Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 9,818 | Reviews: 3,125 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Maxwell:
4.55/5 rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
The beer pours an oranging yellow with amber highlights, kind of like a sunrise… The beer forms a big, pillowy head of rocky white bubbles that are slightly off-white. The head lasts nicely, but does mellow down from its initial height to about a half-finger’s width. As the head dissipates, it leaves a nice sticky patchwork of lacing on the glass. In body the beer is crystal clear and clean, but does present a slight haze from the malt. On the nose, the beer smells of citrus and spicy pine. Floral and herbal notes dance around the edges of the nose but big citrus tangerine and grapefruit are the primary players in the beer. The nose is not blowing me away, but is just a very solid example of a hoppy beer dank pine and a touch of sweet caramel can also be sensed in the smell. As a whole, the smell tends to remind a little of a fresh pineapple blended with pine. On the tongue, the beer tastes surprisingly balanced. The bitters are big and coat the mouth, but there is a strong bready sweetness to add balance. Light stone fruit notes can be picked out in the hop character, as well. The finish sees the strongest bitter kick, which is a bit over powering and should feed any one’s bitter cravings. Acidity in the beer is light but bright on the sides of the cheeks. Again, this beer tastes like a classic DIPA. In flavor, the beer begins as sweet, candied citrus, expanding into fresh Florida oranges, with a touch of orange peel and rind. Grapefruit, pine needles, and pineapple dance in the back along with the malts superbly balanced sweet caramel bread, which helps to give the hops their candied quality. I wasn’t that taken with this beer on the initial sip, but that was foolish of me. Pliny is a subtle beast, building simple complexity from its hops, and making each sip different. Soft boozy heat can be felt in the back of the throat, but that is just another part of the complexity of this beer. This flavor is one I could sip all night. In the mouth, Pliny feels surprisingly on the light side of medium in body, with a fluffy carbonation that pillows the tongue nicely. Mouthfeel is slick, and crisp, making the beer dangerously easy to drink. Slight astringency can be felt as the beer moves across the tongue leaving the mouth only softly tingling with bitters. Saliva does gently pool in the cheeks, but overall the mouth is left rather clean and ready for further sips. Overall, this beer is a whale worthy of whaling after. Beautiful complexity and subtly make this a beer I could drink several of, which is dangerous for its ABV bracket. Where many of the modern DIPA’s slam you in the face with juicy hop character, Pliny is subtle and perfectly balanced. This will please the hop heads and even those that are skeptical to hops. My mother, a diehard stout fan, but “pale and hoppy beer” hater, actually loved this when I brought one over last night. My only complaint is that the nose is mild compared to some DIPA’s, but to be fair to Pliny, its recipe was developed before the designers of those other DIPA’s even knew they liked hops. Pliny the Elder is a pleasure to drink. I can’t wait to get my hands on more Russian River beers.
Serving type: bottle
12-23-2013 23:34:54 | More by Maxwell
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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,818 ratings.