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 Et Cetra  Look at me! I am flying!

Pliny the Younger comes to Denver

Jeremy Short · Feb. 21

 

I've finally had my chance to drink a glass of Pliny the Younger. We came early (an hour before the tap began to pour) to ensure our chance of sipping this one-of-a-kind triple IPA. Really? You came an hour early to get in line for a beer? Asks any reasonable person.  You see, Pliny the Younger is a bit of a pain in the ass to get your hands on and the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver is one of the few places in the country lucky enough to get this beer that is only released once a year. People actually flew into town just to try this beer. That had me asking, if you’re willing to do that, why not just fly to California and go to Russian River? Anyway, I am not quite that crazy.

Some of the staff at Falling Rock seemed quite anxious to get the day over with—all of these beer freaks jamming up their bar. But you have to love a beer that can fill up a bar, on a Sunday, at noon, in the middle of February, without any football on TV, and people who are willing to drop $8.00 on an 8oz. pour. Something few, few, few beers can claim.

Eventually the taps opened and my imagination picked up the hint of hops from across the bar. We pushed our way towards the bar and proudly displayed the black X on our right hands and the red ticket in our left that certified our place in line. And then it was ours. The cool glass of Pliny the Younger sat gracefully in our hands.

My first sip… oh, baby that’s some hops. Russian River scientifically measured the IBUs of Pliny the Younger and rated it GOBS. And that is most certainly an accurate scientific reflection of what you will find in both the aroma and the taste. The hops literally buzz on your lips and tongue. And by literally I mean literally. The beer was still a bit too cold. I didn’t bring a thermometer to check for the right serving temperature (I know, how crazy that I would forget). So, I had no choice. I had to cuddle the beer and gently warm up the aroma and taste. Oh, sweet beer, I whispered to it as I brought it to its full expression. 

Ah, there it is! With each sip the flavors opened up. The wallop of hops quelling my taste buds into submission. You will taste us! They yelled. Pure citrusy American hop love. As the beer warmed it allowed the malt to come through. What is most impressive is the smoothness of this beer. This beer weighs in at a massive 11% ABV with an original gravity of 1.098. This would put the finishing gravity right around 1.013. Holy crap, I want some of that yeast. And you can taste that incredible attenuation in the clean finish of the malt. And the alcohol doesn’t scream on the way down making this beer scarily easy to drink too quickly.

There is rich spectrum of flavors locked in this beer that come out with each sip, but what stuck with me is that it simply taste like a great IPA. It taste like American Hops. It taste like a great beer. No fluff. Just good.

Alas the tap is now dry. The second serving of Pliny the Younger will be this Saturday the 26th at 1PM. If you can make it, you should try it out because it will be another year before you can try it again. But if you can’t make it, don’t fret, it’s just beer. And you should check out some of your neighborhood beers anyway. Just because Pliny has a cult following doesn’t mean you should skip out on the great beers made by your local brewers. Go find the next Pliny.

 

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