Beer Review: Sol

I feel like seeing what beers the Latin world has to offer. So, over the next few days, if it’s not from a hot, emotional, Catholic country, I’m not interested. So where better to start than with Sol. This Mexican offering has been advertised heavily on posters recently. Let’s see what it’s all about.

Sol bottle

I like the look of this bottle. It’s tall and slim, just like me. And the clear glass shows off the bright yellow liquid within. My knowledge of the Spanish language might be rusty, but I know enough Latin to guess that “Sol” means “sun”. And this bottle looks sunny.

Without a neck label to speak of, we head straight for the main front label.

Sol front label

With a transparent background filled, mostly, with white and red, Sol stays looking original and sunny. Not least because everything on there revolves around a big, stylised picture of the sun. It proudly displays the words “Imported Beer” at the top of the label. And there is some Spanish, which I think translates to “beer” and “since 1899″.

At the bottom of the label, there is what looks like medals. But they’re so small, I can’t make out what they say. Also toward the bottom of the label, amongst some Spanish small print is more pride in its Mexican origin. I could well be wrong here, but it looks like the company behind Sol is a brewer by the concise name of Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma. If you can shed some light on Sol’s origins and reputation in it’s homeland, do please leave a message at the end of this post.

Lastly, we find some important little small-print details hidden away in a corner of the label. That this is a 33 centilitre bottle. And that is has an alcoholic volume of 4.5%. This isn’t going to be terribly strong then.

Over on the back, and because this is imported, it has very little information. But repeated in half a dozen different languages.

Sol back label

Interestingly for an imported beer, they have given us the UK units of alcohol. Which, if you’re interested, is a paltry 1.5 units for this little bottle.

This bottle was imported to the UK by Coors Brewers Limited. They have a consumer helpline number. A website at www.sol-beer.co.uk. And, unsurprisingly for a beer, it contains malted barley. And that is everything worth mentioning on this bottle. Now time to see if Sol is a hot summer’s day or a bank holiday Monday of a beer.

Sol poured into a glass

Thanks to the transparent glass, the colour won’t surprise you. In the glass, it looks fizzy. And there is one of the most consistent and manageable heads I’ve seen in a very long time. No clusters of vanishing bubbles. This is a consistent layer of foam. Very nice.

And it smells like beer. After so many awful lagers recently, it’s great to smell something vaguely beer-like again. It may be somewhat generic in its beer-ness, but it has that familiar, welcoming blend of malted barley and hops to greet your nostrils.

A shame then that the taste is a let down. It may not be a lager, but it doesn’t taste much better than one. The blend of ingredients leaves a horrible, and lingering bitterness and sourness in your mouth. At this point, I usually reel of a list of the flavours I can taste. But in Sol’s case, that’s impossible because I’m wincing from the horrible unpalatable, and lingering blend of bitterness and sourness.

In its favour, it’s not particularly gassy. It smells right. The blend of tastes and flavours are unlike any, from any other beer I’ve sampled. So you could call it full of character and distinctiveness. And it comes in a very nice bottle.

I wanted to like Sol. I truly wanted, and expected, to enjoy a fine quality, if largely generic beer. So it’s with considerable regret that I cannot recommend it. More than that. This is one of the worse beers and biggest disappointments I’ve tried. It makes Latin American economic policy look successful in comparison.

Rating: 1.3

Have you tried Sol? Did you find it as revolting as I did? Is there anyone who likes it?
Corrections, opinions, thoughts, ideas and suggestions here please. Check back soon for more.

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18 Responses to “Beer Review: Sol”

  1. TheBrewClub Says:

    Good review! I recently sampled a bunch of Mexican beers myself, and Sol was one that I had not yet tried. I’m thinking maybe I won’t waste my time! As far as the Mexican beers, I liked the Pacifico and Negra Modelo the best.

  2. Mike Says:

    I’ve been drinking beer for quite sometime now and usually in Mexico, beach or the river to name a few beer drinking spots. Pacifico is a great beer, XX is fine too. Corona is SHIT and Sol is a crowd pleaser among the hot spots. Women love Sol for all of you dumb asses out there. So drink what the ladies like and you fools might like it too.

  3. Frank Zappa Says:

    I love it

  4. Brules Says:

    You were not doing it right.

    Mexican beers are supposed to be tasted with salt and lime. :)

    Freeze mug
    Line Rim with salt
    Pour in Sol
    Squeeze in 1 half lime
    Add a pinch of salt
    And you have heaven on earth!

  5. jj Says:

    I just got back from Cancun, where I tried Sol. I loved it, but I’m a light-weight beer drinker and a woman too. I will be buying some here if I can find it to see if it tastes as good at home as it did on vacation. If I change my mind I will fess up.

  6. phree Says:

    It’s alright, it’s better than Budweiser and Miller – Must have a lime with it no doubt. It’s better than Corona, but not much, not saying much about the beer itself either tho.

    Ofcourse there are a billion better beers, but as a cheap beer goes, better than any american macro-brews, stick with the micros.

  7. JOHN Says:

    Sol seems to be the beer of choice at many of the resorts in
    Mexico…sometimes the only one offered. I had my first one
    many years ago and have had nothing else since. Its light, clean
    and always a treat! Hard to find in the states but well worth the
    effort.

  8. Jim Says:

    JOHN you are right. I am American and lived in several of the resort areas of the Yucatan. Many/Most places offer Sol and nothing else. I don’t remember If I loved it from the start, but I do now. I moved to Texas and one of the considerations in moving was that Sol was easy to find…hahaha. True story.

  9. Derek Says:

    I’m not a super taster (i.e. there are a lot of distinctions people make between beers and wines that I just can’t tell apart). So I’m not one to really listen to on the taste question. But I just spent 3 weeks on the east coast of the Yucatan (NOT in Cancun) and here’s what I do know:

    At many places *that cater to Mexicans* rather than tourists, there is only one beer available. It’s often Sol, but it could be Pacifico or Dos Equis (XX). I think only tourists drink Corona. Honestly, all these beers taste pretty similar to me (especially the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th, etc).

    What really affects the way my beer tastes is whether I add lime and what I’m eating. If there are lots of other gringos around, I like a lime. If I want to blend better with the locals, I DON’T take a lime. Most Mexican guys DO NOT put lime in their beer. This raises the question of who is the target market for “Sol con Limon y Sal.” It’s been available for more than a year, so someone must be buying it, but I bought a six-pack with a Canadian a German last year and with the distinctive saltiness, it was universally reviled. Maybe it’s consumed by construction crews before the siesta that’s mandatory when the temp hits 95 with 90% humidity.

  10. Laurence Says:

    I too, when in Mexico Resort … found only SOL, drank it than and have no problems with enjoying it now !!!

  11. JP Kearns Says:

    Served cold, very cold nothing beats this beer on a hot summers day, no additives required (lime,salt) unlike some others. Is this beer distributed by Molson-Coors in the US, as Corona is supplied by Molson here in Canada

  12. Dave Blair Says:

    I like Sol quite a bit. (Just make sure it hasn’t been sitting on a lighted shelf somewhere for a long time.) It’s fine with or without the lime. It’s best, of course, on a hot sunny day. I drink dark beers in the colder months…Warsteiner Dunkel, Negra Modelo, Franziskaner Dunkelweizen, and various sundry porters and stouts. But on a hot sunny day, it’s hard to beat a Sol for pure refreshment.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I completely disagree. On a hot Summer day, relaxing on my deck, nothing beats a Sol. Light, but still has good flavor, and goes down very smooth. I’m not exactly a beer novice either. Now, stuck in your home in the middle of a blizzard, you will want something a bit hardier.

  14. Silvermeddle Says:

    I have a large bottle at this very moment, its 940ml (impressive size for a tally) I tasted it when the beer was very cold, there is nothing nasty about this beer, its bright in colour and light in taste, the perfect beer to be drinking on a hot day when you are consuming a hot mexican chilli dish. mmmmmmmm, dont get wrong there are many better tasting beers from mexico, this one is a nice middle of the road dinner beer

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with all the reviews from the people that like Sol, and totally disagree with you. I spend many a vacation in Mexico and only want Sol, for my beer preference. Upon returning to Canada, I also buy it here, and drink it right through the winter. It always tastes the same to me…….GREAT!!!

  16. jwg Says:

    sol is the true mexican king, too bad nobody knows about it. not only is it killer good, but that inked on label is super sexy too. if you can find it, by all means, drink it. your belly will love it

    • socal777 Says:

      I’ve enjoyed this beer many times since high school 88′ I would agree my two favorite Mexican beers are Sol and XX.

  17. Avnish Says:

    After Budweiser, Sol is the best tasting beer I’ve had so far. Some might think I am naive to even mention these two beers together; and rightly so. I am not a beer veteran. If anything, a novice at best. However, I know my beer when I taste it. The first time I had Sol, it was at an Airport Hub. Since then, Sol is all I’ve ever had. It is a mild brew which might not please the pallet of self proclaimed Macho’s who’d rather drink to show off than to actually enjoy a drink. To best enjoy this beer, use it to make your Michelada. The Macho’s, of course, can sniff gunpowder and call it a night. :-)

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