KOREAN NAME: 두루 삼선 탁주
REVIEW: I first came across Duru Brewery at the 15th Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo. One sip of their sool and I knew I had found my new brewery of the con.
Based in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do, Duru Brewery is in good company; two Takjoo Journals favorites—Midam Brewery and Ye-sul Brewery—also call Hongcheon home. Duru keeps it simple with three brews: Samseon Takju, Samseonju, which is a cheongju, and a buckwheat soju.
Now, I should say that I drank my bottle nearly two months after the best-by date. While takju definitely changes flavor the longer it sits, it doesn’t mean you need to pitch your bottle. Some brews develop and become more complex over time. However, keep in mind, this is a qualified review.
All that being said, Samseon is one of the most interesting takjus I’ve had in a while. The richness in flavor is immediately noticeable. The 10% alcohol content and carbonation only serve to intensify the mouthwatering finish.
There are a couple negatives to point out. First, your mileage may vary on Samseon as it is quite sweet. Despite not having any artificial sweeteners, the sugar content makes for a very sharp aftertaste. It’s not a deal-breaker. However, it makes for a nice brew to taste but not to drink over a long period. (Again, this could be a result of having kept this brew so long after the best-by date.) Second, a bottle of takju runs you ₩20,000. This is not outrageous for a quality product but it might give you pause when you consider a bottle of perfectly good Neurin Maeul is a mere ₩3,000.
Appearance: Tan yellow. Lots of sediment. Oily surface.
Scent: Honey and pears. Nuruk scent is very mild, almost non-existent.
Body: Thick and rich.
BREWERY: Duru (두루주식회사)
ORIGIN: Gangwon-do, Hongcheon-gu, Naechon-myeon (강원도, 홍천군, 내촌면)
AVAILABILITY: I haven’t seen this one out in the wild. Your best bet is to call (070.4156.9090) or order online. You will have to create a login ID first, however. Also, the takju is sold as a set with the Duru Seoktanju. The set is ₩40,000.
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 10%
INGREDIENTS: Gangwon-do Hongcheon rice (34%), nuruk (2%), purified water
VOLUME: 500 ml
PASTEURIZED: No (Shelf-life 30 days)
NOTES: Duru also offers a yakju/cheongju called Duru Seoktanju (두루 석탄주). It’s sold as a set with Samseon Takju. I believe they also had a soju at SIWSE but it doesn’t appear to be available on the site. If you’re looking for none booze options, they have three kinds of vinegar (식초) drinks.