1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

10,631 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,631
Reviews: 3,179
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 4,904
Gots: 1,797 | FT: 58
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
Ratings: 10,631 | Reviews: 3,179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Spikester
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a sizable head and very good lacings.
Aroma is strong floral resinous hops.
Taste is very powerful bitter citrus orange grapefruit hops. Just enough sweet malts to tame the beast. The resins coat the tongue so tasting any other beer afterwards would be difficult. Unless it is another Pliny.
The only drawback to this beer is a smaller than normal bomber size. 16.9 ounces. But as a special brew I give it a big thumbs up!

Spikester, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
3.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Julian for this one.

This is about my 3rd go around with this beer and now I'll finally get around to reviewing it. Poured a 16.9oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet glass. This beer pours a translucent shade of light copper with sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is like a cut fresh pine tree mixed with tangerines and just a slight bit of malty sweetness. The taste is a full frontal assault with a pine branch. The piney notes are really an affront to the palate but the strange thing is it finishes really watery. I figured there would be a bigger bang at the end. The mouthfeel is a bit boozy and astringent but it does create a nice piney mouth coating. This is a good beer, but honestly, I think its kind of a product of the hype machine.

hwwty4, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.73/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Consumed 11/07/08. Bottle labeled, "Bottled on 092208".

Beer pours a light honey tinted gold with a frothy, two-finger off-white head that soon settles to a fine froth. Copious lacing. Little active carbonation.

Very aromatic beer: piney hops. Sweet. Trace of peppery character as well.

Slightly slick, slightly thick texture.

Flavor is strong, but balanced. Some caramel and/or crystal malt segues smoothly into a citrus medley (bitter orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit), some pine and slightly floral hop finish. Bitterness is present and somewhat muted, establishing a sort of flavor floor or background of slightly hot, peppery bitterness that hovers at the edge of perception at all times.

You MUST be a hophead to truly enjoy this beer. It is well-executed and bold, but I personally find it overbearingly hoppy.

charlzm, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of strangebrew52
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a nice golden color, decent head leaves lacing all the way down, it's a beautiful thing

S: Citrus, Piny, hoppy aromas. Smells like an IPA should

T: Nice and hoppy, citrus flavor. Some bitterness but not overpowering.

M: Medium body with some slight carbonation. Goes down surprisingly smooth.

D: This is one of my favorite IPA's, I could sit and have a few of these. I just wish I didn't have to wait until friends from out West come home to restock!

strangebrew52, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of ampzilla
4.28/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jctribe25 for the chance to try this.
I received this as a generous upgrade for the Bonus prize in his West Coast Traveler LIF.
Bottled 081308

Ahh, Pliny. You sit in my tulip glass with a nice thick mat of fine bubbles atop your hazey coper self. Though your hops have faded some, they still dominate the aroma with a slight hint of alcohol. Your taste is first bitter with classic west coast grapefruit right behind. Little coating of the tongue, yet your dry finnish invites sip after sip.
I would love to revisit this beer fresh from the source.

ampzilla, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generous extra received in a recent trade with Mauerhan (thanks Topher). Served in my DT tulip. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a half inch frothy, off-white cap embedded with copious tiny ringlets; some tiny bubbles also present in solution. Head dissipated into a soapy skim in the center with a band of ringlets that coalesced around the edges; some spatters of lacing present during the tasting. Nose off the cap was sweet grapefruit and a little bit of piney hops. Flavors were much more balanced; not overly sweet not overly bitter; a residual aftertaste lightly lingered between quaffs. Mouthfeel fell between light and medium with a mild effervescence consistent throughout. Easy drinking with a well-hidden abv. I'm not really an IPA fan, but I'm really starting to dig DIPAs. I can certainly appreciate the qualities of this brew, but I prefer them a little sweeter.

Jwale73, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of benclimbs
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome BEER!!! I was stoked to try this in their brewpub in santa rosa. Awesome piney (pliny?) but not too bitter hop finish...great depth all over the mouth. It tastes like a good mix between normal super strong imperial IPAs and a solid normal one. This was a terrific beer that i savoured for about an hour.

benclimbs, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on draft at Falling Rock in Denver

A: Pours a lovely golden hue with a nice tall foamy head. Nice carbonation and very good retention. Sheet after sheet of lace left from top to bottom the the pint glass.

S: As in your face as any beer in the world. This one screams hops. Bold citrus hops with tons of fresh green grass, spice, and marijuana.

T: Hops to the Maxxx. The taste marries the nose in such a wonderful way which is so wonderful if you are a hophead. Bold grassy hops with fresh citrus. This one can give you bitter beer face in such a good way.

M: Bold carbonation really carries the flavor clear into the throat.

D: Very drinkable, many would disagree but I could drink several pints of this one.

Overall I have now consumed this one in the bottle, on draft, and via growler. No matter how it comes it is no doubt on of the best beers in the world.

tpd975, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of leif86
4.2/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on: 08/13/08

A: Hazy yellow-orange body. Cream colored and frothy head that leaves copious lacing.

S: Citrus, flowers, and pine. Tasty hop smell.

T: Same as the smell with a little alcoholic kick at the end. Nice lingering bitterness.

M: Well balanced - not sticky, not watery, not creamy.

D: For an imperial IPA this is incredibly drinkable. Pass the Pliny please.

leif86, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BgThang for the trade. Love this on tap and growler, needed to try the bottle.

A: Nice slightly hazy straw color. A nice white head that fell very quickly to form some patchy head around the edges.

S: Smelled it as soon as the cap was cracked. Hop assault. I actually considered pressing charges but it's not rape if I'm asking for it.

T: The hop taste is raw but the bitterness is within limits (my limits at least). A ton of sticky pine right up front but the lack of an overwhelming bitterness makes it entirely delicious. There is a good amount of sweetness that in the aftertaste although that might be my perception of the hops.

M: Only medium bodied in spite of the boldness of the hops. Very nice.

D: The best part about this is after you drink half a glass, you can refill from the bottle to top the glass off!

drseamus, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.28/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Drafting room in Exton, PA. P

oured a lighter golden color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas and tastes of citurs, with some light pine. Light maltiness in the finish. Starts medium bitter and ends lightly sweet. Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from and tasted on 8/26/05.

hopdog, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle (9/22/08 bottling) into a pint glass.

Pours an attractive, straw-golden hue with a two finger's width of off-white head that sticks around for a minute or so, leaving some sticky rings of lacing on the glass as the level drops. The aroma is heavenly, and much cleaner than many IIPA's I've encountered, with the hops coming off as green & juicy. Light citrus and floral hop qualities are also present, and the maltiness is soft, sweet, and clean.

All other amazing qualities aside, Pliny the Elder is one of the most crisp, refreshing, and easy-to-drink IIPA's out there. The hoppiness is in-your-face with bitter pine, fresh greenery, and floral bursts; however, it never gets too resiny or overly bitter. Plus, the malts provide a beautiful balance of light biscuit and caramel that neither cloys in its sweetness, nor outshines the hop character. Mouthfeel is crisp, perfectly carbonated, and refreshing, with a medium body and lingering hoppy bite. The alcohol is almost undetectable, and I kind of like it that way. Although the Elder came across more like a single IPA than an imperial one, I didn't mind. The hops were well-utilized and the drinkability was top-notch. Does it belong in the top 10? Maybe... Is it a fantastic brew deserving of any hop-head's palate? Absolutely.

wagenvolks, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of goindownsouth
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks, again, to brother BA mikesgroove for spotting me this gem... Consumed on 11/02/08...

On opening and dispensing into a snifter, this brew offers a clear, golden to orange hue with a respectable head that left a sticky lace throughout. Aromas are bold and in your face with spritey, juicy, tangy hops. The flavor followed suit with great balance with the hops and malt body playing in excellent concert with one another. The alcohol is very well hidden here. The finish is dry. The sweet malty backbone and hoppy bitterness leaving something of a twang on the palate.

Without a doubt one of the best double IPAs I have had to date. Very solid and undeniably drinkable.

Zum wohl!

goindownsouth, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times before on tap, but always after drinking something else...so not sure if those tastings really did it justice. But today I had a plan to find some at Beverage Warehouse...and they actually had it! And to celebrate my fortuitous find...I am going to drink it. Sweet. Poured into my nonic which was just the right size for the whole pint and a bit.

A: Yellowish orange and fairly clear. It's a bit hazy I guess...you can't see through it. Not much head, I got about one finger of whitish head that quickly faded. Very nice lacing on the sides though. Just a typical looking IIPA.

S: The smell is almost all hops, strongly citrus and floral. There is a bit of sweetness, but I think that's from the floral hops more than anything else.

T: Opening has a touch of sweetness that I would describe as orangey, but I wonder if it's just a little hop sweetness. The hop character is mostly floral to me with a bit of grapefruit. The sweet citrus flavor is present throughout and gives a nice balance.

MF: Medium bodied, a bit syrupy. Carbonation is there but it's pretty low. Hops are a bit astrigent but not as much as some others. Finish is quite wet, aside from a bit of dryness from the hops. This is a beer that you want to sip and savor, but the feel makes it easy to glug.

D: The drinkability of this beer is sickening. The balance of flavors is just superb. There's really no telling where the malt ends and the hops begin, which I feel is pretty rare for this style. And yet I don't feel like the hops are toned down...no question this pleases the hop head in me. The alcohol is not particularly high for a DIPA, either, so a couple pints of this wouldn't be out of the question. This is truly a beer that lives up to the hype, and truly one of the best in the style. I am thrilled beyond words that they're actually bottling and distributing this widely enough that I can pick it up in LA.

rxdrewthejew, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FrancisWeizen for this extra in a recent trade.

A: The ale is a copper color, a shiny penny. The ale is clear and has a lighter orange-yellow color at the narrower parts of the glass. The ale is amply carbonated, coating the sides of the glass with thick foam.

S: The nose is loaded with hops, thick and resiny. Pine and grapefruit notes dominate, sickly sweet with a hint of tree. Not much balance, malt-wise though.

T: The first sip reminded me of how delicious this ale is. The hops are blindingly bitter, sweet with grapefruit and citrus notes. A floral, herbal flavor, hop-driven, adds a unique sweetness to the ale. The ale is quite fragrant, loaded with hops and not ashamed about it. The caramel malts are most evident in the aftertaste, adding a graininess that mixes nicely with the hops.

M: The mouthfeel is plucky, deceptive and enjoyable. The hop profile is the star of the ale.

D: The 8% alcohol is hidden behind the Spector-esque wall of hops. A masterpiece.

akorsak, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden with copper orangish highlights and a soap scum white head with sticky lacing.

S - Tropical fruits, pine, perfumey hops, fresh cut grass, nice sweet balance but not in the heavy sweet caramel way like a lot of DIPA's.

T - Piney hops with tropical fruits, slight herbal resin, sweet bready malt followed by citrus rind and a linger piney herbal hoppiness. Amazing how hoppy yet balanced this is.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium mouthfeel due to the resiny hops and a dry lingering bitterness. The alcohol is not even noticeable.

D - I have brewed the homebrew recipe Vinnie has given out over the years and it is damn close but the real thing is so much smoother. This beer proves to me that my favorite IPA's focus on later addition hops creating a nice balance without the complete mouth puckering bitterness. Amazing how much hop flavor and aroma you can put in a beer and still make it appear balanced.

brewcrew76, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of travloh
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pop the top and the smell of hops springs forth. Smells delicious with the sharp, biting bitterness of citrus, pine. Oh so aromatic.

Pour into Sam Adams beer glass reveals a golden elixir, ever so slight orange tint, but surprisingly light in color. Lots of chunkies floating around. Pretty decent 3 finger head that slowly fades and leaves creamy laciness down the sides of the glass. As the foam dissipates it gets ever so creamy looking. Wow.

The first taste is of course dominated by the hop character. There are IPAs and there are IPAs that have this character. This is surely one of the best. Has that telltale bitterness of course, but just when you think its overpowering, the other flavors kick in and balance the whole thing out. It truly is a masterpiece. Hops taste so good, and when they are used so perfectly in this way you just really have to appreciate it. I wish I had the vocabulary to describe what it is you get with this stuff, but it is that quality you get with the Dreadnaughts, Masala Mamas. Its just a tier above so many others.

This stuff is very, very good. If you are a Hop lover you must add this to your list. Surprisingly light and drinkable, yet powerful.

travloh, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of calise1122
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking, appreciating, discussing beer for a while now... but I have never properly put my thoughts on paper. I figured no better beer to start with than good old pliney. As the bottle feverishly recommended, I opened as soon as it arrived at my doorstep. Thanks to Joey from Southbay for shipping it over!

Appearance: Pours a golden, copperish, clear color. Nice big cream colored head... I have a feeling this lacing will linger.

Smell: Explosion of aromas: citrus, apricot, peach, some lemon and very, very sweet. You know its going to be a hop monster as soon as you open and pour it... when the nose actually hits the rim of the glass it really pounds down the door. It smells a lot like those candy peach rings, the ones that are white on the bottom and yellowish orange on top, really chewy... just a great smelling IPA

Taste: Hop city, all over the place. I still get the peach and apricot, but now with a lot of Christmas tree... now that I taste it, the piney smell is powerful and I'm not sure how I missed it at first. It has a spice lingering around that is hard for my palate to define... maybe nutmeg? The lady swears she tastes some clove... whatever it is, it's very nice and hangs out for the entire ride.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, coats the tongue well and glides off nicely, lots of carbonation, very bitter, very good.

Drinkability: Pliney hides the 8% well, I could certainly have few more under the right conditions. It was a pleasure to drink and has so much control... extremely balanced.

I am not sure if I am enjoying this so much because it's my first time putting the sensory process on paper as I experience it... but this has catapulted to the top of my list for its style and beers in general. This is my 4th offering from RR and each one has seemed to build off the one before it. They are certainly doing special things there.

calise1122, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of phattysbox
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got from a trade with beerbeagle...

Poured into DFH snifter. Nice off white and fine head that retreats to thin lace. Some nice webbing. Awesome orange amber hues with near perfect clarity. A very nice looking brew.

Smell: WOW! Citrus, grapfruit, and lemon abound in the nose and linger for a long time. There's a really nice sweetness to the nose (from the malts) that melds perfectly with the hop profile. Earthy and grassy notes also pull through in the nose.

Taste: More WOW! Initial bittering hops hits the palate - earthy, resiny and very oily. If hops could have a thick profile - this would be it. The hops linger, but do not destroy the palate (which is very hard to get a big hop profile and not wipe out taste buds). The hops that do hit fast slide to back really quick to let in sweet malts. Notes of buttery toffee and sweet candy come to mind to balance out this perfect DIPA.

Mouthfeel was extremely smooth for the strong hop presence. Alcohol was not evident and this brew went down very quick to my amazement! I have one more bottle I'm dying to open, I'm going to have to trade for more.

The pentultimate DIPA IMHO. Perfectly balanced between hops and malts. Better than DFH90...

phattysbox, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of jkendrick
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Other beer info: 500ML bottle poured into pint glass. 8% abv. Bottled on Sept. 22, 2008

Appearance: Slightly cloudy copper to amber body with nice off-white, 1/4" thick head that faded gradually leaving nice lacing

Aroma: An impressive hops blast as soon as I opened the bottle. In the glass, the aroma remains strong and pleasant. Very hoppy of course, with strong citrus and pine. Is that grapefruit I smell?

Mouthfeel: It is very smooth with just the right amount of carbonation that materializes on the tongue. It is thick for an IPA and has a very bold feel in the mouth and on the cheeks

Taste: The aroma carries over to the taste nicely but the intense hops don't hit immediately but rather settle in as the carbonation overtakes the tongue. This is a very California IPA and compares favorably with some of my favorites from Stone and Dogfish Head (yes, I know DFH is not a California brewery). For an 8% brew there isn't a big alcohol taste. There is some sweetness, but it is definitely not AS sweet as other D-IPAs I've had. The aftertaste is very nice as well making it a nice sipping beer.

Overall impression: D-IPA is my favorite style and I am an unabashed hophead. That said, I put this right up there with my favorites. This IS a hophead's dream with a nice, complex mix of hops aromas and tastes. I've had this on tap as well (though I am reviewing now from a bottle) and both present a nice creamy, easy-to-drink brew, especially for a D-IPA. It may even go down a little TOO fast for an 8%!

jkendrick, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a couple of bottles of this along with a ton of other Russian River stuff from a recent trade with Jhenry04. Thanks for the beers!

Copper body with a small, whispy, off-white head. Not a lot of retention, but a decent amount of stringy lacing.

Smells great. Juicy, sweet, citrusy hops. Noticeable malt in the background.

Tasty. Up front comes some citrus and bitter flavored hops. Next comes some sweet hops and sweet toffee like malts. Finish a little buscuity malt flavor and some more bitterness.

Mouthfeel is oily and bitter.

This is a very drinkable and great DIPA. I had two bottles and drank both before I wrote a review. I'm glad because the first one didn't have quite the hop character of the second.

EDIT: I've revisited this one again and again (although I've never bothered to write a good review of it), including on-tap, in bottles, and on-tap at the brewery. It's fantastic every time.

Hojaminbag, Oct 29, 2008
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!

BEERchitect, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of chuckd123
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego this weekend. Poured a deep, dark orange color with an extremely creamy, thick head. Lacing lasted until I was just about done with it.

The smell is incredible -- typical of an IPA, but the hops jump out at you like none other. Not a lot of alcohol in the smell, but truly amazing, floraly hop aroma. No better way to describe it.

The taste, oh the taste. The prototypical west coaster for sure. Hops hops and more hops. Has a very fresh taste to it for what that's worth as well.

Mouthfeel is excellent, just this side of a creamy feel. Nothing too harsh or biting, just right.

Drinkability is as high a s as you can get with an 8% beer, I had 2 of them and could have continued if not for the drive back to the downtown area.

I've wanted to try this one for a while, and I was not disappointed whatsoever. Has to be one of the top 2 or 3 american double IPA's out there.

chuckd123, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of mj001jk
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with white soap-scum like foam.

The hops jump out of the glass and grab you by the neck. This is an IPA and a west-coast one at that. No arguing about that. There are loads of citrus, primarily grapefruit, but also some orange and lemon zest with lighter grassy notes and that characteristic pine resin. As the beer warms some tropical fruit aromas develop as well, pineapple and mango/papaya comes to mind. The hops are intense but not overbearing, even allowing for some slight bready yeast aromas to escape.

Your mouth puckers immediately on contact with this juice but it doesn't get harsh, it slowly releases its grip and you are left with a wondrous melange of flavors that slowly evaporate from your sensation.

The balance between the malts and the bittering is exquisite and delicate, even leaving some trace amounts of sweetness on the long finish which in my opinion makes this a perfect dessert beer on its own.

Hands down one of my favorite IPAs and I am fortunately only a stoned-throw away from the tap.

mj001jk, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of maximum12
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bring for shunting a few bottles of Pliny across the continent to land on my doorstep a few days ago. The bottle said something about drinking this fresh, I forget what, so I thought I better get on it. Split the first bottle with the wife, who'd already had fresh Pliny on tap in California.

I popped the cap & holy crap. The smell. I thought I'd reached IPA scent nirvana the first time I dipped my schnaz into a Furious, but this is...better? Close? The next Pliny is going to be opened right next to a Furious. I have to know. Damn. The taste didn't disappoint. The hops came screaming out of the bottle glass & took my tonuge by storm, like chewing on a liquid, delicious pine cone. Despite that, Pliny managed to keep a relative lightness about it that other IIPAs (ahem, Dreadnaught) lose in the move to higher ABV.

I don't know how many of these I could drink, but I'd like to find out.

I might have hit a milestone tonight. Darkness on tap followed by my first Pliny. Every night should start & end like that!

maximum12, Oct 29, 2008
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,631 ratings.