KOREAN NAME: 여주 생 쌀 옛날 누룩 막걸리
REVIEW: Other than having one of the most cumbersome brand names out there, Yeoju Saeng Ssal Yetnal Nuruk Makgeolli (YSSYN), more importantly, is in that select club of makgeollis that prides itself on having all natural ingredients. In fact, it only has three: rice, nuruk, and water.
The taste bears this out. Unlike the saccharine-tasting bottles available most places, YSSYN has a dry, fizzy bite that might make you do a double-take. The sour note on the end makes your mouth pucker a tad and then it fades sour-bitter (and bitter-sour) almost like a very dry beer.
My friend who tried it with me said that it wasn’t high up on his list when we first cracked the bottle. But, by the end, he appreciated the complexity more and more. I think part of this is retraining the mindset that makgeolli is always super sweet; it seems like a no-brainer but, just like beer, wine, and other fermented beverages, makgeolli truly runs the gamut in terms of flavor. So, while it’s true that YSSYN’s dry palate will not be adored by all, it is one of the brews that’s worth seeking out.
On a side note, I picked up this bottle when I was talking to the Wooki J., the owner of Makgeolli Hakkyo. I was asking about his aspartame-free makgeolli, and he pressed this bottle into my hands, telling me YSSYN was one of his favorites. High praise from a guy whose business it is to bring quality makgeolli to the public.
Body: Thick and lots of froth.
Smell: Pungent, chalky smell. Dusty with hints of banana and mustard.
BREWERY: Yeoju Jujojang (여주 주조장)
ORIGINS: Gyeonggi-do, Yeoju, Buknae-myeon (경기도, 여주시, 북내면)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Dongjak-gu, Sadang-dong, Isu Station, Makgeolli Hakkyo (서울, 동작구, 사당동, 이수역, 막걸리 학교)
AVAILABILITY: The only place I’ve encountered this bottle is at Makgeolli Hakkyo in the Isu Station area.
And, while it seems Yeoju Jujojang does not have an internet presence, Takjoo Journals found a Daum Café post that has contact details if you want to order YSSYN and have it shipped. 20 bottles go for ₩39,000. You can also check the picture below for more details.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 7%
INGREDIENTS: Korean rice (80%), yeast (20%)
VOLUME: 750 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (30-day shelf life)