#31 Omija DongDongJu (오미자 동동주)

Brewed by the Nakchun Brewery in Donghae Gangwon-do, Omija Dongdongju is certainly one of the most interesting tasting beverages I’ve had in while. Made with just under 1% omija berry it has a distinctive, almost medicinal, taste to it which lingers around a little like the creepy IT guy at the office Christmas party. It has a pink hue to it and given that medicinal smell and taste memories of summers spent sunburnt and covered in Calamine lotion came flooding back. Continue reading #31 Omija DongDongJu (오미자 동동주)

#30 Baedari Makgeolli (배다리막걸리)

Baedari which translates to the old name for Goyang in Gyeonngi-do was a favourite of ex-President Park Chung-hee.  It is a quite light rice wine with very little carbonation and is pretty refreshing to drink after a tough day. It was once regarded as the ‘purest’ of makgeollis due to it being brewed in the traditional manner and using water from 200m underground. It doesn’t really have a distinctive flavour but it does have something about it which sets it apart from many others. Continue reading #30 Baedari Makgeolli (배다리막걸리)

#26 Sejong Cheongju Makgeolli (세종 청주 막걸리)

Brewed in Cheongju by the Sejong Brewing company (website), Sejong Cheongju Makgeolli is a simple and traditionally tasting makgeolli which although it doesn’t raise too many exclamations of taste-bud ecstasy, is a decent enough rice wine. It was perfectly summed up by a friend as being an “everyday makgeolli” and that it exactly what it is with it’s low carbonation and smooth texture. Perfect on a sunny day down the park, it has a slightly sour taste which I’m sure those less classy drinkers out there would dilute with some Chilsung Cider, much to my annoyance of course. Continue reading #26 Sejong Cheongju Makgeolli (세종 청주 막걸리)

#25 Taehwaro Makgeolli (태화루 막걸리)

Boasting over 50yrs of brewing craftsmanship, Taehwaro (태화루) would appear to be the favourite makgeolli among the locals of Ulsan. It is a little similar in body to Busan’s Seangtak (review here) although it does earn a 2nd place when it comes to taste comparisons. Taehwaro has a rather mild taste and while not bland it wouldn’t hold it’s own in a makgeolli “Pepsi challenge”.  Taehwaro also only comes in at 5.5% alcohol content which might explain why Ulsan is the powerhouse of Korean industry with some of the largest factories in the world and the country’s least hungover employees. Continue reading #25 Taehwaro Makgeolli (태화루 막걸리)

#23 Busan Dongbaek Makgeolli (부산 동백 막걸리)

Brewed by the Dongbaek Yangjo Brewery who also make a tomato makgeolli, yip that’s not a mistake, Busan Dongbaek Makgeolli is a light and refreshing rice wine that is dangerously easy to drink. It’s the kind of drink that you could easily drink a few bottles in a beer garden on a sunny day. It isn’t carbonated and so you can feel free to shake away, which is good as it takes a little while to fully mix.

Continue reading #23 Busan Dongbaek Makgeolli (부산 동백 막걸리)

#21 Bong Pyeong Buckwheat Makgeolli (봉평메밀 막걸리)

Bong Pyeong Buckwheat makgeolli, as the name would suggest, is made from buckwheat which makes up 5% of the total ingredients. This 5%, unfortunately, doesn’t really go a long way to adding a whole lot of body or indeed flavour to the drink. It tends to be a little watery  and lacks the thicker consistency of other readily available rice wines. Despite not being the most flavourable of makgeollis it still has a slightly bitter after taste which tends to linger a little too long in the mouth. Continue reading #21 Bong Pyeong Buckwheat Makgeolli (봉평메밀 막걸리)

#15 Goheung Citrus Makgeolli (고흥 유자 막걸리)

With thinly sliced sugared citron (4%) added during fermentation Goheung Citron Makgeolli makes you almost feel as if you are drinking orange juice and it kind of reminded me a little of a less-sugary Sunny D. Unlike some of the other ‘fruit makgeollis’ on the market the tang of the citron is not limited to smell alone and continues to linger in the mouth after the makgeolli has gone down. It’s refreshing to drink and is definitely one that you could imagine downing copious amounts of outside a summer CU…..trust me I’ve tried it.

Continue reading #15 Goheung Citrus Makgeolli (고흥 유자 막걸리)

#10 Jipyeong Makgeolli (지평 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)

#8 Gapyeong Makgeolli (가평 막걸리)

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)

#5 Pocheon Chapsal DongDongJu ( 포천 찹쌀 동동주)

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)