Round Two #30/Second Pint DVRC

Pliny the Elder IIPAPliny the Elder.

Among beer aficionados and IPA geeks especially, those three words can cause no small ripple of hype. Once upon a time, I understood why; it was an outstanding beer, vibrant with hops in a way that I’d never had before- and I wasn’t alone. Beer lovers flocked to Russian River’s beer, one that has been credited with creating the Double or Imperial IPA style (IIPA).

But I quickly found myself disillusioned with the beer-it felt overhyped and the expectations of Pliny soon outweighed what it actually was. Maybe what it could ever be.

I haven’t had a glass of Pliny in years. Until tonight.

The nose has a citrus and resin quality but that fades rapidly. The strength of the scents aren’t there, but they still linger; like the ghost of an ex, it won’t go away, even though the presence is gone. So let’s go in for the sip.

You know, it’s not bad at all. Citrus, with a strong ribbon of caramel wrapped around it, with a hint of forest on the final bitterness. The Pliny is more balanced than I remember, easier to sip on.

That bitterness lingers too; like the scent, except on my tongue and it stings just a little bit. Not in a bad way, but it’s definitely got that hop bite.

The second glass….is much the same. And I don’t mean to shortcut my impressions of that second glass but it isn’t what I want to focus on. Because the beer is good; it’s exactly what it was the first time. That consistency is frequently what makes a good beer good or even great.

What I can’t help but think about, though, is what may have changed. Certainly, the beer scene has changed since Pliny first arrived; but did the beer stay the same and I fall to the hype or did the exposure of new beers enable me to move on to something I liked more?

With all of the conversations surrounding breweries trying to find the new hot thing vs solid beers that we know are good, I’m just not certain.

I am glad that I decided to come back to this beer and try it again. It’s enjoyable and I might’ve let my ego prevent me from ever tasting it and discovering that it was still pretty good.

Today’s second pint goes to the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

And, since Wednesday is Christmas, I’ll be taking the day off. Happy holiday, everyone!


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