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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,471 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,471
Hads: 13,115
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 15.43%
Wants: 6,661
Gots: 3,309 | 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: 3,471 | Hads: 13,115
Photo of Wegbier
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle says 08/25/08
Too bad I couldnt find it fresher but wow what an experience. I paired with some spicy meaty spaghetti which really added to it.

Pliny the Elder keeps a thick and tall pillowy head all the way down with light carbonation. it is cloudy with very little amount of floaties. It does so much more than leave lace, it adds a whole white screen around the glass.

the smell is of citrusy hops and maybe some barely there caramel malt. The hops are so, idk, rich like passion fruit.

t- early light caramel right citrus and then more grassy hops, very enjoyable. an exciting load of candied mandarin oranges.

m- all the complexity of great hops and lots of hops with a great body. Now I am going back and raising my rating just one level because it lingers so nicely spicy almost sweet before it is a only a little bitter.

drinkablility- really good lingering and not very bitter, i notice no alcohol at all but i didnt notice until i started it is 8% abv.

incredible and worth trying for anyone that would ever like to drink a beer at all in a lifetime.

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Photo of dwennis
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden almost amber, Clear. Thick frothy head, most dissipated after first few sips, some remains.

Smell: Great hoppy smell, backed by floral aromas

Taste: Complete wonderful hoppiness followed by a smooth but bitter finish

Mouth feel: Moderate carbonation

Overall a great beer, been away from the hops for a while through the winter but this one hooks me right back in. Would recommend most definitely.

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Photo of theopholis
3.96/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very clear, deep amber body. Nice, foamy, 1 finger head with lots of staying power and lace. No effervescence at all once it settles down. Very nice looking tho.

Smell- Clean, hoppy, slightly bready. Notes of citrus. Quite inviting.

Taste- Mmmm...hoppy....aurghghgh. But seriously, nice blend of up-front hops with malt and malt sweetness. Obviously, the hops dominate. Notes of pine and citrus come through loud and clear. This ain't the best DIPA I've ever tasted, but it's pretty damn good.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, good carbonation. Nothing great, but it fits well within the style guidelines.

Drinkability- It's delicious, but one is definitely enough for a sitting.

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Photo of digitalbullet
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep golden color. Thick head that dissapates relatively quickly.
Smell: Hops, hops and more hops. Need I say more?
Taste: So good it should be illegal. Big on the hops, but yet it has a good malty backbone. The alcohol is fairly well hidden. Damn tasty brew.
Mouthfeel: Great carbination that dances on the tongue.
Drinkability: Luckily for me the only place that I can find it near me is relatively far away. If not I may become more of a drunkard. Excellent brew worthy of the hype.

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Photo of porntipsguzzardo
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. Piny, citrusy, flowery, but with a slight, sweet malt backbone - though not too sweet. Perfectly balanced. Smells of flowers and oranges and puppy dogs and other lovely things. Not too strong, which means it's extremely drinkable (though hard to find and kind of expensive). My new favorite IPA.

Edit: Would like to go back and renege on my "expensive" comment. I think maybe the place I found it at last was dillweeding the prices. Surprisingly cheap whenever I've had it since.

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Photo of tangentrider
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- deep gold, crystal clear, creamy head disappears, leaving beautiful white lacing

S- huge floral and piney hops!

T - hops are clearly up front, a touch of sweetness on the back, but pine, resin bitterness is prevalent

MF- clean, smooth, with a light to moderate carbonation

D- absolutely on my drink again list.

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Photo of joerodiii
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Super Fresh dated 042909 - I'm really gled to try this as fresh as possible.

First impression: Delicious but disappointing. I was really expecting this to be way better than Hopslam and Nugget Nectar.

Lighter in color than most DIPA's...moderate head. Aroma is of fresh hops, like you just opened a package.

Taste is predominantly fresh hops. The malt is a bit thinner than Nugget Nectar but a bit thicker than Stone IPA. The crafting of this beer is impressive. It is not a hop tea, but the malt does not get in the way of the hops...at all. It is very well "balanced". Maybe a bit heavy on the grapefruit for me...

Carbonation is a bit high, but the mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent.

This beer is delicious, but I wouldn't say it is much better than fresh Stone IPA...definitely not 3X as good.

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Photo of SPRichard
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

golden, light orange....very little carbonation....one finger head that becomes a thin layer leaving very sticky lacing

not much going on in the nose....sweet caramel malt is present...dominated by hops...citrus with some hints of pine

nice balance of citrus hops and pine accents...sweet malt and caramel...light toasted grain...predominant grapefruit as the beer warmed

medium bodied,,,moderate carbonation...creamy with a slight bitterness on the tongue

this is a beer to savor if it only makes brief appearances at you local beer bar...being on the east coast we rarely see this beer so i try and make the best of it when it comes around

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Somewhat hazy, pale orange color. Small tight head on top and a great deal of lacing as it goes on down the glass. Huge flowery aroma-just screams hops. Resiny grapefruit smell. Big blast of hops up front-bitter and flowery at the same time. Sweet malt to go along with the hop blast. Great lingering bitterness. Quite the tongue blast. Good mouthfeel. A great beer flavor wise-I could do this for hours on end and not get bored. Well balanced for the IBUs that are obviuosly going on. Nice treat-I have wanted to try this for this for ages.

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Photo of bensiff
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle with a surprisingly long lasting creamy white head layered on top a slightly hazy rich amber liquid. The nose seems to be remarkably stable given it seems as intense from the bottle I bought in Washington as it was when I drank it from the tap at Russian River. The "C" hops are holding nothing back from the nose to the mouth as the piny citrus notes dominate everything. Given its status as a double IPA it is surprisingly uncloying with a clean lasting finish. However, the lasting impact of the hops on the tongue and roof of my mouth gets it a slight ding for drinkability. As well, this is one I will only drink one of at a time and have my hop needs met, no need for seconds tonight. Overrall the best double IPA I have ever had and will regularly revisit as long as I can find it at my local store.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Finally I am respecting my Elders!

A. Big massive thick 3 finger Head. Leaves perfect lacing all along the glass. Golden/Yellow/Orange.

S. Huge Hop Aroma! Floral hop smell with pine and citrus in the background.

T. Nice hop attack up front. This beer is almost in perfect balance between malt and hops, but the hop flavor comes out foremost. The hops have a fruit flavor to them; grapefruit, citrus.

M. Medium bodied. Almost a slick feel to it.

D. Delicous! I was skeptical of all the hype, but I have to say it delivered 100%. This is a great beer. I have to agree that this is pretty definitive for the style IMHO.

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Photo of fff
4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clear yellow with a moderate head that dissipates quickly and no lacing.

S- Floral hops, a lot weaker than most other IPAs.

T- Delicious, high-hop taste without the overwhelming flavor of heavier IPAs. I'd almost call this one a light IPA, not because it's LACKING in flavor, but because the flavor is subtle.

M- Watery, fizzy.

D- One of the best IPAs I've ever had. Looking to get my mitts on another very soon.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bottle sent by the very generous Ghengis22 poured into la chouffe tulip bottled on 04-07-09

a-beautiful hazy orange color with a nice 2 finger head and impeccable lacing...good bubbles as well

s-pine and lots of floral hops, cirtus, and grapefuit...wonderful

t-grapefruit and lovely citrus and bitter hops its hard to describe...slight bitterness in the aftertaste..

m-oily, resiny, and tingly....warms as it goes down

d-absolutely off the charts...unbelievable i could drink this all night given the chance....

the is the DIPA of all DIPA's others need to take note from this...

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Photo of rpstevens
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Scream4me for the second shipment of PtE, great trader. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Pliny pours an amber orange color with a nice glow and a faint white head with nice lacing. A great looking beer.

The smell is amazing, one of the all time best smelling beers I have ever encountered. Just a blast of fresh grapefruit, citrus and hops. The smell of this beer alone is worth all the hype and all the work to get a glass.

The beer tastes just like it smells, grapefruit, lemon a faint trace of pine underneath. What an intense hop flavor, the hops just burst through the front of the mouth all the way to the finish of the beer and they linger...

The mouthfeel is smooth, nicely carbonated, crisp and well balanced. I like the mouthfeel of the Vortex I more, because it has a drier finish with a slightly calmer after taste, but this beer is excellent.

Very, very drinkable. No alcohol presence in this IPA and I feel like I could chug this beer all day long, an awesome example of an IPA that I hope to drink more of in the future.

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Photo of DannyS
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I have the privilege to review this one, acquired in a trade with Chaseabeer. Poured into my Duvel tulip from the distinctive 500 ml bottle with the humorous and minimalist label. Bottled on March 9th of this year.

A - Amazing. A beautiful hazy orange amber with a thick, resilient pillow of foam that clings like mad, and leaves heavy, sticky lacing. reminds me of Duvel's super-duper pure white head.

S - sweet floral pine comprises the fragrant hop aroma, backed by good malty sweetness. Citrusy grapefruit also wafts up to the nose in a delicate ballet of nature aromas.

T - Bitter? A little bit, but hardly overwhelming. The hops are so strong and flowery, but the bitterness is so subtle and subdued. Slightly sweet and grapefruity, with more pine and malt to round out this ridiculously balanced flavor profile. I was expecting a tactical nuclear strike of hops, but the attack is varied and balanced, winning the war of my taste buds. Finishes surprisingly clean, and not dry at all, with only a little bit of lingering bitterness.

M - A full, heavy mouthfeel combined with modest carbonation makes this a fairly weighty brew, but still manages to be easy drinking. Would be perfect if it were just a tad more bubbly.

D - The alcohol is hidden with unbelievable expertise, and it's just so tasty and easy drinking. If this were available in my area and had a more modest ABV, I'd drink this religiously.

Hopslam surprised me and slammed the door open to the world of DIPA's.
DFH 90 minute took the time to further entice me.
Ruination almost ruined me to the whole style.
And now, Pliny the Elder has preached to me the good word of the hop, and I'm sold. Every bit of hyperbole this beer has garnered is well deserved. Revel in its glory.

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Photo of nickporjr
3.04/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

overrated. have been waiting to find this beer for a while now, and when i got it, wasn't special. boring color, no head, the hops caused an imbalance of taste. had alot better balanced ipas in vancouver. hopefully plindy the younger tastes better when I come around to actually find it, but this time i won't be so hyped to try it.

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Photo of portia99
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle (bottled on 4/7/09) poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Received in a trade from Arbitrator - thank you, thank you, thank you.

A - Poured a beautiful clear, orange gold with a dense 1 1/2" white head. The carbonation bubbles are incredibly small and fine, seem much smaller than I find in other beers. Head lasts a few minutes - dissipates to leave fine lacing on the glass. Steady stream of carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass.

S - Amazing. Very fresh bottle. Dominated by piney aromas, but mixed with citrusy, grapefruit aromas. There is no containing this. Just about perfect for me.

T - This is the best tasting DIPA I've ever had. Hops dominate the flavor. Grapefruit and pine are prominant. Enough malt to balance, but hops are the real focus here, as they should be. Everything a DIPA should be - this really sets the benchmark.

M - Full and maybe slightly oily. The incredibly small carbonation bubbles give a fairly unique mouthfeel. The carbonation is still quite prickly, but there is a real smoothness to this. Not quite like a nitro tapped beer, but the smoothness starts to approach this (don't really know how else to describe this, or how they accomplish this - a definite plus for me though).

D - For a DIPA, I would call this quite drinkable. I'm not noticing the alcohol too strongly in the flavor, but I'm already feeling it a little half way through the bottle. I figure I could have a few of these in one session though (if they were readily available in MA, oh well). Don't go down as easily as the Blind Pig (exceptionally drinkable), but I didn't really expect it to be either.

Wow...this is an amazing beer. Gotta find a way to get a steady supply here in MA.

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer. I only wish that it was a little cheaper (I can't find it below $5 a bottle down here in So Cal), and available more places.

This is what a true IPA tastes like to me. I also like Alesmith's IPA, but this ale edges it out slightly. The hops are so oily, and so sticky, it tastes like I'm eating a hop salad.

8% is a little too much for me to have more than a few, so this is a good ale to enjoy.

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Photo of happybrewer
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Golden amber in color with a thick head that slowly dissipates. Good carbonation, looks tasty.

Smell- Smells very hoppy and citrusy. I instantly smell grapefruit.

Taste- Very strong and hoppy beer. Again big grapefruit and citrus character. Sweet strong and very well balanced. The abv is a little deceiving, given the balance.

Mouthfeel- Nice lighter body. Good bite on the tongue between the carbonation and the hops.

Drinkability- I love everything about this beer. Great balance.

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Photo of dublife1
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Famed Double IPA really deserves all the hype. This beer is truly one in a million! Now on to the review. 500ml bottle poured into my trusty Duvel Tulip.(bottled on 4/07/09) As soon as I opened the bottle the citrus and pine smells were apparent. Tastes were grapefruit up front, followed by more citrus notes and pine of course. Very, very smooth for a double IPA. I could live with just this beer for the rest of my life. Simply incredible!!! Double IPA is my favorite style and this is at the very top of my list! I would love to try the younger when it gets to the Philly area again. The 2 hour drive would be well worth it. If ever there was a beer I would praise as perfect, this would be it! Cheers and go Find Pliny!!!

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Photo of stonequarrywest
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one beautiful beer..all the way around.
Pours like orange gold with a fluffy white airy head that leaves some lacing..

Could be the best smelling DIPA I have ever dipped my nose in...Bid Citrus, Piney, grassy notes...some Pinapple in there also.

Taste as good as it smells. Good hop bite that ios followed by an excellent malty balance and a tiny spice to it.

Medium body with a good carbonation..Could definitely drink another and another. so I will.

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Photo of miramanmike
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look- orange/gold some head that fades quickly.
Smell- Great big hoppy smell that I love. I can smell it as I pour it,MMM!
Taste- Hoppy bitter bite with a grapefruit kick then sweet malty goodness. nice.
Mouthfeel- light to med. body nice carbonation. I like this a little colder myself.
Drinkability-After the big bitter hop slap the sweet malty goodness finish it off just right. I can drink this down like crazy, but be careful the 8% alcohol is no joke....Great DIPA

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Photo of Plenum
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at Russian River Brewery the day after it was kegged. Perhaps the best IPA ever made (though I haven't had PTY yet). Hops were so fresh it was like eating them. This is a must-have if you're fortunate enough to be in the greater Santa Rosa area. Poured a golden yellow, great mouthfeel (like you'd want to keep it in there forever, and skip breathing).

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Photo of beerad666
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a fabulous DIPA. The Pliny The Elder pours a light golden orange with a small soft off white head. The lacing that is left behind once that head resides is very nice leaving behind fine bubbles like you just washed your glass with soap. The hop aroma hits you before you even bring the glass to your nose. Citrus and pine come through so wonderfully. The taste is what you would expect from the aroma and it being a DIPA. Lots of great bite from the hops with a slight sweetness to wash it all away. It is light with a ton of complex flavors... just makes you smile. This is the nectar of the gods. I could drink this all night and still want more.

 653 characters

Photo of mongee
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle (3/23/09) poured into pint glass 5/5/09

Appearance: golden orange, some head, sticky lacing

Smell: Citrus, fruity hops/pine

Taste: Spicy, dry, intensely hoppy/piny, mild malts

Mouthfeel: relatively high carbonation, light-medium body, crisp, dry, and creamy

Drinkability: my first DIPA...possibly could have another, but still getting used to IPA's/DIPA's

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,471 ratings.