SundayBrew Recommends Pliny The Elder by the Russian River Brewing Company of Santa Rosa, California. SundayBrew feels that Russian River Brewing has perfected the American Double / Imperial India Pale Ale with its fine offering of Pliny The Elder. Pliny The Elder weighs in with an 8.0% ABV and has won the Gold Medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup, Gold Medal at the 2005 GBAF, and Bronze Medal at the 2004 GBAF, in the Double IPA Category.
SundayBrew notes that Pliny The Elder has a golden orange color, with a good thick head that has plenty of cling to the glass, this only hints of the fact that this fine beverage defines Double India Pale Ale. The super smooth flavor of this offering is a combination of just the right amounts of hops bitterness up front, followed by the sweetness of the malts, and nutty yeast, which completely hides the 8% alcohol volume. With Pliny The Elder’s modest carbonation, the spice, citrus flavors of grapefruit and orange, along with a fruitiness of a tropical nature mixed with apples, with some pine, provides the right amount of bitterness. Then the malt takes over with its thick chewy sweet bread giving it a great backbone bursting with honey flavor. Pliny The Elder finishes with a long lasting bitter flavor that leans toward the dry side for a truly well balanced taste that is everything you would expect in a Double India Pale Ale thus it defines the category.
SundayBrew recommends that you drink your Pliny The Elder while fresh as it is at its peak when fresh. This is not a beverage that you want to age!