirit produced and matured at Về Để Đi won’t need much longer than a few years to produce high quality spirit.

Prospective investors looking to purchase a piece of Asian whisky history will need to spend US$5,900 for a cask cask, plus an additional $10 bottling fee per bottle. The expected outturn for each cask will be 180-270 bottles, depending on the investor’s chosen ABV and length of aging. Additionally, those buying casks will be granted access to the founders club which will include a lifetime discount applicable to any future releases.

The team at Về Để Đi are optimistic that there will be strong international interest in the distillery’s output, citing the popularity of brands such as Taiwan’s Kavalan and India’s Amrut as evidence that there’s global demand for premium Asian whisky (and that’s not to mention the phenomenal impact Japanese whisky has had on the entire industry over the past couple of decades).

However, there may be more of a challenge domestically. Vietnamese consumers typically put a lot of emphasis on the importance of age statements, particularly with regards to luxury or premium whisky.

Selling young, non-age statement whiskies gives the distillery something of an uphill battle locally, but it’s a trial that they’re prepared for. There are plans to educate consumers on the value of craft spirits, including an accessible bottle club and continuing to collaborate with other Vietnamese producers.

It’s still early days for the fledgling Vietnamese distillery, but here’s hoping that these initial cask sales are a success and that Về Để Đi achieves its goal of becoming one of the premier names in Asian craft whisky.