My good friend and co-worker Kat brought me back some great beers from her recent trip to Washington state, a requested barleywine from Alaskan Brewing Company, and a surprise bottle of Pliny the Elder from Russian River.
I'd had Pliny once before, and found it simply incredible, one of the best double IPAs I had ever had. But this bottle, while nonetheless great, didn't seem to be the glass o' heaven I had remembered it to be. Could it be the batch was a bit different? Or the fact that Minnesota is awash in wonderful DIPAs these days? Or maybe something I ate earlier (just pizza) threw my palate off? In any case, I imagine this beer would still be in heavy rotation in my fridge if it was available here, but it seems (like many highly sought-after beers) the mysticism of it has disappeared, and I'm left with *just* a really great double IPA.