otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 11, 2008
Russian River Brewing is neither in Russia nor near a river. At least, not that I know of. But that is rather irrelevant when it comes to their amazingly ability to release dazzling beers of near nirvana perfection time and time again. I haven’t had many of their creations yet, but the ones I have been blessed by were nothing short of bliss. Pliny the Elder is no exception.
BeerBunker (965) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - SEP 11, 2008
My Pliny the Elder poured a rich sunshine orange into my glass. An explosion of fluffy foam topped his wise body, fading slowly into a pillow on top which spread out along the edges for extra coverage. Sweet and fresh wet forestry smells immediately tease and caress my nose. Pine needles, sap, and morning dew. a tinge of citrus in the back, but that crisp piney hop profile I adore so much rules Pliny the Elder’s nose. His body is light and rolls across my tastebuds almost as if it were kissing them. His palate is much like his nose, a perfect blend of sweet pine needles, sap, and wet grass. A bit of bitter lemon in the finish. It is a somber parting as I finish the last quaff of my Pliny the Elder and there is no more to follow.
I’ve never met a kissable beer before, but Pliny the Elder is my top Imperial IPA and highly kissable. The only shame is that I don’t have regular access to him. Like his namesake, Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing is a timeless work of brewing artistry.
Poured orange with a white head. Aroma is of citrus, bitter hops, and floral hints. Taste was fantastic. At first, you are hit by pure bitterness, then the citrusy flavors come out followed by a delicious sweetness of malts. The alcohol is hidden behind all the flavors, making it extremely drinkable. BigBang (299) - Indiana, USA - SEP 11, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 12, 2008 Pours an orange color with small frothy head and tremendous lacing. Aroma and flavor is of citrus and hops plus a touch of pine with a mild bitterness. ABV is not very noticeable. Excellent double IPA. On tap at City Beer. douglas88 (9176) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 10, 2008
UPDATED: APR 4, 2010 Bottle generously shared by footbalm, thanks man! Pours a clear golden hue with a tall and thick white head. The aroma is great; tons of sweet citrus hops, a full grapefruit, some sweet fruits, and a background of pine. The flavor was so easygoing and yet so awesome; dominated by a citrus hop flavor, some bitterness getting through but the sweet ripe citrus hop flavors rule the day here. Not overly complex, but very quaffable and excellent. I could drink 20 of these. A nice full body too. Had this again on tap at Toronado a few pints of it actually. So well balanced, smooth and very easygoing. Amazing brew. taalhiker (190) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - SEP 9, 2008
From .5l bottle. Pours clear light golden color. Aroma is filled with tropicals, pine and floral scents. Intense flavor - as expected. Still well balanced considering the 8% ABV. Grapefruit and malt wrap through the finish. Clearly a great brew - can’t wait to get more.
Juancho (239) - Georgia, USA - SEP 7, 2008
On draught @ Toronado - well I finally got to try Pliny. So much has been made of it that I probably had higher expectations. Pours copper but with more hints of yellow that I had expected, it is clearly filtered and/or not a live beer... I expected the hazy richness of other substantial beers. It was medium bodied, and slightly lighter than say a Dreadnaught, but wonderfully balanced. Everything seems in it;s place... the hoppiness, however, lingers and lingers....
Great stuff DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 7, 2008
500ml bottle. Bottled on 073008. Pours a light golden color, clear (not bottled conditioned??) with a small but firm soapy white head. Can smell Simcoe hops while I’m pouring this thing. Oh yeah before I forget 500ml bottles are such a good size. Quite underrated I think. Anyways, the beer smells intensely of tropical fruits. A very pleasing hop combo, just the kind I like. Simcoe immediately detectable though without any catty qualities that is can have at times. Resiny, citrus, cantaloupe, melon, orange pulp, grapefuit zest. Though I would consider this bottle quite fresh I would really love to smell this beer the day after it’s been bottled. The combination of hops would be orgasmic if the intensity was just dialed up one notch which I think a super super fresh bottle might achieve. Either way it’s a magnificent aroma. Flavor is similar to the aroma in terms of the hops. Cantaloupe and intense melon stickout, a sticky sweetness from the hops though balanced out by a quite substantial dryness. The beer is quite dry but the fruitiness of the hops counteract that and it lacks astringency. Very clean finish, very dry. I can’t really detect any malt characteristics, everything working here, be it the yeast, body, or the malts is all to aid the hops. Bitterness is present though smooth and not aggressive. Above all this is an intensely drinkable IIPA and one I could see myself drinking several pints of. Certainly towards the top of its class and if this were available here I would buy several bottles a week. OldMrCrow (2437) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 7, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2010 Bottle. Bottled 8/25/08, sampled fresh on 9/6/08.
DialSquare (5028) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 6, 2008
Everything they say is true.
Light gold with a beautiful white head and tons of lacing. This is the IIPA to beat all IIPAs, hands down. Beautiful perfumy nose with some peach and hay, leafy and floral and glorious. This is a rare 10 for aroma. Lovely flavor, totally avoiding the too-much-caramel-malt trap, never sticky or sweet, minimally astringent, just hop-juicy. I love it. The palate is a little hot as the beer warms for its 8%, but that’s a minor quibble. Fantastic.
2-month-old bottle: I should have read the label before buying four at the local QFC. It’s already losing it. This one is just a good IPA now. Maybe 4.0, but certainly not 4.4.
Tap: 7/10/09 at Naked City. I’ve heard that this loses something on tap compared to fresh in the bottle. Maybe it does, but it still easily made its way into the mid-fours. The aroma is there, the flavor is there, it drinks like 6%. Splendid.
Tap8/09 at Fiddler’s. What beer is not Pliny’s bitch? Tonight, head to head against the very worthy Port Wipeout (quite similar, more apricot in Wipeout, more herbalness in Pliny), Pliny came through as cleaner and better. Wow.
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2013 been looking for this for a while (not so easy as an east coaster). 500ml - bottled on 8/25/08 - from bottleworks in seattle. grass, citrus, floral and pine aroma. perfect texture and balance is my first thought. tastes of dry citrus, floral hops, light caramel and malty sweetness to balance it all. did I mention it’s well balanced? great stuff. going to buy more tomorrow. perfect example of my favorite style of beer. K-8.5 Dubbercody (213) - Vancouver, Washington, USA - SEP 6, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2009 500mL bottle, purchased locally...whoo Hoo to that!
081308 bottling. It’s a really nice beer. The hops blend into the malt so beautifully. Nicely sweet with an awesomely hoppy bitterness. Great balance, there is a reason this beer is one of those "must have, everyone talks about it, no really will you trade me some, ISO, etc. etc. etc." beers.