Pyobon (1144) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - SEP 13, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Bottle) Clear straw no head (it is intentionally flat). Main element of the aroma is ginseng, but there are other subtle herbal notes. Full bodied, maybe like a desert wine. Very interesting and pleasant flavour, although probably an acquired taste. The main underlying taste is reminiscent of a sweetish white, although it is distinctly rice not grape. The ginseng taste is apparent, as is the nuruk (the enzyme used to convert the rice starches to fermentable sugars). There is then a mix of other spice and herbal flavours which work well together, but I canít separate; except maybe aniseed. Itís an unusual drink, may strike many as perhaps medicinal, but I have had it many times and enjoy it, although as an accompaniment to food not as a session drink.
maxwelldeux (4182) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - JUN 3, 2014
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle, 375ml. Pours a clear dark yellow color with absolutely no head on it at all. Nose has a bit of a wine note to it, but I can get some earthy and nutty elements to it, which really confused me. Taste is quite dry and slightly sour, but again has that nutty-earthy bit that I donít know what to think of. Odd.
MichaelAwesome (5920) - Wanne-Eickel, North Rhine-Westphalia, GERMANY - MAR 23, 2014
1.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
This one is really special. A bit too special for me. Too much in "herbs" and quite a strange sour ending. Drinkable but not really one I liked.
McTapps (5926) - Ruhrcity, GERMANY - MAR 22, 2014
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Pours out of the bottle in a clear light amber colour with medium body. Aroma of rice and acid. Taste of acid, flowers and grass. Very sour-acid finish. Awful stuff.
Ironnerd88 (1) - Georgia, USA - JUL 9, 2013 does not count
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
This is not "100-year old Sake". Itís not Sake at all, itís Soju. Sake is brewed so it is "Rice Wine", Soju is distilled making it "Rice Whiskey". It is also not 100 years old, it is "100 Year Wine" - supposedly the many herbs in this drink will keep you healthy enough to live 100 years. Iíll let you know how that works out for me.
Be Se Ju is good stuff. Good chilled (donít add ice) or warm, but not hot (again, itís not sake). It is my preferred drink at Korean Restaurants, when I have spicy food, or when grilling on the back deck. Itís what my granddad would have called "Sippiní whiskey".
It looks like it has ginseng in it, it tastes like it has ginseng in it, it smells like it has ginseng in it - because it has ginseng in it. Be warned, if you donít like Ginseng, you wonít like Bek Se Ju.
SHIG (4013) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - MAY 6, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle: Poured a hazy yellow with pink edges, head was white bubble. Aroma was herbal, floral, and some spices. Taste was dry earth, some floral, and hints of ginseng.
fata2683 (2176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 5, 2012
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle thanks to SHIG, first points of RBSH2! Pours a light rose and golden hue with thin bubbles hugging the edges of the glass. Aroma is big dry white wine, herbal notes of flower petals and ginseng. Flavor is very mellow and smooth throughout with cinnamon and vanilla flavors mixing with mildly sweet floral honey and ending with only a hint of booze. Not bad at all
hopscotch (10198) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 22, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
BottleÖ Clear straw-colored sake with no legs. I donít know what herbs were used in the brewing of this sake, but they all meld together to create an aromatic component that smells smack-dab like southern-style boiled peanuts. There is mild ethanol here. Medium to full-bodied with a buttery mouthfeel. The flavor is sweet and tart; fruity and peanuty. Finishes tangy and peanuty with warming alcohol. Odd, but fairly nice and certainly unique. Kudos to SHIG for selflessly shipping this to Florida from South Korea!
tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 19, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
14% ABV. Initially served cold but much better just below room temperature... Strong and pungent ginseng and herbs in the nose along with some alcohol vapours. Itís sort of sharp and a bit muddled to me - like walking into a spice shop; the overwhelming melange of spice. Clear blond-golden body sticks to the sides of the glass but leaves no legs on the glass. Sweetness up front is quickly joined by the ginseng and herbal character that briefly overshadows leaving the sweetness and an emerging peppery aftertaste that becomes more pronounced as it warms. Strong nutty and fruity notes emerge also as the flavour develops. Medium-thick texture like a thick mead. Itís velvety smooth and has strong alcohol warming without ever seeming hot. Initial sips of this were completely shocking to me. I didnít go into it with any notion of what to expect and cold, I found the spices to be so overpowering as to be off-putting, but after allowing my glass to sit during the meal and returning to it as it warmed, I found the flavours to be quite interesting and engaging and certainly quite unlike anything I had tried before. Iím not sure I necessarily liked it, but I did not dislike it either and will be likely to try it again at some point. Wine glass. Initially at fridge temperature but allowed to approach room temperature. Bottle (BCLS at Kingsgate, Sep-07).
wjh (1) - USA - MAY 18, 2007 does not count
1.1 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 2/20
Is this medicinal or what??? I was not expecting the ginseng flavor. I tried this in a Japanese restaurant and thought I was ordering a "dry" saki. My mistake. Brought it home and gave and extra try but still too much ginseng flavor...