Thursday, February 10, 2011

Russian River Pliny the YOUNGER Review

I have been following the various reports that Pliny the Younger was making its way down to San Diego.  Twitter was a essential alley in following the reports from bars, blogs and people in the "know"  Hearing that Toronado SD(@toronadosd) was preparing to tap their Younger keg when it was delivered.  I decided to make my way to 30th Ave.  

Understanding that the brew would quickly sell out I arrived at opening time.  It was a early opening in celebration of the event.  I was about the 10th or so in line joining other beer geeks, homebrewers and the local "beer media".  With a loud "Let's Drink" coming from the front of the line Toronado opened the doors.  Would happiness or disappointment seal my fate?

Sitting down at the bar I was joined by another homebrewer named Tim on the left.  On the right, was a girl that had just visited the dentist.  She was wondering out loud if the nova-cane would effect the taste of the beer she was about to have.  I thought that is some dedication to Russian River's ability in brewing.

The bartenders just started to pour rounds after rounds.  Handing you a beer in exchange all they wanted was a credit card.  They did not want to mess with the handling of cash, that would add to the waiting time for more rounds.  People with cash simply got passed by...I was luck enough to have a card in my hand right as the bartender walked up and set a glass on the table. 

Here is my 1st look at 2011 Pliny the younger from Russian River Brewing.  A beautiful round tulip glass with the clearest copper colored liquid I have ever seen.   The aroma is clearly Pliny the Elder, with very similar hints of Simcoe and Amarillo hops.  You can tell that this beer has a very serious amount of dry hopping done to it.  Probably in a way that I can never duplicate in homebrewing.

The 1st taste was kind of unexpected, I was not blown away was I was hoping.  Don't get me wrong it is a great beer.  I have just always heard so many great things about this brew....and I think the years of waiting built my expectations to high.  I think my mind was expecting something that is unachievable in taste.   Anyways back to the beer. 

The ABV is over 11% on this brew.  The craftsmanship and ability in brewing a high gravity beer with so much aroma, body and taste without the burn of alcohol is amazing.  The hops were kept in check throughout the sipping.  I did not get any bitterness in the hops at all.  It was only a clean citrus taste with hints of plum and a small amount of pine.  Very close to the original Pliny the Elder's hop profile.  The malt is just enough to keep the hops in check.  I am not a malt head, I prefer to have a hop forward beer.  This is right up my alley for a high gravity beer.  You can taste the proprietary Russian River yeast which is a great thing for me.  It brings a since of quality to the beer that other breweries can not achieve.

It was a special day for me....sitting in that chair having a Pliny the Younger.  Rereading that last line just made me smile.  Days like this will not happen very often.  A great beer and great unexpected company.  Prost!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for Commenting, Prost!