The name Pliny the Elder comes from the Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher. He lived between A.D 23 – A.D 79 and is known for writing the Naturalis Historia, an encyclopedic work that is the model for todays encyclopedias. And most important of all, he created the botanical name for hops; lupus salictarius, which translates as “Wolfs of the willows”.
This beer has been one of the most hyped beer for many years now. First when it came out, for being this bold and amazingly hoppy Imperial IPA and still now accused of being an overestimated beer. No matter what, this beer has a top score on both Ratebeer and Beeradvocate. It’s the second best Imperial IPA in the world according to Ratebeer (no.1 is held by it’s sibling; Pliny the Younger).
In a lot of beer forums there are hectic discussions about this beer, whether it’s worth all the praise and it’s place on beer lists. Many beer drinkers think we have so many better Imperial IPA’s today (Heady Topper is often mentioned one of them), and that it’s only the hype around Pliny the Elder that gives it the high scores. How ever, I think it is up to each and everyone to have their own opinion. If you like it, enjoy it. If you don’t like it, drink something else.
Beer: Pliny the Elder
Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
Style: Imperial IPA
Appearance: It pours a darker, golden colour, almost amber. It’s hazy with a thick head that stays for a long time and leaves laces on the edges of my glass.
Aroma: It has a subtle fruity aroma. I can sense a sweetness and it’s a bit boozy when inhaling deeply.
Taste: Hoppy, fruity and a subtle bitterness in the background.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and soft. It feels like it’s lower carbonated which gives it a smooth almost velvety feeling on my tongue.
Overall: This is such a delicious beer. I’ve had it five times and I’ve always enjoyed it a lot. This bottle was approximately five weeks old. It’s such a balanced beer and it’s like the perfect marriage between the malts and hops which makes it very drinkable too. The keyword here is: balance. I don’t care how much hate this hyped beer gets, I still think it’s a pretty darn good beer!