KOREAN NAME: 백년친구
REVIEW: Baeknyeon Chingu can be translated as “100-Year Friend” (or, perhaps alternately “Friend for 100 Years”) which would suggest that this makgeolli plans to stand you in good stead for a long time. While I don’t doubt the brewers’ good intentions with such a playful name, this might be an on-again, off-again relationship.
After all, Baeknyeon Chingu (BC) isn’t the most engaging in terms of body; a bit more carbonation and a slightly frothier or thicker brew would be a step in the right direction. The flavor, on the other hand, is pleasant in a non-descript, sweet and sour sort of way. I’m just disappointed by the twinge of aspartame in the aftertaste, a flavor that left my mouth tingling with that familiarly unpleasant metallic bite. I don’t want to be too unfair to BC, though – it’s certainly more interesting than your typical convenience-store makgeolli. I’m going to recommend this one, albeit with some reservations. Don’t look for anything to wow you; it’s a makgeolli pleasant in its inoffensiveness.
Body: Very watery.
Smell: Typical makgeolli notes but also something slightly spicy – a bit like cinnamon.
BREWERY: Mansoo Brewery (만수조주)
ORIGIN: Gyeongsangbuk-do, Yeongju (경상북도, 영주시)
PURCHASED: Seoul, COEX, Food Week Korea, Makgeolli Expo (서울)
AVAILABILITY: I’m not sure where you can pick up this bottle. Best to look for it at a joomak with a decent selection.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: Korean rice (12.89%), imported wheat (12.5%), 개량 nuruk, extracted enzymes, 효모yeast, lactate, aspartame, purified water (25%)
VOLUME: 750 ml