1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,676 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,676
Reviews: 3,311
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 5,594
Gots: 2,322 | FT: 76
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Ratings: 11,676 | Reviews: 3,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThePaleRider
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a little light in color. Just a little darker than most pale ales. One finger wide, white head, that leaves no lacing on the glass.

S - Pine, citrus, and smooth malts. One of the best smelling beers out there.

T - So smooth. Hops and malts blend perfectly and leaves you with a nice bitter finish. Super easy to drink for the style.

M - light with a little less than average carbonation. Doesn't stick around long after you drink it.

O - Definitely one of the best tasting DIPA's out there. I really enjoy the drinkability of this beer. A little pricy for the 16 oz bottle, but I guess when you have a beer with a following like this one you can charge a little more.

Photo of derricksmalls
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Saxmusik45
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jaredtuk
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Beeradelphia
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of pjmarkert
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of jrkoller
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of notalagerlugger
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of a_sh0pping_cart
3.5/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of OtisCampbell
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Sanjo
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of wtfdic
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of stunna
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of ESPNman
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at Pete's Brass Rail & Carwash in Danville

A - Pours a transparent straw-gold with a hint of orange. Two fingers of thick, foamy head with solid lacing and retention.

S - One word that I'll use several times in this review is "balance". This is one extraordinarily balanced beer, and it starts with the nose. Sweet malts provide the backbone for what is certainly a very hoppy beer. Citrus, floral, and piney hops are present, but not overpowering. A bit of mango accompanies the sweet malt structure.

T - Balanced and essentially perfect for the style. Yes, this is a bitter and hoppy brew, but it's shockingly drinkable and balanced for an 8% ABV DIPA. Much like the nose, it has the solid bitter notes of floral and citrus hops, but it also has bready, sweet malt notes that balance the beer out perfectly. It finishes with a perfectly dry, bitter, hoppy aftertaste. I've had many DIPAs in my day, and even in blind tastings, Pliny consistently comes out as my favorite.

M - Although it's great for the style, it's not my favorite. I prefer the thickness of a Ruination 10th Anniversary or a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. Yes, it is well carbonated and not too thick on the tongue... but it's just not my favorite. It leaves a dry finish, and isn't too thin for the style. It's just not as heavy on the tongue as I would prefer.

O - Overall, this is my favorite beers. It's the epitome of balance. No one characteristic of the beer stands out as being the "most" of anything. It's not the hoppiest, it's not the booziest, it's not as thick or intense as other DIPAs (such as Hopslam, Double Jack, or Dreadnaught), but it is balanced and it is delicious. It is the DIPA by which all other DIPAs, or even beers for that matter, are measured... and it is well-deserved.

Photo of BennyL1
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ajs4bd
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of dragnalus
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of justinbrown
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of BeefSkillet
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of rwalker_sfg
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.22/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle on June 5 2012 into Duvel tulip. Approx 12 days old from bottling.

Appearance - 4
Golden yellow with a half inch white head.

Aroma - 4.5
Initially it bursts with volumes of thick juicy citrus, grapefruit, mango, tangerine, & hops. Faint sweetness of malt in the nose. These flavors tend to subside a few minutes after opening the beer, but make a gradual return as the beer becomes warmer.

Taste - 4
Initially a sharp, piney bitterness with a touch of resin, lemon and faint subtle tropical flavors. Get a very mild contrasting sweetness of the malt with notes of biscuit and very faint notes of caramel; more on the centre of the palate. Midway through get intensification of sharp acidic dry bitterness. Finishes with a moderate lingering piney bitterness and the more tropical juicy flavors of the hops make a return on the palate, although muted in comparison to the aroma. As the beer warms, there is slightly more sweetness in the malt and fruitiness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - 4
Mild to moderate body with moderate carbonation. Overall finish is dry, although faint notes of sweetness from the malt. Hops does leave a sharp finish to the beer, which is quite refreshing.

Overall - 4.5
How can you truly evaluate a beer that has so much hype, as well as personal meaning, as pliny the elder. It is very difficult to be unbiased in evaluation. At minumum, it is an above average IPA, very typical, if not defining, of the west coast style. Is it the best beer out there, or best IPA? I'm not sure. I think I would have to re-evaluate some of the other IPA's I've had in the past. The nose of this beer is quite good, although I may have found other beers better in this category before. As for the taste, it is quite brash in its hops presesnce, yet still has some balance with the malt offering a refined feel.

Overall, very enjoyable and incredibly easy to drink. If I was in a location where this was a regular offering, I could see it being a regular pick regardless of its hype factor. But back to whether it's the best beer out there - I can't say at this time. Still, it is a beer any craft beer afficianado must try. Highly recommend.

Photo of lalakers24
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of GregoryMo
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of rodlavers
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Patrick2012
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, great ale. I love it and will definitely be trying it again.(too bad there is a one bottle only limit hehe.) well balanced IPA that has a fantastic citrus fruit smell/taste. I did try this at dinner(salad with steak strips/vinaigrette .) plus i opened a bottle of Stone's Ruination 10th anniversary which overall probably affected the drinking experience because the ruination was soooo strong. But i found this to be a fantastic beer. MUST HAVE

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 11,676 ratings.