256. Russian River Brewing Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder (and Younger) are beers that I had read a lot about but didn’t think I would get a chance to try any time soon. Out of the blue a beer friend contacted me saying he had an “extra” bottle and would like to trade. Fortunately I had a beer that he wanted and we made the trade last week.

Pliny the Elder has a great label letting you know you NEED to drink it fresh, do not age, etc so I was sure to enjoy at my first opportunity. This is an Imperial/Double IPA which is my favorite style of beer lately.

Color is what you would expect from an IPA nice orange with a thick white head. Lots of aroma with plenty of pineapple, resin and a bit of alcohol. Very pleasant and draws you into the beer. Taste has everything you want from big IPA, lots of fruit tastes; pineapple, grapefruit and some pine bitterness. Malts are there to balance things out with a slightly sweet ending. This is one of the best Double IPAs out there and if you get the chance be sure to try it.
Pros: Everything
Cons: Not available in Maine 🙁
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): High
Rating: ★★★★
Brewers Website: Russian River Brewing
Brewers Description: Pliny the Elder is brewed with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ, and Simcoe hops. It is well-balanced with malt, hops, and alcohol, slightly bitter with a fresh hop aroma of floral, citrus, and pine. Best enjoyed FRESH! That is why we make it in such limited supply. Actual bottling date is printed on each bottle!

Where did we come up with this name? Back in the year 2000, our friend, Vic Kralj, who owns the Bistro in Hayward, California, decided to have his first ever Double IPA festival. Vic invited 10 breweries, 6 of whom (including us) had to brew something special for him since we had nothing that would fall under this style category. Vinnie had made a Double IPA at Blind Pig in 1994, but was not brewing one at Russian River Brewing at the time. He had an idea for the recipe, but not a name. After much research in beer books, brainstorming, and deliberation, we came up with “Pliny the Elder”. Pliny, the man, lived in the first century- 23 to 79 A.D. According to our brewing references, he and his contemporaries either created the botanical name or at least wrote about Lupus Salictarius, or hops, currently known as Humulus Lupulus. That was a very early reference to an important part of any Double IPA! Pliny the beer has now become one of our flagship brews!

Pliny the Elder was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who wrote about his uncle succumbing to ash and smoke during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. while rescuing people. Cheers to the scholar, historian, officer, writer, and Roman Naturalist- Pliny the Elder!

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