1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,812 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,812
Reviews: 3,193
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 4,993
Gots: 1,878 | FT: 63
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,812 | Reviews: 3,193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Looks like liquid gold. Bright, clear gold. Head is bright-white, chunky, creamy, and super sticky. Lacing is thick, and sticks around for a good bit. Leaves a small cap on the beer for the duration. Solid carbonation pulls from the bottom of the glass. It's missing some of the copper notes I would expect from the style, but damn if it isn't pretty.

Smell: Pine, citrus, and copious amounts of resin. Big malt body works to back up the hops. Nice level of caramel sweetness comes through as well. Oily, slick, and floral. So much hop aroma and depth. Bready and slightly earthy. Crazy level of hop aroma. Did I mention tropical fruit as well? Mango and pineapple. There's also that thing that smells like cotton candy that I've encountered in other DIPAs of this caliber. Faintly toasted malts round out the back.

Taste: Bitter, straight bitter. Pith. Loads of pine and citrus. Deep floral contribution as well. Mango and pinepple on the back of each sip, and that's just the hops! Malts are bready and sweet and offer a nice backbone to the hop explosion. Big slick hops everywhere. The hop profile is intense, but never overbearing. Incredibly balanced for such a hop-forward beer. Bitterness lingers throughout. There's not a lot of room for improvement here. Drinking it fresh makes all the difference in the world.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Smooth, a touch creamy, and a bit dry on the back. So very slick and delicious. Yup, this is how they're supposed to drink.

Overall: Damn near perfect. Pliny really is everything it's cracked up to be. There's a ton of flavor and an incredible level of balance for such intense flavor. You could easily drink 6 of these and never feel the tongue fatigue. Truly a prime example of hops and their execution. If only I had this all the time.

Goblinmunkey7, May 17, 2012
Photo of dbrew22
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

dbrew22, May 17, 2012
Photo of storko22
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

storko22, May 16, 2012
Photo of Mack2012
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Mack2012, May 16, 2012
Photo of ABisonEgo
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

ABisonEgo, May 16, 2012
Photo of pearljam118
5/5  rDev +7.5%

pearljam118, May 16, 2012
Photo of ncstateplaya
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

ncstateplaya, May 15, 2012
Photo of matzah
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

matzah, May 15, 2012
Photo of JohnK17
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

JohnK17, May 15, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

2dogbrew, May 15, 2012
Photo of HungarianCount
3.75/5  rDev -19.4%

HungarianCount, May 15, 2012
Photo of Hopstamon
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, this double IPA showed off a murky orange/amber color topped with a firm, resilient off-white head that left clumps of lace down the glass. The aromas of pine needles and juicy grapefruits delivered a slap to the sinuses. Once getting past the pungent hops, I could make out a grainy malt aroma that added an added incentive to taste.
Taste I did. The sweet malts were noticeable briefly before getting shown the exit in favor of an avalanche of fresh hops. Lots of potent citrus flavor, slightly sticky pine sap taste and feel, and the light warming sensation of alcohol in the finish to warn of the well-concealed ABV. The feel was medium-bodied, vaguely prickly with carbonation and quite dry in the finish.
Pliny The Elder is one top-notch example of what appears to be a growing style. You definitely need to have your heart (and palate) set for some hops if you order a pint of Pliny.

Hopstamon, May 15, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

MarkyMOD, May 15, 2012
Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

mobius387, May 14, 2012
Photo of Kevlee722
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a Holden straw color with two fingers of creamy off white head that lingers. Lots of lace as the head slowly dissipates. Smells of pine, grass and citrus fruits. Wonderful aromas, strong example of how a DIPA should smell. Taste is the same as the nose, bitter pony biogas lead the way followed by juicy citrus notes and flight biscuity sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter, perfect amount of carbonation, medium body. Pliny is an amazing beer, totally lives up to its reputation. Well worth grabbing a bottle or two even chance you get.

Kevlee722, May 14, 2012
Photo of sbanacho
5/5  rDev +7.5%

sbanacho, May 14, 2012
Photo of cfcairns
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

cfcairns, May 14, 2012
Photo of M1A2
5/5  rDev +7.5%

M1A2, May 14, 2012
Photo of jordanblaskey
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a trade from StevenT562. Poured from a 500ml. bottle into a Russian River tulip. Bottle date: April 30th, 2012.

A:
Pours a clouded lazy golden copper with a bubby two finger head.

S:
Big fruity hops. Sweet. Nothing out of line here.

T:
A well-balanced combination of hops, citrus notes, earthy notes and malts. Pliny is nothing mind shattering, but it's perfect balance is what makes it stick out from the crowd.

M:
Perfect for the style. Awesome drinkability for the 8%.

O:
Honestly I hate more than anyone to turn beers into a war between west coast vs. everyone else, but I have a hard time swallowing the hype with this beer (pun intended). It's good, don't get me wrong, and for what it is it's done extremely well. However, it doesn't come near dethroning the handful of FFF IPA's that outrun Pliny in this beer arms race.

jordanblaskey, May 14, 2012
Photo of TimPell
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

TimPell, May 14, 2012
Photo of HarmonMW
5/5  rDev +7.5%

HarmonMW, May 14, 2012
Photo of infi
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

infi, May 13, 2012
Photo of GoddamnBrewery
4.1/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brother was lucky enough to have one bought for him by a friend. I made sure to sample half the bottle! amped to drink this beer i've heard so much about.

a - clear with a hint of gold, looks tasty.
s - smells rather sweet, not an overly hop-abundant smell that i would expect from an IPA.
t - "I said, 'Goddamn!'" - really, really, really balanced. Enough hops to please the IPA-fanatic but never overwhelming.
m - solid. not too light and never sits heavy.
o - overall, I thought this was delicious for sure. i could drink a few of these (but we only had one...) without even thinking about the 8% ABV - dangerous. At very first, i was slightly disappointed, since it didn't seem to impress me with any hop flavor. but as i continued to drink i realized how wrong i was, it is quite simply a perfectly balanced IPA/beer. doesn't get too much better than this if what you want is an incredible IPA.

GoddamnBrewery, May 13, 2012
Photo of HopFace
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

HopFace, May 13, 2012
Photo of adie
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

adie, May 13, 2012
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,812 ratings.