Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
14,561 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14,561 |  Reviews: 3,706
Photo of dogfish90
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Jsmercer
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Rivenin
4/5  rDev -14%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of MarcWP
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is about a 12 day old Pliny. Not bad given the brewery is under a thousand miles away. I've reviewed this beer several times before but I like to revisit so I can compare it with other world class DIPA's I've had of recent and see if it still lives up to my previous rating. I've had Pliny on draft in SF and the brewery for that matter so this might not be the best specimen to put to review but it will have to do for now.

Pours light golden with an eggshell colored head that hangs out and settles to a nice soapy half finger layer.

Aroma is bright citrus mainly Meyer lemon, key lime, golden peach, and pineapple with pine and dankness to support the fruit. Some bready malt character rounds things out nicely.

The palate brings lemon peel, juicy orange, nectarine, pine, juniper, light sourdough, and frolicking green weed throughout. Many don't understand the dank or weed flavor description. You really need to have had plenty of exposure to the stuff to be able to pinpoint it in an IPA. And if you've had that exposure, then I'll be damned if you can't taste it in this beer. It's rank! But what really makes Pliny stand apart from many is its beautiful mid level bitterness balanced out by those bready and biscuity malts. The hop profile is awesome, but the integration of the malts and yeast into that hop bill and hop schedule is what makes this thing a work of brewing mastery.

Mouthfeel is everything it needs to be. Heavier side of light body, silky feel for a DIPA, with a dry and juicy finish on the tongue.

Well, there it is. My rating has not changed if not maybe improved ever so slightly. And I'm now convinced I may actually prefer this to Heady Topper, though still not my favorite DIPA. The craftsmanship and genius brewing capability that Vinnie has attained over the years cannot be denied.

 1,831 characters

Photo of pinnser
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of weathersby
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hellhammermario
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a clear golden color with a two finger nearly pure white head. The head has a fair level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a very nice level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heavy of a citrus aroma being both sweet and hoppy at the same time. The sweet citrus is of tangerine and orange while the hoppy is of grapefruit. Mixed with these smells is a bready aroma as well as a bit of caramel and some pine hop smells. Overall the aroma is citrusy, but yet still maintains a nice balance.

Taste – The taste begins with a smooth bready and sweeter taste with the sweetness being of a caramel, tropical and citrus fruit flavors of orange and tangerine. With these flavors so too comes some grapefruit hop upfront, which starts out at a moderate strength and grows stronger to the end. Along with the grapefruit increasing some pine hop flavors also come to the tongue while the caramel flavors, that were initially present begin fading. In the end with the hop increasing and the sweet decreasing a nice crisp and mainly citrusy hop flavor to be left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a nice smoothness throughout. The carbonation is on the slightly lower side which when combined with the creamier body of the brew and the nice balanced sweet and hoppy taste overall create a very easy drinking feel.

Overall – A very tasty IPA no doubt, but not as amazing and overshadowing of other IPA of its strength and class as many make it seem, which is likely driven by limited availability/distribution. It is certainly well worth a try though if you get a chance.

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

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5/5  rDev +7.5%

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4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.65 out of 5 with 14,561 ratings
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