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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,774 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8774
Reviews: 3060
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.17%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,774 | Reviews: 3,060 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JackDempsy


5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this beer and Pliny the Younger is just as good.

Only down side to this beer is that the Russian River brewery is always crowded. It can take about 15 minutes for the bartender to even know you are there, but the beer is perfect (so worth the wait). They should have a better way to get a growler and get out.

Serving type: growler

08-23-2013 15:38:40 | More by JackDempsy
Photo of Doc_Hops


4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A HUGE thank you goes out to my friends at Pinnochio's for hooking me up with this mini growler. I swear this place just keeps getting better and better.

A- Pliny the Elder pours a crystal clear light orange. Right away you can tell it is a west coast IPA. It's clean looking, no haze whatsoever, with a nice eggshell white head.

S- Grapefruit citrus is the predominate smell going on here. I get a lot of hop-citrus bursts and very litter malt to speak of.

T- B-E-A-U_tiful! Lemony/ grapefruit citrus hits you right away. There's quite a bit of tart involved which makes the beer extremely lip-smacking. A little bit of pine resonates on the palate but then quickly leaves. The finish is lingering with wonderful hop bitterness.

M- This beer is so bitter but still very smooth, which is quite interesting given the lighter malts involved. Medium bodied through and through. There is some nice bubbly carbonation as well.

O- Overall this beer has lived up to the hype for me. It isn't my favorite west coast IPA but it is definitely up there. It is juicy and delicious. It is a must try for any hops lover.

Serving Type- Growler poured into an IPA glass. Thanks for reading.

Serving type: growler

03-30-2013 01:53:41 | More by Doc_Hops
Photo of lordofstarside


4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of four growlers filled at the Russian River brew pub yesterday to a pint glass

Pours a clear dark gold with a finger and a half of foam with great retention. moderate carbonation, great lacing. A great looking beer

Aroma of strong hops, strong grapefruit, pine, tropical fruits, and citrus. Alcohol is well concealed, good example of how a double ipa should smell

Taste follows the smell quite well. Strong hops, pine, grapefruit, lemon, which a finish of malt and alcohol. Very bitter up front, ending with a sweetness from the malt. Everything blends well and nicely represented.

Feel is also consistent, with the all the flavors and feelings rolling from the tip of the tongue back to the very end. Carbonation leaves a nice biting tingle as you hold it in your mouth. Nice and dry finish, leaving your mouth sticky and wanting more.

So is it worth all the hype? It'd depend on the style you frequent most, with this being the godfather of the double ipas. Though I find my nine hour pilgrimage every couple months to be worth it, friends and family who aren't too into beer say it's simply "alright," which honestly is probably the best you can hear from someone who hasn't developed a palate for dipas or craft beer in general. All in all there's a reason it's the #5 top all time beer, if you drink a lot of ipas this is probably the biggest 'must try' on your bucket list.

Serving type: growler

10-21-2012 00:31:08 | More by lordofstarside
Photo of elNopalero


4.28/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Pliny, how many ways can I enjoy you? I picked up a growler on my last visit to Russian River and didn’t get to it until a few days later. Still holds up—despite what the jokers say about it falling off minutes after being brewed. This pours a crystal golden color with a great Pliny aroma. Some straw and grass but mostly orange zest dominates the scent. The flavor has an incredible hop bite and bitterness. Straw and orange peel, with a pronounced bittering midpoint and a dry zesty finish. I enjoyed this until the last drop.

This was my one year anniversary review!

Serving type: growler

08-17-2012 07:00:42 | More by elNopalero
Photo of bobbypaulson


4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a person who lives in Minnesota Pliny the Elder is not available as easy and as often as I wish it could be. I was lucky enough to have some fresh bottles sent to me (as fresh as they can be) however I was even more lucky in early January to get a growler set to me the same day it was picked up from the brewery and delivered to me super quickly!!! I can still remember the huge pop of the 2L swing top growler. So from the grower into a tall pilsner glass the color was light orangy brown in color with a thin white head that disappears quickly. The smell is very big and hoppy and sweet. The taste is super balanced with the amount of hop and sweet. All this high ranked IPA are all so hard to rate because they all are so amazing, it's hard to decide which one is better.

Serving type: growler

05-21-2012 22:42:25 | More by bobbypaulson
Photo of beerfan99


5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler from Russian River consumed later on the same day.

A: Amber/orange color with a faint white head. Carbonated well to leave a lasting head. White lacing on the glass tracked my progress.

S: Incredible hop aroma. Bursts of Simcoe hops filled the air as soon as the growler was popped.

T: Hop flavors match the aroma. Perfect balance between hops and malt. Alcohol is difficult to detect.

M: Very pleasing to the palate. Hop bitterness leaves a dry feeling, which only makes me want more.

O: This is the gold standard for a double IPA. I am looking forward to returning to Russian River today for Happy Hour Pliny the Elder.

Serving type: growler

12-04-2011 18:45:48 | More by beerfan99
Photo of matttttYCE


4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is for a growler of Pliny purchased right from the brewery on Thursday 11/10/11. Poured into my brand new Russian River stemmed glass. I also had Pliny there on tap on Thursday and from a bottle earlier this evening and all three really seem to match up quite well.

Appearance - Pours a brilliantly clear yellow-golden color, with almost 2 finger high, foamy, off-white head. Lace is minimal and the head fades to a light covering over top.

Smell - The smell is really out of this world. Lots of juicy sweet tropical fruits, grapefruit, nectarine maybe, pineapple, floral qualities, sweet citrus, bubblegum, light honey, almost a sugary sweetness to this, and maybe a bit of pine. Simply fantastic smelling DIPA!

Taste - Follows along with the aroma quite well. Lots of sweet tropical fruit, grapefruit and pineapple, maybe some apricot, citrus notes that are both sweet and sharp, substantial bitterness that melds wonderfully with the citrus and sweet fruit flavors, a bit more pine than in the aroma, with a bit of honey from the aroma as well. Wonderful tasting DIPA. I'm really not sure that it could get any better than this!

Mouthfeel - Mouth is what I think a DIPA should be. Consistency is creamy, carbonation is moderate or round (just right actually), body is medium-full but not too heavy by any means, and the finish is about average length, with lingering bitterness and light tropical fruit and citrus sweetness.

Overall - This is, without a doubt, completely deserving of a world class rating within the DIPA category! As I said in the taste section, I don't know that it could get any better than this. I made the trip to Russian River Brewery on a whim and boy am I glad I did. Pliny the Elder is simply amazing! Cheers!

Serving type: growler

11-13-2011 05:53:06 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of Shagtastic


4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow thanks to vissai for my first chance at pliny! From my new favorite russian river growler

A: Clear golden color, decent head off the bat, even with a weeks growler mail

S: Love the tropical fruity nose with this one. Awesome on the smell!

T: One of the best IPA's I've had. The hops are perfectly balanced and incredibly tasty on all counts.

M: even for an 8% this is insanely easy to drink.

O: I absolutely love this beer! I wish I had access to it because it would be a weekly beer for me. I totally recommend this to any hops fan. Grab it while you can!

Serving type: growler

10-31-2011 03:03:37 | More by Shagtastic
Photo of dbmernin83


4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A growler fresh from the brewery. Definitely the freshest Elder I've ever had.
Pours a dark golden with an inch white head. Great lacing. Carbonation appears to have held up well.
Huge pine hops on the nose. I have this frequently on draft in LA and it never smells this strong.
This beer tastes like awesome marijuana. I know hops are in the same family, so it makes sense, but this is a gigantic skunky hop bomb on the tongue. The bitternessisnt overwhelming, just huge piney hop flavor. This beer had to have been brewed with some malt but it's nowhere in sight. Correction, while the beer warms a sweetness whispers as the hops scream through a megaphone.
For the flavor profile, this beer is light. It goes down too easy at 8%. I imagine this is what hops in a blender + water * carbonation would taste like.
I always thought the freshness thing was a little ridiculous. I get that a beer, especially an IPA should be fresh, but the difference between 2 week old Pliny and maybe a few days old Pliny is ridiculous. Love Pliny in the bottle or at your local beer bar? Try some fresh from the source. Incredible.

Serving type: growler

09-19-2011 01:35:28 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of stakem


4.28/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed Elder a number of times via draft and bottle. I give the nod to on tap being my favorite experience until this point. Huge thanks to Smoked for bringing a growler of this to my place after visiting Russian River.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a golden orange color with some fine particulate floating around in suspension. A creamy off-white finger if head appears and holds fairly well across the top. As it slowly recedes, it leaves a webbing pattern of lacing effect on the glass.

The smell of this brew is exceptionally bright with fresh juicy hop quality. Quite dank and almost cheesy with a bounty of the expected notes of citrus oils and pine resins. More sniffs reveal fruity and floral aspects overtop of a toasty grain base.

The taste is quite toasty with grain that provides a pleasant toasted character without any backing of sweetness. Almost excessively bitter and by that I mean it pierces the tongue with an oily quality that lasts long after each sip. Rind-like bitterness of orange meets grapefruit with an accenting fruity kick of alcohol. The brew gets a little floral as it warms along with grassy notes, sulfur, cheese and dank to herbal weed quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Easy drinking and very oily with hops. So bitter yet so enjoyable. Very drying on the tongue thy promotes an easy transition into the next sip. This is without a doubt the brightest and more fresh sampling of Elder I have ever had. Pretty much the only way to top this experience would be to go to the source the day a new batch is released. Thanks a bunch Dan for sharing!

Serving type: growler

08-16-2011 16:27:14 | More by stakem
Photo of jspace3


4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just now reviewing this after grabbing a growler from the brewery in Santa Rosa. I have also had by bottle and on tap at the local pub.

Appearance - golden orange body with lots of bubbles and amazing lacing

Smell -Citrus up front, followed by a surge malts finishing with a hop bomb.

Taste - Citrus to piney bitterness, malt with a long lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth from start too finish with a piney hop finish.

Overall - World Class but lethal - make other beers seem pale in comparison. If I had one last beer before I died this might be it but it is not my go to beer most likely has it can quickly wreck havoc on a man's ego as it quickly turns a man into a boy and then girl with giddiness.

Serving type: growler

08-04-2011 21:24:32 | More by jspace3
Photo of biglobo8971


4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

outstanding, I have had this beer in all forms, bottle old and new, and growler. All amazing. The older bottles you can mos def can discern from the new ones. My favorite is right at 2 weeks of age. Everything of this beer screams hops, from the color to the taste and ultimately to the color. If your a hophead, you cant carry your badge until you try this beer.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2011 01:32:51 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one! Served from growler into a Mikkeller flute. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, pine, pine hop, and citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this is always a good brew. However, Pliny was much better out of the bottle. The growler that we drank was QUITE fresh, but it just seemed to lose a little bit of the edge that it has from a fresh bottle. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance and I would LOVE to try it on-tap or even on cask to compare the other serving types in the future.

Serving type: growler

07-20-2011 14:27:59 | More by thagr81us
Photo of zrab11


4.22/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice amber color with a nice 1 finger white head.

S- Has some cedar and pine notes coming through. also hints of syrup as well.

T- Has a nice bitter piney bite to it up front then has a nice sweetness in the middle and finishes with a crisp clean piney hoppy flavor

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O- Overall this was a nice beer. Nice hops but alittle dry at times. Really like this beer and would drink it all the time if i lived in CA but it really didn't live up to the hype for me. It was good but i feel alot of other dipa's r better. Ill keep trying this every few months just to see if it ever lives up to the hype

Serving type: growler

07-02-2011 02:59:07 | More by zrab11
Photo of justintcoons


4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden with an amber hue with one finger of head that dissipates slowly. Low carbonation.

N: Orange, lemon, apricot, fruity pebbles and caramel.

T: Pine, navel orange, lemon zest, papaya, grapefruit, hints of apricot, pineapple and floral notes backed by a sugary caramel backbone.

M: Full, almost chewy, dry, crisp and clean.

O: Very nicely balanced DIPA. Nice caramel sweetness and bitter citrus with hints of tropical fruits. This is very delicious but I expected more from it. Doesn't live up to the hype IMO.

Serving type: growler

06-13-2011 23:55:53 | More by justintcoons
Photo of biga7346


4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Obtained a fresh growler from my new best friend Azurescens, he said I was in for a treat and that might be one of the biggest understatments ever.

Poured into a Duvel oversized tulip

A - Rusty, clear and firm, good foam dissipates quickly and leaves nice soapy lacing

N - Wow. Fresh tangerine, tropical but not sugary fruits maybe pomegranite? Just such a bright, perfumy nose, so much going on. The tangy characters wrap around a dense, resiny hop character. A little fresh squeezed pineapple juice, some orange peel more cedar to piney resiny notes, the breadiness comes in more like golden raisins or figs, and very subtle in the backdrop is strawberry, or some fresh picked fruit, I believe.

T - Wow. Fresh cedar or pine up front, a nice thick blanket of hop character kind of sits on the palate, definitely a rib sticking beer (would love to pair this with bbq brisket), a little warming brandy-like in the finish, love it. Fleeting suggestions of tangerine, orange peel and definitely big fresh pineapple is present. I can't think of another beer or food that this reminds me of (maybe a lemon tart desert or pineapple upside down cake), everything about this is world class. The unsung hero here is the wonderful texture, very rich and velvety, nothing I mean nothing overpowers this beer. It has a real savory, umami component.

D - If I was stranded on a deserted island...well, you get the picture. Overall, I can't say enough positive things about this beer. Once again, my outlook on craft beer has been jolted. Big shout out to Azurescens who got this for me as fresh as I will ever have it living in MI.

Serving type: growler

06-04-2011 00:16:57 | More by biga7346
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I now know why people get so nuts over Pliny; having had a healthy pour from a 4 day-old growler, I can safely say that it is about as good as a hop-centric brew can be.

A - It pours a radiant brassy golden hue, and is capped with a heaping of fluffy butter-cream colored head, depositing much lace.

S - The nose is just grade-A totally insane; it is like being blasted with sticky citrus-fruit in the middle of an evergreen logging operation.

T - Again, if you dropped a tangerine-grapefruit-mango bomb on a pine-spruce woodland, some volume of PtE would necessarily be created.

M - I really enjoy DIPA with a feel like this, not so viscous, and not getting confused with BW.

O - I enjoy this at least twice as much as I have week-old bottles. I am not sure if it is a freshness thing; three days difference seems to miniscule to produce that much change, but I may be wrong about that. I am more inclined to think that it is better on-tap than in bottles.

Serving type: growler

05-19-2011 07:04:28 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to portable for picking up a growler across country and getting it to me in less than a week (and as a surprise no less...and with a RR pint glass!!!!)

a - Took the growler out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit (as suggested by portable) and then opened it up and poured it into my capt lawrence taster tulip. Beer poured a wonderful orange with a frothy 3 finger white head and nice carbonation bubbling. Nice sticky lacing as well.

s - Unreal. The hops are fresh and perfect. Just as in the bottle, only fresher and better. This beer deserves a 10 for smell. Candied hops and perfectly balanced pine smell. Really awesome!!!

t - WHO HE! My face is blown off by the hops. Pine pine and a bit of pine hops. Finishes a bit bitter. As it warms, the hops back off a bit and the sweetness comes out and the balance in the smell comes out in the flavor. The initial hop in your faceness is a bit shocking to the palette but once you get used to it, amazingness rules. Make no mistake, this is a hop forward beer and might not be for anyone, but if you enjoy an IPA, this is it.

m - Mouth is bitter and a bit watery. Alcohol tingle is nice.

o - Overall when it comes to DIPAs, this one is the king. The smell is the highlight, but the flavor profile is a close second..gets better as it warms. World class all the way. Very happy to have a fresh growler of this to work on tonight (with the wife).

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 02:11:10 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of peacebone116


4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler we picked up at the brewery into a tulip glass.

A: Thick cream colored head with good carbonation in the clear orange honey colored body.

N: Citrus, pineapple, peach.

T/M: Hops! Citrus (grapefruit) bitterness with a peach sweetness. A dab of malty biscuit in the middle of the tongue. Bitter but so smooth and crisp. Clean body and mouthfeel with lingering oil residue (and bitterness) on the tongue. Alcohol is very well hidden on this one. Dangerously drinkable.

A little flat even though I had just picked up the growler the day before tasting; good nonetheless.

What really sets this beer aside from other Imperial IPA is mostly the crispness and clean finish. The bitterness is obviously present, but it kind of lacks that sharp "bite" that other DIPA have when the flavor perception transitions from the nose to the tongue. In this regard, the flavor cannot get any better than it already is.

Serving type: growler

02-24-2011 21:31:32 | More by peacebone116
Photo of HipHop5


4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very pleasant light orange golden color. My nose gets a good freak out as the cap pops out. Poured, it shouts out loud the fragrances of a typical west coast style DIPA. Mango,Pineapple, super fresh citrus and pine resin blend in with the light body of this, extremely smooth 8% masterpiece.
A ray of sunshine lighten up the room every time I can relive this magical moment. The brewery in Santa Rosa will not impress you with the food or decor, but a fresh Pliny of the brewpub's tap will blow your sucks off for sure. The best way is fresh here.
Reasonably priced for being so expensive to brew. The fact that it is still difficult to get in CA shows that there is no compromise made by the Russian River brewing company. All about quality not quantity. Well done .

Serving type: growler

02-02-2011 06:28:52 | More by HipHop5
Photo of yeahnatenelson


4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

200th Review -- Thanks again to wavers1 for setting me up with this growler.

Appearance -- Pours a rich orange/amber with two fingers of stiff white head.

Smell -- Lots of citrus and resin, dry bready malt, muskmelon, and a dab of honey. Not too shabby, but as I got the first whiff of this I would've assumed it was any number of top notch IPA; good, but not distinctive.

Taste -- Up front is tons of bright citrus fruit and pine resin. Tempering the hop flavor and moderate resin bitterness is the faintest bit of honey malt and melon. Overall, the malt is dry, but with just enough sweetness to give depth to those hop aromatics. The finish is long and reisnous. Alcohol cannot be perceived.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation. Wish I could somehow go into further elaboration here, but it just felt 'right.'

Drinkability -- One would expect an IIPA with such a cult following to be intense to the nth degree, but what you have with Pliny The Elder is an incredible flavor profile that is perfectly balanced and incredibly easy to drink. I offered this growler up for my best friend's birthday party, but I could have just as easily drank this all by myself. If I lived in CA, this would be in my fridge at all times. A nearly flawless beer.

Serving type: growler

09-13-2010 22:37:40 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Hautacam


4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A shared growler with some very generous CT BA's who brought this back ..or shipped it back ? from CA. Good people !
Clear golden ale with a small white head.
The smell is intense grapefruit and other citrus rind aromas.
The malt flavor barely reaches the brain when the hops slap you silly. Astrigent, resiny, rindy bitter grapefruit and pine are all over the place running straight to the pleasure centers of the brain. Wow !...so this is what all the fuss is about. Mouthfeel is near perfect for a bigass DIPA....moderate carbonation...I think..? hard to tell when my tongue is under assualt from tons of hops. OK, I'll have another.
This is scary drinkable . I would love to be able to get this more often.

Serving type: growler

08-26-2010 23:54:02 | More by Hautacam
Photo of Beerenauslese


4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting from a growler obtained from the brewery one day before.

Pours clear gold with an eggshell white head that is immense, has excellent retention, and leaves chunky clouds of lacing.

Aroma of lightly toasted malt, salt and white pepper, and very floral, perfumy green hops. Smells fresh and clean. Even the aroma in the glass a day after tasting remains strong and inviting.

Tastes first of mildy sweet biscuity malt, but that is quickly eclipsed by green hop bitterness with an end note of grapefruit rind. But overall, it tastes very fresh and clean. The hoppy finish is long and intense.

Body is light and the carbonation level gives it a very creamy mouthfeel. Numbs the tongue a bit and finishes dry, and that just makes me want to take another sip.

This is a very drinkable beer, and the alcohol is low enough to make this sessionable. It is just a joy to drink this beer.

Serving type: growler

08-24-2010 02:18:14 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of Arbitrator


4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yes, I'm reviewing this a third time, this time out of a growler. Why not?

Growler filled on 7/18. Refrigerated since then and opened 7/22.

A: Pours a clear golden-amber body with 4 fingers of off-white head. Great retention and tremendous lacing. Clings to the glass with ferocity. I honestly can't picture a better head, better lacing, and better retention for a DIPA. Top marks.

S: Pine to the max. Kind of a wet pine needle aroma with an undercurrent of citrus. It's not as pungent as I remember, though not lacking in aroma.

T: A weed-like, pine-needle flavor sets the tone. There's a biscuit malt flavor that provides just enough contrast, but the one-two of pine and citrus is too much for the malt backbone. Grapefruit, lemon, some orange. The only thing that stops it from getting a perfect 5.0 is that Vinnie brews a better IIPA (Pliny the Younger) and of course, Citra has moved in.

M: Drier than some of the big DIPAs I've been drinking lately. I don't know why I used to call this beer balanced; even for a DIPA, it's really not. Not a ton of malt or residual sugar or presence: just a hop delivery vehicle. At the same time, what sugars there are mask the alcohol pretty well. Great carbonation: very cleansing.

D: I'm on course to finish a full growler myself. When it's on tap I always get it. I can't really name a beer I would drink more. It merits a 5.0 here.

Serving type: growler

07-23-2010 00:44:37 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of djmichaelk


4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from the brewery, into a perfect pint (many, many times...). Had this many times, finally sitting down to review it in the perfect environment -- home!

A - Huge four-finger head on the initial pour, pillowy at first, then receding into a somewhat thick, rocky cap that lingers forever. Golden straw color, fairly clear with just a bit of haze. Plenty of lacing down the glass. Simply beautiful.

S - Very likely the best smelling beer I've had to date. From the moment you pour it, the room is filled with grapefruit, mango, passionfruit, and citrus aromas. This is the kind of beer that makes you keep your nose in the glass for hours.

T - Bitterness from the hops wallops you in the face. The citrus in the aroma doesn't quite come through in the flavor as much, but it definitely there. I've never has the sensation of eating fruit with an IPA as much as I do when drinking this beer. There's a sweet acidity to it, but again the bitterness just overwhelms it. No alcohol to speak of. Fantastic.

M - Thick and sticky, this coats my tongue like any substantial beer should. And then after a minute, it's very dry. It's very there and then it's not. Carbonation is perfect.

D - Well, the abv is there, no doubt about it. A few of these, and you're thinking about which cab company to call. But... every sip I take has me thinking to myself, "how do I get more of this?" The flavor just leaves you wanting more and more.

O - Up to this point, I can't think of an IPA or DIPA that I enjoy nearly as much as this one, and really only one other beer in general. I'm lucky to live where I do, in that I can have this pretty much any time with a short drive. And I no doubt need to take advantage of that more often.

Serving type: growler

07-12-2010 13:16:12 | More by djmichaelk
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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,774 ratings.