Makgeolli #48 – Paju Takju Saeng Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 파주 탁주 생 막걸리

REVIEW: Stopping off at Paju after a trip to the DMZ, I wanted to pick up a bottle of the local stuff. Paju Takju caught my eye because it doesn’t use aspartame, something rare among small brewers. Which is not to say this bottle is faultless—in addition to being made with imported rice, Paju Takju is sweetened with sodium saccharin. (On a side note, Pocheon Ssal is the only other makgeolli I’ve seen use this sweetener.)

Despite these caveats, Jusikhoesa Paju Takju Brewery seems to have struck a right balance of ingredients. The musty nuruk flavor is present, adding a slight bitterness but not overpowering the tangy-sweetness.  The flavor is paired well with the carbonation and thickness of the mouthfeel.

It’s a shame this bottle isn’t more readily available in Korea. I wouldn’t make a special trip to Paju for this brew, but I would certainly choose it over most supermarket products.

Carbonation: Medium to high carbonation.

Body: Medium thickness. Yellow particulate matter float in otherwise normal looking makgeolli.

Smell: A slight, bitter nuruk scent.

SCORE: 4/7

BREWERY: Jusikhoesa Paju Takju (주식회사 파주탁주)


ORIGIN: Gyeonggi-do, Paju (경기도, 파주시)

PURCHASED: Gyeonggi-do, Paju, Imjingak Village (경기도, 파주시, 임진각)

AVAILABILITY: I have yet to see Paju Takju in Seoul but it seems readily available in Paju.


INGREDIENTS: purified water, imported rice, puffed rice, Australian and American wheat, extracted enzymes, yeast, purified enzymes, sodium saccharin

VOLUME: 750 ml

PASTEURIZED: No (20-day shelf life)

Paju Takju Saeng Makgeolli

Paju Takju Saeng Makgeolli


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