KOREAN NAME: 담은 막걸리
REVIEW: Sometimes you make exceptions. Baehyejeong Doga’s Horangi Makgeolli and Kooksoondang’s Yetnal Makgeolli are good examples of exception bottles; they deserve middling recommendations but not much beyond that. The big sticking point, of course, is what they’re made with. Although these brews don’t use aspartame, they do have sweeteners: Horangi has erythritol and Yetnal has fructose. So, when I saw fructose on the ingredients list for Pocheon Ildong’s Dameun, I was willing to give it a go.
Now, Dameun may be makgeolli but you’d never know it through the jaw-clenching sweetness. Honestly, it was like drinking a bag of Kraft marshmallows. My friends, I strayed from the path and I have no one but myself to blame.
This is a shame because Pocheon Ildong clearly sees where the craft wind is blowing in the sool world. Yes, Dameun comes in a plastic bottle but it’s gussied up with a unique logo, a bit of fancy paper tied over the cap à la the handmade goods plied in Park Slope, and even the word Premium is printed right on the bottle in case the other signs were too subtle. Talking the talk is great but it’s just fluff if the brew sucks. And ₩12,000 is a steep price for a bad bottle of booze.
Appearance: Milky white.
Scent: Chalky, dusty, marshmallow.
Body: Creamy and smooth.
RATING: Not recommended
BREWERY: 1932 Pocheon Ildong Makgeolli (1932 포천 일동 막걸리)
ORIGIN: Gyeonggi-do, Pocheon, Ildong-myeon (경기도, 포천시, 일동면)
PURCHASED: Seoul, Express Bus Terminal, Shinsegae Department Store (서울, 고속 터미널, 신세계) ₩12,000
AVAILABILITY: In addition to Shinsegae, you’re starting to see this one here and there at joomaks.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 6%
INGREDIENTS: Purified water, Korean rice, koji, yeast, high fructose, purified enzymes
VOLUME: 750 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (Shelf-life 30 days)
NOTES: Dameun belongs to 1932 Pocheon Ildong’s “Premium Collection”. Other brews in the line include a Peanut & New Rice Makgeolli and a Peanut & Black Rice Makgeolli.