I’ll be honest when I first found this nestling among some Incheon makgeolli in a local Bupyeong mart, I bought it more out of curiosity then expectation…I was wrong. I really didn’t expect to like it but it is actually really good. It is a little sour but it definitely packs a punch and might just be a acquired taste. It’s also a little thick with some slight carbonation
It is quick thick and bitter and has a slightly yellow hue. The bitterness isn’t too overpowering but it does make you clench your jaws and its probably not going to be a good rice wine for someone new to makgeolli. It is one of those makgeolli that has an ‘old-fashioned’ and more traditional feel to it, which for me is a huge positive with all the recent ‘craft’ makgeolli that is beginning to flood the market.
Made with only domestic rice unlike the standard version (review here) which uses a mixture of both domestic and foreign rice, ‘Plus’ is Incheon’s answer to Jangsoo ’10 day’ makgeolli, the ‘Plus’ being because it is domestic rice only. It is a little sour and has a lot of carbonation so make sure you have your cup at the ready. It is a simple makgeolli which is light and easy to drink but it is kind of easily forgettable as there isn’t really anything ‘Plus’ about it that sets it apart from the standard Soseongju and there’s definitely nothing to justify a 200W higher price tag. Continue reading #84 Soseongju Plus (소성주 플러스)
It’s a very light and smooth makgeolli, it has no carbonation which means you can make sure to mix it 100%. It seem to be becoming more and more popular in restaurants in the Gyeonggi area and offers a great alternative to the Jangsoo and Jipyeong that so often takes us the fridge space. It is a really easy makgeolli to drink and is definitely one for the purists and newbies alike.
There is no real carbonation in Hongcheon DongDongJu and it has a slightly yellow in colour. It is a little sweet but that being said it does have the smell and feel of a makgeolli that you’d get served in the back streets of traditional places like Insadong and Jeonju. It unfortunately doesn’t have the sourness or the bite of the more “traditional” rice wines but it is a good makgeolli and the large bottles mean that you can really make good use of that kettle you bought and left in the cupboard.
As you can see from the labelling Won Tak Makgeolli is closely associated with one-time K-Pop star Tak Jae-hoon, he of Country Kko Kko fame. It joins ‘Young Tak Makgeolli’ as one of a few rice wines trying to capitalize on the recent surge in popularity of ‘craft’ makgeolli. The drink itself is decent enough, it’s smooth without really tasting too much but it does have a slight sour aftertaste. It also has a slight carbonation.
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)