July 11, 2009
Pliny the Elder
I fell in love last night with an old man. His name is Pliny the Elder, and he is delicious! Seriously one of the best beers I've ever had. The brewers at Russian River Brewing certainly know what they're doing (they had me at Blind Pig IPA).
Pliny is an Imperial IPA. Now, for as much as I love the IPAs, Imperials are usually a bit too strong for me. There's something about their taste I'm not entirely in to - I think that for me, most tend to be too bitter. Not so with Pliny. I could easily have drank him all night (well, maybe not that easily since he comes in at a fairly hefty 8% ABV). But that taste! Citrusy, hoppy and not too bitter. Really a perfect balance here. The smell is wonderful - piney, grapefruity, floral. And what a pour - a nice deep orange with a good head.
The story of the real Pliny the Elder is interesting. He was a Roman naturalist, writer, historian - and, fittingly enough, he created the botanical name for hops with his contemporaries. He was killed in 79 AD while watching the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Pliny is somewhat difficult to find, but well worth looking for. When you do find him, you're going to want to make sure to order one immediately.