1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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

10,547 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,547
Reviews: 3,172
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 4,867
Gots: 1,758 | FT: 58
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: 10,547 | Reviews: 3,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MDunk
5/5  rDev +7.5%

MDunk, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of output01x
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL. capped bottle (Bottled On 011612) into a snifter glass.

An aggressive pour yields a 2-finger off-white head that dissipates after a couple minutes to a thick, clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a clear golden amber with just a few rising carbonation bubbles. Some thick lacing can be seen clinging to the glass in splotches throughout consumption.

Pine and citrus aromas come together very nicely in the nose. Notes of tangerine and grapefruit are most obvious along with just a hint of bready malt in the background.

Mellow citrus flavors sit on the tongue at first sip with notes of tangerine and orange cream. Upon swallowing, a piny bitterness quickly sets in but is rushed away by flavors of sweet citrus and grainy malts. Then, as these fade, the piny bitterness reemerges and sticks around until the next sip. The bitterness is rather tame compared to some other DIPAs. However, this beer is not supposed to be a ruin-your-taste-buds hop bomb, but is supposed to be well-balanced - which I believe it accomplishes rather well.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is fantastically drinkable for an 8%. The body is smooth and easily drinkable. The carbonation is slightly fizzy when the beer is held in the mouth but does not detract from either the impact of the flavors nor the drinking experience.

output01x, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pliny! Thanks to whitefire. First time around on this one. Bottled 01/26/12.

Snifter glass for the pour. Beautifully clear tangerine/honey color with a bone-colored head of two and a half fingers. Holding strong, too. Patches clinging to the glass.

Mango, juicy orange, cantaloupe, and big leafy hops. Not getting a hint of extreme bitterness, but we'll see.

Huge bitterness upfront with lovely citrus notes. Oily hops leave a slick residue in the mouth. Melon, clementines, and a strange nuance of pickled fruit. The finish lasts a long time; bitter and evolving. Sickly smooth, drinks like an regular-strength IPA with amazing complexity. Rigorously dry middle with some of the sugars pulling through at the end. Letting it warm up brings out some lemon and lime.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Let the 8.0% catch up with you, because there's no other choice. Medium body with medium fizz. Any slicker, and it'd be perfect.

World-class smoothness and complexity. Totally worth dealing for.

thecheapies, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of dominic4beer
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

dominic4beer, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of plumlmr
5/5  rDev +7.5%

plumlmr, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of kagent777
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 01-03-12, about six weeks old poured into my beer goblet. I wish I could get this local, but I understand that Utah would destroy this beer by storing it at room temperature for weeks before it made its way to room temperature stores. So I bought it in Denver this weekend and brought it home. I have wanted to try this for a long time.

Appearance: A very nice light golden with a slight haze, I suspect from the yeast. The head was one finger thick and white and left lacing as it went.

Smell: Pine and citric hops. A malt back bone that can be smelled as well. A touch of alcohol.

Taste: This would be bitter to someone who did not know what to expect. I, on the other hand, do not think that this is out of balance at all. The biscuit maltiness stands up to the bitterness of the hops. The pine tastes are noticed on the front end and then the citrus notes show up at the back. The beer has a little sweetness at the front and then dries out during the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Middle to heavy on the body with perfect balancing carbonation.

Overall: I am happy to have had this. It can easily define the DIPA style for me , as well as many others. That being said, there are many DIPAs that are equally as good, but maybe without the pedigree. I will have a hard time obtaining this in Utah, until I travel some more. I will not seek this out until I travel because we have a few in Utah that are only right behind Pliny, IMHO.

kagent777, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of joex444
5/5  rDev +7.5%

joex444, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of GehenHerzog
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

GehenHerzog, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of illinigirl
4/5  rDev -14%

illinigirl, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of marine1975
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

marine1975, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of smarks2327
5/5  rDev +7.5%

smarks2327, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of ThickNStout
4.45/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500mL bottle (thanks to BeerSociety for the trade!). Bottled 1/16/12. Served in a Southern Tier snifter. 

Pours sparkling amber with a fine 2 finger near white head. Nice lacing as it goes down. 

What a delightful bouquet of floral and citris goodness. There's orange, grapefruit and a little pine. 

The taste is a fantastic blend of hops. Grapefruit, oranges, sweet bread. Bitter and sweet, it goes down smooth with a long pleasant aftertaste of hops. Never any hint of alcohol. 

Body is much lighter and less resinous than I expect from a DIPA, with a fine light carbonation. It's perfect for a standard IPA but just too thin to put in the same catagory as other big DIPAs. 

Pliny the Elder is an excellent hoppy drinking experience. Overall this is by far the best IPA I've ever had. But, oh wait, they call it a double. At 8%, it's less than 1/2-1% more booze than most IPAs and it's just too thin without a big malty backbone to take solidly into double territory. It IS really good but like most hyped beer it just can't live up to the "best beer ever" that we all read about. I'll never turn it down but I certainly won't go out of my way to trade for it again.

ThickNStout, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of ColonelW
5/5  rDev +7.5%

ColonelW, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of allstar255
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

allstar255, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Ungertaker
4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle dated 2/6/2012 (fresh beyond belief!), courtesy of deebo, poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- hazy orange with constant carbonation plumes and a 1/4 white head that fades to a small cap.

S- pine, grapefruit peel

T- definitely pine-forward, grapefruit and pineapple balance it out perfectly!

M- the carbonation level is absolutely perfect with a medium mouthfeel.

O- this beer is in no way, shape or form over-hyped. It is one of the best brews I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. The dry pine is balanced so well with citrus. I don't think I could ever get enough of this! Thanks, Chris!

Ungertaker, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They should really call this beer, Piney the Elder.

This tastes the way Pine Sol smells. And this is a good thing. This is Super Piney and just way out there in extremeness. Not so floral or grapefruity, but, man, does it deliver the Pine.

My wife doesn't care for it. I love it. Well worth the effort to seek out. Hell, I drove over five hours to find it. And I'm glad I did.

CasanovaCummins, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of baerb69
5/5  rDev +7.5%

baerb69, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of mborge
5/5  rDev +7.5%

mborge, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottle dated 1/16/2012 - bought one week after bottling, stored in fridge since then. In a tulip.

Small head, nice golden semi orange color. lots of carb bubbles

Bright yet heavy deep almost earthy hop aroma. some sweetness too. great aroma - yum!

Well balanced, goes through many layers of taste - dryness, hoppy, slight bitter/spiciness. deep taste too

Nice carbonation, dry.

Excellent - really balances between sweet/dry hop aroma/bitter.

drewone, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of andersen8185
5/5  rDev +7.5%

andersen8185, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of felixljr
5/5  rDev +7.5%

felixljr, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml bottle dated Jan 16th, 2012

A - Very clear, golden color, with 1 finger of head, and tons of sticky lace all over the glass. Surprised at how clear it is, more clear than a typical IPA

S - Sweet citrus notes dominate, orange, pineapple, tropical fruit

T - Bitter up front, and then the citrus hops kick in, big time. Very dry finish, but not overwhelming.

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated, well balanced.

O - I could drink this all night, wow. The ABV is totally hidden. It is so smooth and well balanced. As good as it gets. Very surprising that it is a DIPA, it is that smooth and well balanced and hidden alcohol...

BeerDawgs, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of bdm620
5/5  rDev +7.5%

bdm620, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of BelgiumStyle342
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

BelgiumStyle342, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Tyrawlings, Feb 12, 2012
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,547 ratings.