Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 9,600 | Reviews: 3,120 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
A: golden with a thin head
S: hops, like a double IPA should
T: ah here is the suprise... like expected the hops level is high, but the balance is what sets it apart. piny flavors but no bitter, dry finish common to so many IPA's, no hint in the flavor to the high alchohol content.
M: smooth, no dry after-feel, high ABV present in feel.
O: There is a reason this beer is rated so high.
Serving type: on-tap
03-20-2012 20:46:40 | More by jgreasy
4.33/5 rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This bottle is 12 days old. Possibly the freshest bottle of commercial beer I have ever tasted, and how fitting it would be my first taste of Pliny the Elder. Yes, after years on BA and hundreds of beers, the time has finally come for me to taste this beer. This is one of the 5 most hyped beers in recent craft history. Poured into a tall, antique Czech pilsener glass that easily swallows the entire bottle.
The beer produces a thick two fingers of pillowy head that seems to last forever. The body is light gold and almost totally clear. Lighter than the average IPA.
The aroma is truly hoppy. The hoppiest I have ever smelled? Probably not, however it is very fresh smelling and very bright. Sweet, freshly cut grass, split ponderosa logs, a fistful of pineapple and grapefruit chunks, and touch of basil and mint make up the highly bitter, bright nose. Well done.
The flavor is truly good. Possibly the cleanest and brightest DIPA I have yet tasted. Truly resinous in a wonderful way. If hops had juice this bottle would say "not from concentrate", which is interesting since RR uses some hop extract in this beer. As I sip this I keep coming back to the idea of juice, and I think it is because of the surprising sweetness in the beginning of this flavor. I did not see this factor coming. It kind of tastes like what I would imagine the juice of "hop fruit" would taste like, if such a thing existed. I have never tasted an IPA that was this sweet, and the further into the glass I get the more I find myself wishing for less sugary sweetness, but it sure does make it drinkable!
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, which is exactly where I like things in a DIPA. It could have a touch higher "hop oil" feel (if there is such a thing) but I am really just being nit picky. Well done mouthfeel.
Conclusion: Today there are hundreds of IPAs and DIPAs that all taste basically the same. My biggest fear with Pliny was that it would turn out to be just another like so many of the rest, and that outside of a slightly fresher taste it wouldn't stand out. I am glad however to find that it actually is unique, with a flavor that isn't quite like anything else I have tasted. It is an amazingly unadulterated liquid form of fresh hop cones, which is pretty awesome. I can now cease scoffing at the masses for hyping this beer up beyond reach, as it truly is a magnificent DIPA. The best? Nearly, but it doesn't quite take gold in my book. I remember a time when this beer could be seen sitting in the cooler at a local store! I never paid any attention to it and by the time I realized what it was, so had the rest of my town, and now it never even makes it onto the floor, and only lasts a day or two when kept out of sight.
Serving type: bottle
03-20-2012 02:18:39 | More by allforbetterbeer
4.63/5 rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Flawless, golden color that is as deep as it can be before it starts to move towards bronze. Could retain its head just a bit more. Smell is great, nothing but a one-stop education in American hops with their citrus, pine, and resin, but its strength is also its weakness; I feel like there could be more depth to the hop bouquet. I don't believe DIPAs need to be one dimensional on the nose, since in my opinion the best ones certainly aren't when it comes to flavor. Taste is a perfect balance of towering hop bitterness on a firm malt foundation, not too sweet, not too dry; while this is obviously a thoroughly bitter beer, the rest of the elements keep it in check and prevent it from overwhelming the palate. Goes down nice and smooth, just a little overcarbonated, but that isn't an entirely a bad thing as it kept my pace more toward where it should be. Overall, an absolutely stunning beer, a must-have, not the undisputed greatest double IPA I've ever had, but it is certainly fairly high up on the list.
Serving type: on-tap
03-19-2012 17:48:15 | More by kc44
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,600 ratings.