Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Russian River Pliny the Younger 2012

Another February brings another year of Russian River's triple IPA Pliny the Younger. Unlike last year, I was not lucky enough to be at the actual brewpub to sample it straight from the source or saunter into an uncrowded St. Stephen's Green to get a glass. Since we were heading to San Francisco in the beginning of March (which is when Younger finally reaches Philly), I had actually given up getting to have a glass this year. Lucky for me, a chance presented itself at Tria Washington West and my wife was awesome enough to buy me a ticket before they sold out in 17 minutes.
Given that I talked about it in both the links above, I won't spend too much time here. Wonderfully bright grapefruit nose. Incredibly inviting. Grapefruit started out the first sip followed by some bitterness and some slight malt sweetness. Now, I didn't feel it was quite as dry this year but that was probably just me remembering last year's incorrectly or because I was developing a cold. Who knows. Either way, with no sign of the high ABV, a decently balanced bitterness, and citrus up the wazoo, Younger is quite amazing and a nice treat once a year. It helped that Tria sold their Younger in an excellent way and at only a slightly inflated price. Knowing I was walking into the bar with a glass waiting for me was fantastic and I hope next year is similar.

As far as my opinion on rare beers and tappings like this, I'd say I dislike the crowds but usually find the beers to be pretty good. The issue is mostly that for the effort, pretty good isn't worth the payout. I'll say Younger and previously Bell's Black Note, both were worth the slight effort I put into trying them. However, some people take their negativity of rare stuff too far when all they have to do is ignore the hysteria. Instead they let it eat away at them for some reason and try to pretend they are better than others by not participating. Me, I'll keep going to fun events and learn what ones to avoid. And if it gets too much I'll stop and let others have their fun without looking down on them.

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