I recently received bottles of Korean three- and five-year aged soy sauce from Gotham Grove and immediately cracked open the five-year bottle. The company’s web-page describes the five-year aged soy sauce as having a Stiltonesque smell, a deep and complex flavor with a hint of sweetness and less saltiness than regular soy sauce. Most of this description is correct, but I would describe the sauce as having a strong Stilton or blue-cheese smell with a lot of umami flavor. For my palate it tasted saltier than the regular store bought soy sauce and does have a thicker, velvetier texture than store bought sauces. I used a table spoon to make a dumpling dipping sauce and it was excellent, I was sipping the dipping sauce from a spoon.
The back-story on this sauce is that it is made using a 600-year old recipe at a family owned business, Artisan Fermentary, in Cheongju South Korea, led by a matriarch named Jonghee Kim. The soy sauce is made simply from soybeans, sea salt and water and fermented for 5-years in traditional Korean earthenware urns. I tried to find out more about Jonghee Kim and Artisan Fermentary, but the only mentions of her or the business on the English speaking web are on Grove Garden and another similar importer’s website.