Esquire’s Guide to Korean Alcohol

Hello, again! It’s been a fairly long hiatus since the last post but there was not much newsworthy to report. Until, that is, the recent article on Korean sool in… Esquire?! Is this the tipping point? Has sool arrived in the US? Until Korean alcohol brewing parallels the kimchi-making craze that stormed places with such urbane…

Cheongjinju Yakju

Sool #75 – Cheongjinju Yakju

KOREAN NAME: 청진주 약주 REVIEW: If you attended the 3rd Jarasum Makgeolli Festival earlier this year, you may have noticed that under the same tent where the makgeolli-making classes were held, tucked behind the tables showcasing all the different bottles present at the festival, was a small corner for Cheongjinju, a yakju from the exquisitely named…

Miin Ahwang Yakju

Sool #74 – Ahwang Yakju

KOREAN NAME: 아황 약주 REVIEW: So far, the site has reviewed two bottles from Miin Brewery. Miin Takju, while not bad, is fairly forgettable apart from being a bit on the dry side. Miinju doesn’t stand out much either, but of the three, it’s probably the most balanced—the bottle to reach for if you’re looking for something for…

Makgeolli Pairing… Information?

The Chosun Ilbo’s dishing out the hot takes on what you should eat when you enjoy your favorite drink and not even makgeolli is safe. Sources? No. Scientific evidence? Who cares! Pie chart, trending data, or graph of any kind? No need! According to The Chosun Ilbo article, makgeolli should never be paired with it’s…

Third Anniversary

Takjoo Journals’ Third Anniversary

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES A third year of the blog (THIRD!) has come and gone, making it time for the obligatory anniversary post. You may have noticed this year’s post is coming a couple weeks late as there has been a big development in my life: I’ve left Korea and returned to my native desert! It’s a sad…

Duru Seoktanju

Sool #73 – Duru Seoktanju

KOREAN NAME: 두루 석탄주 REVIEW: As I mentioned in my review for Duru Samseon Takju, the one and only time I have encountered Duru Brewery was at the 15th Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo earlier this year. It’s a shame because Duru has something special and I’m guessing most people have never heard of them. It…

Jaheehyang Gookhwaju

Sool #72 – Jaheehyang Gookhwaju

KOREAN NAME: 자희향 국화주 REVIEW: Jaheehyang is on a shortlist of brewers (Midam, Joeunsul, and Ye-sul are the others that round off that list) that I turn to when I want to introduce people to sool beyond the decent store-bought stuff like Neurin Maeul or Yetnal. I already sang Jaheehyang’s praises when I reviewed their takju but…

Makgeolli: Korea’s Specialty Liquor

British publication The Independent published an article about a couple months ago that managed to fly under my radar. But, as I’m a sucker for any article that tries to broaden makgeolli’s audience, I couldn’t resist. Here are a few choice excerpts from Angela Son and Joan Vos Macdonald’s article in The Independent: Freshly brewed…

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…