The Soju Keeps Touch of a Master Craftsman
Clean Taste Paves the Road to a Grand Slam at the World’s Top Three Brewery Competitions
Which alcoholic drinks are now popular around the world? Wine, beer, and sake will probably come to mind first. But don’t forget to put the Korean distilled liquor, soju, on the list. Thanks to rising popularity, it is exported all over the world and, according to the Guardian (2 Dec 2013), is the best-selling alcohol globally. Of course, the booze is enjoyed at home as well. A variety of soju is offered on the domestic market by the two main soju brands―First Soju and Chamisul―and numerous local breweries. There is also the high-quality traditional soju, Myeongin Andong Soju, produced by Myeongin Andong Soju Co.
Andong Soju literally stands for “the soju produced in Andong City of North Gyeongsang Province.” Its history started when the distilled liquor of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty was introduced to Korea some 700 years ago. Currently, many liquor companies in Andong City produce soju and refer to it as “Andong Soju.” However, the only genuine one―recognized by the Korean government―is Myeongin Andong Soju Co.’s Myeongin Andong Soju. This liquor is made by Korean Food Master Park Jae-seo following a recipe that dates back at least five centuries.
No Artificial Additives
100 Percent Grain Liquor Made with Only Water and Rice
Most breweries use the character ju (酒, liquor) in the name Andong Soju (安東燒酒). But Myeongin Andong Soju uses another Chinese character, “酎,” which stands for “brewing three times.”
Korean Food Master Park Jae-seo explains, “We use this Chinese character to emphasize that our product is made through a three-step distillation process.” In fact, most soju products on the market are made by dilution (diluting 85 percent alcohol with water and putting in additives). Very few distilled soju products are made by distilling fermented grain liquor. Such products have a stronger flavor than the diluted ones and maintain the taste and fragrance of fresh grain alcohol for a long time. Myeongin Andong Soju is even more special. It is made with Korean rice and natural bedrock water extracted from 270m underground. No artificial additives are used. That is why Myeongin Andong Soju tastes clean and soft. What’s more, it is distilled in a double boiler without the direct application of heat. This helps remove the burning smell and taste of yeast. Thanks to this special distillation process, Myeongin Andong Soju tastes refreshing and doesn’t cause hangovers.
Wins Medals at the World’s Largest Brewery Competitions with the Soft, Hot, and Spicy Flavor
Myeongin Andong Soju enjoys recognition in Korea as a masterpiece product and it is receiving a lot of attention overseas as well. This can be seen in the numerous awards and honors it has won. This distilled liquor received silver medals at the International Wine and Spirit Competition and at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition. It also received the double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013 and a grand gold medal at Monde Selection this year.
With so much praise coming from abroad, Myeongin Andong Soju Co. has made a commitment to offer its product to consumers worldwide. In addition to the basic, 45-percent alcohol product, the company released two more types of Andong Soju for export with alcohol contents of 35 and 22 percent. The new products are receiving a positive response from foreigners. One more type, with a softer taste, is in the development stages.
Korean Food Master Park said, “I invented Yam Soju for those who dislike the original, strong taste of Andong hard liquor. The new product uses yam, one of the specialties of Andong City. From the first taste to the after-taste, Yam Soju is extremely soft.”
Korean Food Master, Park Jae-seo Suggests Several Ways to Enjoy Andong Soju
“The best way to enjoy Myeongin Andong Soju is to appreciate its taste and fragrance as slowly as you can. First, pour it into a glass and feel the scent. Initially, you will feel the pungent scent but soon you’ll notice the delicate fragrance of grain. Then, slowly take a sip of the soju. If you gulp it down, you won’t realize the taste. Keep it in your mouth and let it spread all over your mouth. At first, you’ll feel the hot, spicy, and pungent taste flooding your mouth. Once it’s gone, the warmth of the mouth will reveal the pleasant, delicate after-taste of grain.
There are other ways to enjoy Myeongin Andong Soju as well. As a distilled liquor made with only natural ingredients, it gives you the same taste and fragrance whether drunk cool (on the rocks) or hot (like sake).
Orders of Myeongin Andong Soju Are Rushing In
In the last few months, many Korean consumers were unable to purchase Myeongin Andong Soju due to a deficit in supply. Myeongin Andong Soju Co. became flooded with orders after one active internet user posted a review of Myeongin Andong Soju under the headline “I recommend this liquor.” He wrote: “I had Myeongin Andong Soju. I didn’t have any hangover or headache. The fragrance is really delicate. The price is about the same as beer, but the taste is far better.” Many of those who read the review decided to try Myeongin Andong Soju and, as a result, the volume of orders suddenly increased by 10 times.
The company ran out of their supply but the orders kept coming in. A newspaper reported the story under the title “Myeongin Andong Soju Turmoil.”
Park Chan-kwan, CEO of Myeongin Andong Soju Co., said, “Due to the fermentation and distillation processes, mass-production of Myeongin Andong Soju is impossible but we have established a facility to increase the production as much as we can.”
Inquiries Myeongin Andong Soju Co.