KOREAN NAME: 제주 오메기술
REVIEW: Wandering through various department store liquor corners, a certain bottle with interesting star-burst patterns has popped up again and again. I finally decided to take a chance on Jeju Omegisul yakju and see if the taste lives up to the attractive packaging.
Now, I should say there is a lot of Double-Dare Booze in Korea—stuff that you drink not because you’re going to like it but because your personal character and the honor of your homeland are at stake. Bee-infused soju, cheongju aged in bamboo, bottles with incoherent symbols that you’ve only ever seen at one store, an aluminum bowl filled with some brown slop cooled with a floating brick of ice (should have taken a picture – damn!), and the list goes on. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve lived in Korea (or anywhere in Asia for that matter) because you too, my friend, have been dared.
Jeju Omegisul is not a Double-Dare Booze because it is simply not weird enough. But it’s not great either. The initial sip is quite sharp and dry but that mellows into a wheaty flavor before some slightly fruity notes come forward. The aftertaste is quite a bit smoother than you’d expect: in fact, Omegisul disappears quickly with a faint sweetness. All that sounds fine and good but the sum of its parts are wanting and, while I’m content to finish what’s left, I don’t need to save face for myself or for America by drinking another bottle of Jeju Omegisul.
Appearance: Translucent, pale yellow.
Smell: Astringent, acetone, a bit like a dry sake but more intense.
Body: Thin but with a sharp bite.
BREWERY: Jeju Saemju (제주 샘주)
ORIGIN: Jeju-do, Jeju (제주도, 제주시)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Express Bus Terminal, Shinsegae Department Store (서울, 고속 터미널, 신세계)
AVAILABILITY: Although you probably won’t find Jeju Omegisul at your local joomak, you can get it at Shinsegae or other similar retail outlets. Retail is approximately ₩25,000.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 15%
INGREDIENTS: Korean rice, Korean perilla (a kind of grain used in Korean cooking), various traditional medicinal herbs (i.e., cheongho, baby bamboo, and licorice), nuruk, koji, yeast, purified enzymes, fructose, purified water
VOLUME: 750 ml
PASTEURIZED: Yes (Shelf-life 18 months)
OTHER FACTS: Jeju Saemju also sells a 375ml bottle of Omegisul that is 13% ABV.