This is a video series about tasting sool and recognize good Makgeolli in and out of Korea. This time around, we taste Geumjeongsanseong makgeolli (금정산성 생 막걸리), which is the name of a well-known mountain in the Busan area, from the brewery Geumjeongsanseong (금정산성).
Julia: Hi everyone. This is Julia and …
Julia: From the Sool Company, and this is the next installment of another one of our tasting videos.
Julia: So, Dan, what do we have to taste today?
Daniel: Alright, what we’re drinking is this jolly, yellow looking brew that’s called Geumjeongsanseong.
Julia: Geumjeongsanseong. I’ve heard that before.
Daniel: Have you indeed?
Julia: I think I have.
Daniel: Well it’s not only the name of this brew, but I believe it’s the name of a mountain in the Busan region in the south of South Korea.
Julia: You could work for the BBC.
Daniel: I should. I think I should.
Julia: You are very right. This is very popular in Busan, and it’s one of the only brews that you can get from very far away here in Seoul as well. A lot of brews that are made locally only stay in the local markets, but this gets here.
Julia: It has a pretty special ingredient. Dan, if you want to give us a bit of a …
Daniel: Yes, well I mean it basically is made with three ingredients that all brews are made of, rice, nuruk and water. However, this one uses a very special type of nuruk, and basically it’s because in Busan, the temperature and the humidity are much higher than up here in the North. Basically these nuruks are not made as a small cake, but they’re actually large kind of papadum like large thin disks. And that’s so that they don’t rot when they’re made in the very high humidity of the South. But that adds a lot of unique flavor, and you get a lot of very lactic kind of acidity in the brews that come from this nuruk, which is actually one of my favorite types of flavor in our brews.
Julia: I gotta say this is one of the first brews that I started tasting that was a bit different from the stuff I can get just generally. And I really liked it, because it was kind of sour. It was a bit tangy, a bit citric. So let’s see if that’s what it tastes like today.
Daniel: Absolutely. This brew actually is really quite delicious. And it might be one of the only brews that we’ll show you here that contain aspartame. Because although the aspartame adds a lot of sweetness to this brew, the character of the brew underneath that sweetener is actually still very interesting and very strong. And it’s still very enjoyable, despite the artificial sweetener.
Julia: Yes. This is one of the brews that I just like to drink a lot of.
Daniel: For breakfast.
Julia: In moderation. Oh geeze.
Daniel: Oh. Yep, you’ve done it now.
Julia: The Makgeolli shower. We’ve mentioned it in videos before. Be very careful when you open your Makgeolli, especially if you’ve been moving it around. We did get takeout today, so this has had some agitation.
Daniel: Yeah, actually, I likes to move it, move it
Julia: Oh, that was terrible. Let me get you a drink.
Daniel: Thank you very much.
Julia: Move it, move it, really? All right.
Daniel: There you are.
Julia: So without further ado, let’s have a taste.
Daniel: It’s really carbonated, even before you drink it, you can hear the fizz.
Julia: I was going to say, I can hear it.
Daniel: She’s talking to me.
Julia: The brew whisperer.
Daniel: “Drink me.”
Julia: What’s interesting about this brew actually is that it’s tangy and it’s sour, but it’s got a very thick consistency.
Julia: It’s still very heavy, even though the carbonation is whispering to us quite, quite substantially.
Daniel: The body is definitely quite thick. It’s almost like … kind of like those like fromage frais yogurt kind of things? If you like whisked it a little bit, and it was fizzy. It’s kind of that character.
Julia: It’s got kind of a heavy mouth feel to it. So this is actually substantial. I could probably just drink that instead of eating, I would think. It would be quite feeling, I would say.
Daniel: I believe so, definitely. I really like it. I think it’s well-rounded in terms of its acidity and the aroma. There’s this kind of like deep brown like earthiness, which I think comes from nuruk as well. But it’s not so bad as what they call like nuruk chi in Korean, which is like the nuruk stink.
Julia: That’s so strong.
Daniel: It’s pretty, yeah, and sometimes they can be that strong.
Julia: It can be, yeah.
Daniel: But this is, it’s nicely balanced with everything.
Julia: Extra bonus points, it’s also eight percent alcohol.
Daniel: Oh yeah.
Julia: So generally other Makgeollis are a six or or seven, so eight’s actually on the higher end of the spectrum. So it’s a pretty good brew. And actually very easy to find in Seoul. This is not something you’ll have to find or seek out quite a lot. You can get it at most Makgeolli bars that have a selection.
Daniel: Yeah. Sure.
Julia: You can get it at some Lotte department stores. They do carry it.
Daniel: And a good thing about this particular bottle is if you’re looking for it, it’s not hard to find on the shelf, because it’s the only one I know that is like luminescent yellow.
Julia: In fact, when we were first learning, or I was first learning, I didn’t remember the names. I remembered colors. So yes, I’d be like, “Ah, the yellow Busan brew.” So if you can’t remember Geumjeongsanseong Seng Makgeolli, then you can go for a yellow Busan brew.
Daniel: Better and I think this has a shelf life of what? Nine, 10 days.
Julia: Short, yeah. Nine or 10 days. Again, as we’ve mentioned in previous videos, if you buy this and take it home, you can keep it in your fridge a little bit longer than nine or 10 days. It’ s not going to kill you. But certainly, if it was in a bar, then that would be within that shelf life.
Daniel: Yep. Well, I think that’s that.
Julia: That’s that.
Daniel: I think we should finish the bottle now.,
Julia: Just the whole thing.
Daniel: Just, just …
Julia: One shot.
Daniel: Let’s do it.