So a friend of mine managed to get his hands on this bottle:

enter image description here

It's obviously 40% and made in North Korea. I can't make out the cursive script ("..hung Sul"?), but it says 인풍술 (Inpungsul) in Korean, and Kanggye is a place in the north of the country. What is it?

  • 1
    picture seems to be grapes. Could it be distilled wine, maybe similar to French Marc de Bourgogne? – jwenting Oct 3 '14 at 12:21
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    I wonder if this is travel-related. fun post anyway :-) – greg121 Oct 3 '14 at 12:43
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    tradekorea.com claims it's whisky, but in my experience a lot of kinds of alcohol get badly translated into "whisky" or "vodka" or "wine" that are not quite what we think those words usually mean: tradekorea.com/product/detail/P144122/Ganggye-inpungsul.html – hippietrail Oct 3 '14 at 12:53
  • @jwenting Marc (from Bourgogne or elsewhere) is not distilled wine, it's made from pommace. If you need a generic term for brandy (including cognac and armagnac) in French, it would be “eau de vie de vin”. – Relaxed Oct 3 '14 at 15:03
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    There's a whole Wikipedia page on Korean alcoholic beverages and while it doesn't seem to cover any of the terms I can spot on the bottle in this photo, I asked about it in the article's talk page. – hippietrail Oct 5 '14 at 9:24
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Inpung sul is brandy. It's made from grapes. It says so right on the bottle. 인풍술 Inpungsul is 강계포도술공장 which is Kanggye Grape Liquor Factory.

By the looks of things and the comments posted on the photo below it is a North Korean Whiskey.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremyfox/7070619751/

This is confirmed by another blogger, which apparently is available from a shop at the DMZ.

Additional Info

Found another blog with the trip to DMZ with a picture of the alcohol from North Korea but the bottle for Brandy is different from the one listed in the original, but wording on the label is similar.

  • 3
    As in hippietrail's comment, I wonder if it's actually "whiskey" in the usual sense of being made from malted barley. – Nate Eldredge Oct 3 '14 at 14:25
  • @NateEldredge Not sure that Whiskey = Scotch Whiskey: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky – Karlson Oct 5 '14 at 1:22
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    In some countries or cultures any white spirit/liquor gets called "whisky". Thai and Lao whisky is not what you think of when you think of whisky for instance. Japanese whisky is what you think of though. In South Korea the local liquors are soju, cheongju, and makgeolli. Cheongju is usually described as "clear liquor" or "clear wine" and if memory serves it's similar to Japanese sake. It might be something like this North Korean stuff. (Soju tastes like vodka and makgeolli is like a kind of beer made from rice.) – hippietrail Oct 5 '14 at 8:33
  • I edited this post to remove the copyright violation of the blogger's photo and replace it with a link to the photo. Reinsert if you get permission from the blogger. – hippietrail Oct 8 '14 at 23:37
  • Also, since I can't find an official SE policy on using copyright images, I asked a question about just that on meta.SE – hippietrail Oct 8 '14 at 23:59

I'm not certain, but it sounds like Paekrosul.

According to the description on lonely planet forums.

Paekrosul:

A "well-known liquor," this is a Kanggye specialty from the D.P.R.K. (aka North Korea). Shoddy packaging, with a bottle full of defects (at least no holes beyond the necessary one) and a cap that guarantees it will leak in your luggage, hides a truly impressive liquor. A very attractive aroma, with a flavour to match, and a very nice lingering aftertaste. This is stunningly good. As an added bonus, if you drink it, you get to live for a hundred years (thus the name, which means "hundred-years liquor"). 40% alcohol.

Lonely Planet Post

Also a Google image search for Paekrosul returns lots of bottles with the same logo printed on the label.

Paekrosul

  • Interesting! The logo is indeed the same, down to the "Inpung" hangul, and it says "INPHUNG PAEKROSUL" up top. Maybe yours is a nicer version? – jpatokal Dec 23 '14 at 6:45

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