Makgeolli #13 – Gondurae


REVIEW: Gondurae is named after the cirsium setidens herb grown and eaten in Gangwon-do, the province from which Gondurae is brewed. Coincidentally (or not?), there’s a Korean expression “곤드레만드레” (gonduraemandurae), which I’ve seen translated as “staggering drunk”, “tanked up”, or, the best translation yet – “drunk as a piper”.


I’d have to be dead drunk to eat a plate of that.

When you add potatoes to the list of ingredients, you’re probably thinking this is going to be a makgeolli that reaches the realm of amazing disasters. But, as far as I can tell, both cirsium setidens and potatoes are negligible in the final flavor. What comes through is a pleasingly rich and creamy flavor that shares something in common with a nice Greek yogurt. Despite being a bit on the watery side, this makgeolli tastes textured and leaves a pleasant coating on the tongue. Full disclosure: it does contain aspartame, which is a big letdown, but even this flavor has been seriously downplayed and nearly gets lost altogether in the tangy aftertaste.

You’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah, sell it more…” But, honestly, Gondurae is a real treat and I definitely would get it again in the future.

Carbonation: None.

Body: Medium thick.

Smell: Unassuming yogurt scent.

SCORE: 6/7

BREWERY: Jeongseonmyeongju (정선명주)


(It looks like the website has expired but you can find their Facebook page here:         

ORIGIN: Gangwon-do, Jeongseon-gun (강원도, 정선군)

PURCHASED: Seoul, COEX, Food Week Korea, Makgeolli Expo (서울)

AVAILABILITY: Limited to makgeolli houses at the moment. I expect it’s easier to find if you go to or live in the Gangwon-do region.


INGREDIENTS: Korean rice (89.7%), Jeongseon potatoes (10%), Jeongseon cirsium setidens (.3%), aspartame (.0009%)

VOLUME: 700 ml





3 thoughts on “Makgeolli #13 – Gondurae

  1. Hello Takjoo journals
    It’s Adam. As you are probably aware, I’m planning the K Blog awards with Taehoon from the Korea Observer. I was wondering if you had planned to attend the event.
    If so, please contact me or Taehoon. It is a charity event, so we’re charging 10 bucks at the door or ahead of time (all profits will go to Korean Unwed Mothers Family Association and Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary).
    We are gearing up for it to be a fun event there will be stand up comedy and music) and hope to have all of the people who have been making a great contribution to our community with us (that definitely includes you).
    That being said, it would be really appreciated if you would please RSVP the Facebook event, and invite some friends.
    Thanks in advance!
    -Adam, Taehoon, and the K-Blogger awards event team


  2. Pingback: Makgeolli #17 – Buyeo Yangsongi Makgeolli | takjoo journals

  3. Pingback: House #06 – Cafe Mare & Makgeolli 31 | takjoo journals

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