Russian River’s Pliny The Elder

As we all know, not all American craft beers are created equal. Since all of our senses work differently, it is easy to see why each beer can rated and reviewed with such a wide array of values/comments. A few beers stick out from the crowd, seemingly being close to an euphoric drink as possible, as the range is tight and their isn’t much disagreeing in between.

Pliny The Elder by Russian River is one of those beers. I have long wanted to taste and review this beer. Fortunately I received one this past week with a date of February, 01, 2010 – nice and fresh. It comes in a 500mL bottle for $5.49. Now, I could have easily partaked by myself but that isn’t the way to enjoy any beer. Of course I had to call over Rich for a 4:00pm tasting yesterday. Needless to say he didn’t hesitate to say yes.

I pulled the beer out of the fridge around 3:20 or so to ensure that it would be at optimal temperature. roshe run I also grabbed my snifter as I wanted to waft in the aromatics as much as possible.

Finally, Rich rang the doorbell. Time to press on.

I opened the bottle and inhaled deeply, not once but twice, from the bottle top. Wow! In the bottle it is awesome. I poured the bottle equally between the two glasses as best I could. Big white foam, frothy and clingy while the pour was slightly cloudy.

The aroma is fantastic. An exquisite blend of pine and citrus hops that are balanced so well with an almost hidden sweet malt backbone. Oh the taste, a symphony to the buds. Once again a sweet malt gently flows to balance while the rest of the beer is pure hops. Now this is where the greatness of the beer seems to shine for me; pine and grapefruit like citrus hops that are not overly bitter nor long lasting. It is a IIPA that seems to have the ability to be sessioned as it doesn’t ruin the palate. The mouth isn’t that big but the carbonation is. I could have this over and over again. I might move to California so I can have it all the time. 10/10

I don’t know how to quite explain it: the beer is big, yet has the presence of a smaller beer, while still letting you know it isn’t. Enjoy!

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