Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Educational use only; do not reuse.

894 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 894
Hads: 2,762
Avg: 4.67
pDev: 13.06%
Wants: 5,715
Gots: 304 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 01-27-2005

Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder’s nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time and space consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don’t make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 894 | Hads: 2,762
Photo of santomark
4.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FIrst let me say that the hype surrounding this beer is disgusting. RR should request all distributors of this beer sell their tickets online with a first come basis, like Ticketmaster does with concerts. This reduces overcrowding and near riot environments for the bar establishment. The environment is like christmas week on steroids. Lines are ridiculous long to wait in. I saw a woman in her last trimester of pregnancy drink this. One bar I was at allowed more pours. Which is cool more pours right? No, there were a ton of fights to get that 3rd pour and 2 car accidents from people trying to leave the bar. And the practice of making people check in at 5pm to tap at 8pm, benefits the bar financially, but does the safety of consumers and the public a real disservice. This beer is like a rivalry game, what was good fun has turned sour.

As for my review. Great clear body, ridiculously sticky, pleasant overwhelming hop profiles, and a small burn at the end for warmth. This is a sipping beer for sure.

Please don't give me a lot of hate for this review. All of us who've experience The Younger Games can vouch for how absurd the experience is. PLEASE READ THIS RUSSIAN RIVER.

 1,188 characters

Photo of HBPierside
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrific triple IPA. Waited in line for as few hours and was able to get three glasses along with Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Overall was well worth the wait. The beer looked, smelled and had a very smooth chock full of flavor taste and feel. Too bad the availability is so limited.

 285 characters

Photo of Gerad_12
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Stood in line back in February at Samuel Hornes in Folsom, Ca. The 2 hour wait was well worth it. Amazing IPA. Great nose, feel, and taste is incredible especially considering the 11%

 188 characters

Photo of K4550
4.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the tapping at the South Philly Taproom in Philadelphia. Full blown blizzard, everyone was out of work for the day. The line wasn't too bad, only about 30 people at 930ish for a 10am tapping (the line grew a ton in the last 10 minutes however). Pours were $10, first come first serve, keg was kicked in 19 minutes. Color was a beautiful orange-y gold, head was thin. Served (unfortunately) in a skinny taster glass so I couldn't get much in the way of the nose (or maybe it was because I waited outside forever in the freezing cold). Taste was a little dank, but with some citrus. Sticky but had a fresh bouquet of hops on the back end that balanced everything out. Was tasty and I can see what the hype is about, but I don't think I'd be willing to stand in line for more than an hr to get a pour. Definitely a bucket list/BA Top 250 experience though for anyone who hasn't tried it yet.

 897 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pliny the Younger on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, fifteen dollars for 6.5oz, cash only for Alex's Lemonade charity. for charity, 10.5% ABV

App: ½ finger head, some floaties, soapy bubbles. Low retention. Orange-tropical color.

Smell: Intoxicating! Citrus, tropical aromas, pineapple juice, dank and sticky. Pomelo bitterness and lovely tartness. Fresh-squeezed OJ.

Taste: More of that pepperiness, super spicy, pineapple cake, piney. Don Limpio. Orange rind. Aggressive hops, lip-smacking. Oily, resin, like licking sap.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation, could use more bubbles. Dry, sticky finish, need water! Spicy, peppery all around- not too pleasant.

Overall: Very drinkable! Like water, poundable. World-class? Not so, but delicious. Worth trying once or twice, but I wouldn’t go crazy or stand on line for it. There are many wonderful Triple IPA’s out there these days… (Knee Deep is making some killer ones!).

 949 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If not for the lines around this beer I would like it even more. There are some amazing IPAs out there without a 3 hour hype train. Maybe I wish I could just get more though.

 176 characters

Photo of deepsleeper
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a much more unique depth of flavor than Elder did. Much fresher too, cuz obviously, it is consumed within days of release. Aroma was particularly alluring. I wouldn't wait 8 hours like some people do for it, but there's really nothing that compares in terms if IPA. I recommend you get to whatever venue it's hosting earlier than two hours before tapping, or wait in line with the other hundreds.

 400 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on opening day Feb 6, 2015 after waiting in line for 4.5 hrs in the pouring rain. It is a spectacular beer to have straight from the source. Although a very high abv it does not taste alcohol forward and is truly balanced with a good amount of hops on your tongue, a bit of grapefruit follow through and a floral scent. Had a great time drying off and warming up and 3 10oz pours along with some Elder and Blind Pig hit the spot. It is a special beer worth the effort.

 477 characters

Photo of itsThatBoyE
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on opening day Feb 6, 2015. Waited from 5:00 AM around 70th in line. Had 3 10oz pours. This beer definitely lived up to the hype. I've had plenty of triple IPAs and this was hands down the best. And much better than similar ABV double IPAs. The balance of malty backbone with bitter hops was perfection. 0 alcohol whatsoever. Each sip made you desperate for more. Definitely going back.

 395 characters

Photo of rongcsc
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this in 2013. Waited in line for almost four hours and it was well worth the wait. The taste was as good or better than any beer I'd had up to then. Since then I've had beers I like more but it is certainly world class.

 226 characters

Photo of James_Michaud91
4.05/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big hop aromatics are the star of the show for sure. Just a touch too sweet and syrupy for my taste. Especailly considering what it takes to get a scant 4oz pour of this beast I'll take the Elder any day of the week.

 216 characters

Photo of AJKing
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer manages to do the "look" well - pale straw, makes you anticipate a pils if you just saw the glass but had nose plugs in. Take those nose plugs out though - big floral and citrus aromas, some pine. Once you take a swig, the taste transforms into a berry/pine marijuana flavor on the tongue. Mouth is smooth, and dry. Overall, this hop combination has likely been perfected, and better beers only occur because they approach with different combos.

 457 characters

Photo of ryaneasterling
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very good, very strong. Don't drink before your wait in line, otherwize you will be the silly person. If you are that person, it's ok. My friend James thought he was drugged, there is a limit for a reason. Also, Younger is a masterpiece of the modern style. Check out the current champ on a weeknight and you'll only have to wait a half hour or so.

 353 characters

Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A great beer. Great floral and citrus scents. Dry finish with overall low boosiness. Great marketting makes this beer highly sought after. I have tried it three times 2015 being the best.

 187 characters

Photo of Dgc3043
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 2015 batch was significantly better than the 2014, in my opinion. In 2014 my friends and I enjoyed younger but wouldn't have put it as a top beer, however, in 2015 the experience was completely different. The floral smell at the start told us this was a different brew. It was smooth with an overall amazing taste. Hard to believe it was over 10%. By far, the best beer I've had.

 386 characters

Photo of jow_42
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8oz pour @ Pizza Port Carlsbad during the Younger tapping

A - Pours a dark amber color. No head on the glass we got since they were pouring and walking them out to us. It had dissipated by the time we got it. Looks very similar to Elder.

S - Sweet hops. Tropical fruits, pine. The 11% is no where to be found.

T - I must say this is the smoothest triple I have ever had. Again, sweet hops up front, lots of pineapple, underneath the sweetness is a piney, resinous, dank note. People say its like Elder cranked up, and I can see that. As it warmed, much more bitterness came out, as well as some candied orange.

O - Did this live up to the hype? Yes. Its delicious. Best triple I have had. Would I wait hours on hours for a small pour of this? Probably not.

 775 characters

Photo of witschen
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Late review - tasted at Toronado in 2013. Blown away by mellowness of this high abv double (triple?) IPA. Hops are big but not overwhelming. Lives up to the hype.

 162 characters

Photo of chrisjws
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

10oz pour at Britannia Arms Almaden in late February. Served in a lowball glass.

A: Medium to dark orange in color. 1/2 a finger of head that dissipated quickly. Clear, not cloudy in the least. Great looking beer, very similar in appearance to Elder.
S: Malty sweetness right upfront with pine and tropical fruit. Passion fruit, orange, tangerine come through as well. No alcohol to be found in the aroma, the 11% doesn't come through even a little bit. Catty aromas from the simcoe are definitely present.
T: Sweet pineapple upfront, pine, and malts. Tropical flavors in the middle mouth and finish. Little bit of bitterness but not very much.
M: Big mouthfeel, this is the only place where the size of the beer really comes through. Medium carbonation and a clean finish.
O: This one lives up to the hype. An incredibly well crafted triple. Easy drinking, smooth and delicious.

 881 characters

Photo of blues_fever
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For not being an IPA fan, this Triple IPA is something that I wish you could purchase in a bottle. Tap availability only makes it taste that much better, sucks for those who do not get Russian River.

 199 characters

Photo of Wendt
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, had to find out what the hype was all about. Waited 90 minutes and was told I was a genius for going on a Tuesday. The nice thing is, Russian River only allows in as many as can be seated (none of the usual madhouse, quite civilized) and they charge the normal pricing for it (and are proud of it! Truly a labor of love!). Background: I'm not a hoppy guy. Doppelbocks, stouts, porters, ciders are where I live. This beer changed all that. Smooth, amazingly smooth with a hoppy finish at the back / center of the tongue. Not overpowering at all in taste but packs a punch at 10%. Very much worth the wait. Best beer I've ever had? Yes. Easily the best IPA. Got to enjoy seven (10 oz) glasses this year and I'll be back for more next year.

 757 characters

Photo of Urda
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the greatest beer known to man. If you can get a chance to enjoy Younger, you need to jump on that chance right away!

Uh Not sure what @GregSpeaksHisMind is smoking but I'll have what he's having. Protip: If you have to claim your taste is "impeccable", it isn't.

 271 characters

Photo of Dawgboned37
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

FINALLY tracked this one down! 7oz pour into a tulip glass. Floral and light citrus nose. Resinous and a bit piney with some heat from the booze, but amazingly well balanced for a big 11% triple IPA. I understand the hype... this beer was very solid!

 254 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.27/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer I thought I'd never get to try. 64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear orange body with a small white head. A few wisps on the surface and a thin collar.

Smell - Orange. Some pine hops. Lots of caramel malt, but doesn't smell all that sugary.

Taste - Tastes like an amped up Pliny. Orange hops up front. Sweet pale malts. A touch of booze. Pine hops build in the back end with a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Not a sugar bomb, which I was afraid of. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Glad I got to try it. It's very good. I'd take a lot of things over it, especially if it avoids a trip to CA to get a taste.

 663 characters

Photo of Phishyninja
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wait was 2 1/2 hours, weather was perfect (as usual) and we got seated right away on the patio. I got an Elder to taste side by side, and was surprised to find Elder to be a better beer in every way. And Elder isn't even the best IPA on tap every day! Still, I had a great time and probably will too. Just don't expect to have your mind blown, Younger is good but this is an over-hyped release that owes its weeks of long lines to those who suffer from FOMO.

Row 2 however, is the bomb.

 491 characters

Photo of MichaelPhiladelphiaBeer
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wine glass on tap, pre purchased to avoid crowds.

Surprisingly disappointing nose but hard for the beer not to be disappointing given all the hype. Nice, little fruity, not too overpowering.

Mouth feel standard, little less bubbles than average.

Light pretty pour with a small head

Taste was clean - reminded me a bit of heady topper. Couldn't really taste the alcohol - definitely a nice bitter clean ending which somehow reminded me of a stainless steal finished white wine.

 483 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.