Makgeolli #22 – Carbonated Rice Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 쌀 막걸리

REVIEW: In a time when the majority of mass-produced makgeollis sweeten their brews with aspartame, it is totally refreshing – even surprising – to see a producer buck the trend and look for other options. Dong Jin Brewery is doing just that, however, and with a canned makgeolli to boot!

Rather than aspartame, Carbonated Rice Makgeolli (I know, a terribly uninspired name) uses stevia for sweetening purposes. The only other makgeolli I’ve encountered that uses this is DaeDaePo Blue Label (my review here). (On a side note, I realized that both makgeollis have the faint scent and flavor of banana which must be due to the stevia.) Unlike the subtle but complex flavors in DaeDaePo, however, Carbonated Rice Makgeolli has gone stevia to eleven and thus suffers from being way too sweet.

It’s a shame because there’s a lot of potential for Dong Jin’s first canned makgeolli: It’s got a full body that is creamy and has a bit of carbonation which makes it feel and taste like a quality product. Dong Jin, if you’re reading this silly hobbyhorse of a blog, ease up on the stevia, get a good name, put a little effort into making the can look good, and do a bit of marketing. You could easily take the reins from Icing Grapefruit.

Carbonation: For having the word carbonated in the English name, this makgeolli isn’t as bubbly as other canned brews.

Body: Thick with a lot of particulate. It needs to be given a lengthy shake. Just be gentle.

Smell: The faintly discernible scent is very sweet smelling with just a hint of banana.

SCORE: 3/7

BREWERY: Dong Jin (동진합동주조장)

WEBSITE: www.dongjinwine.co.kr

ORIGIN: Jeollabuk-do, Buin-gun (전라북도, 부인군)

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

AVAILABILITY: As Carbonated Rice Makgeolli isn’t listed on the website, Dong Jin may have just been testing the canned-makgeolli waters at Food Week Korea. I certainly haven’t encountered it anywhere else.

ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%

INGREDIENTS: Korean rice (100%), stevioside (.002%), sucralose (.001%)

VOLUME: 350 ml (can)

PASTEURIZED: Yes

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