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…

Mi Mong Makgeolli

Makgeolli #61 – Mi Mong Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 미몽 막걸리 REVIEW: According to Kooksoondang’s website, Mi Mong means “The Dream of the Rice”. The poetic name, the glass bottle, the label illustrated like a classic East Asian painting you’ve seen in a museum—everything bespeaks an upmarket product that should be sipped not swilled. On the bottom of the label, you can even find…

Makgeolli Exports on the Rise

About every 4-6 months it is requisite that a news agency trot out statistics of how makgeolli exports are faring. An essential point of these articles is to compare current figures to those of the bygone era of 2011. From the Chosun Ilbo article: A wide range of new makgeolli products has captivated consumers in Korea,…

Korean Liquor Gets Its Own Award: K-Sool

Ah, the iTQis. Perhaps not as well known as the Oscars or the Grammys, but Belgium’s International Taste & Quality Institute awards are just as competitive. Even more so for liquor from the Land of the Morning Calm: Korean booze was unceremoniously (literally!) shunted into the sake category. That is, until earlier this month when the…

Kooksoondang Draught Makgeolli in Costco

From an article at Business Korea: “‘Kooksoondang (CEO Bae Jung-ho) announced on Oct. 12 that it has started selling Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli at two stores of Costco in Hsinchu and Xizhi in Taipei, Taiwan, from Oct. 2. This is the first time for Korean rice wine makgeolli to sell in overseas Costco stores…

Kooksoondang Ssal Makgeolli Canned

Makgeolli #46 – Kooksoondang Ssal Makgeolli (Canned)

KOREAN NAME: 국순당 쌀 막걸리 REVIEW: Your average canned makgeollis typically have two things in common: carbonation and cloying sweetness. Kooksoondang Ssal Makgeolli is an outlier, then, or at least further from the center. For starters, the carbonation is quite light; I usually prefer a brew with more, but in Kooksoondang Ssal’s case it seemed to fit the…

Yetnal Makgeolli

Makgeolli #33 – Yetnal Makgeolli

KOREAN NAME: 옛날 막걸리 REVIEW: To be completely honest, I didn’t like Yetnal the first time I had it a couple years ago. At that point my exposure to makgeolli was the “house” makgeolli (whatever that was) that I was drinking at my local joomak, or whatever was on hand at the corner store. In other words,…

Makgeolli Exports Increasing in Southeast Asia

From an article at The Chosun Ilbo: “Whereas exports of makgeolli to China and Japan have declined, shipments to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam continue to expand. Kooksoondang, which specializes in traditional and brewed beverages, said its exports of makgeolli to the region last year jumped 53 percent from 2013 to US$711,000.” Read the…