Blind Pig IPA | Russian River Brewing Company

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Blind Pig IPABlind Pig IPA

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedwoodGeorge on 03-26-2005

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Reviews: 1,440 | Ratings: 5,712
Photo of bosco7
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub.

Beautiful pale color that has perfect clarity. Nice head with quality lacing.

Big pine, ruby red grapefruit, and grassy aromas. Uber aromatic. NICE!

Lots of pungent grapefruit pulp, orange rind, and pine flavors. Malt is understated yet noticeable. Not as much alcohol on the tongue as Pliny. Clean bitterness that makes this oh so drinkable.

If I did not love Pliny the Elder so much I would have this more often. One of the best IPAs ever made.

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Photo of bifrostguard
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent rusty copper color with a moderate fluffy off white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. Effervescence is on the level of Alka Seltzer.

S - Piney and citrus hops backed by a malt sweetness. Pine sol is the closest thing that comes to mind. Outstanding for an IPA of such a low weight.

T - Bitter. Pine and citrus hops are severely imbalanced towards pine. A solid malt backbone is overpowered by the bitterness of this brew. Very tasty indeed.

M - Moderate in body and lively in carbonation. Dries out the palate quite nicely without being too overbearing. Watery around the edges and as perfect as I could imagine.

D - I tend to think of this as a more sessionable version of Pliny with a comparable but pinier taste. Very enjoyable and won't knock you on your butt as quickly as its double IPA counterpart. After having both a bunch of times now I actually prefer Blind Pig. Yes, you will drink a lot of these and yes, you will still feel great in the morning.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My original review (below) was rather terrible, so when I finally got a chance to revisit it (thanks, Chris!), I jumped at it.

Clear light amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous IPA. The nose is fantastic. Bright, pungently hoppy and fruity with citrus (grapefruit? clementines? tangerines?), tropical fruit (pineapple, a little bit of mango) and no real malt character to speak of, this is rather marvelous. The palate opens with a massive hop character with a blend of resiny bitterness and a gamut of fruit flavors. There's grapefruit, pungent and resiny, pineapple with both bitterness and explosive almost acid-like brightness, and a blend of oranges and some mango. There's just a hair bit of toasted malt character present, but really, this is all about the hops and the bittering hops at that. In fact, there's so much going on that I even get a little bit of mint and just a wee bit of leather, especially on the finish. So clean, so refreshing, this beer is light in body, moderately carbonated and has a lip-smacking good finish that really lasts. Lots of resin and fruit are present, this is one of THE best hoppy beers I've ever had. Marvelous stuff
**Reviewed on: 05-14-2008 03:28:19**

Picked up a growler while at the RR brew pub

A: Crystal clear amber with a dense two-finger white head. Gorgeous lace

S: Pine, more pine, some pineapple. Sticky and sweet smelling

T: Sharp pine bit with some mild orange and grapefruit. There's a faint malt backbone. Excellent, dry finish

M: Mildly carbonated with a sticky and dry finish

D: I have a growler!

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Photo of GeeL
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got this as a bonus in a beer trade. It was shipped from CA to MA, so out of refrigeration for a little bit. Bottle date was a tad over 2 weeks prior to drinking it.

I sometimes like to start with "Overall" because it's a nice intro to the review... O: easy to quaff, and easy to forget the ABV.

L: Though I live in the Northeast, I'm still partial to clear beer. They don't need to be crystal clear, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the thick cloudy stuff they're serving around here. Blind Pig is really clear. It's a straw color, and effervescent.

S: quality. I don't know how else to describe it without using cliches. There's a hint of piney resin, fruity hops, but it just smells balanced and refined.

T: Smooth as silk. Jeez, I haven't had a beer like this in a long time. I need to get back to my Harpoon IPA roots, as this reminded me of that. The flavor comes from a balanced use of early, mid, and late addition hops. No hop blasting with this. There is a crisp malt flavor too, but it's not cloying.

F: thin compared to what I'm used to these days, but a nod of approval because to me this is what a beer should be like. If I want a glass of nectar, I'll buy some nectar. This is great.

O: easy to quaff, and easy to forget the ABV.

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Photo of Hendry
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a golden honey color, filtered and clear as a bell with a generous two finger soapy white head, lively carbonation,solid lacing.

The nose is subdued when making the inevitable comparison to Pliny, which has more going on with the seductive phenols and tropical infusion. There are floral hints in there along with some light clementine, and a piney presence of hop goodness in the spotlight.

Taste is an altogether different game: Blind Pig offers a splendid blast of clementine juiciness, some candy like malt sweetness,and a distinct pungent hop kick. Medium to full bodied, mothfeel is sticky & chewy hops,oily and flavorful. Smooth easy drinking with no alcohol detected.

Russian River knows how to make great liquids, and Blind Pig is a fine example. Get a bunch of these if you can get your hands on them, highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

East coast guy gets to visit Russian River, wow, how lucky am I? Poured into a nonic pint glass at the brewery.

This pig pours a clear dark golden hue with a one finger fluffy white head that leaves a thin layer throughout. Stickiness is damn good, just what I expected for this brewery. Smell is a sweet fresh piney hop burst with a nice earthy/dirty hop undertone. Nice caramel malt scent is mixed in quite well with the gritty hops. Taste is of big earthy hops, just how I like my IPA's. Has a very nice bittering effect on the tongue, but not over-powering. Sweet grapefruit hops seem to surface about midway through with a nice caramel malt balance as well. Aftertaste is somewhat dry, but very clean. In my opinion, perfect tasting IPA. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Such a treat on tap. I could easily put these down one after another. By far one of the best IPA's I've had to date, and I've had a couple ;)

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy orange with a nice off white head that laces the glass well.

S-Big big grapefruit combined with a strong pine hop presence. Tropical fruit notes are clear as well. Smells very delicious.

T-Incredibly dry and bitter. Big pine! Much more bitter than I was anticipating. The grapefruit and fruity hops notes are detectable as well. This beer is quite powerful but it is not one sided. Quite complex as well. Don't let the pig on the front fool you. Tongue burning deliciousness.

M-Great mouthfeel. Has the mouthfeel of a IPA but the taste of a DIPA. Slick and nicely carbonated.

D-Very drinkable. Alcohol is masked perfectly. One of the more intense tasting IPAs i've had. Once again, Russian River blows my mind.

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Photo of ikantspel
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500 ml into a russian river chalice

Bottled 9 days ago on 8.10.12

Pours a clear bronze color with a bubbly foam head

Tangerine, grapefruit, and pine in the nose

Refreshing citruses, and pine dominate the flavor. Finishes with just the right ammount of bitterness for an ipa

Definatly a good startee beer if your trying to get someone into ipas. What a perfect example

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2/21/17 - Follow up to Pliny the Younger at Monk's charity event. Full pour into a pint glass. Still holds up as a super classic IPA Nice chaser.
4-6-15 - Monk's back bar after Phillies home opener loss. Still one of the best IPAs around.
2-26-16 - On tap at Monk's in Philly. Pint glass. Classic IPA.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another from shortysdude285. Poured into my mug a less than clear golden color. A very thick white soapy heading. Lacing sticks all around the glass.

Smell is awesome.Hoppy nose quickly followed up by an extremely fruitiness. Pineapples,Mangoes and a nice sugary sweetness to top thing's off maybe a bit of bubblegum as well.

Taste is very slick and smooth. Not as hoppy as thought at first but very tasty with yeasty like fruitiness.A cracker like toastiness right in the middle and finishes with that same candy like fruitiness.

Mouth is smooth and bubbley. Light to medium bodied and a helluva feel in the mouth. Nice sugary mouthfeel with a fruity finish.

An amazing IPA from Russian River one of my new favorites.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a little darker than what I expected from an IPA. Head is white to off white. Nose steeps of the hops that await. 1st taste is amazing, but has a lighter taste than I thought it would. After taste has the bitterness that I have come to love about IPAs.

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Photo of MarkGamber
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

On tap at Teresa's in Wayne, PA.

Gold colored, not so much orange as with many other IPAs I've been drinking lately. It smelled pretty good, with a lot of hops and florals. The taste was excellent. Very smooth, light with lots of fruit and flowers, not a hint of bitterness anywhere.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. It's tough to find this thing fresh anymore, so I was pleased as punch to see a 4/16/10 bottling date.

A: Pours a chill-hazed apricot-gold body with a finger of off-white head. Retention is long enough to release aromatics, then the head vanishes into a fluffy collar and leaves tendrils of lace behind.

S: Holy Citrus Bomb, Batman! Pineapple, lemon, orange, grapefruit. I don't pick up any malt besides a general sweetness in the nose.

T: As above, there's only a general sweetness that suggests a malt backbone; nothing overt. Instead, this is a lupulin showcase from start to finish. I love citrus hop flavors, and this one delivers in spades: pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, orange zest. There's an undercurrent of floral hops as well.

M: Medium-bodied, with medium carbonation. While it has a light lingering bitterness, it's not as oily as other IPAs. For the style, it's very clean.

D: It's too bad this is harder to find fresh than Pliny the Elder. I'll definitely get it again fresh.

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Photo of bump8628
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A 1/2 liter of this nectar was poured at Hollingshead Deli.

It's a hop-hazy gold with the thick sticky head that mega-hoppy IPAs usually have.

Well, this one is only really about the hops so I guess I'll describe their flavor as best I can. They're big time piney with several varieties of citrus rind and pungent flowers just behind. As it warms more complexities come through (orange flesh, rosemary), but they are quickly scrubbed away by a firm, but not harsh, bitterness. The finish is very dry, which is the trademark characteristic that makes Vinnie's IPAs and DIPAs the World's best.

Hop nirvana. And with the lower ABV it's not unreasonable to a have a few.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap, looks a lot like Pliny the Elder: pale gold and pretty clear, with a finger or so of bright white head that leaves tons of lacing. Smells like pine and grapefruit, and tastes the same. Feel is medium. Overall, this is just a killer IPA. I had it alongside Pliny, and thought this would be a dialed-down version of the Elder. However, it was kind of the opposite: where Pliny seemed muted and restrained, this one was bursting with hop flavor. Terrific stuff!

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Photo of Floydster
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1/2 liter stein at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange this afternoon after a long morning

Very excited to see this on tap, first time have seen anywhere

Heard nothing but great things about it and they were all true

Hands down the best IPA I have ever had, yes it is even better than Pliny the Elder

Poured a golden yellow with a monsterous foamy head, almost two inches thick

Nice smell of citrus and faint smokiness

Taste was amazing and very hoppy, hints of pine and cascade spread throughout with a little orange at the end

Great mouthfeel and taste did not go away

Could have sat there for hours and drank this one, especially because it is only six percent alcohol, great session beer even though it is not meant for it

Would have drank another one of these today, but saw another rare draft only beer I had to try as well, greatest two beers in one day I have ever had

It is too bad this a draft only beer because I would buy a case of bottles tomorrow if I could

Yet another reason why Russian River is the best brewery in the world

Highest recommended IPA I have tasted in my beer drinking days

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap in a pint glass at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver.

Appearance - Amber hue with good clarity.

Smell - Citrus awesomeness.

Taste - Close to perfection of the style.

Mouthful - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - I prefer this over Pliny...

Grade (A)

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Photo of pkalix
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

very nice orange-honey color, nice white topping.
subtle grass, pine and grapefruit aroma. not overpowering like other ipas.... some fruit juice in there too!
taste is very subdued. i expected a stronger flavor but this is very nice, very smooth, very easy to drink. the bitterness isnt strong although it is left on the tongue after the nectar is down in the gulch.
not as 'refined' as pliny, but dang they got a good thing going with these brews. and after having others from russian river i am very impressed. might have to pack my bags and move up north....

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Photo of DM1293
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eleven days old, bottled on 04-13-12. As fresh as I'll probably get one of these. Poured into a wine glass. And yes, I will be comparing it to Pliny The Elder.

Appearance - A beautiful blend of orange and yellow, with again, that strange very-very light tinge of green on the edge of the spectrum. Not as bright as Pliny but appears...a little unfiltered? Either that or the carbonation is really tiny and floating very well. Head is small, lasts shortly.

Smell - Malt and citrus hop. And Pineapple. Smells wonderful.

Now for the fun part.

Taste - Hm. Not exactly what I was expecting. Taste is more of a floral hop, definite bold kick of bitterness thats there but not overwhelming or overstaying its welcome. Much like Pliny in that regard, pretty balanced...but not perfectly balanced. Sweetness is pretty mellow. A meek citrus ontop the malt; which plays on the front and back tastes.

Mouthfeel - Less crisp and more thick than I expected, a little sticky and oily. Compliments the malt more than the hop.

Overall - Some people have called this a poor man's Pliny, or the younger brother of Pliny. I don't think its fair to do so; this is an IPA, not a DIPA. On that note, does it succeed there? Not entirely. I would maybe call this a hybrid, a fusion of APA and IPA; It certainly gets both accomplished in the malt/hop flavors. And both, to me, take the stage at the same time and compliment each other.

So its not Pliny. Its still a really well-crafted, well-priced beer that, for the hop-heads, is a very solid brew. Sure for the same price, more people might prefer Pliny the Elder. But this gets the malty-red-ale lover in me going, so as an enjoyer of reds and hops, this one is welcome here. Highly recommended.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado in SF, poured into a pint glass. Small head leaves some sticky, resinous, soapy lacing stuck to the side of the glass. Aroma is straight up pine and grapefruit. Taste follows suit, delicious hop bitterness, like Pliny toned down a notch. Any time Pliny is being used as a reference point, it's a damn good thing. Very easy to drink and totally delicious.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 510ml bottle dated 01/26/15 . Nice golden pour, slight white head but nice lacing.Nice citrus floral nose and a great burst of hops.
A very nice solid IPA.

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Photo of John_M
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I know Vinnie is not a big believer in "aged" IPA's, and generally I tend to agree with him. However, I recently came across this beer at my "home town" Market of Choice in West Linn, a store notorious for not rotating its stock in a timely manner. This particular bottle of Blind Pig was dated 7/29/08.

The beer pours a protypical peachy orange color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, what can one say? This is IPA perfection. The beer has an incredible nose of wet tobacco, earth, allspice and hoppy bitterness. On the palate, this beer is off the charts. Maybe it's because the alcohol is so low (relatively), but this beer has not gained any malty sweetness, which is a typical problem for IPA's that have some bottle age. Instead.... this beer has flavors of fuji apple, wet tobacco, wet earth and a hint of cinnamon. As with the fresh version, the finish is just unbelievably dry and bitter.

IMO, a bit of bottle age has given this beer an element of complexity that the fresh version does not have. Not that there's anything wrong with fresh Blind Pig, but I'm amazed at the subtle flavor difference the beer seems to have undergone with some bottle age. Very, very impressive.

Mouthfeel is pretty light and drinkability is exceptional. As good as it gets when it comes to domestic IPA's. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of hplascencia1024
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've had in bottle and on tap. This is for the bottle poured into tulip glass.

A: Hazy, yellow-orange hue
S:piny, floral, citrus notes
T: Amazing. Definitely hop forward, nice strong bitter bite to it. earthy grassy, slight malt bill, just amazing
M: light, smooth, and bitter!
O: Amazing beer! I could drink this everyday and never get tired of it!

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Photo of Patrick999
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With all the attention Elder and Younger get, it's easy to forget just how good this is. In fact, having recently been afforded the opportunity to try it, I think I like it about as much as I like the Elder. From notes, dutifully punched in on the iPhone:

Pale gold, nice head.

Aroma kicks ass - green mango, passionfruit, some grapefruit, usual piney hop aromas, just with more!

Taste follows nose with mango, tropical fruit, all kinds of pine....wonderful. Yeast very clean, and malt doesn't get in the way much here. Top-shelf IPA for this strength.

Standard IPA soapy feel.

Super-drinkable, no question!

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Photo of letsgopens
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been chomping at the bit to pop this one for a few days now. Bottled on 12/6/10 and handled well from my understanding. Pours a crystal clear, maze/amber with some bright gold highlights. A thick cap of proud, soapy froth perched on top. The head holds its shape well and fades to some nice rings and erratic wisps. A small number of rising bubbles float quickly to the surface.

Bright citric hop notes pop out of the glass and up my nose. Juicy, ripe pink grapefruit and tangelo zest. Some resinous pine and floaty, light, toasted malt. A hint of buttery biscuit and plenty of floral notes as well. Summary: The aroma is blissful hoppy but still nicely balanced.

The carbonation is the first big surprise. Not nearly as effervescent as I'd imagined but certainly a pleasant surprise; the carbonation is mellow and very fine with a delayed fizzle on the tongue. The nature of the carbonation really helps to bring the resinous and oily hop flavors to the forefront. Floral and bright with citrus zest abound. Grapefruit and cumquat with clementine and mild buttery vanilla. Very well balanced with toasty biscuit and faint toffee. Extremely well balanced and constructed with genuine care and consideration for the ingredients. As it warms I get mild notes of soapy spice and peppery warmth that mingles pleasantly with lingering bitterness.

The carbonation and lingering pleasant bitterness are the story of the mouthfeel. A perfect balance of matted bitterness and fluffy carbonation really make the brew and accentuate the flavors.

Wildly drinkable. A unique balance of big hop flavors, amazing mouthfeel, and unparalleled drinkability. One of the best crafted renditions of the style I've experienced. I'm personally not a hype-fanatic, but this one lives right on up to it.

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Blind Pig IPA from Russian River Brewing Company
4.33 out of 5 based on 5,712 ratings.
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