GarrettB (1164) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 31, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Iíve had Pliny the Elder twice before now. Both occasions were at successive GABFs, and while it may have been the agony of an overwrought tongue or the sensory overload from so many scents, screams and suds, I didnít like Pliny the Elder at all. Both times. It didnít seem like anything special - just another battering ram for hops. When I returned to Colorado this holiday visit to see the family I noticed that Russian River was distributing Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder and Damnation. Of course, the memories of Pliny werenít particularly glowing, but I thought it only fair to give it another chance, straight from the bottle, and toped in a low-key, quiet environment. Sitting down even. And miraculously it became a whole different breed of beer. Thereís absolutely no head, the Pliny a clean shaven brew except for a decorative wreath of white bubbles. A sweet, rich and gripping aroma slinks out from the glass, dripping with honey, floral notes and enticing me to take a sip. I canít remember an IPA doing this before, and with such a soft touch. Typically I enjoy Imperial IPAs, but only because they really knock you around with sugar and hops. But this was so restrained I thought it was a regular IPA. The palate strikes me as a bit loose, with rich flavors like these usually accompanied by a more syrupy vehicle. The sweetness remains in the flavor, but only under a thicker layer of bitter but savory hops bitterness. Not too much grapefruit in the eye, but just enough to tickle the tongue. The flora aspect is weighed beautifully against the other flavors, and generally the whole brew seems like it was meticulously measured and engineered to insure that no flavor element is louder than another, and that is poetry. I still am not, nor will I ever be, enamored with the IPA style or hop bombs, but this has been, to date, the most elegantly brewed specimen of the style Iíve had, and Iím happy to report it is a far greater beer than it was in the past.
Travlr (14702) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 31, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bright yellow orange with medium white head. Aroma is like walking naked through a pine forest. Full bodied, taste of pine, almonds, flowers, and overall hoppiness. Bitter throughout with a long finish. Superb.
FlyingSwine (174) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - DEC 30, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a clear straw, with a one-finger head, that quickly disappears. Lots of lace. Aroma is mostly pine hops and lemon. Also a fair amount of malt can be found in the aroma if you search for it. Flavor is much better balanced than I expected. This is a fairly bitter beer, with a touch of alcohol. Tons of fresh citrus, but finishes fairly hoppy for my tastes. Like most well hopped brews, it leaves my mouth dry and searching for glass of water afterwards. Palate is medium bodied, slightly carbonated. Overall this is a decent beer. Not my favorite style, but much more drinkable than most Imperial IPAs.
nick76 (4302) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 29, 2008
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
The aroma is exquisite with lots of citrus and pine hops (cascade). There is also a fair amount of sweet malt. The appearance is pale gold with a light haze. The flavor is like the aroma and quite bitter but without much alcohol punch. The palate is a bit thin and not as carbonated as I would have liked. Overall a GREAT example of a double IPA! Thanks Unrulythings.
Naka (714) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2008
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of Juart. Holy frick is this stuff good. Pours a clear golden orange color... very bright. A small white head that disappears pretty quickly. The aroma is an extremely fresh resiny hop. Some pine and pineapple too. A little cat piss. THe flavor is a hop taste slap across the face. A slight sweetness but a dry bitter that almost burns the tongue. The body is a little bit thin. Finishes with a warming alcohol. Very tasty.
mspindler (489) - Alta Loma, California, USA - DEC 27, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2009 500 ml. bottle. Fluffy white head, very clear golden yellow with champagne-like carbonation. Aroma is fresh citrusy hops, some pineapple sweetness. Very clean hoppy flavor, oranges and grapefruit, mild sweet malt background. Finishes dry and clean with a long lingering bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated.
WakeandBake (549) - Greenville, Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2009 Bottle,thanks to Secret Santa.Pours a clear, shining golden orange color with a foamy white head leaving soapy, spotty lacing behind. The aroma simply explodes from the glass with striking notes of juicy, fresh-picked oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. A lightly sweet, pale malt background sets the perfect background for the massive hop profile to do .The flavor is deliciously juicy, with bitter, resinous citrus and lemongrass hops,lightly toasted toffee and caramel malts,with a hint of honey. Thereís nothing overly complex going on, but it is so well blended it is incredible. Medium-full, smooth, slightly sticky body. This is so incredibly drinkable. A delicious IIPA that ranks right up there with the best of them. Thank you to the beer gods for giving me the chance to try this.
cohiba73 (11) - Texas, USA - DEC 26, 2008
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
One of the best Imp IPAs out there. A true hop bomb that is citrussy, floral, piney and refreshing. With an IBU level hovering above 200 it is refreshingly bitter and you crave another drink as soon as you put the glass down. What a great beer.
hrking (140) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 26, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2009 Nose is very floral. Hops galore from the first sip all the way through. Finishes dry and thin. This one is fruity sweet with hops and slightly resiny. Maybe picking up some sugars here as well. great IPA from a master brewer...
CheersMate (1312) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 10, 2009 First off, not fond of the color. Too yellow and clear for me. VERY aromatic. This beer smells like a hop field. An amazing balance of malts and hops. This beer smacks you in this face with hops and malts. It is amazing. Man, this beer has a PERFECT balance of hops and malts. That bittering hop bites you in the back of the mouth. Lovely texture. The color does not match the taste. I thought this beer would be a lot worse due to the coloring, but the taste and aroma surpasses the expectation. Overall, this beer is awesome. I love it. I think the balance is perfect and the hop taste is amazing.