2014 Russian River Pliny the Younger Releases (OC)


Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger release dates in Orange County! Read my review of last years release! Cheers!!


Orange County

From Russian River Brewing’s Website:


We will begin distributing Pliny the Younger on draft the week of February 10th in and around Sonoma County and the Bay Area. Stone will likely pick up their shipment for Southern California that week or the following week. We will be sending kegs to our distributors in San Jose, Sacramento, Oregon, Colorado, and Philadelphia sometime in February, ship dates TBD. At this time, we do not know what accounts will receive kegs of Younger, but it will likely be available at many of the same accounts who received it last year since the production numbers are very similar. It is our recommendation that our accounts tap it as soon as possible after receiving their delivery to preserve the freshness and integrity of the beer. This beer is not meant to age AT ALL! Pliny the Younger is very much like the fresh catch of the day and best enjoyed right away!

Notes from the Younger – Sparkling Hop Wine At Its Finest

By now, you know I don’t like to review beers in a blog form. Why? I’m actually not a fan of reading beer reviews. However, when I insert a beer like Pliny the Younger into my supple, furry body, sharing tasting notes is a must. I actually do keep notes on most beers I sample, whether it be on untappd, on a napkin, or scribbled on a bathroom wall and photographed.

I’d like to first start off and say that Selma’s RSM had the best Pliny the Younger roll out. They chose to invite all of their regulars via facebook, create a list, and open it to the public after that. As it was tapped, I merely waved my wrist-band at the bartender and received my pour. No waiting, no lines, no raffle. Rewarding regulars was smart!

8oz was poured into a standard white wine glass at optimal temperature. The insane amount of hops on the nose is euphoric and hypnotic. I found myself sniffing and sniffing, goosebumps on my arms, my excitement: like a tree snake going in for the kill. I picked up on mainly citrus, pine, and floral notes with a hint of malty sweetness.

My first taste: total disbelief how long the hops last. One sip lingers at least ten full Mississippi seconds before leaving quietly. Calling Pliny the Younger a Triple India Pale Ale almost doesn’t do it justice. Younger is a sparkling hop wine! Swirling around the glass, the sticky resinous hops create some nice lingering legs. The head quickly dissipates into a light snow-like dusting. Zero lace is to be expected with this oily hop load. The mouthfeel is very vinous and the 11% ABV is hidden very well with only a slight tinge of burn, similar to wine. The carbonation was adequate, cleansing without stinging.

On the pour, a snow bank of foam clings briefly to the sides of the glass.

Often times you hear the term “malt backbone” in a review. My impression of PtY’s malt backbone? Picture a kilo brick of hops sitting on a box of Hostess Twinkies. The malt is there, much like a picture hanger is to the Mona Lisa. The clarity and color of this brew is surprising as I expected to see some residual cloudiness from the quadruple dry hopping and at least a slight copper tinge. Pliny the Younger has none of that. Its clear honey-golden color reveals nothing of what’s in store for your taste buds.

As there is so much hype surrounding this beer, it’s easy to forget its purpose. Anyone that says “it doesn’t live up to the hype” perhaps built it up too much. Russian River goes above and beyond all with this release, totally perfecting what no one else attempts. In that regard, it is truly outstanding and must be tried.

Great thanks to the team at Selma’s Chicago Pizzeria and Taproom in Rancho Santa Margarita! Last chance in OC to sample the Younger is at their new Ladera Ranch location on 2/27/12. Check their facebook page for details. Also thanks to Joslyn Ellstrom and Justin from Beerventures for sharing their table!

Liney for the Pliny! Or, Presidents and Their Beer

courtesy Haven's facebook page.

Haven Gastropub’s line. Facial hair required! The lady with an Abraham Lincoln beard FTW!

Our founding fathers would be proud. Standing in line for one of the biggest hype…oops “Hop” bombs on the market; Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger on Presidents day. Historically, presidents and beer have quite a bit in common. George Washington knew his beer! Here’s a note from our first president on how to make beer:

“To Make Small Beer
Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. — Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is 
Scalding hot or rather draw the Molasses into the cooler & Strain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yeast if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blanket & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask — leave the bung open till it is almost done Working — Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.”

Jimmy Carter signed HR 1337 back in 1978, a bill that legalized homebrewing beer and wine. I honestly think this sparked the craft beer movement more than anything. Thanks Jimmy!

Obama’s kitchen staff brews their own Honey Ale and Porter made from honey produced by the White House beehive. Obama is quick to share it with guests at his Superbowl party, Saint Patrick’s Day, or with a deserving Medal of Honor winner.

I wonder what kind of line the White House Honey Ale would bring.

Back to Orange County, a mile or so away from Haven Gastropub, Hollingshead Deli has an even longer line:

courtesy Chad Limpanukorn, Brewluminati.

courtesy Chad Limpanukorn, Brewluminati. Brown-jacket man is the line enforcer.

Needless to say, if you’re not standing in one of these lines, you’re probably not getting any today. Your last chance in Orange County is next Monday the 27th at Selmas in Ladera Ranch. Check their fb/twitter for details.

“Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.” – Thomas Jefferson