KOREAN NAME: 가평잣 생막걸리
REVIEW: A couple of years ago I remember trying Gapyeong Pine Nut (or Gapyeong Jat as it’s called in Korean) and the nutty flavor really put me off. No surprises as jat (잣) is the Korean word for pine nut. Since then, I’ve avoided it even if it meant getting Seoul Jangsoo or something else blech. But, as it can be found at most E-Marts, Lotte Marts, Homepluses, and a number of convenience stores and corner stores, it was simply ineluctable. Let me mix things up by talking about what I didn’t like before I talk about its good points.
The Bad: Woorisool does use aspartame but the aftertaste is more bedeviled by the pine nut flavoring than the additives. My mouth tasted like jat a good 30 minutes after I finished drinking…
The Good: Aftertaste aside, the pine nut flavor is surprisingly subtle while you’re actually drinking; in fact, it adds a velvety softness to the taste which I found to be kind of pleasant.
In the end, I wouldn’t recommend Gapyeong Jat but it’s better than many of the other low-end competitors. How’s that for a back-handed compliment?
Smell: What this brew lacks in pine nut flavor, it makes up for in the scent. Not that it’s overwhelming but it does dominate the sour, boozy notes of the typical makgeolli smell.
BREWERY: Woorisool (우리술)
ORIGIN: Gyeonggi-do, Gapyeong-gun (경기도, 가평군)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Keondae, E-Mart (서울, 건대입구)
AVAILABILITY: See THOUGHTS section.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: Purified water, imported rice, rice koji, Gapyeong pine nut (.12%), 효모 yeast, purified enzymes, iso-oligosaccharide, aspartame, acesulfame potassium
VOLUME: 750 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (Shelf-life 30 days)
OTHER FACTS: Woorisool also makes a brew called Gapyeong Jat Haebssal 1872 which uses haebssal, or new rice, as opposed to the ssal, or regular rice, that is used in this bottle review. I’ve yet to see it in stores but you can find 1872 listed on the website.