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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

12,148 Ratings

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Ratings: 12,148
Reviews: 3,426
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 6,022
Gots: 2,687 | FT: 88
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: 12,148 | Reviews: 3,426
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

Photo of Shane_Gr
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasty but very bitter. Not as good as everyone says.

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

Great beer, could drink it all day.

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

If this beer had a vagina I'd definitely have sexual relations with it! I'm seriously considering divorcing the wife and starting a new life with Pliny the Elder. I want to make babies with this beer and pick out window treatments on a Sunday while the big game is on and you know what I don't care about missing the game because I'm in love! And if you can't respect that then Gtfoh!!

Photo of wbm0715
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

it's tough to live up to the hype around this beer, but Pliny gives more than a fair shake to that task. i could go on and on about the hop/malt balance, but it's pretty redundant at this stage in the beer's storied history.

as an east-coaster transplanted in the bay area, I can wholeheartedly say that my quality of life has improved, thanks in no small part to the presence of PtE.

my near-perfect rating just reflects the fact that despite how good a beer is, it can always be made better (i'm looking at you, craft breweries worldwide -- are you up to the challenge?!)

Photo of ChocolateLove
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I never want to die after tasting this glorious brew. IPA for life!

Photo of blues_fever
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again, not the biggest IPA fan, but this is tasty. Had it from bottle and tap, tap is the way to go.

Photo of Oregonbrewdude91
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is perfect from start to finish. Yes it does in fact live up to the Hype. Only problem I have with this beer is I am out of it. But I look forward to getting some in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later. My only advice is Get Some!!!!

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a lovingly shipped aliquot (thank you MNishCT77) born on 021115 into IPA glasses and enjoyed in both sips and gulps over 30 minutes.

It fills a lustrous golden base with stinging clarity and ample lines of rising carbonation. Those bubbles feed a white head of soap suds that hangs on nicely, maintaining frothy clumps down to nearly the last sip. Lacing is pretty, but finer than the cap would predict.

The nose is surprisingly mute--not unpleasant at all. But dank and toasty in a way that mutes the expected fruits and evergreens. There's even a touch of musty, fermenting earth under the pineapple, mango, and dried spruce. With warmth, the bouquet gets a little more interesting with some apricot and unripe raspberry notes.

Flavors are so intricately woven together and shrouded in a thin coat of barley, that nothing stands out here either. It's a testament to expert craftsmanship, but also lacks compelling taste -- I find myself reaching for another sip and another and another looking for the flavors I thought would jump over my teeth. This creation does leave room for a nice note of sweet soil and organic hen blend, though. After a bitter beginning that is cut short by the feel of bubbles, there's a breadfruit and mango essence that slides across pithy citrus into just the right amount of hop twang and funk. But then, there isn't much to follow apart from a nutty chew that's part of extended length that offers only flavor suggestions in an almost watery watermelon and guava quench. Papaya comes out when it's warm. Bigger gulps offer more compelling hits of flavor and there is more fruit clinging to the yeast in the bottom, but man would it take a lot of drinking to enjoy it that way...

The mouthfeel absolutely tops the list of elements here. It feels so good to keep drinking and playing with, despite my yearning for more intense flavor. It appears to have more carbonation than it delivers; and that's just right for the light but clingy hop oils and muted earthiness. Those bubbles bring out a hint of spice mid-palate that helps it go with food (enjoyed my pork BBQ)--but this may be the easiest drinking double I've ever had because of how it lays out over the tongue and slides down.

This beer is remarkably assembled. I find it downright soft and buoyant, and there's nothing out of balance. Sadly, though, I find the lack of seams and absence of powerful flavors a bit disappointing. It lacks character, even though I appreciate just how technically sound it is. It's like listening to finely filtered Kenny G piped into an art gallery instead of John Coltrane live. I might pick up that album and listen again and again to marvel at the technique, but I'd really rather be in the smoke and sweat of a jazz club, even if going back means it won't ever be the same twice.

Photo of Wendt
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pliney the Younger's "older brother", available year round and in bottles / growlers. Very hoppy and strong. By far, Russian River's most popular brew. Weird thing is, the Elder and the Younger are two very different brews. The Younger is not the Elder only more so, if that makes any sense.

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 12,148 ratings.