Russian River: Pliny the Elder

There’s some perks to working at a liquor store. One is knowing when Pliny the Elder comes in. For those not in the know, Pliny the Elder is a super rare offering from the Russian River Brewing Company. It comes in about every 3 months and people ask for it every other freaking day. That always surprised me because it’s about 7.99 a bottle. It’s also got so many rave reviews I’ve got a healthy skepticism for how good this beer actually is. It’s scoring a 100 out of 100 on almost every beer review site.

So I picked up a bottle, knowing full well I don’t much care for hops. Pliny, besides having a fantastic name, has a nice golden color to it. It actually looks like a light ale. But gosh, it has a deep, hoppy smell. As it should, since it’s brewed with four different kinds of hops. But the taste, oh the taste, is wonderful. Even for the hop hater in me. It’s perfectly balanced between bitterness and citrus. It is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. It is the fine wine of beers. Is it worth the price? Not a chance. But at 8% it’s certainly not a total wash. You can get plenty of great IPAs these days, especially double IPAs that are way cheaper. But Pliny is still very delicious. If you don’t like hops though, stay far, far away.

3 out of 4 stars. Would order in a bar. Would buy as a gift for a friend.

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