jamespgentry (22) - Washington, USA - SEP 23, 2009
Pliny just might be my favorite beer. At the very least it holds a place in the pantheon of my favorite beers. If you could bottle grapefruit flowers and then drink that bottle of grapefruit flowers and it got you drunk you’d have Pliny the Elder. My favorite part about the beer just might be how pale it is. Barely a hint of orange in a mostly yellow canvas. Upon gazing at it’s skinny hay color one could mistake it for the hair color of the girl who lived down the street, at the end of the summer, who’s days were spent in the sun. Then you taste the beer and it turns out she’s not only cute but smart too. That being said, I would expect this beer to be darker; not a big deal, just saying.
My only knock on Pliny is that sometimes the batches can be inconsistent. The best batch of Pliny is my desert island beer; but to someone as accustomed to it as I am, when you get a bad batch it’s a little disappointing. However, the worst batch of Pliny I’ve ever had is still better than 90% of the beers I’ve ever tasted. Great beer, just get one. As I heard someone say once about Pliny the Elder, "It’s a life changing beer, man...". I tentatively agree. daleharshman (1064) - Escondido, California, USA - SEP 23, 2009
I regularly have this on tap around San Diego, but this rating at home based on a 500 mL bottle purchased at South Bay Drugs ($4.99). Pours a clear light honey-orange with about a finger of white head. Aroma of fresh ruby red grapefruit, more citrus, peach, fresh flower bouquet. Flavor is dominated by the hops (grapefruit, tropical fruit) and is very good. Might benefit from a bit more malt balance. Quite a lot of bitterness in the dry finish. I can tell that I prefer this on draft over the bottled version. Good stuff, but I think I like the local Exponential Hoppiness and Yulesmith better. awiseman01 (469) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - SEP 21, 2009
On tap at Stone. Pours cloudy golden/orange with lots of rising bubbles. Has a strong sweet/juicy citurs hop nose with wonderful grapefruit. Flavor has much more pine and again strong citrus punch with a clean finish. Simply Excellent. sarahmarie (265) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 19, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2010 one of the best hands down. achieving an impeccable balance of insanely juicy bitter hoppiness and sweet malty complexities. Simply blows me away. jstraw (1967) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Hazy darker orange with good, creamy white head / Nose of fresh pine, orange and cream / Medium body, with good malts and biting hops, and with fine finish / Flavors of cut pine, caramel, orange, grapefruit, and resin / Doesn’t eclipse Dogfish 90 or Dreadnaught, but a very fine beer.
BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 18, 2009
First off, a big thanks to my cousin for bringing this beer with him to OH on a x-country trip from CA.
I’ve had this beer at festivals on draft, and thought it was amazing. However, I usually don’t rate from samples, so I haven’t rated it until I got my own bottle. And while the bottle was very good, I don’t think it was as fresh as the samples I’ve had on draft. Because while the bottle I got was certainly very good, it wasn’t the hop ecstasy I experienced in the draft form. So, in this review, I’ll likely split the difference.
Color is far lighter than I would’ve expected. It looks like a golden ale - not too thick, a very light blond/golden color, with a nice amount of head piled on top - a nice picture. Aroma was very hoppy (but hoppier on draft) and was very pine-y and resin-y. Beer was balanced with a nice malt framework...even though this beer is packed with hops, it didn’t unbalanced.
Mouthfeel is light and pleasant. I swear I could drink a gallon of this stuff without feeling stuffed and like my mouth was coated with cotton candy (the way I would feel with other very hoppy, sticky IPAs).
This beer deserves its accolades. It really is one of the best! stoliver54 (4) - Colorado, USA - SEP 16, 2009 does not count
Great Beer! I could drink this all the time, very smooth. The aroma and the flavor are something to cherish and for others to aspire to. I only wish I could find a more reliable source, as it is hard to come by around here. bkjones (1) - USA - SEP 14, 2009 does not count
I love everything about this beer except for the completely over the top hopping. It’s true that they did it right by balancing things with a hefty malt backbone to support and offset the hops, and at least being advertised as an imperial IPA forewarns, but I don’t think getting cottonmouth from a beer is necessarily pleasant. I love hops, but there’s such a thing as "too much" mezr (136) - California, USA - SEP 13, 2009
500 ml bottle, bottled on 8/19/2009. Pours a beautiful yellow-gold. The medium head is thick, creamy and laces well on the glass. The aroma alone is reason enough to buy this beer. Huge, fresh pine is the first note, followed by layers of citrus. Just when I think it can’t get any better … I take a sip and am rewarded with a wonderful balance of citrus and resiny, piney hops. So many bold tastes and sensations going on that it could easily overwhelm and miss the mark, but instead it takes me to the zenith and holds me there. I’ve had the great fortune of enjoying this beer a number of times before, and every time I do it’s like falling in love all over again. Russian River has brewed an epic masterpiece in every way. Delirium (669) - Falmouth, Cornwall, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2009
500-mL bottle. Pours yellow-golden with a large, lasting white head and plenty of lacing. Nice, strong pine-hop aroma. Flavor is a well-blended mix of woody bitterness, hop resin, and slightly sweet malt backing. Bit of tropical fruit and grass mixed in there. Excellent DIPA.