Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Old Pliny

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

  1. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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. RaulMondesi

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Posts:
    972
    Likes Received:
    4,514
    Location:
    California
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Location:
    Nauru
    The delicate hop aromas and taste will fade and it will become more bland and generic tasting.
     
  4. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    But is it bad? Or is it gonna be just a drinkable, albeit not amazing, beer?
     
  5. brewbetter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Location:
    Nauru
    The latter.
     
  6. Thehuntmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Posts:
    686
    Likes Received:
    2,963
    Location:
    South Africa
    I have had a 6 week old bottle that was pretty good and then a month old bottle that was quite flavourless.
     
  7. raynmoon

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Posts:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Location:
    Colorado
    maybe, just maybe, you should pop it open, and share your thoughts here ;).
     
  8. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Posts:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Location:
    Colorado
    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. lemongelo

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Posts:
    153
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Posts:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Location:
    Colorado
    You should try the KBC ipa from Tarder Joe's. It's terrible.
     
    Dizbro21 likes this.
  14. VonZipper

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Posts:
    167
    Likes Received:
    293
    Location:
    New York
    Yeah, my Distributor does it all the time. Sometimes, I have the misfortune of taking some from the shelves.
     
  15. Thehuntmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Posts:
    686
    Likes Received:
    2,963
    Location:
    South Africa
    Remember that my bottles traveled half way around the world. I don't think Pliny travels well.
     
  16. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Posts:
    318
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Oregon
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Posts:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    2,132
    Location:
    Texas
    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. naloxone

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Posts:
    126
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Connecticut

    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. Ruds

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Posts:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    United Kingdom (England)
    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. naloxone

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Posts:
    126
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm glad I spared the hyperbole.

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

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    149
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    Colorado
    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. MADhombrewer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Posts:
    771
    Likes Received:
    693
    Location:
    Oregon
    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. Johnnyramirez

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    750
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    California
    I'm thinking that's what I'm gonna do. It'll be interesting to see just how muted it becomes.
     
  26. UCLABrewN84

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Posts:
    7,936
    Likes Received:
    7,933
    Location:
    California
    I have had a bottle of Pliny that was almost 2 years old and it wasn't half bad.
     
  27. jaIsPoAn

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Posts:
    871
    Likes Received:
    1,314
    Location:
    New York
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Posts:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. tehzachatak

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Posts:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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. Archemedies

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Posts:
    442
    Likes Received:
    572
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Posts:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. tehzachatak

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Posts:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Posts:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Location:
    North Carolina
    suum cuique pulchrum est
     
  34. evilc

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    There is quite a bit of batch variation with PtE. It is the most inconsistent highly rated IPA I have had.
     
    diehl07 likes this.
  35. Pelican5

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Posts:
    237
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    California
    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.
  36. grze

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Posts:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    California
    Have you ever done that vertical? Sorry for digging up an old trade, but I was wondering the same thing today.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe