Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Beer hounds the world over are gossiping about the arrival this month in bottles of RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING’s double IPA, PLINY THE ELDER. This beer’s been an on-tap favorite of many for a few years now, with some folks describing it in rapturous terms and traveling through hell’s half acre to drink a mere pint of it. I guess, having had a few pints of this in my time, I’ve never quite really understood the whoop-de-do. Well now those very same pints are in bottles, at least in a few select markets, and I picked myself up a bottle last Friday to see if this very good, if exceptionally overrated beer, had any different mojo working when bottled. I report: it does not. PLINY THE ELDER is another rock-solid west coast IPA, with a distinctly piney, almost oily character that sets itself a wee tad apart from some of the others, and naturally it’s hopped-up as hell. It tastes quite bready, with grapefruit being the predominant fruit flavor, though again, it’s got that pine forest thing going on that must be what’s driving the kids crazy out there in the beer forums. Hard for me to understand why this IPA, of all IPAs, is so exceptional. It’s a good one, but in a blind tasting if you told me it was from Sacramento Brewing or Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing or Osprey Springs Ales & Lagers, I’d totally believe ya. 7.5/10. My previous score stands.

PS – I bought a bottle of BLIND PIG IPA as well, and that one – well, that one deserves every bit of hype it gets thrown at it. We’ll see how it fares out of a bottle later this week.


Steve said...

I happened to just have a half liter of this last night and every time I have it I think it's one of the most solid DIPA's out there (right up there with Pure Hoppiness and Ruination). Pliny doesn't offer anything earth shattering new as far as flavor goes. I think where it really excels is in its drinkability. It's a DIPA one could seemingly have a couple of. I can't tell you how many DIPA's I've come across where I couldn't do a whole pint of it, let alone 2 pints.

Jarrod said...

Well it may be overrated to you, but that makes sense to me since you thought Blind Pig was worth every bit of the "hype" being thrown at it.

I was shocked to see Pliny in Bottles already in Livermore, Ca of all places. I've drinken about 9 bottled Pints since Friday 07/31/08 and the bottled date said 07/30/08.

From what I've read Bevmo was turned down because they don't have the chilled space to accommodate owner Vinnie's request.

Of course you can always find this on Tap at the First Street Ale House in Livermore, Ca as well.

Thank you Vinnie and Russian River!

Anonymous said...

Like all things, it's highly subjective. I find the Rolling Stones and U2 to be extremely overrated, yet they continue to sell out the largest of arenas.

Some people simply love a good IPA, and when enough people love the same IPA, phenomenons like this occur.

~ cheers

Michael Reinhardt said...

I did a review of Pliny and totally agree with you. I set a link in our article to your site for your review as well.

shane said...

the pliny is awesome. it is clearly a beer, apart from others. if anyone mistakes that beer from a sac brewing beer and any other said companies i would question their taste. how i feel energetically after drinking a beer is quite important and the pliny is drinkable and leaves your body light.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find the bottles in Livermore?

This is a very nice beer despite the lukewarm review