Russian River Brewing Co. — Pliny the Elder — 8%

Here’s one from right up the road in Santa Rosa. Russian River Brewing Company’s double IPA is named after the Roman botanist and jack-of-all-trades who coined the original scientific name for hops, Lupus salictarius.

Pliny the Elder was best known for writing the definitive resource on the ancient sciences. His masterwork, Natural History, was a reference for centuries in such diverse fields as medicine and botany. This brew is an apt tribute, as upon first pour, it unleashes an aroma of floral perfection, and may prove to be the last word on double IPAs.

Pliny the Elder (the beer, not the man) gives a wonderful citrus/grapefruit finish, and in addition to lots and lots of hops, has a good balance of malt. “One of the most-balanced double IPAs I’ve ever tasted,” said Talking Bob as he scrambled to turn up the Allman Brothers on the box.

Russian River stresses that this beer should be consumed fresh. Once you’ve tasted your first one, I don’t think that storage is ever going to be a problem.

Grade: A+

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