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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

11,431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,431
Reviews: 3,253
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 5,320
Gots: 2,124 | FT: 67
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,431 | Reviews: 3,253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NCMeanGreen
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Beezone
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Kraj30
5/5  rDev +7.5%

just amazing... perfectly brewed

Photo of Cholansky1
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of LukeLorence
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Morakaton
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%

Photo of Twerp28
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

It’s my smashingly good fortune to have a somewhat nefarious pipeline to this Elder concoction. Lacourt, my unwavering old sommelier was the first to acquire this grog on behalf of the estate; I’m assured at an utterly pedestrian price to boot! Of course, Monsieur Lacourt is accustomed to somewhat less modest orders of fine wines of sundry provenance, however my dear nephew Henry was visiting for a fortnight and much to my displeasure the poor boy imbibes not in wine or spirits, but solely that grain infusion of the tiresome hoards.

Nevertheless, I remain dogged in my appraisals. I shall persevere therefore in the format of those less fortunate.

The brew arrived in a hand-blown Thurgau crystal Burgundy goblet, one of the army I had purchased in a wholly impulsive transaction on business in Zurich. (Resolved from reviews past, I judge the caliber of the vessel has at least some measure of effect on the most vulgar liquid that unfortunately fills it. How utterly infantile is this foray on which I am embarking?)

Naturally, this copper fluid was retrieved from a bottle rather than a tap. I shudder at the thought of – as they say, “knocking back,” with the bitter, plebian masses. Lacourt tells me the barmen are clothed in mechanics jumpers! To think - I wouldn’t know whether to hand them the keys to my Quattroporte or to request an ale?

At any rate, the dubious nectar radiates the hue of the Calais sun making it’s Atlantic retreat. It wears a pale lather of effervescence (not unlike the fodder of resident scum the Calais harbor is known for.) Bawdy and sloth in it’s vigor, yet noteworthy in it’s persistence. A beguiling mousse in the most bizarre manner.

At this point I’ll have the reader know, I am not an absolute neophyte. I’ve had the displeasure of consuming numerous “craft beers,” in a downright economic, albeit somewhat self-serving, pursuit. I’ve closed many a rowdy account with the various Dallas oil barons over a Hopsmash, or whatever they’re called. I assure you I can never “hop” out of these vile summits soon enough. As a refinement of experience, I was heartily expecting this Pliny dribble to no sooner see it’s way to the drain than the amuse-bouche had ventured onto our table.

To the parties amusement, our aperitif was not the absolute abomination I had predicted. Indeed, the peculiar beverage lacks the finesse of the well-healed malts of Belgium, the quaff of which I became so fond as an adolescent student in Bruxelles. I suppose one must give this attempt it’s due, one mustn’t judge Americans by the exemplar of the old world. Like Hemmingway or Whistler, this libation remains charming despite it’s awkward proportions. It retains a sort of harmony despite its underprivileged poise, like a spindly, young girl learning Chopin.

At any rate, a bouquet of a warm Valencian citrus emanated from my goblet, pursued by an unmistakable musk of saturated pine forest. A time back I had kept a small bungalow just north of Bodega. After a light rainshower the decomposing floor would relinquish it’s hearty aroma; for a fleeting moment the saline winds would dance with the bucolic redolence of the earth, then, like a forsaken liaison the delicate perfume would evanesce leaving only a phantom of memory to the consciousness.

Regardless of my soliloquy, the palette continues the impetus grace. Lacking in nuance and feminine elegance. The liquor is bold and unapologetic like Tchaikovsky’s overture. One can hardly expect anything but an arrogant ostentation from the colonials, yet the nectar calls for another dram like a fine young Barolo. Madame Heathcourt thought it a "Queer yet delightful refreshment." (However, one must remember the Madame's taste for aesthetics has been weathered by two decades of appointment in Bombay, not to mention her Irish provenance.)

I suppose at this point, one would give this consumable a numerical grade, as if a pleasure can be quantified by a thing as banal as numerics! I forsee the day when great ale houses are brought to their knees and domesticated by the uneducated serfs. Look what that odious lawyer, Mr. Parker, has done to the great Chateux with his trifling little periodical. You will rue the day when the unshaven hoards become the arbiter of beauty.

However if I must – four and a quarter.

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Joedawks
1.2/5  rDev -74.2%

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4.92/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Bato
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Caillou
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rmorris17
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of JamesStreet
4.33/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Osciliath
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jaybes
3.6/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Igotmypistola
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of neenerzig
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My extremely good and awesome buddy Jon Passow, who as of a few months ago became the Manager of Barrel Room Operations at Anderson Valley, recently sent me this in a package from northern, CA. This is my third time having this beer, and this really is a holy grail of Double IPAs. Poured out of a 16 oz can into my tulip glass, this beer pours a very clear, surprisingly clear I'd say, light to medium golden color with steady streams of lots of little bubbles rising tot eh top of the glass. Has a nice white head about 1/3 of an inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to a solid 1/5 of an inch with good retention. Good lacing here too. Fresh aromas of grapefruit/citrus, earthy, floral, and piney hops all packed in here nicely. Followed by some other fruity notes, but the hops sure dominate. Flavor wise there is almost no caramel malty sweetness, this beer is certainly dominated by citrus/grapefruit, earth, floral, and piney hop flavors. This beer is not overly bitter though. Each different aforementioned aspect of the hop flavors stand out from each other while yet also somehow intertwining and blending together so elegantly. Truly a unique flavor profile that is just down damn right delicious! Has a medium to full bodied crisp, somewhat prickly, resiny, yet smooth and slightly frothy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is so easy and superb. You really just want to keep drinking the hell out of this and you wish that your glass was never ending. WOW!!! Drink this beer every chance you get and be kind and share it with people who you know will appreciate its exquisite awesomeness! An absolutely phenomenal beer!


Photo of Bencooper27
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of jm_buckeye
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of VoteforPaul
5/5  rDev +7.5%

This IPA is perfect. It's fruity, bitter, has a great nose, and aftertaste. Deserves the score it has on this website, I just wish I had more of it!

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2.48/5  rDev -46.7%

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4.52/5  rDev -2.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Ideal ioa

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 11,431 ratings.