Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pliny The Elder

Ever since my journey through the more hoppier range of beers began, there has been one name that has been in every single discussion about IPA, "Pliny The Elder".

A lot has been said about Russian River and how Vinnie Cilurzo revolutionized the west coast IPA with Pliny The Elder. Every beer enthusiast in the world has tried to hunt down a bottle, and many have traveled to Santa Rosa in California as their own personal pilgrimage, not only for Pliny The Elder, but for his "big" brother, Pliny The Younger (don´t let the names confuse you).

I first heard of this beer back in 2007, how it was the trademark double IPA and tales of it being one of the very best beers in the world. Being from Iceland, travelling to Santa Rosa was never an option. So after trying to get it through trade, trying to mail order and begging work colleagues who went to California on business trips I realized that my chances were incredibly slim, I would eventually have to travel to California myself just to get my hands on this beer!

Here is where Borg brewery steps in (detailed article coming soon!). Their brewmaster, Sturlaugur Björnsson, was a brewer at Russian River. That man learned his trade there with Vinnie, which almost equals being taught basketball by Michael Jordan. So at the release of Pliny the Younger recently, the Borg crew went there (two brewers, one manager) and probably drowned in hops and sourness. I thought to myself, now here is a chance! I mailed them and begged them to bring home just one bottle, they should just name the price! I did not even expect a reply but due to their kindness, they applied and to my surprise, I was delivered one bottle of this great brew.

Since I try not to be a selfish person I decided to share this with friends and my wife, although my selfish alter  ego begged me not to do that.

When expectations run high a beer like this is doomed to fail. The thought that this might just be an overrated IPA had very much crossed my mind, so I tried to trim down my expectations. Little did I know what was in store for me. This was a fruity hoppy bomb of a beer. I expected it to be over the top bitter but the palate, the aroma, the array of different flavours just make this a near perfect IPA. Perfect golden looks, firm film of a head. Massive massive aroma of fruits, mainly tropical fruits, mango. Taste was a fruit bomb, so incredibly fresh and balanced. Incredibly tasty, more fruits with a giant long finish. Not many beers can stand up to their reputations but this one does incredibly well. I am not biased when I say this is among the very best IPAs I´ve ever sampled.

Massive thanks to the Borg crew!