Boasting over 50yrs of brewing craftsmanship, Taehwaro (태화루) would appear to be the favourite makgeolli among the locals of Ulsan. It is a little similar in body to Busan’s Seangtak (review here) although it does earn a 2nd place when it comes to taste comparisons. Taehwaro has a rather mild taste and while not bland it wouldn’t hold it’s own in a makgeolli “Pepsi challenge”. Taehwaro also only comes in at 5.5% alcohol content which might explain why Ulsan is the powerhouse of Korean industry with some of the largest factories in the world and the country’s least hungover employees.
The rather happy gent adoring the bottle is Lee Man-ki the former National Ssireum (Korean wrestling) champion who, when not promoting makgeolli seems to enjoy running in General Elections, albeit with considerably less success than in the wrestling “ring”. Surprisingly made with non-Korean rice it has a pretty short shelf-life of around a week so make sure you have space in the stomach and not the fridge when you pick up a bottle or three.
- Ulsan’s local rice wine
- Price varies but expect around 1500
- Goes well with pa-jeon (spring onion pancake) and hiking.
- Alcohol – 5.5%