Russian River – Pliny the Elder

Well hoppy #IPAday to you all! In case you didn’t know this Thursday also happens to be national IPA day, so raise an IPA in toast to all IPAs on this wondrous day.

To celebrate here is my review of the best IPA I’ve tasted to date!


Well a very special greeting to all of you readers today. I’m sitting next to one of the most beautiful beers I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Her name is Pliny the Elder, named after the man who discovered hops. This beer is aptly named because it has hops in spades. I had to trade someone in California some Great Divide brews for this beauty. Man am I glad I got six of them because it’s honestly the best damn double IPA I’ve ever had the honor of tasting. Well allow me to attempt to capture a glimpse of this feeling for you all.

First and foremost this beer pours out like rays of sunshine cascading across your glass. It beckons seductively wafting piney hops past as you impatiently watch your cup fill. The gorgeous head of this beauty is as thick and luxurious as any super-models head of hair…but a lot tastier. It comes in at a respectable 2 and a half fingers and immediately leaves a nice portion of lacing on the glass. Ahh…the remnants of greatness. Although this beauty is quite clear, it’s confusingly opaque at the same time. I don’t know how they do it but my homebrews always look cloudy compared to beers like this. Ahhh…one day
But there is a stronger force beckoning, the force of aroma begging for my action. Well I will deny it no longer!

Oooohhh….man I had to set it down immediately lest I become overwhelmed with this beer. The smell is like a punch in the nose with a fist full of pine. Yet there is a subtle sweetness underlying it, promising good balance to this brew. It’s a very piney type hop smell which is right up my alley, maybe even a little citrusy. Now I’m not the biggest fan of OJ (the juice not the football player) but sometimes a little citrus is a nice extra. Like when you find that beer in the back of the fridge you forgot you had. Truly this is one of the best aromas to have ever come from a brew. Strong, yet balanced, like a good golf swing. Well let’s see how she tastes.

Mmmm now that’s a good IPA. Upon touching this sacred liquid to my tongue I awoke suddenly as if the rest of my life had been a dream. It’s a testament to Russian Rivers brewing ability. An outrageously hopped IPA that is somehow completely balanced. It’s sweet and bitter, hoppy and malty, black and white, yin and yang. This beer is all that should be IPA.It doesn’t finish overly bitter, it finishes with a slight bitterness lingering that tastes just as good as the beer you’ve just swallowed.

Overall this is the best IPA I’ve ever had in my life…and I mean that! I’m glad I went to the trouble to try this beer. If your a beer lover and haven’t had a Pliny get one! It’s definitely worth trading and there are plenty of reputable BA members that would be willing to trade. It’s easy for some to get, for me it was well worth the trouble. Please don’t go through life without tasting one of these beautiful miracles of brewing.

Categories: Beer, Imperial IPA | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Russian River – Pliny the Elder

  1. BeerLearner

    So Envious you got to have this beer.

    • It’s delicious man! I’d recommend trading for it on Beer Advocate. PM me on their forums and I’ll answer any questions you might have.

  2. I had this last year on my beer blog, nice blog by the way, and it was easily one of the best beers I have ever had!!!

    • Thanks man glad you dig it.
      Yeah Pliny is something special for sure, the balance on it…I can’t wrap my head around it.
      Only beer that came close was Stone’s 10th Anniversary Ruination, I’ve got one left I’ll probably review tonight.

  3. Pingback: Russian River – Damnation « Brian's Beer Blog

  4. Just came across your blog and think your reviews are great. If you like Pliny, try to get your hands on some Double Jack from Firestone Walker or a Blue Dot from Hair of the Dog. Two Double IPAs that give Pliny a run for its money.

    • Thanks man, glad you enjoy my reviews.
      I’ll put those on my list for my next Cali trade for sure. I love me some good DIPAs!

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