Pliny The Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 10,210 | Reviews: 3,135 | Display Reviews Only:
4.95/5 rDev +6.5%
As a lover of the american IPA, this is superb. Thanks to the kind heart of Rick at Big Z beverage in Huntington, I was able to try this beer. It had a wonderful piney hop aroma. It was probably the best smelling beer hopwise that I have ever experienced. The color was a cloudy orange with a nice head. The flavor was extremely balanced. The flavor of the hops was not overpowering nor was it too bitter. The malt flavor was hidden by the hops which was ok for me because the hop flavor was so explosive. This is a must try for any IPA fan. I could drink this IPA all day. Russian River is amazing.
11-02-2009 18:51:39 | More by NoahSYGG
4.22/5 rDev -9.2%
500 mL bottle poured into a Goose Island snifter.
Pours a rich copper-amber hue, clear despite chunks of suspended sediment due to the lack of filtration, with a thick, creamy light tan head that sticks around for the duration of the glass.
Aromas of pine resin and juicy tropical fruit--primarily pineapple, with mango and grapefruit zest--on top of a rich caramel malt backbone on the nose. Very well balanced on the palate, with very little bitterness that lingers ever so slightly. Smooth and silky with a quick, short finish.
This is a very well-made beer, make no mistake, but over hyped in my opinion. Quite balanced, but I prefer a DIPA that clearly leans toward the hoppy side.
11-01-2009 21:31:05 | More by wnh
4.8/5 rDev +3.2%
This is my very first beer review. This is my second IPA beer to try ever. First IPA I ever tried was Stone's Ruination. After first glass I had it enough, couldn't finish it. After reading so many favorable reviews for the Elder I couldn't wait to find it and give it a try. This morning I made a special 20mi trip to WholeFoods in Cupertino to get my hand on this iconic beer. I got two 500ml bottles. Rest of the day i was running around and had Round Table Veggie Gourmet pizza for lunch. I didn't drink anything afterwards sparing my thirst for the Elder.
What a drinkable beer. I keep asking myself is it because of my thirst? Couldn't believe I would like an IPA so much. After second bottle I still like it very much. So different than my stouts and strong ales, bur lovely beer. Light, hoppy, citrusy, carbonated but overall very well balanced beer. Love it very much so far. I'll have it chilled when i'm thirsty.
10-31-2009 04:00:50 | More by vidisad
4.75/5 rDev +2.2%
Was on the west coast last week on business and finally had a chance to try this very sought after D-IPA. Had on tap and also in the bottle, I much prefer the tap version, for this review, it's a bottle version.
Poured a hazy bright orange in my glass with no head and ever so slight lacing around the glass. I was surprised, I thought a double IPA of this magnitude would have been a little darker, it's quite light colored. The smell of this brew is what I really love, it wreaks of grapefruit, pine, slight apricot (but very, very faint). The aroma of this beer is among the hoppiest I've ever smelled, typical of the west coast IPA style and exactly the style of IPA's that I've grown to love so much. At the first sip there's a very quick undertone of malt followed by the same piney citrus notes picked up by your nose. The malt is just faint enough underneath as the hops roll over the top of your tongue to show the malts who's boss here! The mouthfeel is medium to light medium body and just a hint of carbonated bubbles hit the tongue as it goes down. I would prefer more texture on my tongue as it's a little on the thin side. This beer is incredibly drinkable and one that I would love to keep in my fridge year around. Unfortunately, being on the east coast, this one is a little tougher to find.
I did purchase a case of this last week in California and brought it home, I was very surprised at how reasonably priced it was considering the status of this beer. Granted, it wasn't cheap, but for what I paid for it, it definitely was reasonable. Pliny is exceptional, but with the number of talented brewers out there, it definitely stands out in the crowd but not heads and shoulders above the rest. It's perhaps a little bit hyped but I have to say I really enjoyed it. If you're not a hop head, run away, this beer isn't for you. I absolutely love this one.
10-31-2009 00:16:30 | More by jzeilinger
4.95/5 rDev +6.5%
Thanks a Fuk-ton to my Cali connect for this gem!! Bryanbrick, you sir are my hero.
Pours a wonderful hazy pumpkin hued pale yellow color. Small frothy head that dissipates very quickly leaving gobs of sticky lacing all around my glass. Lots of tiny bubbles rise gracefully to the surface.
Ahhh... The nose is super ripe with massive amounts of citric grapefruit goodness. Smells like pure pink grapefruit juice on crack, passionfruit also comes to mind after numerous whiffs. Some subtle pine and very little else. Any hint of malt that might be there is buried under miles of fruity goodness.
Simply amazing. A quick burst of sweet, very lightly caramelized malt on the very front of the tongue. Next in line is an unprovoked tongue fuck of sweetened grapefruit juice saturated with tiny nibs of pine needle. Not the type of pine that make you think pinesol, but the kind that makes you think over-ripe mango. For how unnoticed the malt goes in this brew, it really does a spectacular job of supporting the crazy amount of citrus this brew carries. Surprisingly the finish carries very little residual bitterness for a big DIPA. Once again I am just amazed.
I rarely say this, but the mouthfeel is something out of a flippin fairy tale. Not syrupy in the least and luxurious, yeah, I said it. Luxurious. This brew is sooo light in my mouth, I feel like I am drinking a mich ultra (this is the only time I will ever say that in a good context.)
Overall, wow. 8%? Really... I mean really??? 8, I mean come the fuck on. Balanced is not always a good word when it comes to DIPA's. Pliny is balanced, but in an extremely good way. I wish I could put how I feel about this beer into words. But I can't, I can only think of one word to explain my relationship with Pliny. Wow.
10-31-2009 00:03:05 | More by BDLbrewster
4.9/5 rDev +5.4%
This is my review for PLiny the lder on tap, in which form it is simply an incredible beer, by far the greatest double IPA I have ever had. I'm not just saying this because it's from my hometown, either, for this beer amazingly combines assertive hop character with firm maltiness, yet restraint, incredible balance, and a perfect feel that is neither to heavy nor too thin.
It's beautiful, like most Russian River beers. Pale amber - deep gold with a copper hint - it has a big, creamy, long-lasting, faintly off-white white head that shrinks very slowly to a smaller permanent creamy layer. It usually has great even rings of nice lace, though occasionally the lace is weaker.
The aroma has a definite traditional west-coast IPA quality to it, but is unusually complex and balanced. It has light grapefruit and resin/pine, but actually the overall character is predominantly fresh muscat grapes, plus a little general citrus, raisin, and hint of pineapple. It smells fragrant and sweet but rather restrained.
The taste is an incredible masterwork of balance and integration, with lots of hop character plus a firm malty base, bitterness and sweetness in equal balance. Always on the verge of just becoming bitter, esp. in the immediate finish, it never actually quite goes there. Overall, it has balanced character of fruity, toasty-bready, slightly raisiny malt married harmoniously with cirusy, leafy hops, vigin elements of light raisiny, faintly caramelly, toasty bread, citrus, leafiness, resininess, and a mix of orange marmalade, lemon, grapefruit. All of it is so well-integrated and balanced, though, that it forms a unified, balanced, consistent whole from start to finish.
The fel is incredible, being just slightly oily enough to give slight slickness and fullness, without being sticky or syrupy, and retaining a light, lively character.
I find that many double IPAs are far too sweet and syrupy while others are overly aggressive in their bitterness and almost all are other one-dimensional, tossing aside complexity and balance for simple lop-sided strength. This beer suffers from none of those problems.
10-30-2009 18:26:10 | More by Offa
New Brunswick (Canada)
4.55/5 rDev -2.2%
A: Poured with a large, white, frothy head that hung around for a bit before easing down to 1/2-finger or so. Body is a really nice-looking golden orange color, and hazy.
S: Oh yeah, now that's a strong-smelling IPA! Average hops (actually not overpowering at all) that are very perfumed, with citrus, pine, cut grass, and celery coming through. The pine in particular is quite strong.
T: This is a damned smooth-drinking beer. Of course the hops are present throughout the whole time, but the finish is much milder than I would have expected from that powerful aroma. Pine and citrus are very present and in your face, but they don't push their luck. 8% ABV? I would never have guessed that high.
M: One of the smoothest, creamiest beers I've had, with a perfect balance of soft-average carbonation with the full-body.
T: I was a little nervous about trying this beer... no way it could live up to the hype. But it pretty much did... one of my first (THE first?) DIPAs I've had... I've probably been spoiled from here on out.
10-30-2009 18:24:32 | More by berley31
4.97/5 rDev +6.9%
Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow/orange color with golden ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Soapy rings of lacing coat the glass.
Very floral hop aroma with dank earthy bus notes, resinous hop oils, sticky pine, citrus peel slight alcohol. Lemon peel and grapefruit are prominent with a good bit of earthy pine. Subtle malt backbone but this is mostly all glorious stinky hops. Probably the best smelling beer I've experienced.
Dry bitter floral hop blast up front with a lot of chewy resinous oily hop notes. There are so many different flavors going on here and this is the most well balanced, drinkable beers I've ever had. Lots of sweet citrus notes, mostly lemon peel and grapefruit ans a nice creamy body with subtle malt that provides a perfect balance. Dry sticky pine notes come through in the finish but it is stiil very floral and extremely smooth and quaffable. There is a very slight alcohol warmth towards the end of the swallow and in the finish but otherwise the ABV is very well masked. This beer is so flavorful and well balanced that's it's dangerously drinkable. I love this beer and have to say it's in my top five all time.
10-30-2009 06:32:27 | More by corby112
4.95/5 rDev +6.5%
I have little reason than karma to review this guy since its reputation is well set and I won't everforget the flavor of this delightful creation. That being said...
Pours gold to light amber, a little cloudy with a large inital head that dissapates moderately, at first to a fluffy white cottonlike head and then to a single layer of large bubbles perched just above the nectar.
Aroma is of a pine forest after a summer rain while eating a grapefruit flavor spiked nectarine and approaching a Mendocino farm field. The sweet, engulfing smell of American hops covers any other aromas that may be perceived. It is interesting that the aroma very much reminds me of hop stoopid, another dipa using hop extract. Vonnie says he uses pure resin from CO2 extract and hop stoopid uses an in house CO2 extract.
Flvor is again hop dominated, but the bitterness is very smooth and flys below the radar. The pale color allows doesn't seem to require as muh bitterness to balance the thick caramel of many other dipas. Stone fruit and citrus dominate the flavor.
Body is fuller than expected from the color but understanably thick to allow the hop orgy to delight the more olfactory taste buds withou waking the bitter-sensing neighbors. Carbonation is moderate to high and sharp on the tongue, smaller bubbles breaking.
As I have remarked many times before, I can drink this until I can no longer stand up, and then I could continue until I can't see. No beer can be 5s across the board so I will knock a half point on mouthfeel for slightly sharp carbonation. Just distracts with bubbles instead of smoothing or adding a welcome creaminess.
10-30-2009 00:04:30 | More by eallured
4.8/5 rDev +3.2%
Apperearance: Pours brilliant orange-gold. Tight tall head that you could shave with.
Smell: Solid pine, grapefruit, lemon, fresh-cut grass and cannabis aroma, Hop Heaven.
Taste: Strong bitterness before any flavors can be detected. The pine and earth flavors grab hold, but fade into their citrus partners - lemon, orange, and even a little apricot. As the beer warms, the fruity aspect of the hop flavor becomes more present, giving the beer a more rounded and pleasant flavor.
Mouth: Very thick and flavorful all the way down. Can't believe that this beer is this strong and you can't tell and until you stand up. Not much alcohol taste or burn at all amazingly.
Overall: The dry finish coupled with the lingering citrus fruit flavor begs for more sips. The feel, the flavor, the entire brew really come together and provide quite the drinking experience.
Serving type: on-tap at O'Briens
Serving type: on-tap
10-28-2009 17:32:46 | More by biggied
4.6/5 rDev -1.1%
Clear golden/straw color, very sticky white lace.
Flowery hops in the nose, with tropical fruit and a hint of sweetness.
Hops begin with floral, orange blossom flavors, with a little sweetness up front. Citrus rind bitterness mid-palate, with a lean malt profile offering just a little honey-like sweetness and a slight viscosity. Hops are bright, floral, tropical fruit-like, with citrus pith taking over the finish.
An outstanding double IPA that happens to fit my preferences: strong hop flavors, firm bitterness, and lean malt that stays out of the way.
10-28-2009 01:46:10 | More by bcm119
4.58/5 rDev -1.5%
Appearance: gold in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation
Smell: big dose of piney hops
Taste: pineapply caramel malt to start followed by a piney hoppy finish. The hops stay in your mouth for a while.
Mouthfeel: smooth, medium light bodied, slightly bitter, but not overpowering. moderate carbonation.
Drinkability: I could have several. Well worth the hype. Along with Nugget Nectar, for me this is one of my favorite hoppy beers. The pine is more pronounced here than in any other beer I have had. Just a great beer.
10-27-2009 21:48:19 | More by tigg924
4.72/5 rDev +1.5%
Poured from a 500ml bottle into the mighty Duvel tulip. Had this once before on tap at Pizza Port a few weeks ago while I was visiting SD. That was our last stop of the night and I dont remember much of it. Needed to try this again with a clear head, friend was nice enough to ship a fresh bottle out to me.
A - normal pour yielded a one finger head, bubbly and somewhat creamy texture, shrunk rather quickly to a floating island in the middle of the glass, sticky on the sides. beer is a somewhat unique goldish color, very cool.
S - deliciousness. hops and more hops, not stinging or obtrusive, just screaming DRINK ME. put it right up there with some of my other favorite DIPA's, which i would be happy smelling all night. piney, floral, citrus, all in one. i need to find a place that makes hop scented candles.
T - perfect balance of in your face, middle ground, and subtle hop flavors. just enough malt on the bottom end to kill the hop bitterness before it can really take hold. its like this beer was programed to come alive in your mouth.
M - just the tiniest bit under-carbonated for me, but barely noticeable. sticky on the mouth, tongue, and especially the back of the throat. more stickiness, feels like i ate hop flavored pudding. impressive mouthfeel considering the somewhat light body of the beer.
D - would drink more, but i only have one. struggled to let this sit here enough to warm up a bit to serving temp, was just so refreshing when chilled (poured it at 45F). alcohol is just *barely* noticeable. burning slightly at just the right time to remind you this is a man's drink.
notes: also one of my favorite bottles. i'd put this up there with my top 5 DIPA's easily. a real treat.
10-27-2009 02:53:53 | More by Stigs
4.5/5 rDev -3.2%
Pours a clear, orange-ish color, with a good amount of carbonation cascading up the side of the glass. Forms a pretty thick, white colored head, that recedes to a dense layer of bubbles, leaving a very intricate lace pattern on the glass.
The aroma is quite pungent, I could smell the citrus from the bottle the instant I removed the cap, my wife who was seated in the next room asked if I was peeling an orange, and to save a couple wedges for her. Admittedly, she does have an above average sense of smell. That said, I found the predominate aroma to be of the orange variety, with a sort of grapefruity tartness detected as well. Pungent, citrusy, with next to no malt aroma detected.
Not unlike the aroma, the flavor is also chock full of citrus. An amazing hop flavor,there is a very mild malt backbone consisting of a touch of very light caramel, maybe even honey-like. Overall, however, this is pure hop. I detect mostly a citrusy flavor overall, while the aroma was quite "orangey," I found the grapefruit to really take over in the flavor profile, with maybe a touch of pine resin. The finish is, of course, quite bitter however, it isn't out of control, I have had many DIPAs that were extremely bitter to the point of ruining the hop flavor in the beer, whereas the bitterness in PtE is more of a complimentary bitterness.
I hate to buy into the hype, but wow! this was a very good beer. I certainly doesn't hurt the the bottle I received was only 7 days old. Incredibly drinkable, with, I think it's safe to say, absolutely no alcohol presence. I am definitely going to have to trade for more of this! Now if only I could get my hands on some PtY somehow. lol
10-23-2009 19:27:22 | More by Soneast
4.55/5 rDev -2.2%
Tried this beer after much anticipation, and I must say, it did not disappoint. Light transparent orange poured into a pint glass, with a finger of white head leaving a nice lace throughout most of the glass. Pine and grapefruit notes are prevalent, with some added bitter citrus and well-balanced hoppiness. Taste was lighter than I had anticipated, but was plenty complex and had great hop presence and citrus chracteristics, balanced by a subtle maltiness that becomes more apparent as it warms up. Not as sharp and destructive feel as some other DIPA's, and just the right amount of carbonation to compliment the bite. The 8% abv is barely noticeable, and this is an extremely drinkable beer. I could go through several in an outing if unstopped. This is always in high demand throughout local beer stores, and is truly one of the greater DIPA's on the market. I will definitely pick up some more when it is available.
10-22-2009 04:49:13 | More by BDJake
4.72/5 rDev +1.5%
Week old bottle.
From the moment you pry off the cap hop fumes fill your nostrils.
It pours a light orangeish gold, almost like a Helles lager with and orange tint. It is a pretty unique color. The head is bright white and compact, it leaves some decent lacing.
The smell is phenomenal on this one. A cornucopia of hoppage, with scents of citrus, pine, and a hint of sweetness.
The flavor is also amazing. A barrage of grapefruit, lemon, bitterness and pine hit you like a freight train. There is a subtle bit of malt that provides some sweetness and rounds out the taste, but don't let this fool you, this is hoppier than your average DIPA. It is a hop bomb to the fullest. The bitterness is overt but not offensive in the least. The mouthfeel is perfect, subtable for a massive hop delivery with a medium body and prickly, active, though not overt carbonation.
As far as a DIPA goes this is as drinkable as it gets, not only does it smell and taste like heavenly hop nectar, the alcohol is nonexistent. The bitterness is never tiring, but assuming you are a DIPA lover like me, you won't even think of it anyways.
This is one damn fine beer, it just edges out FFF Dreadnaught as my favorite in the category. It may not be as epic as people tout it to be but as far as DIPA's go it may just be the king.
10-21-2009 22:55:48 | More by crossovert
4.25/5 rDev -8.6%
Bottle shared by alexsdad06.
Poured clear copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy spruce citrus hoppy aroma. Moderate bitter flavor with a moderate to heavy bitter finish of moderate to long duration. Medium to full body with a oily slick texture. Moderate alcohol bite at the finish.
Very good brew.
10-20-2009 01:11:19 | More by tmoneyba
4.78/5 rDev +2.8%
Poured from a 500ml bottle into 32oz giant Pinot Noir glass.
A-as expected a nice straw yellow color with 2-3 fingers head with slight lacing and clear/slight haze.
S-definate citrus and pine, as expected with an IPA, but also a nice yeasty smell similar to an expensive champagne.
T-Awesome. First you get a nice citrus, grapefruit and lemon, which dissapates to a nice pine flavor that lasts as you swallow. Super smooth for 8% and the finish lasts for around a minute.
M-Very smooth light/medium body, what you would expect.
D-This would be the only 1/2 barrel Keg of IPA that I would ever be able to finish. So smooth that you don't notice that it's a double IPA. Best Double I have had, can't wait to try the Younger.
10-19-2009 18:28:54 | More by Schmaltzy
4.9/5 rDev +5.4%
500 ml bottle- pours a deep yellow straw with excellent clarity and frothy white head. Nose- intense hop nose of fresh hops- pine, tropical fruit, you name it. Just a blast of hop goodness. Its a hop head's dream. They should make a cologne that smells like this. Taste- sweet tropical fruit followed by cookie dough and caramel. The hop bitterness shines through in the finish with no trace of astringentness. Body is quite light for the strength of the beer, carbonation is spot on. A true gem
10-18-2009 17:50:30 | More by oakbluff
4.97/5 rDev +6.9%
22 oz bomber served in an oversized wineglass.
This is an exceptional beer.
A - Color is a light amber, almost golden color, with a three finger head. The beer is translucent and clear.
S - On the nose is an immediate citrus aroma, grapefruit with hints of floral, and piney aromas. There is also a suggestive biscuit aroma that comes through.
T - Awe, this beer is packed full of citrus mixed with pine followed by a very subdued bitterness. The balance reached in this beer is like nothing I tasted before. All of the various citrus, pine, floral, and caramel malty flavors combine in delivering a superior flavor. When there is airation I am able to detect a caramel malty flavor, particularly when the temp of the beers rises somewhat from its original serving tempature.
M - This beer has a light to medium body and feels smooth in the mouth.
D - I would not have a problem being able to drink a half dozen or perhaps more 22 oz bottles in one session.
10-17-2009 09:15:20 | More by BlueBloodBrew
4.6/5 rDev -1.1%
First and foremost, a big thank you is in line to SpdKilz. A great beer from a great BA.
Golden orange body capped with a brilliant creamy white head. Retention in moderate but the lacing is quite outstanding. A remarkable looking beer indeed.
Aroma is overloaded with fresh juicy citrus fruit smells. Sweet orange and grapefruit are abundant. Very green resinous hops can be smelled from the crack of the bottle.
The flavor is much in line with the nose. I will admit I am somewhat surprised be the relative balance to this one. Solid malt back supports a heavy hop profile but does not seem to be overwhelmed the the big bitter presence. Well rounded hop profile features flavors ranging from citric to piny with a slight grassiness as well.
Medium body with moderate yet appropriate carbonation. Smooth and creamy while finishing rather dry.
Remarkably drinkable. Alcohol masked well and goes unnoticed through out. Easy and enjoyable to drink. I can into this one with impossibly high expectations, this beer is put on a pedestal and rightfully so. No doubt a top three DIPA in my book but just not certain it is the absolute creme de la creme.
10-16-2009 23:50:54 | More by kzoobrew
4.78/5 rDev +2.8%
Color is bronze with good lacing ; very appealing herbal-citrus-hoppy smell ; taste of hops strong but the solid malt balances it ; strong bitterness but a nice sweet note comes in too. For 8.00 abv this beer is amazingly drinkable. Its world class status is well-deserved. I wish it were easier to find here in N.Y.
10-16-2009 21:16:52 | More by oss68
4.72/5 rDev +1.5%
I about pooped myself when my friend Don was gifted one of these.
Pours a golden yellow with nice sticky head. It has some staying power too. Laces the glass nicely as this beer disappears.
Sweet heavens the smell! There's some fresh cut grass, loads of citrus (mango, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, lemon), and a nice bit of pine. Great hop profile here.
Strongly bitter, not overpowering though. You get more of the pine/grass than the citrus but it eventually flows into a nice sweetness at the end. Even notice a twee bit of honey somewhere in there.
This has a very smooth mouthfeel, slightly sticky. Nicely dry but not over the top so. This is one heck of a beer.
10-16-2009 16:18:24 | More by youngblood
4.58/5 rDev -1.5%
taste- bitter hop bomb, strong malt backbone
color- light amber
clarity- slightly hazy
smell- fresh hoppy burst, grapefruit flowers
body- big and bitter, long finish
appearance- bright, thin white head
notes- big, strong, 8% beer. she's a handful, solid hoppy beer that should always be on hand, very impressive. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008
10-16-2009 04:46:38 | More by NorCalYeti
4.4/5 rDev -5.4%
I am not usually a fan of the exceptionally hoppy IPAs, but I heard good things about RR brewing company, so I figured I'd give this bad boy a go.
Pours brilliant orange-gold with just a hing of green. Tight tall head that you could shave with.
Even before I took a deep smell, I could tell what I was going to get. Solid pine, grapefruit, lemon, fresh-cut grass and cannabis aroma.
Hits the tastebuds bitter, rapidly brings through the flavour, little hint of malt or the alcohol.
The bitterness carries the flavour, the flavour carries the bitterness. The key to an IPA of this boldness is balance. Some have it, others don't. This one's got it in spades.
10-16-2009 00:20:08 | More by DrScotch
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,210 ratings.