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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.

10,502 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,502
Reviews: 3,166
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 4,845
Gots: 1,742 | FT: 57
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: 10,502 | Reviews: 3,166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stretke
5/5  rDev +7.5%

stretke, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of whiskaudio
4/5  rDev -14%

whiskaudio, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of DWarcher
5/5  rDev +7.5%

DWarcher, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of turmeric
5/5  rDev +7.5%

turmeric, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of lenrex
5/5  rDev +7.5%

lenrex, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of derkfromwi
4.35/5  rDev -6.5%

Bottled 3/7/12 Poured into snifter and a pint glass

A: Thick white frothy head, light golden color, very good carbonation and amazing lacing

S: Citrus, fresh hops and flowers, pine, touch of sweetness in there

T: Nice blend of hops, nicely balanced from start to finish, bit of sweetness and bitterness

M: No complaints here, spot on in my book, great carbonation, medium bodied

O: Extremely drinkable, awesome stuff, can't wait to drink again

derkfromwi, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Schwag
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Schwag, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of TheBierBoutique
3.75/5  rDev -19.4%

TheBierBoutique, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of EA728
5/5  rDev +7.5%

This is the perfect example of what an IPA/IIPA should taste like. With all the hype I did expect it to be hoppier, as I'm used to Ruination, but it doesn't try to be excessive.

The appearance is a nice golden color, nice head and lots of beautiful carbonation.

The smell is all hops and pine; if I could make a candle that smelled like this I would.

Taste is not overly bitter, but very hoppy. The flavors of the hops are balanced perfectly with the bittness and alcohol. Exactly what I think of when I imagine an IPA.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, excellent carbonation, and the alcohol is very well masked as I stated earlier.

Overall, considering I don't see distribution in Texas, and shipping is expensive, I would probably only purchase for special occasions or as a gift to a fellow beer geek, but it is definitely the best IPA I've ever had.

EA728, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of BrandonDZ
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

BrandonDZ, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of BoatsSinkBro
4.28/5  rDev -8%

On tap at Torondao SF, 4th Street Grill, same-month bottles.
-Aroma of a more aggressive piney and resin hop over the also-noticeable citrus fruit character. It's got depth.
-Fresh and middle body of citrus fruit.
-A more overpowering bitter hop finish.
Not waaay too bitter, but it gets it's point across, well balanced if you you step back and look at it. It's the other spectrum, imo from the more citrus heavy IPA's. A very good beer anyone should try at LEAST once.

BoatsSinkBro, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of ZinFanDave
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

ZinFanDave, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

daysinthewake sent me this one! Thanks Josh!

500ml bottle poured into a globe. Bottle dated 3/7/12.

A: Golden with a slightly red hue. Slightly hazy...lots of bubbles rising up. Two finger pillowy white head with tight bubbles. Slowly settled to a cap that covered the entire top throughout. Much lacing.

S: A forest of resiny pine. Some graham cracker crust or brown sugar.

T: The aroma was decidedly understated compared to the waves of flavor that you are hit with. Woody pine resin and grapefruit is featured. Some grainy malt and just a touch of sweetness. I suspect there is a good amount of malt in this but this bottle is fresh enough that it’s still way, way in the background. Alcohol is well hidden behind the hop avalanche.

M: Body is medium and carbonation lively. The abrasive pine is all up in your business...drying out your tongue. Nothing objectionable for a hophead however.

O: The gold standard in aggressive hop-forward beers. The thing that sets this apart from many others is that it pushes the limits without going over and has such a nice smooth finish for such a massive hop profile. I wish more "hop bombs" were like this. Just be sure to get it fresh!

mjtiernan, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of WankelEngine
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass
Bottled on date: 02/13/12

A: A fairly vigorous pour yields a 2-3 finger, just off-white head. It leaves beautiful curtains of lace. The beer itself is a light golden-amber color with a lot of visible carbonation.

S: Smells of pungent, resinous hops. This provides both bitter pine and grass as well as some citrus and grapefruit flavors. There are some light tropical scents behind this, creating a very full, hop-centered aroma.

T: Hop-forward and delectable. Similar resinous pine from the smell, but the fruit flavors open up. Tropical, citrus, grapefruit, pear and maybe apple. There is a hint of the alcohol content which increases as the beer warms, but only serves to complement the pine. There is a light malt backbone which provides good balance and some light toffee. The finish has some lingering bitterness.

M: Smooth and almost creamy. Medium bodied with just a hint of alcohol and light to moderate carbonation.

O: One of my new favorite IIPAs. I wish I had better access to this. Hard to see where this beer could be improved.

WankelEngine, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of RosieLaRoseToronto
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

RosieLaRoseToronto, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of augie
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

augie, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of sponch51
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

sponch51, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.83/5  rDev -17.6%

A - Very bright. It's yellow, rather than warm orange. The head-retention sucks.

A - Plenty of orange, bright citrus. But there's even more fresh pine. Kinda reminds me of a car-freshener, then backed by a fresh-squeezed juice note. This doesn't blow me away, but it's refreshing and familiar.

T - Juicy, a little prickly, definitely sweet. For being so hoppy and sweet, the bitterness is relatively smooth and the finish approaches dry. It's not as crisp as other IPAs, but for being such a sturdy beer it remains tight. The bitterness has degree of harshness requisite of an IPA; anything else and the beer would lack character. I'm not blown-away by the flavor profile. This beer is far from pedestrian, but Centennial-oriented IPAs just do it better.

M - Coming out of the winter months, and just passing St Pat's most have become accustomed to big malty beers. I'm sure other times of the year perception varies, but presently this beer qualifies as lean on compact, very drinkable.

O - It's a flavorsome beer that does so many things so very well. If I were to dedicate several weeks to drinking only this beer I'd have more confidence and depth in my opinion. Drinking beers like Nugget Nectar, Great Divide's Barleywine, and Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe recently, I feel that my palate has been skewed by larger beers.

What I like about Pliny is that it gets as big and sweet as a beer can be without ever becoming boozy and heavy. Further, the copious amount of hops never impart any offensive flavors.

I can quickly name several IPA's which I prefer to this one. So, I gotta add that the hype is overrated. But props to Vinny for making awesome beers (he created the XL IPA) and being an awesome crusader for craft beer. And thanks the the Hulmeville Inn for doing a Russian River tap-takover!

MONKandTUCK, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Muthacack
4.93/5  rDev +6%

I am lucky that Pliny the Elder is very available in my area. I like to find the subtle yet nice changes from batch to batch. I always get excited to see the new dates on each bottle so I can compare this glass to my last. All in all, RR puts out a consistent and high quality beer here.

A- Pours a nice light golden color with a couple of fingers of creamy head leaving nice retention.

S- This is what a beer should smell like. Smells very piny, like a walk in the forest. Lots of citrus notes as well

T- Very well balanced for the high IBUs. You taste the different hops but they mesh well together.

M- Very smooth, the alcohol is well hidden. Aftertaste is not too dry.

O-This beer is one of my staples because of how balanced it is. The aroma of this beer is the standard I use to compare all other beers. I always stock up when I see it on the shelf because it is gone before you know it.

Muthacack, Mar 22, 2012
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

MYSTIKPIZZA, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of travolta
3.23/5  rDev -30.5%

App: Fizzy yellow beer in color, eggshell white head, foamy with good retention.

Nose: green, pine.

Taste: Crisp mouthfeel, slightly buttery, some tropical fruit.

Notes: Either I am crazy or my palate is not refined enough. This did nothing for me.

travolta, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of oldvines
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

oldvines, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of tmcd02
5/5  rDev +7.5%

tmcd02, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of IIDRushII
5/5  rDev +7.5%

IIDRushII, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of frank12
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

frank12, Mar 21, 2012
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,502 ratings.