1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  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.

11,423 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,423
Reviews: 3,249
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 5,294
Gots: 2,100 | FT: 67
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Ratings: 11,423 | Reviews: 3,249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Jeff. 500 mL bottle poured into standard pint.

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a one finger white head. The head retreats to a sticky lacing.

S - Extremely floral smell with good grapefruit citrus. The hops are piney and pronounced and some biscuity malts round it out.

T - Starts with a big tart citrus character made up of grapefruit and lemon zest. Some floral spice and a little bit of malt in the middle. The finish is full of bitter pine hops, but the citrus continues throughout. Very balanced and no alcohol.

M - Nice prickly carbonation pairs with a medium-light body makes for a nearly perfect feel. I was actually surprised at how light and tingly the feel was for such a flavorful DIPA.

O - I obviously opened this beer with very high expectations. I was impressed by how much citrus was in this beer. Reminds me of an "Imperial Zombie Dust." Incredibly balanced and overall, very impressive. Every once in a while I have a beer that has the flavor to sets it apart from the rest, and this is one of those cases. I drink alot of DIPAs, but this was a little bit different, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of Millersr
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of mattknueven
5/5  rDev +7.5%

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

From my notes. Drank on March 9, 2012, bottled on February 6, 2012.

A: It's much lighter than most IPA's I've had, near a tangerine orange color, maybe more amber than copper. The lacing is subtle, but firm. It's really a pretty beer.

S: Syrup sweet malts, with resiny piny hops. There are layers of passionfruit and pineapple too. It's a combination of those tropical fruits from the West Coast with a sweet malt and pine that is pretty unmistakably a Pliny (I've had it before on tap and in bottles when it has been fresher).

T: It opens with citrus. There is almost a sour note, like a saison or some lemon zest, in the citrus which could either be the hops or the yeast. It grabs the back of my tongue a little with the sourness. Then there is the malt sweetness, some caramel but really balanced with the hops which are more grapefruit, citrus and tropical fruit. The bitter is rich but tempered to the rest of the beer. Nothing out of control.

M: Thick, smooth, with only a light amount of carbonation. A tinge of alcohol at the end.

O: Ok, so maybe this is the prefect exercise in balance. That sour taste with the balanced hops and bitter, the sweet, syrupy malt, the, well, the everything. Its all just right. I don't know if this is the best beer ever, it's a damn good beer. Is it worth the hype? Probably. But, really, versus something like Firestone Walker's Union Jack, Stone's Double Bastard, or Great Divide's Hercules DIPA, I'd be hard pressed to choose a favourite. It would depend on where I was, what I was doing there, and how much the bar was charging for each.

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 03/19/12
Enjoyed on 03/28/12

This is the freshest Pliny I've ever had.

A - It poured a pale transparent apricot color with a small white head which did not last long. There was a descent amount of lacing that stuck to the edge of the glass.

S - Floral hops, pine, slight tropical friuit, and some slight sweet aroma in the background. Nothing is overpowering; it just smells really good and refreshing.

T - It's extremely well balanced. Nothing overpowers you in this brew. It's masterful in that way.

M - This is one of the easiest DIPAs to drink. It's not heavy or too strong tasting. It's a brew you could drink throughout the day.

O - It's still on of the best DIPAs I've ever had.

Photo of TMath524
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Fargin
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of skipjack17
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of KevdoggNasty
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of rjpetrizzo
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Lucho
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of beamer112
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of jiboo22
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of ZackH
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Outchillen
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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

I had this beer about four months ago, so I wont write a detailed review. I did, however, want to get my scores in....what a FANTASTIC imperial IPA!

The one thing that really stuck out to me about this beer was....nothing. I mean that in the best possible way. Not many imperial IPAs leave you feeling like you could drink them all day. This beer, however, came across as almost a session beer!

Loved it and cannot wait to get some more!

Photo of 3lakes151
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bhudlow23
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Jdub983
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It had a very clear and yellowish golden hue to it with little to no head which diminishes quickly.

S: Hops and flowers but mainly hops.

T: High amount of hops. I was very impressed by the balance though. Not overpower like other DIPA's by any means!

M: Very pleasant, not heavy, extremely drinkable, this is an IPA to go for.

O: Given its high rating and scarcity I had to try it. I would say give it a try once and make sure to get as much as you can when you do. I took a quick 15 min tour of the brewery with the manager and he said this stuff sometimes doesn't even make it to the kegs and goes strait to the taps. Was $5 for 500ml at the Russian River Brewery so not too bad at 8%. What a great brew and an even better brewery! I see why it's rated world class.

The brew I had was bottled on 03-19-2012. Very fresh!

Photo of terence
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of RepMichigan
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of MaxHops
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hops, pineapple, various citrus, and bread in harmony. Despite the strength, everything is in balance here and there is little booze to give away it's 8% power. Makes a BIG difference to have fresh.

If you had one mailed to you that's been around for a while you aren't getting the real Pliney. Recently had a fresh one next to another that had sat in a car for 2 days (in mild cool weather) unrefrigerated and the piney, resin flavors/aromas were noticable diminished in the older sample.

Not hard to get fresh here in Cali as it sells so quickly but hard to get in quantity as most shops restrict your purchase to one 17oz bottle.

Photo of George2744
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of HopHeads1506
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of jacewg
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 11,423 ratings.