Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

14,494 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14,494 |  Reviews: 3,699
Photo of bdelonj13
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of bbalanis2014
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BeerOps
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The Mrs. and I were in Napa last weekend for a wedding and some wine tasting. But after all of the hype surrounding Russian River Brewing, we had to make a pit stop. We walked in on a Sunday night and while was there a 45 minute wait for a table, it was happy hour all day. That means $3.50 for 16oz of Pliny. Yes and please.

I immediately ordered a Pliny. And boy did it live up to the hype and then some. Having it fresh apparently is the key to this beer.

It poured a translucent copper color with a sheets upon sheets of lacing and a bit of carbonation. Very inviting.

This is a perfectly executed double IPA. It's not a harsh bitter double but rather it strikes a perfect balance between ultra fresh hops and the classic west coast style while allowing your palate to taste all of the complexities. And it was not too overboard on the grapefruit. I understand why this is so highly thought of. The hops worked so well as they were all in unison. I could have drank a few of these. So crisp, clean with great hop and a malt backbone. I want another!

 1,059 characters

Photo of mre4b
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of hillvt4me
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- gold hue with white head and good lacing.

S- pine, citrus, grapefruit, grass

T- pine, grapefruit, herbal notes and citrus.

M- medium body. medium carbonation. Smooth.

O- balanced and solid DIPA. Not as fresh perhaps as the hype may account for; only my second showing. On tap perhaps in the future.

 305 characters

Photo of cmrncrzy10
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Mike999
3.16/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

You say citrus, I say CACTUS.

This thing is rated 100?!!!
Not for me.
I would never buy this beer. So, that sums it up.
This shows you the beer market hype does not equal taste.

I'd rate Flying Fish NJ350 a 10, this thing is a 2.
Or, Flying Fish Exit 16, 10.

 260 characters

Photo of epicbeard85
4.61/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Not gonna give details here, just my opinion it's great, but hill farmstead double Citra, and heady topper are by far better. I would never turn.down a Pliny but after you have heady or Pliny you don't really look to aquire it as much. But. It deserves it's spot and is a great brew!

 283 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The hype is for real . . . If the bottle is fresh. This a great example of an American ipa. Pliny at a glance doesn't appear to be anything exceptional. After a whiff the nose doesn't give the impression of world class but it does point in the direction of a solid crafted beer. The taste and feel though is what elevates this beer to world class in my opinion. The mingling of floral and tropical flavors that give way to pine is impressive. Overall it's the mouth feel that leaves me wanting more. Probably the best beer I've had in the feel department.

 555 characters

Photo of TheGent
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

4/9/14 bottled date.

Appearance: Translucent, straw color with a yellow hue. Rich sand colored head. Two fingers that leave nice lacing. Minor amount of carbonation visible.

Smell: Citrus and herbal notes of hops are prominent. Grapefruit and pine are upfront. Some more subtle floral notes. Some lighter earthy notes of grass and white pepper.

Taste: Hops are the star here. Balanced malt profile, but not in a sweet way.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and smooth. The hop oils envelop the palate. Tingly.

Overall: Great DIPA here. Complex nose. Straightforward taste that hits the nail on the head, including prominent hop and malt characteristics. Hops hit the tongue hard, and I like that. Very drinkable.

 716 characters

Photo of Stevelikesbeer
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of TheKmac
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Oakhtar
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mgr78704
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of 1up
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Tyko
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of ford0626
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of JulioH
4.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliney the Elder is my top IPA.

I got a friend to fly back a fresh growler and that has been one of my most memorable bottle shares. Until then I had never tried anything so piney and nice to drink. This beer doesn't try to go over the top, it is very balanced and pleasant to drink. It tastes bitter but not overly bitter, and the texture of the beer is a bit thicker (maybe) than most IPAs.

Certainly one of the best beers.

 428 characters

Photo of pdmoore714
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of highTempo
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Serving: bottle poured into a pint glass.

After hearing tons of hype for years I finally found this at a bottle shop here in Portland. It was $7, which seemed a bit high to me but I really wanted to try it and they would only sell one bottle per customer. I guess it just blows out that quickly.

Such an unassuming bottle. There's not a lot of graphic design going on at Russian River. They don't need it with the quality of beer that they are producing.

The pour has a good, two-finger head. The retention is really solid. The color is fantastic: a (very) hazy pale straw yellow with a tiny bit of orange tone underneath.

I like unfiltered IPAs in general. I've heard people say that filtering doesn't change the smell or flavor but I don't believe it. There seems to be more yeast present, especially in the smell.

And the smell is fantastic. It's a really hot mix of pine and grapefruit with some bread-y yeast present.

The flavor is just as good. IPAs seem to be such a broad category. There are "punch-you-in-the-face" bitter IPAs and then IPAs that strive for balance. This is the latter. The bitterness of the hops and alcohol are present but not over the top.

I can't help it. I will jump on the bandwagon. This beer is wildly good. It lives up to the hype. I love it. I wish I could find it more often. Oh geez… Too bad it's so well known. It's very hard to pick up in Portland.

 1,399 characters

Photo of Phil_H
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,494 ratings.
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