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.
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.
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!!! Continue reading #75 Youngtak Makgeolli (영탁 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)
Muhaksan is yet another offering from the Baekryun Brewery and like most of their other makgeolli this one also doesn’t disappoint. It’s easy to drink and is quite smooth and light . It has a slightly yellow-white colour and definitely has a distinct ‘San’ (mountain) aftertaste which is a little tangy and sour but nothing that is going to suck your jaws in. It almost has the perfect balance as it’s also not as thick as some off the other ‘mountain’ rice wines and is perfect on a summer’s day after a hike or sitting atop Namsan with a picnic. Continue reading #68 Baekryun Muhaksan Makgeolli (백련장수 무학산 막걸리)
Made by Baekryun Jangsoo, ‘Wild Ginseng’ Makgeolli has a particularly strong ginseng taste and smell which can be slightly overpowering at first. It sounds like it would be tough to drink but is actually incredibly smooth and refreshing although definitely only a one-bottler. The smell is so strong that you can actually smell the ginseng as you are shaking the bottle. It’s probably not a makgeolli that everyone would like but I definitely recommend trying it, especially on a hot and humid night. Continue reading #66. Baekryun Cultured Wild Ginseng Makgeolli (백련장수 배양근 산삼 막걸리)
I think I had my opinion on peanut makgeolli ruined a few years back when I had a particularly bad bottle and so was actually surprised by how much better this tasted that I thought it was going to be. It tastes like actual roasted peanuts like the ones you find in both Hofs (Korean pubs) and restaurants whereas some other peanut rice wines tend to be add way too much sweetener in order to make them taste less “nutty”. There is very little carbonation which in turn makes it really easy and refreshing to drink. Continue reading #65. Udo Peanut Makgeolli ( 우도 땅콩 막걸리)
The Baekryun Brewery has won several awards for their makgeolli and their Corn DongDongju is another good addition to their ever-growing menu. It has almost zero carbonation and is a little bit heavier than the Baedoga version I reviewed here. It is a little bit sweeter than I was expecting but nothing too strong that would stop you wanting to drink the rest of the bottle. It has an fantastically bright yellow colour which really does make you feel as if you are drinking something more like a corn milkshake, thankfully no such thing exists…..although I’m sure Korea has thought about it. Continue reading #56. Baekryun Corn DongDongJu (백련장수 옥수수 동동주)
Made by the Baekryun Jangsoo brewery, this makgeolli is a little sweet and nutty and definitely full of flavour. The rice wine itself is bright yellow and is made with 0.24% chestnut. It is a little watery though and could probably do with slightly more body to make it a little thicker. It is really refreshing and would be great on a hot day hiking in the woods although probably best to avoid any of those flying squirrels on Namsan. Continue reading #51 Baekryun Albam Makgeolli (백련장수 알밤 막걸리)