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Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

9,789 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,789
Reviews: 3,125
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 4,492
Gots: 1,453 | FT: 53
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,789 | Reviews: 3,125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewdoc75
brewdoc75

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've dreamed of getting my hands on this beer for so long, now I finally have it. My buddy Mike made a trip to San Diego and brought back 5 bottles of Pliny. When he went to the liquor store he brought up 2, one for me and one for him. The guy at the counter said "have you had this before." Mike replied "no, is it good?" The gentleman countered, "Dude, this is the best f#$%ing thing you will ever have." On that note, here is my review for the Pliny the Elder.

Bottled on 2/3/09, pretty fresh I guess.

A: Transluscent yellow-orange. Crisp white head as I pour it into my Duvel tulip. Perfect carbonation.

S: "Oh my god" I said as I took a whiff. Hops, hops, and more hops. Tangerine, pine, and grapefruit predominate. Very floral and very prominent hop aroma. But wait, there are malts too. A slight sweetness and biscut aroma underlies the hop onslaught. This beer smells so good, if it were a cologne, I would wear it every day.

T: Excellent hoppy bite. More of that citrusy tangerine and grapefruit flavor followed by a piney bite. Not so bitter it would rip your chest hair off, but very well balanced. The malts are solid as well with a nice sweetness. I am longing for just a hint more malts. It may just be my personal taste, but I like my DIPAs a little more maltier.

M: Very crisp, very clean. Thin to medium bodied which makes this dangerously drinkable.

D: A definite "5" based on the aroma and the flavor. I can't think of many other beers I could drink more of. It isn't terribly alcoholic for a DIPA either. This definitely adds to the drinkability. Overall, this beer was the epic beer that everyone raved about. If I ever find it in a store again, I will buy as much as I can. Those of you who can get this locally are some of the luckiest bastards around.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 02:49:42 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of StarlightSeraph
StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bottled 8/25/08. Thanks to deliriumfest for this one. Poured into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours hazy and golden-orange, with a finger and a half of frothy white head. Left blankets of lacing.

Smell: I could smell hops and citrus floating into the air as I poured the glass. Piney and grassy notes out of the glass, with a honey sweetness in the background. Mild citrus notes in the background.

Taste: Intense hops, grassy and piney...and, well, not much else. Maybe a slight citrus tang in the background, but its the pine notes that dominate. Long, lingering bitter aftertaste. Couldn't really taste the alcohol, but there was definitely a warming sensation going down. As the beer warms, a lemony-citrus flavor becomes more noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, and good carbonation.

Drinkability: This well definitely satisfy anyone's hop craving. It would be dangerously easy to put down a few of these.

I have to say, Pliny the Elder was a bit more one dimensional than I was expecting. There wasn't much in the background, and I couldn't help but feeling slightly underwhelmed. Was it a very good beer? Absolutely. Would I have another one given the chance? Absolutely. Would I go out of the way to get one? Well...probably not. Still, a beer I am very glad I got the chance to try, and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 01:31:40 | More by StarlightSeraph
Photo of abents
abents

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml 1/23/9 RR style bottle with green label and red circle with PTE written in the middle.
Many thanks to PretzelCity for throwing this in as an extra in our last trade. Yeah, you know, just throw in a pliny for an extra. I wish I lived in Cali sometimes...
Regardless, this is one awesome beer, I've had the privilege of trying once before, and now I got a whole bottle to myself, and it's my birthday, this rating might be inflated...heh
Pours out a cloudy golden orange with a nice white cavernous head that laces sporadically. Nose is huge hops, pine, citrus, flowers. Hits the nose with this bombardment and leaves you begging for more. Taste is likewise starts almost floral with a hint of lemons and grapefruit leaves with a pine everywhere. Coating the mouth and lingering for quite sometime. Nice biscuity malt background somewhat makes this beer not too overwhelming and still drinkable even for the amount of hops that hit you. Overall a solid beer, I think I prefer the Blind Pig to this one, but that's kinda my taste and not knocking PTE. Overall a really nice beer glad I got to review it finally. Thanks again to PretzelCity!!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 02:38:12 | More by abents
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976

Florida

4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to raoulduke37 in Ventura, California for this brew. This is my first Russian River brew. For us East-Coasters, Russian River and the Plinys are a mystical thing. They'll probably never be distributed over here so we have to rely on you folks in the Pacific Time Zone to get them to us, bottle by bottle.

My Pliny, bottled on Jan 23 '09 and drank on March 4 '09 poured a hazy golden/orange color with a thick, luscious head. Not a huge head; just tiny bubbles. You know what I mean. The smell is both citrus and pine and really not a whole lot of malt. It's sort of like stuffing your nose in a pine tree.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thick side thanks to the big amount of malt in there, but the nicely-balanced flavors have you coming back for more. Drinkability is good, but can be bested by some other 8% beers. But perhaps by not many 8% IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 00:41:51 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of Radiodred
Radiodred

California

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

On tap or in a bottle, hands down there is no better DIPA. I travel the west in such a beer that can beat won of Vinnies masterpeices. Keep on pleasing the masses.

A- Not hazey not clear, thick or light, A nice color of meduim. Finger of head, nice lacing.

S- Sweet with citrus fruit. With a hop like bouquet of buds.

T- An amzing journey on your palate. You have a enjoyable welcome of malty citrus, backed up by a creeping of pine, like your first trip to the woods, then a variety of hops to tingle the buds that is Bitterness. The perfect blend goes down so smooth you don't relize its a Double and your about to cath a buzz.

M- great carbination, but so smooth you don't realize its there, it what its suppossed to feel like.

D- Don't look at its place on the list, or take anyones word for it,try it out, its highly recomended for a reason. Let us know what you think, BA rules!

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2009 17:24:22 | More by Radiodred
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into trusty pint glass while watching the season finale of my favorite show (Dexter if you're interested). What a great moment! Pours crystal clear and golden, fitting for such a famous beer. Creamy, two-finger, white head with great retention and lacing. Smell is great. A nice blend of hops. Some citrus/grapefruit but not overpowering, like some other west coast IPA's. A strong floral presence as well, some sweet malt too. Taste is boderline perfect. At first the hops seem somewhat mellow and controlled, but it hits you with a strong, bitter aftertaste that you dont want to go away. Detected both some piney and citrus hops and well as a distinct, but not overpowering, sweetness as it warms. Mouthfeel was medium, but still somewhat light. Very smooth and silky. Overall this is a great, well balanced beer. I guess I never noticed, until I did this review, that it is a Double IPA. The mastery of the balance is amazing and it does not come off as a Double and the ABV is undetectable. A truely great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 02:22:00 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of imagineiii
imagineiii

Vermont

4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gilgarp for the chance to try this BA legend. Bottled on 1-23-09. Poured into my trusty DFH snifter. I dont ever remember cracking a beer and it immediately filling the room with the aroma of hops before.

Slightly hazy amber hued beer. Appears to be rather viscous in the way it suspends the slight bit of sediment, rather suprising for such a new beer. Head retention is decent to above average. lace is a major plus.

my living room smells of pine sap, and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. a little citrus is hidden. maybe a little bit of mint. nicely done so far, just slightly different than most.

And then it hits my tongue...its creamy, full bodied and smooth. texture reminds me of another DIPA ive had lately but cant wait to review: hopslam. flavors dance on the palate, leaving no undesired taste behind. Desite warming effect in the stomach, the minty and citrusy hops seem to cool the palate. The balance of this beer is unlike any other with 8% alc and this much of a hop character to it. Wheres the alcohol?

Carbonation is very subdued which i think might be the key to this beer. without overly assertive carbonation to upset the palate, the beers true colors can shine thru. alcohol and hops combine to only injure the palate a slight amount. this beer is a party in my mouth.

its amazingly addictive, you want to follow every sip with another sip just to see if its REALLY that good. well guess what, its pretty much THAT good, so stop sipping it so fast. does it leave me wanting a second one? not exactly. a second one just wouldnt taste as good... i mean it cant. right?

i refused to review this beer based solely on the hype. but then this beer got inside of me. it went straight from my stomach to my head and started running circles around my brain. black was day, white was night, and pliny was still f*ckin awesome.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 01:28:40 | More by imagineiii
Photo of discovolante65
discovolante65

Rhode Island

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

Finally got my hands on some of this. After trying to trade, trying to get "friends" in CA to buy some and ship it, fellow BA bought some online and brought it over for beer night. Thanks Roop40!

I tried not to believe all the hype.
I tried to think of all the DIPA's I have had and how great they all were.
I tried to remember all the great East Coast brewers and their DIPA efforts.
I tried to remain East Coast bias.
In short, I was ready to pick this fucker apart. Even though part of me wanted to love it.

Poured into my Troubadour tulip. Pours the finest Golden Orange color I have seen. Nice one inch off white/ golden head. excellent lacing. Some "stuff" whirling around like a small tornado when agitated.

Smell is typical of DIPAS. Grapefruit, pine forest, with a little honey note in there as well. It has a "bigger, fresher" aroma than I am used to. I could have huffed this thing all night.

What an incredible balance of flavors. Sure, others have these great tastes in them, maybe some even have more hop presence, maybe a little more bitter, maybe some more malt, but NONE are as balanced as this is. Perfect blends of hops and malt. I am blown away by this one.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Just the right amount of carbonation, the bite washes away nicely and finishes dry.

Drinkability- Perfect DIPA? IMO- ABSOLUTELY!
Everything about this beer is just right. The look, the smell, the taste, the feel, perfect. If I had more than one I would've drank it. If I had five, I would have sipped them one by one until the sun came up. I cried when my glass was empty.

thank you, Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 19:35:20 | More by discovolante65
Photo of beernut
beernut

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fellow BAer timmush for this one.

Pours a a nice golden color with orange tint and a foamy white head. Aroma is that of grapefruits and hops, slight alcohol aroma for me (some have said it was strong,i did not). Taste was pure heaven, I had a tongue-gasm. What a great beer! Nice bitter taste, citrus, hoppy, aftertaste was bitter but smooth. an awesome beer!! God I wish it was sold in NJ!!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 17:40:46 | More by beernut
Photo of turboedtwo
turboedtwo

California

4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA.

a - insanely light, looks almost like your typical big domestic.

s - smells of hops and grapefruits

t - hops and a slight alcoholic bite

m - crisp! so light on the tongue, which leads to...

d - oh yes, I could consume this all evening. without a doubt.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 06:53:47 | More by turboedtwo
Photo of herbalist
herbalist

Washington

4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After hearing so much about this beer from this site I was really excited to see it on the shelf of the local specialty beer store. I grabbed a 500 mL bottle and poured it into a glass. It pours a deep golden color with a very slightly orange hue. It has a white foamy head a lil more than a finger thick and although most of it disapates rather quickly some of it remained to the very end.

It smells richly of hops, alcohol and citrus. A very distinct grapefruit smell is dominant and you get the sense it is very alcoholic. At 8% ABV it is not excessively alcoholic but from the smell alone you get the sense that it could be.

It tastes very much like it smells with citrus being the dominant flavor and it has a nice hoppie bite. It is def. bitter but not in a way that is overwhelming and if you are a fan of hoppie beers then you are going to love this. I honestly think the citrus-fruity overtones the beer has stands out more than the bitterness.

It has a decent amount of carbonation and is not very heavy at all. One could easily drink a couple of these and enjoy each one. It is def. a top notch beer with high drinkability and excellent flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 03:46:25 | More by herbalist
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to mashmaster for this one!

So I've had a bottle of this before but it was a few months old and I was pretty sure that it had lost most of the explosiveness that everyone talks about with this brew...

I was right..

This pours out looking like glowing golden honey with a thick white head and terrific lacing in my Duvel tulip..

Pungent citrusy hop aromas assault me as I smell this one... Grapefruit, orange. Pineapple, and a hint of pine in there have this one smelling terrific... Already much better than the first bottle... Much better..

Oh yeah, world of difference in the two.. There's nothing subdued about this brew.. Its an all out hop assault with its juicy, tangy, citrusy goodness..there's a hint of pine present but this one is West Coast citrus all the way here...and its delicious...this things leaves my mouth feeling numb from all that citrusy goodness..finishes nice and bitter and has me reaching for the next sip..

I put this away fairly quickly... I wanted it to last but it was just too delicious...

This definitely deserves its world class status.. I had very high expectations and I wasn't dissapointed at all...

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 18:58:37 | More by Tilley4
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brokenleadedcask

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Since this isn't distributed in OH I bought this from an online retailer.

A- Beautiful golden orange and peach with a creamy finger of off-white head and great lacing.

S- Ruby red grapefruit juice stirred with pine needles. A floral bouquet and a strangely pleasant coco butter suntan lotion.

T- Honey, grapefruit and a gentle hop punch. Not as bright hop taste as the first one out of the box. Definitely drink as fresh as possible.

M- It has some weight to it, not real thin. Nice amount of carbonation and hop residue that sticks to the inside of the mouth

D- Very drinkable. If this beer was distributed to OH, it would be a staple in the fridge. But given the opportunity I wouldn't hesitate to get more. I may have to bother my college friends in CA to send me some more lol

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 17:53:03 | More by brokenleadedcask
Photo of JBogan
JBogan

Nevada

3.93/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rather average looking hazy peach color with a smaller head than I was expecting (even after a hard pour), however there was good lacing left behind.

Aroma was of the usual (for a DIPA) citrus and pine, along with a honey like sweetness.

Taste was very much the standard grapefruity hops but had some nice sweet malt to counterplay against the bitterness. I really liked the fact it didn't taste like a one dimensional hop bomb as so many others these days do. Alcohol was well hidden.

Mouthfeel was thick and smooth, but I'd have preferred a bit more carbonation.

This is a better than avergae DIPA, but one of the best beers in the world? Heaven's no.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 00:49:46 | More by JBogan
Photo of Shumista
Shumista

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On vacation in Colorado I just about crapped my pants when I saw this on the shelf at the beer store. I knew I was going to get to try some beers I can't get back in Michigan while I was out here, however I did not expect Pliny to be one of them.

A- Pliny the Elder pours a hazy golden orange, with a small amount of white head. It is very bubbly after it settles in the glass and a good amount of white sediment is slowly settling to the bottom.
S- I think the huge aroma is the highlight of the beer. Piney and citrusy hops are the most noticeable, with some honey like sweetness as well.
T- Very nice balance between intense hops, and malt backbone with the sweet honey from the aroma as well. If anything maybe a bit of a let down after the aroma. It's great, don't get me wrong but the combination of the hype surrounding Pliny and the aroma had me expecting more.
M- Lots of carbonation, medium bodied. Despite the low alcohol content it still gives a strong warming sensation as it goes down.
D- Could I drink Pliny the Elder all night? Absolutely. Now if only that were a possibility.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 22:48:47 | More by Shumista
Photo of harsley
harsley

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a hard to come by currently in the Northeast. I had the luxury of my brother doing a 5 week stint at the brewery as part of completing the American Brewers Guild. He came back on Xmas day and there was a bottle of PTE under the tree for me.

Pours a nice pale straw color with a fairly white head. Not nearly as amber as typical IPA's I'm used to, much lighter.

Smell is overwhelming with hops. Lots of pine and citrus and the usual American IPA hops.

The taste blew me away. This beer was much hyped so I was really expecting it not to live up to it...but it did. I think my journey for the perfect hob bomb of a beer ended with PTE. Tons of hop flavor and bitterness to match. Just a little malt in the background to balance it out but very dry besides that.

The body it also perfectly balanced for the style, medium. So many IPA's I try (especially this strong) have a heavy body, which isn't always bad, but this is just so much better. Dry and crisp with hop oils and not malty chewy.

Also extremely drinkable. You'd never know it had the 8% ABV that it does. Could easily drink it all night.

Remember to do as the bottle says and drink it fresh. I think mine was in the bottle for 4 weeks or so.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 16:08:53 | More by harsley
Photo of biker30x
biker30x

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got 3 bottles from thewinecountry.com, tried 'em over the last couple weeks. Poured into a pint a hazy but brite golden orange with an average head and sticky lace. A faint nose of citrus and pine. First taste is of pine and spice but it's backbone is citrus and some floral aspects. There is just enough sweetness & breadiness to balance the hops. I was afraid any review of this beer would be based on the reviews past, I tried to review only on it's own merits. This is an extremely good DIPA, with more balance than is usually seen in this type. It hewed to a leaner style than I generally prefer, but pulls it off quite well. Satisfyingly thick on the tongue, this is an easily drinkable big beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 12:50:53 | More by biker30x
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TomGavin

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the famed Pliny the Elder. Bottled on 1-23-09.Thanks to an amazing trader (bring) for the bottle. 500ml bottle poured into a huge Riedel wine glass and a Sam Adams Boston lager glass--for full analysis.

A: Pours a beautiful, hazy orange with miniscule cream colored particles suspended while tiny bubbles of carbonation drift upward and past. The head is white and reminds me of pancake batter just as it begins to warm on the stove with a myriad of bubble sizes that vary, then as the head recedes become smaller and similar in size.

S: Ripe, ripe honey doused citrus fruit basket comprised of ruby-red grapefruit and rind, apricot, key lime, tangerine cream dessert, freshly cut pine and grass. A resinous, luscious hop driven nose with vanilla malt accentuating. Nearly flawless. Nearly.

M: Extremely soft, velvety, silky, what have you. Medium carbonation. Everything is in balance.

T: Starts off sweet, then the citrus arrives with a bang; lime and grapefruit translating extremely well regarding sweetness before the bitterness of the hops take center stage and remain there through the finish, which is seemingly endless. The malt makes a return after, oh, I don't know 20 or so seconds.

D: For an 8% beer, you'd never know. You pour the beer, and trust me, a few minutes later it's gone. Good thing I have a few.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 05:34:59 | More by TomGavin
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jjanega08

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

MASPuros proved to be amazing for this beauty of a beer. I could not be happier to get to try this. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations.

A= sort of nuclear orange color that just amazing looking. The most interesting beer I have ever seen. Great 2 finger head comes out of this one lasting throughout the beer with awesome lacing
S= Unique, Hoppy of course but different. A lot of pineapple in this with hints of pine and grapefruit.
T= Oh the fun part. Pineapple as expected which is amazing. It's not too hoppy or too malty this baby is just right. Pine is there in small amounts and some larger notes of grapefruit come in. This is the best tasting beer I have ever had I would say.
M= Average weight with a crisp finish
D= Very very very high. I really wish I had more of this. This is the best beer I have had and lives up to everything in deserves. If I could only get the younger I would be the happiest man alive. This babe impoved my day by ten fold. Great beer!!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 01:00:42 | More by jjanega08
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OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of antilogic (thanks again!).

Poured a pale orange, wheat-ish color with small amount of head. A little lacing, not a solid wall. I smell good hop stuffs: citrus, grapefruit, & maybe this is just my imagination, but the bottlecap smelled kinda like ham (a good thing, IMO). Huh!

Taste is great, same good stuff as in the smell plus that solid bitter ending. Leaves a pine aftertaste, gets my salivary glands going. Mouthfeel is very smooth -- I like that even though there's very little sweetness to this, it evens out & is very refreshing. Alcohol's well-hidden, I could put away a few of these in an evening without problem.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 00:26:36 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of madtowndmb1
madtowndmb1

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy orange with a small white head

S: Great! Piney, acid, sour grapefruit, with a touch honey like sweetness.

T: Extremely drinkable. There the intial bitter bite on your tongue, then over to a coating grapefruit with a small sour twinge. And left with a lingering sweetness that invites you back for another.

Man what a great beer! It does lack a little compared to The Younger but very close! Younger seemingly has another layer between the grapefruit and the lingering sweetness. BUt this is an amazing beer you can get seemingly without much hassle on the west coast!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 19:41:06 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A weak yellow color with a fair white head and good lacing. The aroma is a very solid grapefruit citrus hops with sweet lemon grass. The flavor is a beautiful bittersweet grapefruit malt blend. I occasionally think of piney hops here too. One of the better IPA's I've had! Very dangerously drinkable. There is an earthy potatoe-like underlining. A perfect feel for the style, smooth and just a hair resinous. Very, very nice.

Update in July 2009 - A cloudy apple juice color with a decent bubbly white head and nice streaky lace. The aroma is very pleasant but decidedly pissy citrus hop, a little floral hint and some grainy malt. The flavor is deliciously blended citrus hops and almost herbal toffee, smooth, mid-bodied or better with a malty sweetness playing through the bitter beauty of this classic hoppy brew. There's bready lemon and a bit of a dry finish, yet it's quite refreshing served cold. It deserves it's reputation and is highly sessionable for anyone that enjoys their hops. Load up the fridge, cold or room temperature, this is a classic!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 07:05:23 | More by Durge
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh man, been waiting to get my hands on one of these. If this little hop monster is as good as everyone claims, than my night is going to get a lot better

A: mild to light gold with a few dabs of yellow and splashes of tangerine. It was topped off with a bleach white whipped head and administered quite a few nice chunky blobs of lace. All in all nothing out of the ordinary, but very nice nonetheless

S: this is where it gets great. A truckload of sweet and floral smells. Hops are bursting with smells of oranges, white grapefruit, pineapples, and fresh grasses. A boutique of greens! I think no further explanation is required

T: lets start by mentioning the soft biscuity malts and delicate yeast notes within, hidden in some regards, and yet play an integral part in balancing this hop driven brew. Otherwise, it is as close to hop heaven as you'll get. I find the hops flavors raw, spicy, and bitter all while being refined. What is really enjoyable is this delicate tropical fruit palate that I am conjuring up. Tastes are as smelled with a few additions: oranges, fresh pine, lemons, grapefruits, and a squeeze of passion fruits.
A major coating for the tongue of high alpha hops. Loaded with hops and balanced with accuracy

M: a solid medium standing and does a great job of holding a light sticky character and is not very syrupy as some intensely hopped brews can be. Borderline creamy at times with no alcohol notes what so ever

D: this will never get old, ever! The perfect balance of an impossible two: delicate and powerful

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 19:27:44 | More by Magpie14
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mjl21

California

4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle purchased at Ledger's poured into a Guinness pint glass. Bottle is dated 1/5/09. Comes in at 8%.

A-One finger head. Pours a hazy amber. Nice cloud remains in the middle of the glass as the head dissipates. Lots of lace.

S-Just incredible. Pine, tropical citrus, lemon, and fresh bud come through.

T-Fresh pine and citrus. Some malt sweetness that is followed by more grapefruit bitterness.

M-Very dry. Medium bodied. Nice carbonation. Hop resin stays in the mouth.

D-So well blended. Alcohol is well hidden. Huge drinkability.

I have drinking this beer for years. Whether on tap, in a growler, or in the bottle, it is always enjoyable. I have introduced many friends to this beer and all have liked it. To me it is the epitome of a great "gateway beer". It is amazing that a high alcohol brew with a lot of IBUs can be blended in such an accessible way.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 19:02:55 | More by mjl21
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washburnkid

New York

4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle poured into a stemless large red wine glass

A: Very hazy and thick dark orange and copper hues; white frothy head dissipates to a clustering of bubbles and a ring on the edges. Nice lacing on the glass.
S: Heavy citrus and floral hop esters with some alcohol pulling through as the beer warms slightly.
T: Exactly what the aroma promises. Citrus, floral flavors. My palate was attacked by a hoppy punch of dry herbs/flowery hops about 3 seconds after I swallowed. Some notes of sweet earthiness.
M: Medium bodied; mellow carbonation; slides down smoothly leaving tons of perfume-like residue.
D: This beer is smooth, flavorful and powerfully characteristic. I woke up the next morning and smelled floral hops. My desires for more are out of control!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 18:46:40 | More by washburnkid
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,789 ratings.