KOREAN NAME: 장수 생 막걸리
REVIEW: With all the interesting, new, and even hard-to-come-by bottles that are available in Seoul, it’s easy to overlook the unremarkable green bottle perched in every convenience store, corner store, and supermarket you go to. But I knew for that very reason, I couldn’t put it off forever – I had to talk about Jangsoo.
I have a love-hate relationship with this makgeolli. I say love because it was probably the first makgeolli I ever tasted. At the time, I remember being blown away by how different makgeolli was compared to other things I’d tasted. (The only exception would be a type of Japanese alcohol called nigori, or 濁り.) But, like any food or drink you try for the first time, if you haven’t really tasted much, it’s hard to say what’s good or bad.
Now, I can say with certainty – and here’s where the hate part comes in – Jangsoo is a bad makgeolli. The body is fine – could be fizzier and thicker – but the sickly sweetness is the real deal breaker. God knows how much aspartame is in this makgeolli but it dominates everything from the first sip to the aftertaste. Jangsoo’s slogan on their website provides a different perspective: “Carefully Selected Ingredients, Traditional Tast”. Traditional Tast, indeed…
Jangsoo is the flagship bottle for Seoul Jangsoo with Walmae (my review here) a close second. They recently put out a canned makgeolli aimed at women with the inscrutable name Ee:FF, as well as a ginseng makgeolli called Janghongsam Jangsoo Makgeolli.
Smell: Slightly sour.
BREWERY: Seoul Jangsoo (서울 장수)
ORIGIN: Seoul (서울)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Gwangjin-gu, GS Supermarket (서울, 광진구)
AVAILABILITY: (See THOUGHTS section.)
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: imported rice, iso-maltooligosaccharide, aspartame
VOLUME: 750 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (Shelf-life of 10 days)