As has been previously mentioned, BotF is very lucky to have Rachel in its membership ranks. Rachel travels frequently and has brought back some very interesting beers, which have ended up being taken on journeys to Sydney’s sights. The United States is one of Rachel’s favourite destinations and whilst she has brought back some pretty sensational stuff in the past, she’ll have to go to extreme lengths to bring back something to top her latest bottle.
Rachel gets to hang out with some high falutin’, high finance types and she was clearly wheeling and dealing at a top end joint when she regaled her companions with stories of Back of the Ferry carrying-ons. Now her new found companions weren’t just experts on matters financial – they clearly knew about amber goings on as well. A minion was directed out the back of the bar in which Rachel was imbibing and he returned with a bottle that these captains of capitalism reckoned would impress Rachel’s antipodean mates.
Well, they chose magnificently. Pliny the Elder is a super star of the US Craft Brewing scene. It is a Double IPA, brewed by the Russian River Brewing Co. Its fame is partly derived from the fact that the co-owner of the Russian River Brewing Co is widely acknowledged to be the creator of the first Double IPA. I reckon he’s perfected it with the Pliny. The name is also distinctive and comes from the fact that Pliny the Elder, a Roman natural historian, was one of the first to refer to hops in his writings, and may have even named them. The beer label hyperbole is also great – imploring drinkers to drink their Pliny as soon as possible after acquisition. “Age your cheese, not your Pliny” “Pliny is for savoring (sic), not saving” “Respect you Elder. Keep cold, drink fresh, do not age.”
To be honest, no beer lasts too long once it comes into the possession of this correspondent. So 27 days after the published bottling date (20th August 2012), I was delighted to crack this opened and share with fellow correspondent – illiards – at my backyard bar. Of course, such a fine beer deserved the full Back of the Ferry beerporn treatment and before ending up in my bar fridge, we took it for a spin on the Harbour. So, what’s it like? Any possibiity of anti-climax (this is a beer that rates 100 on Beer Advocate) was immediately eliminated by a hefty sniff. You could probably spend an afternoon breathing this in. It’s bright, fresh, pine forest, lemon orchard sort of stuff without singeing your nasal hairs. The first mouthful though, is where the magic really starts. It is an assault, but one that is worth submitting oneself to over and over again. The pine bitterness dominates at the start, but the citrus fruit-farm comes in and then it is just a swirl of flavours that just keep hanging around. There’s a pleasany oiliness to it all, which seems to keep the whole sensation going. It is all very well put together and whilst its big in every way – you don’t really notice the 8%. All in all, a must do beer experience. Thanks, Rachel.
you lucky bastard
I have only had it once. It is a great one.
My only complaint about your review is that the beerporn photos look as if they were taken with the bottle still full. Even knowing that it did not happen, those photos still gave me a knot in my stomach. What if the boat lurched and the bottle tumbled into the harbor? Does Bladdamasta swim well enough to leap into the harbor, dive to retrieve the bottle, and make it back to the ferry? Serious questions for such a rare beer.
Have no fear! All ferry based beer porn is done with an assistant, and in any case the rocking and rolling doesn’t start until we pass between North and South Heads. There’s been plenty of practice as well, by now.
Glad you guys enjoyed it. #high falutin’, high finance types
Simply one of the best beers ever, Sergey. When you are next in Sydney, drop us a line and we’ll get you out the Back and return the favour.
[…] if Back of the Ferry’s great friend, Rachel, hadn’t done enough introducing BotF to Pliny the Elder she goes and calmly announces that she has brough back another beer from her evening with the high […]
[…] some remarkable beers from the United States. Her most glorious moment was when she bought back a Pliny the Elder, which was given the royal treatment on Sydney Harbour. Like most of the US beers that have been […]
[…] it will be tapped the instant it arrives“. Highly regarded US Imperial or Double IPAs like Pliny the Elder emphasise this need to engage in as immediate consumption as possible, so this isn’t […]