Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

14,456 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 14,456 |  Reviews: 3,694
Photo of MJKauz
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ktenneydenver
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Johnny_V
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Jimbobebop
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of retry4z
4.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: 6/6/2016

On tap at Toronado. $7 for a pint.

L: medium high biscuity malt, bread crumbs, caramel, toffee. High citrucy grapefruit and lemon hops, resiny, grassy. Smells fresh, with low peach and watermelon esters.

S: deep golden, very clear, with a big, persistent, 1/2 inch, tan, creamy head. Leaves off a big lace as it goes down.

T: moderate high biscuity and caramel malt flavor, with medium-high hop bitterness that slightly overtakes the malt in strength but not takes away from the flavor.

 511 characters

Photo of gelasin
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of KYGunner
3.79/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very pretty color of light radiant gold fills the snifter as a loosely built, fizzy head sets atop. The complexion is more reminiscent of a wine than an ale but it certainly looks good.

The aromas are earthy and natural with a grassy, mossy, floral and even cannabis leaf scent. Around the edges grapefruit makes an appearance.

I'm guessing this holds a lot of Simcoe hops as I'm bombarded with deep vegetative, leafy, mossy and yes, cannabis, flavors. The hops certainly stand out but it's not the flavors I desire in an IPA. It is properly complex with a lot earthy tones but again not desirable.

This, I fear, is simply not my cup of beer and I believe that people do love it, just not me.

 695 characters

Photo of SgtDel
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of LumpkinBrews
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of bellsd62
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of SnaxStL
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Big_Eatums
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of shagal
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of JesseLara
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BigJYoungblood
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Saltee
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of utopiajane
3.96/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a dark banana yellow, slight haze, golden honey color with a creamy soft white head that fell slowly and left really great lace. The nose took a while to fully realize itself. It had a light pineapple and a light pine. Pale malt and lightly breaddy. Hop resins even on the nose. Hop floral and a sweet honey with the malt. There was no alcohol on the nose but there was a nice deep round hop scent.

Taste was silky and smooth. The malt is soft but firm and very well done. it had a lightness to the body and a sweet bread that never took center stage away from the tremendous hop qualities. Fruits were fleeting on the palate. The pineapple gave way to tart grapefruit, then a little apple and pear showed up to add crispness and a touch of sweetness. Right in the middle it became bone dry and chalky. It had the taste of astringency or of an aspirin you chewed by mistake. Bitter hops flourished and this was delightful. They had a tiny bit of oil to deposit them along the palate and reside finally at the back. Light pine and a touch of malt. The resins are also light and they do their job keeping all those flavors lingering for a nice full aftertaste of a substantial bitter and the sweetness of the fruits. There was an alcohol warmth at the back of the throat but nothing hard from it on the palate.

This beer was great but in my opinion it did not live up to all the hype. It was rousing with a well done bitter, it had a malt that was one of the best I have seen but it lacked definition in the fruits. It couldn't have been prettier to look at. Not the best I have ever had but I am glad I tried it and would drink it again but I won't kill myself trying to get more. It was stronger then you might expect and I liked that. Was perfectly fresh as this was bottled on 8/16/13.

 1,802 characters

Photo of RussBeercier
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of HinsdaleILbeerdrinker
3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While vacationing in Southern California, went to the Stone brewery in San Diego. They are the distributor for Russian River. Bottle was three weeks old. Being from Chicago, looking forward to my first taste of Pliny. Smell was okay. didn't get the pine smell others mention. Taste is best described as boring. I didn't get any hop bite or tingling or malt sweetness. Definitely easy drinking but that's not what I'm looking for in an 8.0 abv beer. Overall, glad to try but reaffirmed that there are plenty of great local (Midwest) beers to enjoy and much better West Coast options.

 582 characters

Photo of JohnG190
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pliny the Elder pours a pale amber, lighter than expected, with a white, fluffy head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing but that may be more because of the shaker pint it was served in. Aroma is big and fruity, lots of grapefruit, pine, and lemon. Grapefruit and pineapple hit the front of the tongue. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel can best be described as smooth, medium-light bodied with light carbonation, drinks much easier than its 8% ABV. Overall, this is one of the smoothest, easiest drinking Imperial IPAs out there. Outstanding job Russian River.

 556 characters

Photo of pjkelley82
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this (along with other dipa's) at a East VS. West Dipa Head to Head Showdown I hosted on 8/27/13

Round 3 East - Heady West - Pliney

Overall heady won but pliney was no chump... pliney looked so beatifull and smelt even better. Pliney had great carbonation a nice citrus grapefruit taste and smell.. and out of all the prickly alchohol tasting beers pliney completely destroyed them... a well balnced beer and I wouldn't mind having this beer any day of the week... out of all the beers pliney came in 3rd for me but that's because of my love affair with double jack which took second but deservingly so it is #2

 617 characters

Photo of soonerchamps
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of rstenson
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of bobbilance
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,456 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.