Well it seems Mother Nature is drunk again and can’t seem to make up her mind so we might as well join her! The beer of choice this month is perfect to drink the cold away and welcome spring or even pretend is warm outside. Russian River Brewing Company has been brewing easily one of the top IPAs if not top beers in the world for all us beer geeks to enjoy. Seeing this is the case it’s a tough cookie to find but if you know someone you can usually get the hook up. I’m lucky enough to have friends, let alone ones that like to geek out about beer and share amazing them with me. Thankfully I had the pleasure of cracking a Pliny with a couple of friends a few weeks ago. I shall share my heavily experiences for your enjoyment. And I give to thee, Pliny The Elder!
We cracked this baby and split it amongst a few of us. The Pliny was poured into pint glasses and out gushed a beautiful, orange and ever so slightly hazy elixir of heaven. The head started to slowly settle around an inch or so; however bubbles continued to rise to the top of the glass throughout the pint giving birth to a very spirited brew. Strong floral and piney aromas instantly wafted through the air before I could even put the empty bottle down. Before I even touched my glass the tropical fruit and malty sweetness surrounded me. Man, this brew is breathtaking already! My first sip I fell in love all over again. It had been a year or two since Pliny and I have had the pleasure. My nose was filled with smells of flowers. Like seriously delicious, hoppy, magic flowers from some mystical land far far away that is only reachable by phoenix in the dark of the night. Hints of delightful doughy biscuits with tinges of citrus and a touch of caramel and wee bit of wet pine forest also come to mind. Damn, Russian River, you be killing it!
The palate dances ever so elegantly with the aromas. It’s enchanting doughy malt up front flowing into toasty caramel malts, delicate orange rind, and hints of tropical fruit goodness. It finishes with a perfect level of grapefruit rind bitterness and wet pine that tingles and stops time for an instant, and reminds me, that Yes, this might very well be an Imperial IPA of the gods. Out of this world. The taste nearly mirrors the smell. What great craftsmanship this beer is! The carbonation is perfectly executed as well, lively but not overly done. The little bubbles are the perfect vessel to bring out the delicate flavors the Pliny brings to the table. Coming in around 8% ABV this baby has some heat to it but you wouldn’t know it by the taste. It’s smooth and dangerous. This is a rare brew to come by so there is little worry that you will drink to many…..that’s unless you know the right peeps!
Pliny the Elder is phenomenal to say the least. Not overly complicated, it shines in its perfect balance of malts and hops, tasting fresh, fruity, malty and bitter in equally decadent parts. Unlike some beers that almost deliver a throat punch, this is the epitome of balance with distinctive flavor. Do yourselves a favor and track down a bottle or two of Russian River’s Pliny The Elder. I promise its worth all the trouble. And no, it’s not all hype, this beer rocks! Cheers and till next time.