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North Korea launches whisky

North-Korean-Whisky-2

North Korean Whisky, North Korean Whiskey, or North Korean moonshine! However you want to spell it, it now exists. I’ll honest on this one I probably care a bit too much about it. We broke this story AND were the only people to ACTUALLY try North Korean Whisky, YET the news ran with it and claim the story. We broke this one, we OWN this one.

Drinking in North Korea – What’s the story

There are a hell of a lot of wrong misconceptions about North Korea. Some of them are flat out lies (haircut story), some things are exaggerated, whilst others are just misunderstood. Long story short North Koreans love a drink and you can definitely get your drink on here. Like any place drunkenness should be avoided, it is not vegas either.

Drinking in North Korea is a pastime though and your Korean guides will want to drink with you.

Whisky in North Korea

Despite being commies Whisky much like any place carries a degree of prestige.If you want to bring a nice gift for your North Korean guides, think about bringing a good bottle with you. They particularly like Johnny Walker, but more on that later.

North Korean Whisky, an old story?

OK, so this is not exactly breaking news, but last week I (The Street Food Guy) posted a picture of two bottles of North Korean whiskey which has been given to one of my colleagues by a North Korean friend. And holy shit the internet went wild! Google North Korean whiskey, or whisky, and there are now tonne of stories, all procured pretty much from that one tweet.

Sadly, our blog, which you can read here ranks a miserly 5th! Most of the articles pretty much just regurgitate the same crap, so let’s tell the whole story of North Korean whiskey!

How did we score North Korean Whisky?

We received the bottles from a North Korean friend, so that we could try whilst he was in Dandong, and posted said picture. You will notice that the bottles look a little bit like Johnny Walker. This is no mistake, and the North Koreans smartly did this as many North Koreans know Johnny Walker, and using a same colour scheme would give it brand awareness. In my mind a smart move.

north korean whiskey

Can you buy North Korean Whiskey?

Another consequence of us posting the photo was that a lot of people contacted us wanting to buy one, or more. We were, and indeed are all about that as a concept, but as it is a newly released product, they are not yet at the stage to be exporting North Korean whisky. When they do export it, we are going to be ready to export.

To read about North Korean street food click here

How did the North Korean whisky taste? We ended up trying one of the two bottles, and whilst it wasn’t amazing, as a first shot at making whisky it was a decent effort.

A future Korean whisky powerhouse?

For now we will have to wait for the next batch of Korean whisky, but fear not in its absence we shall not go thirsty, not when there’s North Korean Beer, and North Korean Soju to keep us refreshed!

north korean whisky

Update – North Korean Whisky seems to be back, but alas again in limited supply. There’s also now a North Korean champagne, or rather Korean sparkling wine (as my French friends correct me), that we are also anxious to try.

Update on the update! – Well now it is Coronavirus times, so no visiting North Korea, BUT we have been assured we will be getting some North Korean whisky when it does open. For now watch this space.

Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

Appropriating Travel Junkie

North Korean drinks

Drink Soju an introudction