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Russian River – Pliny the Elder – 94

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GRADE: 94

So I finally managed to get my paws on one of the Holy Grail beers, the legendary Pliny the Elder. One of the original and most revered Imperial/Double IPAs has been on my beer wish list for ages. Beer Advocate and Rate Beer rate it a perfect 100. The Brew Professor says don’t read too much into the hype.

As Holy Grail beer, I’ve heard tales of people offering body parts, evenings with their significant others, first born children, and other obscene gestures to secure a bottle. I had my mind made up that this wort and hop perfection was going to make my head explode upon first sip. As I’m able to mash out this post on my iPad, it didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very fine IIPA. Great hop forward flavor with a balanced malt profile. An appropriate amount of bitterness comes through at the end of the drink and the 8% ABV fits nicely. Great color and head, loads of great lacing and all the other super beer nerd requirements.

I just think I placed it on too high of a pedestal. Would I drink it again if it somehow made it this far east? Absolutely. Would I fork over a prized possession just to taste the golden nectar? No. There are some great renditions from Three Floyds that we can get pretty easily in this area that match it in quality. Heck, Stone puts out similar quality on a massive scale.

In full disclosure, this was bottled on 10/17/2012 – so it was 23 days old when I drank it. I know it’s supposed to be drank extremely fresh.

I don’t have a price since it was another part of my SD care package, but I’m sure it’s in line with others of the like.

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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