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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,874 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,874
Reviews: 3,364
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 5,779
Gots: 2,471 | FT: 80
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
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Ratings: 11,874 | Reviews: 3,364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cletetron
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of sweatervest27
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of googam
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of vr6corrado
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of MBrausen
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a cherry orange, nice one finger head, rests at some nice bubbles and a thick ring, very nice lacing on the glass.

S. Smells of sweet orange, pine and light grape fruit, and some white grapes. Very sweet smelling.

T. Tastes of smooth citrus, mild grapefruit, a warm tangy finish that I can't quite describe.

M. Medium heavy body, large feeling, a little creamy, medium carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O. A pretty good beer. Sweet with some nice flavors, a bigger feeling IPA. I think this is much over hyped. Just not the mind blowing beer all the ratings pitch it to be. A great beer for the $6 you pay for it on the West coast, but not worth trading a fortune for. Glad I tried it, but I won't likely search it out in the future.

Photo of inCASE
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of garyford
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of sharpski
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of fjl77
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of crashdavisinoh
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of qcbrewer
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of BeerFiend2002
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from pint bottle into chalice

A- Apricot color body with a big pillowy two and a half finger, white head. Love that shade.

S- Smell is powerful but awesome. At about 20" away even after just opening the cap, I was still getting the hop aroma smacking in the face. Grapefruit, citrus, floral, pine, and some of the malt. A lot going on in there.

T- Hop bitterness, pine and grapefruit up front are quickly followed by a sweet malty citrus that just overtakes it mid-pallate and gives way to a piney bitterness on the back end. The taste is so clean. I'm blown away.

M- It is medium-bodied and has a juicy feel in the mouth. This drinks like a single and would not have known it was a double unless I never found that out before. It is so smooth and it just glides effortlessly across the pallate as it finishes with that crisp, dry finish that I love in a West Coast IPA. The dryness begs you to keep sipping, but it is oddly so so quenching.

O- I can see how this beer generates so much hype and has such a cult-like following. Its hopped to insanity, aromatic, delicious, and with an amazing feel. It even looks appetizing. This beer is simply an all-out sensory assault. It also is incredibly balanced and offers high drinkability. Basically, its what every west coast IPA should aspire to be. I can nitpick at times, but this beer is perfect. Hopslam was my favorite IPA, but Pliny wins in a landslide and if I could give it a 6 I would. A thanks goes out to my brother's girlfriend for bringing me back a bottle from vacation in San Diego. I hope I am lucky enough to revisit this one sooner than later.

Photo of MDunk
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of output01x
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of thecheapies
4.38/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of dominic4beer
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of plumlmr
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of kagent777
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of joex444
5/5  rDev +7.3%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of illinigirl
4/5  rDev -14.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of smarks2327
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of ThickNStout
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of ColonelW
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 11,874 ratings.