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)
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)
A slightly pine nut infused makgeolli, hence the “잣” subtly placed on the label, produced by the Woori Sool company who proudly boast having “produced the first pasteurized rice wine in the world”. Woori Sool claim to use only 100% domestic ingredients and, as the label states, use Gapyeong water and pine nuts mixed with Gyeonggi-do rice to create their entry-level makgeolli. As readily available in Seoul E-Marts as long queues and kimchi-hawking ajummas, Gapyeong Makgeolli provides a great alternative to Seoul Jangsoo or something similarly tasteless. Continue reading #8 Gapyeong Makgeolli (가평 막걸리)
Produced by the Lotte Chilsung company, Cheoeum-cheoreom actually means “like the first time” in Korean which is ironic as pretty much anything you do after about the 2nd bottle will almost certainly be forgotten the next day. It’s actually made with alkali water which gives it a more distinctive taste than the other mainstream Sojus available, and has given lend to the advertising slogan ‘Happy Water’. As common on a Korean BBQ table as a red face, Cheoeun-cheoreom is an integral part of many a meal with some preferring to ‘take it down’ on it’s own and others masking its taste in a glass of beer (somek).
Continue reading #6 Cheoeum-Cheoreom Soju (처음처럼 소주)
Brewed in Pocheon, a small city located in the mountains of the North East of Gyeonggi-do this Dongdongju is probably not going to become famous over night despite it’s exuberant export to Seoul’s local supermarkets. It is marketed as a ‘sweet rice wine’ and it’s good to know that the Marketing team had tasted their product before coming up with a tagline as “sweet” was definitely the first word that crossed my mind, with bland and watery being close seconds! Continue reading #5 Pocheon Chapsal DongDongJu ( 포천 찹쌀 동동주)
If the staple food of a Korean company dinner is kimchi then the staple beer is almost certainly Cass Fresh. As ubiquitous as chips on a British plate few BBQ tables are short of a blue label or two. Promoted by such famous faces as Lee Hyori, BlackPink and Big Bang it is probably one of Korea’s most iconic beers. It even managed to capture the attention of Scotland’s very own ‘foul-mouthed’ chef Gordon Ramsay (no joke) who, in 2018, seemed to be on a continual loop of television stations pretending to enjoy one of Oriental Brewery’s finest. Continue reading #4 Cass Fresh (카스 프레시)
Busan, Korea’s second largest city, is probably more well-known for it’s raw fish, baseball team and bustling film industry but it also provides a wide array of alcoholic beverages to quench the thirst after a long day on Haeundae Beach! It’s ‘generic’ makgeolli, Seang Tak, certainly beats it’s Seoul rival but then again most things would. Perfect after a long day ‘hiking’ the trails around Beomeosa Temple it certainly hits the spot, especially when accompanied with some pa-jeon (파전)!
For my video review click here
Continue reading #2 Busan Seangtak Makgeolli (생탁 막걸리)
Named after the “famous” Yeosu night sky this is Korea’s latest attempt at a Dark Ale and by far one of their best so far. It’s got a reasonably good flavour although I’m not convinced you’ll be still sipping on your 5th can of the night any time soon. Like most of the darker craft ales made in Korea however, it’s not that heavy to drink and lacks the fuller body associated with UK-style ales. That being said it’s a good beer and if it ever falls in price then it’s definitely one to have in the back of the fridge.
Continue reading #1 Yeosu Night Ale (여수)