Was it unique?
I finally had a chance to have a couple tastings of Pliny the Younger last weekend. It was really good. OK, really, really good. To Euge's question, "Was it Unique?" I would say it is as unique as a son is to a father, which in this case seems entirely appropriate. My impression of the Younger compared to much more exposure to the Elder is that the two brews are very similar as you would expect. My expectation was to find the Younger bigger all around, however as I compared the two side to side I found the Younger to have bolder, fresher, better hop aroma and flavor and the Elder to have a more pleasing ovarall depth of complexity. What is striking to me about the Younger and consistent with the roots of the Elder is the fantastic balance achieved in both of these beers. Younger weighs in at 11% and the Elder at 8%. These are BIG beers. They are both so well and similarly balanced however, that I don't get a sense of "Wow, that's strong!" when drinking either. In fact, during the first tasting I asked the tender to verify which was which again, somewhat shamefully. I went home last night and had SN Bigfoot Barleywine that came in at 9.6% and got a much bigger alcohol impression. My thoughts are that while the Younger is a great beer the apple didn't fall far from the tree in my opinion. I don't see myself going to great lengths to acquire more of the Younger unless the opportunity presents itself when the Elder comes around often enough to provide a nice treat. I'd be curious to hear what other folks think of the Younger. My girlfriend said she prefers our Pliny the Imposter, and my Grandma thinks I'm handsome too.