The vertical Old Sol presentation for Seattle Beer Week was an incredible treat, even in comparison to the other wonderful events that we have attended so far. It was a big surprise to this beer taster for a number of reasons.
I arrived early and tried some of the regular Big Time brews on tap while waiting the unveiling of the Old Sol wheat wine. I was feeling burnt out after a long days work and wasn’t up to drinking much. So after the initial Big Time Brew and some great chili, I was ready to sample one aged Old Sol and be on my way.
My first surprise was that it wasn’t just one Old Sol but a 5 year vertical flight from 2004-2008. When I saw the tray full of snifters full of wheat wine I didn’t think I was up to the task. I brought the tray back to the table and the astonished look from my partner let me know I wasn’t the only one who thought I wasn’t up to the task.
The second surprise was the variability of Old Sol from year to year, especially in balance and color. Each year was an amazing taste sensation but your favorite was 2005, then 2007, 2008, 2004 and finally 2006. These quality brews really made me appreciate Bill Jenkin’s skills as a master brewer. The colors ranged from butterscotch to dark amber and I strongly preferred those on the darker color range. They were more complex and the sweetness was well balanced. The biggest common denominator was the strong alcohol content across the vertical tasting. It only took me two hours of hard labor in the yard to sober up!
PS I covet the Old Sol T-shirt that Bill was wearing that night.