angelofthehop (1) - Anaheim, California, USA - JUN 6, 2010 does not count
the holy grail of all that is hop. possibly the most perfectly balanced beer ever made. elegant. graceful. magnificent. drabmuh (194) - Maryland, USA - OCT 19, 2010
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2011 I slayed a growler of this last night with the help of the other Matt. Weapon of choice was my Stone IPA tulip. I obtained a growler in a trade with great BA. As a result of our heroic undertaking, my mind is still not firing on all cylinders, but this is the best DIPA I’ve ever had and only my second straight 5.
Beer poured from a Russian River growler into a Stone IPA tulip. Beer is yellow to orange and CLEAR! The pour forms a white head about an inch to a half an inch in thickness that falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to high and really steady. The bubbles nucleate at the bottom of the glass mostly, beginning small but rise slowly increasing in size as they rise to the head. The head retention is good. No chill haze, beautiful color, good head dynamics, nice level of carbonation, its a beautiful beer.
Aroma is primarily a lot of hops....a lot of hops. Very citrusy with some pine notes in there. There is some sweetness, its a dominate aroma component. Its difficult but sometimes I think I can smell some alcohol but mostly I can not. For being such a huge beer, I really can’t tell based on the aroma at all. The aroma is also huge. I can smell it from across the table. I found myself not even drinking it just smelling it, very complex, very big, very wonderful.
Taste time, balance. This beer hits all the parts of the palate, forward, middle and back. Obviously there is hop bitterness in the back, there is some sweetness up front, but no alcohol. Beer is medium bodied, definitely not a malt bomb like some DIPAs tend to be. There are almost fruit notes in the mid-palate. Some sweet orange or almost lime flavors. Beer finishes cleanly, leaving no aftertaste. Bitterness grows as it does with most big hoppy beers, but it does not interfere with the other flavors or drinkability.
I was going to originally rate the drinkability as a 4.5 for this beer. But I had some food between my pints of it and after some food a blew through my second pint. It is an amazingly balanced and completely wonderful IPA. At 11%, it is unlikely that I would make it my daily drinker, but it is the most dangerously drinkable 11% beer I’ve ever had.
EDIT: I had this again at EBF (4 ounce pour) and compared it side by side with Pliney the Elder. I realized as Matt and I were drinking this growler that it was an important but absent variable in my review is comparing it to another beer. We drug out an Exponential Hoppiness for comparison but it wasn’t the right thing to do.
At the fest I had 4 ounces of each next to each other. My wife and I both tasted each and agreed that Younger was better than Elder. It was sweeter and thicker, had more fruit notes on the palate and smells were uncomparable. The hop aroma on Younger blew the hop aroma on Elder out of the water. I’m not going to write an additional review of this beer on draft, I just thought I would include these thoughts in my present review.
Serving type: growler jlanning215 (363) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - JAN 26, 2011
I had this on tap at The Kitchen in Boulder, Co sometime in mid-2009. I was working in the kitchen and we had the much expected pony keg. The GM brought me a glass to try....talk about a great job. At the time, i was just starting to be enthralled with beer, so I don’t think I appreciated this Hoppy-God! But I know I was amazed how it smelled. How can a beer smell like this? It was so sweet and hoppy. The pour was absolutely gorgeous...clear and sparkling with small bubble. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a Double IPA before. but did I ever! aaronbr (188) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 16, 2011
What more could I ask for in a beer? Got in line an hour early on a Wednesday morning at the Rose and Crown in Palo Alto. Got a tulip glass of this highly-hyped and highly-hopped brew. Never thought I’d find a beer that made Pliny the Elder seem weak, but this is it. Smooth, amazing balance. Exceptionally hoppy, but wraps into a pleasant sweetness that is unique. I’m a big fan, this is without a doubt the best beer I’ve had. noturdadsbeer (25) - centennial, Colorado, USA - MAR 28, 2011
On draught at Oskar Blue’s Liquids and Solids in Longmont, Co. Poured into an 8oz snifter.
A: Deep gold with amber hues but more on the bright side of amber then the dark. Solid head retention that fades into a spiderweb like lacing on the glass.
S: Massive piney hops is the first aroma to hit your senses. It’s as if you too a wiff of the biggest pine tree in existence and let the flavor wash over you. Touches of citrus grapefruit also take shape behind the chronic and pine notes.
T: Massive pine to match the nose. Comes across somewhat sticky and resinous but the bitter is truly there. Citrus fruit such as mango and pineapple are present but pine and chronic flavors are dominate. The malt is solid and doesn’t subdue the hops but instead balances them very well.
M: Because of the prefect malt backbone this beer weighs heavy on the palate. Top of mouth is coated but the bitterness creeps from the back of the palate to the front. Citrus notes linger on the middle of the tongue and the finish just doesn’t stop. Almost no booziness present.
D: Having the opportunity to taste this beer is up there with getting Superbowl tickets. It’s worth the time, effort, and money. It’s exceptional in all standings for what an Imperial IPA should be. It’s not over hopped nor is it over malted, it’s perfectly balanced- just like all the beers RR does. I only wish it were made more often or in higher quantities because 8oz’s is just not enough.
jc4031 (129) - Colorado, USA - MAY 13, 2011
i had this at falling rock a few months back on the second tapping. it is absolutely the best beer out there, or the best beer i have ever had. i had two glasses and of it. it is definitely a great great beer. It has nothing to do with how rare it is. it is really something to taste and seek out every february when it comes out. people from denmark were there just to try it! if i had one word to describe it, that word would be perfect. bernatbeer (420) - barcelona, SPAIN - JUL 28, 2011
Muchas pintas en Toronado durante el SF beerweek!En nariz explosión de lúpulo!con gran balance en boca aunque contiene mucho lúpulo y alcohol.muy bebible,una obra maestra de las imperial ipa!gracias vinnie cirluzo de russian river por hacer esta gran cerveza!solo en tirador!!
Muy psicoactiva,lúpulosa ......solo una vez al año........ swizzle (3) - New Bern, North Carolina, USA - DEC 13, 2011 does not count
It’s only available for one week out of the year, and in 2010 the brewery sold out of the brew on the day of release. The massive IPA was available at other beerfests in the region (that week only), and at select breweries nationwide … this beer may very well be the hardest to get your hands on in the world. If you can’t get your hands on this one, it’s brother – Pliny the Elder – is available year-round. Joefu007 (1) - - FEB 4, 2012 does not count
Was fortunate enough to be on hand for the 2012 release on 2/3. (first in line actually) Short review, so much has been said about this beer and the one thing that continues over and over in my hear is the realization that this triple IPA, with 10.70 ABV, goes down smoother and lighter than most standard, American IPAs that I’ve had. If you’re able to, I would suggest putting this beer on your bucket list.... a more "professional" set of tasting notes will follow later...... Colbowski (3) - - FEB 7, 2012 does not count
I waited over 4 and a half hours on Pliny Day for this and it was worth it! Very smooth and balanced. The hop presence hits you in the face from the second its placed in front of you. By far the best beer I have ever had.