Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeling Finey With Some Pliny

Like the punny blog titles? I sure hope so. (Or hop so?) Ahem, so...Very quickly into my foray into the wilderness of beer education, I heard about some highly regarded Double India Pale Ales. In particular, Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger from Russian River in CA. Pliny the Elder is a year-round beer, made with 100 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) and 8% alcohol. Pliny the Younger is much more limited, not available in bottles and is called a Triple India Pale Ale with even more hops and bitterness and alcohol.

Pliny the Elder won the Gold medal at the "World Beer Cup" in 2006 in the Double IPA category. (note to self: find out how to be a judge at this thing!)

So therefore, I was super excited when my little sister who lives in Oregon was able to score me a bottle of this for my birthday!

All over the bottle are phrases saying things like, "DRINK ME NOW!" Drink while fresh, fresh hops are best, do not age, drink me please!!!

So this bottle was about a month old. And it was delicious.

I poured it into my new and sexy Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass. It was a lovely orange with 1-2 fingers of sudsy white head. It slided viscously around the sides of the glass.

The smell...Oh the smell. When I opened the bottle, hops just poured out of it. Orange. Pineapple. Pine. Grass. Mango. A bit of spice. Very enticing.

And the taste. Oh boy, lots o' hops! The taste went from sweet fruits to bitter pines. The mango was really present. Sweet citrus to bitter pines with a bit of spice, maybe pepper. Each sip left a huge hop presence in my mouth; I felt like I'd be tasting hops forever.

This was absolutely delicious. Tremendously hoppy and tasty. While I was disappointed when the bottle was empty, it did get a wee bit bitter for me after a while. Still awesome. I'm so glad I got to try this! Hopefully I'll get to try Pliny's Younger one day too! Thanks sis.



  1. Yay! I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for the Younger, or at least send you another Elder sometime. I really enjoyed it too.

  2. Sarah, I tried a Swedish pear cider from these guys today: it was actually at an Irish pub, and omg, it was SO GOOD -- light, crisp, not overly sweet, and I could have sucked down many many of them except I'm supposed to watch my carbs.