Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 10,215 | Reviews: 3,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by basica:
4.72/5 rDev +1.5%
A - Pours a bright, hazy orange-golden into my snifter with a one-finger thick milky white head and medium to good retention; moderate carbonation was visible amidst the liqui (4.5)
S - Upfront hoppiness on the nose with notes of citrus and pine along with big fruity suggestions with notes of grapefruit and passion fruit (4.5)
T - Pleasantly hop forward on the palate with an intense fruit explosion, well blended with a moderate touch of sweetness; fruity suggestions include notes of grapefruit, passion fruit and other delectable juicy, citrusy flavors. Past the middle and towards the finish, pine flavors were revealed along with some malty notes and a slightly above moderate amount of bitterness which, surprisingly, only comes around the finish, lasting into after taste along with the fruity notes. This is, by far, the best tasting DIPA I've ever had (5)
M - Medium-bodied thickness with a slight syrupy stickiness, apt for the style; slightly higher than moderate amount of carbonation and a creamy smooth texture as it goes down with a slight and pleasant warming (4.5)
D - First off, the PtE is the fruitiest DIPA I've ever had; in fact, it's almost to the point of being juicy and definitely to my delight. It's also not as intense or as bitter as some of the West Coast DIPAs; very juicy, delicious yet balanced for a DIPA and not overly bitter as well. Thus, very drinkable and a session that every DIPA lover would wish easy access to (4.5)
The PtE is the final of the 5 DIPAs in my horizontal taste comparison. I am glad to say that the PtE did not disappoint on the taste factor though I was expecting to be slightly more blown away by the nose and the feel. I loved the fruitiness and "juiciness" in the PtE and am very keen to revisit the Gordon Ale from Oskar Blues which I also recalled to be very fruity.
So without further ado, here's the ranking of the 5 DIPAs: 1st - Pliny the Elder (4.7), 2nd - Moylan's Hopsickle IPA (4.45), 3rd - Stone Ruination IPA (4.1), 4th - Dogfish Head 90 Min (4.1), 5th - Souther Tier 2XIPA (3.8). I would not strictly put the DFH 90 after the Ruination as the DFH is something you can easily enjoy a few pints of at a sitting whereas the Ruination would have destroyed your palate after half a glass.
In terms of hoppiness, bitterness and fruitiness on both the nose and flavor, the West Coast DIPAs easily trump the East coast variants and the Ruination sits on top when it comes to bitterness; Hopsickle ranks second and PtE third (Ruination and Hopsickle were considered a bit too bitter). The East Coast DIPAs were just touched with just a slight bitterness that was no where near the intensity of the West Coast IPAs. Appearance wise, none of them are stunners or a big story to bring home but the Hopsickle and the PtE looked a cut above the rest. The most easy drinking of these DIPAs (without too much of a flavor comparison here) would have to be the DFH 90 with the PtE following in second place.
01-11-2011 16:41:44 | More by basica
More User Reviews:
4.88/5 rDev +4.9%
Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:
One of the best labels in the world and a great wake-up call for overzealous über beer geeks who feel the need to age any and all beers. "Drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a historical figure, don't make the beer inside this bottle one ... Age your cheese, not your Pliny ... Pliny is for savoring, not for saving!" Love it. "Respect hops, consume fresh!"
Light honey amber in color, topped with a big, fluffy, creamy white head with a ton of glass stickage. Massive ripe pineapple aroma in the nose, with pine, mint, sappy resins, powdery pale malts and a hint of alcohol. Silky smooth, medium bodied, with a very firm consistency and slightly chewy back. Hop presence is artfully chaotic. Nice prickly stab on the palate up front, semisharp bitterness, grassy, zesty grapefruit, deep smacking of ripe pineapple and pine. Juicy fruitiness, notes of apple and pear too. Dry middle with suggestions of chalky aspirin. Bready malts, soft and sweet, provide a nice backboard for the hops. Oily and ashy hop resins stick to the palate and follow through into a dry, bitter linger. Alcohol becomes sentient as the beer warms, speaking to us in tongues. And despite this, remains insanely drinkable.
One of the best DIPAs on planet Earth, ever.
09-20-2010 19:39:48 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.5/5 rDev -3.2%
NOTE: If you are drinking this beer about 2 months past its freshness date then you are not getting the full experience.
500ml brown bottle with a bottled on freshness date.
Mildly hazed orange golden color, solid two fingers of head leave a nice crowning of sticky lace that leaves thick rings on the glass. Big hop aroma of evergreen, clementine rind, pineapple and fresh cut grass. Super smooth with a modest amount of carbonation. Prickly spicy hop bitterness with citric, mint and wild flower flavors that linger far into the aftertaste. Hint of nutty yeast and a big handful of biscuity malt are thrown at the palate and actually shows that this beer has balance. Full bursting orange grove flavor. The 8.0% stays hidden for the most part yet does yield a slow warmth about half way through the pint, a bit of ripe tropical fruitiness within from the esters. Finishes with that long drawn out hop bitterness and flavor as it leans towards the dry side.
Epic, a deserving epic as well even with all of the hype surrounding PTY. Pliny The Elder is the poster-boy for Double IPAs. Every hophead needs to put this on their must try list.
02-24-2010 02:55:40 | More by Jason
3.99/5 rDev -14.2%
Appearance: a yellow to dull golden color. Fairly good clarity but some slight haze to it. A finger of a frothy head that hardly fades at all and leaves a huge lacing on the sides. A damn good looking dipa
Smell: pine, citrus, herbal. Lots of hops but a fairly generous amount of sweet and lighter crystal malts to it. The malts are just a touch too sweet for me.
Taste: opens up with a good dose of sweet crystal malts. Backend is full of hops. Pine is first, then comes herbal and some floral. Some citrus. A bit of bitter resiny hops.
Mouthfeel: medium body. Nice strong bitterness. Some lingers but not too much.
Overall: this one doesn't disappoint me. It's not the greatest dipa, but I didn't expect it too. Great strong bitter hops too it.
06-10-2014 02:23:04 | More by SportsandJorts
United Kingdom (England)
4.53/5 rDev -2.6%
Bottle poured into Nordic pint glass
A - pours looking like a macro lager but with a better head leaving great lacing
S - grapefruit, pine, freshly cut grass
T - grapefruit, lots of pine and a very sweet citra style finish with freshly but grass and pine
M - so smooth it's ridiculous. Perfect carbonation for this style
06-21-2014 21:49:30 | More by Sam-VW
4.73/5 rDev +1.7%
Popped open a bottle and poured into a chilled stein ... Big shout out to Neil at Red Carpet in Rancho Cucamonga for providing a bottle out of his personal stash!
A: 3.75 - Deep golden hue with almost no head on a slow pour, very thin and dark cream colored. Has an appearance of a typical adjunct lager. Lacing is insane, dense foam clings to the side of the glass.
S: 5 - BIG grapefruit, citrus and floral notes smack you in the nose, trailed by a dense, woody pine backdrop. I'm also detecting some dried fruit like cherries, peaches and figs. The fruitiness of this beer is VERY assertive.
T: 4.75 - The taste follows the smell, with a burst of citrus fruits, dried peaches, and deep pine notes. There is also a strong malty backbone with this one that keeps it from being overpowered by its intense hoppiness. The aftertaste is of strong bitterness from the hops that lingers for an eternity. It might be too much for the uninitiated, bit for hop-heads, it might be paradise.
M: 4.5 - Moderate carbonation, silky-smooth mouthfeel, intensely refreshing on the way down. Coats the tongue and throat quite nicely.
Overall - 4.75: All in all, this is my second divine experience tasting a Russian River offering. Normally, I'm not an IPA fan, but the fruity blend of hops here is so excellent - it's perfectly balanced with strong, sweet malt that keeps the aggressive hop flavor in check. The aftertaste was a bit strong, but that was easily remedied with another sip. The worst part of this beer is that it will be gone soon and I'll have to wait until I can reserve another!
06-15-2014 02:23:58 | More by Antnego
4.93/5 rDev +6%
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. First time with this beer and I'm really stoked. Expectations can't possibly be met.
Poured lighter than expected for a double, but glassy and beautiful. Slight pale head.
Smells are what you would expect from the style. Very fresh smelling. Hops with more hops. Again, very fresh smelling.
The nose didn't lie. This isn't an overly citrus nor an overly piney hop bomb. It is what occurs when everything is balanced. Nothing jumps out and blows you up. It's just a very easy drinking, beautiful hoppy lovefest. The thing that separates this beer from its imitators and competitors is that you really want to drink the hell out of it, not just taste it over and over because it's good.
Mouthful is nice, not too resiny, and malt is clean and fresh. As soon as you swallow it, your mouth needs a refill. Just balance.
Somehow the hype matched the eexperience. In all facets of life, that's rare. By as many of these as you can and share with friends. Wow.
07-17-2014 21:15:22 | More by Beerampage
3.93/5 rDev -15.5%
Finally....finally I have a bottle of this beer.
Bottled on 2/17/11,fresh as well.Poured into an imperial nonic a rich burnt orange tinged golden with a large blooming white that left broken chunks of lace behind as it settled into a frothy mass.Much lighter aromas than expected,resin and grapefruit mixed with a firm dryer malt base,a little iron is in there as well.Resiny and bitter flavors are the main component flavor-wise,again the malt base is dry wich is good with way to many of the style to sweet.The alcohol is incredibly well hidden mainly because the sweetness is in check,its a very good beer but I gotta say I have had better of the style.While I like Hopslam,Dreadnaught,Oracle,and Hercules better, its a good beer,worth the rating?....Not so sure.
03-17-2011 20:23:20 | More by oberon
4.47/5 rDev -3.9%
Appearance - This came out a hazy, beautiful orange in color with a big, hefty white head.
Smell - This fella has a monster hop profile. The Pliny is piney, that's for sure. There actually seems to be a couple variations of pine smell in here along with some strong floral notes that carry that raw "off the vine" hop fragrance. The citrus hops are rich and sweetish.
Besides all that, this puppy has a huge malt profile. They aren't really toasted at all but have more of a caramel character. All and all this thing is packing quite a wallop!
Taste - This is a big, bountiful DIPA, full of all the delicious flavors from the aroma. All of the hops work in harmony to provide an amazing hop experience with every sip. The malts don't let up for a minute, either. The thick, caramel malts remind me of the 90 Minute. Everything is big yet very well balanced, in a massive hop-head kind of way.
Mouthfeel - This is big but I'd still call it medium-bodied. It is slickly smooth in the cheeks and dangerously easy to drink.
Drinkability - This goes down like none other. The Younger is bigger but doesn't go down as easy as this. At 8.0 ABV I'm sure this has snuck up on many a Russian River patron over the years.
Update - I first reviewed this in 2006 and had a chance to sample it from the bottle again in 2010. It is raw this year and has a monstrous pine aroma. The flavor will cause the uninitiated to dial 911. As massive as the hops are in this beer, to me, still as I said four years ago, it is the malt backbone that separates this man from the boys. I've seen a few examples like this of hop overkill, but this is the only really big monster hop beer that tries to be a true, complete, well-rounded beer if you know what I mean. Most won't even notice the malt base as this one is so hoppy, but it's that almost unnoticeable malt backbone that completes the package.
03-25-2006 01:33:17 | More by RoyalT
4.24/5 rDev -8.8%
I had two on tap in Philly. Very excited when the waitress mentioned it, because like many, I thought I might never get to taste it. This beer has a golden-red, rather clear hue. A small white head. An amazing citrus smell that you know is gonna taste good, just from one sniff. Taste is very crisp, refreshing, and citrusy. Grapefruit mostly, with medium body. Could drink a lot of these in a single sitting. I still give an edge to Gandhi Bot as slightly better tasting, because as a local, I have my biases =), but I liked Pliny so much, I thought I would add to the chorus of complimentary reviews. Worth the hype in my opinion, of course I was lucky and didn't have to wait in a line or trade to get a taste, very fortunate on my part. Right bar, right time.
04-01-2013 15:25:44 | More by braugon
4.3/5 rDev -7.5%
On tap at Toronado. Bright amber orange with a full white head. Head lasts well for an IPA. Body is medium to full with intermittent carbonation attacks. Aroma comes on complexly featuring an appealing amount of pineapple on top of a subtle pine/juniper base. By far, however, the pine is overshadowed by citrus juice, peaches, and grapefruit. The aroma could be described as candy like if it didnt trigger receptors in your brain that say: Warning Hop Blast Acomin! Feels tangy and acidic with a citrus medley blast of lime, lemon, grapefruit, and nectarine. Perfectly balanced (for the style) with a sweet malt base and only residual pine oils in the flavor. More delicate then expected. My tongue is not destroyed after two glasses. I guess that makes this one a drinker.
05-22-2006 19:36:53 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.93/5 rDev +6%
This was the perfect double I.P.A., no question about it. The beer pours a hazy golden color with not much head. I found it to have more carbonation that some of the other double I.P.A.'s I've had. Pliny gives off an incredible aroma of pine with barely a hint of fruit. It was a little too cold for our first few tastes so the hop explosion was very intense, but as the beer dropped in temperature you could taste every element to this beer perfectly. An initial hop explosion that leaves a citrus, grapefruit, taste lingering behind with absolutely no undesirable aftertaste. The only thing that I can find wrong with this beer is that it is incredibly difficult to find. Places were sold out of it or had limited quantities. If you are ever on the west coast, this beer is a must!
05-28-2011 03:39:26 | More by Supersweetshirts
4.88/5 rDev +4.9%
Finally got to try this one thanks to Johnny Ramirez. Can't thank him enough! This has been on my wants list as long as I can remember. Pours a perfect amber color with amazing clarity - something not necessarily expected from a DIPA. Very clean looking with a long-lasting head, super white, thick, and foamy.
The aroma is, bluntly put, motherfucking outrageous. Simply amazing. Heavy ass pineapple and citrus aroma, right along with orange zest and lemon. Hops-to-the-walls; piney, leafy, floral, perfume-like. This amazing balance on the nose between sweet-bitter and fruit-hops is incredible. The pineapple kills me - powerful and pure, not fake or artificial in any way. A total forest of hops, trees, pines, fruits, mangos, pineapples, etc. I want a goddamn Pliny the Elder air freshener.
The taste starts off with an up-front smash of hops; wet, bitter, and assertive, but not harsh, overpowering, or off-putting. These hops are perfect in every way. Piney, oily, and resinous. Alcohol presence is noticeable but never intrudes and is always welcomed. Heavy malt backbone balances everything perfectly. The sweetness from the pineapples and mangos are well-timed and synchronize perfectly with the hops. The flavor profile on this beer is executed eloquently and masterfully. Medium-thick body, mild stickiness, perfect carbonation.
I was scared the hype would ruin this for me. How can a beer seriously live up to the ridiculous amount of hype that Pliny regularly gets? Not only did it live up to those expectations, it surpassed them. I promised myself I wouldn't be swayed by the reviews and wouldn't "say I liked it, just to like it" - but it's impossible. There's a reason this beer is so highly acclaimed. It's ridiculously amazing.
12-10-2012 01:08:26 | More by tectactoe
4.43/5 rDev -4.7%
Deep golden color with a sticky off-white head that leaves nice lacings.
The aroma very intense with a big punch of exotic fruits - grapefruit, pineapple, mango, you name it. Grassy and resiny hop aromas as well, and hints of tobacco. Crisp malts underneath provides a lovely balance.
The flavor is fairly sweet with a nice crisp maltiness of caramel beneath an abundance of hops. Hops, hops and more hops. Great juicy fruit aromas and notes of pine-needles. The finish is bitter and resiny with lingering fresh hop notes.
Big body, smooth mouthfeel with a nice semi-dry finish.
As far as Double IPAs goes, it doesn't get much better than this. Easy to drink is an understatement for this one.
05-21-2010 22:34:30 | More by ricke
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,215 ratings.