Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,314 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.58/5 rDev -2.3%
Appearance This one came out a deep, rich orange in color with a monster head that just refused to go down.
Smell Oh, shit, this is da hop bomb. Ive had some pretty big hoppy beers before, to include The Chunks that requires a strainer to drink, but this thing was just huge.
Every hop, and I mean EVERY hop, that I have ever had is in this nose. The grapefruit, the citrus, the rare Simcoe, East Coast Amarillo, giant PacNW pine sap, huge monster citrus, big floral, and anything else you can think of it in this bouquet. Oh, and theres a huge, monstrous super-sugary caramel malt sweetness here as well.
Taste This is a sledgehammer made of hops striking down on the head of the barstool-affixed patron. Its not unexpected though, because this is one of their best-selling beers.
The complex hops from the nose hit hard and mercilessly at the taste. This really is like liquid hop syrup, and if youre a hophead looking for the next, biggest hop fix than the buck stops here. It really doesnt get any bigger than this.
Mouthfeel This full-bodied hop bomb is a meal in itself. Interestingly, the huge sugary caramel-infused malt balance keeps this one from being extra bitter, although significant bitterness is present.
Drinkability If The Ruination is a delicate ballerina floating on the DAIPA stage, this is a steroid-using 260 pound female bodybuilder whoopin your ass. But man oh man is this good. Somebody tried to take a sip from my glass but I knocked them out into the street. I think it was my mama.
Comments Vinnie the brewer said that he cant run Pliny The Younger with Pliny The Elder because The Elder tap gets stale. The Younger is the clear patrons choice.
He gave me the run down on the hopping of this beer, but I cant begin to remember it all. He adds a complex mix of hops at four different stages of the brewing cycle then dry-hops the beer four times with varying mixes of hops. Theres an emphasis on Amarillo and Cascade, but he has everything in here from Centennial to Simcoe to all else in between.
The beauty of this concoction is that he got it so hoppy. He did it in stages, because at some point you can keep adding hops but the IBUs dont change and you cant really taste them. It really is a work of art and an amazing accomplishment from an excellent brewer. Cheers!
03-08-2005 04:22:46 | More by RoyalT
4.43/5 rDev -5.5%
Pours a golden orange with red hues and a small off-white head.
The aroma is a bit shy at first, but looses up after a while. fruity exotic hop notes of grapefruit, peaches and mango. Then, a more peppery and piny hop character with hints of tobacco takes over. Quite a lot of caramel malts is present, as well is a hint of alcohol.
The flavor is big and intense. A wide range of flavors are present: sweet and sticky caramel malts at the base, and lots of layers of fresh hops. Exotic fruits, pine-needles, grass and resins. The finish is spectacular with a quick flare of warming alcohol, lots of bittering hops and hints of grass and peaches.
Full-bodied and sticky with a semi-dry finish.
This is a great beer. Better than Elder? Hard to decide, but the accentuated sweetness in this one sure makes them different.
05-21-2010 22:45:52 | More by ricke
4.9/5 rDev +4.5%
Ap: Hazy straw color, nice white head, fades pretty quickly, but hangs on exceptionally long for an 11% ABV brew. Collar remains indefinitely. Bubbles rise to the surface at a slow pace due to the apparent viscosity of this big brew.
Aroma: Huge resinous, ammonia-amped hop aroma. Fat, deep malts also evident. Fusel alcohol is also evident, but restrained. A gem on the nose for hopheads. Bristling with resins, pine and agro-grapefruit skins.
Taste: Fantastically big hop flavor slams the palate, but still, this is restrained when compared to their IPA or even Pliny the Elder, their double IPA. Vinnie Cirluzo is credited in some circles as the father of the double IPA, and this massive brew is billed as a triple IPA. Like the truly well done bourbons and cognacs out there, this big beer is smooth and quite elegant and deceptively potent.
Finish: Tight, drying bitterness is big, but there is actually a hefty malt backbone that somehow manages to support the huge hop load. Finishes with tons of resinous pine and hop-sap flavors with almost cloying malt and hop sweetness. Beautiful indeed.
Misc: Surprisingly easy to drink considering the hop and ABV content. I paid $26.75 for the original growler (had to buy one to fill), but couldnt afford the weight on my flight home so had to have it mailed to me for what turned out to be an unexpectedly whopping $60. So, all told, for $86.75 for the growler, Im taking my time sipping it. Thankfully the growler has a swivel-top clamp that makes for easy resealing. The most expensive brew Ive purchased considering, but still, Im gonna say its worth it to have this one in my fridge. A true indulgence and an absolute must for the hardcore hopheads out there. Genius in a bottle. I was so ridiculously jealous of the local Santa Rosans who can just walk in and order a 10-oz serving of this beer any time they want (though it's plainly stated that they're restricted to no more than 3 of the higher ABV beers per night). Lucky bastards! Service at the pub was fantastic and the gourmet pizzas were very nicely done.
09-22-2005 07:54:02 | More by AdvocateFan
4.98/5 rDev +6.2%
Finally got to try after waiting for 3 years! On-tap at Churchill's 3/3.
A: A gorgeous translucent pale gold, a thin fluffy white head and beautiful lacing...
S: Gentle hop aromas grace the nose, nothing overpowering with some hints of lemongrass.
T: Extremely pleasant taste of hops straight off, but quickly fades into faint citrus flavors. A fantastic balance of flavors.
MF/D: Wow, this beer goes down extremely smoothly for the ABV. Faint bubbles dance across the mouth dispersing the flavors equally. Definitely worth the wait and lived up to my hype. Can't wait for it again next year!
03-06-2012 04:11:38 | More by newk340
4.83/5 rDev +3%
Thanks to RedwoodGeorge for this handbottled bomber, counterpressure filled from a keg and sent off to me. Pliny The Younger pours from the bomber an amazingly clear bright orange/peach color with a half inch of frothy bubbly white head on top. Slow carbonation rises up to meet some sticky lacing. Aromas of beautiful, vibrant hop cones attack my senses with bold citrus, grapefruit and pine needle aromas. A sweet, slighty doughy caramel undercurrent is present as well. Quite possibly hop nirvana. Green, leafy, floral and quite simply enchanting. Wow.
First sip brings a rush of intense piney and citric hop oils across the palate. Bitterness establishes itself from the get go as the resinous hops relentlessly attack the palate. The underlying caramel, mildly doughy maltiness does a good job of holding things together. Such an awe inspiring amalgamation of wonderful hop flavors. Green, intense and vibrant, like sucking on a fresh hop cone. One awesomely hoppy, incredibly tasty brew, no doubt about it.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is a joy to drink. Honestly, the only hinderance to the drinkability here is the high abv, otherwise I could sit and enjoy this fabulously hoppy brew all day long. A hopheads dream come true, I only hope to have the chance to sample this again someday. Guess it's time to plan that trip to California, so I can sit and adore this one at the source. Russian River strikes again!
03-18-2006 04:08:01 | More by orbitalr0x
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
Pliny the Younger is the beer to get on tap. As an IPA drinker I am always skeptical of an IPA that gets a lot of lip and press; however, this is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. As a fan of Dreadnaught from Three Floyds, to Sculpin from Ballast Point, the Younger is a truly notable beer. Color is lacking only in the sense that I appreciate a more copper-colored IPA. You cannot beat the smell. It is a scent of heaven, both floral and fruity, and with the taste you get a hint of pine. The hops are indescribably fresh, crisp, and dry. In the event you have the luxury of making it to the Russian River Brewery for this annual beer unveiling, get there early and enjoy the ten ounce pours.
02-05-2011 17:13:50 | More by paylay32
5/5 rDev +6.6%
On tap at RRBC on Tuesday the 8th and again on Friday the 11th.
Trying very hard not to get caught up in the hype but couldn't help it.
This is one amazing beer. The perfect balance between flowery smoothness and hoppy essence you want from a DIPA.
It just tastes sooo good!
Thanks for the memories RRBC! My new gold standard to measure all others.
02-12-2011 12:18:38 | More by NWer
4.85/5 rDev +3.4%
on draught in a pint glass
A - pours a light golden color with a white head that had almost dissipated to a thin lace by the time it got to me.
S - earthy hops with some fruit. cherry and lychee.
T - lots of grapefruit then as it settles into the mouth the hops start to intensify and you wonder when they will stop. amazing how great it tastes. immediately i am putting this among the best beers i've ever tasted.
M - rich and smooth.
D - when this is being served, i'm not sure i would drink anything else.
03-26-2008 17:17:28 | More by dill
4.51/5 rDev -3.8%
On tap at pour house sacto, ca..looks a clear 24k, vibrant tiny bubbles from the bottom of the tulip glass, lots of micro bubble action..smell is pine, apricot, and white grape, some sweet fruit juice as well. Taste is exactly as the smell suggest, pine, bitter-floral hop profile, very smooth and tasty..nice punch of hops without the lingering resinous sticky feeling of beers in this same style...mouthfeel is perfect, light creamy carbonation, with slight micro bubble action on the front of the tongue which smooths out quickly on the palate.. overall a well executed and dialed in iiipa. Food paring is: savory and mild- spicy foods, suxh as indian food, lamb lollipops with basil or mint sauce, or some heavily salted/seasoned nuts.
03-04-2014 00:50:38 | More by Beerswag
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,314 ratings.