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  1. #1
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    Finally tried Pliny The Elder

    Meh.



    Seriously, it's good. I had just heard soooooo much hype about it, I was determined to try it just so I would know how over rated it really is. (Bad attitude!)

    I found it to be exceptionally smooth and well balanced and drinkable for a double IPA. It was less hoppy and less complex than I anticipated.

    But the double IPA's I have been drinking lately have been more like 10% abv compared to Pliny's 8%. Double IPA's are just getting more and more over the top. What was super strong and super hoppy a couple of years ago, is a watery weak beer these days .

    Heck, Firestone Union Jack isn't called a double and it's 7.5%!

    I think my favorite double IPA right now is Gubna from Oscar Blues. (10%)

    Here in Denver, Pliny is a very rare item. The pub I got it at gets a keg every now and then, and sells tickets ahead of time for your pint. People line up and the keg gets killed in an hour or so.

    If it was more available it would be in my frig regularly I suspect.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Meh.



    Seriously, it's good. I had just heard soooooo much hype about it, I was determined to try it just so I would know how over rated it really is. (Bad attitude!)

    I found it to be exceptionally smooth and well balanced and drinkable for a double IPA. It was less hoppy and less complex than I anticipated.

    But the double IPA's I have been drinking lately have been more like 10% abv compared to Pliny's 8%. Double IPA's are just getting more and more over the top. What was super strong and super hoppy a couple of years ago, is a watery weak beer these days .

    Heck, Firestone Union Jack isn't called a double and it's 7.5%!

    I think my favorite double IPA right now is Gubna from Oscar Blues. (10%)

    Here in Denver, Pliny is a very rare item. The pub I got it at gets a keg every now and then, and sells tickets ahead of time for your pint. People line up and the keg gets killed in an hour or so.

    If it was more available it would be in my frig regularly I suspect.
    mondo vino and highlands liquor has pliny semi-regularly.. hops and pies only sells tickets for pliny the younger i believe..

    Try the Alesmith IPA, I like that one a lot too, have had it at highlands lately..
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  3. #3
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    Pliny

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Meh.



    Seriously, it's good. I had just heard soooooo much hype about it, I was determined to try it just so I would know how over rated it really is. (Bad attitude!)

    I found it to be exceptionally smooth and well balanced and drinkable for a double IPA. It was less hoppy and less complex than I anticipated.

    But the double IPA's I have been drinking lately have been more like 10% abv compared to Pliny's 8%. Double IPA's are just getting more and more over the top. What was super strong and super hoppy a couple of years ago, is a watery weak beer these days .

    Heck, Firestone Union Jack isn't called a double and it's 7.5%!

    I think my favorite double IPA right now is Gubna from Oscar Blues. (10%)

    Here in Denver, Pliny is a very rare item. The pub I got it at gets a keg every now and then, and sells tickets ahead of time for your pint. People line up and the keg gets killed in an hour or so.

    If it was more available it would be in my frig regularly I suspect.
    Pliny is good, but the beers you have in Colorado are in no way inferior. I spent two weeks in Denver this summer and visited a number of pubs and breweries downtown.

    Quality wasn't an issue, but sorting through the vast number of choices to find a beer that matched my personal preferences took some time (that was a good problem to have).

    In Oregon the trend is moving away from over hopped pales and IPAs by maintaining a reasonable amount of hops while dialing back the malt profile. The result is a delicious and refreshing citrus and floral taste that is hard to beat (Chasin' Freshies, RPM, Insider, Sweet As, etc).

    In Colorado the closest approximation of this style was Odell's St Lupulin (unfortunately not available in Oregon).

    The people we met were great...very friendly and welcoming.

    A true story: One of the pubs on 18th in Denver has a sign that reads "World's largest selection of beers on tap." The centerpiece is a circular bar with hundreds of tap handles. A guy sits down next to my wife and me and orders a bud.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    mondo vino and highlands liquor has pliny semi-regularly.. hops and pies only sells tickets for pliny the younger i believe..

    Try the Alesmith IPA, I like that one a lot too, have had it at highlands lately..
    I work downtown, so I should check out that store. Someone told me that the Falling Rock tap house in Lodo sometimes has Pliny on tap.
    I had mine at Parrys Pizza in Castle Rock.
    Never had the Alesmith, but thanks for the tip.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank the Cowdog View Post
    In Colorado the closest approximation of this style was Odell's St Lupulin (unfortunately not available in Oregon).
    I've got some in the fridge right now. I think they call it an extra pale ale. It's good, but not really a hop lovers beer IMO.


    A true story: One of the pubs on 18th in Denver has a sign that reads "World's largest selection of beers on tap." The centerpiece is a circular bar with hundreds of tap handles. A guy sits down next to my wife and me and orders a bud.
    It sounds like you are talking about the Yard House on the 16th street mall. My wife orders Coors Light when we go there.

    BTW the Yard House is a chain. The first one I ever went to was in San Diego.

  6. #6
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    Pliny is a really great beer but I would say it's not worth really going to great lengths to get. I'll definitely buy it when I see it (which is rare, as the nearest place to buy it is an 8 hour drive away), but I've had a number of IPA's that are 90% as good, at least. Maybe just as good. Thing that's funny about beer is that the beer's notoriety definitely plays a placebo effect when you're drinking the beer - which can be minimized or negated when you recognize that it happens.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    Pliny is a really great beer but I would say it's not worth really going to great lengths to get. I'll definitely buy it when I see it (which is rare, as the nearest place to buy it is an 8 hour drive away), but I've had a number of IPA's that are 90% as good, at least. Maybe just as good. Thing that's funny about beer is that the beer's notoriety definitely plays a placebo effect when you're drinking the beer - which can be minimized or negated when you recognize that it happens.
    Totally true. It reminds me of back in the day when Coors wasn't available back east. When I went to college the out of state kids were buying it up like some precious nectar.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Totally true. It reminds me of back in the day when Coors wasn't available back east. When I went to college the out of state kids were buying it up like some precious nectar.
    It also sometimes causes people to be overly critical of it to compensate for their preconceptions. When something is that hyped it is damn near impossible for any beer to live up to that hype so the beer ends up getting judged against an impossible standard. No, it is not a total hop bomb like a lot of DIPA's out there but not sure that it could ever be accused of lacking complexity. I've had IPA's and DIPA's from all over the country, many of which are amongst the highest rated at the various beer websites like Ratebeer or Beer Advocate, and Pliney compares favorably to almost all of them. Certainly one's personal preferrences in types of hops or levels of hoppiness, alcohol level, balance, etc. can lead one to prefer one of a large number of DIPA's or IPA's over it but that doesn't take anything away from what is a phenomenal beer.

    The best place I've ever been for IPA's is San Diego where Alesmith, Green Flash, Alpine (distributed over very small area but phenomenal), Coronado, Stone, Ballast Point, Port, and others make some of the best hoppy brews on the planet. It's an IPA lovers paradise.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burkeman View Post
    It also sometimes causes people to be overly critical of it to compensate for their preconceptions. When something is that hyped it is damn near impossible for any beer to live up to that hype so the beer ends up getting judged against an impossible standard. No, it is not a total hop bomb like a lot of DIPA's out there but not sure that it could ever be accused of lacking complexity. I've had IPA's and DIPA's from all over the country, many of which are amongst the highest rated at the various beer websites like Ratebeer or Beer Advocate, and Pliney compares favorably to almost all of them. Certainly one's personal preferrences in types of hops or levels of hoppiness, alcohol level, balance, etc. can lead one to prefer one of a large number of DIPA's or IPA's over it but that doesn't take anything away from what is a phenomenal beer.

    The best place I've ever been for IPA's is San Diego where Alesmith, Green Flash, Alpine (distributed over very small area but phenomenal), Coronado, Stone, Ballast Point, Port, and others make some of the best hoppy brews on the planet. It's an IPA lovers paradise.
    I pretty much agree with all that.

    I probably would have had different expectations if I was expecting an IPA instead of a DIPA. Regular IPA's are hovering around that 8% mark these days without the label of Imperial or Double. Deviant Dales = 8%. Dogfishhead 90 minute = 9%, Union Jack = 7.5% etc.

    So the place I tried the Pliny, normally has Hoptimum, Gubna, Mercenary, Maharaja, etc on tap, and they are all around 10%. Really a different category. So my first sip of the Pliny was probably tainted by expectations of something similar to one of those. And like you said, its not the same kind of hop bomb, but on the other hand, much smoother.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I pretty much agree with all that.

    I probably would have had different expectations if I was expecting an IPA instead of a DIPA. Regular IPA's are hovering around that 8% mark these days without the label of Imperial or Double. Deviant Dales = 8%. Dogfishhead 90 minute = 9%, Union Jack = 7.5% etc.

    So the place I tried the Pliny, normally has Hoptimum, Gubna, Mercenary, Maharaja, etc on tap, and they are all around 10%. Really a different category. So my first sip of the Pliny was probably tainted by expectations of something similar to one of those. And like you said, its not the same kind of hop bomb, but on the other hand, much smoother.
    I think you experienced why people like Pliny so much - it's immensely drinkable. No, it's not a hop bomb these days. But damn if it isn't a great hoppy beer! I would love for every bar and restaurant in California to replace their Sierra Nevada Pale Ale taps with Russian River Blind Pig and Pliny taps. Bend has undergone the shift from Deschutes Mirror Pond to Boneyard RPM and it's amazing...RPM may be one of the best IPAs on the planet, and you can find it at most bars and a bunch of restaurants in town.

  11. #11
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    Note to self:
    Russian River Blind Pig.
    Boneyard RPM.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Note to self:
    Russian River Blind Pig.
    Boneyard RPM.

    I picked up a 4 pack of Odell's Mercenary yesterday. I'm liking that stuff a lot now that I've given it a few tries. But damn I hate 4 packs!

  13. #13
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    Pliny is very good, but it's reputation is partly based on IPA's that were available 5+ years ago and the fact that it's hard to find. Lots of brewers have IPAs in the same class these days, IMHO.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Pliny is very good, but it's reputation is partly based on IPA's that were available 5+ years ago and the fact that it's hard to find. Lots of brewers have IPAs in the same class these days, IMHO.
    Agreed.
    Tried Cigar City Jai Alai IPA this week, very, very good..
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Meh.


    Agree! Cheers to a big meh!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post

    I think my favorite double IPA right now is Gubna from Oscar Blues. (10%)

    Here in Denver, Pliny is a very rare item. The pub I got it at gets a keg every now and then, and sells tickets ahead of time for your pint. People line up and the keg gets killed in an hour or so.

    If it was more available it would be in my frig regularly I suspect.
    So if a bar was handing out tickets, then it was probably Pliny the Younger which is released just in February I am thinking?

    If you want a pint any time, Cafe Vino in Fort Collins seems to always have it (on tap as of 2 days ago) and Choice City Butcher and Deli has it frequently. With GABF happening now, the booze buses are bringing a lot of people up from Denver so that might have changed...but any other time it can be found.

    That said, I think Odell Myrcenary is a better beer in the same category. More complex and layers of awesomeness. Myrcenary Double IPA - Odell Brewing Company - Fort Collins, CO - BeerAdvocate

    I think Pliny is really hyped (it is good) but I'm glad we have Odell Myrcenary. You can purchase any time you want in the better beer stores of Colorado.

    Also....Odell IPA is a great "standard" IPA. It's the best IPA for sale in Colorado IMHO right now. Odell IPA - Odell Brewing Company - Fort Collins, CO - BeerAdvocate
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    So if a bar was handing out tickets, then it was probably Pliny the Younger which is released just in February I am thinking?
    No it was the elder. It may be different in Ft. Collins, but in Denver the stuff is not easy to find, and this bar can only usually get one keg at a time, and the tickets sell fast.

    If you want a pint any time, Cafe Vino in Fort Collins seems to always have it (on tap as of 2 days ago) and Choice City Butcher and Deli has it frequently. With GABF happening now, the booze buses are bringing a lot of people up from Denver so that might have changed...but any other time it can be found.

    That said, I think Odell Myrcenary is a better beer in the same category. More complex and layers of awesomeness. Myrcenary Double IPA - Odell Brewing Company - Fort Collins, CO - BeerAdvocate

    I think Pliny is really hyped (it is good) but I'm glad we have Odell Myrcenary. You can purchase any time you want in the better beer stores of Colorado.

    Also....Odell IPA is a great "standard" IPA. It's the best IPA for sale in Colorado IMHO right now. Odell IPA - Odell Brewing Company - Fort Collins, CO - BeerAdvocate
    I already mentioned myrcenery a few posts above, and I totally agree its a great DIPA!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    That said, I think Odell Myrcenary is a better beer in the same category. More complex and layers of awesomeness.
    I did a blinded side-by-side between Odell and Pliny. I chose Myrcenary for the same reason - more complex and exciting. But it needs to be fresh, as it's definitely a beer that falls off after a month or two.

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    Pliny The Younger is better for me. Have you tried it? Love the citrus and grapefruit hops
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  20. #20
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    I live in Santa Rosa, my wife and I can't believe the freakish phenomenon that the Pliny the *Younger* release has become. To be clear, there are two Plinies - the Younger is a 10% TIPA that is released once a year. It used to last a good two months in the brewery, and people ordered it almost by accident. Pliny the Elder DIPA is available all year round and distributed. This year, there was a block-long line outside of Russian River at 7:30 IN THE MORNING after the Younger release. We tried four times to get pints, and even as locals we gave up. Busloads of capri-shorted, primary-color V-neck Tee'd San Francisco hipsters flocked in, along with people flying in from across the country - and world. Both the Plinies are nice, but I wouldn't bother with that sort of mess for a taste. Personally I like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye over Pliny, and its available year round without a line up. We discovered Bend, Oregon last year, and have been up for skiing in winter and mountain biking and summer. I'd take a week of 10 Barrel, Crux and Boneyard (and all the other breweries in town) over standing in line at Russian River any day.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sablotny View Post
    I live in Santa Rosa, my wife and I can't believe the freakish phenomenon that the Pliny the *Younger* release has become. To be clear, there are two Plinies - the Younger is a 10% TIPA that is released once a year. It used to last a good two months in the brewery, and people ordered it almost by accident. Pliny the Elder DIPA is available all year round and distributed. This year, there was a block-long line outside of Russian River at 7:30 IN THE MORNING after the Younger release. We tried four times to get pints, and even as locals we gave up. Busloads of capri-shorted, primary-color V-neck Tee'd San Francisco hipsters flocked in, along with people flying in from across the country - and world. Both the Plinies are nice, but I wouldn't bother with that sort of mess for a taste. Personally I like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye over Pliny, and its available year round without a line up. We discovered Bend, Oregon last year, and have been up for skiing in winter and mountain biking and summer. I'd take a week of 10 Barrel, Crux and Boneyard (and all the other breweries in town) over standing in line at Russian River any day.
    Go to RR mid-week, and during the day. There's almost no wait the second week of release..make it a lunch trip!

    Good call about Bend. It's my hometown and I'm up there a lot. Though I don't get the hype around 10 Barrel - their beer is mediocre, at best. Crux and Boneyard, on the other hand, kick butt. And I'm always a fan of the pub-only offerings from Deschutes...great stuff.

  22. #22
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    Meh + 1. I went to great lengths to get this beer and I was underwhelmed to say the least. Its a fine beer no doubt, but nothing special. It was far less complex than I expected and rather weak for a Double IPA.
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Meh



    Seriously, it's good. I had just heard soooooo much hype about it, I was determined to try it just so I would know how over rated it really is. (Bad attitude!)

    I found it to be exceptionally smooth and well balanced and drinkable for a double IPA. It was less hoppy and less complex than I anticipated.

    But the double IPA's I have been drinking lately have been more like 10% abv compared to Pliny's 8%. Double IPA's are just getting more and more over the top. What was super strong and super hoppy a couple of years ago, is a watery weak beer these days .

    Heck, Firestone Union Jack isn't called a double and it's 7.5%!

    I think my favorite double IPA right now is Gubna from Oscar Blues. (10%)

    Here in Denver, Pliny is a very rare item. The pub I got it at gets a keg every now and then, and sells tickets ahead of time for your pint. People line up and the keg gets killed in an hour or so.

    If it was more available it would be in my frig regularly I suspect.

  23. #23
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    I usually don't bother with the beer forum... but I saw this and I'm surprised to see everyone with a similar experience as me. I get that it might have been desirable five years ago, I guess, but I had better stuff even then in Oregon.

  24. #24
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    Pliney weak? I think the point of that beer is to be a DIPA that actually has some balance is somewhat complex and doesn't taste like gasoline, which seems to be the result of most IPA hopping pissing contests. Kind of like the IPA equivalent of the belgian doubles, tripples, and so on. It was never trying to be the most bitter beer.
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  25. #25
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    I completely understand the OP. when I think if hyped beers that took a while for me to find, it's almost an insurmountable feat for them to live up to my expectations. Founders KBS and three Floyd's dark lord immediately come to mind.
    They can't be light years better than everything else or they would just sell the recipe, everyone else could stop making beer, and there you would have it.
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