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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,856 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,856
Reviews: 3,198
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 5,010
Gots: 1,895 | FT: 63
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
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Ratings: 10,856 | Reviews: 3,198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerampage
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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.

Beerampage, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Jason, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Antnego
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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!

Antnego, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

RoyalT, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of bbfc
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

bbfc, 16 minutes ago
Photo of ross84
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%

ross84, Today at 06:36 AM
Photo of tyjudd
5/5  rDev +7.5%

tyjudd, Today at 04:38 AM
Photo of decastrm
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

decastrm, Today at 03:13 AM
Photo of HeartofMiami
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Bottled 29 days ago, poured into a snifter glass. Smell is pine, citrus, lots of citrus. First sip is a grapefruit bomb. Continued sipping reveals well balanced DIPA. Glad I got to try it!

HeartofMiami, Today at 03:04 AM
Photo of Dsreitz
1.2/5  rDev -74.2%

Dsreitz, Today at 02:52 AM
Photo of adamcoy
5/5  rDev +7.5%

adamcoy, Today at 02:41 AM
Photo of Drew
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Drew, Yesterday at 08:49 PM
Photo of tjmackie
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

tjmackie, Yesterday at 08:42 PM
Photo of Lukid858
1/5  rDev -78.5%

Lukid858, Yesterday at 07:48 PM
Photo of helios7
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

helios7, Yesterday at 07:46 PM
Photo of Justdoit1234
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Justdoit1234, Yesterday at 01:31 PM
Photo of mvelilla
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

mvelilla, Yesterday at 05:44 AM
Photo of HopBomb515
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden honey in color with massive white head that leaves chunks of lace on every sip. Citrus consumes the nose with grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Great aroma but not as pronounced as expected. Taste is an amazing isolation of citrus hop flavor. Grapefruit, orange and tangerine in a wave of hop driven flavor with a perfect level of caramel sweetness to keep it in check. Not overly bitter which allows all that hop flavor to come through. Creamy burst in mouthfeel with a medium body that crisps up and finishes bone dry. A showcase of hop flavor, this is an amazing DIPA I'd love to try again.

HopBomb515, Yesterday at 03:11 AM
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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,856 ratings.