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Hana Soju 60

Regular price $60.00

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only 0 left in stock

Hana Soju 60
  • A still strength soju
  • Distilled from a Hana Makgeoli 100 day rice wine nuruk ferment
  • 60% Alc by Vol
  • 375mL
  • Made in NY

Suggested Serve

Neat & chilled

Into The Bottle

At Matchbook we're driven by Agriculture, Science, Tradition and Anthropology. We're enthralled by agriculture, fermentation, spices.. and we find endless inspiration from the ways in which people, for thousands of years, have tapped into the natural world to harness flavor and scent. When we met Alice and her team at Hana Makgeoli, we were fast friends. We got to step into this world of makgeoli and soju in this really profound way -- learning about the traditional brewing methods and exploring the effects of distillation. The culmination is our latest collaboration, Hana Soju 60. This partnership is born from our mutual respect for traditional brewing methods and a passion for bringing them to life with the best ingredients and a keen instinct to innovate or improvise when we feel it will enhance the liquid.

Hana 60 is strong, bottled in a 375 at 60% ABV. Take a few sips to acclimate to the sheer power of the alcohol and find beneath it layers upon layers of rose and geranium and hazelnuts and almonds. Enjoy it, as Alice would prefer, undiluted and unedited in its natural floral and nutty state. Or, draw out those flavors by layering in complimentary and contrasting flavors and textures. My next mission is a milk punch with tea, rose water and persian lime.

Hana 60 is a still strength soju, meaning it's distilled to proof -- no water added. What you're tasting is the undiluted spirit. In this process, I learned from Alice that traditional soju, before its modern iterations, was known for being distilled into high proof spirits. Over time, the production methods and alcohol content of soju evolved, leading to the more varied strengths seen in contemporary soju varieties, particularly the low strength iconic green bottle soju. Alice and I circled the still for the duration of the copper pot column distillation -- adjusting the throttle of the steam to the kettle and the flow of the cooling water running through the top of the column. That's when Alice told me she was sure she wanted to bottle at still strength. Zero hesitation in her voice.

We let the spirit rest for 10 months, settling into itself, re-organizing, getting comfortable, and resting. The journey from rice wine to vapor to condensed liquid is a chaotic path -- and the liquid that comes off is far from the liquid that you'll have after a few weeks, or a few months, even resting in an inert container. This spirit transformed from earthy, and grain forward and fruit to this flower and nut bomb with pronounced rose, geranium, rose geranium, hazelnut and almond profile. It's elegant and lovely and we're so proud of it. We encourage you to snag a bottle -- we only have 24 left for the DropShop and tasting room! It has been going quickly!

Check out the Hana Makgeoli blog for their piece A Return To Traditional Soju : How does our latest release, Hana Soju 60, fit into the history and legacy of this drink? -- it's so beautifully written and informative, I was tempted to just copy and paste it here. And if you find yourself in Brooklyn, be sure to visit the Hana Makgeoli brewery in Greenpoint.

From Greenpoint, to Greenport, with love,

Leslie and the Matchbook Team

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