Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

14,487 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: 14,487 |  Reviews: 3,698
Photo of markchristenson
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've often thought Sculpin and PtE are of similar quality. And they are, to be sure. But side-by-side comparisons are always very telling. Keeping in mind that there's no such thing as a great beer, only a great bottle, my experience last night could certainly be a particularly great bottle of PtE and a less-than-great bottle (which was actually a can) of Sculpin, but there was no comparison on this particular evening. The Pliny was simply far and away superior. It is incredibly rich, despite its high bitterness and hop character. Floral, fruit and sweetness combine to make this a compelling drink on its own, and compared to other world class beers (we also opened a Belching Beaver Dammed DIPA and a Port Brewing High Tide) this was simply better, at least for my palate. The bitterness was balanced nicely by the richness, but (unlike the BB) there was no overt malt characteristic.

Truly fantastic stuff...

 918 characters

Photo of JeffoC6
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled: 12/12/13
Drinking: 1/5/14 @ 6:30 PM
Setting: Living room couch, watching San Fran @ Green Bay. San Fran up 13-10 in the 3rd.

A: Poured somewhat aggressively into my tulip glass with hopes of conjuring up a fluffy head. Got it! About 2 1/2 fingers of creamy and billowy snow white head. The head has a really nice body to it. Nice and thick, and sticks around for awhile. Eventually it falls, leaving delicate lacing all along the side of the glass. This beer is beautiful in the glass. Exactly what a beer should look like in my opinion. Color is a light copper with honey tones. Looks really rich in the glass. This beer is bit cloudy, but not "hazy." The head has now fallen to about 1 finger and caps the beer nicely. Lacing is beautiful throughout the entire session.

S: Big citrus notes right from the start. Grapefruit, orange peel, honey, and some alcohol. Loads of sugar in the nose, but not in a sickly/sweet way. Notes of pine, resin, and sweet biscuits follow to provide a wonderfully complex and balanced nose.

T: A quick hit of bitter grapefruit loaded with sweet candied sugar and honey. The sweetness that comes through on this is perfect...Not puckering or cloying at all. Pure. I get faint hints of lemongrass and orange as well. After the initial citrus bitterness and sweetness subside, the hints of pine and resin come on perfectly to balance the flavors of this beer. And when those hop notes fade, the bitterness still remains, sensed on all sides of my tongue, with a faint astringency creeping up. Perfect layers of flavor that come forward at different times throughout the duration of each sip. Really well done.

MF: The mouthfeel of this beer is spot on for what it's supposed to be. Just enough body to bring out the flavors of the beer, but dry enough to stay within the style of a West Coast DIPA. The beer coats the mouth nicely, allowing for all of the different tastes to showcase themselves before leaving a perfectly dry and bitter finish.

O: I can see why this beer is considered legendary. I'm under the assumption that a bottle of this sweet nectar runs for $6.50 a pop, and if that's true...I'm moving to the left coast. I'd drink a bottle of this every day if I could. Well worth the hype, and thanks to a CA connection, I can get this once a year. One of the best IPA's, DIPA's, and beers that I've ever had. If you come across it, get it and drink it soon thereafter. She's a beaut, Clark!

 2,445 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.36/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Light orangish, yellowish, with a white head.

S: Nose is mostly orange, but some hints of other citrus fruits, a little pine.

T: Lots of orange, other citrus fruits, some floral/piney hints.

M: Medium bodied, smoothish for an IPA.

O: More overrated than Younger. Younger lives up to the hype a bit, this one doesn't quite hit it. That said, I'd give it a 94 or so. It's a great beer, it just isn't as good as it's rating would suggest.

Note: Had from a bottle, not sure how old it was, but flavor didn't seem sacrificed.

 528 characters

Photo of rflips86
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of barflybastard
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of PicoPapa
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

Finally! 510mL bottle. Pours a hazy amber color with a half inch of head. Lots of lacing. Smells heavenly. The aroma is pine and grapefruit with some more citrus. Tangerine and maybe even a little peach. The taste is juicy tangerine and orange at first with some pine. Sweet grapefruit. Nice bitterness throughout. Tangerine and slightly floral at the end with a bit more pine. Very little alcohol presence and insanely drinkable. Heavy and slightly oily mouthfeel. It took me a long time to finally get to drink this and I'm so glad I did. Overall, it certainly lives up to the hype of being one of the top Imperial IPAs.

 666 characters

Photo of robertjskelton
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Kevincredible
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Or80rowley
4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had three of these over Christmas, thank you Ben in Denver!!!

A. Pours beautiful nectar, gold, three finger head

S. This one really shines here, with a intentional pour for a little more head the aromas abound! Pine, pineapple, peach, juicy fruit, citrus too!

T. Grapefruit!!! Fresh delicious Grapefruit! Hint of somewhere between a peach and apricot, pine, balanced hops

M. Smooth, crisp, refreshing

O. They nailed it, one of the best beers ever!!!

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Photo of bnewms87
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I was able to find this gem a few months ago and it lived up to the hype. When i saw it on the shelf I thought i was dreaming. There was a two bottle limit so i bought two, went to my car changed jackets and bought two more.

Give it a shot folks, it's worth it.

 262 characters

Photo of hemorhoidzz
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GarrettBoots
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of MichaelAllenVT
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Halk
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of cwguy5
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of bigwebguy
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of J-dub
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ccronin
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of belljt33
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tonerelia
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Initial smell was very aeromatic with many citrusy flavors behind it.

Upon first taste you get the impression you are drinking a regular ipa there is very little bite and enormous flavor, there is a great balance between the citrusy flavor and the hoppy bitterness. The mixture of the two leave you with an extremely smooth and very palatable beer. I would purchase this beer again in a heartbeat!

Absolutely Phenominal!

 424 characters

Photo of DrewSimm
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Hendrick24
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of -NESTO-
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of JLoPMac
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,487 ratings.
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