Pliny The Elder | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The ElderPliny The Elder
14,680 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:
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Ratings: 14,680 |  Reviews: 3,721
Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottled 1 week ago (4/17/2013).

Color is sunflower orange, lighter than most IPA's. Head with tiny bubbles. Aroma is soapy grapefruit, lemon zest. Taste is slightly sour, bit of pale malt. Light-medium body. Medium carbonation. Only a tiny bit of bitterness in finish.

Honestly, I am slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it's still one of the best in its style. And I agree with Vinnie (the brewer) that pale is the way to go. But this beer has a certain soapiness/oiliness that I'd prefer not to have. Also, I've been appreciating the tropical flavors that beers down south (Alesmith, Greenflash) often have, which RR doesn't seem to have.

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Photo of rkm19
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of edk218
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of agentzigzag
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of MrBuckHigh
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of jdhowe
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I should note that Pliny (the Elder) is not a beer I have traditionally thought as highly of as many of my IPA-loving friends. But I do need to start critically tasting and reviewing beers, and what better to start with than this staple brew.

Bottled on 04/17/2013 -- the freshest Pliny the Elder I've had to date excepting perhaps a draft from which I don't know the date.

A: crystal clear, beautiful yellow/amber pour with a finger of off-white head dissipating to a good lacing around the glass with a thin film of head persisting. Definitely one of the prettier IPAs, largely due to its clarity.

S: Sweetness, hops, pine, and grapefruit/citrus. Very appealing.

T: This is where Pliny for me starts to get unexceptional. A fine body for a DIPA, but many of the flavors I expect from the nose just don't show through as prominently as I'd like. Instead, I get a somewhat weaker rendition of each flavor with a lot of alcohol and a bit of malt showing up toward the near the back of the tongue. Within seconds after the tasting, but not immediately, comes the bitterness that to me makes Elder just that bit worse than Younger, which lacks the bitter finish and is instead a little more full and syrupy with hop flavors.

M: Crisp, very carbonated, drinkable, and smooth. Not as much oily hop character as I would like.

O: A very good beer, and one that has slowly been moving up in my opinion. This is probably the 6th or 7th time I've had Elder, and while I wouldn't say this is my favorite (this bottle seems a little weaker in the flavor than some of the other bottles I've had), it is definitely a very good DIPA. I wish there was a little less bitterness in the aftertaste and maybe a fuller body. I feel like Younger does this right, but it is unfortunately hell to obtain.

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Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Ribsandwhiskey
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of LSx
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of willhans8
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of gshackles
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Flipmytop
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of AKuehn47
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of thampel09
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of incubuscience
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Russian River Brewing Company - Pliny The Elder

Thanks to my buddy (da_beers) I was able to sample the best the West has to offer, at least as far as DIPAs go.

Look - Pours like a light beer, as in clear, filtered, and golden like a lager. It proves its worth with an amazing soapy head and incredible lacing all over the glass. We were able to get one that was a little over two weeks old. Carbonation is moderate to heavy.

Smell - Signature west coast hops, similar to Lagunitas Sucks but a little more refined, more subtle and mouth-watering. Some sweet malts are present. Evolves a bit as it warms but don't let it warm too much as it can end up compromising the taste.

Taste - Smooth carbonated hop blend, light citrus (grapefruit and tangerine), some pine and resin here as well, so smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel - Probably the most drinkable DIPA you can get. The 8% is invisible and it goes down smooth. Amazingly thirst-quenching and it lingers just right on the palette. Gentle and warming yet crisp and refreshing.

Overall - Phenomenal brew, absolutely amazing. So glad we were able to get some of this shipped out to us. Even a non-DIPA/IPA drinker and those who aren't super into hops can enjoy this smooth and unique brew.

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Photo of AndyCarter
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Dirt
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of teeeebs
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Headyman
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of SpectralAbyss
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of meangreenc
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Pliny The Elder from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.65 out of 5 with 14,680 ratings
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