3

Trillium Brewing Just Got 5 Hop Cones in the Source: Hot in those MA Streets

If you are like me, you are sick to your perineum of hearing about hoppy beers from the Northeast.  Every other week it’s some new whipped egg yolk looking DIPA pitched with London Ale III strain or something unclarified with tons of messy ropes like cum in a hot tub. I get it, everyone wants their own Huddy Trooper riff. Usually the coat tails are gripped so defiantly that it is hard to separate the cone from the chaff and the prospect of taking a fedex flyer on hoppy beers from across the continental U.S. is not an inviting prospect.

These Trillium beers though, God damn.

Without qualification I can say that these are absolutely worth your time and I would be shocked if your unknown local brewery crafting beers out of a revamped Red Robin on some shitty third owner brewpub system are making anything like this.

beers taste better bokehed

beers taste better bokehed

At the outset the innumerable list of hoppy beers from Trillium appear samey in execution,  but each shines in a distinct fashion. Melcher street is the more herbal and grassy companion on this Massachusetts stroll through dandelion fields.  This is a stern east coast response to the likes of Societe’s Pupil.  This pushes for angiosperms, conifers, and apricot on the closer.

trub a dub dub

trub a dub dub

No matter where you stand on the haze vs. isinglass debate, Melcher street tastes phenomenal and finishes creamy with a long sappy resin like a freshly stained deck. I can’t wait until someone with better distribution bites this style and does it marginally worse because I need this to be sitting on shelves, no courier intermediary needed.

the meringue whip

the meringue whip

Sleeper street is aptly named for much of the Trillium canon at this point.  Sure you see ISOs for these, but I usually wait for the galvanized steel of hoppy beers to cool before I go treading upon unproven paths. This beer is not as good as Melcher but it still shows a capacity for variety within even the style that doesn’t usually get praise for nuance or depth.  This has a kind of menthol and minty Sazerac 18 kind of woodiness going to it.  There is a leafy oiliness to the mid palate and it feels earthy but still wholly refreshing like a woodruff shot or a fernet branca spritzer.

poppin shots at them MA haters

poppin shots at them MA haters

So in sum, this is a throwback of sorts to the Hoptimum era of massively resinous IPAs but ensconced in the framework of the frothy turbidity of the modern era.  It’s like when Brendan Fraser emerges from the past in any one of his movies where he is a guy who is emerging from the past to adapt to new circumstances.  Pick one.

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

But is that DIPA game strong tho? A resounding affirming head nod shatters my c1 in this regard.  Upper Case is hands down my favorite offering from them and it heismans others squarely in the collarbone by taking the messy DIPA framework that HF Double Galaxy presented and presses it to an oddly refreshing realm.  Usually these are hardly what you would reach for when you seek satiation.

“We hear you guys are digging our hop forward beers…so we busted out another double IPA to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. UPPER CASE has a delicate, dry pilsner malt character with a smooth, soft, doughy mouthfeel from the raw wheat, oily hop resin which all serves as a canvas for this twice dry hopped 9% double IPA. Overipe mango, pineapple and passion fruit aromas leap out as the beer is poured. The impression of tropical fruit also takes the lead in the flavor which is layered further by white wine, pine resin and grapefruit zest. Hopped primarily with Mosaic with supporting roles played by Galaxy, Citra and Columbus. We figured there will be considerable interest, so brewed 3 batches!”

I mean, god damn it.  Sure this is not as balanced as the “perfect” DIPAs like Kern River Citra or HF Ephraim, but it is a novel entry into a sort of almost farmhouse meets ultra hopped 2 row realm.

just look ffs

just look ffs

I know your local realm has fresher, awesome DIPAs.  No one is contesting that, but it likely doesn’t have this guava and pine explosion, it doesn’t have this grapefruit puree pressed through autumnal foliage, the ride on mower sits absently longing for the grow season, and this beer is the reductio ad absurdum of those devices.  Absolutely top notch.

honorable mention

honorable mention

Not to appear one note: brewmaster Jack has been turning out some tasty beers as well.  I was not as huge a fan of this as the adamantium hard lineup from Trillium, but it is still very tasty.  You get grapefruit pith, mandarin oranges, pressed pineapple juice and a nice mineral clean finish without excessive oils.  If you have a MA guy, have him also toss some of this Brewmaster Jack action your way as the whole region seems to be in a hoppy arms race where only the consumer is the victor.

Get that deep cone pump, throbbing oils, zygotes straight tumescent at full bud.

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0

@columbusbrewing Bodhi DIPA, Touch that Bodhi, Get All Up in the Bodhi, Put my Bodhi inside You

Alright, we can all agree that Christopher Columbus was a complete shitbag, right? I mean ok, he rediscovered a trade route, committed genocide of thousands/millions of natives, sold Carribeans into slavery, we all know about that; but he also probably never brewed a DIPA. If you do all that horrible shit and then never offset it with at least a quality beer, then, that’s just babystomp levels of wrong. Columbus Brewing would be the inverted analog to the imperialist mariner: solid land locked people with no boats, no imperialistic aspirations, and they brew a fucking amazing DIPA. I saw this lil elusive minx pop up on the old school top 100, back when the mics used to mean something, 95 was meant you were the shit, now a 99 is like the least you get. Mad props to BlacknYellow for sending me this sticky banger. Anyway, this is fucking amazing and the best hoppy offering to come out of the midwest in a long time. Sorry Head Hunter. This is vastly superior. This one is for you Sendsilk, stop complaining and let’s get up in that Bodhi.

Classic DDB form: skulled the entire fucking 2L solo while playing GTAV. Typical Tuesday.

Classic DDB form: skulled the entire fucking 2L solo while playing GTAV. Typical Tuesday.

Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

A: This is just beautiful. It isn’t that orange julius turbid mish mosh that HF presents, but it isn’t that deep gold SRM from west coast offerings, nor the ugly brassy east coast maltbombs: it is it’s own aesthetic. Looking at it, you wouldn’t think 8% abv DIPA, it looks like a tamer sort of Zombie Dusty affair. The carb held up well and there is light cling and little retention, but you didn’t put this hop porn in for the foamy storyline. You just want those hop oil money shots all in your mouth. Triple ropers.

Once this growler was opened I couldn't keep my mouth up off it

Once this growler was opened I couldn’t keep my mouth up off it

S: This has a fantastic floral meets citrus boquet that doesn’t dominate on either profile. At first it is a bit aserose and you have sad feels, but then that grapefruit comes through like pith on the backend lightening up the bitter Coen Brothers hop profile with a bit of Raising Hopizona. Jamean.

T: Again, the pine needles are swept gently into a corner with some smashed lemon and yard trimmings in a beautiful medley that is distinctively grassy, resinous, but bright enough to maintain that complexity. It is the halfway house between shitty east coast malt bombs and simplistic refreshing west coast citrus profiles. The ABV is masked impeccably, you wouldn’t even know there were bricks stuffed up in the spare moving mad weight up in this whip. Pine cones soaked in grapefruit puree, bottled with unfiltered sunlight. Straight ratchet and worth the hype.

People who dont trade will be all rustled and talk about how their local IPA is the best, lol, rite.

People who dont trade will be all rustled and talk about how their local IPA is the best, lol, rite.

M: This is exceedingly thin and all the better as a result. In racing they say “if you want to make your car do everything better, reduce the weight” and that is essentially what is going on here. This is a stripped down malty 240z with a fucking 350 of hops dropped into the chassis. I am not sure if this amount of resin to citrus ratio is street legal, but it def gives southeast asian kids erections. It washes away clean with an almost dry finish due to the oily bitterness that leave you with little recourse besides getting face down in it for another taste.

D: I killed this entire growler on a weeknight and wondered just what the fuck happened the next morning. My Roomba looked on in cold disapproval and swept up all the smashed goldfish from the entryway. This will get you on that Mossberg swerve to the point where, who knows, maybe you might get banned from a local establishment and/or beer website. Anything is possible with this minx. Highly recommended Boneyard/Alpine level shit. Seek this one out, srs.

It is like they took a classic formula and amped it up with speed, cornering and mid 90's extreme intensity

It is like they took a classic formula and amped it up with speed, cornering and mid 90’s extreme intensity

Narrative: Dwayne Clark knew that his grill was illfitting and he didn’t care to address the issue. The lack of balance was his calling and the street youth loved him for it. In urban circles this was an issue of ultimate reproach and he instead chose to clench his bicuspids defiantly. “What type of cheesy gordita crunch would you like?” “mhm.” He just felt the pang of knowing that his vestigial dental accessory was somehow subpar to the most luxurious on the block, but ornate and amazing in execution. “I shed, jush a regular scheesy gordita, crunsh.” He gritted his jaw knowing they were mocking his ostentatious purchase, the precious stones obfuscating his speech. It was sheer excess, to be sure. WHAT WAS HE SUPPOSED TO DO? TAKE IT OUT? That is simply not an option when you come so close to regal greatness. No sir, he resolved to show this grill in all of its majesty, despite the “minor” problems that he may encounter on a day to day basis. Dwayne would tend the danky vines in his grandmother’s basement and wait for the day that Interscope saw the true genius behind his radiant flows.

1

@Hillfarmstead Double Citra, Double Down That Citra and Juicy J Gonna Pop It Like Wet Paint

It’s been a minute since we went back to Vermont to see what those boys are up to in Greensboro. Now that Citra is a household hop right next to the Ajax and the baking soda, let’s go way back and enjoy this top 100 banger with a fresh liver. This beer would previously post up with Abner and Double Galaxy and push kids around the school yard, showing them how hops is done. Does it still bully the fuck out of newcomer DIPAs? We shall see in today’s revew. WE SHALL SEE.

Double Citra creepin on Double Citra. Citraception.

Double Citra creepin on Double Citra. Citraception.

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

A: You already know how this cow eats the cabbage before you even pop that growler. You get an eggshell white foam that is just pumps out ropes and ropes of lacing like Peter North. Google him after you get home from work. The turbid borderline farmhouse look to this beer lets the consumer know two things 1) pasteurization is for playaz who dont be getting it and 2) that milky secret holds all the hops in the substrate like a male seahorse and all his spawn. The carb is indefatigable and crackles endlessly, taunting you, letting you know no one asked you to Sadies, reminding you of substandard DIPAs of the past and the messy hop IEDs of the future.

After having a DIPA like this, other double IPAs seem like a janky ass Samus.

After having a DIPA like this, other double IPAs seem like a janky ass Samus.

S: Some other breweries choose to buttress citra hops with something like oh I don’t know cascade, simcoe; you know something to give structure to the acidic citrus aspects. This beer just says fuck all that and goes ham on the citrus notes. It is like a Farmer’s Market of tangerines, mandarin oranges, clementines, and nectarines. There is a light honey at the backend and some Grand’s biscuits going on just to make old Grammy smile at this hop builder straight flexing its traps.

T: This follows the nose pretty congruently and makes you feel as though you may have tread this path before in Society and Solitude, or perhaps to a lesser extent Abner. You get a lil aserose poking its head out of its knothole with the first sign of spring, then this turns into a straight up Gushers/Fruitopia commercial of juiciness and everyone is getting mouthfucked with oranges, lemon zest, cuties, and every manner of citric acid. This isn’t a fruiter berliner sort of acidity though, it is like a TOOL fan’s room with a stick dankness of oils and a bright glow of a blacklight hop cone poster. It is bright, bold but almost menacing in the way it just pushes your palate down into a swivel chair and demands the access codes.

Gather up your favorite off shelf DIPAs and prepare for your old heros to look like shit.

Gather up your favorite off shelf DIPAs and prepare for your old heros to look like shit.

M: This is hoppy and cirtus forward to the point of being drying along the gumline. If you have ever had beers that go hard on the Tomahawk/Warrior you know what I mean but this is a little different. It isn’t exactly a resinous bully that tears up your bicuspid walls, because there is almost a sort of yogurty creaminess to it. It’s like a hop gangster who flips a coin, shoots your friend and lovingly puts its arm around your gumline. Shit starts popping off in all kinds of directions like Hmong family reunion.

D: This is almost frustratingly drinkable. The 750ml swingtop is a mockery for this beer and shouldn’t even be an offsite option. It is akin to a single song dance at a strip club when you know you are gonna be tipping up. Once it is gone, you feel like that nursing student crawling around the floor collecting the one dollar bills, dancing your way through school. The carbonation just adds to the problems because the crack and substantial coating in the creaminess lends itself to foregoing contemplation of what you are enjoying. One minute you are just contemplating going to see Pain & Gain, the next minute Double Citra is gone and you are asking to speak to a lawyer.

Oh shit you used Citra in your homebrew IPA? Man time to enter that at GABF, girls will love you.

Oh shit you used Citra in your homebrew IPA? Man time to enter that at GABF, girls will love you.

Narrative: Angus T. Jones was sick of this shit. He walked around the backlot and bit into a ripe tangerine and looked over the spec script for the 14th season. Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without the half man, now almost two decades old. “Get my agent on the phone, I am sick of this fucking nonsense,” Angus called out to an associate producer and cast a Newport onto the pavement. At first things were sweet, when he was younger he was content with mediocrity, but this was too much. “Another fucking episode about me not fitting in at school? I am 19 fucking years old. The writers need to get their shit together!” he screamed into the DP’s voicemail. In the beginning it was easy to forget all of the mediocrity, which folded into itself like the membranes on a mitochondria. However the acidity had been punched up, his sticky distemper was affecting Ashton Kutcher and other serious artists on the set. “How about this, my character goes to the fucking Army? Ok? Or, I dont know, get an alien or an adopted kid. Do what shitty shows do when they become worse and worse to the point that Nascar fans wont watch them anymore. Yes, yes I did see the final season of Family Matters, do that shit,” he called into his iPhone 5 while texting one of the hot skeezies on iCarly. He was more acidic than he was deep, but he was more profound than others in his position. Angus Jones was an acerbic asshole that people could never seem to get enough of.

0

Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA, Man There is a Pun Here…Somewhere….

Another single IPA has crept up into the Top 100, so in my most judicious whack a mole procedure, I automatically have to review this and that annoying ass Bodhi IPA from Columbus. One beer at a time. I posted an ISO for this and 3 people straight up offered to send this to me to review, other people offered to send me no joke like 12 bottles for completely reasonable trades. Nice people, those Ohioans. Ohio has much more than just vapid girls that they send to LA to become FIDM students, THEY HAVE AMAZING BEER. Edmund Fitzgerald, Jackie O’s, all kinds of treats. Anyway, let’s see how the midwest fares when it tries its hand at refreshing IPAs. (spoiler: this is a refreshing IPA, jimmies remain unrustled.)

Oh damn, classing up those IPAs on the reg with some stemware. It is like a Trans Am with a navigation system.

Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States
American IPA | 7.50% ABV

A: This is dead on for style and presents a dull yellow meets brassy orange glow with foamy carbonation with nice pasteurized bubbles to ensure consistency and that predictable old refreshing character. The lacing is present until the watery sheeting washes it clean. This just looks refresing, like when you fall face down into the marble tub after drinking hard in Vegas, you might be abusing it but it still feels so good.

With so many IPAs out there, it is easy to pick out the irritating ones. This is not one of those.

S: This is not exactly a hop bomb when you open it, but it isn’t exactly tame either. If we are using Alpine Nelson as a single IPA that goes HAM and let’s call Bell’s Two Hearted as a more subtle and deliciously refreshing take on the genre, this is somewhere in between the two. It gives you a light citrus with one fist and then delivers hard with a nice resinous pinch from the other hand. This is truly a nice transamerican representation of the single IPA in execution. Some people drink Bell’s Oracle and think that is the pinnale of hops, others swear by Bad Boy and cut deep and hard into their arms to prove it. This is like a very genuine mediator, crossing party lines (OH SHIT TOPICAL HOP HUMOR).

T: This is a careful bellhop that gently escorts you and carries all of your hop baggage for you. You get a light sweetness at the outset and then a nice blast of orange zest and light aserose is there to support the splishy splashy malts. It is like a Jdate encounter where you aren’t sure if you are going to get violated, but the coffee is good. The finish is consistent and washes away briskly imparting a light honey and sweet lemon note. I hate reviewing beers like this because they are exceptionally well done for what they are seeking, namely refreshment and moderation in execution. It makes my job a shitload harder when I can’t just rage on Mikkeller for 1000 words and call it a day.

Sure this beer may not be beautiful, or perfect, but it makes you feel good. Isn’t that enough?

M: This washes away with a crisp and watery finish that invites the next sip with some light drying from the hop oils but strays far from a tropical fruit or citrus assault. It also doesn’t leave you gasping with heavy handed pine usage. I am a bit surprised that the Imperial version of this is so lowly rated, but I guess if moderation is your selling point and you shave a rainbow swastica in your pubes, you just lost your fanbase.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and reminds me in a lot of ways of Blind Pig in the way that the entire affair is memorable in how subtle and forgettable it was. Maybe the selling virtue of some beers is how they simply don’t alter anything except your consciousness in a completely benign way. I don’t need to be tossing my couch into the pool when I have to take kids to school at 8 a.m. There’s a time and a place for everything.

When my bottle was empty, I realized that I only had one of these and kicked an asian child in the face. supes tipicals.

Narrative: “Ok, just breathe, they don’t know, smile, nod.” Bruce Lowenstein reassured himself with much trepidation. “Well as you can see, we have the market cornered with the tropical, well, not cornered but ::AHEM:: the sours, they contain the most, uh salt on the outside and, some have said ‘hey, Bruce, where are the new flavors’” This may be recorded as the worst Skittles board meeting to date. At the heart of it all was a single lie. Bruce filed his resume over 9 years ago with the Wrigley Corporation and now he was faced down by 12 dour-faced Japanese investors. “So, the salt, is exactly the need that markets, well specifically the Japanese market, as a uh, compliment to most raw fish dishes.” The rancor of his latent racist comments made them wonder as to his qualifications for serving as Head Chief of Marketing. However, his sweet demeanor made him hard to dislike. His Ritz yellow hair and crisp smile appealed to the Yamazaki investors. “AND THAT IS WHY ACAI AND WASABI SKITTLES WILL SELL!” Somewhere, a resume from 1999 was tucked in a drawer with “Speaking Skills” incongruously listed under “Hobbies.” That Bruce sure was a reassuring son of a bitch, he could help you keep you calm and enthused regardless of how hectic your current situation may be.

0

The Brew Kettle Taproom White Rajah IPA, All Hail this Indian Master

Time to swing the old geography around to show Ohio some love for something other than eating competitions and the award for most Big Dog t-shirts sold per capita. This beer pops up every once in a while on the top 100 and I figured I would give the midwest a shrift to see how their big guns stack up against California IPAs.

White Rajah is within the same lineage as Maharaja from beers that just toss around Indian terms with careless abandon.

White Rajah IPA
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.80% ABV

A: Deep orange with amber hues in the center, 1/2 finger carbonation, moderate lacing, a bit darker than most ipas, but a bit cloudier. Single IPAs are kinda like telling your friends about the hot Korean girl that you met, all adjectives make it end up seeming more pedestrian and unimpressive as a result.

IPA cant be walez, hurr derrr.

S: There is a bright aggressive hop profile, cirtusy and bitter to the nose. Not quite overbearing in the juniper/herbal notes, but still that pesky pine pokes its head in like an uncircumsized penis, all conspicuous and out of place.

T: This beer has a very balanced hop profile, not overbearing, not entirely cirtusy either, very light with a quick bitter finish, a profile that transfers from lemon to grassy and are similar to those other poorly done imperial/double IPAs, without a long standing lingering hop profile. Those god. damn. pinecones round things out and just overstay their welcome. This is pretty robust for a single IPA, but not my favorite offering when Sculpin and some other stellar IPAs are available on the reg.

When you have a nice, sessionable IPA, you get this warm hoppy feeling like snugs from a baby sloth.

M: The mouthfeel is exactly where it should be for the style, light finish with a biscuity middle to it that lingers for a bit, doesnt overcoat the mouth so that you welcome the next sip, almost to the point of drinking it too fast. I prefer this to many other jankier double IPAs because I feel like I can drink this without so much of a traumatic profile and continue to keep ruining people’s shit on Puzzle Quest.

D: I dont usually throw this around, but its an incredibly drinkable beer, it feels like a bolder pale ale simply due to its Trojan horse character that sends the abv and aggressive fast moving hops right into the Troy of your mouth. I am certainly able to drink well beyond the 12oz bottle and I think 3 would be perfect to get ready for a custody hearing. It’s an even more dangerous candidate given the relatively afforable price. Good luck finding a series of bottles to support that endeavor. I enjoy this beer but in LA its not too simple to find this beer, or even at all, so slap the Fedex guy on the ass and tell him to move bricks in the trap.

Too many IPAs will put your liver on swole, knock you down like a Goldberg spear.

Narrative: They said that after the nuclear war, there would be no vegetation, no life, just nuclear winter. How ironic, those shortsigted botanists, if they only knew. The hop plant thrives on depleted uranium. The nuclear war didn’t produce endless expanses of rubble, it created a lush verdant world covered in hop flowers. It stings my eyes to go outside with all the hop oils in the air and I leave the communal well smelling like Burning Man. I guess this is God’s sick joke, cover the earth in a beautiful, fragrant, unusable flower, what with all the malt and barley dead. Talk about peanut butter with no jam. Hopmageddon affected us all, but it affected Chardonnay drinkers worst of all.

0

Brouwerij Het Alternatief The Bitter Truth Tripel IPA, You Can’t Handel The Truf

I don’t remember ever having this beer, and I lost the picture that I took of it. This tells me that this 10% heater did its job. Anyway, let’s sip this esoteric gem in today’s review, THIS BEER BE THE TRUTH.

This isn’t my picture, but since we are telling the truth, truthfully you probably don’t give a shit.

Brouwerij Het Alternatief
Belgium
Belgian IPA | 10.00% ABV

The Bitter Truth, Tripel 10% 70 ibu

A: Faint chardonnay yellowish faint gold with very thin character similar to a thin lager. HUGE head with carbonation throughout. The carbonation might be my favorite part of this beer, which sounds strange but it is executed perfectly.

This beer is a little strange, BUT YOU SECRETLY LIKE IT.

S: Lots of pepper and spice, some clove, mild sugars and tart white grapes. This isn’t your standard Triple IPA offering, but I enjoy it.

T: A sweet white wine savignon blanc taste opens with a tart grape that fades into a peppery finish. Great mild hops round out the profile.

This beer, like Latonja, don’t give a fuck.

M: This has a great mouthfeel between the constant carbonation and thin mouthfeel it equates to a strangely balanced and original Tripel that almost leans toward the Gueuze. Very tasty and seems more west-coast than Belgian in character. Love the tart dryness that it imparts.

D: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer with great lasting appeal. The price is a bit too much to make it a session beer but the 10% abv makes it a contender for a great well-rounded beer. I would love to bring this along for a hot weather activity and other venues. The more that I drink it the smoother and milder it gets, I love the tart character that is akin to a sour cuvee.

Picture unrelated.

Narrative: Tipper Poppington was born a proletariat merchant assistant with a secret . He worked hard all his days, overseeing the notary, making sure the itemized bundles were packaged correctly, sealing all the correspondence with the hot wax seal. He wasn’t the best in the office, or the brightest, or even the most amiable. However, young Tipper was born under a conditional will from his great great grandfather which stated that if Tipper could become a fencing master by the age of 21, he would take his grandfather’s large estate, heretofore unbeknownst to him, and win the heart and mind of the winsome female interest in the clerking office. He was alerted on his 20th birthday with a knock on a rich mahogany door. The package contained a terse note wrapped around a perfectly balanced Epee, “train you will, take you shall,” with a copy of the holographic will attached. “God speed, Young Poppington” the clerk master whispered to himself as he watch Tipper practice fervishly in the courtyard, each parry a daunting swipe at greatness, and the heart of his beholden.

4

Russian River Pliny the Younger, Beer Predators Always Seem to Go After the Younger Ones

Boy oh boy, have we really come to this? A week ago we were drinking Rolling Rock and now we are sipping on the world’s highest ranked beer with careless abandon. Let’s rattle off some facts about this legendary (triple?) DIPA. First off, they don’t even bottle this beast because it single handedly submarined the Greek economy. Second, it is only available around groundhog day at a few choice locations, and only on draft. In fact, this beer is in an elite cadre of Draft Only No Growler (DONG) beers. So grab your dongs and let’s see if the hype is worth it in today’s epic review, written in dactyllic hexameter, JK!

When you see Pliny, especially in Younger form, YOU DOUBLE FIST. No questions asked.

Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 11.00% ABV

Here’s what the brewery has to say about this elusive hopmonster:

“Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder’s nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time and space consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don’t make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth.”

A: It looks like bright, translucent, molten brass with a deceptive clarity to the sheen. The carbonation, at least every time that I have had it, has been minimal and presents a hilarious little pencil lead head to garnish your hop-torn mouth. Did you really come into Pliny the Younger to look at it though? If so, maybe you are doing it wrong. Maybe Pizza Port just didn’t clean their glasses correctly, or maybe people from South Carolina take Boyking reviews too seriously, who IS TO SAY?

On the left, Pliny the Younger, on the right, immature craft beer palate.

S: This smells like the inside of a 8th grade stoner’s backpack. It has a deep resinous pine character that lends to a poplar, aserose, maple, and a sweetness that reminds me of the toasted orange rind garnish you commonly find on old fashioneds. However, as this beer warms, it lets some of the fruits loose to amble around the verdant meadows, and we are all edified as a result.

T: This has much more malt than it’s “older” bretheren and some people prefer that complexity. The bready and cornbread sweetness is damn near mandatory to buttress the hop bill that they have in this hop Basilisk, turning beer nerd pants to stone. The taste echoes the pine and foresty adventures of the nose but presents a new hat trick that reminds me of eating sweet rolls after a long day of raking pine needles. The creaminess of the taste really masks the ABV of this staggering giant and the entire interplay is really something to tip your hat to in the street, downright genteel.

This beer is a reason to lovingly long for Groundhog and Valentine’s day. A sweet solace to the horrible month of February.

M: The mouthfeel, despite the low carbonation, boasts a huge hop profile that works in tandem with the malts to continue the project that Pliny the Elder started, but takes it to absurd new heights. To some, this (D)IPA might come across as a new style altogether, shouldered with Ephraim, Devil Dancer, Knuckle Sandwich etc. however, this is deep down as Imperial as the Chinese shipping empires, and the hops resonate like a street basketball game.

D: Reviews like these are always tough to do, first because I have very little constructive criticism to coast the jokes upon due to the fact that the beer is just too damn good. Then again, I don’t want to knock this beer on accessibility alone, since that is an intentional decision. This is dangerously drinkable and you can’t help but wonder why others have failed to attempt this ambitious undertaking. Is it worth seeking out? Absolutely. Is this beer worth standing in line for 90 minutes and being shut out? No. Is it worth belonging to a mug club or stupid passport promotion to drink? Absolutely not. Is it worth buying $50 of charity raffle tickets only to lose on all of them and be denied access to this beer? No.

Is this one of the best T/D IPAs out there? The answer is a resounding “ya bruh.”

HEY LISTEN, I know you want PtY, but could you not post in forums about getting it in bottles? It makes you look like a shithead. Thanks.

Narrative: The boats bobbed softly in the bay of Naples and Pliny dipped his quill assiduously into the inkwell and felt mild vibrations through the legs of the Poplar table. “I must write in haste, for I fear that I have gone too far in my botanical pursuits this time.” The grumble of the dormant volcanic god, Pompeii, rumbled in the east. “In my quest for taxonomy and discovering different strains of the ‘wolf plant’ I appear to have cross-polinated in a manner repugnant to the soil itself.” The tremors became steadily more severe and Pliny’s hands shook with anticipation. “I seem to have created a strain of hops that defies belief, the root system is so charged with ‘aether’ that is has shifted the contents of the lower core, the oils are just too powerful!” The dirt-floored home shook violently and cast the aging octagenarian to the floor, a copy of Aristotle’s metaphysics lay open at his knees. “Please, tell my kin to abandon this deep curse, may the Gods take pity on my efforts at the River of Sty-” The Pompeiian mountain erupted, unleashing the hot hoppy fury of the wolf plant upon the teeming Romans below. Magma was truly the hottest DIPA that they had ever encountered, bitter coating sheets of obsidian and molten rock were bitter beyond belief. [FN1]

[FN1] entire entry reviewed for historical accuracy