Yobo Soju is a rarity in an emerging category: Not only is it made in New York’s Finger Lakes area, it is done so by a Korean American mom and lawyer, Carolyn Kim, who wanted to pay homage to her roots with her take on Korea’s national spirit. The spirit is distilled from local Catawba grapes.
The nose here is engaging but quiet, touched with gentle petrol, fresh linen, perfume, and white floral notes — the aromatics coming across like a very light blanche brandy. The palate is also quite gentle — owing in large part to the low abv — and in fact I wouldn’t mind a bit of a bump here. Similar notes as found on the nose dominate here as well, with a body that kicks off with honeydew melon and tree blossoms before fading to notes of linen, perfume, and a touch of that oily petrol. Ultra-clean on the finish but entirely innocuous, it’s effective at doing what soju really does best, offering a mild and pliable base upon which to build a less boozy cocktail. On its own it’s a bit less of a thrill.
B / $36 / yobosoju.com