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.

14 comments:

  1. I spent a bit of time in the past chasing Pliny the Elder around Philly. Well worth the time and effort. It's still one of my favorites. Now you have to search out the more elusive Pliny the Younger. It's even more amazing.

    Brian
    www.iambeerwise.com

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  2. Brian - I've heard about the Younger and definitely want to get my hands on one! Any recos on where I should try?

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  3. The Younger is a rare find. It made its way around Philly a few months ago and unfortunately might not be back until next year. However if it pops up anytime soon I'll let you know.

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  4. any good leads on where i can find the elder in philly?

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  5. Hey John - sorry, was in CA until yesterday and was unable to respond to this before now.
    I know Pliny was on tap at St Stephen's Green, which is at 17th and Green. You can also check beermenus.com, although I'm not sure how often the menus are updated.

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  6. sorry i havent checked back in forever. thanks for the tips. lemme know if you hear about any pliny the younger!

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  7. I know that the Younger will be available at TJs in Paoli on March 20th. Their site is tjsbeer.com. It's also going to be available at various locations in Philly in early March, I'm just not sure where/when yet.

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  8. Hey Beer Girl - I'm super excited to find the Elder next week when I come down from Boston to visit my family for the holiday. Any idea where he's at? I'm guessing it's only on tap in the Philly area, not to buy in bottles? Thanks!!

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  9. Hey Beer Girl - I'm super excited to track down the Elder next week when I'm down in Philly area to visit the family for the holiday. Do you have any idea where I can find this? I'm guessing it's available only on tap and not to buy in liquor stores in bottles? Thanks!

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  10. Hi Pete - right now he's on tap at Sidecar Bar (22nd and Christian) but he usually doesn't stay long at places. You can check phillytapfinder.com and beermenus.com once you get in town to see what you can find. It's definitely a harder one to track down - but well worth the effort! Good luck!

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  11. Great- thank you!! Can you buy it in bottles anywhere that you know of?

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  12. It's not available in bottles that I know of, only on draft.

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  13. Pliny the Elder is actually available in bottles, although not available to philadelphia because of the time lag between cali and philly. Russian River only wants people to enjoy this beer extremely fresh so the hop flavors won't dissipate. Although Pliny the Younger (which is probably the best beer i've ever tasted) is not available in bottle form anywhere, ever.

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