Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pliny the Elder Bottle Experimentation Continues

This time we've got a 2 week old bottle. Bottled on 4/29/09. I believe this is the freshest Pliny I've gotten my hands on. I've generally been unimpressed with the taste of Pliny coming from bottles compared to a fresh tasting tap version (and not every pour from the tap is always good, it's possible to have less than stellar Pliny on tap every so often).

While this isn't a bad beer by any means, it isn't the Pliny I learned to love the last few years. Only one bottle I've ever had has been. At $4.50 a bottle I'll probably divert my cash in another direction. I've noticed Pliny's brother, Blind Pig, is awesome even with a handful or even a couple months on it, as long as it's been stored properly.

The problem with these bottles is they seem to have a staleness to it. It's not cardboard I don't think, but it's something musty or dull where the grapefruit and greenery is trying to come out from mid to late sip. And the smell doesn't give you that feeling of walking though a forest, as a good draught pour of Pliny often does. When I think about it more, the taste and aroma have this big "minty" quality. It's the same thing there every time pretty much.

Again, after having consumed at least 20 bottles of Pliny in the last 8 months (yeah I know some of you out there trump that number), I think this is really only good for a bottle-every-few-months purchase just to see how it's doing. I would seriously promote Blind Pig over Pliny. Blind Pig's aroma or amazingly citrusy/bitter taste is not compromised in the bottle (in fact it has often tasted better, more vibrant, in the bottle than it has up at the Russian River brewpub).

I retain my stance that Firestone's Union Jack IPA is a much better bottled DIPA (yes I'm calling Union Jack a DIPA... barely) for a much better price. In fact it may even be a push tap vs. tap, fresh vs. fresh, but we'll leave that for discussion another time.

1 comment:

Rational Realist said...

I had one of those 4/29s last week and thought it great. I know your concerns on Pliny in the bottle, but I have not had the same experience. I usually don't pay that much attention, though, as my Pliny's are drank fixing or eating dinner (and in between screaming at kids and dogs). Can't go wrong with either Pliny or Union Jack. Been drinking a lot of Racer 5, lately. Its not far behind Union or Pliny.