Soola Soongokju

Sool #70 – Soola Soongokju (Winter)

KOREAN NAME: 술아 순곡주 (겨울) REVIEW: From an outsider’s perspective, Soolawon does everything possible to set their brews apart from other premium sool producers. Yes, they make makgeolli and cheongju and they also attend the big events but that’s about where the comparisons stop. Soolawon, from website to product, takes great care to craft a refined, stylish,…


Sool #67 – Miinju

KOREAN NAME: 미인주 REVIEW: Miinju is the cheongju—or yakju, if you prefer—from Miin Takju. But that is really where the connection stops as Miinju is far above its takju counterpart. In many ways, it checks all the boxes for a smooth drinking cheongju. It’s boozy but not intense; flavorful but not weird or overbearing; and a pleasant…


Thai Sato

THAI NAME: Thai Sato REVIEW: While I was stuck taking care of the Takjoo Hound, Mrs. Takjoo and her mom traipsed off to Thailand for a week. But, even though I didn’t get to eat my weight in phat kaphrao or drink out of a coconut the size of my head, they were kind enough to bring me back…


Sool #65 – Midam Songhwaju

KOREAN NAME: 송화주 약주 REVIEW: From reading my review of Midam Yeonyeob Seoktanju, it’s clear that I am an unapologetic fan of Midam’s sool. After all, there’s a lot to appreciate. She runs a family owned and operated brewery dedicated to making small batches of high-end brews that are all variations on the juk, or porridge, recipe…

Jeju Omegisul

Sool #60 – Jeju Omegisul

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.

Pungjeong Sagye

Sool #59 – Pungjeong Sagye Chun

KOREAN NAME: 풍정 사계 춘 REVIEW: Pungjeong Sagye Chun (PSC) cheongju is one of the unexpectedly delightful finds that I came across at COEX’s Wines & Spirits Expo 2016. Hwayang’s booth was not ostentatious, nor did they make an overt effort to attract visitors. Even after stopping and asking for a sample, the rep at the booth simply let PSC do…

Sejong Daewang Eoju Yakju

Sool #55 – Sejong Daewang Eoju Yakju

  KOREAN NAME: 세종대왕 어주 약주 REVIEW: After lots of disappointment with the brews on offer at COEX’s Food Week Korea 2015, I was pleasantly surprised to run into “traditional liquor teacher” Jang Jung-su, the owner and master brewer behind Jangheui Doga. Jang explained that Jangheui has two main brews, a Yakju and Takju (read: makgeolli)…

Jirisan Gookhwaju

Sool #54 – Jirisan Gookhwaju

  KOREAN NAME: 지리산 국화주 REVIEW: Curious bottles that I’ve never seen before make me both excited and circumspect. And more often than not, my hesitancy is confirmed with a bad bottle. Jirisan Gookhwaju isn’t bad, per se, but it is firmly in the camp of weird Korean booze that you would drink on a dare…

Gotaek Chapssal Saengju

Sool #51 – Gotaek Chapssal Saengju

KOREAN NAME: 고택 찹쌀 생주 REVIEW: For my birthday, I took my friends over to Sool Gaeguri (술 개구리) in the Hapjeong/Sangsu area for—you know it—makgeolli. One of the bottles we ordered was a bit different. Only 500 ml but packing a high ABV-punch of 13.5%, we weren’t sure what to expect from Gotaek Chapssal Saengju other…

Ugok-ju Makgeolli

Sool #47 – Ugok-ju

KOREAN NAME: 우곡주 REVIEW: I must have poor beginner’s luck. The first two Bae Hyejeong Doga Brewery (BHD) bottles I tried were execrable, while the last two—Horangi and now Ugok-ju—have been nothing short of delightful. The BHD English website calls Ugok-ju “The absolute premium rice wine”. The fancy glass bottle and simple but classic design of the label…