Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
14,754 Ratings
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 14,754 |  Reviews: 3,731
Photo of wtfdic
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of stunna
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ESPNman
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at Pete's Brass Rail & Carwash in Danville

A - Pours a transparent straw-gold with a hint of orange. Two fingers of thick, foamy head with solid lacing and retention.

S - One word that I'll use several times in this review is "balance". This is one extraordinarily balanced beer, and it starts with the nose. Sweet malts provide the backbone for what is certainly a very hoppy beer. Citrus, floral, and piney hops are present, but not overpowering. A bit of mango accompanies the sweet malt structure.

T - Balanced and essentially perfect for the style. Yes, this is a bitter and hoppy brew, but it's shockingly drinkable and balanced for an 8% ABV DIPA. Much like the nose, it has the solid bitter notes of floral and citrus hops, but it also has bready, sweet malt notes that balance the beer out perfectly. It finishes with a perfectly dry, bitter, hoppy aftertaste. I've had many DIPAs in my day, and even in blind tastings, Pliny consistently comes out as my favorite.

M - Although it's great for the style, it's not my favorite. I prefer the thickness of a Ruination 10th Anniversary or a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. Yes, it is well carbonated and not too thick on the tongue... but it's just not my favorite. It leaves a dry finish, and isn't too thin for the style. It's just not as heavy on the tongue as I would prefer.

O - Overall, this is my favorite beers. It's the epitome of balance. No one characteristic of the beer stands out as being the "most" of anything. It's not the hoppiest, it's not the booziest, it's not as thick or intense as other DIPAs (such as Hopslam, Double Jack, or Dreadnaught), but it is balanced and it is delicious. It is the DIPA by which all other DIPAs, or even beers for that matter, are measured... and it is well-deserved.

 1,775 characters

Photo of BennyL1
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of ajs4bd
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of dragnalus
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of JHB-510
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of BeefSkillet
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rwalker_sfg
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.22/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle on June 5 2012 into Duvel tulip. Approx 12 days old from bottling.

Appearance - 4
Golden yellow with a half inch white head.

Aroma - 4.5
Initially it bursts with volumes of thick juicy citrus, grapefruit, mango, tangerine, & hops. Faint sweetness of malt in the nose. These flavors tend to subside a few minutes after opening the beer, but make a gradual return as the beer becomes warmer.

Taste - 4
Initially a sharp, piney bitterness with a touch of resin, lemon and faint subtle tropical flavors. Get a very mild contrasting sweetness of the malt with notes of biscuit and very faint notes of caramel; more on the centre of the palate. Midway through get intensification of sharp acidic dry bitterness. Finishes with a moderate lingering piney bitterness and the more tropical juicy flavors of the hops make a return on the palate, although muted in comparison to the aroma. As the beer warms, there is slightly more sweetness in the malt and fruitiness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - 4
Mild to moderate body with moderate carbonation. Overall finish is dry, although faint notes of sweetness from the malt. Hops does leave a sharp finish to the beer, which is quite refreshing.

Overall - 4.5
How can you truly evaluate a beer that has so much hype, as well as personal meaning, as pliny the elder. It is very difficult to be unbiased in evaluation. At minumum, it is an above average IPA, very typical, if not defining, of the west coast style. Is it the best beer out there, or best IPA? I'm not sure. I think I would have to re-evaluate some of the other IPA's I've had in the past. The nose of this beer is quite good, although I may have found other beers better in this category before. As for the taste, it is quite brash in its hops presesnce, yet still has some balance with the malt offering a refined feel.

Overall, very enjoyable and incredibly easy to drink. If I was in a location where this was a regular offering, I could see it being a regular pick regardless of its hype factor. But back to whether it's the best beer out there - I can't say at this time. Still, it is a beer any craft beer afficianado must try. Highly recommend.

 2,165 characters

Photo of lalakers24
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of GregoryMo
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rodlavers
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Patrick2012
4.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, great ale. I love it and will definitely be trying it again.(too bad there is a one bottle only limit hehe.) well balanced IPA that has a fantastic citrus fruit smell/taste. I did try this at dinner(salad with steak strips/vinaigrette .) plus i opened a bottle of Stone's Ruination 10th anniversary which overall probably affected the drinking experience because the ruination was soooo strong. But i found this to be a fantastic beer. MUST HAVE

 452 characters

Photo of illini4x4
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Wizzman
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of joechandler
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of BChertow
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of The22Lou
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of ThomasG19
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of truthcontortion
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Pliny, how many ways can I enjoy you? I picked up a growler on my last visit to Russian River and didn’t get to it until a few days later. Still holds up—despite what the jokers say about it falling off minutes after being brewed. This pours a crystal golden color with a great Pliny aroma. Some straw and grass but mostly orange zest dominates the scent. The flavor has an incredible hop bite and bitterness. Straw and orange peel, with a pronounced bittering midpoint and a dry zesty finish. I enjoyed this until the last drop.

This was my one year anniversary review!

 578 characters

Photo of gabeuop79
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of PrimeCake
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of jaasen64
4.3/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle thanks to DeanoMac. Bottled 8/1/12 (exactly 2 weeks ago). Poured into HF tulip.

A- Pours a fairly hazy fairly dark slightly brownish golden with about a finger of white head that has decent retention. Leaves some nice spotty lacing. Not too much carbonation.

S- Citrus hops, pine, grapefruit, orange, some caramel malts lingering in the background.

T- Citrus hops, pine, grapefruit, finishes with a nice orange grapefruit pine flavor that lingers for awhile.

M- Medium bodied, refreshing, nice carbonation, finishes a little bit bitter and very dry, a little bit too much for my liking.

O- This was a very good IPA however not as good as I was expecting for an IPA ranked so high. Definitely up there with other world class IPAs, but not as good as some others I've had (Heady Topper, Double Sunshine, HF, Head Hunter). Finishes a little bit too dry for my liking and not enough aroma. Overall I enjoyed this beer and if I was in California I would probably drink it all the time.

 998 characters

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.65 out of 5 with 14,754 ratings