Once upon a time, about a year ago an old* friend got in touch to see if I’d like a bottle of Pliny The Younger from Russian River. Of course I would. As you may be aware certain events have disrupted travel somewhat. So fast forward to this year. Did I still want that beer? Yes please! Anything else? Oh, anything at all, maybe a Blind Pig…
And she delivered! The Blind Pig was bottled on the 4th of January so it was nice and fresh. I opened it first as it is a mere 6.25%. This is a proper old school West Coast IPA. The aroma is a blast of freshly cut lemon and lime citrus. It has a pleasant slightly oily mouthfeel. The bitterness is bang on. This is a fantastic beer and I was very impressed.
This year’s Pliny the Younger release wasn’t in person and the online demand was absolutely huge. Think Bruce Springsteen playing Vicar Street. Last year was only the first time it was bottled since being brewed first in 2005. My bottle was from the 5th of February last year. So I was opening it exactly a year later. The label included the usual advice to drink fresh for the best hop aroma. But, as it was 10.25% I was pretty confident that it would have held up well. **
Yup, there was still a nice amount of pine on the nose. The bitterness had mellowed a good bit, but it wasn’t overshadowed by the caramel sweetness of the malt. So, I’d imagine that it would be a far bit different fresh. That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the beer and count myself lucky to have gotten to try it. One day, I’ll be there in person for the launch. Sláinte!
*when I say old I just mean that we know each other a long time.
**I normally wouldn’t review a beer that’s past its prime but chose to make an exception.