Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,272 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bulletrain76:
4.78/5 rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Multiple draught and growler samples over the past weekend. First sip last friday at the release day which was supposed to be the start of a release week, though things didn't exactly work out that way. Walking into the Russian River brewpub, the aroma hits you at once. Yes, you heard correctly; I just rated the aroma by entering the room. Elder is probably my favorite DIPA, so a side-by-side was necessary to really get a feel for its larger nephew. The color is a deep gold, going a touch darker than Elder. The head is small, with some sticky white foam lingering in a slick. Oddly enough, at first, Elder has a much more expressive aroma, leaning on more pine and pungent dankness. I do a double take on Younger: there is a touch of alcohol and orange showing but it seems pretty closed. Temperature is definitely key with this beer. Many larger DIPAs (or TIPAs in this case) seem to benefit from a cooler serving temperature that lets the hops keep the upper hand over the malt sweetness. Younger breaks that mold because it is about as dry as you can get and still maintain balance in a beer this big. I have heard that it has been sweeter in past years, but can't say firsthand how this years release compares. All that I can say is that the sweetness never becomes at all bothersome. Sure, it is evident when compared right next to Elder, which elegantly shows how dry the style can be, but it works perfectly with the massive hop load. Let the temperature come up a few degrees, and the hops become incredibly juicy and expressive, showing all kinds of orange, mango, and grapefruit. There is a similar resiny dank touch as you get in elder, but it is overall rounder, fruitier, and juicier, probably helped in part be the additional perception of sweetness. The flavor is just crazy hoppy without being at all abrasive. This is one amazingly smooth beer, with just a hint of alcohol in the finish to remind you that it is nearly eleven percent full of it. Bitterness is almost mild to start, only building to full strength toward the back of the tongue. Mildly malty and sweet, but it's pretty damn had to pick out much definable malt character over all the hops. Medium-full body with smooth carbonation. Just about the perfect consistency for a beer like this, with the hop oils contributing as much mouthfeel as anything else. Younger has a surprising amount of subtlety and balance for a beer this big and hoppy. It definitely has more nuance than most big DIPAs, and may even be a touch understated. In the end, it works perfectly just like Elder works perfectly, just from a different approach.
Serving type: on-tap
02-09-2010 05:33:50 | More by bulletrain76
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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,272 ratings.