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Review by joe1510 on 11/27/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 2 10 18 4 9 2009
Pint Bottle

Bottled 7/10/08

I received a couple of these in a recent trade with BrewerB, thanks again Brian! The Elder Pliny pours a surprisingly clear bright golden with big sunshine bright highlights when backlit. Carbonation bubbles creep up the sides of the glass to the dense head. A standard pour brought about a two finger white billowy head that eventually receded to a solid cap worth of quality staying power. As the head falls it leaves big intricate lacing down the glass and sheet lacing where each drink was taken.

The nose on this beer is all big and pungent hoppiness. There's something in the big hoppiness of this beer that brings to mind Hop Wallop. There are heavy handed doses of dense pine sap, resinous hops, dissolving aspirin, pineapple, orange, and lightly sweetened grapefruit. Hemp seed makes a big showing as well. Yes the aroma really is that loaded with hoppy goodness. When I say heavy handed in the hop department that's a good thing. While the hops run the gamut the sappiness and resin qualities take the lead. There's not a great deal of malt noticeable in the nose but what's there is cake like and way in the back.

The flavor is still hop heavy, obviously, but seems to be a bit more muddled then the nose suggested. The front end hits with big notes of sappy and resinous hop juice but the middle is where things get muddled when the citric qualities of the hops try and join the party. The aspirin bitterness makes an appearance on the backend when things begin to clear up and lingers through the finish. The maltiness is more pronounced in the flavor with a frosting like sweetness drizzled lightly with caramel. Don't get me wrong, the hops still hold the fort and the malts can't figure out how to cross the moat.

The body of this beer is right where it should be. Although the abv is up there at 8% the body is velvety and right down the middle of the spectrum. The carbonation is smooth and natural with a really nice soft texture. The big hopping adds a growing bitterness as the glass empties.

The drinkability is good for a beer with such large alcohol content. As a matter of fact this bottle is disappearing far to fast for my liking. The bitterness is mild enough to keep on drinking and still enjoy the beer for what it is.

I have wanted to give Pliny a go since I've been active on this site and I'm glad I finally get the opportunity to do so. Although I gave this beer good reviews I can't help but be a little disappointed after all the looking forward I've done over the years. I was looking for a total hop bomb but this beer fell a little short. I guess if the anticipation around sampling this beer wasn't so high for me I would have given it a better review but it is still an excellent beer.

Reviewed: 8/6/08

Served In: Pint Glass