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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

10,499 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,499
Reviews: 3,166
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 4,841
Gots: 1,740 | FT: 57
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
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Ratings: 10,499 | Reviews: 3,166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dubinsky
4.65/5  rDev 0%

A-- Appearance is orange and clear, pouring with a nice sized head of soapy foam, which dissipates leaving nice lace along the glass.

S-- HOPS, HOPS, HOPS. Hits the nostrils like a sledge hammer with a down pillows duct tapped to it with an enthralling freshness. Best smelling beer I've had.

T-- Loads of citrus, apple, pear, and floral aroma, but i couldn't get over the smell, so HOPS!!! of course.

M-- Smoove. Nough Said.

D-- A true pleasure to drink. If it were as pricey as it is, i would drink a trough of it. Extremely drinkable even at 8.0% abv.

dubinsky, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of EPICAC
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%

Pliny the Elder is mildly hazy and copper in color. It's topped by a creamy, off-white head that retains well and leaves fluffy lace clinging to the glass. The aroma can be summed up in two words "intensly hoppy". The hops are herbal, piney and strongly resiny. Swirling the beer brings out even more resiny hops. There are fruity notes of apricots and oranges, malty sweetness, and toastiness that comes out on swirling. It's like sticking your nose into a bag of hops.

Overall this beer is pretty balanced. It's not overly sweet like a lot of other DIPAs. The intial malt impressions are toasty and bready with only a mild sweetness. Malts move towards a sweeter, caramel flavor in the center, but still not overly sweet. Hop flavors also make themselves known towards the center. There's a citric bite with a floral, orange blossom quality. Towards the finish there's a mild peppery bite with a good slighty herbal, strongly resiny hop bitterness in the finish that lingers long into the aftertaste. Pliny the Elder is medium-bodied, and has a prickly carbonation that cuts the sweetness somewhat. There's an oiliness towards the swallow that trails off leaving a final impression of thinness.

This DIPA is very balanced. The malts are present, but aren't cloyingly sweet like other examples of the style. The hops are present, but their main contribution is a nice finishing flavor and wonderful lingering bitterness.

EPICAC, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of quinnsi
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%

Appearance is copper-orange and spectacularly clear, pouring with a nice sized head of soapy foam, which dissipates leaving nice lace along the glass.

Wow, what a nose! One of the best noses on a beer I've smelled, offering huge nose-fulls of powerful, resiny, fresh hops. Hop smells range from pine, to floral to ripe citrus. Excellent.

Once I finally pulled my nose away from the beer and actually began to drink it, I was startled by how mild this beer starts out. I was prepared to have little hop devils pitch-fork my tongue into submission, but that is not at all what happened. Instead, the hops gradually wash over your mouth, filling it with wonderful floral hop tastes that eventually become quite resiny. Pliny finishes very well too, with the hop aroma lingering in your mouth without becoming bitter. The finish of this beer is world-class.

Mouth feel is good for such a hoppy beer, as Pliny always feels good on the tongue. All this combines to make it one of the most drinkable DIPA's I've come across.

If I've has a better IPA before, I can't remember when.

quinnsi, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of jhoban19
4.93/5  rDev +6%

500ml bottle, hand-delivered from San Francisco to Chicago by my cousin. The beer I'm reviewing is the last one of the 10 he brought.

A: Bubbly, slightly hazy golden/copper/amber color. solid 2 finger white head, decent retention. lacing dangling the full length of the glass as I drink.

S: Hops, hops and more hops, with pine and hints of floral and some citrus. I seem to get a little something different with each sniff. I can't quite seem to distinguish the specific citrus smells. A bit of malt introduces itself as Pliny warms.

T: this baby tastes almost exactly like it smells- big hops with varying hints of pine and citrus- some moreso than others. just enough malt to balance the hops.

M: Not enough O's in smooove to describe this one. Perfectly carbonated. Moves swiftly to the back of the tongue with an orangey flavor that whips back up toward the front of your mouth. Hop bitterness lingers perfectly throughout.

D: Absolutely cannot get enough of Pliny. Unquestionably one of my top 5 favorite beers, if not my favorite. As much as I'm enjoying this beer, I'm sad that it's the last one. Even knowing that, it's hard to take it slow with this beer- it goes down so smooth it's gone before you know it. I either need to take a trip to CA, ask my cousin to come visit again, or start trading. Actually, all three sound like good options.

jhoban19, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of pmccallum86
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Dated 9/10/09 only 15 days old. Poured into a 22 oz snifter.

Very nice appearance, dark golden body with a thick bubbly head that leaves a nice level of lacing on the snifter.

The smell isn't overwhelming, nice citrus and pine scents. Almost all hops in the nose. From the smell you can definitely tell you are getting a DIPA.

The taste is of hops, lots of hops. Citrus, grapefruit and pine, emphasis on pine. Bitterness at first with slight malt detectable in the finish. Nice crisp taste, lots of pine hops, but not too bitter.

Great mouthfeel, bitter hop bite with medium-high carbonation, yummy. This beer feels absolutely delightful on the tongue

The drinkability is good, as good as a DIPA could be. I could drink this all day long.

pmccallum86, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%

Thanks to Tyler for bringing this one back from California.

A: The beer pours deep golden, almost amber with a finger-thick white head. Great lacing and excellent head retention. Carbonation is subtle.

S: Even opening the bottle releases a swath of hop aroma. In the glass, notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and wildflowers overwhelm the nose. A faintly sweet malt character lingers in the backround.

T: Pure hop bliss! Floral and citrusy, resinous hops dance around the palate with grapefruit, fresh flowers, and pineapple. The finish is crisp and dry, and lasts for what seems like minutes.

M: Medium bodied and very clean. This beer is like liquid silk on the palate.

D: Very easy to drink. Alcohol is hardly noticeable. This is simply the best DIPA I have ever tasted. I just wish I had some more.

WYVYRN527, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%

I will be aborting the standard format for this review. If you want specifics, there are no shortage of reviews on this very site. Suffice it to say, this beer has made my Top 5 list and I feel blessed for having been able to imbibe such a nectar.

If you happen to run across a bottle of fresh Pliny the Elder, grab it and run (do not walk) to the register. The citrus nose, the tangy hop blast, the slick feel...Curse the sky for this not being distributed in Texas!!!

Seriously, though, this is a world-class beer.

DeathbySexyBT, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of clarkkr
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%

500 ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A-- Golden as the sun itself. Over 2 fingers of head poofed like the mane of a lion.

S-- Aromatic wall of light hops and citrus hits the nostrils with an enthralling freshness. I was drooling before the brew kissed my lips.

T-- Can't be accurately described. Reminds me of the sun coming up over San Diego with a dancing hoppiness about it. The citrus makes it taste remarkably fresh, and the hops bring the taste together.

M-- Mouth is attacked by a light smoothness, then consoled by a comfortable and enjoyable coating of hop-enduced oiliness.

D-- The most drinkable IPA I've ever had the pleasure of DOWNING. I couldn't help but drink it faster than Paul Revere's steed.

clarkkr, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of originalsin
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%

Had my first bottle of this stuff about a year ago at Stone Brewery. That day changed my life, I like to think. Not quite sure why I've been holding off on reviewing this one. I suppose I never thought I could do it any justice.

Today on tap at FO, though, I had another incredible experience with the beer. It must've been ridiculously fresh. I couldn't get enough. Pours a light gold with a great 1/2 inch pillowy white head that retains well but eventually dissipates to form a cover over the beer. Lacing is nicce. It's a look I'm quite familiar with. Pavlov's dog when this gets poured....

Smells of incredibly ripe fruits- apples, pears, oranges, citrus notes even--coupled with a great floral aroma. This one smells HOPPY. brilliantly so.

It tastes even better. That's all there is to say about that.

Mouthfeel is light, almost, for a DIPA. Clean. Crisp. A great beer. Super drinkable for the style. This one keeps me coming back for more.

Drink Pliny every chance you get. Cheers.

originalsin, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of mulder1010
4.1/5  rDev -11.8%

500 ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A-- Yellowish gold color with a huge puffy white head. Got almost 2 fingers of head. Left some very nice lacing on the glass.

S--Hops and citrus. Lemon seems prevelant. Very well balanced with the 2.

T-- Feel like I am eating cotton! Lots of hops mixed in with lemon. Taste really grows on you after a bit. Once again well balanced.

M-- Get the cotton lining in my mouth from the hops and a little bit of sweetness with a bit of lemon. Same as before it grows on you the more you drink it.

D-- My first Pliny and I admit I am not a DIPA fan but this is a good beer and drinkable. Like how well balanced it is on the hops and the citrus. Could easily drink 2 of these and be happy.

mulder1010, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of gibby
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%

On tap at Teresas next door in wayne, $6.50 for a 10oz pour.

I have had this beer many times in bottles and on draft but never reviewed. Appearance is great, golden yellow with a chunky 1 finger head. Massive lacing on the glass as it empties. Smell is exceptonal, the hop aroma punches you right in the face. I could smell the glass all day long. Taste is the same, huge hop burst followed by the ever so slight malt presence. This beer goes down like water, mouthfeel is excellent. Drinkability is very high. I had 2 10oz pours and I was itching for more. Too bad I had to drive myself home, they can kick you in the ass at 8% abv.

Overall this is one of my favorite beers. Its one of, if not the BEST DIPA on the market. Only other honoarable mentions would be PTY, sculpin and hopslam. I enjoy this brew every time I trade for it with goodspeed94, he hooks me up. Hope its bottled and sold in pa soon. Highly recommended.

gibby, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of mechamifune
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%

I doubt I have anything to say about this amazing beer that hasn't already been said on here, but I liked it so much I can't resist. I had this on tap and in a bottle this past week while out in oregon and california. I found the (very recently) bottled version to be slightly more enjoyable (thanks to bier one in newport, or). Amazing hop/citrus aroma out of the bottle, more so than any dipa i've ever had. Color and complexion are pleasant but nothing out of the ordinary.

Wonderful, crisp, citrus taste that stays consistant throughout the bottle. Almost no sense of alcohol is retained, which is pretty remarkable for an 8%er. All this adds to great drinkability and I would have had no problem taking down a couple more pints at russian river if it hadn't been my third microbrewery stop of the day.

All in all it goes slightly ahead of Dreadnaught and Founders Double Trouble as the best DIPA i've had.

mechamifune, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%

First off, a big thanks to my cousin for bringing this beer with him to OH on a x-country trip from CA.

I've had this beer at festivals on draft, and thought it was amazing. However, I usually don't rate from samples, so I haven't rated it until I got my own bottle. And while the bottle was very good, I don't think it was as fresh as the samples I've had on draft. Because while the bottle I got was certainly very good, it wasn't the hop ecstasy I experienced in the draft form. So, in this review, I'll likely split the difference.

Color is far lighter than I would've expected. It looks like a golden ale - not too thick, a very light blond/golden color, with a nice amount of head piled on top - a nice picture. Aroma was very hoppy (but hoppier on draft) and was very pine-y and resin-y. Beer was balanced with a nice malt framework...even though this beer is packed with hops, it didn't unbalanced.

Mouthfeel is light and pleasant. I swear I could drink a gallon of this stuff without feeling stuffed and like my mouth was coated with cotton candy (the way I would feel with other very hoppy, sticky IPAs).

This beer deserves its accolades. It really is one of the best!

BeerBelcher, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%

Cheers to a certain mail order beer company who sticks it to the man & will ship to PA! 8/19/09 batch. Pours with a big head which settles slowly. Color is a bit light for a DIPA. Smells & tastes of citrus & pine hops and not much else. Mouthfeel is smooth considering the hoppiness. An 8% ABV helps make this very drinkable for the style. A huge DIPA which is worth seeking if you are a hop head. I have had this on draft many times & it is just as good in a bottle. One of my favorite beers, period.

SkinnyElvis, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of DNA
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%

I'm not a big fan of IPAs but I've tasted quite a few and Pliny the Elder is arguably the definitive IPA. The hop aroma is incredible - like my nose was buried in a double handful of fresh hops.

The appearance is typical for an IPA - a nice golden color with a slight cloudiness. The taste is exceptional with a distinctly fresh hop bitterness that lingers.

The only downside for me is the extreme hoppiness that prevents me from wanting to drink another glass. For what is described as a double IPA I would expect a little more malt flavor to come through and help balance out the fresh hop bitterness.

DNA, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%

I'll be the guy who says that for me-this beer didn't live up to the hype. Great IPA but I was expecting something legendary like the Pliny to be phenomenal and it wasn't. It was simply as good as other great IPA's. Which lucky for the Pliny's score, I happen to love great IPA's.

The appearance was impressive. Great retention and lacing-we all know the color of an Imperial IPA, no need for me to try and discern what shade of whitish color the head is or what shade of golden orange the beer is and find some new color of crayola to name it.

The nose was outstanding. My homeboy (who apparently has a much higher sense of smell than me) said he could smell it as soon as he cracked the bottle. I however, had to actually get the poured beer closer to my face, but wow. Really well crafted. All the floral, herbal piney and citrus aromas really stand out. Hoppy as heck! Reminded me of the Ruination methinks.

The taste was like the smell. I enjoyed the pineapple aspect in addition to the tangerine and key lime pie flavors. Nice balance I must add between the citrusy and and pineyness of the hops. If this was a seesaw battle I suppose it would lean a little more closer to the ground on the piney side. Tasted siimilar to a better balanced Ruination or a slightly more floral Hop Stoopid.

Mouthfeel was nice and silky but lacked crispness. Could have been thicker and more syrupy for me as well. A little bit too watery for me to give it the 4.5. Maybe my bottle was slightly affected by it's long journey to the Pliny-less state I dwell in, Texas.

Very drinkable. No problem putting this back and the alcohol was well hidden. Very tasty as well, I look forward to many more next year when I move back to Cali.

natelocc787, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of jxhill
4.45/5  rDev -4.3%

Clear amber color with sizeable creamy white head. Absolutely delicious and citrusy whiff of hops with the faintest toasted notes behind it. Hops fills the mouth with zesty and tangy hoppiness which is well balanced between aroma and bitterness. The grapefruity citrus notes linger on the tongue until fading late into smooth bitterness and nice alcohol warmth. Body is deceptively light. Lots of beautiful lacing.

So this is the Pliny I've heard so much about. And it lives up to its billing. Like so many DIPAs, it is powerfully hoppy. Unlike most DIPAs it manages to be both floral and bitter in well-balanced combination. It is easy on the eyes and complex on the nose and tongue. Certainly a superior DIPA.

jxhill, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev -6.9%

A: Pours a hazy reddish/orange color. A large beige head forms and gently recedes to leave some nice lace.
S: Mouthwatering ripe and slightly sour apples, pears, orange, and lemon. Floral, pine, and grassy hops. I am a malt head through and through, but there is such depth in the nose here.
T: Again, ripe fruits explode on the tongue. Almost chewy hops. Floral, pine, and grass. A huge hop flavor without the over done bitterness.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A nice crisp snap on the tongue. Not hard to drink considering the alcohol and the style. A good sipping beer.

If more DIPA's were like this I would drink them more often. There is a huge hop flavor, but it is not just bitterness. For an admit malt head this is very enjoyable. If that is not a great endorsement for this beer, I don't know what is?

champ103, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%

Thank you to redbrewer83 for this. Received in a trade only last Wednesday, drinking this while it is still nice and fresh. Bottled 070909. I had this on tap once and apparently never reviewed it...so here goes.

A: Pours a coppery amber color, with a nice inch of thick head. The head dissipates into a film of head, with nice retention. The lacing left is clumpy and patternless.

S: Every bit as good as I remember it, and I think not being in a bar makes it even better. This is one easily one of the most appetizing beers of any style that I have ever had. Floral hops abound and make my mouth water. I love me some Cascade hops. There is a delectable aroma of apricot nectars, with just a touch of pine in the background.

T: Pliny does not disappoint. Tons of bitter hops, completely hidden in the smell ambush my tastebuds. The hops begin to leave the bitter character and assume a citrusy character of grapefruit and lemon zest. The sweet apricot rounds out the flavor with some floral hops as well.

M/D: Stuffed to the brim with sticky hops, this beer is clean and crisp. It has a lighter texture and feel than most DIPAs, and this makes is supremely enjoyable and refreshing. The bitterness makes my mouth pucker as I sip, but the smooth finish really rounds out this beer nicely. The fruity component adds a layer of complexity that I was not expecting. I am a big fan.

NittanyBeerFan, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
3.68/5  rDev -20.9%

According to the beeradvocate reviewers, one of the best beers on this planet. After months of waiting, I finally managed to buy two bottles in a beershop. Does it live up the hype...? This beer should potentially the best one of my second beer tasting evening with PapaEugene. Poured into a Rochefort glass. The beer pours hazy-dark yellow (had to think about morning urine immediately), with a beautiful snow-white head that disappeared fast into a somewhat messy lacing.

Smell: WOW, what a smell, extremely strong floral hops (obviously), peach and honey

Taste: My first reaction was WOW again, very very bitter and hoppy, and then a surprisingly a gradual change to nice sweet grapefruit... cool, I always love such different taste-layers in beer! The beer has a fresh bitter, but very soft (like silk) finish. After two or three sips, the previously mentioned grapefruits now seem to be more lemon. Interesting...

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with a light body.

Overall: Well, I have to say, that at first I thought this was truly one of the best beers I ever had. But after 4 sips, I had to drink water to clean my taste buds and re-hydrate my mouth. This ritual I had to repeat the whole time. This beer is so bitter (which is great), but it makes the mouth dry and insensitive for any other taste (and apparently I'm not the only user that thinks so recently). What a pity, because a beer should also be drinkable. I think the drinkability is highly overrated, the taste, for sure not. It feels a bit strange this beer is rated higher than Rochefort 10 and Westvleteren 8 on Beeradvocate, I personally think that the ratebeer.com rating reflects the quality of this beer better. But still, worth to try? YES! if I drink it again....? well, I still have one bottle left....

rvdoorn, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of mtbbaboon
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%

A friend of mine bought be seven bottles of this. What a good friend. This review is from the last bottle I have left. Poured the bottle of into a Duvel tulip glass. Leaves a nice foamy white head that lingers for quite a while. Lots of lacing on the glass. The color is a light orange shade and very cloudy. Tiny bubbles work their way up the glass. I could smell this beer when I opened the bottle. Wonderfully strong in the nose. Lots of hoppy aroma. Noticeable citrus and pine presence in the aroma. The taste is much the same. Absolutely delicious. Big hoppy bite, followed by a strong grapefruit taste...almost tastes like a grapefruit rind was dropped in. A fair amount of bitterness but not overpowering. A real lip smacker. Very strong taste and nicely balanced. Medium body and not a lot of mouth stick. It's got an almost "oily" mouthfeel to it and it makes me want to chatter my teeth. This is real easy to drink, but I need to sip this and savor it. Who knows when I'll get more Pliny. I had high expectations and those were certainly met. Pliny is a fantastic beer.

mtbbaboon, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of pixieskid
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%

Reviewed today, 9/12/09, freshness date 8/23/09. Poured from 500ml bottle to a small "pint" style glass at City Beer in San Francisco.
A- Poured a glowing hazy orange, with a surprisingly small head.
S- (I have a weak sense of smell) but citrus hops were definitely present.
T-Incredibly balanced, very smooth, has a rich sweet malt upfront, balanced by a nice citrus hop flavor throughout. Finishes velvety smooth with a mellow bitter/ slight sour taste.
M- rather thin body for a double ipa, perfect carbonation.
D- This is the most balanced DIPA/ beer I have ever had, the alcohol is almost not even present, and the thin body/carbonation make it highly drinkable. However, it has an incredibly dry finish, something I am not a fan of, especially in an IPA/DIPA category. It almost leaves my throat dry as if I am having an allergic reaction?

This was my first encounter with Pliny and despite the issue I had with it's dryness, I will definitely be trying it again. I am hoping that the next one lives up to it's reputaiton.
P.S. Thanks papaeugene for reassuring me that i am not insane, and that Pliny has a strange dry/ dehydrating affect on ones throat. I shall be trying it on tap tonight at Toronados,SF, and I have my fingers crossed.

Update: Turns out that I was indeed having an allergic reaction, but not to the beer. Since this review I have had Pliny on numerous occasions and must say that it truly is an exceptional beer. Wonderful balance, great undertones, and not overly dry by any means. I have thus updated the rating.

pixieskid, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of PapaEugene
4.15/5  rDev -10.8%

Should be the most promising beer from the second beertasting session with rvdoorn. We split a 500 ml bottle.

A: HAzy dark yellow color. No head worth mentioning. Big bubbly irregular lacing left.

S: HOPS all over the place. Honey, peachy, citrus and something floral.

T: Starts of with a bittersweet citrus/honey taste but after a few sips it shows a great grapefruit taste. Main part is obviously dominated by hops. Aftertaste is bitter but soft.

M: Medium carbonation and a light body. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

D: Being very impressed by smell/taste initially, somewhere half through my glass I feel my mouth drying out and the bitterness taking hold of all my papilla. To keep enjoying this beer, I went to rinse my mouth with water a few times. This left me in doubt about trying this beer again.

PapaEugene, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.93/5  rDev +6%

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with a trail of bubbles running in the middle of my glass from bottom to top with a finger of head. A nice amount of oil covered bubbles are showing up in the head. As time passes by a thin layer of head remains as the beer quantity slowly drops down. A generous amount of lacing at the top of my glass, with an enormous amount of lacing in the middle; my glass has turned from clear to white. I'm surprised at how bright and clear this beer is. I was expecting something a little more cloudy and more copper in color.

Smell: This is what an IPA should smell like. Finally a West Coast IPA from my trade that I want more of. Nothing except resinous hops on the nose. A fantastic blend of grass, citrus, and flowers.

Taste: Bitterness comes up first, with almost no malt flavor (which is great! - not that I hate malt, but in an IPA I want nothing but hops) followed by a great blend of hops. A nice blend of earthy hops, including grass, flower, and pine, followed by a blend of grapefruit and orange. I love the feeling of the hop oils coating my tongue. The grapefruit aftertaste leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, with a nice level of carbonation. Hop oils coating my gums, teeth, and tongue.

Drinkability: Russian River, please start distributing to Wisconsin. This is a beer I could have multiple of. A fantastically brewed beer by RR. This was the first PtE I had, and the first beer from RR. I'll be asking for this in a trade many times in the future.

Ek0nomik, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of berkey
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%

I picked up an extremely fresh batch for the recent holiday weekend and enjoyed it so much I decided to re-review. Just getting around to typing up notes now. Bottled 08/31/09 consumed 09/05/09.

Forms a great fluffy white head with amazing retention. Body is a very crisp and clean amber color. Leaves rings of beautiful lacing as it goes. This is about as good looking as they come.

Aroma is dominated by stong pine notes with some underlying bitter pungency. A healthy dose of citrus can be picked up here followed by a sweet cereal-like malt backbone.

Flavor follows the aroma fairly faithfully. Deep resinous pine is outstanding on this fresh bottle. I notice that seems to be the first thing that fades on other bottles I've had with only about a month on them. This tends to create a slightly unbalanced hop profile that makes it much less enjoyable. The way the different flavors are stacked against eachother to create a unique balance is really the strenght of this brew. A fairly sweet beer at moments but the dry bitter pungency hides the moderate booze incredibly well. The citrus from the aroma is still here but more as a supporting player.

Drinkabilty is so high on this one it's tempting to session it but at 8% that's usually not a great idea. Clean and crisp on the mouthfeel. Possibly the most refreshing DIPA I've tried.

The label is no joke: DO NOT AGE! I can't think of any other beer where freshness makes such a dramatic difference.

berkey, Sep 11, 2009
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,499 ratings.