First up is Hitejinro Chamisul Fresh, which is one of the brands you’re most likely to see on the shelves at the bottle shop down the road, and that’s because it’s one of the best soju brands out there. With a 13% alcohol content, and a nice, fresh mouthfeel, this is the soju of your dreams. There’s also heaps of tasty flavours like grape, strawberry, plum and grapefruit.
For the slightly sweeter, and probably one of the easier-to-drink soju’s out there, go for Lotte Liquor’s Chum Churum. You’ll find this brand stocked at Dan Murphy’s and some other bottle shops with heaps of delicious flavours – peach, apple, grape, and our personal favourite- yoghurt! Easy to sip on and undeniably delicious, what more could you want?
One of the best soju brands, if you’re looking for something a bit more unique, is West 32 Reserve. Firstly, it is made with 100% organic, gluten-free ingredients and contains no artificial sweeteners. The taste is slightly different to most soju too, thanks to the traditional method in which it is made along with its aged profile – it’s rested for six months in re-used bourbon and rye barrels, giving it a deep flavour similar to a light whiskey. FYI – it’s more on the expensive end, but it’s worth it.
Hwayo is one of the best soju brands if you’re looking for pure, traditional soju. It undergoes a six-month ageing process, which gives it a rich, smooth flavour with a hint of a burning aftertaste, given its high ABV of around 40%. This also means it’s perfect for cocktails or served neat. All in all, it offers a truly authentic soju experience.
We love Good Day’s soju, and not only just for the delicious lychee flavour, but for its irresistibly smooth, refreshing taste. It has a lighter taste than lots of other soju brands out there, due to its lower alcohol content and the floral, herbal notes hidden within its tasting profile. If you’re not a fan of lychee, try the watermelon flavour – you won’t be disappointed.
In an iconic clear bottle adorned with a beautiful, intricate illustration, Tokki Soju is one of the best soju brands in the artisanal sector. Whilst made in the United States, the brand follows the traditional Korean method of making soju, using only organic sticky rice, reverse-osmosis water, and a Korean-style nuruk for the yeast starter. Don’t let the US-based location of this distillery fool you – it’s as close to the real deal as you can get.
If you want something that sits somewhere in between a light and heavy soju, Charm Malgeun is the answer. Its flavour profile is sweet, with a slight burn at the end due to its fairly high alcohol content of around 20%. Their classic flavour is the way to go, but they also have some more unique offerings like coconut and honey that are worth a try.
Yobo Soju is artfully distilled in Southern California, making it one of the most popular soju brands in the US. Its name, Yobo, translates in Korean to ‘darling’ or ‘honey’ which speaks to the tastes this soju evokes – feelings of comfort, sweetness and content. It takes a unique, innovative spin on traditional ingredients, made with a blend of rice and grapes and finished with organic wheat. This means it is technically a brandy, but they call it soju anyway, and with a taste so similar (and delicious), we’re happy to go along with it.
We have no doubt that this green bottle of goodness will be almost impossible for you to resist after your first sip. We put this down to the unique way it’s been made, using natural bedrock water from 92 meters underground, and produced by the patented technology of dissolving oxygen through three stages. The end result? A highly oxygenated and therefore, incredibly clear, pure flavour.
‘Less bitter, less hungover and extra smooth’ is these guys’ motto and we can’t agree more. With flavours inspired by the coastal city of Busan, this soju delivers a well-balanced and clean soju taste that is as clear and smooth as the ocean, so they like to say. The taste profile is clean, smooth and slightly sweet, thanks to the hint of honey they splash in, as well as their far-infrared ray aging method, which creates extra smoothness without causing hangovers – bonus.
This one may be a little bit harder to get your hands on, as not many Aussie retailers stock it, but if you do manage to spy it out somewhere on the shelves, grab it! Made with volcanic bedrock water, it is a distilled undiluted solution made from Jeju Hallasan rice in Korea. The end result is a delicious, clean-tasting soju that also won’t give you an epic hangover!
OK, buckle up, because Andong Soju is not only delicious, but it contains 35% alcohol, which is nearly double the amount found in some of the other popular soju brands on the list. This brand prides itself on using old-school methods to create its soju, resulting in an authentic, sharp, clean taste. Not overly sweet, this is a soju for those with the stronger pallets among us, or for those avid soju drinkers – but don’t get too ahead of yourself, this stuff is strong.
With more than 10 years of experience reviewing beer, wine and spirits, Man of Many’s team of editors has selected a list of the best soju brands to drink right now. Outside of trying every soju on this list (often thanks to our friends in the industry) we’ve ranked the top brands based on flavour profile, cost, and access – some of these drinks can be hard to find!