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Oct 5, 2010 01:26 PM

Martignetti's on Soldier's Field: Old Monk $14.50 and anyone ever try Sangsom? 2009 Bordeaux

I know someone was asking where to find Old Monk recently... Great deal at Martignettis.

Also they had some Thai rum I had never tried before called Sansom. Anyone ever try it?

Also a good time to stock up on 2009 Bordeaux if you see it.

2009 was yet another "Vintage of the Century." I bought some of the reasonably priced 2009 Château Roc de Segur for stew last week and was blown away with the quality. Went back and bot a case. With the 20% off case discount it was an absurd bargain and darned good.

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  1. That is a good deal. I had read about but never tried Old Monk, so I pounced when I saw a bottle at Marty's a few weeks ago, where it goes for $18. Lots of caramel and vanilla to it, which makes it pretty yummy in Tiki drinks. And it makes a mighty tasty Cuba Libre, if you're into that sort of thing -- pretty much like drinking the best vanilla Coke ever. Now you got me wondering what Thai rum is like.....

    4 Replies
    1. re: katzzz

      Yah, I got turned on to Old Monk cause of CH posters raving about it.

      There are some respectable rums available in beantown.

      Personal favs include: Pricey but amazing Barrilito 3 Star, and anything by Barbancourt. I also like the delicate floral Brugal Anejo just over ice.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Yeah, the Barrilito is great stuff. My personal fave is Havana Club, any of the varieties, though the 7-year old is what you want for sipping straight or over ice. Of course it's not available in the U.S., but I bring back a bottle if I go to Canada, the Caribbean, etc. Whether it's legal to bring a bottle for personal consumption into the U.S. seems hazy at best, but I've never had an trouble.

        1. re: katzzz

          Gosh I haven't had Havana Club in years...

          1. re: StriperGuy

            Try to snag a bottle next time you or a pal travels abroad. I think you'll find it well worth the effort.

    2. Old Monk is indeed a bargain, and indispensible for certain real-Tiki drinks. I think I paid $12 for my current bottle.

      Good to know about Sang Som. I don't think I've ever seen it in the States, but it is inescapable in Thailand, ridiculously popular there.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I'm pretty sure Montien has been featuring Sang Som lately with a variety of Sang Som cocktails.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Sangsom, Mekhong and most popular among the Thais, Hong Thong are flavored cane and rice spirits. Chang Beer and Mekhong are widely available thru ThaiBev, NY distributors. I get mine at Blanchards although Trường Thành Market 長城酒莊 on Beach St has had it for ever. Mixed 80/20 but tended continuously in the legendary bottomless glass of Thailand it's been my go-to cocktail for a while. I'll be checking out Martinetti's tomorrow!

          Old Monk is my favorite malt beverage at India Quality where all that beer really stands up to an inferno of Northern Indian dishes. Is there an Old Monk rum. Those brothers get around.

          Please let me know if you can source Lao Khao, the Thai white lightning. On the rocks with green fanta it is surprising refreshing as well as care and mind erasing.

          India Quality Restaurant
          484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: EATTV

            They ran out of the Sansom last time I was at Martignettis.

            1. re: EATTV

              Don't be fooled by imitators. Mekhong is garbage that will give you a horrible hangover. Sangsom is the real deal. It's more of an elixir rather than a Rum/whiskey. Their future US distributor keeps telling me that it will be available next year, but I doubt it will ever become available here in the states. I have two cases at home, so that should last me until my next journey to Thailand.

          2. That Martignetti's is my go-to liquor store because they have a good combination of selection and low prices. Most things are a few bucks less than say Cambridge Wine and Spirits.

            Last time I was there I picked up some Barbancourt 5 star and Flor de Cana white. Really liking both of them so far. I used the Barbancourt in a daiquiri, nice and spicy, hint of funkiness, I enjoyed it. The FdC made a super smooth "grenadine daiquiri" for my SO who likes the lighter style rums.

            I also picked up a bottle of Bluecoat gin. I had no idea it is overloaded on orange flavors, and it made an unpleasant martini to my taste.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nickls

              Yah, their prices really are better than Cambridge Wine...

            2. After reading your post about SangSom I immediately went to Martignetti's on SoldierField rd looking to buy what SangSom they had left. This stuff is impossible to find in the states, and I'm down to my last bottle. When I got there, SangSom was nowhere to be found, and none of the employees had heard of it. It was Martignetti's where you saw it right? Is there any other store you know of that carries SangSom.


              9 Replies
              1. re: Seeking SangSom

                Swear to the chow gods I saw it at Martignetti's right next to the party store and near the iHop. In fact, now that I think of it I remember seeing you post about trying to find the stuff. This was 2 weeks ago. Ask to talk to a manager. It has to be in their computer system. Good luck.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I believe you StriperGuy. The elusive SangSom has escaped me once again. They checked their computer system and nothing came up. Maybe it's because they have no stock? I wondering how they got SangSom in the first place. There is no US distribution.

                  1. re: Seeking SangSom

                    Alright this is the ghost Sangsom sighting. I wouldn't take no for an answer. Just cause some not so ambitious person could not track it down... I would call and ask to talk to a manger.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      You're the man! Please let me know what you find out.

                      1. re: Seeking SangSom

                        I didn't mean I was going to do it myself... I was suggesting YOU give a call.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          I just called and talked to the Manager. He has no records of having SangSom. The only explanation for your alleged SangSom sighting is that Martignetti's buys pallets of clearance liqueur. The SangSom could of been on one of those pallets. To my knowledge, SangSom has never been imported to the US, so how could it of made it to Martignetti's is beyond me. I wish I was here 3 weeks ago when you spotted it in Brighton. I've been chasing the elusive SangSom for years with no results. I've spanned North America. I've followed up on every lead and every sighting. I'm always steps behind. If you're out there SangSom, please know this; I will not stop my efforts, and some day I find you!

                          1. re: Seeking SangSom

                            Okay, am I being haunted by Thai rums? In the North End today and saw Mekhong Thai rum at the liquor store on Hanover Street. Going INTO the NE towards the water on Hanover St it is about 2/3 of the way to the end on your right. They had 10 bottles at least.

                            Good luck.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              I appreciate you keeping your eye out for it StriperGuy. Unfortunately Mekhong is crap. One sip will give you a hangover. SangSom on the otherhand gives you POWER!

                2. re: Seeking SangSom

                  Blanchards in Allston has Mekhong. Sangsom is sometimes available on-line depending on the politics of Thailand at the moment.

                3. i like to think that i know a fair bit about wine. Given the cost of Bordeaux, i would avoid it.

                  Parker gave 98 points to 2005 Leoville Las Cases (about 325 dollars) and 98 points to Dominus 2007 (for 118 dollars). These are comparable wines in my opinion and the Las Cases costs 2.5 times as much. So, for the moment, the Bordeaux market is out of whack, in my opinion.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                    Uhhhhhhh the pricing anomaly you describe is ONLY true with first growth Bordeaux on the very high end. I guess you don't buy any wine that is under $100 a bottle. ;-)

                    IT is NOT AT ALL TRUE for the roughly 8,000 smaller producers in Bordeaux.

                    The ones who don't want to produce bulk wine, but don't have a NAME are often very reasonably priced. They have low production, NO marketing budgets, and have to hope and pray to get a little distribution for their excellent products.

                    In fact year after year, small producer Bordeaux along with wine from Spain, Chile, Argentina, Italy, and sometimes Australia are often the very BEST wines in the under $30 a bottle market.

                    In fact in the under $50 price range it is often California wines, Cabs in particular where you will pay too much for too little. Though during the current recession even this is changing.

                    In a stunning year like 2009 was in Bordeaux, some of the best bang for the buck wine GLOBALLY comes from small Bordeaux producers.

                    Here are a few articles that essentially make the same point:


                    And towards the end of this article they make the exact point that CA wines are no bargain at the sub $30 a bottle price point when compared to Bordeaux.


                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Las Cases is a second growth and at that level, California is, in my opinion, more interesting.

                      You are almost surely right below 30 dollars; that is a price point with which i am not familiar. ( you are StriperGuy, I know, and so should be believed.)

                      About 50 dollars, California Cabernet gets interesting. For example the Chappellet Estate 2007 cost less 50 that and i would put that against anything in France (though i failed to get a case due to a misunderstanding.). So, it may be that around 50 dollars is the turning point.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        By the way, StriperGuy, do you know everything? This is serious comment and not irony.

                        Not that i respect the Wine Spectator, but ..


                        I suggest that you try your bordeaux with eel and sticky rice from Mulan.

                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                          Hmmm, interesting. Be cool to see the whole list. Columbia Crest does seem to put out quality product year after year.

                          I used to buy a lot more spendy wine, but an allocating my financial resources differently of late.

                          Also the number of times I got burnt in that $50-100 price range, particularly by California wines, is just too numerous to mention. So often I find they just do not live up to the hype. If you do follow the reviews the "good stuff" always seems to disappear as soon as it is written up.

                          For quite a while my real wine passion was good vintage port. Still have a few cases in the basement aging away nicely. Somehow a good vintage from a good port house never disappoints.

                          My favorite wine guy for MANY years was David Raines at Gordon's in Waltham. He now devotes his time exclusively to running his importing business. He imports exclusively smaller French producers that fly largely under the radar, and has amazed me over the years with sometimes mindblowing wines in the $15-$50 price range.

                          Can't even count the number of times he talked me into buying a LESS expensive bottle, that noone had REVIEWED that was either one of his own imports, or just a wine he really liked. At worst is was just fine, but more often then not I felt I was getting a VERY FINE wine at a very good price solely because it hadn't made it into RP, WS, or WE reviews. In fact the sole reason it was priced as it was was because it was a small French producer who knew who to grow great grapes, and make great wine, but the sales and marketing just did not interest him/her.

                          Do yourself a favor, hit Martignetti's and buy a bottle of the Roc de Segur 2009 and then taste it blind against some pricier bottles. Though it is rather "Bordeaux" in style I still imagine you might be pretty surprised.

                          On the encyclopedic front I won't deny it. Sort of runs in my family. My dad's brother is even worse. If you'd like to talk medicine some time...

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            California Cabernet: Joseph Phelps Insignia, Eisele, Dominus, Ridge Monte Bello, Ch. Krug Special Selection, Chappellet Signature, Shafer Hillside Select, Dunn Howell Mountain. Perhaps because i went to school in Cali; I think that these wines are good, consistent, worth the cost and stack upl to Bordeaux.

                            I will try a bottle of the 2009 petite ch. bordeaux on your say-so.

                            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                              Too funny, cause of all the Cali wines, I've probably had all the ones you mention above, with the exception of the Chapellet, and agree that they do in fact deliver year after year after year.

                              About 8-9 years ago I scored some amazing 1980s Dominus (don't remember the year) that were a closeout at a small wine shop. Don't think they actually even knew what they were getting rid of. Positively stunning stuff

                              But my every day wine is usually Harlan Estate... (joking, now I'm joking I swear.)

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                i have some Harlan from the 90s which are drinking quite well but did not mention it because of its current price.

                                And that makes 2009 the 3rd vintage of the century in the last 10 years.

                                Eel and Bordeaux: Of course, i learned of Mulan from Chowhound, probably from you, Striper.

                                1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                  Be sure to bring along a bottle or two of that Harlan next time someone has a chow dinner ;-). Enjoy.