Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

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12,481 Ratings

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Ratings: 12,481
Reviews: 3,510
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 6,316
Gots: 2,898 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,481 | Reviews: 3,510
Photo of tayner
4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bottled 9-2-08

pours a golden wheatfield color with a white sticky, lacing head

green, raw, bitter hops in the nose backed with some sweet malty backbone

hop juice in a bottle - hop bomb- green, floral, bitter hop juice in a bottle.

decent carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, oily finish

This was a little hard to drink alot of on its own, for me, as the bitterness was overwhelming after awhile, but if I had paired this with food, any food, I could drink much more of it.

Photo of younger35
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just received a bottle of this from TexasWayne today. I've been wanting to try this for quite some time and I can't wait (despite my slight hangover). Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute. Bottled on 07/30/08.

Appearance- Pours a yellowish orange with a nice soft one finger bright white head that doesn't recede. The cap and collar are nice and thick and fluffy and leaves plenty of sticky lacing.
Smell- Smells 100% like I was expecting it to. Pliny is piney and raw with a huge hop presence (duh, right?). Some citrus consisting of pineapple and grapefruit add a fresh burst of fruity goodness. A very mild graininess is present that adds a light sweetness that is detectable until the beer warms considerably. Orange zest and even some lilac finish the nose.
Taste- A bit different than I was expecting. More delicious. Fruity bitterness from the start with loads of fresh peach, grapefruit pith, orange peel and freshly cut pineapple. A touch of pine and even a raw herbal element peeks through at some points throughout this experience. Just a touch of sweetness peaks through all those hops adding a very light caramel maltiness. The sweetness gets more noticeable as it warms and reminds me a lot of that raw grainy sweetness that comes from flaked maize. Finishes with a lingering fruity bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Nice and creamy with a slick oily feel from the ridiculously copious amount of hops. Light carbonation with a medium to below heavy feel.
Drinkability- Well despite the fact that I have a mild hangover from last nights drinking adventures, this thing went down really well. I imagine that in the 3 months since this has been bottled the hops have faded a bit yet this remains fantastic. I will try this fresh sometime that I promise! Big thanks again to Wayne for sending my way!

Photo of deereless
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A finger of foam on a straight pour, the head stuck around for 5 minutes and as it settled it left some sticky spots on the side of the glass, crystal clear, golden straw - 4.50, S: Pliny packs a powerful punch of pine and grapefruit - a hop lover's heaven, some faint signs of tropical fruit and cantelope, the aroma is thick and pungent and utterly delectable - 5.00, T: As I take the first sip and try to figure out the palate the bitter hops on the tail jump out, having done a homebrew based on Pliny the Elder I'm familiar with the hop build (Vinnie posted his recipe online) and the hop that stands out is the earthy Columbus hops, also lots of resiny flavors, malt as you might expect is present to balance out the beer but it truly plays second fiddle to the hops - 5.00, M: More body than I'd expect, mildly sticky and syrupy - 4.75, D: Given the difficulties in acquiring this beer, I savor it for those reasons alone, but this is top notch, hands down one of the best Double IPAs I've had - 5.00

Photo of jim102864
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Number 100 had to be a special beer, maybe something not readily available in Connecticut. I'd had Pliny the Elder at Toronado in San Francisco before and now it was time to ship some home during my recent business trip to San Diego (thanks Holiday Wine Cellar, Escondido) and evaluate it. I was not dissapointed.

Nothing but the best for this brew so out comes the Duvel tulip glass. Pliny pours a golden yellow hue with a bubbly yet not overly aggresive head about a pinky thick. Clear as a bell with light carbonation. I'm glad the 7 day UPS ground trip from Escondido to Connecticut didn't affect the appearance anyway.

Abundent piney hops eminates from the glass. Not overbearing but floral and slightly sweet like honey suckle. It changes somewhat to a citrusy-like grapefruit aroma as it warms. Sticky lace dots the glass with each sip.

And the taste? Piney and hopped but smooth and pleasant as was the mouthfeel. If it's possible to derive a buttery smoothness from an IPA (and I suppose it is given it's a double IPA) then this one accomplishes just that. The 8% warms the soul and creates a light blush within a few sips, though it is hidden from the taste quite nicley. As the beer continues to airate and warm, and the palate adapts to the hops, new features appear. The mouthfeel becomes slippery smooth. The hops, more understated. The initial piney nose becomes less noticeable and a light vanilla maybe oaramel comes into play. What a facsinating brew.

Obviously not a session beer but meant to sip and savor.

Frankly, I've had double IPA's that achieve much of what Russian River has with this style yet I appreciate the quality and complex flavors created by this wonderful brewery. I tip my cap to Russian River. I also enjoy this brew while thinking of Pliny the Elder, a hero who saved those fleeing from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, who I'm certain would be honored to know a creation of such high quality as this was brewed in his name.

Photo of RedChrome
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very faint haze to the light golden yellow color. Half an inch of pure white head shrank halfway before holding a few minutes. Just a single stream of carbonation rising from the center of the brew. Sitcky rings of lace.

Huge hops aromas were strongly leaning towards pine. A nice citrus backing behind the pine was mainly tangerine. Light malt sweetness had a light honey note.

Taste has a bit of grittyness to the taste. A nice blend of citrus and pine hops along with honey and bread sweetness. Also a bit of butterscotch. Not overpowering with hops, but exceptionally balanced.

Nice thickness holds on all mouth surfaces. A light carbonation tingle helps all the flavors blend together nicely.

A fantastic brew. A great pairing for a filet mignon. Clearly worth the high praise it recieves. A must for any fan of beer.

Photo of johnd513
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes to ducksfan for this one.
This beer pours a light orange color with a thin head that sticks around for a while and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells of grapefruit and other citrus flavor. The taste is very citrusy with grapefruit and other citrusy flavors. Very balanced. The mouthfeel is incredibly creamy, full body with a dry finish. Drinkability is high and is limited only by its high abv. Truly a must try.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Christina for getting me this gem. Pours a decent enough clear gold, with a small white head show. Head quickly becomes a white ring of lace, with some staying power. Smell is of earthy hops, reminiscent of onions or cabbage. Some bits of grass and citrus can be smelled in the background. Taste starts off with some sweet honey comb and citrus, and follows through with the onion like hops. Mouthfeel is slightly lighter than was expected, but full of flavor. Alcohol warmth can be felt after the first few pulls on this brew, but I could see myself going through another bottle of this without a problem. An impressive DIPA from Russian River. Reminds me a lot of Stone's 10th Anniversary DIPA, which also showcased that same onion like hop profile. Worthy of the hype? Not really in my opinion, but still a damn good beer, and one to seek out. Cheers

Photo of mikeale
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks, Chris
Served in my Ebenezer's pub glass.

A. almost orange in color, off-white head, tight bubbles, lacing formed as I drink from the glass

S. hops, hops and more hops, but well balanced. Citris, grapefruity, pine etc. mmm mmm

T. hops, citris grapefruit especially, piney like Pliny

M. medium body, sticky, hoppy, creamy, balanced carbonation, hoppy finish.

D. alcochol well hidden, balanced, highly drinkable (iso!!!) I could drink Pliny The Elder all night long.

Vote Pliny for President.

Photo of mikereaser
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange color with little head that dissapears quickly. lt has a wonderful pine/citrusy smell. This one has just the right amount of bitter to not be too overpowering. This is a perfect blend of hoppiness for a very drinkable beer.

Now it just needs to be more accessible on the East coast.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from RickSawyer, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden color with a stingy off white head that disappears quickly. Nose is hops, lovely piny resinous grapefruity hops. Leans more towards the pine than to the citrus side. Taste is pretty much a citrus and pine explosion that leaves the mouth coated with bitter hop oils. I can't find any malt here, but I'm okay with it. Finish is dry, but the taste lingers begging you to take another sip. Well I've wanted to try this forever and finally got a chance, now I want more!! Great hop bomb.

Photo of Atlas1
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, it took me several years to finally track down Pliny the Elder, but I found him at the Argonaut liquor store in Denver, CO. He's mine! All mine!

Poured into a belgian snifter, so I can really take it all in, Pliny appears a golden apricot color, with a slightly faint glow to it when held up to the light. Big bubbles settle on top, spread out, and eventually form a big bubbly ring around the glass. Very little lace. Oh my, the nose on this badboy is fantastic. Big and hoppy, but bursting with citrus (grapefruit, orange and lemon) as well. Strong pine scent is present as well, and perhaps overtakes the fruit scents in time. Beautiful nose for hopheads. Taste begins with strong fruit up front; grapefruit, apple, lemon. Big piney hop wave eventually overwhelms the taste buds. Very tart citrus pangs in the back of the mouth before the swallow. Finishes dense, hoppy, and bitter. Mouthfeel is even distributed throughout the taste; airy up front but with a strong dense, smooth finish.

This is a really great beer. I know understand what people have been talking about all these years. This is a big freaking IPA. Delicious and deliciously complex. I would have grabbed more than one, but I got the last one on the shelf.

Photo of marcpal
3.94/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a nice surprise it was to see this on tap at my visit to Monks.

A: Very light orange/gold color, thin head. For a lighter feeling beer in texture, has some thick lacing.

S: Grapefruit and citrus hops. That is really it, no more and no less. You get when you sign up for here.

T: A bombardment of flavors. Some sweetness but hops are what this one is all about. Citrus, citrus, and some more citrus. Found the hops and grapefruit to become somewhat harsh early on and milder as it went on but intense. Felt like I sucked on a grapefruit after finishing, crushing.

M: Very light with a bitter oil coating all over your mouth from drinking it. Little to zero alcohol burn.

D: This is very drinkable if you love bitter beers. Was happy to try and it is still a palate destroyer, its hop presence is almost a bit much. Almost.

Not my favorite DIPA but surely a terrific beer. A must try for a hophead. I revisited it a couple of times both on tap and bottled, just doesn't blow me away.

Photo of rhinos00
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! As a Cleveland native, tonight could not be more perfect...celebrating a Cleveland Browns victory on Monday Night Football by cracking open a bottle of Pliny the Elder.

Before I start my review, I would just like to thank mattolesh for sending me this beautiful specimen of a beer.

Poured this beer out of a 500 mL bottle into a snifter.

A- The appearance was a hazy golden orange. There was an inch of white head that gathered and quickly dissipated as the beer was consumed.

S- Like heaven in a bowl. There was mix of fruit and a nice smell of hops in the background.

T- DIPA/IPA are my style. I have never tasted a beer like this. The first thing that comes to mind is balance. From the first sip to the last, the balance was always there, the fruit and hops always working together to deliver a fresh, crisp flavor.

M- So smooth and crisp. A medium bodied beer, that never became syrupy or too sweet when the temperature warmed.

D- Dangerous! Is there even alcohol in this? I could honestly drink this beer all day long.

Like I said, DIPA/IPA are my favorite types of beer. I have had countless DIPA/IPA ranging from local microbrews to national breweries. IMHO this is by far the best one of them all. Now if only I could get Russian River Brewing Co. to move to Ohio. It is quite scary to think that Pliny has a younger relative out there somewhere.

Photo of 7ways
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to skourtis for the trade, been meaning to try this for a while.

A- Poured an orange-straw color into a DFG snifter. Bone white head that lasted longer than it looked like it would. Cartoonish lace.

S- Unbelievably pungent. Smells almost as fresh as real fruit, mostly grapefruit and equal parts orange and lime, and Spring rain in the background.

T- Fruits more subdued while florals kick into overdrive. Pine obviously, but also...I don't know, it's like drinking a botanical garden. Very fresh and clean...kind of like soap. Yikes. Faint caramel maltiness announces itself with the citrus clamoring to be heard.

M- Unexpectedly creamy then dry, medium body. Bubbles sit on the tongue but don't irritate the throat.

D- Is there alcohol in this? If it hadn't come in a 500mL bottle, I would have drank it all before finishing the review. But even though it went down well, I have no urge to have another.

This is a great IPA, but only a good beer, nothing world class here IMHO. It did not really shine in any particular way for me except for maybe the aroma. I can think of at least four IIPAs off the top of my head that I can get locally and that I would choose over this.

UPDATE 10/03/10

This is now the 5th time I've had Pliny, and none of the others, including this one, have the soapy hop aspect I found 2 years ago. I'm picking up more simcoe-ish resin in the nose and the flavors I liked before are more pronounced and it's more complex overall. Mouthfeel is more enjoyable, definitely not as dry.

Taste goes from 4 to 5,
mouthfeel 3.5 to 4,
drinkability 3.5 to 4.
B+ score becomes an A.

Photo of SiriusAth
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Snifter. Pours a clear, burnished gold with a one finger pure white foamy head which is only ever so slowly receding. Fat sheets of lace crusting the walls of my Terrapin snifter all the way to the bottom of the glass when finished. Beauterrific!

Wow! Absolutely phenomenal citrus nose. Fresh cut pink grapefruit, lemon zest, pine sap, even a little lime. Floral, fragrant and freaking great! The thing that blows me away is how truly fresh the citrus fruit smells are, like they were just picked and cut open right in front of me. Best IPA nose I've yet experienced.

The taste is not quite as pronounced as the nose, but still terrific. There is a nice caramel sweetness that is met with a wonderful melange of citrusy hops. Grapefruit is the main player, but also lemon and pineapple, along with pine resin and some grassy notes. As the beer warms the citrus becomes even more pronounced, and I have to retract my first statement n the taste not being as pronounced as the nose. Re-damn-diculously good, and remarkable at how there is almost no harshness with all this hoppiness going on.

Lighter bodied than I was expecting, between light and medium and not nearly as sticky as most imperial IPA's in this abv range are, which is a bonus. Very smooth, perfectly carbonated, extremely well hidden alcohol with no burn even close to being present.

Well, well. I must say, the hype is real. May be, no, is the best IPA I've ever had. Supremely easy drinker, and my god this beer is good. I wish I had a steady supply of this angelic nectar. Hats off and three cheers to Russian River Brewing!

Photo of ibbjamin
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $3.99 for a 16.9 oz bottle from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into a pint glass.

3/4 inch white head that is right inbetween froth and the big carbonated bubbles. Decent head retention. Superb lacing. Very cloudy, rather viscous and gritty, but still withholds some transparency. Gold/orange color.

Top class nose. Grapefruit citrus, danky, piney (heavier on the pine than most DIPAs which I really like :) This is the benchmark of quality ingredients for a west coast DIPA.

Very piney. Grapefruit citrus. Seems like a simple played out formula for a DIPA, but this here is your flagship. Quality.

Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. This aftertaste is something I don't want to get rid of and it sticks around quite a while. Medium body. Perfect carbonation. The easiest drinking 8%abv I know.

It really doesn't get much better than this. The best beer of my favorite style. Cheers!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Light golden body with great clarity. Some slightly smooth cascading action out of the bottle. Head is a perfect small-bubbled crest of white foam. Excellent lacing. Looks very good.

Did someone set the hop volume to 11? Huge burst of rich, bubbly hop resin craziness on the nose. Luscious with fruit, pine, citrus even verging on mint or basil. A big, boisterous, powerful, delicious nose. The best hoppy beer I've ever had the pleasure to inhale.

Smooth and clean in the mouth. Not a crazy bitter character, but pungent and fragrant. Starts very clean, with a smooth resin-oil hop character, building towards the back. Finishes dry, but with a lingering sweetness as well.

I have no idea where the 8% is hiding. It's as drinkable as any lower ABV brew I've had. Mouthfeel is awesome, just smooth and slick. Can't get much better than this out of the bottle.

Wow! That about sums it up; so luscious with hop character, but so beautifully and delicately balanced, not overdone by the slightest margin. An absolute joy to drink.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beerzebub for a fresh bottle via trade.

A: When I opened the bottle it did not have much of a pop and I was worried. Poured a nice golden color with some haze. Minimal white head. Some lacing.

S: Big grapefruit nose up front. Not as intense as the younger but a similar bold nose. Basically fresh cut hops with some citrus thrown in and possibly some illicit narcotics.

T: Wow. Just a wonderful blast of flavor.Starts off a little sweet then the bitterness creeps in. Then it is full on citrus hops. Very nice. I still think this bottle had some issues but it is still this good. A nice bitterness lingers with the finish.

M: I would say this is a bit of a letdown for me. I want my IPAs with a sticky mouthfeel but this fell a little bit short of that.

D: More. Seriously glad this is now bottled. One day it will hopefully be available in NY. Until then this is why we trade.

Photo of spointon
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 16.9oz (500ml) brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a clear, bright, medium gold color with a 2" sudsy white head. The head dropped to a thick skim rather quickly, and left serious sticky lacing down the glass.

S= I found huge aromas of pine and grapefuit backed by slightly sweet and biscuity malts. A simple but wonderful 1-2 punch. A little bit of solvent alcohol came forth when the glass was swirled.

T= As you would expect, this ale was all about the hoppiness. Right from the start, each sip was filled with a puckering pine resin flavor which seemed to push things to the limit yet never became uncomfortably bitter. The sweet biscuit malts offset the hops enough to make this beer a pleasure, yet not enough to keep it from being a true hop bomb. The finish is yet more hops and a cracker like dryness followed by a warming alcohol rush.

MF= Light side of medium body, lower carbonation level, dry and crisp mouthfeel.

D= One of the absolute best DIPAs I have ever had and that is saying something. I really appreciate that the brewer found a way to intensely hop this beer, make it big enough and malty enough to balance most of those hops, and still keep the beer rather light and crisp (not thick or syrupy like many beers of this style are). Incredible and highly recommended!

Photo of kinnaird
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review will be similar to my Blind Pig review because these two beers are very similar.

Large, white soapy head on a bright, golden body,

Smells of piney, resiny, grapefuity goodness. There's just a touch of malty sweetness, but you really have to look for it.

Super hoppy bitterness. I don't know how Vinnie does it, but this is more hoppy than any other beer. Not balanced in a good way.

Clean, dry, crisp. Just the slightest amount of sweetness.

It's amazing that an 8% beer can be so dry, but PtE does it amazingly well. This, along with Blind Pig, are the perfect examples of the style.

Photo of unHipHopHead
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02/01/10

A: Pours a light golden orange color, clear, and with a beautiful frothy, two fingers of white head. nice lacing left on my short pint glass.

S: Oh so much pine... A pretty complex smell, lots of evergreen pine but also some floral and citrus.

T: Great pine flavor that transitions gracefully into ripe tropical fruit flavor. A balanced malt that doesn't get in the way, it just rounds out the flavor. Piney, hoppy, crisp, creamy... everything I want in a double IPA.

M: A pretty creamy mouthfeel, a touch oily with a good balance of carbonation and hops. The hop taste stays with you for quite a while, it coats the whole mouth and not just the sides of your tongue.

D: This is my second time trying this beer and it delivers again. An overall really nice beer that both satisfies the hop craving and also has a really well rounded taste and a good ABV but not too much.

Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

How do I love thee Russian River seasonal IPAs? Let me count the ways. Blind Pig. Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Younger. Actually, I haven't had the pleasure of trying the Younger, if I'm being completely honest, but I can only imagine the heights of perfection that beer reaches. If I had to choose between the Blind Pig and the Elder, I would take the Elder by a hair, but I'm taking nothing away from Blind Pig with that statement. Both beers are masterpieces of super hopped, fresh IPAs (well, I guess DIPA for Elder but that's semantics).

First of all, I love the German bottle style. It's a great size and feels right, particularly for someone with big hands that feels a bit like a giant when I hold a Miller High Life or any clear normal bottle. Back to the review. The beer looks incredible out of the bottle. It's bright and sunshiney with a giant soapy head, like a miniature carbonated bubble bath.

The smell is worth the price of admission. You know that Russian River has really bottled something special as soon as the huge floral scent hits you. It's piney, citrusy and, again, very floral. It's just an incredible scent for a beer. It's somewhere between a dense pine forest and a field of wildflowers. I can't say enough.

The taste is similarly incredible. It's chock full of hops that taste fresh, like living on a hop farm fresh. You taste the pine and citrus and flowers that are in the nose, and they've been translated into a great melding of beer flavor. I can't get enough of these fresh hop beers. If you're somehow not a fan of them, I guess you wouldn't like this beer. For the sane crowd, you'll love this beer.

The mouthfeel is great. I'm not even sure why I didn't give it a five. I guess I can't think of any one quality that puts it over the top of mere excellence, so it must make do with near perfection.

On the other hand, drinkability should be about a twelve. I have to hide this beer in the back of my fridge behind cartons of milk and carefully balanced glass jars, just so I won't drink it the same day that it comes home. I want a cooler split between Blind Pig and Pliny and a quiet Redwood grove with my dog. I could sit and drink in utter peace, while my urban little terrier cowers and hides from the gigantic wooden things.

To sum up, I would like a job marketing this beer. That seems easy and full of opportunities for tastings while getting paid and if they could throw in an isolated redwood grove that would be appreciated.

Photo of KeefD
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BradLikesBrew for this one!

My second RR brew after Blind Pig. Pours a tangerine orange color bordering on rust with no head and very little lacing. Big time hoppy aroma of grapefruit, citrus and pine. Nice hop bitterness, plenty of bitter grapefruit rind, lemon peel, orange, and some thick pine resin. Some pale malt make up a decent backbone. Ever so dry on the finish. Sweetness is subdued. Very thick and smooth, creamy on the tongue with only the slightest bite from carbonation, which is in short supply. Alcohol presence is not quite hidden, but hidden enough for the high ABV. A great brew but could see having one at a time given the incredible bitterness from hops. I hope to see this beer in my hands again in the future.

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Bottled on 073008:

Pours chill-hazed amber with a creamy white head with good staying power. Uneven rings of lacing stick.

The smell is ... well - hops abound! Citrus, pine/resin, some herbal (going towards medicinal) over a biscuity malt.

The taste is very hoppy - citrus/grapefruit and pine/resin and leafy with a rounded caramel/toffee sweetness. The alcohol is deceptively well-hidden for 8%. Bitter but with with a rounding sweetness in the finish - a very "big" IPA - putting it into Double IPA ("Triple IPA"?) category - not as sweet and boozy as other examples of the style - truly a bigger IPA.

It is medium-to-full bodied - chewy, yet creamy.

Bitter, but rounded - this is deceptively drinkable!

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed a few of these on tap at Gulifty's in Rosemont tonight and gave myself the opportunity to review this bad boy.

A: Served to me in a tulip glass, the body was a clear, deep amber color with strong golden highlight at the edge. Not much carbonation was visible. As far as the head went, it was poured with almost a finger of fine white bubbles sitting on top. Surprisingly, the head disappears to nothing and still manages to leave consecutive rings of lace all the way down the glass.

S: Big aroma! It is filled with smells of saturated citrus hops and sweet bubblegum. Tons of smells are melding together in this beer, but there is an overall sweet, fruity aroma that seems to be supported by a malt backbone in the depths of the nose.

T: I was expecting something incredibly bitter, and I was surprised to find this double IPA more well-balanced than my last girlfriend. Sure, it's hoppy; but in no way does this beer rip your tastebuds to shreds. The bitterness leaves impression up front and into the aftertaste, but it is kept in check by toasty malt notes.

M: Mmmm, full bodied, cool and smooth. The hops stain the mouth with all their juice, and with such a wonderfully fresh taste, I am not complaining.

D: I would order this beer every time if it were on tap. I had two tonight, and unfortunately, that was all I could handle. (I didn't eat shit today so get off my case!) But that says a lot if I am getting the same beer twice, since I like to try new things most of the time. Definitely try this beer if you like well designed beers and a boatload of hops.

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 12,481 ratings.