Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New year beer hunting: The highlights.

Russian River brewing. Pliny the Elder.

This one was obtained during my stay in San Francisco. Pours a nice mid golden colour and kicks off one hell of a fresh citrucy hop aroma. Truth be told I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The term double IPA makes you suspect it might take your throat away with furious blasts of bitterness, but turns out it didn't. Pliny is nothing less than a symphony of fresh cascading U.S hops, medium bodied, and just held in balance by chewy rounded malt. Clean and mouth puckeringly dry but without being over the top would be a good description. But its the sheer fresh, floral hoppiness that excells in this beer, and coming all the way from San Francisco I didnt expect it. As I mentioned at the time, this is probably the best American style IPA I have ever tried, Goose Island, Brew Dog Punk IPA, Stone IPA and Jaipur all come close. But far too often they focus on being bold and brash, this seemed truly elegant.

Cantillon Iris 2007.

Cantillon are a very traditional brewery. Or should I say Cantillon are a very traditional brewery who like to experiment allot with their craft. For those of you who don’t know, the signature difference between Iris and other Lambics is that Iris is brewed with unaged hops, whereas other lambics use hops that have been purposely aged. A lambic with perceivable hops I thought, mmm. But when you try it it doesn’t seem dominantly hoppy at all with more of a smattering of pepper herbal hop notes behind the dominant zesty lactic sourness and dry lemony notes of many Lambics I have tried. My advice to anyone with this beer is to keep drinking it, because after a short time your perceptions change a little, and that initial biting sourness seems to fade after the first half a pint or so. After which it transcends into a rather mellow rounded maltiness, gentle hops, and perfectly balancing sourness offsets the two. A very rewarding beer, perfect appetizer and brilliant beer altogether, good job I have the head brewers autograph.


Ed said...

I'd love to try a Pliny the elder.

Whorst said...

Russian River is bad ass. There's a liquor store 'round the house that gets fresh Pliny and Blind Pig IPA in every Friday. Most of the time the bottling dates are only 7 days old. I'm going to do a Pliny clone soon.

Rob said...

Pliny Clone ay? I wonder what hops you would need for it? Chinook and Simco or something like that I would imagine. It looks like its pritty well attenuated as well given the 8% abv and OG in the 70s. I also managed to get hold of one of Russian Rivers barrel aged beers, Consicration (i think is how you spell it) at 10%. Got it tucked away in long term storage.

Whorst said...

I have it on high authority that this is the puppies bollocks. Do what you have to correct your mash efficiency. Starting Gravity should be around 1.075. Should finish around 1.010-1.012.

12lbs. 2-row Pale
1lbs. Corn Sugar
1/3lbs. Crystal(45L)
1lbs. CaraPils

1.5oz Chinook(First Wort Hopped)
2.75 Warrior(90 min)
.5oz Chinook(90 min)
1oz Simcoe(45 min)
1oz Columbus(30 min)
2oz Centennial(flameout)
1oz Simcoe(flameout)
3oz Columbus(dry hop)
1.75oz Centennial(dry hop)
1.75oz Simcoe (dry hop)

Yeast: White Labs WLP-001 or Safale-05. Mash at 150-152F for 60 min. Ferment at 66F-68F. For the dry hopping I was told to add them in three week intervals. 3oz Columubs for a week, then add Centennial for week, the finish with Simcoe. I'm thinking a two week ferment, followed by three weeks of dry hopping. Keg(Proper Real) and carbonate. Do not age. This beer is not supposed to be aged!

Rob said...

Thats some brutal hopping there Sausage. Sometimes you sound like a kindof Yngwie Malmsteen of brewing. Its a shame I can never find Simco, Columbus or Warrior in the UK. Recently I found Centennial, and I can get Chinook from work. I hope you join my facebook group/religion, having APRK in the Brew-I would be class.

Whorst said...

I'll check out your facebook group if I can find it.

Pub up the road just got Pliny in on draught. I'll be there tonight supporting Proper Real Keg. Pics to follow.

Ian Beer said...

As soon as you said sour I started to think...mmm, this is for beer nutters only

Ed said...

You can get Simcoe from here:

Mark said...

Pliny the Elder is awesome! One of the best beers I had last year. I'll be in San Fran in a few weeks and can't wait to try it. My trip also coincides with Pliny the Younger being released. I really want to try their sours too.

Rob said...

Rusiian River Consicration is in the cellar Mark. Most of the time Im envious of the massive range of beer you get hold of so Im quite proud.