Last weekend I went up to Russian River Brewing Co with a group of friends (by bike, in fact, a 130-mile round trip from San Francisco, but that’s a story for another day or blog…) for their two-week window of Pliny the Younger on tap.
After three hours waiting in line to get in (which passed surprisingly quickly due to good company and a boom box with some James Brown), I had a glass of this triple IPA in hand:
I went in expecting to be a bit disappointed and feel “well, at least I’ve checked that off my list”, because so few hyped things live up to expectations, because Pliny the Elder is a fine beer but not one that I go out of my way to order, and because “look at how many hops we put in this, rah rah rah” IPAs aren’t my favorite style.
But I loved it.
If anything, it tasted less hoppy (or at least less bitter) than Pliny the Elder and many of the heavily-hopped Pacific Northwest beers I didn’t like at the Oregon Brewers’ Fest. It had the scent and initial taste of strong (“resinous”?) pine and grapefruit, but they weren’t overwhelming, and I could actually taste the malt and some rich other flavors brought out by the heavy alcohol content (10.7%).