Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

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11,449 Ratings

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Ratings: 11,449
Reviews: 3,257
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 5,336
Gots: 2,139 | FT: 66
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: 11,449 | Reviews: 3,257 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kyager2000
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Thecherryman
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of bvdubn
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of markasparov
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of rah1734bones
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

after years and years and years of waiting for this one and reading the heavy hype, my new beer drinking girlfriend sourced 2 bottles of this for us. apparently she called all over denver and finally hooked it up at mr. b's liquor. thank god she did. this mythical beer pours a slightly cloudy honey orange color with a one inch bone white head that has excellent retention. the smell is amazing, really tropical hops. im picking up passion fruit, clementines, and something even more intense like a pau pau or a mango, im not quite sure, but its all from the hops. makes me think there is nelson sauvin in here, but i cant confirm that, similar profile though. flavor has all the same hop essences, but is rounded out with a crackery seedy malt flavor that lays just under the hops, which arent in any way overbearing and bitter. this is really sensational. mouthfeel would be a 6 out of 5 if that was a choice, it is light feeling and smoothly creamy despite its squarely medium body. its got this perfectly made richness of feel when its held in the mouth, it gets foamy and huge and cloud-like. well carbonated but not like soda pop, its more tame and gentle, different vibe totally, but equally bright. quite a surprisingly dry finish, but appealing in this context. the aftertaste is legendary, hanging on forever. forever. every tastebud on my tongue is firing, bitter ones are dancing up front, sweet ones are tickling me in the back, and fruity like the islands somewhere in between. my inner beer geek is just brimming with accomplishment and radiating joy. this is fucking excellent. worth every dollop of hype, i cant wait for my next go!

edit: even more perfect on tap, at the brewery. if you like hoppy beers, this is a sojourn worth taking. just sensational!

Photo of zac16125
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a snifter
Born on: 04/03/12

A: Pours a hazy dark straw color with just under one fingers width of sea foam white head which dissipates fairly quickly to only an outer ring.  Tiny sedimentation particles can be seen suspended in the glass.  Leaves a fair amount of patchy lacing.

S: A big citrus hop aroma with notes of pineapple, peach, orange, lemon zest, and grapefruit.  There is also a resiny, piney hop presence, and grassy/floral characters.  The malt backbone is almost negligible on the nose.  Very nice.  

T: There are significantly more malt characteristics present in the taste then on the nose.  Initially it's bready malts upfront and biting piney hop bitterness on the backed.  There is a prominent smoky characteristic as well, which I find pretty unique for the style.  As it warms, other flavors come out, including a malt sweetness and a citrus hop presence that consists mostly of orange and some lemon zest, with a hint of peach as the warming continues.  It's well balanced, but lacking in the big citrus character that's present on the nose.

M/D: There is a great smoothness to this beer, which is one thing that helps separate the men from the boys when it comes to the DIPA style in my book.  It has a nice medium body with an appropriate carbonation and a nice drying finish.  The ABV is in no way noticeable, and the drinkability is dangerously high.  

O: I've had PtE a few times on tap, but this is my first bottle experience.  It's good, very good, but to me it doesn't live up to the hype.  The aroma is great, but the taste just doesn't quite do it for me.  I wish the citrus explosion from the nose was more prevalent on the tounge.  Now don't get me wrong, this is a really really good brew, that I will drink any chance I get.  However,  when it comes to the big DIPA's, my order is Hopslam-->Heady Topper--> PtE, and I can even say I've had a couple non 'big name'  DIPAs that I think are better offerings.  It's a must try for any craft beer fan, but not on the level of Hopslam or HT.  

Photo of acat25
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of
5/5  rDev +7.5%

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Photo of countchunkula
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of bootdown21
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of thedoubler55
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tulip

A: Nice hazy orange very transparent, leaves a good one finger of off white head at the top that sticks to the glass for some good lacing

S: Lots of floral notes with strong hints of grapefruit and some honey on the tail end.

T: Up front is a lot of grapefruit with some floral notes, a slight sweetness that I think is honey. The taste of this DIPA is fantastic, and very well balanced not to much booze either, the hops are great.

M: Medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation, and little sticky feel.

O: This is a fantastic brew, had some high hopes before I opened it and was not let down at all. Glad my buddy got me a bottle of this now hopefully I can try the Younger. This is a great brew, well balanced and great tasting, perfect!

Photo of Gary79
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Deivos
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of avisong
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of JimmyP
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of flayedandskinned
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 4/1/13
Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, crystal clear, pale orange with a 2 finger tall pure white head that leaves thick curtains of lace down the sides of the glass as it recedes. Gorgeous.

Aroma: The hops absolutely burst out of the glass with distinct aromas of big juicy grapefruit, pine needles, ripe peach and little bit of pineapple. There is a distinct note of slightly sweet, bready malt to bring absolute perfect balance in the nose of this incredible IPA.

Taste: Huge, juicy citrus to the palate right away; mostly grapefruit and some impressions of tangerine. There is a sizable pine presence that follows up the initial bite of citrus, but the pine soon gives way to a brief note of lemon zest as the soft and chewy biscuit-y malt backbone cushions your palate from the positively explosive hops. The beer finishes very dry with a delightful bitterness that is intermingled with leftover whispers of the clean, crisp malt bill.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied, moderate carbonation, dry.

Overall: The quintessential double IPA, created by the brewer of the first Double IPA, Vinnie Cilurzo. I've had this beer hundreds of times and every time I drink one, I am continuously taken aback by the balance, drinkability and sheer quality of the hops in this beer. There has been many imitations attempted by many craft brewers, but I have yet to taste a single Imperial/Double IPA that toes the delicate line of balancing in your face hops and bready maltiness. Do plenty of other craft brewers make bigger and hoppier beers? Sure, but none can make me appreciate the finer things in life as much as Pliny does. Every craft beer enthusiast needs try a FRESH batch of Pliny straight from the tap.

Photo of jacob4999
3.5/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of Hopstout
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Rathakem
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of PincushionAffair
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of bierdabbler
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 11,449 ratings.