Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder courtesy of Paul and Vicki Green.

Pliny the Elder courtesy of Paul and Vicki Green.

When the only complaints you have about a beer are that it’s difficult to find and the label is impossible to save you just might have a pretty special beer.  The hype about Pliny the Elder amongst beer afficianados had me skeptical until I had the chance to try it for myself.  Yeah, it’s good.  First, if you are not a fan of IPAs, you wont appreciate Pliny the Elder and its nuance-infused taste profile.  Second, it’s a joy to behold when served in an appropriate vessel (see photo).  I told you so.

Pliny the Elder, by Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA, is medium gold with a luxuriant and long-lasting head and enough carbonation to delight the eye.  Upon the initial pour you’ll get a mild dose of piney hops, followed by some floral notes and a deep-seated malt sweetness.  This is not a hop bomb like some IPAs (Pliny is in fact a Double IPA), but the hops are indeed assertive.  There is no oily, resiny quality in Pliny, which can overwhelm the taste buds when drinking some IPAs and Double IPAs.  The lightness of body really works well, being an appropriate vehicle for promoting the grapefruit rind/piney/floral textures that begin to come out as the beer warms.  Yes, it continues to get better from start to finish.  The dry and bitter finish tends to last a while, but the crystal malt (I’m guessing) adds a sweetness in the exhale that balances everything pretty well.

This beer is fresh, and you can tell.  The label announces the benefits of drinking Pliny young and implores the drinker not to cellar it.  In fact, my Pliny was a mere 2 weeks old when I consumed it, having been bottled on 10/28/14 (bottling date is on the label), and the fresh, crisp nature of Pliny were apparent.  Pliny the Elder is refreshing, and the lower the level in your glass, the more you want to refill, but you probably can’t, because it’s so dang rare.

If Pliny the Elder was a girl, I’d write a song about it.  It’s that hot.

96/100 DIPA

Wham.

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