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Old Pliny

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Johnnyramirez, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Has anyone ever purposely drank an old bottle of Pliny The Elder? I've lately been drinking mainly different IPA's and I have 2 bottles that I frankly haven't been interested in cracking because I've had it so often and I have other beers I'm interested in and am trying to lower the amount I drink. I know it's best fresh, but I can get fresh Pliny at will, and I'm curious to see how much it changes with some time. *I know, it's not advised* but has anyone actually let it sit for a while and is it awful after? I guess I'm just burnt out on Pliny and IPA's as a whole for right now.
  2. Don't think I'd want to. I've also had my fair share and am trying to trade what I have right now instead.
    Johnnyramirez likes this.
  3. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (400) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    The delicate hop aromas and taste will fade and it will become more bland and generic tasting.
  4. But is it bad? Or is it gonna be just a drinkable, albeit not amazing, beer?
  5. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (400) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    The latter.
  6. I have had a 6 week old bottle that was pretty good and then a month old bottle that was quite flavourless.
  7. raynmoon

    raynmoon Savant (480) California Aug 13, 2011

    maybe, just maybe, you should pop it open, and share your thoughts here ;).
  8. I got month old bottles right now. Not too old, but I usually notice a muted flavor after like a month. That's why I asked this question
  9. The bottles I have aren't too old yet. But I just might let them sit for like 2-3 months and try it
  10. raynmoon

    raynmoon Savant (480) California Aug 13, 2011

    Ohhhh, okay. I have hardly had Pliny the Elder, but I just remember drinking it and thinking "man that is good" but never feeling "holy shit this is the best thing ever manzzz". But a few days later... I started to crave it. Never have a I ever craved a beer, really.

    That is when I realized Vinnie was a genius at making the most balanced beer ever.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  11. The only known way to age an IPA with benefit is to take one that is very high in alcohol and allow it to take on barley wine characteristics.
  12. It's a great balanced beer. I just get it whenever I want that I think I'm burned out. I'll crave it again soon I'm sure.

    Like 120, right? Yeah, I'm wondering if anyone has ever done it with a lower ABV IPA and how was it?
  13. raynmoon

    raynmoon Savant (480) California Aug 13, 2011

    You should try the KBC ipa from Tarder Joe's. It's terrible.
    Dizbro21 likes this.
  14. VonZipper

    VonZipper Savant (450) New York Feb 9, 2011

    Yeah, my Distributor does it all the time. Sometimes, I have the misfortune of taking some from the shelves.
  15. Remember that my bottles traveled half way around the world. I don't think Pliny travels well.
  16. I'm sure that will get me craving Pliny REAL QUICK. Usually one day drinking BMC swill or a crappy IPA does that and gets me back in the swing of things with IPA's. Barrel Trolley is my personal worst IPA I've tried so far.
  17. Oh yeah, the temperature when traveling has to be taken into account too. I can't imagine it's the same even at a month old when it literally goes through a complete seasons change while being shipped
  18. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Aficionado (215) Oregon Nov 27, 2008

    It depends on how long you let it sit. My brother had some ancient 2-year old Pliny stuffed away somewhere and it was quite frankly terrible. Without the front-loaded hops what you are left with is a very bland (think BMC) base beer with a slight assy/skunky taste.

    It is interesting from an academic/homebrew perspective to see how plain the base beer actually is. The malt backbone is not strong at all (quite different than what many "balanced" IPAs are like). I guess that's the brilliance of Pliny; the weak base allows the subtleties of the dry-hopping to come through so you don't have to jack up the IBU to insane levels to get a full hop taste.

    But honestly I would actually refuse if another one that old was offered to me; it is not good at all.
  19. gtermi

    gtermi Champion (750) Texas Apr 21, 2010

    I've only had it fresh and will only drink it that way. I don't know why anybody would not drink that as soon as they got it

  20. The oldest I've had was a bit over 2 months. It wasn't bad, but it didn't taste like much of anything.

    Hate to sound snobby, but I don't even bother with it unless I know it's less than a month old now.
  21. You either stored it incorrectly or have no taste buds then ...

    Oldest I've had was 11 weeks after bottling.

    Sure, it doesn't carry the same aroma as a fresh bottle and the hops have faded a little, but it still tasted decent, "didn't taste like much of anything" is rather a dramatic statement typical of the 'christ if its more than a week old its going to taste like shit' hype attached to this beer.

    Yes - it won't be as good but NO it won't be tasteless !!!
  22. I'm glad I spared the hyperbole.

    And I said 4 weeks, not 2.
  23. djs467

    djs467 Aficionado (230) Colorado Mar 1, 2011

    I think that people on this site get a little bit to finicky when it comes to Pliny freshness.
    I've had 2 month Pliny that is just fantastic. Sure it's not as good as 2 week old Pliny, but it is still dam good.
    Everybody needs to chill.
  24. The hops become muted after a month, IMO. I would not go beyond the 2 month mark, but that is my tastes.

    Why not just not buy it for awhile and come back to it after a couple months since you can get it at will. Better yet, get a fresh one in two months and taste the two side by side.
    Johnnyramirez likes this.
  25. I'm thinking that's what I'm gonna do. It'll be interesting to see just how muted it becomes.
  26. I have had a bottle of Pliny that was almost 2 years old and it wasn't half bad.
  27. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Savant (365) New York Aug 1, 2012

    To all you guys who think you have super taste buds, a month old Pliny or any ipa isn't gonna change for you to notice a difference
  28. jmw

    jmw Savant (430) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    To the OP, this is the answer.

    To me this screams uselessness in a beer. If this is true (never had Pliny but always heard the shite on here about it), then this must be the most thoroughly embraced incarnation of what is plaguing the American brewing scene right now--too many breweries are convinced that if you just throw enough hops at a beer that it will be good. What you get is a thin, unbalanced hop soup. Perhaps the reason that everyone is so insistent that this beer is no good after 2 months or 2 weeks or whatever is that the beer itself is truly not good. It is just a hop-flavor carrying device. Probably the highest-rated crap beer in circulation. And people are clamoring for it.
    But that's just personal rumination.
  29. I don't understand what you're saying. Hops aren't part of a beer? If you remove hops from Heady Topper it'd suck too. The beer is great when the hop presence is there. It's not when it's not. Personally, you can sign me up for clamoring for "hop-flavor carrying devices".
  30. My friend aged a bottle for three months because his dad said ipas were better with a couple months on them. I was there and his dad said the exact opposite! Anyway, three months later he opened it and it was terrible.
  31. jmw

    jmw Savant (430) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Of course hops are a part of a beer. I'm saying that if the hop-forwardness is all that a beer has, and the beer is no good when that character is gone, then it is a weak beer.
  32. why? what about beer says that it has to have staying value? if there was a beer that was the best beer in the world on its first two days, and fell off after that, it'd still be the best beer in the world for two days.
  33. jmw

    jmw Savant (430) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    suum cuique pulchrum est
  34. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    There is quite a bit of batch variation with PtE. It is the most inconsistent highly rated IPA I have had.
  35. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Savant (310) California Feb 4, 2012

    I have a bottle from last June and another from December that I am holding until June 2013 for a 3 bottle/1 year vert. Actually I should pick up another at the end of April and make it 4 bottles. Fresh, 3months, 6months and a year. Why? you ask... well why not? It'll be fun to see how the hops fall off.
    Johnnyramirez likes this.

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