Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 9,640 | Reviews: 3,120 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.93/5 rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Received from RedwoodGeorge as part of his recent Home Bottling Project. Thanks again George.
Sun-fired ochre with lemon drop edges. The alabaster crown is a thing of beauty. It's firmly creamy (and eventually vanilla milkshake melty) and is a lace generator of the highest order. The upper third of the glass is almost completely coated with thick, frosting-like lace. It'd be great to see some hop flecks swimming about, but for a 'clean' DIPA look, it's hard to beat.
I had little doubt that the nose would be dripping with hop esters and I'm happy to report that it is. In terms of absolute resinous pungency, it might take a backseat to the Younger, but it's still one of my all-time favorites. It's hard to go wrong with Vinnie at the helm and with a hop bill that consists of some of the best hops in the world: Simcoe, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook and Warrior. Just typing the list gives me goose bumps and makes my mouth water.
For some reason (reputation perhaps) I didn't expect to like the Elder as much as I liked the Younger. Not that it's even possible, since I consider the latter to be one of the top handful of DIPAs in all the world; and therefore one of the top handful of beers in all the world. I have to say, though, that it's close. This is an outstanding effort that hits all the right notes in that 'ideal DIPA symphony' that I listen for each time I crack open a bottle and take a drink.
If anything, the malt:hop balance favors hops more in this beer than it does in the Younger. Since the brewery calls that beer a Triple IPA (I believe it!) that utilizes three times as many hops as their standard IPA, it has to be a relative lack of malt. I'm not one to complain about a beer's hoppiness, but keep in mind that the Elder is more raw and more smack-you-silly bitter than the glorious, nectar-like, hop explosive smoothness of the Younger.
In the right hands, a hop bill as incredible as the one listed above can't help but result in a mind blowingly delicious beer. And that is exactly what has made the journey from Santa Rosa to my mouth. Brilliant, palate-shattering, hopsticky white grapefruit, pineapple and lemon zest fill my mouth and ravage my tongue... and I couldn't be happier. Who cares if the Elder doesn't have the well-mannered elegance of the Younger? True hopheads will rejoice in its 'no holds barred' alpha acidity, much as I'm doing now.
I've been so blown away by the flavor that I haven't yet given a thought to the mouthfeel. No matter, I still have a third of a bottle left. I'd better be quick about it because the 8.0% ABV is beginning to catch up with me in a big hurry. The mouthfeel, while less full, syrupy and sticky than the Younger, is still outstanding. Again, I have to thank RedwoodGeorge for an amazing re-bottling effort that is nothing less than perfect.
Pliny the Elder is an equally hoppy, slightly more bitter, lower in alcohol, lighter bodied (but still full-bodied) version of Pliny the Younger. Both are exceptional beers and both deserve every accolade that is bestowed upon them. More hop alchemy from the ridiculously talented Mr. Cilurzo. Long may he brew!
Serving type: bottle
04-24-2006 22:44:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
4.23/5 rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
The beer pours lighter than expected with a white, fluffy head that quickly gives way to the army of bubbles marching to the top of the glass. A big, fruity nose, expected from one of the world's best IPAs, is no less welcome without the surprise. Bright grapefruit, pine, and lemon notes dance up from the glass. Even the bottle cap smells like delicious hops
The first sip is "wow" smooth. Grapefruit and pineapple -- hello, citrus -- are predominant, and the earthy, forest-floor flavors that you get from some IPAs, even good ones, are absent. I expected balanced and bitter, but I didn't expect the mouthfeel to be so light. For an IPA of 8 percent and around 100 IBUs, this is just about perfect.
I've had a lot of good IPAs this year, but Pliny stands out as one I could happily drink day in and day out without growing weary.
Serving type: bottle
07-13-2014 03:17:11 | More by Dave_Sutula
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,640 ratings.