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…

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,…

Duru Samseon Takju

Sool #69 – Duru Samseon Takju

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…

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…

Songhwaju

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…

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,…