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Russian River's Pliny The Elder

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Russian River's Pliny The Elder is a beer with a cult following. Fanatics freak about it and i'm sure a lot of people pray to it. This being my first time enjoying this behemoth of a beer, it should be noted also that Vinnie Cilurzo brewmaster of Russian River is slated as the godfather of IPA's. This and his other trophy IPA Blind Pig, are star examples of the style. He also brews some wicked Belgian style ales and Russian River has a fantastic sour beer program. Let's dive into this beer with what I get from this beer.

Located in the heart of wine country Santa Rosa, California. Russian River Brewing offers sensational craft beers. If you google ‘Pliny the Elder’ two topics will come up: 1) Is the Imperial IPA from Russian River and 2) The Roman scholar Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as Pliny the Elder, the author of 'Naturalis Historia' a.k.a the first encyclopedia. 


Standards set by Naturalis Historia are forwarded to this Russian River bred beer by its aroma, appearance, flavor, and mouth feel. Pliny the Elder sits as one of the top Imperial IPA’s to be had in our country and after tasting it for the first time I have to say it was impressive.


Aroma: Distinct, crisp, light hoppy smell with a hint of fruit, dirt, dry grass, pine trees, and sprinkled with a spicy bitterness. 


Appearance:  Solid in color, it’s a light amber color and clear when put up into light while adding a gold shine as the light reflects off the carbonation bubbles.


Flavor: Medium hoppy taste that’s on the front and back end of every taste with a lingering bitterness that’s layered.  Each swirl in your mouth unlocks a new layer of flavor.


Mouth feel: Full and fluffy yet light on the pallet, has a dry hoppy finish, hops tend to linger for 5-10 minutes after consumption.


Overall: 9 out of 10, great flavor with a light hop texture. Brewed clear, carbonated, and crisp allow this beer to make you want another then another and what the heck how about another. Russian River brews a great IPA that allows all beer drinkers alike to sit down and try something out of their comfort zone, yet feel comfortable seeing a beer that they feel they already know.


PS. Every bottle has a bottled on date. Drink fresh and enjoy! 




  • Cody D
    Cody D Thursday, 22 January 2015

    One of my all time favorite beers, I still spring for Heady Topper when given the choice but this is a close second!

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Guest Thursday, 22 February 2018

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