Like a Gungdo bolt to the senses. It’s time for some South Korean oak aged rice Spirit.

Ever wondered what it must be like to make love to the most beautiful woman or man, I’m not prejudiced, but you’re making love on a bed of nails whilst being waterboarded?

Well, if you have but can’t be bothered with all the fannying about that setting that situation up would require, I mean who has a bed of nails handy? Then might I suggest trying Hwayo X Premium Oak Aged Soju from South Korea bottled at 41%
Now, I’m not being rude here, this was very graciously sent from Mark at Whisky Whistle from South Korea and I am eternally grateful for the effort but if this the premium version the standard must be a very interesting drink indeed.
Here is a link which explains the production method in detail and even has a wee video if that’s your thing but I’ll try and explain myself the best I can.
It’s rice wine that they’ve taken to the next level, clear enough? Good.
The meaning of Hwayo is, rather beautifully, Noble Liquor governed by fire, which I like, and they use 100% organic rice here and then it’s aged for a bit in American Oak.
Nose. Not a lot, there is some mild vegital notes and an alcohol whiff, oak comes on heavily if you add a drop of water and some vanilla so those American oak barrels coming to the fore there.
Palate. Fucking hell what on Earth is happening to me, this is a very intense experience because it hits you out of nowhere, the subtle nose and even the first time it hits your mouth is deceiving in the extreme, there is a subtle bourbon feel of candyfloss and oak then BOOOOOOOMMMMMMM the power of the spirit comes out of nowhere, I have rarely felt something go from so mundane to so extreme in such a short space of time, I find it hard to believe it’s only 41% because although the alcohol isn’t rough it is exceptionally strong, lots of sugar syrup, creamy rice pudding and pure fire water, it is extraordinary and I will be investigating my local Asian supermarket, the really big one, to see if I can find a bottle to share with my friends, whom I hate.
Now to be fair, later on and after a couple of drams I went back to this and the bourbon feel came on a lot stronger so I’d suggest you don’t start your evening with this bad boy.
Finish, Long and lingering, A definite Sake feel but oak aged, Synthetic vanilla and I got some plum jam but that might be more another Sake note which is often plum infused.
It’s actually made me feel quite odd, it’s a mouth tingling affair, like Absinthe but different, but the same sort of buzz for want of a better word.  
Jeezo, it’s an experience and something I would recommend to anyone looking for an experience that takes them out of their comfort zone.
I feel a love affair with Korean spirits is in the making and thanks again to Mark for shipping this over to me.
The Captain.

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