Two five-gallon kegs of Russian River's Pliny the Younger went down in fifteen minutes last Friday. A packed house of hop heads was waiting to pounce when the first pour came out at 5 p.m., and at 5:15, the crowd groaned as the call "It's out, folks!" rang out. Co-owner Chris Black said the record time for a keg-tapping was during the last Great American Beer Festival, when a 10 gallon keg of Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale went out in twelve minutes.
Considering that the two smaller kegs of Pliny required a three-minute keg change, I would call it a tie.
Black is good friends with the brewers at Russian River, and he was able to snag 10 of the 600 gallons of Pliny brewed this year. Denver was one of only five select cities that were chosen to showcase the brew, which sold out in ten hours at the brewery in Santa Rosa, so Bay area beer snobs were left Pliny-less while Denverites were given the chance to try out the Best Brew in the World, according to Beeradvocate.com (the world's largest beer review website).
"This beer is like Unobtanium," Black said.
The Pliny itself was pretty fantastic, with tones of grapefruit and pine resin, and squeaky-clean finish that's hard to find in a triple IPA. It almost smelled stronger than it tasted, with a sharp pine and citrus scent.
Russian River's website claims Pliny is dry hopped four different times and weighs a hefty 11 percent ABV, but the alcohol was dangerously absent in the flavor. From its reputation, I expected a complete hop bomb, but it was remarkably well-balanced.
Other Russian River's are currently available on tap at Falling Rock, including the sour-pleaser Publication that Black himself helped brew.