Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

14,484 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: 14,484 |  Reviews: 3,696
Photo of SpectralAbyss
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of meangreenc
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of bmurray10
4.16/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SFACRKnight
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mc4z
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of cmannes
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of SDJason
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a 20 oz snifter. Bottled on 4/13/13, so nice and fresh.

Appearance - An crystal-clear orangeish golden yellow with a frothy white head two fingers thick. After awhile, the head dissipates to just a film and a line of foam around the edge with moderate lacing.

Smell - Pleasantly complex--it changes a bit each time I return for another whiff. Grapefruit, pine resin, even some tannins and maybe a bit of phenolic quality on a foundation of aromatic hoppiness.

Taste - Tangy hops and layers of citrus. More grapefruit with elements of fresh clementine. The hopes are again present, but provide what seems like a bit of earthiness under the citrus canopy.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied and creamy. Fills your mouth, but doesn't linger with any kind of unsavory aftertaste.

Overall, a fantastic beer. I'm not sure I can say that it's my favorite DIPA ever, but it's quite amazing in the way it has so many things going on. I have a second bottle and will have to see how that influences my perception of this stellar brew.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Bluecane
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of almostjay
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of deadstockmarket
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Roger85
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Dagsy
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of klythjohan
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of douginromeo
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Date bottled: 4/10/13 - poured into an Irish imperial pint.

Appearance - beautiful golden color with no haze or floaties. This is an attractive beer.

Smell - this is one that I wish I could smell all night. All you get is hops - no malt, no sweetness: nothing but hops. But the beauty is, it's not a hop bomb that singes your nose hairs either - it has the perfect amount

Taste - perfection in the form of an ipa. I love heady, but I like this one even better. There's such a perfect balance to the beer that it leaves you wanting more. There's absolutely no hint of the alcohol at 8% either. In short, one of the best beers I have ever drank.

Mouthfeel - perfect amount of carbonation and a lovely tongue coating of bitterness that doesn't hang around longer than it should.

Overall - this is in my top 5 ever, maybe top 2. It is amazing and worthy of all hype that it gets.

 884 characters

Photo of booyahachieved3
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of kmoen
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Agent1
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


That being said, I will remain unbiased and impartial and judge this beer objectively.

**Bottled: 030813**


Appearance – In all honesty, for a beer of this color and style, it really does not get much better than this. It looks great. Poured into a pokal-style glass. Bright copper orange. The head reminds me of Duvel Moortgat; bright white with excellent lacing and foamy, active bubbles. A very active beer. You can see the carbonation is mid to high just by watching the bubbles race to the top.

Smell – Super, super strong simcoe hops and fresh floral hops. Almost piercingly chemical or enhanced. I've never smelt anything like this from any Double IPA or IPA. Smells very fresh, like opening a vacuum sealed bag of hops. Pine needles and cleaner (not an offensive smell, necessarily, just extremely, extremely potent). This is a very powerful, bold aroma. Plants, citrus, lemon, orange peel, herbs and very strong, concentrated sugar smells. Not much malt is allowed to come through the hops. Very piny.

Taste – Great, clean taste. Definitely suits the style but does not add anything new or take any risks. Fresh hop taste and plenty of light, subtle toffee/ butterscotch notes. Soapy dry hop flavor (pretty standard -- tastes good). Amarillo is in the mix, but blends in with the others. The Amarillo gives this beer something special. Subtle lemon notes with stronger orange/ orange peel and grapefruit at the center. The alcohol is hidden well. Nice bitterness and use of sugars -- the two go hand in hand. Lots of grapefruit notes. I have drank this cool at around 6c, and warmer at around 12c. I wanted to see it change. Not a huge jump like most Belgian ales, but still a tad more enjoyable to me when warmer. Hints of vanilla and spice.

Mouthfeel – Impressive. This lightly stimulates all areas of the mouth, but mostly the roof. A nice clean finish with a hint of fresh hops on the aftertaste. Taste buds mainly feel this on the front-roof of the mouth. Nice and fizzy. The hops and carbonation work wonderfully together. Crisp and clean, buttery and smooth. A great use of carbonation.

Overall – This beer is definitely overhyped and overrated. It is very well-balanced and holds true to its style. An excellent beer, but not nearly as incredible as I thought it might be. I feel the aroma and look of this beer may be some of its most impressive characteristics. Dry, earthy, tart, yet sugary and delicious, this beer is a great Double India Pale Ale. I think it is fairly obvious that most of the beer nerds out there like to boast of Pliny's rarity and perhaps feel extra privileged to take part in the hype. It is very hard to find and I am fortunate enough to finally get my hands on it after approximately 4 years of searching. Do not get me wrong, this is an exceptional beer in its style, but definitely overhyped due to how hard it is to come by. Also important to note: there are plenty of other amazing IPAs and DIPAs out there that rival this specific beer. Overall, this does not disappoint. Pliny, you are delicious.

 3,233 characters

Photo of lpayette
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Jd2391
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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

No review is really needed for this beer, but I wanted to have this listed under my review list. That said, the beer is a favorite for obvious reasons. Its balance and flavors are so good, and are still considerably unique among so many beers even after all these years. May be my favortite beer during the summer time. Such a fresh, clean flavor profile. Simcoe hops are balanced perfectly. The slight champagney mouthfeel gives you a deliciously refreshing beginning with a semi-dry finish that begs for another gulp. The smell is good, but does not represent the beers taste and overal experience. I did notice the hop smells came through more as it warmed up a bit, but this beer should be served colder them most IPA's. I recently had PTY and although it was a great beer, (basically a bigger version of elder), I think Elder is a better beer as for as craft goes.

 869 characters

Photo of Fubar1453
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
4.6 out of 5 based on 14,484 ratings.
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