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Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
3,644 Reviews
Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,644
Ratings:
14,099
Avg:
4.6
pDev:
15.65%
 
 
Wants:
7,172
Gots:
4,069
For Trade:
112
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,644 | Ratings: 14,099
Photo of rvdoorn
3.69/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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....

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Photo of mtbbaboon
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of PapaEugene
4.12/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of berkey
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of 0tt0
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this at Toranado in San Francisco and I was fortunate enough for a friend of mine to bring me back two bottles from his recent visit to Sonoma. According to the label, it was bottled on 8/19/09. It also implores me not to lay bottle #2 and drink it fresh. Not sure if I'll heed that one...

The beer pours golden in color with some amber hints at the edges of the glass. Really, its the color of a dried apricot. Head is stark white with some tight bubbles.

The appearance is certainly nice, but its the nose that lets you know right away that this is something terrific. It smells like hops that have just been dumped into the boil: green, citric, grassy, and somewhat sappy. I feel like part of Pavlov's pack.

The collar dissipates quickly, but a quick swirl of the glass brings it right back. In fact, when swirled, it looks like a tornado, albeit a very pretty tornado. First sip is, just as suspected, all fresh, wet, green hops. Tangerine dominates the citrus flavors up front. What's remarkable is that it shifts as it slides across the tongue to a grapefruit note that is immediately balanced by the malts kicking into gear. The malt is hard to pin down--not as sweet as honey, nor as "dark" as caramel. Whatever it is, its lovely. The finish is where all the hops really assert themselves: sappy, almost like an American barleywine, with some warming alcohol that was well cloaked up until that point. It is deceptive.

This is an exception DIPA, probably the best there is in terms of a fresh, grassy hop flavor and a great malt balance that never forgets that the hops are the star of the show. In a weird way, I'm almost glad I couldn't have this beer every day. Instead, I'd rather have it every year or so. Something to look forward to, no?

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Photo of spwalshesq
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My beer buddy and I had been dying to try Pliny the Elder after reading all the rave reviews and high marks, but because Russian River doesn't distribute to the right coast, we had to reach out to a left coast contact to have it sent east. It is a great beer and worth the wait.

Pliny has a golden honey color with a nice, 2-finger head which receded to sticky lacing. The aroma was pure hop heaven - almost hempish - this beer should be enjoyed in a large tulip glass in order to fully appreciate the nose. One of the better smelling beers I've had the pleasure of sampling.

Pliny the Elder has an interesting taste. It's piney, a hint of citrus with a faint sweetness at the end. Let this brew swirl around your tongue to discover its character - it has a palate-smacking lasting flavor that lingers much longer than most beers. Its high hoppiness has a very clean, almost astringent aftertaste. Don't chill this beer too much -- its full character comes out as it warms a bit.

This is a very drinkable beer for a DIPA. I've had some DIPAs that are maltier and more full-bodied which are more appealing to me. So while PTE is one mighty fine beer, I guess I can't say that this is the best DIPA I've ever had. I think Southern Tier's Unearthly tops Pliny as far as Imperials go, but if you're going to have more than one in this style, you might be wise to go with Pliny.

Now if I can just get my hands on PTY!

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Photo of nickd717
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Brilliant golden color with an off-white head and good lacing.

S - Piney, citrusy and floral, delicious hops with a hint of sweet malt. The hops really dominate though. Weed also apparent. When consumed fresh, the aroma on this bad boy is almost unbeatable.

T - Excellent hop flavor - piney, citrusy, and a little floral - with sweet caramel malt and sugar providing that perfect balance.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with hop oiliness fairly low for a DIPA and body a little lighter than I would have expected, which is not a bad thing at all. Finish slightly bitter and dry.

D - Somewhat light body really adds to the drinkability, which is almost off the charts for a DIPA.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 9/7/2009 and poured into a tulip. I'm ashamed to admit that I take this beer for granted. Fresh bottles are always on the shelf at my local store and it's always on tap at a nearby bar, yet I rarely drink it. I realized the other day that I hadn't even reviewed this staple, so I picked up a bottle today. This is dated 8/31/2009 so it's just a week old. The beer appears golden orange with a silky and frothy two finger white head. The head lingers for a few minutes and as it recedes it leaves a thick coating of lacing clinging to the glass.

The nose is astounding. It's a nice balance of pine resin and bitter grapefruit. Other citrus is peach, orange peel, and mango, and some floral character is evident. A hint of crackery malt is present far beneath the hop display.

The flavor is initially slightly herbal and bitter grapefruit with pine, with just a touch of sweetness that is quickly enveloped by dry bitterness. The malt provides some balance, but only a trace of its crackery presence is detectable in the flavor. The hops are in top form tonight, exhibiting tropical fruit flavors and a nice high level of bitterness. The long finish is dry and highly bitter with lingering pine and citrus. Alcohol is well hidden and only makes a brief appearance in the finish.

The beer is light medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation and a dry, sticky mouthfeel that is near perfect.

Pliny is the archetype and one that has influenced a myriad of stellar Double IPAs yet has managed to remain the leader of the pack. This is arguably the best Double IPA on the planet.

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Photo of jlindros
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this awesome-o surprise as an extra from Solomon420, thanks again Damian! I've been holding this beast in anticipation for a short while, and today was my son's first birthday so I decided to crack it. Imagine a kid getting locked in a candy store but also have the unfortunate disadvantage of diabetes or something, that's what it was like not just destroying this beer immediately.

A: It's got a strangely erotic bright orange color with some light haze and light frothy head that sticks around lightly. Super clear color. Even my eyes are thanking me.

N: Hops just dominate and the pine and citrus just rip my nostrils ashunder. The light malty goodness and slight sweetness also dance around the nose, but the added slight grapefruit at the end add a nice touch. A gentle floral adds lightly to it. Earthy beast-like hops ravage my nose, with lots of fresh hop oils.

T: OK, after months of waiting (since I first setup the trade, not waiting on this beer) its time... guhhh, groggle, slurp, very wet and juicy hop burst, not so much of the crazy pine and dryness as expected, its got a delicate citrus grapefruit and slight malty body, perhaps some tropical juicy hop as well. A nice poignant zip. Theres a touch of spicey hops and earthy tones that seem to build up the more you drink it. But there are some nice piny citrus hops as well. This seems to touch each category of hops except grassy. The alcohol is hidden very well.

M: A light malty body with some light carbonation, a slight sticky and juicy feel.

F: Huge hop smash towards the end, lots of bitterness with citrus and pine but still pretty juicy, slightly dry but doesn't dry out as much as I thought it would for the huge hop kick. The intense bitterness fades quickly leaving you begging for more and ready for the next sip. It's got a big juicy slab in the middle of the end that just makes the drinkibility astronomical. I'm just slamming this thing back like it's going out of business, which is dangerous for 8%.

Final thoughts: This is an incredible beer, as expected. I had huge hopes and it didn't smash them. Perhaps could have used a slight more malt (I'll prolly get reamed for that) but thats IMHO. The hops and flavors are so balanced that it was just amazing to keep drinking and drinking. So many different hop flavors that balance out well and come from every angle, like getting gang jumped. I can't wait to get more. It's almost as if someone juiced a grapefruit using a pine cone made of love and ecstasy. I feel like a hopped hippie after drinking this!

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Photo of ahalloin
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am happy and consider myself very fortunate to be reviewing this warhorse of the craft beer industry. I wish it was available in my area, but the absence and relative difficulty of getting it makes it that much more gratifying to try.

Poured from the 500ml bottle with the plain, no-frills label.
Pours a yellow golden color with a decent white head of about two fingers width.

Smell is very fresh and earthy smelling with notes of red grapefruit flesh, other citrus, and a hint of toffee backbone. The hop aroma is very organic in quality, almost as if smelling the flower on the vine.

Taste is really nice and balanced with elements of grapefruity citrus, a peppery, bitter finish that lingers long after the swallow coupled with a decent malt backbone that is merely a catalyst for the acidic hops.

Mouthfeel is quite adequate with a medium carbonation.

Drinkability is awesome. I found it easy to guzzle...almost too easy, as I was soon starring at an empty glass wondering what happened to possibly the greatest beer I have ever tried.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahh, my first pliny, bottled on 07-20-09, so its not that old and should give me a representation of what it truly is.

Poured from a 1 pint .90fl oz bottle into my pint glass

Pours a light copper color with a two inch slightly off white head. Average head retention that when fades leaves soapy lacing scattered on the sides of my glass.

Smell is of mango, some grapefruit, pine needle hops, grass, and earth like.

Mellow taste of slight citrus that blends nicely into some bittering hops. Very slight malts could be tasted in the backbone but the bittering hops dominate it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Easy drinking even with the medium bitterness.

This is not as fresh as possible, but seeing how its not even 2 months old its pretty much going to taste like this. Overall I was kind of disappointed since Pliny is a very respected beer in the craft beer world.

Its good to experience drinking Pliny, but do not get into the hype.

***UPDATE***
Had this beer today and it was 3 weeks old this time. I have to go back and say that this beer changes pretty dramatically with age. This time around, this beer was pretty top notch and a really good IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of white foam on top of a clear, golden orange body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Pungent pine, grapefruit, mango hops. Very fresh with a powdery hop pellet character. Some malt in the background with toasted sweetness and a hint of alcohol.

T - Very fruity hop flavor with moderate bitterness up front. Lots of pineapple and orange hop notes. A good bit of malt richness with toffee and bready notes. The bitterness steadily increases towards a finish of fruity hop flavor, biting bitterness and toasty malt struggling to show through.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a very good beer, but it is not perfect. The bitterness is just a bit harsh and well... thats about all I can come up with to complain about. The hop aroma is great and the flavor is exceptional. It is well balanced and a really nice DIPA that remains drinkable despite the huge flavor.

I have been looking forward to getting ahold of one of these for a while. So, the question is; does it live up to the hype? Well, probably not, but it would be almost impossible for it to. It is not that this isn't an exceptional beer, it is just that there are other DIPAs that are just as exceptional. This is certainly in my top 5 for DIPAs (top 3 probably), but I think Hopslam is just a bit better.

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Photo of boogyman
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time on a PtE from the bottle. First review here at BA. Purchased today from Bottleworks in Seattle. ($5 a bottle, not bad) says it was bottled 08/19/2009, so this is about as fresh as a Washingtonian can get from the bottle.

A- Pours a nice dark golden color with a good finger of head. I poured it into tulip glass and I poured pretty slowly so didn't get as much as some might have. I am liking the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. After drinking it some, I notice the lacing is awesome, just foam sticking everywhere.

S- Oh Christmas!!! The first thing I noticed was an awesome piney Christmas smell. I also smell some fruityness to it. Mango? Grapes? Orange? Grapefruit? Very fresh smell. It really does smell quite awesome compared to some IPA's I have had lately. The strong smell puts a big smile on my face and I am anticipating the taste which is to come.

T- The fruity pine needle is definitely there. The hops flavor is perfect. Not overpowering at all. It likes to linger on your tongue for a while which keeps you going to the next sip.

M- Goes down very easy and as said before, the taste lingers on the tongue forever and it is wonderful. If you swill it in your mouth a bit, the bubbly feeling is quite nice. Feels very pleasant going down. I can't taste the alcohol but it feels very warming. So far, this beer has very much lived up to its reputation.

D- Can I open my second bottle yet? It doesn't seem to make me feel too full or cause lots of beer burps. I could very easily drink a number of these in a row and I highly doubt I could ever get tired of it.

In conclusion...

I love this beer, plain and simple. I have been teasing my palate with different kinds of IPA's and Imperial IPA's lately but so far, nothing has come close to the amazing explosion of smell and flavor this beer has just provided. I am prone to being disappointed when I have high expectations for something and this one of the few instances that I can say that this beer certainly lives up to its expectations, and then some. I cannot wait until I can get my hands on some Pliny the Younger in the Winter/Spring. If possible, go get this right now.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle.

Piney hops,Focused on juicey malt balance. Subtle tropical fruit(pineapple)

This beer was really well balanced and not bitter, for people who don't like over hopped ipas.

Quite drinkable, smooth. Drink one today and drink it fresh(by the label(.

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off have to thank my future mother-in-law for picking this beer up for me in California. Hands down best beer i've ever had so far. 500ml bottle poured into snifter
A - Pours a beautiful golden/orange color with a 2 finger white bubbly head that sits atop the beer beautifully.

S - Fresh citrus hop aroma that is outstanding! grapefruit, peach, floral hops, tropical fruits....amazing

T - Citrus hops, piney hops upfront, grapefruit, peachy/tropical fruits present. Nice bitter aftertaste but its very pleasant. The balance of hops and malt is out of this world...perfectly balanced.

M - exceptionally clean and fresh, feels like silk over the palate. Alcohol is hidden extremely well

D - extremely drinkable, i savored every sip. I drank this one too fast and wish I had more.

Let me just say Pliny the Elder is a freaking experience, the beer is amazing to say the least

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"From Oakland to Sacktown
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put they mack down"

-Tupac

Poured into a wide snifter from .5L bottle. 28 days old, from bottling to my glass. BIG thanks to augustgarage, who hooked a Rhode Islander with this fabled beer.

A- Full-bottle pour into my snifter leaves a shimmering golden beer with hints of orange and copper colors. An aggressive pour leaves a frothy, delightful head on the beer which laces immediately.

S- Hops... sweet hops. As far as other IPA/DIPAs go, this has the hop sweetness similar to the 90 min. DFH, but lacks the malt sweetness of the 90. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops all blend together to create a fabulous bouquet. Possibly the best-smelling DIPA I've ever had... with exception of the DFH Squall IPA. I love this smell like a fat kid loves cake.

T- This is the real deal. I think this beer just blew my mind. Powerful hops here. Follows the nose, grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops. Incredible hop flavoring here, finding it hard to put into words. It's like someone created a blend of hops that eliminates everything an over-hopped beer does wrong. It's sweet but not too sweet, a bit tart, mildly bitter, but wonderfully concocted. A hop head's dream, I cannot imagine improving this flavor at all. Haven't tried PtY, but who cares? I sure don't. Gimme more Elder! Pale malt is there to provide a nice body, but do little to add to the flavor. Fine by me, this is expertly crafted.

M- Pretty decent body, almost like silk in your mouth after you sip. Good carbonation, too. Mouthfeel is hard to pin down, the flavor is all my head can wrap itself around right now.

D- Moderate to insanely high depending on your ease of procurement. If I could buy this at my local store, I'd buy this by the pallet and drink it morning, noon, and night. Since I have to trade for it, it's kind of a pain to get (although the trade was mind-boggilingly easy). I want to thank augustgarage for the chance to try this beer... Hope to have this on tap someday, and will look into procuring some more at some point.

My favorite DIPA is still the Squall... unfiltered and bottle conditioned = awesome, but I doubt I'll get another fresh bottle of that unless DFH brings it back. This beer handily beats out the standard 90 min in a bottle.. and I'm somewhat of a DFH groupie. RR ain't fucking around with this beer.

Long story short: Overhyped? Nope.

This beer is a bear, a burly beast, a hop conquistador here to take over your tongue. World-class. The 600-pound DIPA in the room.

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Photo of ledomelor
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens pup in San Diego, 16oz glass

A: Golden nector color A little cloudy with a white frosty head, some lacing

S: Beautiful pine hop aroma with hints of fruits, I think mango, orange and grapefruit but I'm still trying to refine my olfactory skills. This smell will make your mouth water

T: The citrus and pine hops hit the palette first but is very well balanced with the mango, and peachiness flavors that are only present as the beer warms up. Don't drink this beer cold (or any IIPA for that matter), or you will mask many of the flavors. Also pleasantly bitter and a small amount of sweetness. Very complex tasting beer

M: Really clean and fresh after taste. The 8% sneaks up on you. The flavor lingers in your mouth, and it was really hard for me not to order another one, so I did

D: Very drinkable, remember to slow down, this is a beer I could drink too fast.

Overall: One of the best IIPAs I've ever had. Just another reason why it's great to live in California. Very well balanced, and amazing aroma

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Photo of mikey711
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes to AgentZero who hooked me up with this in a trade. Poured into a few tasting glasses to enjoy with friends.

A: It's slightly cloudy with a touch of very white frothy head. Excellent lacing and a very nice color gold.

S: As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell this beast. It's a very appealing mixture of various citrusy fruits(mango, peach, pineapple, orange, grapefruit.) The aroma is not intense at all and is just making my mouth water. When swirled a lot of pine notes come through.

T: The citrus hops come through very nicely, definitely alot of peachiness and mango here. Also, it has a very pleasing bitter finish. The Sweetness is subtlly there, but takes a back seat to the glorious hoppiness.

M: No harshness or booziness what so ever. Very light, crisp, and refreshing. Makes me wish I didn't share...

D: And it's gone...I seriously need more Pliny in my life.

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Photo of McDiddyPop
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this growler from ipa247. Thanks go to Jeff for hooking me up with this bottle of magic.

Poured into Brookyln stemware, this one looks bright hazy golden orange. A sudsy off-white head sticks around for a few minutes before settling to a thin cap. Tremendous lacing all over the glass.

Smells amazing. Nice grassy and citrusy hops followed by a hint of peach or tropical fruits. Wonderful.

Tastes like it smells. Fresh citrusy hops with a nice minty/ herbal quality. Very fruity and delicious.

Nice crisp mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Absolutely no hint of the alcohol. This one is a treat! I wish I lived in California...

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Photo of Pup
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Because I love this beer, I will review it in the voice of Emperor Vespasian, close personal friend to Pliny the Elder.

Sup Romans, tis I, Vespy the eternal and holy, anointed by God, yada yada. Enough about me, let's talk about my main homes, Pliny v1. Ive been a fan of the brotha ever since his Nero bashing in the Naturalis Historia, that fiddle-playing malcontent. Am I rambling? Maybe cause, I've quaffed about 5 of these delicious hoppy beers named after the Plinster.

Me and the Senators went out to mourn the poor bastage's passing after his whole "blown-up-by-a-volcano" thing. Luckily this beer is taking the edge off that harsh. Pours a orangy, amber with pillowy head, smelling of tangy citrus hops. Tastes of crisp fresh citrus hops with just the right amount of carb. As Pliny used to say, fortune favors the brave, so with that, I crack my 6th. Salud!

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Photo of manjanai
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap in a local beer bar in Folsom CA, it's was a wonderful experience. First glance, pour very cloudy with murky yellow. The smell was very extremely present, it went down quite nicely and it was very smooth. The Elder is a well balanced beer, world class beer.

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Photo of qchic
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold with peach highlights. A finger of head displays thick bubbles. The aroma is bursting with hop goodness--tons of grapefuit and pine. First taste is all grapefruit, and then that west coast bittterness, drying pine, fruity sweetness, some alcohol, melon. It definitely coats the tongue and finishes long and dry. Not sure that I would want to drink more than one 500ml bottle in one sitting, as it is so satisfying and flavorful, but it would be a regular treat if I had the access. No wonder Russian River can't keep up with demand!

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

For my second bottle of Pliny, I decided to do a head to head taste test with another of my favorites to get a really good feel for this brew. I chose a Two Hearted Ale. I did a blind taste test. The Pliny was much cloudier in appearance, and the smell was far more dramatic. The hop fragrance lept out of the glass. It had more depth and body, and was the smoother beer overall. I love the Two Hearted, but it was a bit thin in comparison (I guessed the beers after a short time with the blind test). I also tried a bit of a HopSlam in comparison, but it is past it's prime now - too much honey, not enough hops. The Pliny is an extremely well balanced IPA, as good as any I've had. I would love to try it against an Alesmith IPA.

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Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,099 ratings.
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