Russian River Pliny the Elder

Beer Shopping Trip

Another half day Friday at work…sorta. Had a very early morning and an afternoon meeting after I had already gone home. My half day turned into 2 hours (max) really off. This evening got exciting though. After some brief Christmas shopping we hit up our local liquor store Julios. I came home with a mixed six pack. WOO HOO.

Pliny the Elder

Last night I mentioned on Twitter that I had a bottle of Pliny the Elder in the fridge and it had been there for a few weeks. I immediately caught flak from a large number of people. The beer apparently isn’t supposed to be aged (see above label). OOPS!

This beer has all kinds of hype around it. It’s availability is pretty limited. My buddy Adam got me a bottle of the stuff probably 4-6 weeks ago and I forgot about it! My bad.

The label says to drink fresh, or not at all, so I guess I’ll just water my plants with the Pliny…

Pliny the Elder

OK, just kidding. I’m reviewing it anyway. It was bottled almost exactly 2 months ago. Not super fresh, but not super aged either.

To all the beer douches who are about to yell at me for “ruining” an awesome beer, don’t bother. IT’S JUST A BEER. /rant off

Pliny the Elder

Ranting and joking aside, I am excited to try the beer. Many would say it’s being wasted on me. I’m not a hop head, and prefer sweet beers. Once again…whateverrrrrr (spoken like a valley girl).

Pliny the Elder

I’m actually surprised that I don’t dislike the beer. Although super piney, it’s super smooth too. It’s almost like putting hops in your mouth, minus abrasive overpowering flavor. Very interesting how they have achieved such a pure hop flavor, but little actual bitterness.

I can see why people are bonkers for the beer. They definitely have done something interesting here. I’m glad I got to try it, and might even give it another go given the opportunity. Maybe even with a fresh bottle. :)


Pliny the Elder

Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

6 thoughts on “Russian River Pliny the Elder”

  1. There’s so much hype surrounding Pliny the Elder, you want to try it just to see what the fuss is about. It’s a pretty good imperial IPA, one of the best for all the reasons you cite above, but you can find some better ones, in my not so humble opinion, if you simply don’t follow the hype.

  2. You have no idea how lucky you are and how envious I am! 😉

    I recently had my very first Russian River (The Blind Pig IPA) a couple weeks back and it was fantastic though not as fresh as it should have been. I have yet to try or for that matter get my hands on any Pliny The Elder or anything else Russian River yet.

    I’m telling you there are two breweries that when I finally get my hands on…it’s going to be an epic scene. Russian River’s Pliny The Elder’s and anything Goose Island.


  3. I actually liked their Blind Pig IPA better than the Pliny. I’ve had both the Elder and the Younger and there are definitely better beers out there. If you are looking for some westcoast beers maybe we can do a trade. I would love to get my hands on some stuff from over there. Three Floyd’s, Schafly, Founders. Let me know.

  4. I also am suspicious about overly-hyped things, including beer. My first taste of Pliny the Elder came without any preconception. It was unknown to me. I liked beer, but I never logged on to beer blogs or read about the so-called top beers on planet earth. I knew what I liked, and I knew that the standard Budweiser/Coors/Miller beers were crap, not worth wasting any money or time on. I loved almost anything that was interesting and out-of-the-norm. Sierra Nevada pale ale was my default beer at the time. So when I walked into the First Street Ale House in Livermore, Ca. for the first time one fine fall evening and asked, “What’s on tap?”, and the barkeep said, “Well, we’ve got Pliny the Elder tonight” I was interested. Loved the name because I studied ancient history in college, so I told him to hook me up with a pint. After one sip I said, out loud, “This is the best beer I’ve ever tasted.” So balanced, so fragrant, so delicious. That night started my beer odyssey, and boy, have I discovered a bunch of amazing beers. I even made the trip to Santa Rosa for the Pliny the Younger release this year (2011). But that’s a story for another day.

    1. Tom:

      Thanks for sharing your story! You hit on the heart of what LIBA is all about…all hype aside, it’s all about what you enjoy drinking!

      Hope to hear again from you!


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