Ah, the iTQis. Perhaps not as well known as the Oscars or the Grammys, but Belgium’s International Taste & Quality Institute awards are just as competitive. Even more so for liquor from the Land of the Morning Calm: Korean booze was unceremoniously (literally!) shunted into the sake category. That is, until earlier this month when the Belgian competition added the K-Sool entry specifically for Korean liquor. From Kim Jee-Hee’s Korea Joongang Daily article:
“‘A separate category for K-Sool is meaningful in that Korea can introduce various Korean herbal liquor and fruit wines to the global market,’ said Hong Kyung-sun, a manager at Kooksoondang. ‘We hope many of our Korean liquor products can be awarded in international competitions and step into the world market along with the popularity of Korean foods.’
While the makgeolli category was created first, it took more time to establish a K-Sool category.
‘We first worked to establish a category under a well-known liquor type, which was makgeolli, and now we are trying to expand the category to K-Sool to include various other types of Korean liquor as well,’ said a spokesman from the company.
With iTQi as a start, Kooksoondang is looking forward to creating K-Sool categories in 20 other contests. Until now, the makgeolli category has been established in 10 international competitions, including iTQi in Belgium, the International Wine & Spirit competition held in the United Kingdom and the New York International Wine competition in the United States.”
Read the whole Korea Joongang Daily article here.