Pliny The Elder
Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
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Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3
Ranked #33
4.64 | pDev: 7.76%
Sunday at 12:30 AM
Aug 24, 2003
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
Notes: Pliny the Elder is brewed with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ, and Simcoe hops. It is well-balanced with malt, hops, and alcohol, slightly bitter with a fresh hop aroma of floral, citrus, and pine. Best enjoyed FRESH! That is why we make it in such limited supply. Actual bottling date is printed on each bottle!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of jngls
4.62/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by jngls from Germany

3 weeks old. Bottle to IPA glass.

Look: Pours a translucent golden brown with a thick and foamy white head. Some lacing. No floaters.

Smell: Intense tropical sweetness paired with piney hop notes.

Taste: Very piney. Very bitter. The tropical notes which dominated the smell pop up here and there in a very subtle, harmonious way.

Feel: Crisp and clean. Perfect carbonation. Very crushable.

Overall: Quintessential and style-defining. Even though the West Coast style is much more narrowly defined than its brother from New England, Pliny is as complex as might be. The interplay of sweetness and bitterness, tropical fruits and piney notes makes it a joy to drink.

Sunday at 12:30 AM
4.5 by not2quick from Missouri on Jan 18, 2022
4.17 by chiefz1 from New York on Jan 16, 2022
4.4 by YakAnglerUSMC from South Carolina on Jan 15, 2022
4.47 by aosmdavid from Texas on Jan 04, 2022
4.83 by Piffler from Massachusetts on Dec 30, 2021
Photo of ChipChaight
4.17/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ChipChaight from New York

12/15/2021 bottle from the brewery in Santa Rosa, CA. Pours a clear light yellow gold with a finger of rocky white head that sticks around, nice lacing, smell is citrus/pine/herbal, doughy brioche malts, musty pine cone, and candied grapefruit peel, taste is zesty candied grapefruit flesh, pine resin, big herbal and bitter grapefruit pith finish, feel is medium bodied, creamy carbonation. Incredibly balanced, lives up to the hype, the gold standard.

Dec 28, 2021
4.43 by TheBrewsClues from California on Dec 13, 2021
Photo of thebrood1987
4.77/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by thebrood1987 from California

Very golden color with that citrus hoppy smell with that classic "dank" pine in the smell and taste. The hop bitterness lingers with the pine forest dank scrubbing of the tongue tastes which I dont find in a lot of IPA's these days. The bitterness becomes astringent and quite powerful which a lot of IPA's have claimed but havent lived up to it. This comes closest to smelling and tasting a fresh hop you can get in a beer. Bottled only last month. Super Fresh.

Dec 13, 2021
Photo of TheBricenator
4.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by TheBricenator from Oregon

Look: Clear light orange with a formidable white head that forms a pillow and slowly craters, leaving sticky lacing coating the rim. A beautiful looking beer
Aroma: Pine, fir needles, citrus rind, tangelos, wafts of menthol, grapefruit, bready malt, and light sweetness
Taste: Follows the nose well. Lots of conifer and citrus hit hard and fast upon first sip and mingle and develop nicely as malt sweetness holds down the base. Tongue and tooth-tingling menthol-like notes are present throughout as well and closes with a nice bite
Mouthfeel: Full, very clean, medium-high carbonation, and definite dryness on the finish
Overall: This is tasty stuff. Not surprised in the least as to how good this is but it’s been over a decade since I had it last so was curious how I’d perceive it now with a much more developed palate. A classic WCDIPA hop profile – conifer and citrus but with a present, but restrained malt profile that lets the hops truly shine. The O.G. whale and still delicious

Dec 11, 2021
4.25 by Resistance88 from California on Dec 04, 2021
4.91 by florisj135 from Virginia on Nov 29, 2021
Photo of Gordono
4.52/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Gordono from Nevada

Drank 23 days after “bottled on” date. Great citrus fruit aroma. Pours straw color with thick lacy white head. Flavor matches aroma nicely, citrus, piney, pineapple finish. Nicely balanced, nothing overbearing. Just enough sweetness to cut bitter citrus. Medium mouth feel.

Nov 27, 2021
Photo of Doc_J
4.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Doc_J from Washington

I finally got to try this beer after years of searching. About the time I learned of its existence, Russian River quit distributing to my state. I think that if I had tried this beer years ago it would have rated a bit higher for me. With years of new breweries and beers popping up, it has greater competition and its rating has lowered for me. It is still one of my favorite west coast IPAs! I will never turn down the chance at getting some more of this great beer!

Nov 21, 2021
4.7 by Quarantinehobby from Massachusetts on Oct 20, 2021
Photo of KafkaAndBeer
4.36/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by KafkaAndBeer

I drank this beer at whole foods while eating pizza with my lovely girlfriend and watching tom & jerry. Also it was our first time eating out anywhere since covid times began. Under these conditions I would enjoy drinking near anything. But it wasn't anything that I was drinking: it was pliny the elder. The palate is bittersweet with resinous pine and orange zest, underpinned by a strong malt character. It is old hat to say this is an exemplar of the style (west coast IPA), but some things bear repeating.

Oct 18, 2021
4.46 by Nyarko-San from Pennsylvania on Oct 13, 2021
4.5 by atesus from California on Sep 25, 2021
Photo of trudy7552
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by trudy7552

After leaving VT and the likes of The Alchemist and Hill Farmstead, I didn't know how I'd find happiness in northern California. As we explored the hikes and wineries of Sonoma/Marin, we quickly learned of Pliny the Elder. That's when things started to fall into place. Pliny is the perfect combination of flavor and gentle enjoyable drinking for beer lovers. Our favorite pairing was Tony's Pizza Napoletana (Tony Gemignani, North Beach, SF) with a Pliny the Elder. Mmmm...

Sep 22, 2021
Photo of sleepygary
4/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by sleepygary

Good? Yes. Hype-machine? Yes. Deserved hype? Not a believer in hype machines. But it does tick all the boxes it is supposed to. Nice 'n golden. Hoppy but balanced. Sassy bitterness to make it a dangerously drinkable 8%'er!

Sep 21, 2021
3.37 by jeschaefer from Texas on Sep 14, 2021
4.39 by jprock01 from Missouri on Sep 14, 2021
Photo of trevormajor
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by trevormajor from Ohio

drank while enjoying the Browns v Chiefs game, at least for three quarters...

This beer lives up to its reputation, very hop forward with lovely bitterness and floral notes

Sep 14, 2021
4.68 by o29 from Texas on Sep 11, 2021
4.75 by Icka31 from Massachusetts on Sep 08, 2021
Photo of MmmmBeir
4.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by MmmmBeir from California

Almost as good as altamonts Maui waui.

Sep 07, 2021
4.32 by Bwag from New York on Sep 06, 2021
4.26 by teemoney from Wisconsin on Sep 04, 2021
4.71 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Aug 28, 2021
4.68 by BeerOnTheBeard from California on Aug 25, 2021
Photo of 1009
4.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by 1009 from Massachusetts

Was recently out in San Francisco visiting friends and had to get my hands on this legendary beer. Being a Boston guy, I am a bit biased to the NEIPA as the dominant IPA style, but this truly is the grandfather of the genre. Elder you might say. Anyways to the beer. It pours into a glowing gold with a frothy thick head that caught me off guard and escaped my glass. A casualty, but nonetheless we march on. Carbonation bubbles dance to the top of the head from the bottom of the glass. To the nose, piney/floral aromas tickle your nostrils. A sip and immediately you are met by a light bitterness, but a very fresh hoppy and pine like taste. A slight citrus aftertaste and each time you put it down, you are lured quickly to the next sip. Slowly you are warmed by the alcohol and once gone, you are left satisfied and disappointed you are out of beer. I'd compare it to tasting somewhat like a Harpoon IPA for my east coasters, but definitely a more impressive beer.

Aug 25, 2021
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.32/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

Pale amber with an cream colored head. Good lacing

Largely floral slightly tropical and citrus with some slight toffee malt

Toffee mango caramel and toffee popcorn. Delicious

Aug 23, 2021
5 by kblomseth from California on Aug 19, 2021
Photo of littledogbigtrouble
4.16/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
by littledogbigtrouble

I'm not the biggest fan of hoppy beers or IPAs, but this is a wonderful beer brewed by masters. The other reviewers touched upon everything I have to say. Excellent beer.

Aug 17, 2021
Photo of NCSapiens
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NCSapiens from Indiana

Glad to finally try the legend that set the tone for west coast IPAs.

Aug 14, 2021
Photo of ptwilson
4.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by ptwilson from Ohio

Very good. Stronger hop flavor than I prefer, but that's the style. Crisp and clean. I can see what the hype is about, but over-hopped for my taste.

Aug 13, 2021
4.38 by raust from Texas on Aug 08, 2021
Photo of tone77
4.19/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by tone77 from Pennsylvania

On draft, 16 oz. pour. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2inch head. Smell is full of pine, citrus. Taste is piney, malts and citrus are present, significant bitterness. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall if you get a chance to try this beer, do it.

Aug 07, 2021
Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 15503 ratings