Produced near Chilgapsan Mountain in the 충청남도 area, Dodeok Makgeolli has quite a thin body but what is might lack in ‘thickness’ it definitely makes up for in taste. It has both a strong aroma and taste and you are left in no doubt that you are drinking something made from a root. The taste is incredibly bitter with you jaws and taste-buds getting exercised with every sip you take. It kind of mad me think about the famous Simpsons episode where the rival village of Shelbyville are resigned to drinking turnip juice after a plot to steal Springfield’s lemon tree fails. That being said Dodeok Makgeolli is a lot more enjoyable to drink than a cup of turnip juice, you just have to prepare yourself for the bitterness.
Made by the Arirang Brewery, they use Deodeok harvested from around Chilpgasan mountain. It is ever so slightly promoted as a “healthier rice wine” due to the claims that deodeok is good for your stomach and kidney, but then again most things in Korea seem to be good for your health. According to their CEO the makgeolli tastes stronger the more you ’tilt’ the glass which I will assume is a cunning Marketing ploy to get you to drink more. Chilgapsan itself is famous, apparently, for it’s Ice Fountain Festival which runs from December to February each year. Having read the blurb for the festival I can, unfortunately, confirm that there is no makgeolli tasting tent but you can try your hand (pardon the pun) of catching some local fish bare-handed. I actually tried this many years ago and almost got hypothermia so maybe only stay in the water for 60 seconds and not 3 minutes like I did.
- A strong smelling and bitter tasting makgeolli
- Available at Hanaro Mart (Yangjae) for 1700W for 1200ml.
- Perfect on a hot and humid summer’s night
- Alcohol – 6%