Archive for December, 2011

Well, I’ve taken yet another hiatus from blogging beers. I currently have the next nine days off so I should be able to at the very least finish off the beers from my California trip this summer. The next up on the sampler tray is the Pliny the Elder. At 8% it’s quite the hefty brew, though it’s younger half, Pliny the Younger, rings in at 11%. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of the younger available to do a taste comparison.

Pliny the Elder pours a golden-yellow with a head that laces very well as you can see from the photo. The aroma is a hop explosion of pine, grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Don’t get me wrong though, there are malts in this brew too. The sweet honey malts are also being picked out in the nose. The taste is extremely well-balanced, the pine, citrus and honey all co-mingle on the palate like a happy family. This well carbonated beer is an excellent example of how a high alcohol content IPA should be. I’d never know that this beer was 8% from just tasting it. Cheers to you Russian River!



The next stop on our journey was Russian River Brewing. Honestly, I hadn’t heard of it before but it came highly recommended by a several of my beer acquaintances. This brewery was founded in 1997 by Korbel Champagne Cellers. He then chose to hire on Vinnie Cilurzo as the Brewmaster. Just two short years later, at the Great American Beer Festival, they won “Small Brewing Company of the Year” and “Small Brewing Company Brewmaster of the Year.” Three years later in ’02, Korbel decided to leave the beer business and sold the brewery to Vinnie and his wife, Natalie. Since then, they’ve moved the brewery to Santa Rosa, California, and have continued to be quite successful.

Now, for the beer, inside their establishment they have what they call a sample paddle. The idea is quite common but their presentation was very cool. The two ounce shots were lined up down the paddle in a proper tasting order with some of the slotted spots having the particular beers cap next to the slot. I highly recommend this to anyone whom might visit. Now, there was honestly too much for my palate to review properly, so I picked out a few to blog about and made notes on those. The first of which being their Blind Pig IPA.

This bad boy is crystal clear, honey yellow coloring. With a small taster there isn’t much room for head but there was a touch of white lacing on the edge of the glass as you can see. The aroma is thick with citrus hops. The taste is extreme, bitter orange zest, grapefruit and pineapple hops right up front with a hint of caramel playing in the background. The tail end is quite bitter and peppery with the hops. This is an amazingly, delicious example of an IPA!

6% IPA