Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

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3,354 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,354
Hads: 12,650
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 6,413
Gots: 3,001 | FT: 87
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
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Reviews: 3,354 | Hads: 12,650
Photo of mugglesandhops
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far my favorite IPA so far. Pours a golden yellow color with a 1 1/2 finger white head, good amounts of lacing on the glass. Smells very citrusy, I even got a whiff of bannana's on the first one I drank. Taste like of grapefruit but not sour, just the sweetness of it. Thin to med bodied. This is the perfect IPA. Very drinkable. I could get into trouble with this one. (372 characters)

Photo of tdawgydog
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finished of my Cali trip with a sweet bottle of Pliny the Elder. I've had enough hops this past week to last me quite a while.

IPA's are not one of my favorite styles but I've grown a new appreciation for them. Pliny The Elder is without a doubt the best IPA that I have ever had.

The bottle I had was dated Feb. 26, 2009. I heeded the warnings on the bottle and enjoyed it immediately. It pours a nice golden yellow into my Stone IPA pint glass (boy this glass earned it's keep the last week) there was a 2 finger head which quickly dissipated to leave a nice lace on the glass.

The scent was sweet, not as hoppy as most of the other IPA's that I have had. The pine in this brew really stood out to me.

The taste is sweet, very citrusy. You can taste the pine and then the whole thing is followed up by some of the best hop flavor to ever be put in a beer.

I was enjoying my .5 litre bottle just before going to bed. It went down very smooth after a long day of doing nothing...

The beer has much more body than it's appearance would lead you to believe. Again overall it was very well done. If IPA's were my thing, this would be at the top of my list. I could still drink a few of these as it is.

Seek this stuff out. (1,227 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


That's it, review over..

- Great clear yellow orange appearance with some floating old-school yeast. The real thing. Nice white head with blankets of matured lacing (don't ask me what that means).

- Smell is bountiful with citrus, floral.. and fresh hops.. with strong pungent rye notes and hop. Many might not like the pungent aspect of this, but i do. My favorite IPA's have that quality.

- Taste is so smooth. Cantaloupe, pine, floral, citrus... bursting w/ hop madness. (Song comes to mind "Can we play w/ 'hop' madness"). No alcohol strength whatsoever.. very smooth.

- Leaves the mouth watery, not dry.. no pucker, no squint. Just a satisfied pallet. Great amount of carbonation as well.

- Super drinkable... I could drink these until I fell asleep permanently. Nuff' said. (791 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a chance to visit the brewery and enjoy this beer on tap. It proved to be quite different than my previously reviewed experience with the bottled version. Below I've made some notes about the bottled version in parentheses for comparison.

Looks good, but not great. Served in a nonic, there's only a half finger of white head on top of the bright gold/tangerine body. Head retention and lacing are OK, but the lacing is not plentiful. (Bottled version I gave a 4.5, as I had a huge puffy head which lasted til the end and laced from the top to the bottom of my tulip glass).

Smells of abundant juicy, pungent hops, but not as strong as expected. The nonic is no way to showcase this beer. (Bottled version I gave a 4.5. A tulip or snifter really shows off the massive hop aroma).

Tastes incredible. The hops are chewy, sticky and pungent. The very definition of "hop bomb". Massive pine and grapefruit, with pleasant hints of sweetness and toast. It's not balanced, but it's damned tasty. (Bottled version I also gave a 4.5. The tap version I think is slightly sweeter, but both are great).

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Moderate carbonation makes for a "tamer" version of the beer, really smooths things out, allowing a touch of sweetness to join the bitterness in the finish. (Bottled version I gave a 4.5. It was aggressive, crackly, sticky, resiny, and the bitterness felt like it lingered halfway down my throat.)

Drinkability is good, and the 8% ABV is well hidden. (Bottled version I gave a 4.5. I found it slightly more interesting and enjoyable.)

Overall impression: A great beer, but I prefer the bottled version, at least if the tap version is served in a crappy glass. Russian River should really showcase this wonderful elixir in some proper glassware. (1,771 characters)

Photo of Jerico
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Westvleteren glass.

A - clear, crisp, orange-gold color. A moderate head that dissolves into a light lace.

S - up-front and clear, very noticeable hoppy citrus vibe. Very inviting!

T/M/D - slight carbonation, and hops everywhere on my first sip, citrusy bitter like a grapefruit, not quite as sweet as I was expecting from the smell. The hop bite is up front and the flavor stuck to my mouth for quite a while. I drank this one slowly, and it came together more after a few minutes and it warmed up a bit. Then the bite settles back a bit and I found a little maltiness in there too. Very enjoyable! (631 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.73/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16.9 oz bottle

A: Very clear copper body under about a half to 3/4 inch white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Very hoppy, but with an identifiable caramel malt backbone. Hop is a mix of earthy, piney and citrus hops. I expected much more citrus, but am very surprised at the balance. Maybe a little underwhelming, but the balance helps make up for it.

T: This where the beer starts to earn its keep. Everything is perfectly, and I mean perfectly, balanced. Malt backbone is there, followed by a nice citrus hop twang, with a finish of mild pine and mostly grapefruit, rind-like citrus. The bitter finish perfectly done it that it hits you but doesn't squeeze any of the other tastes out. Some spice mixed in as well, and I even pick up some mint type character here and there.

M/D: Medium bodied, slick on the tongue with a touch of prickly carbonation. No hint of booze. Nicely done. Drinkability is exceptional. This one could be enjoyed all night. Great beer. (968 characters)

Photo of latercol
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting to be wowed with this...

appearance a bit lighter in color than I expected, seemed a little flat on the pour actually but I did manage to get a head, lacing stuck around for a while.

Smell. Pine and grapefruit, but not as nice or as strong as I expected.

Taste. Obvious hops with some malt backbone, just expected a higher quality taste. Bottle was from 11/04/08 has is lost its edge already? I don't know but I would say the SN Torpedo I had earlier in the day was far better than this...cheaper too.

Mouthfeel good, smooth but nothing memorable.

Drnkable, but at this price forget it. I gave it the highest marks i could but was expecting much much more. (677 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The South Philly Tap Room

Appears a slightly hazy golden orange with a fluffy, yellow infused cap that faded shortly after the first sip. Very light lace with no discernible patten and some pretty active bubbles for the style.

The hop aroma covers all angles here....pine and spruce, grapefruit and orange rind, mangoes and apricots, and fresh cut grass. Overall though, the floral, fruity side seems to be more dominant. Assertive without being bold, but pleasing and inviting.

The flavor has a prickly hop bite to it with every sip. Floral and citrus rise to the occasion with a sweet, bready malt background. I'd be remiss not to mention the strong fresh cut grass and mint flavor in the slightly bitter aftertaste. Very unique to Pliny. This is surprisingly balanced. It's a hop bomb, but not in the "bitter, knock you over the head" type of hop bomb.

Smooth with pretty active carbonation. Not a big, chewy dipa by any means. More resinous and oily. Finishes slightly bitter and dry.

The 8% is almost non-existent. It wasn't until the very end that I got even a hint of booze. Great tropical fruit flavor, a fantastically balanced dipa. (1,156 characters)

Photo of br3wmeister
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light hazed golden orange in color with a multi textured off white head. There are lots of small bubbles in the middle of the head with a great silky foam in a thick ring around the edges. The head retention was okay and it had minimal lacing.

S- Very fruity up front, pineapple, oranges, and a hint of peach. Then some nice caramel and vanilla, a touch of pine hops as well.

T- Soft citrus fruit and sweet caramel initially then some great pine flavors come through. More fruity orange flavors come through the pine with hints of caramel and vanilla, then another burst of dry pine bitterness. The beer finishes sweet and juicy with some lingering dry pine bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with a great refreshing juiciness to it. Hops cut through with some nice dry bitterness and balances things out.

Overall I would say this is one of the more balanced and well made DIPA's. I really enjoy this beer and will be seeking it out again. (952 characters)

Photo of josiahschlender
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was very excited when the Belmont Station got ahold of some Russian River Bottles. Double IPAs are my favorite style, so getting my hands on what many consider one of the best has been on my mind for a while.

Poured into a wiine glass, very pretty looks. Fairly light for the style, polished golden, very clear until some yeast sediment poured out at the end. Big white head lasts fairly well, leaves an average amount of lace. I also notice that the beer kind of coats the glass in a "thick" way that many beers don't.

Amazing hop aromas immediately upon opening the bottle, which only expand with the pour. Wow, lots of grapefruit, floral nectar and pine resin. Complex and intense, both huge pluses in my book. How does this beer do it? The hop aromas and flavors seem out of proportion and almost impossible.

Flavors are also complex and intense, in a hoppy way. Many DIPAs have more malt balance, but I'm just fine with the hops being nearly completely dominant. With a little warmth, I note some sweet, bready malts for an instant before getting drowned out by the hoppy bitterness at the end. Not an unpleasant bitterness, but enough to remind you that this is not an ordinary beer, nor even an ordinary DIPA.

Feel is hard to pin down with my taste buds spinning. It has a medium body that well matches the style without detracting from anything. In the same way the liquid coats the glass when you swirl it, it also coats my mouth and keeps the flavors lasting and swirling. I love a long and complex finish like that.

Definitely a world class beer that lived up to the hype for me. Now I want to try the Younger. To top it off, it wasn't even that expensive! I'll definitely be getting this beer again. The only two detractors from drinkability for me are that it doesn't pair well with many foods, and that it's really hard to find here in Portland. (1,866 characters)

Photo of Voonder
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep copper color with huge bubly white head. Very good retention.
Smell - grapefruit and pine, pretty tipical for DIPA, very deep and strong though, very hoppy of course. Very nice aroma.
Taste - this is almost perfect. I expected a lot from this beer and it didn't let me down. Very clean bitterness upfront, followed by citrusy notes, some sweetness is there too (perhaps some beries), but in very tiny amount. Finishes kinda sweet and bitter at the same time. Amasing! Very good stuff.
Mouthfeel - it it balanced, smooth, almost creamy brew. Alcohol is hidden very well. It is dangerously drinkable. Great stuff!. (623 characters)

Photo of WPRebelFan
4.82/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a great golden orange color with a cloud like head about three quarters of an inch thick. Some very nice lacing going on as well.

Smell: Very pronounced hop aroma that is nicely mixed with citrus and floral tones

Taste: The nose did not lie, there are plenty of hops dancing around in there. A great hop flavor with bitterness to match. And the exact amount of malt to make all balance so very nicely.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation with a nice medium body. The bitterness over powered any alcohol sensation here.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable! A very enjoyable experience! (608 characters)

Photo of Source
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a post cold update. One of the two best hop fixes one can get, IMHO.

Appearance: Amber with a 2mm head that dissipated quickly to a nice lacing on the pint glass. Hazy - very grapefuit juice like.

Smell: Intense hopitude. I detected grapefruit citrus, pine, and some floral notes.

Taste: Here's where the beverage really shined. Superb hoppiness from the first sip to the last. Strong grapefruit and pine with more complexity than I expected. Similar in taste profile to Bell's HopSlam. In fact I'd like to do a side by side of the two... but I digress. Bitter, but not too bitter finish. Even at 8%, I found the alcohol very hard to detect - which is very dangerous for me. ;)

Mouth: Light with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: It goes down extemely well. As BIG, hoppy beers go, I put this on par with with a Bell's HopSlam (as I mentioned earlier). I wish I could find and enjoy this I2PA year round locally. (943 characters)

Photo of JoBoTo
4.89/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from Dakotah13 on a Hopslam trade

L- Poured a somewhat dull brownish amber. Dull was due to the way that the clarity was unexpected. In the bottle it seems clearer than it does in a glass. Not clear, but not opaque. Just a rich honey brown, that smells wonderful. Well pleased with my pour on this one. 16.9 oz bottle, and used the entire 22 oz Duvel Chalice to contain it all, head covering the last two fingers of glass room.

S- Was smelling this right out of the bottle. I can honestly say that I have never smelled hops like this before might be a variety I haven't had the pleasure of shaking hands with, but am well pleased that we have now met, seems very piney, like a stroll through the forest in mid summer. Somewhat sweet but not prominently. After sitting for about 2 minutes, the citrus comes out. Grapefruit, and pineapples come forth. Really trying not to let hype intrude here, but it is one of the most pleasant smelling beers I've had. Incredible amount of grapefruit on retro-olfaction

M- Medium thickness, filling mouth, but not chewing on it. Tongue tingle is slight to none. There is no alcohol taste, slight burn when it approaches your heart area of chest .Becomes frothy when played with.

Taste oooh, the taste. Hops is throughout, clearly, and obviously, but there is always this sweet overtone, almost lost unless you let tongue tip play in the beer bath too. Leaves a piney flavor coated over your tongue. Reminds me of the wax coat that some scotches leave, but with hops. Really need to figure out what type of Hops this is. Really smooth transition down the throat, no hop-bite, no real bitterness, just seems very smooth hop delivery.

Room mate asked to try, having only started being exposed to craft beers, I was somewhat dubious as to whether he would like it or not. He's tried a couple of my IPAs, DIPAs, and such, but doesn't seem to have acquired that hop taste yet. He wouldn't stop talking about this. He loved it, and tried to steal the rest of the glass.

D- I am somewhat saddened by the fact that I only have 2 bottles of this. There will be many many more trades trying to acquire this from across the country. I fully understand why this is one of the elite beers. There have been recent talk about freshness and this one was bottle on 2/16/09, then shipped across to Jax, so makes me wonder how good this is on tap. I was expecting something more in my face, given its popularity. Its like meeting Elisha Cuthbert, and she farts then picks her nose before shaking your hand. You're still amazed by the whole experience, but the simple labeling, and the lack of beer angels flowing from the bottle, no fanfare in the background, and every BA friend of yours, isn't ringing your phone off the hook to see how it really was. Guess I've put the top 10 or so on a pedestal. A marvelous beer, well worth trying, and loving. Easily worth the trade. Thanks Dakotah13 you've made my day. (2,944 characters)

Photo of jlb307
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10 oz. pilsner glass

A: Medium golden-orange color with a nice fluffy 1/2" head. Head retained almost the whole time I was drinking it and it left decent spots of lacing. Just a great looking beer in a glass.

S: Citrus and pine, and just the least bit flowery but not too much. I would use this beer as an air freshener if I could!

T: Excellent and worth all the talk! The aroma really comes through in the taste and the finish leaves just enough bitterness from the hops. Just the right temperature left no hint of alcohol taste.

M: Perfectly balanced with the carbonation and the aftertaste wasn't too strong. A very comfortable beer.

D: This is a great beer! I'm very happy I finally found a place that had it! (730 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this pliny.. bottled on 012309... drink it fresh as it says on the label... it pours a medium orange color with a white head and good lacing... then wow what a smell it fills the room and the palete with outstanding aromas its fresh pine first then citrus grass and floral aromas... maybe juniper its fantastic.. the taste is better then the smell its all fresh pines first then light floral citrus hops with perfect malt support the mouthfeel is the same as the smell and the taste i dont need to repeat.. this is a perfect DIPA because it has superior balance betwen hops and malt alcohol and water.. ive never had a perfect DIPA but this is.... it fiils the mouth and nose.... it is perfection just want another sip.. this is world class ..its nirvana for a DIPA. im going to buy more of this one (805 characters)

Photo of baggio
4.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


I owe some big thanks to fellow ba kplynch for hooking me up with this beauty!

A: Hazy orange with a nice white foam and lots of lacing.

S: Exotic fruit, Caramel, Pine and plenty of hops. Lovely!

T: Caramel, Exotic fruits, Citric notes (grapefruit overdose!), and yet again pine.

M: Quite oily and full of flavor. Solid maltbase with a good bitterness at the end.

Truly one of the best DIPA's i've ever had the pleasure to try. A work of art! (461 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've dreamed of getting my hands on this beer for so long, now I finally have it. My buddy Mike made a trip to San Diego and brought back 5 bottles of Pliny. When he went to the liquor store he brought up 2, one for me and one for him. The guy at the counter said "have you had this before." Mike replied "no, is it good?" The gentleman countered, "Dude, this is the best f#$%ing thing you will ever have." On that note, here is my review for the Pliny the Elder.

Bottled on 2/3/09, pretty fresh I guess.

A: Transluscent yellow-orange. Crisp white head as I pour it into my Duvel tulip. Perfect carbonation.

S: "Oh my god" I said as I took a whiff. Hops, hops, and more hops. Tangerine, pine, and grapefruit predominate. Very floral and very prominent hop aroma. But wait, there are malts too. A slight sweetness and biscut aroma underlies the hop onslaught. This beer smells so good, if it were a cologne, I would wear it every day.

T: Excellent hoppy bite. More of that citrusy tangerine and grapefruit flavor followed by a piney bite. Not so bitter it would rip your chest hair off, but very well balanced. The malts are solid as well with a nice sweetness. I am longing for just a hint more malts. It may just be my personal taste, but I like my DIPAs a little more maltier.

M: Very crisp, very clean. Thin to medium bodied which makes this dangerously drinkable.

D: A definite "5" based on the aroma and the flavor. I can't think of many other beers I could drink more of. It isn't terribly alcoholic for a DIPA either. This definitely adds to the drinkability. Overall, this beer was the epic beer that everyone raved about. If I ever find it in a store again, I will buy as much as I can. Those of you who can get this locally are some of the luckiest bastards around. (1,783 characters)

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bottled 8/25/08. Thanks to deliriumfest for this one. Poured into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours hazy and golden-orange, with a finger and a half of frothy white head. Left blankets of lacing.

Smell: I could smell hops and citrus floating into the air as I poured the glass. Piney and grassy notes out of the glass, with a honey sweetness in the background. Mild citrus notes in the background.

Taste: Intense hops, grassy and piney...and, well, not much else. Maybe a slight citrus tang in the background, but its the pine notes that dominate. Long, lingering bitter aftertaste. Couldn't really taste the alcohol, but there was definitely a warming sensation going down. As the beer warms, a lemony-citrus flavor becomes more noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, and good carbonation.

Drinkability: This well definitely satisfy anyone's hop craving. It would be dangerously easy to put down a few of these.

I have to say, Pliny the Elder was a bit more one dimensional than I was expecting. There wasn't much in the background, and I couldn't help but feeling slightly underwhelmed. Was it a very good beer? Absolutely. Would I have another one given the chance? Absolutely. Would I go out of the way to get one? Well...probably not. Still, a beer I am very glad I got the chance to try, and enjoy. (1,328 characters)

Photo of abents
4.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml 1/23/9 RR style bottle with green label and red circle with PTE written in the middle.
Many thanks to PretzelCity for throwing this in as an extra in our last trade. Yeah, you know, just throw in a pliny for an extra. I wish I lived in Cali sometimes...
Regardless, this is one awesome beer, I've had the privilege of trying once before, and now I got a whole bottle to myself, and it's my birthday, this rating might be inflated...heh
Pours out a cloudy golden orange with a nice white cavernous head that laces sporadically. Nose is huge hops, pine, citrus, flowers. Hits the nose with this bombardment and leaves you begging for more. Taste is likewise starts almost floral with a hint of lemons and grapefruit leaves with a pine everywhere. Coating the mouth and lingering for quite sometime. Nice biscuity malt background somewhat makes this beer not too overwhelming and still drinkable even for the amount of hops that hit you. Overall a solid beer, I think I prefer the Blind Pig to this one, but that's kinda my taste and not knocking PTE. Overall a really nice beer glad I got to review it finally. Thanks again to PretzelCity!! (1,144 characters)

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to raoulduke37 in Ventura, California for this brew. This is my first Russian River brew. For us East-Coasters, Russian River and the Plinys are a mystical thing. They'll probably never be distributed over here so we have to rely on you folks in the Pacific Time Zone to get them to us, bottle by bottle.

My Pliny, bottled on Jan 23 '09 and drank on March 4 '09 poured a hazy golden/orange color with a thick, luscious head. Not a huge head; just tiny bubbles. You know what I mean. The smell is both citrus and pine and really not a whole lot of malt. It's sort of like stuffing your nose in a pine tree.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thick side thanks to the big amount of malt in there, but the nicely-balanced flavors have you coming back for more. Drinkability is good, but can be bested by some other 8% beers. But perhaps by not many 8% IPAs. (854 characters)

Photo of Radiodred
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap or in a bottle, hands down there is no better DIPA. I travel the west in such a beer that can beat won of Vinnies masterpeices. Keep on pleasing the masses.

A- Not hazey not clear, thick or light, A nice color of meduim. Finger of head, nice lacing.

S- Sweet with citrus fruit. With a hop like bouquet of buds.

T- An amzing journey on your palate. You have a enjoyable welcome of malty citrus, backed up by a creeping of pine, like your first trip to the woods, then a variety of hops to tingle the buds that is Bitterness. The perfect blend goes down so smooth you don't relize its a Double and your about to cath a buzz.

M- great carbination, but so smooth you don't realize its there, it what its suppossed to feel like.

D- Don't look at its place on the list, or take anyones word for it,try it out, its highly recomended for a reason. Let us know what you think, BA rules! (893 characters)

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into trusty pint glass while watching the season finale of my favorite show (Dexter if you're interested). What a great moment! Pours crystal clear and golden, fitting for such a famous beer. Creamy, two-finger, white head with great retention and lacing. Smell is great. A nice blend of hops. Some citrus/grapefruit but not overpowering, like some other west coast IPA's. A strong floral presence as well, some sweet malt too. Taste is boderline perfect. At first the hops seem somewhat mellow and controlled, but it hits you with a strong, bitter aftertaste that you dont want to go away. Detected both some piney and citrus hops and well as a distinct, but not overpowering, sweetness as it warms. Mouthfeel was medium, but still somewhat light. Very smooth and silky. Overall this is a great, well balanced beer. I guess I never noticed, until I did this review, that it is a Double IPA. The mastery of the balance is amazing and it does not come off as a Double and the ABV is undetectable. A truely great beer. (1,035 characters)

Photo of imagineiii
4.82/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gilgarp for the chance to try this BA legend. Bottled on 1-23-09. Poured into my trusty DFH snifter. I dont ever remember cracking a beer and it immediately filling the room with the aroma of hops before.

Slightly hazy amber hued beer. Appears to be rather viscous in the way it suspends the slight bit of sediment, rather suprising for such a new beer. Head retention is decent to above average. lace is a major plus.

my living room smells of pine sap, and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. a little citrus is hidden. maybe a little bit of mint. nicely done so far, just slightly different than most.

And then it hits my tongue...its creamy, full bodied and smooth. texture reminds me of another DIPA ive had lately but cant wait to review: hopslam. flavors dance on the palate, leaving no undesired taste behind. Desite warming effect in the stomach, the minty and citrusy hops seem to cool the palate. The balance of this beer is unlike any other with 8% alc and this much of a hop character to it. Wheres the alcohol?

Carbonation is very subdued which i think might be the key to this beer. without overly assertive carbonation to upset the palate, the beers true colors can shine thru. alcohol and hops combine to only injure the palate a slight amount. this beer is a party in my mouth.

its amazingly addictive, you want to follow every sip with another sip just to see if its REALLY that good. well guess what, its pretty much THAT good, so stop sipping it so fast. does it leave me wanting a second one? not exactly. a second one just wouldnt taste as good... i mean it cant. right?

i refused to review this beer based solely on the hype. but then this beer got inside of me. it went straight from my stomach to my head and started running circles around my brain. black was day, white was night, and pliny was still f*ckin awesome. (1,864 characters)

Photo of discovolante65
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got my hands on some of this. After trying to trade, trying to get "friends" in CA to buy some and ship it, fellow BA bought some online and brought it over for beer night. Thanks Roop40!

I tried not to believe all the hype.
I tried to think of all the DIPA's I have had and how great they all were.
I tried to remember all the great East Coast brewers and their DIPA efforts.
I tried to remain East Coast bias.
In short, I was ready to pick this fucker apart. Even though part of me wanted to love it.

Poured into my Troubadour tulip. Pours the finest Golden Orange color I have seen. Nice one inch off white/ golden head. excellent lacing. Some "stuff" whirling around like a small tornado when agitated.

Smell is typical of DIPAS. Grapefruit, pine forest, with a little honey note in there as well. It has a "bigger, fresher" aroma than I am used to. I could have huffed this thing all night.

What an incredible balance of flavors. Sure, others have these great tastes in them, maybe some even have more hop presence, maybe a little more bitter, maybe some more malt, but NONE are as balanced as this is. Perfect blends of hops and malt. I am blown away by this one.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Just the right amount of carbonation, the bite washes away nicely and finishes dry.

Drinkability- Perfect DIPA? IMO- ABSOLUTELY!
Everything about this beer is just right. The look, the smell, the taste, the feel, perfect. If I had more than one I would've drank it. If I had five, I would have sipped them one by one until the sun came up. I cried when my glass was empty.

thank you, Russian River. (1,626 characters)

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,354 ratings.