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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,439 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,439
Hads: 12,946
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 6,590
Gots: 3,189 | FT: 97
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,439 | Hads: 12,946
Photo of FyreStorm
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most wonderful beers I've ever been so lucky to quaff.

Being Canadian getting this beer is a major chore...I sent friends combing L.A. to get it for me and was delightfully rewarded when it arrived.

It has all the makings of a great IPA...great aroma, piney flavour and none of the bitterness some IPAs force upon you...overall one of my favourite beers ever...

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Photo of Nicole15
4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great all around IPA. Pours a clear orange with a nice head. Lots of pine in the aroma and the flavor. A really great west coast style IPA. Glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.72/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle three weeks old into a tulip glass.
Look: Appears crystal golden and transparent.
Aroma: Piny hop aroma with some sweet malt. Would like more citrus (I get a little orange) or even more pine. Kind of a disappointing nose.
Taste: Fruit rine and pine. A little sweet malt. A good, balanced example of the west coast style.
Feel: Medium to medium-low body.
Overall, a good example of the west coast style and definitely balanaced as others have pointed out, but I was hoping for something more. I can see why this was a world-class IPA years ago but in the current IPA market I can buy comparable beers at my local store.

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Photo of tregan_20
4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was glad to have tried the West Coast Pliny here on the East Coast. It's definitely living up to the hype. Overall great body, smell and taste of citrus is there along with the hop flavor. This one deserves to be ranked as high as it is, cheers!

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

(can't believe I've never reviewed until now)

Sure, other beers have replicated what made it so hype-worthy, but it's still tough to top the original. It's bright, golden yellow and medium head are the ideal appearance for any West Coast IPA, and the insane floral and grapefruit notes are incredible -- especially so when poured fresh. Packed with citrus flavors and aroma, it's refreshing with a slight hoppy bitterness and you'd be hard-pressed to find a smoother drink (for an IPA) at this level ABV.

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Photo of WonderfulBeth
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: clear, dark, golden yellow with foamy white head

S: Notes of grapefruit, apricot, slight malt sweetness. super floral hops

T: Piney orange rind with a strong, medium-plus bitterness. some apricot notes. malt flavour is balanced with the hop bitterness

M: excellent medium/medium-plus mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. very dry finish

O: a bitter and super hoppy but delicious IPA

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Photo of quaybr
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A golden and light Amber body with a frothy head, a little lacing left behind.

Smells really pretty: a floral and tropical citrus nose with subtle caramel malts.

These flavors are so well balanced. The malts provide just enough support the citrus notes and clean but not overly bitter finish.

The grain bill shows its mastery in mouthfeel, too. A medium body that feels better and better as it warms up.

This beer delivers on all the hype.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally had It on tap. Verdict it's pretty good. My takeaway is how very well balanced it is. Has an almost subdued hypnotic quality to it. But to me it's an old man on the block compared to what I can get in my area. Glad to try it.

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Photo of Chief_Mug
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There was alot of hype about this beer. And I finally got my hands on one. First impression (drink) was "its a good beer - solid IPA" but nothing special. Then as I drank more, the taste built upon itself getting better and better. To mm whatt sets this beer above others is it has a lingering finish that is awesome. No other beer has had that long lasting after taste. Overall Awesome Balance of Beer .

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Photo of spacecake9
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got 2 bottles in a trade.
A - Pours clear and golden with a nice white head that settles quickly and leaves some nice lacing.
S - Malty with a hint of citrus.
T - Malty, hoppy and piney, not much citrus.
M - Crisp feel, medium carbonation.
O - Like any great beer, the key is balance and this is an incredibly well balanced DIPA. Very drinkable. Hope I can get my hands on more of this soon.

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Photo of beerbully
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into RR chalice
Bottle Date 6/29

L-Clear, golden, 1/2 inch head from a modest pour, moderate retention leaving a white cap atop the beer, thick lacing that sticks to the glass

S-Aroma hits as soon as the bottle is open........lots of tropical fruits and some sweet malts..........passion fruit, papaya, mango, slight pine hidden in the background.........the fruity hops and sweet malts work well together

T-Hops are at the forefront of this one as expected but not overpowering..........not quite as fruity as the nose........hops are balanced well with the malts.........Pine is more noticeable when drinking than in the nose as the fruity aromas in the nose move aside while drinking..........flavors of peach, orange rind, and tropical fruits are present

F-medium bodied, mild carbonation, very smooth and drinkable,

O-well balanced, extremely smooth, great nose and flavor, very drinkable, no alcohol presence, worth the trip to the brewery and the wait in line...........no doubt would stop by again if ever in area for more

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Photo of stonesean
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my first bottle recently at the Cuban Cigar Factory in the San Diego gaslamp district. A barely 2 week old bottle. I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, except:

I will say up front, a terrific beer. A benchmark for the style. Worth drinking. 100%. In 2002 this was one of the only Double IPA's to be had anywhere. These days, there are dozens and dozens of excellent DIPA's out there.

I think fear of missing out and wanting to be seen holding this beer are what really fuels the mystique in 2015. Again, world class, excellent, but if you can't find it easily, there are many excellent alternatives that are right up there.

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

Not as impressive as Elder. Had it at 1 week and 8 weeks. Seems to matter. Friends who hate IPA were very impressed. Very balanced. Hate the green design, but its very recognizable.

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Photo of Ismar1878
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Took me a while to track down and believe me it's hard to track them down and manage to snag one before it sells out but overall the beer is ridiculously good . Goes strong in taste and flavor at first sip then almost immediately goes smooth and refreshing . For some ipa drinkers this could be good or bad . I however love an IPA that can give you all its got and slim down at the end for the a smoother consumption.

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Photo of mobrado
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Needless to say, this is really good, but at least at this point there are dozens of IPAs and DIPAs in California that are just as tasty. That being said, if you do find it, it is excellent and good value for money.

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Photo of SayBoom
4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks clear yellow, 1 finger slight head. Quickly disappears.
Tropical fruits and pine in the aroma. The fruitiness is very impressive.
Massive strong bitterness, orange, grapefruit, peach, pine. Alcohol is there, but hiding behind the hops.
Very easy drinking. Bitterness lingers, but not too long.
One of the best DIPA I have had.

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Photo of MWM777
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grassy, malty nose with slight resinous hop aroma. Not as citrusy as I expected. Flavor matches the nose - grassy hop presence with mild malt finish. Slight passion fruit tinge in the flavor as well. Mouthfeel was fairly creamy and smooth for the ABV and IBU. Wish the bottle was fresher! Bottled 3/25/15 and drank 8/6/15. I will be updating my reviews as I try fresher bottles.

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Photo of ljjpowers
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pliny. The. Elder. So much hype, I had to get five on my friend’s latest visit to RR (thanks, Scott). Looking at this wonderful IIPA is probably something like seeing your first born child. And although the smell is orgasmic and the appearance is that of the Mona Lisa, the beer fails to live up to the buildup. This is not to say that the brew is poor or subpar in any capacity, but it is just not the third best IPA in the world. Simply put: it is not the third best IPA in the world. It’s fucking good. But it’s not the third best IPA in the world.

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Photo of Sundance
4.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I honestly believe this beer is way overhyped. Good IPA, not great. I was actually disappointed when I tried it. Heady Topper is by far better IMO. BY FAR!

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Photo of Maxwell5
4.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Perfect version of the west coast ipa style. Dank and citrusy with great carbonation and mouthfeel. Perfectly balanced west coast IPA that is an amazing drink during a warm day.

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Photo of deadhorse66
4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got a few 500ml Plineys sent to me by a friend in CA. They handled the shipping pretty well, despite the hot conditions of transit. Those that underrate PtE may just be too cool for school, or got a old batch. There's a reason it rates so high. Piney, but undeniably smooth for a DIPA. ABV hidden well by complex notes of pine and citrus

Bottle dated 7.2.15, 1 mo old, holds up well. If you don't like hoppy beer, this may be a good introduction to the IPA world (if you can find it anywhere)

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Photo of JuglashB
4.14/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Be wary of shipping these things nationwide during these toasty summers. Fresh bottles + extreme heat can turn a once delicious Pliny into somewhat of a malt bomb. So if you can wait, acquire through shipping in the colder months to avoid disappointment.

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Photo of schmpr
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I picked up a case in Santa Rosa last weekend and, after ten days straight of drinking Pliny, I'm ready to change it up.

Just kidding.

But I am brownbagging it.

This beer is incredibly balanced - huge hop flavor and smell without being overly sweet - and will continue to be a benchmark, regardless of trends.

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Photo of ttp86
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a taste at a bottleshare and was pretty disapointed. Aroma was faint, taste follows the aroma. Not as bold/hoppy as more recent IPA's. To be fair the bottle was over 2 months old and the beer was not as cold as I would like (bottleshare was outside in 90+ degrees). Hoping to try an fresh bottle and will update score.

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.13/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Seeing where this one was ranked, I was very excited to try.
Smelled the hops and something else that I can't quite place as soon as the top came off
Poured out amber colored, with a short, but lasting head
Tasted ok, I was more impressed with other IPAs and APAs I've had recently. No where near the high hop taste of heady, but more so than Zombie Dust.
Not super heavy, so if you like it, drinking it all night would be great.
Overall, not a bad beer. Just not quite to my liking

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,439 ratings.