KOREAN NAME: 국순당 쌀 막걸리
REVIEW: Your average canned makgeollis typically have two things in common: carbonation and cloying sweetness. Kooksoondang Ssal Makgeolli is an outlier, then, or at least further from the center. For starters, the carbonation is quite light; I usually prefer a brew with more, but in Kooksoondang Ssal’s case it seemed to fit the flavor well. As for the sweetness, yes, this makgeolli does include aspartame, but the brewers have found a balance of bitter, sour, and sweet flavors that is rare in these sorts of makgeollis. It was difficult even to discern any metallic quality to the aftertaste.
Kooksoondang Ssal is far from a good brew but you could do worse in the canned makgeolli department. And it comes in a charming, itty-bitty can for when you, uh… need a quick sip of makgeolli on your lunch break?
Smell: Vanilla, yogurty, tapioca pudding.
BREWERY: Kooksoondang Brewery Co. (국순당)
Follow this link to read Kooksoondang’s English description for Kooksoondang Ssal.
ORIGIN: Gangwon-do, Hoengseong-gun (강원도, 회성군)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Dongdaemun-gu, HUFS Station, Lotte Market 999 (서울, 동대문구, 외대앞)
AVAILABILITY: Kooksoondang Ssal can be found at all three major supermarkets—E-Mart, Lotte Mart, and Homeplus—as well as at the occasional convenience store and corner store.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: Korean rice (100%), aspartame (.011%)
VOLUME: 240 ml / 350 ml (can)
OTHER FACTS: Kooksoondang Ssal comes in a bottled version (also pasteurized) that is easy to find at any of the major supermarkets.