Cheonbihyang Yakju

Sool #71 – Cheonbihyang Yakju

KOREAN NAME: 천비향 약주 THOUGHTS: Two years ago, I started branching out from makgeolli, looking for what sool lay beyond. One of my first finds on this foray was a cheongju called Gotaek Chapssal Saengju, and simply put, I was blown away. Gotaek rapidly became a staple on nights out: boozy, tasty, and infinitely drinkable. And then…

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,…

Dameun Makgeolli

Sool #68 – Dameun Makgeolli

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…

Miinju

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…

100% Handmade Makgeolli

Sool #66 – Soola Makgeolli (aka 100% Handmade)

KOREAN NAME: 술아 막걸리 REVIEW: Like a makgeolli noob, I shook the hell out of my bottle of Soolawon’s 100% Handmade in order to integrate the sediment into the rest of the brew. Makgeolli Volcano, my flashback to a middle school science project, was a sticky reminder that most makgeolli is carbonated. Despite the clean-up job, it was…

Miin Takju

Sool #64 – Miin Takju

KOREAN NAME: 미인 탁주 REVIEW: There’s something about the simplicity and elegance of Miin’s label that grabs my attention every time I see it. It reminds me of one of those illegible chops that you see on Korean documents. But instead of being chunky-square lines, Miin has intersecting webs of swoops and swirls to form its hanja,…

Jarasum Makgeolli Festival 2016

Jarasum Makgeolli Festival 2016: Review

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For some that’s Christmas, but for makgeolli lovers (at least those in the northern hemisphere) the temperatures are cooling, making for better brewing conditions, and makgeolli festivals abound. These days, it seems there may not be an event in the land that can compare to the spectacle…

2016 Fall Makgeolli Events

2016 Fall Makgeolli Events

UPDATED 9.27 The summer temperatures are receding and the leaves are changing color. This can only mean one thing: MAKGEOLLI FESTIVALS! Strangely enough, there has not been too much buzz (or even information) about certain events listed here so if you see something you’re interested in, be sure to check back regularly for updates. JARASUM MAKGEOLLI…