Produced by the Busan Sanseong Brewery, Ssal Tak lacks the bite of some of the brewery’s other offerings which, in my opinion, rank among some of the best. The first gulp actually has a decent enough taste, if a little sweet, but it lacks the body of a ‘top 10’ rice wine and ends up feeling quite thin and watery. It’s far from being a terrible makgeolli and if it was as readily available as a Jangsoo or Saeng Tak then all could be forgiven but unfortunately it is quite difficult to locate and in all honesty it struggles to be worth the pursuit unless you enjoy being the Indiana Jones of Makgeolli hunting.
The company itself has quite an interesting history which goes back almost 100 yrs in one form or another, although it’s probably been the last 20ys or so that have seen it re-emerge as a major player in the rice wine market. They have also managed to corner a large part of the export makgeolli market and their rice wines are found all over Japan. The company has a vision to see themselves not only as one of Korea’s number one makgeolli producers but also to try and return the “glory days” of makgeolli itself. If they are to achieve their dreams they will probably achieve them through some of their other products as, for me, Ssal Tak is a little too sweet, a little too fizzy and a little too watery.
- Busan’s now “premium” local rice wine
- Expect to pay around 1500W in a Hanaro Mart
- Goes well with most things but always good with jeon
- Alcohol – 6%