Editor’s note: This story by Elizabeth & Lee Klevens first appeared in Dirt Rag issue #158, published in August 2011.
Like many beer snobs out there, our favorite style of beer tends to be an American style India Pale Ale. Hopheads like us tend to crave more and more hops. In order to satisfy these cravings, brewers started brewing up the Double (or Imperial) IPA because, after all, more is better.
Russian River’s Pliny the Elder is definitely one of the finest DIPA’s being brewed today. Its name rightly pays homage to a Roman naturalist who was one of the people responsible for giving the botanical name to the hop plant.
Hops abound at 100 IBUs in this 8 percent ale. Your nose is immediately met with plenty of piney, citrusy hops. The medium amber color fills your mouth with more of the same wonderful hoppiness, mixed with some mild sweetness and malt flavors. The taste is extremely well-balanced without being too in-your-face. Despite its hoppiness, it is very smooth and goes down way too easily, unlike some DIPA’s that can be a bit excessive. Pay attention to the label and drink it fresh, as the wonderful hop flavors break down with time.
Others of this style to consider: Southern Tier 2XIPA, Stoudts Double IPA.