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Comparable to Pliny?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by rholmes, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    I forgot this one, and I agree, but DRIPA is harder to get than Pliny, may as well just drink the real thing. Disagree about the other 2. Sucks has almost no pine, Enjoy By is much less drinkable and refreshing.
  2. Hop Stoopid.

    Heady Topper - while great - is nothing like PtE.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  3. tectactoe

    tectactoe Advocate (740) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    Yeah, I guess I didn't really think about that. I'm about 40 minutes from Kuhnhenn, so DRIPA is on tap at a ton of places by my house. I thought DRIPA had the most similar taste, while the nose was a bit fruitier and slightly less hoppy. Sucks certainly does have less pine, but I thought the citrus profile was very similar (perhaps my mind is growing foggy, been a while since my last PtE). I also thought Enjoy By had a very comparable malt profile, but as you said, wasn't quite as pungent or flavorful as Pliny.

    Good to see that someone else has had the chance to enjoy DRIPA! I'm sure it's hard to find outside of Michigan, which is a shame because it can certainly hold it's own when compared to some of the "world-class" DIPAs (in my opinion, anyway).
    Savearth likes this.
  4. Savearth

    Savearth Savant (305) Michigan Mar 5, 2012

    +1
    DRIPA is fantastic. And I think it would garner as much hype and recognition as PtE if it was more widely available outside of the Detroit area...IMHO.
    VncentLIFE and tectactoe like this.
  5. I personally do not agree with any of the recommendations so far.

    Flying Fish- Exit 16, is the closest i've tasted.
    SoggyCoasters likes this.
  6. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    I am lucky enough to be able to get some of Kuhnhenn's absolutely delicious offerings here, including the mindblowingly good DRIPA on draft for almost 2 weeks here not too long ago. Wish I could get all their stuff, you are lucky to have them nearby. BBBW was the consensus best of a recent barleywine tasting we had.
    tectactoe likes this.
  7. I can't tell you anything that is comparable to Pliny, but if I lived in Tampa like you I would be very content with an endless supply of Jai Alai. A great IPA IMO!!!!!
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  8. Better because his palate says so. ;-P
  9. I am assuming that you believe "common consensus" means the same thing as "highly contested" and "constantly argued."
    Just search the forums for the Haedy v ______, Pliny v. _______, .. threads.
    draheim likes this.
  10. Stone Enjoy By....Lagunitas Hop Stoppid.......like a unfresh version?
  11. drinker36

    drinker36 Aficionado (165) Michigan May 19, 2010

    Been trying for two years (since I 1st had Elder and Younger in CA) to find something in the midwest/east coast that's truly comparable and i've come across a number of great IPAs and DIPAs but nothing that comes even close to the smell and the before, during, aftertaste of Pliny. I think the most important distinction between most of the beers i've tried and Pliny is the aftertaste... there are a lot of great smelling, drinking IPAs that have a bland or negative aftertaste.

    From my own tasting notes, Here's a quick list of East Coast / Midwest hoppy beers that are great to drink and their differences to Pliny in my humble, non-expert opinion. From best to worst (although worst is subjective since I'd still drink any of these any day of the week.)

    Alchemist Heady Topper (VT) - heavier, way more citrus (specifically grapefruit), but an awesome beer.
    New England Brewing Gandhi Bot (CT) - not as carbonated... but the before, during, after taste are all great.
    Maine Lunchtime IPA(ME) - much lighter and not as citrus'y (side note: Fresh this is my go to IPA)
    Bell's Hopslam(MI) - heavier, honey / not as much citrus.
    3Floyds Dreadnaught - heavier, less carbonation, alcohol more pronounced during and after.
    Founders Harvest Ale(MI) - lighter, bitter'er and less citrus taste
    Columbus Brewing IPA(OH) - lighter, not as much citrus
    Fathead Headhunter(OH/PA) - great smell and great taste during.... aftertaste not as great (bitter'er)

    Note I didn't put any readily available west coast beers on this list, but there are plenty that people have noted from Ballast Point, Stone, Port, etc.
    Resuin and ellswrth like this.
  12. Lagunitas Sucks is VERY similar. I think sucks is a bit sweeter than Pliny. I drank a Pliny and a Sucks side by side and I was shocked at how similar they were.
    Pelican5 likes this.
  13. I think it was already mentioned but Duet is the closest thing to Pliny out there. It has the same simcoe/Amarillo hop combo(yes I know Pliny also uses centennial and ctz). None of the other beers mentioned are very similar.
  14. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,015) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    You're probably right about all of this, but the OP is looking for something "more readily available on the East Coast." Based on all the responses so far, I would say he is SOL.
  15. Lucho

    Lucho Aficionado (230) Florida Mar 28, 2012

    sorry buddy. used to live in LA for 4 years and now im back on the east coast. you wont find any IPA's that taste like that. the types of hops they use are not available on this side. All i can recommend is to just find a local brewery that has a good IPA and stick with it. most fresh IPA's are better than well traveled IPA's. or you can find someone reliable and trade....like me. right now is the start of IPA's season.
  16. zstef99

    zstef99 Aficionado (170) New York Dec 25, 2008

    Do they really use hop varieties that cannot be purchased by breweries on the East Coast? Seems like most breweries have access to ingredients from all over the world these days.

    I would imagine the uniqueness of the beer has much more to do with the recipe and brewing techniques than some ingredient that only they can get.
  17. alexipa

    alexipa Savant (410) Colorado Oct 7, 2011

    No. That's not true at all.
    draheim likes this.
  18. Lucho

    Lucho Aficionado (230) Florida Mar 28, 2012

    you are right alexipa. it might just have to do with how fresh the hops are. Santa Rosa is in great Hop region. a great IPA that is comparable to pte is Drakes Denogginizer but he wont have access to that either
  19. I found Alesmith IPA similar to PtE, albeit not quite as dry or effervescent. Really great though.
  20. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,015) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    The vast majority of hops produced in the U.S. are grown in the Yakima Valley (Washington) and Willamette Valley (Oregon). This doesn't seem to limit the availability or variety of delicious hoppy beers produced all across the country and beyond.

    Now if you're talking about seasonal fresh-hop beers (usually released around September), that might be a different story. The Northwest and NorCal are home to some outstanding fresh-hop beers that go from bine to kettle in 24 hours or less. I could be mistaken, but I don't know that many Midwest or East Coast breweries can do that.
    cavedave likes this.
  21. SenorHops

    SenorHops Savant (375) Rhode Island Aug 10, 2010

    Like Sucks? So you're saying that Pliny is very sweet and has a strong cat pee component to it? That's strange because a lot of people compare it to Maine Beer Co. Lunch and that beer is nothing like that. I think these are the types of threads that end up in a million different directions.
  22. tectactoe

    tectactoe Advocate (740) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    That makes sense since the perception of aroma and taste are about as subjective a topic as they come. I recall Pliny and Sucks having similar citrus flavors, though Pliny was greeted with more plentiful pine/hop flavors. I didn't taste cat pee in either of them, but I've never actually thought to taste cat piss before, so maybe that identifier is passing across my palate without me realizing it.
  23. SenorHops

    SenorHops Savant (375) Rhode Island Aug 10, 2010

    One of those common descriptors like onion/garlic that it seems some people smell or taste and some don't. Let me be more clear. It smells like cat pee to me and it tastes like it smells. It's definitely sweet. The FG of 1.025 speaks to that.
    SaigonDaze likes this.
  24. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Pliny is unique among DIPAs because it is so dry and refreshing, so nicely hoppy but not too bitter, and has such a seamlessly unified hop note. It doesn't hit you over the head with any one hop flavor, it's never heavy or sweet, and it drinks so easily. Don't get me wrong, I've had Abrasive, Sucks, Hopslam, Heady, Ruination, and most of the other beers mentioned in this thread and I love them all, but PtE has no peer. Except maybe Lunch, that beer comes damn close.
    j47paco likes this.
  25. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (610) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    Dry Dock's DIPA (used to be called Seven Seas (7C's) due to the 7 C-named hops they continuously hopped it with, very similar to Pliny IMHO
  26. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Looks like the actual is 10.017, that even seems a bit high from my experience. Pliny finishes 10.010 IIRC.

    actual reading of degassed Sucks
  27. Of the beers ive had, alewerks bitter valetine was most similar to me. This years bitter valentine just released. Be wary of old bottles because they are not dated and only made now through march.
  28. Definitely Double Jack. Most of the other DIPAs are a bit more bitter, although I welcome that aspect now and then.
  29. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Savant (310) California Feb 4, 2012

    Sucks smells A LOT like PtE, just had them side be side. Hop profiles in the taste are similar but Sucks is sweeter orangey citrus and not nearly as refined as the citrus/pine/grapefruit sweet/dry balanced PtE.

    Both are fantastic, get some!
  30. Bnoise11

    Bnoise11 Savant (305) California Dec 25, 2012

    I would have loved to been at this tasting! wow!
  31. They haven't grown hops commercially in that region since the 1960s. The only place I would guess hops are grown are at the little fraction of an acre field at Moonlight brewing. Hop Kiln Winery has grape fields around the old drying kilns that are now the tasting room. There is also the 9 acres or so that SN grows in Chico, but those are all used in house.

    Vinnie Cilurzo talks of dealing with the hop growers from the Yakima Valley. Almost all of the hops in the US are from WA or OR, and a little from ID. I live in Michigan and there are now 200 acres of hops here, which is nice but a drop in the bucket compared to the PNW.

    Hops are a commodity and can be bought, thought certain varieties require a forward contract.


    I see that draheim also weighed in on this.
  32. brywhite

    brywhite Savant (320) California Aug 27, 2009

    I am so sorry to those who say that Sucks is anything like PtE because it really isn't. To me, Sucks has a massive amount of apricot in its flavor profile and Pliny has zero of that. Lagunitas (and Stone) have distinct yeast flavors that carry throughout their entire offering. While the Laguintas "house yeast taste" is not as evident in Sucks, it is there - especially as the Sucks ages and the fruitiness falls off. Stone Enjoy By is good too... and while it is also "comparable" to Pliny, it tastes nothing like it. Fresh Double Jack and Sculpin are great beers too but have more tropical mango-esque notes and therefore do not taste like Pliny.

    Pliny is a finesse beer and therefore is in a world of its own an. While any IPA or DIPA to Triple IPA is perhaps "comparable", there is really nothing out there that can be considered a substitute.

    I love Sucks, Double Jack & Sculpin, Enjoy By, they are not interchangeable with Pliny and should be enjoyed and appreciated for their uniqueness.

    Also..I must add, by their very nature, IPA's corrupt your taste buds. Tasting two IPAs side by side does not give you an accurate representation of what either IPA truly represents.
  33. I had my first Pliny the Elder last year around Christmas. Fantastic. I had my first Heady Topper a few months earlier and Heady definitely has a lot more going on and IMO is a much more enjoyable/interesting beer. That being said here on the east coast I've found Southern Tier's 2xIPA to have a very similar flavor profile to Pliny the Elder. Thanks to Dashirey the pliny I had was just under a month old, so very very fresh for here in PA, and I enjoy 2XIPA just as much as I enjoyed the Elder. Not saying it wasn't awesome but it's not Heady.
  34. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Savant (295) Michigan Jan 13, 2012

    Lagunitas Sucks +1
  35. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Heady is so much better, I wouldn't worry about pte...

  36. Hop Stoopid has a heavy handful of Columbus hops, but thats where similarities end.

  37. I like the Columbus IPA recognition. It is a very underrated beer IMO.
  38. That is one hell of a tasting!!
  39. Icarus

    Icarus Aficionado (190) Minnesota Oct 6, 2012

    Just grab some Surly Abrasive and enjoy!
  40. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Yes one must meditate on them in the near dark, with only one unscented candle lit, to truly determine the flavors and overall tastes of comparative IPA's.

    As you say, drinking them is a foolish way to try and compare them. Once the liquid hits the taste buds instant corruption ensues. The flavors being tasted by your tongue, and understood by your brain, become impossible to taste and understand once one tastes and understands them.

    Okay, sarcasm aside, I could see palate fatigue after trying like twenty hoppy beverages, but trying two, three or four next to each other gives an accurate, uncorrupted, comparison. I have tested this countless times and I can assure you it is true.

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