Wookooksaeng Makgeolli

Makgeolli #07 – Wookooksaeng Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 우국생 막걸리 REVIEW: Much like the scent, Wookooksaeng has a sort of dry, toasty-oaty flavor – at least initially. The taste quickly transforms into something that is metallic and slightly bitter-sweet (I suspect this is the aspartame at work but am not sure). This aftertaste lingers far too long to be pleasant. In short, I’m…

Bae Hyejeong Doga Ssal Makgeolli

Makgeolli #06 – Bae Hyejeong Doga Ssal Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 배혜정 도가 쌀막걸리 REVIEW: Bae Hyejeong Doga (BHD) Ssal is, plain and simple, terrible. It would be completely insipid if it weren’t for the metallic sweetness of the aspartame, and this is clearly not a point in its favor. There’s another bottle that BHD produces that looks nearly identical. However, I’m hoping that the recipe is better. It’s…

Aspartame & Makgeolli

Aspartame: Makgeolli’s Sordid Affair

When my interest in makgeolli was brewing (boom!), I noticed that many makgeolli lovers get really irked when bottlers use aspartame. I’ll come clean and just say that I am not a health nut. I had heard of aspartame before but only vaguely knew that it was some kind of synthetic sweetener. I’ll also admit that I…

Deoksan Makgeolli

Makgeolli #05 – Deoksan Saeng Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 덕산 생막걸리 REVIEW: This is both a makgeolli that can be appreciated for its complexity and for its pleasurable drinkability. The pairing of the bitter and sweet flavors leaves you wanting another sip which is often not the case with some high-end makgeollis which are too complicated or aggressive to enjoy for more than a cup. Another point…

12th Annual Daehanmingook Makgeolli Festival

12th Annual Daehanmingook Makgeolli Festival Review

A couple of years ago, the Daehanmingook Makgeolli Festival (대한민국 막걸리 축제) was held in Seoul’s World Cup Park in Sangam, a beautiful green space perfect for taking a stroll, lounging on the rolling hills, and, apparently, for sipping delicious makgeolli from all over the country. In 2013, the festival headed north to Lake Park in…

iCing Grapefruit Makgeolli

Makgeolli #04 – iCing Grapefruit

KOREAN NAME: 아이싱 자몽 REVIEW: After my first taste of iCing Grapefruit, I was instantly reminded of chu-hi (or チューハイ), a ubiquitous alcoholic beverage in Japan that is somewhat akin to bottled alcopop drinks like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Bacardi Breezer, Hooper’s Hooch… you get the idea. Only, I would rate chu-hi much higher and Icing somewhere between the two. I think what both chu-hi and Icing…

DaeDaePo Blue Label Makgeolli

Makgeolli #03 – DaeDaePo Blue Label

KOREAN NAME: 대대포 고급 막걸리 Blue Label  REVIEW: There are many interesting makgeollis out there but the novelty usually only lasts for a cup and then the flavor becomes too overwhelming. DaeDaePo Blue Label, on the other hand, is able to strike the right balance between complex and easy to drink, making it hands down one of…

Walmae Makgeolli

Makgeolli #02 – Walmae

KOREAN NAME: 월매 막걸리  REVIEW: This is a common makgeolli brand that is easy to find in Seoul supermarkets, corner stores, and convenience stores. This is a no-brainer as it is made by Seoul Jangsoo, perhaps the largest makgeolli distributor in the Seoul metropolitan area. (If you follow the link, you are greeted with the unfortunate catchphrase, “The largest…