"Blind taste test" between Sucks and Pliny the elder

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by GetMeAnIPA, May 2, 2013.

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  1. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    So tonight I cracked open a Pliny the Elder bottled 3/8/13, and a Lagunitas Sucks with a code of 0379021753 on the neck. From what I know of Lagunitas that would be Feb 6th.

    I poured each beer into the same glasses and marked the bottom with a sticky note. I tried my best to pour the same amount and out of the corner of my eye, so I wouldn't see the color or the head. Below is a pic of the pours. Both beers appear very similar in color and head retention. Also I did it outside at night to help hide color variations.

    I took the glasses and switched them around in a circle motion while trying not to pay attention. I eventually forgot which beer was what.

    I smelt each beer and one smelt much better. I thought that was PtE, which may have affected my taste. I took two drinks from each I beer, and I found a clear winner......SUCKS! I was completely surprised. I thought for sure it was PtE.

    I even went back and tasted the beers again, knowing which one was what and again i liked sucks more.

    The hops seemed to drop out of Pliny much more than sucks. When sucks is released again I'll have to compare fresh vs. fresh.

  2. Obsidian

    Obsidian Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2012 California

    Have you had them both before? Sucks tastes completely different from Pliny, so easy to tell them apart ... "blind" or not. Give the test to 10 people who have never had them before and 9 of them will go with Elder.
  3. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I have had Pliny about 12 times, even lucky enough to have PtY twice. Of course this just MHO. But I can't deny that the hops held up much better than the hops in Pliny.....IMHO once again.
  4. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Blind taste tastes really play with your mind....good or bad.

    Both are world class beers, actually both are two of my favorite beers.
    dsaudio and ChanChan like this.
  5. lsummers

    lsummers Savant (1,239) Jun 21, 2010 California

    I agree, Pliny fresh is nice, but pliny old can easily be beat.
    dsaudio, Rainier and devlishdamsel like this.
  6. Obsidian

    Obsidian Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2012 California

    Two months is not that old unless it has been sitting on a furnace. I don't think Pliny goes off that quickly. I drink a lot of Elder, maybe if I can save a bottle that long I'll back to back it with super fresh Elder.
  7. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    It was still great, top notch. The only reason I had a two month old bottle was I was keeping it for an extra in a trade. I kept in my fridge the whole time. However, I came across some fresher bottles that I gave away. I wanted to give the fresher bottle away and I drink the older one.

    I usually come across PtE about once a month, maybe twice a month.

    Keep drinking the elder I wish I had more access to it....cheers!
    fearfactory likes this.
  8. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2013 New Jersey

    But you're going against the grain of popular opinion. How dare you.
    TurboBrew, 2beerdogs, AngusOg and 8 others like this.
  9. Obsidian

    Obsidian Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2012 California

    I guess my point in this thread is that it's impossible to not tell the difference between Elder and Sucks. They don't taste anything alike. If you've had them before, you know which one is Sucks and which one is Elder. The only circumstance where a blind test would be valid is for someone who has never had either before. That said, it sounds like a fun experiment :slight_smile:
  10. DOTU

    DOTU Zealot (739) Feb 11, 2011 California

    Agreed. It is fine that you proved that you like that bottle of Sucks more than that bottle of Pliny, but that is as far as it goes.
    rails likes this.
  11. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    I've had a 3 week old bottle and a 9 week old bottle. The three week old bottle was insanely delighfull. The 9 week old bottle had lost an insane amount of its aroma, and was nowhere near as good!
  12. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Grand Pooh-Bah (3,133) Sep 24, 2008 California

    A little off the subject, but...

    I had Blind Pig recently for the first time, and I could have sworn I was drinking Lagunitas IPA. I'd love to do a blind taste test between the two, and I'm doubtful that there's much of a difference... outside of price, of course.
  13. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    That's all I am trying to say. I was surprised I preferred sucks over pliny.
  14. raynmoon

    raynmoon Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    "sucks taste different from pliny"

    that is just not true.
    themind likes this.
  15. draheim

    draheim Grand Pooh-Bah (3,979) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    In before someone asks the obligatory question why Heady Topper wasn't part of this taste test.
    Its a good day indeed when you can drink a Pliny, Sucks, or Heady. Cheers!
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  16. ChugginOil

    ChugginOil Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2010 Illinois

    Sucks is a definite winner here. Even fresh, Pliny = most overrated beer on the planet.
    TurboBrew, PalatePilot and dsaudio like this.
  17. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Pliny deserves its praise, its a solid beer, but if people would just stop obsessing about it, it would become more available to everyone else. I can't believe after all these years, people still buy it as regularly as they do in Nor-Cal (whenever I am in SF, I can rarely find it in bottles, the locals just live off the shit!)
  18. CMUbrew

    CMUbrew Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 Michigan

    Sounds like a nice life
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  19. LMT

    LMT Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    I'm surprised no one's commented on the age of Sucks in the tasting. If I'm interpreting the bottle code correctly, that was almost a 3-month old bottle (compared to the 2-month old Pliny).

    I've never had Pliny (can't get it in VA), but there's still al lot of Sucks sitting around. I might just go pick up one of these older six-packs. I guess the aroma & taste of this DIPA don't vanish into the ether after just a month or two.
    SadMachine likes this.
  20. beerindaglass

    beerindaglass Initiate (0) Feb 20, 2013 Florida

    Was it side by side? I think Jai Alai falls off drastically after about 6 weeks. But I've never been able to save one to compare with a fresh one. I have one now im going to crack with the new batch to really see how much maltier it is, or if it was all just in my head.
  21. loafinaround

    loafinaround Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    one of the top beers I ever had was a sucks that was bottled only 5 days earlier. so phenomenally delicious...

    no bias of course :stuck_out_tongue:
    JxExM likes this.
  22. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Pooh-Bah (1,910) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    I had fresh Sucks and Pliny side by side recently. They're similar beers in lots of ways. Couldn't pick a favorite, they both rule.
    ChanChan and tdmccarthy like this.
  23. Docrock

    Docrock Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois

    I used to trade for Pliny, until I had Sucks. That being said there are so many really good DIPA's right now, it's a great time to be a BA.
  24. ShanePB

    ShanePB Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Not surprised by these results. Sucks is the superior beer.
    DemoniChris likes this.
  25. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    You've got yourself Founders and Bells in your backyard (among many others), so you're sitting pretty yourself. :wink:
    SaCkErZ9 likes this.
  26. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Pooh-Bah (2,432) Apr 9, 2012 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I agree - I'll probably end up with 1 more 6 pack before they're completely gone. I personally find the whole IPA/IIPA freshness thing a bit overstated on the boards, and I'd have no problem drinking a Sucks that is a couple months old. I have before, and it still tastes great to me.
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  27. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Grand Pooh-Bah (4,030) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I'm going to save the snarky remarks this time about the outcome and just straight up ask you SUCKS people to please stop buying so much Pliny (if you are) and leave them on shelves for the rest of us. I promise I won't buy any of the SUCKS on the shelves. (especially you San Diego folks)

    I'm serious. Anything that cuts the Pliny hype so those of us who like it can find it more easily is a good thing.
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  28. Lagger

    Lagger Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 California

    Interesting. I found a huge disparity between old Sucks & fresh Sucks (when re-distributed in so cal). So much so, I dont buy the sucks that's sitting out now for the same reason. Just know it's gonna drop off.

    Unfortunately, I havent came to the same conclusion with Pliny, since I dont let it sit that long.

    But I think you could tell blind, nose vs balance...
  29. jageraholic

    jageraholic Maven (1,366) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I believe the test, I think Sucks is better than Pliny.
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  30. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    That title currently reins with Heady Topper IMHO. In the end, it's all subjective and you are entitled to your opinion and me with mine. Cheers!
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  31. Kreko7

    Kreko7 Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2013 California

    Sucks is way sweeter than Pliny anyways
    yemenmocha likes this.
  32. DaftCaskBC

    DaftCaskBC Maven (1,359) May 7, 2011 Canada (BC)

    4-5 week old Pliny is where its at. That's the sweet spot for me.
    Docrock likes this.
  33. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Savant (1,093) Nov 21, 2008 Texas

    PrE is my favorite IIPA. But I'd rather have two week old Ranger IPA than seven week old Pliny.
  34. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    no, not really possible. I dont think i would have wanted a bottle as old as the later had their been a choice in the matter. but i have excellent taste memory and there was "stale" bitter taste to the second pliny which was no bueno ( still good but not as amazing as the first one).
  35. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Pooh-Bah (2,549) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You need to do it double blind. Not knowing what is on the table. Look in to the procedures.
    beastmammoth likes this.
  36. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    Sucks got my vote as well. Just my preference.
  37. Brew33

    Brew33 Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio

    They're both great beers but with freshness being equal, I'll take Sucks over PTE.
  38. shawnr51

    shawnr51 Initiate (0) May 2, 2013

    I think Sucks is hands down better. I live in Northern CA and think that there are so many beers better than Pliny. Sucks is more evolved IPA than Pliny, much more floral.

    I think the best IPA out there is Hop Shortage by Knee Deep.
    dsaudio likes this.
  39. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    You're first post ever talking about evolution...then you go on to say the best IIPA out there is Hop Shortage. Just had to contradict myself from above, didn't I?

  40. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    A bit harsh...Just razzin' ya some. 100% disagree with both statements, that is all. Cheers!
    yemenmocha likes this.
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