Russian River Gold
By Hudson Lindenberger
Pliny the Elder is ranked as the worlds best IPA in numerous publications and best of all it is brewed in California’s Russian River Valley in the town of Santa Rosa, which is located in the heart of Sonoma County. Russian River Brewing has been producing award-winning beers since 1997 under the guidance of their famed brew master/owner Vinnie Cilurzo. They are renowned for being leaders in innovation in brewing and for always challenging the status quo.
Their flagship beer is an exceptional beer called Pliny the Elder, a double India Pale Ale. This beer is named after the ancient Roman statesman Pliny, who died during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and had written one of the earliest documented works about hops, the main ingredient in a great IPA. They certainly chose the correct person to name this award-winning beer after – Pliny the Elder has won gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. It is ranked as the third best beer on Beer Advocate and has a score of 100 on Rate Beer. The alcohol content is eight percent with 100 IBUs (International Bittering Units). This IPA is best enjoyed fresh, which is why the bottling date appears on each bottle. It is available year round in 24-ounce bottles and draft, usually in higher-end shops.
When you open this beer you are immediately hit with a big aroma of citrus – this is going to be fun! The beer pours clearer than one would expect for such a hop loaded beer, the color is golden with a two-inch bright white head and moderate lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma, as noted earlier, is impressive, you can detect grapefruit, pine, lemon and a hint of pineapple – yep, impressive. The mouthfeel is one of the smoothest ever, as you are hit with the grapefruit bitterness up front but then it is nicely balanced with the malt – a real tongue scraper – and a quite dry finish. You are left with a clean palate and looking forward to the next sip, this is one of the better-balanced IPAs on the market, and as it goes down you will see it is worth the hype.
You can find more about Pliny the Elder and other brews by going to the Russian River Brewing website; Russianriverbrewing.com/