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Pliny the Elder - What's the big deal?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jmmy3, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    This will probably create some controversy but I just had my first Pliny and I'm kind of disappointed. I've heard alot of people debate here on whether or not it's better than Heady, and I really don't think it's even a contest. I know it's all about personal taste and everyone's opinion is different, but I'm wondering if maybe it's a mediocre batch? It's only a bit over two weeks old (12/20), so freshness shouldn't be the factor here. Just doesn't strike me as a top 5 beer, I thought Abrasive had a much nicer hop profile.

    When I first tried Heady I tried not to buy into the hype so as not to be underwhelmed, but when I finally had it I saw what people were all raving about, and due to that I think I was expecting to be blown away once again. I'm wondering if maybe this beer is a product of overhype, I think it's a very nice beer and nicely balanced but one of the best in the world? Come on.
    TWStandley likes this.
  2. founder26

    founder26 Savant (470) Michigan Sep 9, 2009

    thats exactly why its one of the "best", due to it being perfectly balanced. your just comparing apples and oranges man, but i understand where your coming from.
    MaineMike and Gregfalone like this.
  3. mark14580

    mark14580 Savant (315) New York Jan 15, 2011

    No one has ever posted a Pliny and heady thread.
    mborden, Rau71, Stormfield and 12 others like this.
  4. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Nah, man. Pliny is Godlike.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  5. calir1

    calir1 Savant (265) Oregon Nov 7, 2004

    Your opinion is fine. Please hate it. Leave it on the shelves for me.
    kpanter, Dagsy, Absolut and 2 others like this.
  6. Heady is a hop bomb to the face. Pliny is more balanced, and IMO, that makes it superior.
  7. Reagan1984

    Reagan1984 Advocate (720) Massachusetts May 15, 2008 Beer Trader

    Controversy? Hmm, I don't think so. You'll get some folks to bite, but this is your opinion and your entitled to it.

    Heady's Great, Pliny's Great.... One's available on the east coast... the other on the west coast.
    Not really a competition.

    I love them both.
    Not really a big deal.
    kpanter and SatlyMalty like this.
  8. Some people like hop bombs. I don't. I'm gonna go drink my last bottle of Pliny because of this thread, so I thank you.
    wesbray likes this.
  9. iadler

    iadler Savant (450) Illinois Aug 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    Breaking news: You might like not like every beer as much as it is "hyped" up to be on the website. Hype is usually driven by more than just taste. :)
    joeebbs likes this.
  10. Catchy_Name

    Catchy_Name Advocate (520) California Dec 21, 2011 Beer Trader

    Definitely one of the most overrated beers on Earth but it is a good DIPA. Just not worth the hype it gets, but few other beers are.
    TWStandley likes this.
  11. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    In addition to being more balanced than Heady (and most other DIPAs), remember that Pliny has also been around a lot longer than most other beers of this style. Even DIPAs that may now "surpass" Pliny, if there are any, owe it a debt of gratitude because it paved the way for them.
    SatlyMalty, Dagsy, kojevergas and 3 others like this.
  12. mattsander

    mattsander Savant (475) Alberta (Canada) Feb 3, 2010 Beer Trader

    Pliny is more about perfect balance than an all-out hop onslaught.
  13. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    I also think Heady has a nice balance to it as well though. Pliny finishes quite a bit cleaner but I enjoy the grapefruit flavors that linger from HT. I guess I just don't see what makes it stand so far out from alot of DIPAs out there?

    Well, that's what I was getting at with the overhype thing. I was curious if maybe it's just because it's been around for a long time and people just remember it's greatness? Again, still great, but I think we're in a time when you can find a TON of excellent DIPAs.
  14. mudbug

    mudbug Advocate (595) Oregon Mar 27, 2009

    Over 5000 people may disagree with you, but hey, there is room for everyone.
  15. Slschimoler

    Slschimoler Zealot (95) Vermont Oct 20, 2012

    First ever post!... Interesting discussion but i have to side with the apples and oranges argument. I live in Waterbury and drink Heady a lot and LOVE it but it does not compare well with Pliny.
    Heady is its own animal. To Me a more accurate comparison is Hill Abner or other Hill DIPA vs. Pliny
    Hermthegerm and TWStandley like this.
  16. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Advocate (515) Texas Apr 13, 2010

    There should be a sticky on this site for Heady v Pliny, and everyone could just post their thoughts there. Also, Pliny isn't a top 5 beer according to this site, but in my personal opinion, Heady being number one is absurd; it's not even that good.
    Rau71 and CommanderOfAwesome like this.
  17. theCoder

    theCoder Savant (400) Minnesota Oct 24, 2011 Beer Trader

    I just had Pliny for the first time this past Darkness Day and I find it superior to Abrasive. I've had a few different batches of Abrasive at different freshness and on tap I don't see the hype there. Its good but I've had better.
    DocJitsu likes this.
  18. themind

    themind Savant (495) New Jersey Mar 14, 2011

    Pliny is the benchmark for all other DIPA's to be compared. Beeradvocate beers of fame it is #1. Numbers dont lie.
  19. mmikey8

    mmikey8 Savant (395) California Aug 2, 2012 Beer Trader

    I don't always drink IPA's, but when I do, i prefer Pliny.
    DocJitsu likes this.
  20. VeganUndead

    VeganUndead Champion (850) Virginia Apr 25, 2012 Beer Trader

    I was not overly impressed with pliny at all, first time I tried it it was a taste test alongside hopslam and heady, the other two I had already tried. Heady is my shiz, the first time I tasted it I saw simba.
    TWStandley likes this.
  21. TWStandley

    TWStandley Champion (795) Massachusetts Jan 15, 2008 Beer Trader

    Couldn't agree more. Abner and Pliny are very similar to me, though Abner is slightly more on the bitter end.
    gpawned likes this.
  22. DocJitsu

    DocJitsu Savant (440) California Dec 28, 2009

    I liken it to weight classes in the UFC. Each weight class has its own set of great fighters with a respective title holder. However, pound for pound, some weight classes are just better fighters. I like the DIPA class these days. Pliny, Abrasive, Double Jack, etc. are all heavy weights. Pliny was sort of a pioneer. I recall people going nutso over it when I brought it to Dark Lord Day several years ago. It is an excellently balanced DIPA. Beers that are well-balanced, most will find, whether you like the taste or not, will be judged to be excellent beers. Pliny is just a very good beer. These forums on BA and Rate Beer do hype beers to a magical plane, but it is still just tasty liquid after all. Take Westy for instance. It started 1 or 2 in the world prior to its release in the US. Now it's listed as six because, in my anecdotal opinion, so many folks were let down because their hype-fed expectations were sky high. The OP mentions trying to be neutral when tasting Heady, leading to a more objective appraisal. Admittedly and, unfortunately, he succumbed to the BA fairy dust and had his hopes set way too high for the Pliny. I'm sad. Everybody should be able to enjoy Pliny for the first time without having a preconceived notion of what magical, out of space elixir is contained in that bottle with the unassuming label. I'm just thrilled to death that we have geniuses engineering such magnificent brews for us to drink at our leisure. And people haven't even heard of or tried treats like Hurricane Deck from Figueroa Mountain. Cheers to everyone!
    heffnate77 likes this.
  23. Azrael

    Azrael Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013

    That's not enough? Hrm.
  24. I cant help but hear Dr. Steve Brule's voice while reading your posts.

    Also, I cant really give any input as far as Pliney goes because I'm yet to try it but Heady is a pretty big Hop Bomb. While I enjoy it, I enjoy Double Jack a lot more because its very well balanced. That just makes me want to try a Pliney all that much more.
  25. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    I have one more, so I'm hoping I will "get it" next time. I wasn't able to pull the fruity notes from it like I was expecting, namely the pineapple. Like I said after being blown away by Heady and Abrasive I was expecting some legendary stuff. I will go into the next one with more realistic expectations, I want to love it, I really do! Guess I'm a sucker for those citrus/grapefruit notes.
  26. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    Oh, it's enough to enjoy the beer for sure. But you understand the status that Pliny holds, and the expectations that come along with that.
  27. forrestbetts

    forrestbetts Savant (250) Illinois Nov 29, 2007

    Haters gonna hate
  28. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Advocate (730) District of Columbia Aug 10, 2012 Beer Trader

    The big deal is that it's a perfectly balanced, delicious IIPA.
  29. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    Working as intended.
    Stockfan42 likes this.
  30. Azrael

    Azrael Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013

    Yeah, I can't argue that. I think Pliny was ahead of its time but has been surpassed in the past 3 years, so I don't take it's "best in the world" status literally. It's a great beer, that's enough for me.
  31. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (420) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    Riveting tale laddie, you should write a book about it.
    Stockfan42 likes this.
  32. nc41

    nc41 Champion (855) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    Another over rated beer with over 5000 reviews and still #5 on the top beer list. It is shit.
    Dagsy and bird22 like this.
  33. Ish1

    Ish1 Savant (435) Minnesota Feb 25, 2010 Beer Trader

    mikeburd1128 likes this.
  34. antilite

    antilite Savant (255) Florida Jan 1, 2012

    Oedipus loves this version.
  35. what temperature did you have it at?
  36. caponeduke

    caponeduke Savant (335) North Carolina Jul 28, 2011 Beer Trader

    Having fresh Pliney on tap is maybe the best beer I have ever had. I recently procured fresh Heady. Its a heavy hop bomb and pretty damn good but I will lean to balance. I hated it out of the can and enjoyed out of a tulip. I recently ranked my top 10 IPAs and heady is 6 currently but I am tasting Duet and Expo. Hoppiness this weekend which might move it further down.

    End of the day we need more 10 year Ruination!
  37. DJButters

    DJButters Savant (330) California Jun 23, 2010

    I don't have the time to read this thread. In summary, Vinnie is the inventor of the dipa. Pliny is of the finest examples on the planet. There are alot excellent ipa/dipa out now... Thank Vinnie
    spicelab likes this.
  38. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (375) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    It was cold. 45ish?
  39. Weyell, mah friend... Th' thing about Plah-knee th' Elder is that very few beeyurs in th' world were quaht lahk her when she first came out back in th' day. Back when ol' Ted was a young'in swimmin' and splishin' and splashin' in th' Bayooooo, he had no ah-dear that a DEE AH PEE AY was even pawssible.

    So when Ah came out to SEE CA and trahd some Plah-knee th' Got-dang Elder in that there brewpub, Ah saw stars. Ah crahd quiet teeyurs of joy in mah seat, lovingly cherishin' each sip of that Got-dang nectar. Ah must have drank twinny glasses of Plah-knee that day. They threw me out at th' end o' th' day, but Ah bought mahself a case of Plah-knee and drank it awl over th' next few days, the whole durn thing.

    Ah cherish those mem'ries, mah friend. Yew kin give me Heady Tawper, Abrasive, Abner 'n all them beeyurs named after those Hill folks, but yew kint give me th' mem'ry of mah first mahnd-blowing DEE AH PEE AY. That's what makes Plah-knee special. All these threads comparin' Plah-knee to this beeyur or that beeyur should tell yew somethin' -- Plah-knee is summat special.
  40. Pliny is great! Somedays you want Pliny and somedays you want Heady, both equally great. We all live hoppy ever after