Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

14,426 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14,426 |  Reviews: 3,693
Photo of billhelm
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of deschutes_fan
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of beerdave
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Papaloth
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Filabee
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of udubdawg
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of rgdevera951
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Sandbarunner
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one fantastic IPA. After searching the entire West Coast for over a month, I found one.

Kind of BS to get a beer. But all along I though the Elder was available. Come to find out it was a Unicorn like a lot of the West Coast IPA's.

After Searching I brought it back East and Enjoyed with a friend.

The adventure to get the beer was far more exciting than the beer.

 376 characters

Photo of LesRWilliams
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of AkaFlash
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of FrankyGunz
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Graffy
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of mac8113
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of Ultimate
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Astarzz316
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Walshwi
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Preface: I've been around the world tasting beer and wine. I've had nearly every beer on the Beer Advocate top 250. I appreciate all styles but have a preference for Double IPAs.

Pliny lives up to its hype. While similar in style to Heady Topper, they are two very different brews. Heady Topper has a great initial taste (probably the best), but the overall taste pales in comparison to Pliny. Pliny is refined and elegant.

Pliny pours golden with a great head. As it is an IPA, don't tilt the glass when pouring! Pour it into itself to unleash the flavor.

One of the very few brews in which the smell is indicative of the flavor. It doesn't let you down. It smells of citrus, hops, and honey.

Taste is almost perfect from start to finish. It is impeccably balanced. The bitterness and malt backbone pair perfectly. The balance of hops is perfect. The sweet citrus and hop flavor flows throughout the sip. No bitter aftertaste and it has a smooth, clean taste.

This beer is perfect because of science. The most important ingredient - the yeast - is priceless. If you can get your hands on that proprietary strain, you'll be able to make your own cult beer. The other science is the blending of hops which "attack" certain parts of your palate. Much like the blending of grapes in a world-class French Bordeaux, the blending of hops in this beer is, itself, world-class.

The only negative aspect of this beer is the volatility of the hops. The taste is perishable. If it gets too hot or exposed to sunlight, the flavor profile is damaged. I've had BAD glasses of Pliny!! Some of the more negative reviews are probably based on the fact the flavor profile was damaged. When you make a trade for Pliny, it sits in a hot truck on its trek hundreds/thousands of miles. Make no mistake, when fresh, this brew is something to behold and I still haven't had anything close.

 1,872 characters

Photo of More_betterness
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing after having countless bottles over the years. Bottled on 4/9/14

A: Crystal clear golden amber with a two finger head after a careful pour. Brilliantly clear and beautiful beer.

S: Resinous hops. Dank pine, citrus rind, and pineapple followed by some grassy/floral notes. Orange zest and a touch of malt are also present. Masterclass.

T: Sweet tangerine and citrusy lemon upfront. Sappy and bitter pine coats the palate and lingers for minutes after each sip. Just a hint of bready malt character becomes apparent as it warms. Perfect balance of flavor and bitterness for the style.

M: Dry and light bodied with medium carbonation. The massive amount of hops have a noticeable oily/slick texture as well.

O: What can I say that hasn't been said? Just an epic beer that literally defines the style. When fresh it is always one of the best beers I have ever had, only surpassed by heady, the Younger, and BCBCS IMO. Can't recommend enough

 959 characters

Photo of Nefarious
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of CLaBarre
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally was able to trade for a few bottles and I had extremely high hopes for PtE. After pouring into the glass, beautiful golden orange brew sat in front of me. A frothy white head sat atop the beautiful liquid. Some lacing was left as the head quickly dissipated. The nose and the taste are typical of west coast IPAs. Citrusy fruit flavors swirl around the mouth. It goes down smooth and it is not overly bitter. Very flavorful and very smooth. Very pleased with this, but would still prefer Heady over this great one.

 522 characters

Photo of smolder23
4/5  rDev -13%

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

Pliny is the finest beer I've ever tasted. For a 2X IPA it's as crisp and refreshing as it gets... for ANY beer. Some people say it's overhyped, which I don't agree with, but it depends on what type of beer you like. If you're an IPA fan and you think this beer is overhyped then I don't sympathize. But if IPA's aren't your thing then I can see how you might not appreciate it as much as someone like me who drinks almost exclusively IPA's. It is so perfectly balanced and smooth. Hoppy, citrusy, fresh, and perfect all come to mind every time I have a Pliny.

 560 characters

Photo of Beaz18
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of cfitterer
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,426 ratings.
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