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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,443 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,443
Hads: 12,972
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 15.43%
Wants: 6,597
Gots: 3,211 | FT: 97
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,443 | Hads: 12,972
Photo of lochraneg
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Golden Hazy Yellow, with cloudy subtle overall appearance, nice solid head
Smell: Hoppy, Citrus notes
Taste: Underwhelming compared to the hype, many other American Doubles out there
Feel: Good Body, hangs out on the tongue, but not overly bitter
Overall: Would not actively seek out all the time, but still a good APA

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Photo of MHurley
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky to fine a Bottle up here in Kingman Az. Pours a nice orange light in color with great head thick white and fluffy with great lacing. Smells of citrus and pine feel the nose. When you close your eyes and smell this beer its as if your just stepping out of a cabin with axe in hand ready to take on the day. Get hoppy taste and ballanced very nicely. Very smooth and amazing taste! Beautiful beer

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Photo of Slack
4.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A mix of golden and amber with the light. A small amount of head and some lacing.

Citrus, piney hops, and malt on the nose.

Sweet malt up front balanced by hops and a lingering piney finish.

Mouthful is medium to light and clean with medium carbonation and a long finish.

Overall this is quite nice. I don't typically like ipa's but this is smooth and balanced. The sweetness plays well with the hops which are not overwhelming. I don't know if this lives up to the hype but it is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

poured from bottle. golden yellow slight orange color. half inch of nice fluffy head. great lacing. pine resin cand citrus in the finish. unbelievably drinkable. im just glad i have another one!

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Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I've had much juicier IIPAs, and IIPAs with more interesting malt character, this beer probably deserves its exalted status on account of how exceptionally *clean* and balanced it is. It is not my favorite in the style, nor what I consider the tastiest, but as a perfectly executed example of what (I think) it was trying to do, it's definitely great.

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Photo of dd43
4.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a taste of Pliny after several years of hankering for it. Poured from a three week old bottle, which is about as fresh as you can get it on the east coast. This was an incredibly smooth imperial IPA, completely belying both the ABV and the bitterness/IPU number. Crystal clear filtered appearance, with a big hit of pine and bitter citrus peel on the nose. West coast IPA for sure. The malts supported the bitter finish and pine resin flavor notes, and the mouthfeel was superb with a level of carbonation that made this extremely drinkable and dare I say, refreshing. Pliny the Elder is famous for a reason, and imitator beers which try to ape its intoxicating blend of smoothness with hop bite are unlikely to touch it anytime soon.

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Photo of tigerbeer90
4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Toronado San Diego, kegged 1 week ago. This is my first time having pliny, after all the hype and searching I took a sip. It came out as a light golden pint, with a smell of pine and some fruit. It was a fragrant aroma, but not the best ever. With the first sip, I was instantly hit with the hop bitterness and pine notes, but it was very well balanced with the malts. The ending was extremely dry, leaving you begging for another sip. There is no doubt that this is a great IPA, but is it the best IPA I've ever had? I wouldn't say so. I think the hype and scarcity play a lot into this. I have waited almost 4 years to try this beer, and I would say I was a bit let down. As a bit of a comparison, upon my first time having Zombie Dust, I felt the hype was completely worth it. Now, before I am crucified on what I just said, this is in no way less than an excellent IPA. Everything from the hunt to the taste make this beer an experience, and the fact that with all the great IPAs currently on the market it can still be counted as a top 10 is extraordinary. If you ever have the chance to try a fresh PtE, take it and enjoy it for the quality and for what it has done for the craft beer world, a true legend. But if you never get the chance, don't worry, there are many other great (and maybe better) IPAs out there.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Russian River Pliney the Elder has a very thick, off-white head, a hazy, orange-gold appearance, some bubbles, and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sharp, resinous, hop oil and white bread. Taste is of sweet, white bread, white bread crust, and very bitter hops. Mouthfeel is high medium and slick, and Pliny the Elder finishes puckering and decently drinkable (although, you will feel it in your head).


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Photo of Jetlag767
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In sitting on Columbus Ave in SanFran after searching for a bar with Pliny the Elder. Most places when you ask look cross-eyed at you as they have never heard of it. Found it at Rose Pistola. Definitely worth the search. Perfectly balanced hops. Even on a warm day like today it is not over bearing, just a smooth hoppy finish. I give it one if my rare "5's".

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Photo of kevinmwelding
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I have had this from the bottle and the tap. Both are great ways to drink Pliny The Elder. If you are in Denver the Argonaut on Colfax often has some bottles and the Cheeky Monk nearby sometimes has it on tap. It has a great hoppy smell and taste.

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Photo of Two-Guys-Drinking-Beer
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad, but I feel it's kind of over rated. I prefer Blind Pig but it's still an amazing beer. Looking forward to trying it again. Check out our review on the Two Guys Drinking Beer podcast.

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Photo of bongobeer
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I finally get to try Pliny the Elder! This beer has already been described thousands of ways...so I want waste time here...it holds up to all the hype! It is very balanced, smooth and more sweet than I would have thought? Great beer!

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Photo of chefbrady
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is best out of the bottle within the first 2 weeks of the date IMO. The pinkness starts to die off after that and it becomes quite malty for a west coast IPA

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Photo of Ryanthebear
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured clear amber color into a pint glass with a persistent fluffy white head. The aroma was the star of this beer: a monstrous blast of fresh hops, citric and spicy. The flavor was initially overwhelming sharp hop bitterness. This faded to a pleasant biscuity malt flavor. Medium high carbonation was almost prickly on the tongue, but helped round out the mouthfeel of a beer that could have otherwise been a touch heavy. Instead, it is an easy drinking beer that finishes clean and sweet, but short of sticky sweet, and with a hint of the citrus and spice of the hops. Overall, it is a fantastic IPA.

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Photo of govlady
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

my sister brought some pliny out to KC from Denver.

poured clear orange, smelled citrus, pine, floral. tasted more hops and pine, hint of the citrus. went down smooth, very balanced IPA, moderate carbination. would love to have again.

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Photo of Gerad_12
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am lucky enough to live close enough to RR that my local store gets them fairly regularly. However, I did just get a case straight from the brewery. This is a well done IPA that is more finesse, and less about the powerful hops. Even a non-IPA fan would enjoy.

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Photo of Mbo108
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ive had it direct from the brewpub in CA, in kegs shipped to PA, and in bottles sent who knows where to my house. Its just clean and delicious every time.

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Photo of Beersmuggler
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my second favorite IPA behind the alchemists heady topper. I know that this is not a well respected IPA in California but I am a big fan of it.

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Photo of jamisonspitzer
3.39/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man... such a disappointment. I'm not discrediting everyone's love of this beer, but it just didn't do it for me. And I flew all the way to San Diego from Baltimore just to get some. (sniffle) It's the alcohol... I found it to be alcohol forward, overwhelming the hop and malt. Too bad. I'll try it again one day.

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Photo of Ryno82883
4.12/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have been on a conquest for the best DIPA in the country. This just fell short of the hype.

It's good, but seemed a tad flat 10 days after bottling. Not as much bite, pine as I expected, but it's good. Hype is a dangerous thing.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Monks Café in Philly.
Poured in a pint glass.

The nose on this beer is phenomenal. Tons and tons of citrus and grapefruit.
Super dank, grapefruit, grapefruit pith and citrus on the taste buds. Huge pop of bitterness on the back end. A true west coast DIPA. I can totally see what all the fuss is about. If you haven't experienced Mr. Pliny, I'd strongly suggest to seek him out. Would drink this all the time if I had the opportunity.

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Photo of ABhatia
4.29/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

seems overrated..did enjoy it though. little flat, no particular strong characteristics. would vote for heady topper any day..would like to try younger tho

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Photo of rudyolph
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a beautiful golden hue especially in sunlight. Has a nice head on a proper pour and you don't need to bury your nose in the glass to get a waft of that amazing Hop. Flavor is smooth and very piney. Has a bit of a bite upon the first sip but you quickly love every drop.

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Photo of tkrane
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the most drinkable DIPA I have ever experienced. Goes down smooth like a regular IPA. Bottled 8/12/15. Look forward to enjoying another one.

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Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best Double IPA I have had. Had on tap at Toronado in San Diego, CA on 8-20-15. Would love to try some bottles and keep in my beer fridge. Do yourself a favor and try this beer when you have the opportunity. I was in search of this beer for 5 days while in California.

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,443 ratings.