KOREAN NAME: 미담 연엽 생탁주
REVIEW: In terms of the blog, my biggest regret of the past year is that I did not review one Midam brew. There are some breweries making truly wonderful concoctions these days but, in my estimation, when considering the pinnacle of both interesting and delicious brews, you’d be right in thinking Midam is one of the best if not the top.
It appears their basic recipe is a seoktanju. This is an iyangju (이양주), or two-stage brewing method. You can learn more about this method by reading about my failed attempt.
Midam adds a new twist to their Seoktanju entry by adding lotus leaves to the brewing process. You might be thinking, “This is another one of them double-dare bottles Takjoo Journals has warned me about.” But I’m telling you, unless you have a more sensitive palate than mine, or you know what the Korean word yeonyeob means, you won’t even realize lotus leaf has touched your lips.
Otherwise, Midam Yeonyeob Saeng Takju is a brew that is rich, creamy, pleasantly sweet, and a must try for anyone who enjoys sool. When we tasted it at the Jarasum Makgeolli Festival, the brightness of the sugars were more up front, but certainly not in an overbearing way. On the contrary, a recently brewed bottle is absolutely delicious. However, I kept my bottle in the fridge for a couple weeks after the 60-day period, and the brew had transformed to something more complex than what I had tried at the festival—slightly more bitter and sour, and the mustard notes stood out more. So, keep in mind that, even though the brew is sealed and in your fridge, the flavors will continue to change and it will still be incredible.
Appearance: Thick and ivory in color.
Smell: Sweet, vegetal, and with a hint of pineapple and mustard.
Body: Creamy without being too thick.
BREWERY: Midam Brewery (미단 양조장)
ORIGIN: Gangwon-do, Hongcheon-gun (강원도, 홍천군)
PURCHASED: Gyeonggi-do, Gapyeong-gun, Jarasum, Jarasum Makgeolli Festival (경기도, 가평군, 자라섬)
AVAILABILITY: Your only choice is to buy Midam from an upscale joomak or to purchase directly from their site.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 12%
INGREDIENTS: 100% Korean non-glutinous rice, 100% Korean glutinous rice, lotus leaf, nuruk, purified water
VOLUME: 500 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (Shelf-life 60 days)
OTHER NOTES: Midam also offers their classic Seoktanju and a yakju called Songhwaju (송화주), which is brewed with pine needles.