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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

10,807 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,807
Reviews: 3,193
rAvg: 4.65
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 4,992
Gots: 1,877 | FT: 63
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Elder Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,807 | Reviews: 3,193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Doodler for this bottle.

Poured from pint-sized bottle dated 1/14/2010 into a Ten Penny Ale pint glass.

A: Looks good. Has a golden translucent hue with a frothy, lasting head.

S: Hops, hops, hops. The best feature of this beer. I also pick up citrus fruits and a little forestry, but all in all it's a fresh smelling beer.

T: A perfect mix of hoppiness, bitterness, and sweetness. The flavor profile is characterized by awesomeness. I don't even know; I'm tasting euphoria.

M: Sticky. You can actually feel the stickiness against your teeth if you swish it around in your mouth. Carbonated properly.

D: Wow, too good for 8%. Or is it just because it's 5:00 and I'm so happy to be home from work relaxing with my friend Pliny the Elder?

Overall, hype does not do this beer justice. I wish Pliny the Elder was considered a local everywhere.

hoppymcgee, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of sisuspeed
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tjensen3618 for sending this one out east. Bottled on 1/14/2010.

Prying off the cap reveals a sweet rush of grassy, piney hops. This should be a good one. Poured into a tulip glass, Pliny is a clear, peach-orange color with a sticky white head on top. Nicely webbed lacing is left along the glass. Looks great.

The aroma is filled with citrus-infused, pine-laden hops. Lots of grassy hops in this one. Oranges and a sweet malt backbone make up the rest of the aroma.

After a couple of sips I can see why this beer holds the ranking it does. Pliny tastes like someone squeezed fresh hops from their hand right into the glass. Lots of citrusy, bitter, sticky hops. Oranges come out as the main citrus fruit, with a touch of grapefruit settling over somewhat bready malts.

The mouthfeel is very interesting with this DIPA. Your mouth is initially assaulted by bitter hops and then a wave of sweet malts, but the finish is light and refreshing. Lower carbonation, yet somewhat prickly. Pliny manages to be a big beer without a huge malt presence, which is nice.

Drinkability is superb. I could drink Pliny all day and wish I had easier access to it. The alcohol is unnoticeable and the finish is refreshing and light.

Like everyone has already said, this is an excellent DIPA. I think one of the main aspects of Pliny that sets it apart from other DIPAs is that it is so well balanced. Lots of amazing hops upfront, malts in the middle and light on the finish. You just want to keep reaching for this beer, especially if you love hops. Russian River has hit the nail on the head with this one. A must try for every beer lover.

sisuspeed, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of knight84
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to RichBeer for this bottle!
A: Beautiful honey amber color. One finger of frothy eggshell-white head leaving nice lacing on the glass.
N: The smell of this beer is nothing short of incredible. A rich bouquet of hop perfection. There is a slight dankness opening for resinous pine, black peppercorn, grapefruit, Clementine orange, and lemon zest. Also carries a nice herbal note of cloves and cardamom sweetness.
T: The taste follows the nose very well. Slightly herbal with nice citrus and pine highlights. Blood orange leads the citrus sweetness followed by a slight but noticeable sugar cookie sweetness in the malt profile. Tropical fruits and pineapple linger on the palate.
M: Has medium body, nice carbonation but could be a little more robust.
Overall one of the best IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking. Extremely well balanced taste with great complexity. The flavors just keep evolving and developing through the whole bottle. Leaves me satisfied but still wanting more. It's really too bad that this beer doesn't see distribution in Michigan.

knight84, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of rebelthrower
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Pours golden, a little cloudy, with a little orange. Nice ivory head about the size of a quarter.

S. Perfect aroma of hops. Citrus and other fruit.

T. Very citrusy, ans sweet.

M. Very smooth. Perfectly balanced. Not over powering like some other double IPAs get.

D. Very drinkable. I wish I had more than one available.

rebelthrower, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of OttoBomb
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into Dogfish Head signature glass (February 5, 2010). "BOTTLED ON: 011410" is printed on label. Received this is a trade with vasdef42. Thanks & Cheers Jared!

Eyes: A nice, slightly hazy rangy-copper-honey color. Two full fingers of light fluffy, cloud like head. Lacing is clingy and significant.

Nose: The reputation of Pliny made me expect a good nose, and it delivers. Sweet honey-hops with floral notes abound. Fresh grapefruit and lemon peel erupts from the glass and I'm looking forward to taking the first sip.

Tongue: The taste matches what the nose promises. This is a very potent, bitter hopfest, but it got that one feature I need to enjoy any IPA: balance. The grapefruit and lemon peel is much more pronounced than the aroma, and there isn't a whole lot of malt here, but there is just enough not to be completely showed aside by the hops.

Mouth: Good carbonation, some bitter aftertaste, but the massive tongue pounding hop character is smoother than most any other DIPA I've had.

Libation: An absolutely lovely creation. Potent, tasty yet smooth enough to make it very easy to drink. The 8% ABV simply cannot be felt/tasted and it's easy to down more than one bottle even though they are half a liter each. Cheers to Russian River brewer Vinnie Cilurzo for his efforts here.

OttoBomb, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of sophisticated
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man. My little sister out in Oregon sent me a bottle for my b-day. Thanks sis!

A) I poured this into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. I don't know if it was just the glass, but it looked more orange at the top, and more yellow towards the bottom. The liquid was hazy with 1-2 fingers sudsy white head which quickly receded leaving a bit of sticky lace. Not much visible carbonation, and a slick/viscous layer against the glass.

S) Oh man. When I opened the bottle hops just poured out! Hop heaven. Orange, pineapple, pine, grass. Mango. A bit of spice. All begging me to drink!

T) Mmmm...Sweet citrus, mango followed by bitter pines and a bit of pepper or other spice. Each sip leaves a huge hop flavor in my mouth. I feel like I'm going to be tasting hops forever. Delicious.

MF) Medium and the taste sits in your mouth forever.

D) Really good! A little too bitter for me, so one to take your time with. Definitely wish I had another afterwards. A fantastic hoppy treat I am delighted to have gotten to try.

sophisticated, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of tzieser
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to youbrewidrink!

Bottled in November 2009. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice, clear deep orange honey-like color with a one finger head that settles into a small lacing. decent retention.

S: An incredible piny, floral and citrus hop filled aroma. Pine sap, grapefruit and flowers are all dominate figures in the nose. Extraordinary.

T: Reminiscent of the flavor-- and that's a great thing. Juicy, piny hops again up front, followed by a great grapefruit-like citrus flavor. The taste sticks to your mouth well after putting down the glass down. Alcohol is very well hidden. Insanely clean finish. Wow.

m&d: great crisp mouthfeel; drinkability is great-- really refreshing. I really wish I could get these all the time.

Do whatever you can to at least try this beer-- it truly is a top 5-10 brew.

tzieser, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of afausser
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of BeachBumC--so glad to have tried this one, thanks!

Before drinking this, I'd like to point out the bottle. I like it when breweries put effort into their bottles/labels--it's sort of like reading the liner notes for an album and generally makes the entire "beer experience" more enjoyable as a whole. This one keeps it simple in appearance, and has text (and good beer advice!) in basically the entire free space of the label...for example: "PLINY THE ELDER IS A HISTORICAL FIGURE, DON'T MAKE THE BEER INSIDE THIS BOTTLE ONE!" and "CONSUME PLINY FRESH, OR NOT AT ALL!" Okay, okay, fine!

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange/light amber with fast moving, medium-sized carbonation bubbles and nearly an inch of fluffy bubbly head. The head disappears exactly the way I would expect it to--it's somewhat persistent but as I type this a great deal of the bubbles pop and what is left is increasingly larger bubbles and a sticky ring of foamy, web-like lacing that have the consistency of soap in a bubble bath. The part of the head that lasts any amount of time (about a half a finger) seems like it'll be sticking around for a bit and ends up being a more consistent, medium bubble size. The carbonation bubbles are not entirely evident from an arm's length (where it sits on the table next to me as I type this up) but when it's held to the light you can see the fine, medium speed and medium sized bubbles moving straight to the top of the glass in just a few lines--doesn't look over-carbonated from here though what there is seems to promise to be decently big.

Smell: Floral hops and honey are the huge notes in this brew, as well as a strong pink grapefruit scent--no huge surprises there. It smells absolutely wonderful, and has a mellow tone to it. I'm also getting notes of sweet molasses, maple syrup, caramel and, to a lesser extent, brown sugar out of the nose as well as a slightly spicy alcohol and hops note which comes across as black pepper and maybe the slightest hint of wintergreen (though this isn't at all hot and is blended entirely nicely with the other scents in the beer. I'm also smelling cold apple juice. There's a very mild citrus note--maybe a slight lemon zest and a tiny squeeze of orange juice blended in.
I hate to compare beers to one another, but because these two are quite similar--it does smell quite a bit like Hopslam, though a more mellow, slightly more honey-toned version. Smooth and creamy. I should note that as it warms, the honey notes come out more and more and it mellows, smelling less like the familiar, crisp Hopslam I have come to know and love and more bready, grainy, apple toned and dark. It retains its heavy floral notes, however, throughout the life of the beer.

Taste: The first notes that I get out of this, oddly enough, are white grapes and pears (though they are not particularly dominant as I continue to drink), followed by a light, lemon and grapefruit hop aftertaste. There are also apple and orange juices present here, but their sweetness is not very dominant due to the bitterness of the hops, which is quite intense. The bitterness itself is not sharp and biting, but dull, dark, and in the background--though quite persistent. This gives it the impression of an almost funky note, though it is still more hoppy than anything else. The floral smell of the hops really changes to hay and grass--and a slight pine--in the taste. Definitely becomes far more orange and lemon juice flavored--and significantly sweeter--as it warms. There's a definite honey note, but the citrus and bitter hop notes dominate far more (though I will note that the warmer it gets the more the nice honey note comes out as well as a maple sugar note, though it's not very syrupy. These both blend very nicely with everything else). The smallest hint of yeasty, sweet, bread comes through as well, though that's not to say that it's malty. Also as it warms, there's an ever-so-slight sourness that starts to come through.

Mouthfeel: Not biting, and the carbonation keeps it crisp yet subdued. The aftertaste is very persistent and bitter yet manages to not be abrasive. Very smooth and creamy. I'm trying to figure out words with which to describe the very present, very persistent, yet non-abrasive carbonation. It is there at exactly the right moments and disappears at exactly the right moments to perfectly complement the taste. A higher carbonation level would have resulted in it being too abrasive and a lower level would undercut the great flavors present in the taste. No heat whatsoever.

Drinkability: One to sip, but it's entirely delicious. The only thing really holding this one back from going down quicker is the bitterness, which is great and totally acceptable for the style and ABV. The combination of smell and taste is really quite excellent. I love when a beer can have significantly different yet still complementary smell and taste elements--nicely done.

afausser, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 mL bottled on 1/14/10

Cloudy golden orange color with a frothy white head, nice retention, little lacing. Aroma is a balance yet distinct blend of hops, malt, and tons of citrus (grapefruit, orange, mango, etc). Flavor is upfront with blend of citrus before balanced with malt and strong hop/pine bitterness, balanced throughout, body is medium thick, crisp and a clean finish. This fresh bottle had much more bitter hop flavors than I remembered from other experiences with this beer.

yourefragile, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper colored body with a tall ivory head and really sticky lacing, very nice looking beer.

The smell has a ton of grapefruit, caramel malt and very pungent smelling hop 'dankness'

The hop bitterness rules this castle of flavor, citrus and grapefruit give a juicy kick. This is backed by a decent malt sweetness. wow!

The feel is a bit oily from the hop resins, but the high co2 fixes this and makes for a perfect mouthfeel.

The definative west coast DIPA for a reason. Perfect example of flavor, nose and feel.(that is if a hop bomb is what you crave as opposed to the more balanced examples of the style.)

bonsreeb85, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of hobojon
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had both in bottle and on tap multiple times. Review is based on the freshest bottle I had (4 days).

Aroma- intense fresh pine, lemon, and citrus. resin. tropical fruit. pineapple. very fruity. subtle sweet malt. floral.

App- some yeast. orange straw. white foam, lacing.

Taste- tropical, cirtus, tart, piney hops. clean bitterness dominates flavor. fruity. malt is simple, sweet, and pleasant. intense.

Mouthfeel- dry. med carb. resinous and clean.

Overall- incredible balances and drinkable. not too bitter or sweet. alcohol is clean. best dipa.

hobojon, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Beer pours a golden opaque color with a strong head. As it settles, there is long lacing on the glass.

Smell - Hop smell is very strong and fresh. Citrus and floral notes masquerade the senses.

Taste - Hop taste up front that is very smooth. Citrus and grapefruit, earthy yet refined, floral.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation that tinges the tongue at the end. Full body.

Drinkability - Quite session-able for an Imperial IPA. The flavor is outstanding. My personal favorite beer.

djbreezy, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle, dated 01/06/10

A: Poured a cloudy golden/copper color, frothy white head

S: The aroma has got to be one of the best ive experienced from an IPA/DIPA, no wait... maybe one of the best out of any beer. The pine is sitting right there on your nose yet all of the mango/grapefruitish citrus notes are very, very evident. The aroma is strong and distinct enough where I can easily pick apart the hops, pale malts, and citrus.

T: As opposed to many DIPAs I feel like the citrus bites first which is enticing, followed by of course hop bitterness. Malts are waiting until the end to make an appearence here, but citrus and pine still dominate whats left of the sip.

Where many IPAs leave me with a bitter pine cone in my mouth for an after taste, Pliny leaves me feeling like I just ate a lemon or an orange. Excellent!

Alcohol is not apparent until a pleasing warming shows itself way at the end of the sip.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but just thick enough for a DIPA. Carbonation is medium to low, but suits this beer quite well.

D: I could have a few pints of this without a doubt. Its 8% sure, but this is so tastey and smooth.

Ive had many IPAs/DIPAs, and I think Pliny lives up to the hype, period. Im glad I got a chance to try this, and its a shame that everytime I want a Pliny I need to check ebay or seek out a trade. Truely a tragedy!

EDIT: I'm editing my review because I just recently had another Pliny from a different, newer batch, and man this thing is consistently awesome. Additionally, I believe the "taste" element of this beer warrants a 5. I'm moving to California because of a beer, bye.

zoolzoo, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle poured into a tulip

A: A straw like yellow mixed with highlights of gold hazy clouds in the center make it glow when held to the light. A luscious head of off white tops this DIPA.

S: There is a lot to take in all at once but the hops are the star here. Lime and mint first come to mind Christmas trees touches of alcohol and grapefruit. I am picking up hints of hay and fresh cut grass with slight floral whiffs, but the citric is the most dominant. It is as lovely to smell as it is to taste...well almost.

T: Grapefruit citric mint and a slight hoppy sweetness. I say that lightly cause the clingy hop bitterness defiantly squashes any sweetness left from malt or hops. This truly is a hopbomb and more than likely the hoppiest brew I have consumed to date. Is this the wall where do I go from here? I cannot imagine more hops packed into the upfront taste through the swallow and quite a time after the swallow. Truly a fine crafted ale BRAVO Russian River I know understand where all the hype began.

M: This ale glides across the tongue, tingling from hops and carbonation. Pliny goes down easy and is pleasant to take large quaffs. The body is not too thin for the dryness of this ale.

D: If I lived closer to this DIPA it would be even more drinkable, that is the only thing that is holding me back from cracking the other two bottles tonight. I find this brew to quite drinkable the 8% ABV is not even noticeable in the mouth... just the buzz. Most IPAs that I enjoy are 7%+ so this brew just seems slightly bigger. The hops are the addiction here....I feel i could order this in lieu of my usual grapefruit juice for my greasy spoon diner breakfast.

llllDrGONZOllll, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of nycwinter
4.22/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass and a snifter.

A= Huge frothy white head. Semi-cloudy golden brilliance. I think there is an internal light emanating from the glass. I could be wrong.

S= I get mint, lime peel, and Christmas trees. There are some sweet but floral notes hidden in there.

T= Up front there is a very citric bite that lingers through to the end. This is accompanied by the Christmas tree. There is a little malt sweetness to balance it, but you may want to ignore that and bask in hoppy crispness.

M= As it warms the alcohol warmth weighs in, but overall it is medium-light bodied and crisp.

D= One bomber is enough for now, but now that I know where to find this, I will incorporate it into my IPA repertoire.

nycwinter, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Chrisco88
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden/amber in color. Forms a thick, frothy white head, seems to last forever.

Aroma: Immediately hit by an intense floral hop aroma. Further sniffs reveal some citrus (perhaps grapefruit) and pine notes.

Taste: Quite bitter and hoppy up front but finishes with a light malty sweetness and a refreshing pine-y aftertaste that lingers but begs for more.

Palate: Very smooth, nice carbonation. Super clean aftertaste and mouthfeel, nothing in particular lingers.

Overall: A fantastic beer indeed. I went into this glass a bit hesitant; the intense aroma kind of put me off as I really don't have much taste for heavily hopped brews, but the complex taste and spot on aftertaste had me enjoying sip after sip. Definitely worth savoring, but damn easy to drink, too, and at 8%...

Chrisco88, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of ATGHomebrewer
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: bright orange-carmel beer. very clear. poured a thick white head. large carboniation bubbles.

S: as expected, large amounts of crisp flowery, citusry hop aromas.

T: actually, a little less pungent hop taste. heavy hop flavor, but keeps a smooth profile.

M: thin, smooth mouthfeel, as expected with the style.

D: very drinkable for any hophead. little malt profile or alcohol to speak of.

very good beer. i have waited years to try this all-time great for some reason. and, i wasn't dissapointed having finally sampled it.

ATGHomebrewer, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of snpub540
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting to try this one for a long time. Will it live up to the hype. I dont know???

Poured a slightly hazy light copper hue with a one finger head that was very clingy. Left some delicate web-like lacing down the side of my tulip.

Almost stuck my nose right into this one since it smelled so good. Pineapple hit me first, then some grapefruit and other citrus aromas. Also a very strong pine backbone. So far I'm very impressed.

First sip is like drinking hop juice. I mean this in a great way. Onslaught of grapefruit in the front with the strong, bitter pine as the finish. Surprisingly not very aggressive at all. Aftertaste is very delicious and beckons you to take yet another sip.

Creamy medium bodied mouthfeel as it dances on the tongue. Medium carbonation. Drinkability is good as the alcohol only shows up as a warming effect in the throat. I need more of this IPA!

snpub540, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of Minotaur
4.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap: Spinnerstown Hotel

One of those beers that attains legendary status. There is rumor that deep in a barely lit cavern, worshipers perform nameless rites to a giant bottle of P.t.E.

It is a high quality DIPA. The color is crystal clear copper unlike many cloudier DIPAs. The head is pils like and leaves an impressive lacing.

The aroma is over-loaded with hops: pine, citrus, frankincense like.

The flavor is a dense bitter, oatsy hops. It is extremely dry and nutty. Unlike many other DIPAs there is only a tiny hint of malt sweetness. The balance here is not between the sweet-sour typical of DIPA but instead a balance between solid bready grains and sharper spice.

It has a good, smooth but not terribly unique mouthfeel. It is very drinkable especially with heavier/hot/spiced food.

Minotaur, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - Poured a light amber color, had moderate carbonation, and about 1 finger of white head that lasted for a long time. Looks great.

s - Smells strongly of pine. Also has some citrus fruit smell to it.

t - The hops definitely jump out at you. Definite tastes of lemon and pine mostly, and finishes with more citrus flavor.

m - A smooth, light to medium body with a small amount of carbonation.

d - I really liked this beer. I had heard a lot about it and it did not disappoint. This is a great DIPA especially if you like that piney/citrus smell and taste in a DIPA.

mdfb79, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. Bottled on 1-6-2010.

Pale amber color with a two finger foamy white head. Looks spectacular. I can't get over how clear it looks in the glass. Just like Hopslam. Smells of grapefruit, oranges, pine, pineapple, and mango.

The taste mirrors the aroma perfectly. Grapefruit, oranges, pine, pineapple, and mango combine to make a tasty brew. I can't believe how smooth this beer is to drink. The 8% abv is very well hidden. Medium bodied with proper carbonation. Finishes dry. Almost insanely drinkable. I'm glad I was able to get this from South Bay Drugs.

hardy008, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of thecarster1
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

from saulcharlesworth - secret santa '09

i'm gonna give a little preface before the review. there were days before this day, when i reviewed beer after beer, loved many, loathed few, but didn't think a day would come when i could review a beer and give it a five in any category, that i could love a beer that much that it wouldn't need an ounce (fl or otherwise) of improvement. those days are over..

a- bottle poured into a snifter, more than a fingers worth of foamy, bubbly head, clear light amber coloring, great head retention fades to a layer of lace.

s- wow, this is one awesome smelling beer. i could smell it as soon as i cracked the bottle open, loads of grapefruit, sappy pine, some peppery notes. this is my ideal smelling ipa/dipa. i literally can't stop smelling it!

t- really nice, loads of hop flavor, citrus, grapefruit, pine, wonderfully bitter - lingers forever. some faint tart green apple notes round everything out. no hint of alcohol. this is one killer beer, so straight forward and honest.

m- great medium body, lots of carbonation, slickness.

d- wonderfully drinkable, i savored every sip, getting more and more sad as the bottle emptied. this is hands down the best beer i've ever had, and the standard to which all dipas should be held. man, i never thought i'd be saying those words about any beer. pliny blew me away, i need an unlimited supply!

thecarster1, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of gdodd12
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this out of a bottle that I acquired in a recent BIF.

A - It poured quite clearish golden color and had a decent head on it.

S - Lots of pine and citrus hops along with some other fruits perhaps. Great smell

T - Fantastic! The pine was definitely noticable. As were some citrus and fruit notes. And of course the hops are definitely noticed.

M - Carbonation is noticeable as well as the hops.

D - If I could have this at all times in my fridge, I would. Just an awesome beer. I envy those who can get this on somewhat regular basis.

gdodd12, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of pdoran10
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my sister for bringing this back for me from her trip to San Fransisco.

Really excited to review this one!
Appearance is inviting it pours a clean golden color and produces an amazing amount of head on my first pour. Overflowed the pint glass a bit, oops. The smell is very similar to the appearance. Very clean and crisp. I get a distinct orange and lemon presence blended with piney resin. The taste is agressive! Lots of citrus and pine up front. Finishes surprisingly clean for how strong the flavors are. I'm impressed. Mouthfeel is great! lots of carbonation and it very crisp and refreshing. Drinkability is good, but your tastebuds get a work out. A great beer for sure.

pdoran10, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of YOOJ
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a few times before, but after not seeing this beer for a while where I live, I jumped at the chance to try it again.

Bright straw color, surprisingly clear and bright for the style.

Smell: Beautiful hops, grapefruit and a little spice.

Sip: Carbonation up front, turning into complex hops. Insistent but flexible grapefruit with almost no hop 'bite' until the smoooth bitter finish. As it warms, develops a slight farmhouse-y flavor.

Oh so smooth. Out-of-this-world drinkable beer.

Alot of DIPA or IPAs tend to be quite similar, but Pliny stands out in both it's complexity and character. It is over-hyped (no doubt fed by the brewery's choice to keep distribution inconsistent most places) but despite that, there is no getting around the fact that Pliny is a ridiculously solid beer.

YOOJ, Jan 23, 2010
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,807 ratings.