Today it’s time to test one of the most famous beers on the planet. Russian River’s Pliny The Elder is a massive Imperial IPA, that is currently rated as the 2nd best Imperial IPA (4th overall) at BeerAdvocate and 3rd best Imperial IPA (19th overall) at RateBeer. Expectations are of course very high, but I am also prepared for a slight disappointment, as the beer has first had a rough travel across the Atlantic, and then another one from Holland to Finland. The beer was bottled on the 29th of June, so it is about 1 and a half month old now, and thus quite fresh (which according to the brewer is very important for the beer). Russian River write the following on the label: ‘Does not improve with age! Hoppy beers are not meant to be aged! Keep away from heat! Respect your elder: keep cold, drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a Historical figure, don’t make the beer inside this bottle one! Not a barley wine, do not age! Age your cheese, not your Pliny! Respect hops, consume fresh! If you must, sit on eggs, not on Pliny! Do not save for a rainy day! Pliny is for savoring, not for saving! Consume Pliny fresh, or not at all!’. There is no information on the malts and hops used on the bottle or on Russian River’s website, but Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River has given out a recipe to homebrewers, which includes 2-row, Crystal and Carapils Malt, dextrose, and CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus), Simcoe and Centennial hops. The homebrew recipe has an IBU of around 100, but I can’t say if this applies to the real thing. Let’s try it out!
Edit: Had another bottle the following day (this one was 2 weeks fresher (bottled 11.07.2011)), and must say the aroma and flavour was even better!