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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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light orange body and good white head that lasts. Lace in glass. Very fresh, brought by Dr.Jay from Capone's near Philly on Russian River night. Bitter bias but also well malted. Perfect soft carbonation. Smooth orange and grapefruit taste.Bitter, sweet, then bitter aftertaste.
Much better balance noticed on-tap at both Solena Beach and Port Carling Pizza Ports just 7 weeks later.
Three-and-a-half years later, in-your-face hops, but drinkable.
Over four years later sample at Table Rock and was great.
5.5 years later and very good well integrated DIPA fresh bottle from OCBeerSociety extra.

Serving type: growler

12-19-2006 04:01:16 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

A - Arrived a slightly cloudy pale orange color with a 1/2 inch head. The lacing is amazing.

S - Smells of delicious flowers and citrus hops. There is also a nice tart fruit smell.

T - Absolutely delicious citrus hops with little bitterness. There is also a subdued fruit essence taste present.

M - Carbonation was somewhat flat but the beer was very smooth and fresh.

D - This is a very, very good beer. I know this is a different style of IPA but I enjoyed this beer much more than Blind Pig. This was a very good companion to my BBQ feast.

I definitely will be going after more of this brew. One of the most aesthetically pleasing beers I have ever had. The lacing was absolutely the best I have ever seen. There were rings from top to bottom that showed my progress. Sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2010 05:49:03 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of 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
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enormous thansk goes out to zrrbrrt for the growler!!

Poured a deep crystal clear amber with a nce foamy head that was slow to fad, leaving a fine lace all the way to the bottom. The smell is deep piney hops with a bit of grapefruit thrown in for good measure. The taste...well lets just say this ain't you daddy's beer!! Knock you down hops, beautiful, strong, pine and citrus that will have you puckering your mouth for a while. Great dry finish. This is a hop heads delight and lived up to the hype I must say, etremely enjoyable and simply astounding!

Serving type: growler

01-25-2007 02:17:31 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


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

Seeing as Pliny has such an incredibly high rating, it has quite a bit to live up to, it has never disappointed me.

I chose to review it (finally) after my girlfriend brought me a 2 liter growler full of it when she had stopped at the brewery on her way back to So. Cal.

The color of this beer is a nice golden/slightly orange straw color with a good head on top.

The smell of this beer is amazing. I would say it is by far the most aromatically pleasing beer I've come across. Usually a (D)IPA has a pleasing smell, but this is on a whole different level. It's really difficult to describe, but lots of citrus and some mild pine, very floral. The smell of this is better than the taste of many other beers I've had.

The taste is as you would hope/expect it to be. Lots of hoppy citrusy and bitter goodness. Hardly any malt on this one, but just enough to balance things out on the end. Many times with a really hoppy beer you get a powerful/off-putting aftertaste, but nothing of the sort here.

Definitely the best beer I've had to this point.

Serving type: growler

06-22-2009 05:59:05 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a rocky ecru head that sticks well and throws a few shards of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Really juicy tangerine with a dash of lemon and mint

Taste: Citrus elements appear at the outset and build through mid-palate, with floral tangerine and hints of balsa wood; after the swallow, an intense bitterness rules the day with just a hint of residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: No big sticky malt backbone here -just a hoplover's dream

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 02:28:25 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bitter hops notes with some well crafted citrus notes also dominating. I thought the taste of malt was somewhat subtle and overshadowed by some citrusy and bitter hops. Full body with great carbonation. Although this is a very well crafted IIPA is still think it is lacking some of the grapefruit notes that can elevated the style to another level.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 03:51:32 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Sharply citrusy and bone dry- Russian River knows that these halmarks are the only ones that matter in this simple and strong style.

Pouring a highly carbonated and creamy overall appearance, the beer delivers the most supple of haze upon a strong golden, light copper hue. A creamy ecru head builds on the beer and coats the sides of the glass with sheets of lace as the beer falls for a very charming and stately appearance.

Aromas of every citrus fruit that you have ever known rushes to the olfactories with an onslaught that's extremely zesty, ripe, and fresh. Only the most supple of malty caramel notes inform the sweeter notions of fruit but intently stray from the focused citrusy notes of oranges and grapefruit.

Flavors follow suit with a strong emphasis on hoppy oils that remind the tastebuds of ruby red grapefruit pulp, freshly grated oranges, and tangerine succulence. Citrusy overall, but it's the underlying malty sweetness of thin caramel that gives the fruity hop flavors just enough sweetness to not become sour, acidic, or overly sharp. Lightly salty in taste, the beer's water profile gives a rounded element that's sometimes lacking in these dry beers.

But the dryness doesn't only manifest in taste, it also presents a quick evaporative feel just after the early creamy notion of malt whisps away and leaves a bitter, resiny-dry finish of citrus sharpness and lightly herbal/grassy bite in aftertaste.

Pliny is a quentessential IPA that displays all the finnese of hop oils and resins for ultimate clean citrus flavor and resiny bitterness. This only happens because of the understated and clean caramel malt base. Although this would normally expose a lot of hop and alcohol harshness in merely mortal beers, it's surprising that none of those show here. Russian River nails this one!

Thanks also bbehr and hopluva1!

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2008 20:06:58 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


4.18/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jerk44 for this one.

A: Orange colored with a good head and plenty of lace.

S: Lots of hops, backed up by some nice citrus and tropical fruits.

T: Much like the smell, with the hoppiness taking over a little bit in a good way.

M: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The alcohol is barely present.

D: All around a very good beer. Absolutely cannot wait for August to get out to California and try this one on tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 22:56:32 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.45/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The beer is clear orange to yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high head that died down and left a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar of large bubbles around the edge and some delicate lacing in between.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapefruit in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grapefruit, notes of caramel malts and hints of pine resin.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very drinkable and has no trace of alcohol in the taste. It also has an excellent balance between the malts and the hops.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 02:09:29 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


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

Bottled on - 011410.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, brilliant, pale gold body with a sudsy, enduring, white head.

Smell: Quite a vibrant nose with many a perfumy aromatic - expressive notes of fresh florals, citrus oils, resinous pine, and even peaches fill the air.

Taste: Starts with a simple introduction of extra pale malts with some cracker tones to it and a relatively light sweetness. Flavors of oily lemon peelings, pine needles swimming in sap, meadow flowers, white grapefruit, and even white peaches usher in a bold bitterness. Picks up some spicy accents on the back end. As one would expect, it finishes dry and bitter with a lingering resinous quality.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Has a slight oily slickness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: After well over a thousand reviews, I'm not sure what there is left to be said. PtE is a stalwart of the style. Drinks with comparative ease considering the bold bitterness and staunch dryness, with almost no notice of the alcohol presence.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 20:51:46 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 20:23:20 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to stoutjimmy for this bottle!

My second Pliny, but first review thereof. It pours a hazy, golden amber-straw, topped by a quickly-dying finger of white froth. The nose comprises a hella-ton o' pine, along with some grapefruit, orange peel, maple sap, and a tiny bit o' caramel in the back, trying to maintain some semblence of a malty backbone. It's got me convinced it's hoppy... The taste follows very similarly, though the two DIPA elements are both sharpened for battle: The hops are especially fruity and flowery, while the malts (caramel and toffee, natch) are stronger, more up to the task of balancing out the hops. I gotta say, the hype has been dead on: this is the most balanced DIPA I've had in a long time. And quite tasty, too. The body is a light-ish medium, with a moderately active carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Yup, this old Roman naturalist lives up to the hype. Get some!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 05:29:38 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


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

Piny delivers a clear, golden-orange body beneath a massive head of white froth that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace at the outset of the pint.
The nose is bold and bright with juicy, resinous hops (piney, citrusy, grassy) that you can almost smell at arms length! In the mouth it's medium-full bodied with an standard carbonation.
In the flavor (which is pretty much exactly what the aroma suggested it would be), the sweetish, straight-forward malt acts as a bed for the hop flavors to lay in; but they just can't seem to stay still, and bounce up and down on it instead!
The alcohol is very well cloaked throughout; and it finishes drying as the sweet malt ebbs away, leaving behind a dull bitterness and some lingering piney and citrusy notes.
One of the best double IPA's I've had!

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2005 09:55:49 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

510ml (?) bottle, 14 days old - fresher than I would ever really have expected. As I was approaching my 2500th review, I was at a bit of a loss as to which beer would be (potentially) worthy enough to mark this particular signpost of mine. Lo and behold, and damned near out of the blue, comes this early Christmas present, from the good DoktorZee - many, many thanks! Into my Laughing Dog Yankee pint glass this goes, in honour of my first bastion of hoppy indoctrination.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, pale golden amber hue, with three fingers of thick, bulbous, melted marshmallow, eggshell-white head, which leaves some broad streaks of sea-spray lace around the glass as it gently slinks away.

It smells of pungent tropical fruit - pineapple, papaya, and blood orange, a bit more pedestrian lemon and grapefruit pith, with some resinous pine needles and musty florals, all over a lightly bready, softly caramelized pale malt. The taste is bitter aged citrus rind - kind of a Cali fruit salad of orange, lemon, and grapefruit - all fresh and in your face, but, um, nice about it. Some further floral, perfumed hops flesh things out, until the unassuming caramel malt supporting act kicks in, along with a slowly simmering, mostly under the radar booziness.

The bubbles are pretty laid-back, just eking out their paycheck, the body a decently sturdy medium weight, and tacitly smooth - the hops and booze respectably keeping their distance. It finishes off-dry, but just barely, the melange of hops contending more with some uppity alcohol.

An on the level, well-rendered DIPA - you get your hop fix, in spades, and yet the inherent balance remains steadfast. I gotta say, it delivers, and though it isn't perfect, what really is? I can see why the hype exists, and will indeed persist.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 02:50:30 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This will be a bare bones review, based on brief jottings made in the noisy environs of O'Brien's pub, in the company of others, but tingling with the excitement of tasting this much anticipated ale, trying my best to capture the experience. When they bottle this nectar, I'll attempt again to encapsulate it's wonder.
Orange is the color, head is white, full, fresh.
Nose is lovely, floral, fruity, just absolutely aburst with pineapple, peach, grapefruit, tons of citrus...absolutely excellent!
Mouthfeel is slick and run over with hop oils. Taste is exhilirating, a blast of hops on the tongue, medium bodied, with a long, sticky, citric finish, and an utterly tangy texture. This seemed to fulfill whatever desires I'd need in a Double IPA, though the 8% abv didn't really make a dent in me...(or did it?)...this was one of the must-try's of my recent California visit, and I had several more samples on the next two days at the Strong Ale Fest just to be sure of it's worthiness. Yes. Yes, indeed. Very much so, and then some.
I'm in twitchin' anticipation for the day their bottling line runs, then this cult IPA can get even better recognition in the world at large!

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2004 05:54:13 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki


4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to nanoslug for sending me numerous bottles of Pliny of the past six months. This one was bottled February 24th, '09. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Huge three-finger pillowy off-white head that has solid retention and patches of spotty lacing. Hazy golden apricot color with lots of tiny bubbles racing to the top. Not quite as handsome as Pliny the Younger.

S - Huge hoppy goodness, with loads of citrus (fresh red grapefruit, orange, lemon zest) as well as some pine and floral notes. There's also a delightful caramel malt backbone. Extremely well hidden 8% ABV.

T - Usually my big complaint is that beers don't taste as good as they smell. In this case, the taste is every bit as good, with loads of citrus and some tropical fruits as well, mixed with pine, and a few floral hints. Again it's got some nice caramel sweetness at the fringes, but the hops are front and center. The aftertaste is bitter, but not overly so.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, with the perfect (moderate) amount of carbonation. Finishes slightly dry, but leaves tons of oily, sticky, hop resins behind. There's a touch of warmth as it goes down. Just wonderful!

D - Even more drinkable than Pliny the Younger, which is quite an accomplishment. Perfect level of carbonation, superb taste and texture, well-hidden ABV, and moderate residual bitterness. It's exactly what I want from a DIPA.

Oh, I love the 500ml serving size too. I can't wait to try this on-tap at the brewery in the future...

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 04:49:46 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Acquired from Slatetank so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a hand-bottled 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a very good combination of fruity citrus and grassy hops, along with some caramelized malts.

T: The taste is excellently balanced with flavors of citrus and caramel sweetness, a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness and a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. I know I really should be saying a little bit more about a beer's taste when I'm giving it a 5 in that category, but it's just that damn good.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down extremely easy, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is one of those highly regarded beers with a hyped reputation that is good enough to deserve every bit of it.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 04:30:55 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


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

Finally, the illustrious Elder sits in the glass in front of me...

Orange body with more yellow-orange tones toward the base of the glass. Micro sediment hangs in suspension. Bits of spotty lace around the edge, with a good skim of foam, nice retention.

Juicy citrus aroma, sweet cotton candy, juicyfruit gum. Some resiny hop oils in the back. Nothing but rich fruity hops in this one!

Initial sips are bitter, some floral hop and grainy malt notes, tropical fruitiness, with a long earthy finish. Maltiness is huge, which performs a balancing act with the large hop load. Alcohol is slightly perceptible. Smooth and creamy feel, light astringency that is not a distraction. A fine savory beverage...

Dreadnaught is still my #1 DIPA, but PtE is a close #2.
Huge thanks to Jason for the trade!

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 00:14:41 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


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

Got this one from tpd975, Cheers Greg!

Updated rating: the last few bottles had a much better nose! Not as good on draft IMO...

Pours an effervescent apricot with slight chill
haze & 2 fingers of thick egg shell colored head. Great head retention & good lacing

S: Citrus & pine, plus floral & grapefruit hops

T: Grapefruit, pine, breadyness, some dryness & resiny hops up front. Grapefruit & resiny hosp seize the flavor focus as this warms, some breadyness sneaks through as well. Finishes with much grapefruit, resin & a touch of toffee & pineapple

MF: Medium bodied, with medium carbonation & some creamyness to this. Great balance

Drinks pretty easy for the style & ABV, A pretty good DIPA, which I presume is even better on draft

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 04:02:00 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh


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

Beer poured a bottle dated 10/08/09, so its a month old. Pretty good for a trade (THANKS!). Beer served in a goblet. Beer is yellow and hazy, carbonation is mild to moderate. A white head of medium sized bubbles formed but the head collapsed. There is some lacing left on the glass, even after the head collapses. Head gravitates toward the walls of the glass.

Beer has that sweet pine smell of hops. This is a double IPA but I don't smell any malt really. Not any alcohol either.

This beer tastes wonderful. The hops are obvious but the beer overall is so smooth, its amazing. Some of these hop bombs leave an acidic taste in the back of the mouth. Finishes cleanly but the beer in general leaves a film all over you mouth. Second taste, its almost as if it finishes dry but starts wet. The beer isn't dry at all, but its finish is so nice.

Mouthfeel is great. There is plenty of flavor to connect some (the tiny amount) of sweetness at the front with the hop bitterness and flavor. Its so good. Medium body, can't taste the alcohol at all. Drinkability very high. This is one of the best DIPAs I've ever had in my life. I wish this were sold locally. If you can't get it locally, set up a trade to get this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 02:15:47 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kaiser81 for this bottle.

Pours a golden color with a white head. The predominant aroma is grapefruit. There is a ton of hop flavor in this beer with grapefruit and citrus as well as maybe some earthiness. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected but that doesn't detract from the overall experience. Very drinkable beer with a complex hop flavor profile, but the beer is still very well balanced. I can see why this beer is rated as highly as it is.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 04:07:59 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, orange color with golden highlights. It had a small, thick, foamy head that left soapy trails of lace.

S - Tons of grapefruit aroma; really amazing! There were mild notes of pine and caramel.

T - It hits you with a tart ruby red grapefruit taste and sweet orange peel flavors. The burnt toast caramel flavors add balance to the strong fruit taste.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale.

D - This truly lives up to the hype. Fans of HopSlam will like the Elder, too.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 02:19:01 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this awesome-o surprise as an extra from Solomon420, thanks again Damian! I've been holding this beast in anticipation for a short while, and today was my son's first birthday so I decided to crack it. Imagine a kid getting locked in a candy store but also have the unfortunate disadvantage of diabetes or something, that's what it was like not just destroying this beer immediately.

A: It's got a strangely erotic bright orange color with some light haze and light frothy head that sticks around lightly. Super clear color. Even my eyes are thanking me.

N: Hops just dominate and the pine and citrus just rip my nostrils ashunder. The light malty goodness and slight sweetness also dance around the nose, but the added slight grapefruit at the end add a nice touch. A gentle floral adds lightly to it. Earthy beast-like hops ravage my nose, with lots of fresh hop oils.

T: OK, after months of waiting (since I first setup the trade, not waiting on this beer) its time... guhhh, groggle, slurp, very wet and juicy hop burst, not so much of the crazy pine and dryness as expected, its got a delicate citrus grapefruit and slight malty body, perhaps some tropical juicy hop as well. A nice poignant zip. Theres a touch of spicey hops and earthy tones that seem to build up the more you drink it. But there are some nice piny citrus hops as well. This seems to touch each category of hops except grassy. The alcohol is hidden very well.

M: A light malty body with some light carbonation, a slight sticky and juicy feel.

F: Huge hop smash towards the end, lots of bitterness with citrus and pine but still pretty juicy, slightly dry but doesn't dry out as much as I thought it would for the huge hop kick. The intense bitterness fades quickly leaving you begging for more and ready for the next sip. It's got a big juicy slab in the middle of the end that just makes the drinkibility astronomical. I'm just slamming this thing back like it's going out of business, which is dangerous for 8%.

Final thoughts: This is an incredible beer, as expected. I had huge hopes and it didn't smash them. Perhaps could have used a slight more malt (I'll prolly get reamed for that) but thats IMHO. The hops and flavors are so balanced that it was just amazing to keep drinking and drinking. So many different hop flavors that balance out well and come from every angle, like getting gang jumped. I can't wait to get more. It's almost as if someone juiced a grapefruit using a pine cone made of love and ecstasy. I feel like a hopped hippie after drinking this!

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 22:05:02 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Bottled On Date July 10, 2008; Sampled July 17, 2008
A soft pour produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is just so expressively pungeant with hop aromatics that just jump out at me as I am pouring this beer. It sits in my glas with a light amber, copper hue and shows a clear, bright gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma is just sticky with hop character; huge lychee notes, super ripe apricot, bright tropical fruit notes, candied grapefruit, expansive tangelo and Curacao orange peel are all easily noticeable. The other side of the hop aroma spectrum lurks just below the fruit notes with herbal notes that are quite floral, some pine that adds some backbone to the aroma and a light, dank, hemp-oil like note that adds just a bit of an edge to this brew. What I love about the aroma is the focus on the fruity hop notes, but it still has some of the more herbal notes that add a touch of offset and a touch of contrast. If you really dig for it some cracker-like malt notes are just noticeable underneath all of the dominating hop aromatics.

Aggressively bitter up front, though not overwhelmingly so, this is quite herbal as it first hits the tongue, but becomes redolent of super ripe hop fruit flavors through the middle and finish. At this point the bitterness kicks in again and a clean, biting hop note lingers on the tongue for quite some time after the beer has left my mouth. Pine-sap flavors up front yield to tropical fruit notes of lychees, almost pineapple and other fruit flavors of apricot, peach and ripe tangelo. The explosive up front fruit flavors seem to get scraped from my palate by the aggressive herbal and pine notes that seem to get more pronounced with every sip. A short respite from the beer seems to accentuate the fruit notes a bit more again, but it is still as if my tongue has been scraped by some very herbal hops that have left a permanent mark. Still this aggressively herbal hop character (that is definitely riding the edge of being laden with hemp oil) never buries the hop-fruit flavors. While certainly not light, this is eminently drinkable; not so heavy that it has not business having the letters of IPA on the label; this is my definitive example of what the texture and heft of a double IPA should be.

The aroma of this beer is just so nice; the dominant hop fruit notes are perfectly controlled by the softer herbal hop character. The flavor is a bit more herbal in balance and is quite scathing in its hop attack. Still the bitter, sharply herbal hop notes never get out of control, but this beer still makes me feel like my tongue has been abused and scraped raw by the aggressive hop character. This is most definitely a well constructed brew, and in some aspects this is quite definitive for the style. A benchmark for the style that I will never get enough of.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 03:28:21 | More by Gueuzedude
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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,774 ratings.