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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

12,228 Ratings

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Ratings: 12,228
Reviews: 3,454
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 6,092
Gots: 2,737 | FT: 93
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
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Ratings: 12,228 | Reviews: 3,454
Photo of Golden303
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The king of the piney ipa's. The gold standard of beer. The granddaddy of them all. The sultan of swat. The.....

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

Friend brought me back two from a west coast trip. Pleasure to finally have this one. Another friend mentioned that it was like an IPA marshmallow that melts in your mouth. It was an incredible beer. Super thankful to try it. Damn good. One of the best I have ever had for sure.

Photo of marcfromphilly
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sublime taste. Thick and syrupy pine flavor and smooth sudsy mouth feel. Would drink again.

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

Perfection. There is no rival.

Photo of jow_42
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz bottle (4 days old!) poured into a Russian River pint glass

A - crystal clear, golden amber color. Tons of carbonation. Bright white, fluffy head.

S - Super dank, piney, grapefruit, grapefruit pith. Very bitter, in your face hops. West Coast style at its finest.

T - Amazing stuff. Huge grapefruit bitterness, orange, pine, resinous, dank hops. Grapefruit rind, orange pith on the back end. Bitterness lingers, but the bready malts balance Pliny well. Very easy drinking for an 8%

O - I've had Pliny tons, but having a 4 day old bottle in So Cal was a treat. People say this is a fast fader, but it doesn't get much better than this - for the West Coast style - when fresh. Highest of recommendations.

Photo of Belgeko
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crisp and clean, all around great beer

Photo of Coleman253
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best IPA I have ever had. (That being said I have not had the pleasure of meeting "the younger"). True definition of a beautiful double IPA. Perfect in look, smell, taste and feel. Every palate is different, and the introduction of each aroma and taste will be yours to discover when you have the opportunity to become acquainted with Pliny the Elder.

Photo of Chris33
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my future cousin-in-law for saving me one of these after his trip to Cali. Definitely lived up to the hype. I'm from Vermont originally and this stands up there with Heady; although comparing the two of those is like apples to oranges (other than they are both DIPAs). Top notch beer and I can't wait until I can get my hands on it again

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a trade on 4/28/15 with calitrie1486.
A: Clear, light orange color with notes of amber with a thick, foamy, white head.
S: As soon as I cracked open the bottle, immediately I could smell piney hops escape from the bottle…amazing! Has a candied fruit like malty backbone to it, some pine and citrus. A hint of grapefruit.
T: The sweet maltiness is evident upon first sip, but it slowly transitions into a nice smooth finish of pine and grapefruit notes. Seems to taste very earthy and fresh.
M: Medium carbonation with slight bitterness. The hops are somewhat prickly to the tongue. Well balanced DIPA.
O: I finally landed the elusive PLINY!!!! I can check it off of my list! It lived up to its hype….well done Russian River. However I don't think it's as good as the East Coast IPA's/DIPA's.

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

This really lived up to the hype for me. Very well balanced imperial. I would drink it all the time if I could get it.

Photo of garyloveman
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Crisp clean golden pour
Awesome piney hop aroma
Great flavors, just enough hops to marry that malt start
Almost a creamy mouth feel

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottles were 1 day old when purchased. Pretty much the best IPA out there. Juicy hop aroma and flavor linger throughout the pour. Lived up to expectations.

Photo of TheDudeAbides14
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hits the nail right on the head. Best example of a west coast DIPA I've ever had!!!

Photo of Mindcoil
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma is outstanding, nice balance between sweet malt and bitter hops, would be a 5 al around of it wasn't for Younger

Photo of ELS
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had PtE twice at Russian River and my overall critique hasn't changed. It's a good Double IPA but in my opinion not even in my top 5. There's nothing wrong with it. The taste is a nice mix of pine and citrus with a good hop bite and it goes down pretty easily. I just think the hype has convinced people it is better than it is. I understand those who think it's the holy grail of IPAs. I feel the same way about Zombie Dust for PAs.

Photo of Ancalagon
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very solid. Beautiful orange color. Nose has a lot of pine and citrus notes. Taste is good, but comes off a little too bitter. Great pine and citrus taste, but the bitterness is just a little too much. I prefer Blind Pig or even the Younger. Feels a little thin for DIPA. Overall though, a very good beer.

Photo of KillerJigger
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sooo good! Beat the pants off Heady! Real good balance!

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

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 12,228 ratings.