KOREAN NAME: 세종대왕 어주 약주
REVIEW: After lots of disappointment with the brews on offer at COEX’s Food Week Korea 2015, I was pleasantly surprised to run into “traditional liquor teacher” Jang Jung-su, the owner and master brewer behind Jangheui Doga. Jang explained that Jangheui has two main brews, a Yakju and Takju (read: makgeolli) both under the name Sejong Dewang Eoju (SDE).
I picked up a bottle of Yakju, and then forgot it in my fridge for the next four months. Which means, the brew I finally tasted for this review was about two weeks over its 90-day shelf-life. Fortunately, I don’t think it mattered one jot as SDE Yakju was delicious! The first sip feels a bit acidic but the more I drank, the more that first sip became a sweet wash of booze—alcohol, is that you?—while undercut by a hint of that apple-cider vinegar-like acidity. The finish is oaky and robust for a moment (it is 15% ABV) but then it all just melts away.
It’s a shame that SDE Yakju is not more readily available; I think it would make a strong addition to any yakju/cheongju bar.
Body: Translucent yellow coloring with a light, sour-sweet body.
Smell: Apple cider vinegar, grape, acidic.
BREWERY: Jangheui Doga (장희 도가)
ORIGIN: Chungcheong-do, Cheongwon-gun (충청북도, 청원군)
PURCHASED: Seoul, COEX, Food Week Korea 2015, Makgeolli Expo (서울)
Retail is around ₩13,000.
AVAILABILITY: Sejong Dewang Eoju Yakju and Takju (see Note section) can be ordered here.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 15%
INGREDIENTS: organic Korean rice, nuruk, purified water
VOLUME: 500 ml
PASTEURIZED: Yes (90-day shelf-life)
NOTE: Jangheui’s Takju comes in a 500 ml bottle and is 13% ABV.