KOREAN NAME: 경주법주 쌀 막걸리
REVIEW: Despite this makgeolli’s prevalence, I think I’ve long had it on the backburner because, frankly, it’s a pretty ugly bottle. With the lame milky-looking rings trailing from the white center image and the overload of hand-scrawled script, it just seems like Gyeongju Beobju (GB) is trying too hard. But a makgeolli is much more than its bottle, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that GB is quite good for a pasteurized brew.
The flavor is a basic, chalky-sour affair that is refreshing in its simplicity. Another point worth noting: stevia (not aspartame) is used as a sweetener, although sparingly, making GB slightly drier than its pasteurized competitors. Although I don’t think it compares to Baesangmyun’s Woorissal Sinseon (my review here), it comes in a close second and a point in its favor is that it is probably easier to find than Sinseon.
Smell: A bit chalky and sour.
BREWERY: Gyeongju Beobju (경주법주)
ORIGIN: Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongju (경상북도, 경주시)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Gwangjin-gu, E-Mart (서울, 광진구)
AVAILABILITY: This bottle is pretty easy to find: in addition to E-Mart, I’ve seen it at Home Plus and a number of smaller vendors.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: purified water, Korean rice (15.41%), glucose tablets, Korean wheat nuruk, stevia enzyme treatment, leavened yeast, lactate, extracted enzymes, nitrous carbohydrate
VOLUME: 750 ml