Home > The Cellar, The Events, The Grog Spot > Pliny the Younger, Best Beer in the World?

Pliny the Younger, Best Beer in the World?

PTY: get it today in Seattle!

On Saturday beeradvocate.com announced, via their twitter feed, that the very long standing #1 on their list of the Best Beer on Planet Earth, Westvleteren 12, had been overtaken by Russian River Brewing Co.’s Pliny the Younger.  This news comes in the wake of San Francisco Beer Week, which was kicked off with the annual release of said beer at the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA.  The beer was completely drained from the coffers of the brewery in less than a day.

For all the rating nerds out there, BA has it at an A+ / 4.63, where Westvleteren 12 is at A+ / 4.62.  Yes, an extremely thin margin.  Just for a little perspective, the other beer rating giant, ratebeer.com, pegs the beer at #12 in its top beers in the world.  Its elder uncle, Pliny the Elder, makes the list in the 18 position.

For those that don’t know, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger is a draft only triple IPA that weighs in at 11% abv and is a liquid hop candy delight poured from the chalice of God himself.  It is pretty darn rare, but if you live on the West Coast, keep your eyes and ears peeled at all times, have a really fast car and no job, and know someone important in the bar industry, chances are at least plausible that you could get a taste.  This is unlike the overtaken Westvleteren 12, which has been unanimously the best beer in the world for as long as I have been aware of these lists, and is even more difficult to acquire.

Westvleteren 12 is a bottle conditioned Belgian Trappist Ale brewed by Saint Sixtus Abbey in Northwest Belgium.  Only 160,000 cases of 12 are produced each year and, with the exception of a very few number of crafty European beer bars, can only be purchased from the Abbey that brews it.  To top it all off, due to the limited nature of the brew, the Abbey limits the amount of cases one can purchase at any one time.

Check out the Thirty Pilgram site for a beginner course on how to get your hands on the elusive 12.

Point is, as rare as Younger is, not many beers in the world are rarer than 12.  One can assume, of course, that flavor plays a large role in the grand status of these beers as well.  I have, luckily, had the fortune to taste the great Younger and can honestly say that I believe it is worth the hype.  It is, well… a liquid hop candy delight poured from the chalice of God himself.  I cannot, yet, tell you of the flavor majesty of 12, but Belgium is only a month away and you can be assured that Saint Sixtus Abbey is on the agenda.

Now, how can us Seattleites find Younger?

Sadly, the first Seattle keg has already been slain.

Collins Pub in Pioneer Square was the first Seattle bar to tap Younger, putting it on at 4:00 pm on Friday and announcing it, again via Twitter, at 12:41pm.  The keg was kicked in 20 minutes. We do however believe that this was a 1/6 barrel keg (per rumor). We hold out some hope for 1/2 barrels elsewhere.

Your next chance: Naked City Taphouse in Greenwood.  Today at 5:00 pm the next keg will be tapped alongside a keg of Elder.  Naked City, yet again proving why it was rated the 42nd best beer bar in the world on ratebeer.com.

Beer Blotter has also caught wind of a tapping at Brouwer’s Café tonight (we don’t need to talk up Brouwer’s). Indications were that Brouwer’s would be tapping around 6:00 PM.

If you work today, or otherwise have a life not entirely dictated by beer, there may be more opportunities to savor Younger in the near future.  Considering Brouwer’s relationship with Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they have more than one keg, and that they save it for Brett Pack night of Seattle Beer Week or for their annual IPA fest.

Beer Blotter, on the other hand, has a life entirely dictated by beer, and therefore will be found, most likely, at both Naked City and Brouwer’s tonight.  Find us, say hi, and salute great beer!

Pliny the Younger, Best Beer in the World?

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  1. Dan
    February 16, 2010 at 11:03 pm | #1

    It was fun meeting you guys and chatting over some Pliny. :) hope to see you again!

  1. June 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm | #1

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