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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

12,007 Ratings

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Ratings: 12,007
Reviews: 3,394
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 5,913
Gots: 2,582 | FT: 82
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: 12,007 | Reviews: 3,394
Photo of Omer4176
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of uvm2003
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of cirtap
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of LinusBohman
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of umopuew
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of mwill7287
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excited that this big time buzz beer can be the first review proper on Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Thanks to Brian H. who brought a bottle of this baby back from its homeland in Northern Cali.

Poured from a 500 ml (16 oz.) bottle into a tulip glass. Freshness date on bottle reads “12/15/2011″. (Consumed on January 4th, 2012).

Appearance: This beer pours a golden straw color, crisp clear and transparent. A few light carbonation bubbles float in the body. White lacing thinly traces the rim of the beer after a medium strength pour. The brew leaves behind a sticky white lacing. 4.5

Smell: West coast hops lead all the way, as expected. Light, bright citrus and floral aromas waft into my slightly stuffy nose. Orange, grapefruit and some pine are the predominant aromas. I wonder how amazing this would smell right out of the brewpub taps. 4

Taste: Magnificent blend of juicy citrus hops and a sweet malt comprises the taste. Juicy orange, bitter grapefruit, floral and sappy pine flood my tongue. A sweet carmel malt provides a nice backbone to the hops. The balance of malts and hops is perfect. Very hop forward as a west coast IPA should be. Dryness and mild grapefruit bitterness lingers in the aftertaste and draws one back for another sip. Citrus flavors open up even more with the beer’s warming. Doesn’t get better. 5

Mouthfeel: Pretty light for a double IPA, and consequently very drinkable. A tad sticky from the hops. Mild carbonation and bitterness. 4.25

Overall: This was a surprise appearance for the night, but I couldn’t let it go another day in order to enjoy as fresh as possible. Of course I was more than happy to enjoy this much talked about brew, and enjoy it I did! I can’t say this is hands down the best IPA I’ve ever had, but it’s right up there with my favorites in the style. Despite being on the higher end in ABV, this is a brew I could drink all night. 4.75

Photo of rawla
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

** I had 4 of these at 4 bucks a pop at Bluepalms Brewhouse. on tap.. I know, I'm an asshole.... I have had this previously, but never reviewed it. Well, after food, water, and some concise note-taking, here is my review...

a copper orange hues. rye bread consistency with a t 2 inch head. very consistent yeasty lacing....
s toasted rye bread, sourdough, tangerine, grapefruit, and nectarine notes.
t. DAMN. juicy bright floral notes with peeled nectar, pineapple, apricot, and a pungent bitter finish.
m crisp and deceptively smooth finish.
o. I was thiiis close to giving this a 5.0, but the initial strawy front keeps me from giving this an Illmatic worthy 5.0. Don't be fooled though, consume this with great regard whenever you have a rare chance. God damn nectar of the lords...

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4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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5/5  rDev +7.3%

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5/5  rDev +7.3%

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5/5  rDev +7.3%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

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5/5  rDev +7.3%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

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5/5  rDev +7.3%

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4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of ThirstyHerf
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of jegross2
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the infamous Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company. This is universally hailed as one of the top ten beers in the world by beer connoisseurs and is only sold in California. This is my first experience with the brew and the brewery. Thank you BeerAdvocate user LieutenantSours for hooking me up with this one!

Score: 97

Bottled 12/15/11, served in a brandy snifter glass, and enjoyed 01/09/12.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, "bright" and transparent honey-orange color with one and a half to two fingers of frothy off-white head that settles into a quarter finger layer. Excellent lacing sticks to the side of the glass. 5/5

Smell: Bright, zesty citrus. Not as in-your-face citrus as Heady Topper or Zombie Dust, but still a really fresh tropical fruit aroma. Tons of orange, grapefruit, lemon, mango and a fresh piney hoppiness. A little floral too, with a scent of freshly cut grass. Getting some smooth maltiness in the aroma with deeper whiffs. 4.75/5

Taste: My first impression is that the beer is a lot less hoppy than anticipated given the citrus/pine hop aromas and imperial IPA label. Flavor is a very smooth, malty citrus throughout without much bitter hop bite. Malty sweet citrus on the mid-palate. Finishes with a prickley pop of citrus/pine hops flavor on the tongue. Definitely tasting some fresh pine/grass flavors before the finish too, but they are more "complementary" to the flavor profile than most imperial IPAs that I have had in the past. This bottle is nearly a month old and I hear this is one that is optimally consumed within three weeks of the bottled on date, so perhaps some of the beer's hoppiness or intensity has faded. Once I get over the "it's nothing like Surly Abrasive" expectations gap, however, I find myself really appreciating the nuance this brew has to offer. Few imperial IPAs strive for this kind of drinkability and flavor balance, aiming for the aggressive. The beer gradually grows more zesty, bitter and hoppy as it layers too, closing that initial expectations gap. I am finding myself enjoying this brew more and more as the amount of beer in the glass dwindles. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied with medium carbonation. The carbonation in the beer is just enough to make the hops flavors "pop" on the tongue without leaving the beer too crisp. Finishes dry and bitter. 4.75/5

Overall: While I can't say that this is the best imperial IPA that I have had to date (that honor belongs to Surly Abrasive Ale), this is nonetheless a fantastic brew. Russian River pioneered the imperial IPA, and Pliny the Elder is still one of the top of the style.

Recommendation: An absolute must try imperial IPA.

Pairings: Hamburgers.

Cost: $7.99 for a 500 ml bottle

Photo of StoryOfTheGhost
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange color with a beautiful white head

Smell is terrific. One of the piniest smelling beers I have ever smelled. Citrus, but not as citrussy as I expected. It just smells very fresh.

Taste is just like smell. Piney at the forefront. Citrus. Not as bitter as I would like. Great tasting beer. I think that I hyped it up too much in my mind prior to tasting it, and had too high of expectations. So, I was a bit disappointed, but it was no fault of the beer itself. It really is a terrific beer.

Mouthfeel- It has a nice carbonation, and you can feel the hop oils on the tongue and teeth. Taste does not stay with you as long as I had hoped.

Photo of lastmanonearth
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Souleman
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has got to be one of my favorite beers of all time. I first tasted it at the brewery in Russian River land (after visiting a farm where we picked fresh hops). The place was packed, they had a ton of beers on tap, but I went straight for the Pliney. The aroma was identical to the fresh hops we had picked and was blown away after tasting it.
Looks and smells are beautiful, and the taste is untouchable. Nice balance of hoppiness and spice that really puts this beer above the lot in the Imperial category.
I recently did a tasting and went through at least 5 different IPA's that I had liked in the past. I got to the Pliney at last and it hit the marks on every level. Still one of the greats in my book.

Photo of thebends1
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of davidn17
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of phisigben
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is pretty standard but what stands out is the nice fluffy white head, its about 2 fingers width and lingers for a while then it leaves very nice lacing with each drink. This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had absolutely huge piney aroma that smacks you in he face then a hint of some citrus. Taste follows the nose perfectly huge pine flavor right off the bat then some citrus and finally just a touch of sweetness from the malt. I wish there was a touch more sweetness to this but still its pretty outstanding. Mouthful is good for me its thin compared to other DIPA beers that are out there, and the carbonation is on point. This is a great beer I wished we could get some in Indiana at a price point of about $5 for a little over a pint I think this would be a great once a week beer to grab off the shelve if you could.

Photo of CornedBeef
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottling date of 10/31/11 marked on bottle.

Appearance - Rather unremarkable color, though a nice head formed with good retention.

Smell - Fantastic aroma from this beer. Can't wait for a taste.

Taste - Very complex hop profile. Not too bitter up front, but definitely leaves a bitter aftertaste. Very well balanced with the malts, but just a hair too bitter on the back end for my taste.

Mouthfeel - Nicely carbonated, medium body. Perfect feel for a IIPA.

Overall - This is an outstanding beer, and I'm glad I was able to find a bottle in CO. I'd love to taste it fresh on tap, but I'm certainly not complaining from the taste I got here.

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 12,007 ratings.