Celebrating Summer with a 10 year old beer

Greetings fellow beer lovers. Molly and I have been in Tucson exploring the beer offerings of southern Arizona the past few days (a fact you may have noticed by Molly’s posts from her nifty new camera phone (2 mexapixels and a full keyboard — pretty awesome).

After I’ve had a chance to weed through the photos, I’ll write up a post on the beers of that region (and the people who make them). In the meantime, I want to share a picture with you so you’ll know what I’ll be up to this evening… and understand if I mysteriously never post another story again.

A ten year-old bottle of Olde English 800 Malt LiquorThis, ladies and gentlemen is a bottle of Olde English 800 Malt Liquor (aka: “a 40 of Olde-8”) lovingly craft brewed by the good folks at the Miller Brewing Company.

A good friend of mine, Junior, gave me two bottles of it in honor of a legendary (and/or notorious) weekend I will not speak of here.

That was June 21, 1997.

I have kept these beers carefully cellared for the past decade in anticipation of this day. Tonight, as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean on the longest day of the year, we are going to crack the screw cap and drink the whole 40.

We may find this — a beer never meant to sit on a shelf for more than 14 days — to have mellowed well and offer rich notes of lemon, caramel, and bread.

We may also find that it causes blindness, madness and profuse bleeding from the ears nose prior to a fatal seizure.

Really, there’s just no way to tell at this point.

Before we drink, a good visual inspection and description of the Olde-8 is in order.

The beer is in a clear glass bottle the shape of a Polaris missile warhead. (Coincidence? I don’t think so.) The cap is a classic screw cap, gold in color, that both adds a noble touch and ensures easy opening without the need for a pesky bottle opener.

The content are a golden amber in color, actually darker than the Olde 800 you’ll see on the shelves today. (I don’t know if this has to do with a change in the brewing or the aging process.) A slight tip of the bottle reveals that magic “flavor crystals” have materialized in the beer during its aging process.

Ten year old Old-8 close-up of Flavor Crystals in the bottle

(Click image for close-up)

The cap appears to be well-seated with no leakage, and the tamper-evident collar still intact, demonstrating that it remains sealed for my protection.

I’m going to take the bottle and chill it now in preparation for the tasting at sunset (which is precisely at 8 PM here in San Diego). I’ll have tasting notes and a photo or two for you tomorrow.

Or I may be in the hospital having my stomach pumped.


Author: Sage
I'm a writer, marketing strategist, tech weenie and craft beer lover.

5 thoughts on “Celebrating Summer with a 10 year old beer

  1. 😯 I don’t know why this makes me smile. I am skeered for you but I’m dying to know how it’s going to taste! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you survive!

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