1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

12,171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 12,171
Reviews: 3,436
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 6,045
Gots: 2,697 | FT: 89
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 12,171 | Reviews: 3,436
Photo of ajbello
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tastes like hoppy marijuana goodness that dances around your pallet.

Photo of Hops84
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to petty_crimes for the great trade I got three fresh Pliny's along with a few other Cali beers. This beer is even better than the couple I had in a trade a year ago due to the fact these were much fresher.

Such a crisp beer with a perfect balance of citrus and pines! A must try for anyone who hasn't had it and a great beer for the ones who can always get it!

Thanks petty_crimes!

Photo of burns3y
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. Would love to enjoy it fresh right off the tap.

Photo of TheBrewChase
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I hate to be all about the hype, but I live in Northern California and find myself making that hour and a half long trip to Santa Rosa at least twice a month to fill up my growlers and get a case or two, it is THE textbook double IPA. Citrus, and pine are present from the first smell to the last the sip, thank you Russian River

Photo of Beeeeeerman
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Almost unreal. As good as IPA

Photo of YeahRightt
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into DFH IPA glass

Look: Surprisingly pale orange with a bit of haziness, double finger head with a crazy amount of lacing.

Smell: Delicious. Pineapple, orange, pine, and earthiness. Booze is there, but hiding behind the hops.

Taste: The most interesting part of this beer is how the first sip throws you off. Its so easy drinking and sustained that it seems at first that you were let down, but you slowly realize the depth behind what just occurred. Its like walking past a beautiful piece of art and having to stop, go back, and really see what its intricacies were. The hops hit immediately and are sharp, a good adjective for this beer throughout the entire sip would be that very same adjective: sharp. A clean taste of orange and pineapple are present throughout but are never striking. I know that the word "balanced" is thrown around a lot on this website, but this beer is the epitome of balance. There is nothing that hits you over the head, but it remains extremely complex, delicious, drinkable, and clean. It is refreshing beyond any IPA I have ever had by a long shot, and its piney nature is like a drop in a sea of singular drops of fruit and earthiness. Delicious.

Feel: Pretty thin for a double IPA, but thats the way this beer needed to be. Its crisp, sharp, refreshing flavors are perfectly congruent with the slightly oily, light, and drinkable nature of this brew.

Overall: An apt metaphor for this beer would be as lengthily and complex as the beer itself is. This beer has some considerable hype backing it up, which could sway some opinions, but it should always be handled for what it is. What it is happens to be the most balanced, and drinkable double IPA of all time. It may not be the best 2xIPA of all time, but I have yet to have any brew in the style that comes even close to the drinkability and balance of this beer. This beer needs to be found and enjoyed by any person who enjoys the style, because they will then know what the term "double IPA" truly means.

Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The frothy head got me salivating immediately. The pine scent was unexpected and awesome. At 8%, the hops are present but extremely well balanced. Obviously wasn't ever going to live up to the hype, but a very good beer.

Photo of KCCO_JSV
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A must have... one damn good beer

Photo of Word2BigBIrd
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Probably a groundbreaker when it first came out, but now just above average...doesn't stack up against the best but a delicious beer nonetheless

Photo of kamoosekazi
3.29/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Probably the most overhyped IPA. Took me three months of bugging my local beer hub tonfinally get 2 bottles and it is probably one of my least favorite IPAs. Its hoppy. Its tasty. It has a decent abv in its class. Its not worth the searching or effort to get one.

Photo of dbannister
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Pliny from the tap at Russian River is noticeably better than anywhere else (which is really saying something). Simply an amazing beer.

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brewed on 3/19/15; opened and consumed on 4/18/15. I must say for New Hampshire getting to try this within 30 days on the born on date is pretty good. Light orange almost honey in color with a pretty solid frothy head that dissipates to a bubbly cap on top. Streaks of lacing transform to spotty in nature all the way down the glass edges. The aroma of pine, resin, citrus, and floral hops is rather subdued with nothing too overpowering. Flavor profile for this Imperial IPA is quite delicious. The pine and resin start off the flavors with a very nice grapefruit taste finishing the profile. Solid bodied and only a slight bitterness on the back end of the palate with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Overall, Pliny the Elder really does live up to the hype and is an awesome example of an double imperial ipa.

Photo of Alejandrolikebeers3445
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a great smoothing tasting beer

Photo of rdipper
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not a big DIPA fan but this one is special. I'll be looking for more in the near future.

Photo of drew42e
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this a number of times, and my original view was strong pine aroma and taste with a bit of citrus thrown in. It was one of the most flavorful and "hoppy" beers I'd ever had. That was prior to me getting in to the "craft beer craze" and trying many more different Double IPAs (and even Triple) over the past 3 months (late bloomer i know). My palate has adjusted a bit. While I still sense the pine, its not nearly as strong and now i taste a little resin on finish. It is incredibly smooth to mefor 8%, which actually is fairly moderate these days for a Double IPA. Perfect balance to me of hops/malt. Hard to find, but lucky my local place has it and can find bottles if i get to my liquor store early enough. Will need to trek up to Russian River to try at the brewery. Prefer draft to bottle and prefer closer to room temp than fridge cold.

Photo of hoagzzz
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe I conquered the mountain and secured a couple of these. Hate to nit pick but two of these were purchased 4/01, but we're bottled 3/07?? They don't sit in the shelf so I guess they sat at the brewery? In any event impossible to live up to the hype. More bitter on the back end than I expected. Good but not mind blowing. Purely from taste, Heady and Zombie way better. Update- One day later, had another and I have to admit the balance of malt and hops is pretty fucking good.

Photo of MpVpRb
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ah, the original

First double IPA I ever had..it was wonderful!

Brewing art and science have moved on since then, and newer brewers (who drank LOTS of Plinys) are pushing the style

Vinnie (the inventor) seems to be going off in another direction, and not advancing the art and science of IPA

Great when fresh! Inconsistent when bottled or old..yes, I've had many a bad Pliny

Best at the brewery..but the crowds can make the visit very uncomfortable

Photo of BernieO
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Personally no different from any IPA out there, however I do like the fruity after taste. Weirdly enough I always find myself taking off early from work on Wednesdays to pickup Plinys for the weekend...

Photo of Emmige1
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had it on tap at the brewery, awesome. Had it in a bottle from a trade, pretty good.

Photo of J_K
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Classic go-to. Superb IPA. Enough said.

4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An amazing Ale, It's pungeant smell is that of pine and light citrus and for those who smoke herb, a great deal dank. The taste follows, and for 8% this ale goes down smoother than silk. The only problem with this amazing beer is the fact you can only buy 2 bottles at a time and it's limited availability, but if you live in CA or are visiting, definitely you have to try this at least once.

Photo of Hayden34
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally had the opportunity to try Pliny the Elder and must say I was extremely disappointed. While it's a solid IIPA, I've had much better. Don't believe the hype.

Photo of Rabae6
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Muy bien equilibrada, amargor persistente en el fondo de la boca, sabores cítricos, piña y pino.

Photo of Ccagno15
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got this in a trade it definitely lives up to the hype this is a ridiculously well balanced dipa

Photo of Originalredman
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great great great beer!!
Thank you beer mail

to view more.
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 12,171 ratings.