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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A-B continues to test the waters...of life

Just got this from Brew Blog, a beer news blog put out by Miller Brewing. Anyone ever had Soju? Is it significantly different from vodka?

A-B Distributing Korean Liquor

Anheuser-Busch last year started distributing Ku Soju, a Korean liquor, in seven test markets, according to the company’s annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The spirit is marketed by California-based Ku Soju Inc.
A-B -- which has expressed concern about beer’s declining share of the alcohol beverage category -- has been dabbling in the spirits space for some time now. It has been testing a liqueur called Jekyll & Hyde, which is now available in 56 test markets.
The distribution deal with Ku Soju appears to be another move.
In a sign of A-B’s push into nonalcohol beverages, the SEC filing noted that A-B is distributing Icelandic Glacial Spring Water (owned by Icelandic Water Holdings) in 16 test markets.
To learn more about soju, a vodka-like spirit, check out this wikipedia definition.


Anonymous said...

Soju is evil incarnate, a foul, ill-tasting concoction that is cheaper than water in Korea. The Koreans, however, seem to love it. I've seen them drink bottle upon bottle during endless portions of dinner.

Dean Browne said...

Actually it's not that bad - taken in context. I've had it at Korean BBQ joints around Philly. It is a lot like some of those insipid malternatives but stronger and with some fusel alcohol tastes. (think about a shot of cheap tequila in a glass of Smirnoff Ice). That sounds nasty but the stuff I tried made for a good night along with the Bulgogi and grilled squid.

Red Rooster said...

Lew said:

Anyone ever had Soju? Is it significantly different from vodka?

I was in Korea for 4 months when I was in the service, and drank more soju than I care to remember, or could remember for that matter. To answer your question, no. Soju is for the most part a neutral tasting spirit, so in that regard, it is very similar to vodka. Some brands have a slight bit of sweetness, which is added, but even then, still pretty neutral tastining, with different degrees of alcohol "hotness." The Koreas drink it, like the Russians drink vodka. Daily, and in sometime staggering amounts. It is usually sold in 12oz clear glass bottles, and served with meals, or as a drink in 1-3oz glasses, and is poured with impunity. Jinro was the most popular brand if memory serves, but I remember drinking other brands. This stuff, like vodka will sneak up on you in a hurry, so beware. I had some in the West Village in Manhattan a few years back at a Korean restaurant, but I can't see a big market for this stuff. I dare you to find a marine or sailor who has been to Korea, who has not had OB(Korean beer), soju, or Captain Q(Korean rum).