Seobaeksan Makgeolli is definitely one of my favorites, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste and is a little thicker than ‘Jangsoo style’ ricewines which is always a plus in my book as I often find the more watery makgeolli to also be pretty tasteless. It has no carbonation and is a slightly darker yellow colour than a lot of other ricewines. It is often referred to as the ‘ajossi makgeolli’ which I’m not sure is to do with the clientele who drink it or its bitterness 🙂
Made by the Daegang Yangjojang Brewery, Seobaeksan is generally found in good makgeolli and jeon restaurants and if you are lucky enough to live near a fantastically stocked Mart then you will should find a bottle or two loitering in their fridges. It goes amazingly well with both gamja-jeon (potato) and kimchi-jeon. The bottle in the photo above was bought in the exceptional Mapo Fisheries Market, a ‘makgeolli hunt’ you can watch in the YouTube clip below.
Baekam Makgeolli has no carbonation whatsoever, which is ideal as it needs a little bit of a shake to mix it properly. It is an incredibly smooth ricewine to drink and is really light and you could easily spend a night drinking bottle after bottle as it is one of those drinks that you don’t want the bottle to finish. it is a little chalky in colour but with no aftertaste. I think the best way to describe is as the makgeolli equivalent to eating a Galaxy chocolate bar. Continue reading #77. Yongin Baekam Makgeolli (용인 백암 생 막걸리)
Young-tak probably needs no introductions as it has quickly swept Korea over the last year or so. It smells like it will be quite sour but it’s actually surprising quite sweet. It is a really smooth makgeolli to drink and like a Jangsoo or a Saengtak is a multiple bottle rice wine that you could definitely drink several of over a session. They interestingly started off with clear bottles but seem to have joined others like Jipyeong and switched to white PET, the reason for this is to allow the bottles to be reused several times..yeah I know!!!
Young-tak was basically created after a contestant on the Chosun TV program Mr.Trot won one of the rounds by copying an old Trot song called ‘Makgeolli Hanjang’. He went on to finish 2nd in the competition, became an overnight superstar and thus the makgeolli was born. When it was first launched you could only buy it via the brewery’s website which was either the greatest Marketing in history or a complete oversight as to how popular it would become. It’s now available in most supermarkets and convenience stores which is kind of a shame as it has now lost a little of its elusiveness and its mystery.
It’s a little weak tasting and you could really be drinking a cup of anything as there’s no corn smell or taste. It’s also really light and quite watery with no carbonation which just adds to the disappointment as it really fails to hit the spot. It’s safe to say that this is not my favorite corn alcohol which I was surprised at as the brewery’s Dodeok (review here) is actually really good so there is no real excuse for this being so weak. Continue reading #74. Gangwon-do Corn Makgeolli (강원도 옥수수 막걸리)
Sokrisan DongDongJu is light with no carbonation, it has a slightly sour aftertaste but it’s not really enough to be off-putting and it is really pleasant and easy to drink. It’s made with ‘찹쌀’ which is sticky, glutinous rice and, generally, makgeolli made with that rice is a little smoother than makgeolli made with normal rice. It’s definitely the kind of makgeolli that you could drink slowly over a night in front of Trot TV variety show….trust me I was forced to do exactly that by the wife. Continue reading #73 Sokrisan DongDongJu (속리산 동동주)
Jirisan ‘Herb’ Makgeolli has a slightly sour aftertaste with the drink itself being quite thin with no carbonation. It is made using Rosemary and Lavendar in the brewing process and although you can smell a slight ‘herb’ odor there is no real ‘herb’ taste which is a little disappointing as it would have made it taste a little more unique as it does have a kind of generic taste. It is a refreshing makgeolli and is definitely one that you could drink several of over the course of a session as it’s subtle and non-overpowering taste make it perfect to drink a couple of bottles. Continue reading #72 Jirisan Herb Makgeolli (지리산 허브 막걸리)
Yet another addition to the Pocheon Idong family is their take on a Dodeok makgeolli. Root makgeolli tends to be both strong on your taste-buds and on your nose but unfortunately this one falls short on taste and is definitely not as strong as other dodeok makgeolli on the market (Gangwon-do Dodeok review). It is quite watery and thin and seems to be common with a lot of Pocheon Idonf rice wine which I guess is fine if you like the sort of drink but I much prefer a thicker rice wine. It is slightly darker in colour than the brewery’s other offerings. Continue reading #71. Pocheon Idong Dodeok Makgeolli (포천 이동 더덕 막걸리)
It has a very distinct root taste but like Chigalpsan (review available here) it’s not too overpowering and is pretty mild and light. There is quite a lot of carbonation and stays “bubbly” for most of the cup although I guess that really does depend on how quickly you drink 🙂 It is easy to drink which is good as it generally comes in 1.2L bottles so there’s a lot to of rice wine to get through. It has a strong ‘earthy’ aroma which adds to that authentic ‘root’ makgeolli vibe. Continue reading #70 Gangwon-do Dodeok Makgeolli (강원도 산도덕 막걸리)
This rather elusive Yongin makgeolli tastes a little similar to Jipyeong Makgeoli although I would definitely recommend it before the more commonly found Jipyeong. It does have a perfect balance of sweet and sour although they do say that the longer you keep it in your fridge the more sour it becomes. My friend from Yongin bought me three bottles….but they didn’t really stay unopened long enough for me to put the changing taste claim to the test. It has a fantastically sour smelling aroma when you open it and this along with the balanced taste does make it worth a trip to Yongin to find it…..or try and make a friends with someone from the area if you don’t like long subway journeys. Continue reading #69 Yongin Cheoinseong Makgeolli (용인 처인성 막걸리)