Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,503 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,503
Hads: 13,353
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 6,842
Gots: 3,491 | FT: 98
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 3,503 | Hads: 13,353
Photo of mikeale
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 504 characters

Photo of mikereaser
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 303 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 582 characters

Photo of Atlas1
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 1,235 characters

Photo of marcpal
3.94/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

 993 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.92/5  rDev +7%
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.

 1,371 characters

Photo of 7ways
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 1,618 characters

Photo of SiriusAth
4.92/5  rDev +7%
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!

 1,596 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

 893 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 1,031 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 892 characters

Photo of spointon
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

 1,346 characters

Photo of kinnaird
4.69/5  rDev +2%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of unHipHopHead
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 894 characters

Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +7%
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.

 2,479 characters

Photo of KeefD
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 744 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

 746 characters

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 1,582 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden colored...perfect little creamy head on top.

S-Multiple levels to the aroma....right away there are some big spruce tree notes...followed by a sweet juicy citrus fruitiness...pinneaples, grapefruit, mandarin oranges tangerines, even some peaches....definitely some Simcoe hops involved...then finishes with some raw cannibus/tobacco notes...quite impressive.

T-I like IPA's that showcase hops flavors more than their pure bitterness...obviously there will always be bitterness but IPA's that bring out flavors as well are the ones I appreciate the most...and this one is exactly what I like about IPA's...it is juicy and flavorful...the malt keeps it from being one dimensional...don't get me wrong...this has a nice strong drying bitterness on the finish but this showcases a complex hop blend nicely with it's juicy flavors....again the fruits are big players...More grapefruit and pine on the taste than the sweeter fruits...also some tobacco notes.

M-Perfect...doesn't feel huge....doesn't feel thin....carbonation is spot on...good strong dry bitterness on the finish...I'm sure the IBU's are up there...but unlike some I have tried this is highly drinkable.

D-Top notch DIPA that lives up to its rep...there are so many good IPA's and DIPA's out there it is tougher than ever for me to come up with a top tier but this would definitely be in it...I like it better than Furious(which really borders on DIPA land) as it is more flavorful, more balanced, more complex and almost as bitter...

Excellent beer...thanks to the Wolfman for this treat..

 1,564 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is dated Aug. 25, 2008... best to drink it up before age starts to settle in and I find myself in gross misconduct for not following the strict instructions on the bottle. ;)

A: A brilliant blonde body, with orangish gold highlighting. Head of white foam tops it all off and brings with it a nice stickiness.

S: Forest evergreens, along with all that goes with it... the earthiness and something of a mossiness, grasses, the works. Some notes of bark and sap... and it all comes together in a way that reminds me of a wooded area after a rain.

T: Perhaps one of the most intriguing flavours I've ever tasted in a DIPA. Much of the same as the aroma - the piney and earthy flavours. Some citrus spottiness is there, just adding a touch of highlight. Excellent.

M: A medium body, some hints of slickness to the feel, which makes for a smooth drink. It finishes dry, albeit a little delayed. The only criticism I'd be able to give would be that the carbonation starts to thin out as the glass warms a little. The dryness and such makes up for that a little, though adding that little extra crispness could make it perfect.

D: An excellent DIPA, finding a delicate balance in flavours without being overwhelmed with bittering flavours that would hide inconsistencies or flaws. An excellent beer, and among the better hoppy brews I have experienced.

 1,360 characters

Photo of FrognutUnl
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8/25/2008.

Thanks to thethrone and the Jazz BIF for the chance.

Pours hazy, light copper in color with a nice stiff 3 finger off head. The wonderful aroma of grapefruit and floral hops assaults the nose. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of a slightly sweet caramel malt that does a nice job backing up the hops. The finish is a little grassy with the alcohol mildly present and could best be described as dry. The beer is medium bodied and the carbonation is not overwhelming. To sum things up this is a pretty tasty brew and I am happy to have had the opportunity.

 605 characters

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

Well this just arrived this morning (thanks to Joey at SouthBay) and I just finished doing some painting so I think it's time for a reward. I just can't wait any longer.

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle that was bottled on 09/02/08 into a snifter.

Appearance is a clear orange with a one inch off-white head. Sinks down to a thin skim that holds up and leaves some decent lacing behind.

Aroma is outstanding. Citrusy, florally, piney hops galore. Even after the onslaught a sweet caramel tone peeks through. Very slight alcohol with a hard sniff as well.

Taste is just as good as the aroma. Initial hop bitterness is quite piney hinting at grapefruits as well. Midway through there is a split second where there is a very subtle sweet note, but it is quickly pushed away by more hops. Finish is so good I wanna wait to have another sip just to bask in the hoppy goodness, but alas I must indulge.

Mouthfeel is medium, but the carbonation level is perfect. On the swallow it gets very smooth and creamy.

Pretty much this is DIPA perfection. There's a reason this beer is so hyped. I pray for the day that this stuff gets distributed far and away.

 1,150 characters

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

Bottled 8/13/08. Gifted to me by msubulldog25, who I cannot thank enough.

Looks a beaut, with a bountiful, creamy, fluffy head that takes awhile to lessen, leaving lace striations here and there, while the body is a super-clean, well-filtered sunset copper-orange.

I cannot think of another beer that is not only this hoppy-smelling, but as untainted and unadulterated as Pliny the Elder. Pure, fresh, transcendental hops, balanced by malt but kept true and powerful by the talent of the brewer(s). Oh mama, this is beyond facile descriptions of "pine" and "citrus". It's just simply hops incarnate. Beautiful.

The flavor delivers wave after wave of pure hops bitterness, and even more hoppy fruitiness, yet avoids being an unbalanced tongue-ripper. Along with the wonderful, prominent hops character comes a candy-like malt sweetness that recalls gooey fresh caramel and hints of butterscotch syrup. Subtle floral hints throughout, along with just the right amount of grassy astringency, with toasted flavors lingering in the finish, along with, that's right, beautiful beautiful hops.

Finish isn't quite as creamy as I'd expected or hoped, but it's smooth and slick with just enough carbonation. Or maybe it could've used just slightly less bubbles, which I sometimes find distracting in this great style. It's not sticky, even though a layer seems to have been slathered across the tongue that won't let go. And that's fine, as the flavor lingers a long, long while.

The pleas by Russian River on the label to "consume Pliny fresh or not at all" and "do not age" are to be respected. "Hoppy beers are not meant to be aged!" sayeth Vinnie and R.R. It makes sense, but that's a discussion for the board--I'm just glad I was able to drink this only 6 weeks after it was bottled. Pliny the Elder, you did not die in vain!

 1,827 characters

Photo of Cresant
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured this 16.9 oz brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled on 090208 (less than a month from brewery to little ol' Kentucky). The body was clear and bright. The rich golden/apricot color glowed. The 1"+ of frothy, creamy, off-white head lingered- leaving splotchy lace. the film of foam never evaporated.

Smell was sweet satsuma. Piney. Clean grain. Citrus. Pungent earthy hops.

Taste was oily green hops. Grapefruit ring. Juicy oranges. Very nice, but I can't say I like this more than Hopslam.

Mouthfeel was medium but I expected it to be a bit richer. With only %.5 difference I actually think Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA is overall more flavorful than Pliney the E.

 691 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
3.92/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, after being disappointed in the on-tap version in SD, I've got a couple of bottles to try. Appearance is a hazy yellow with a quarter-inch of head. Smells strongly of pine and herbs. Fantastic aroma. Taste is another matter--very bitter, with a medium citrus flavor and a decent malt component. Just a two-dimensional flavor, though, not much complexity. Could have used some more varied hop flavors in there. Very drinkable, but just not the world-class IPA I was expecting.

 479 characters

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,503 ratings.