Bokbunjajoo is a fortified wine made from fermented black raspberries which give it it’s dark purple colour and obvious fruity smell. Made by Jeollanam-do’s Bohae Brewery, who boast almost 70 yrs of tradition, it is sweet without being overly sickly and did in fact win a silver medal for flavour at the international wine awards back in 2005. Coming from near Glasgow I am of course used to “fortified wines” and although far easier to drink than a bottle of Buckfast I can’t see me convincing the boys down the local park to switch allegiances anytime soon! Continue reading #18 Bohae Bokbungja-ju (보해 복분자주)
Hapcheon Makgeolli hails from South Gyeongsang and has a pretty tangy and slightly bitter flavour which can be slightly overpowering the first sip or so. Like most makgeolli from the area, Hapcheon is pretty sour if you are more used to brands such as Seoul Jangsoo or Busan Seangtak (review here) and it does explain why the locals are famous for adding Sprite to their kettles! It’s unpasteurized and as such has roughly around a 1mth ‘fridge life’. Continue reading #17 Hapcheon Makkoli (합전 막걸리)
Produced by the Seoul Jangsoo Company, In Saeng, or “life”, makgeolli is the latest product from www.koreawine.co.kr . It comes in 3 varieties with the ‘Basic’ option being the most readily available in your convenience store of choice. It is pretty heavily carbonated so make sure to open it over the top of your cup as otherwise you’ll be soaking the table with more than just your tears at the sight of spilled rice wine. It has a smooth texture and isn’t as chalky as some others which makes it perfect for that after-hike drink. Continue reading #16 InSaeng (Life) Makgeolli (인생막걸리)
“It’s beer Jim, but not as you know it!’ might very well have been the first words out Dr. McCoy’s mouth had the Enterprise ever managed to navigate it’s way to a Korean hof that sold the beer-flavored entity that is Filite . Designed, as I’m not sure it’s brewed, by those canny chaps at HiteJinro, Filite is marketed as a “Barley flavored drink” and that is probably the most accurate Marketing campaign since Dudley Moore declared Volvos as a being “Boxy, but good” in the movie Crazy People as it’s almost certainly not a beer
Continue reading #13 Filite (필라이트)
Hailing from Jeju’s Udo Island this peanut makgeolli is one of those types of drink that tastes better in your head than in reality. Jeju might be famous for producing great oranges, healthy mineral water and the best Soju around but it’s safe to say that this island product is not going to be winning any food and drink awards any time soon. Although it does taste exactly like peanuts it has an overpowering sweetness that brought memories of that sweet peanut candy my mother used to buy me to shut me up back in the 80s.
Continue reading #12 Jeju Udo Peanut Makgeolli (우도 땅콩 막걸리)
When the ‘craft-plosion’ started to hit the streets of Seoul in the early 2010’s, Magpie was one of the founding fathers at the front of the line as Seoul’s drinkers were finally offered an alternative to an “oh-beck” Cass and a dish of stale popcorn. The brewery started in the then less than luxurious surroundings of a Kyungridan alley and has gone from strength to strength. Magpie offers a core selection of Pale Ale, IPA (my personal favourite), Porter and Kolsch but also has various ‘seasonal’ options from time to time such as the fantastic Alpine Lager. Unlike some of the other craft breweries out there Magpie is incredibly well-priced with most of their selection coming in at 6000W for a “pint”.
Continue reading #11 Magpie Brewing Co. (맥파이브루잉 컴퍼니)
As commonly found in local marts these days as Cass and Hite, Jipyeong Makgeolli is fast becoming one of the most easily recognizable as well as most consumed rice wines around. This popularity could be down to the labeling on the bottle which sets the drinker up to believe that they are about to have one of the finest makgeollis on the market. Boasts of the brewery dating back to 1925, making it the oldest distillery in Korea, give it that “traditional” feeling with years of craftsmanship filling every bottle. Add to that the claim of their makgeolli only being made with Yangpyeong water, famed for its purity allegedly, and you could be forgiven for thinking this was going to be akin to the finest of Single Malt whiskies. Continue reading #10 Jipyeong Makgeolli (지평 막걸리)
Another well-crafted product from the boys at Woori Sool who brought us Gapyeong’s pine-nut rice wines. This time they’ve served up a chestnut DongDong-ju with a rich, creamy texture making it dangerously easy and addictive to drink whilst halfway up your favorite mountain. Generally easy to find in most CUs dotted around Seoul it’s accessibility and easy on the palette taste make it a great choice for those less familiar of the joys of Korean rice wine as some of the other less sweet selections out there can leave a bad taste in the mouth in more ways than one. Continue reading #9 Albam DongDong ( 알밤동동)