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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,126 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2126
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.53%


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:
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 added by: xlperro on 01-27-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,126 | Reviews: 835 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is not beer, it is hop juice. That said, it is the tastiest thing I have ever put in my mouth. Had on tap at Lucky Baldwins.

Appearance: Pale ale color, nice dense head. Sheet after sheet of lacing.

Smell: Massive orange juice aroma.

Taste: orange rinds on a big bed of malt. There is no noticing the 11% alcohol level. This is perfectly balanced and insanely delicious. Although there is a sweetness to this monster, it is not a sweet beer.

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, silky and delicious. Not a drop of harshness for all the long lasting and beautiful hoppiness.

I had a Avec Bons Les Vouex afterwards and could barely taste it. I could sell my soul for this.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2005 20:02:44 | More by Naerhu
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks go to RedwoodGeorge for this wonderful fresh 67.6 oz/ 2 liters of pure heaven on earth.

This baby pours a lightly hazy peach color with a nice fluffy white two finger sized head, leaves lots of lace web down my glass. For an 11% brew this nice big head was not expected but is wonderful. The growler itself is great the coolest looking growler I have seen.

Aroma is holy cow wet sticky fresh from the vine hops. Fresh pine tree dripping sticky sap all wraped in grapefruit rinds. Like sticking your head in a barrel of fresh hop. There is some bready malt underneath along with hints of spiciness. If you love hops this is for you, I have never smelled anything this good, strong and fresh before.

Taste is big full huge amounts of hops very nice lots of juicey flavors fruity and piney tingle the taste buds. Man its like chewing on fresh hops how does Vinnie get so much hop flavor in this one? Its like randalized beer without the green stuff in your teeth. OK all these hops and you would think just tounge numbing bitterness but no, it is bitter but more balanced then should be possible.There is a lingering grapefruit bitterness with hints of pine but nice bready malt base does come thru and adds some sweetness also some spice shows up but probably coming from the huge amount of hops. This one truly is a triple IPA unlike the other triple IPA that tastes more like a barley wine, nothing against Devil Dancer but this is the shit here. This is the big IIPA all should be judged by.

Mouthfeel is nice smooth big almost creamy but a little to much carbonation for creamy. The carbonation adds a touch of zest to the hops. You can almost feel the hop oils rolling over your tounge.

Drinkability is beyond great, where the hell is the 11% well after a few pours I know its there and didn't finish my growler in one night so it will kick your ass atleast for a light weight like me but you will not know it until you get up. The only thing hurting drinkability here is having to go to Santa Rosa to get more. Vinnie can you please bottle this and send some to the Vintage Cellar. I have rated one other beer a 5.0 but that was probably a mistake, no mistake here you want the best triple IPA, or double as stylized by BA, then this is the one to rule them all. Again want to thank RedwoodGeorge for this one.

Serving type: growler

09-25-2005 19:16:27 | More by mntlover
Photo of LuckySevens82
LuckySevens82

Florida

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge-ass growler courtesy of RedwoodGeorge. You are a prince among men.

Pours a hazy coppery color with a very nice, thick, almost injection molded, pure white head. Lacing and retention are both spectacular. This beer just screams drink me from the moment it hits the glass.
Smell is a hop head's wet dream. Nothing but hops, pure, unadulterated hop aroma. Well balanced and just superb. Piny, citrusy, and just a bit earthy. Some alcohol in the nose, but at 11% it's not surprising. Everything is balanced out nicely with just a hint of toffee.
Taste, again, is just amazing. This is hop juice pure and simple. What starts off slightly sweet, and a little caramelly, easly blends into a piny, bitter and downright great taste. Loads of hops in this one, that's for sure, and yet it doesn't seem overdone. I've had some DIPAs that are just acrid with hops where as this beer blends everything together so nicely it's hard to find fault. There is, of course, a slight (very slight) alcohol warming sensation as this one goes gleefully down my throat.
Mouthfeel is just what I want from a DIPA, not tooth enamel stripping, but not something that is going to feel like water going down. With the amount of hops in this it's amazing that the former isn't the case.
Drinkability is insane for the alcohol content. I could easily drink this beer all night and not have any complaints. Of course, the next morning might be a problem, but I'm sure it would be a fun night.
Overall, this is easily one of the best IPAs if not one of the best beers I've ever had. It stands to style, and takes it just one or 10 steps further than you would have thought possible. An impeccable beer from an even more impeccable brewery.

Serving type: growler

10-01-2005 00:56:01 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler split between a few people. Crystal clear golden orange body with a tall off white foamy head. Sticky and clumpy lacing galore. Huge hoppy as hell aroma that is spectacular. Pine and citric hops just bombard your nose. Some nice floral hops in there as well. Very light sweetness in the nose that seems to be just enough to make it seem balanced even though this is overflowing with hoppy goodness. The flavor is packed full of hop goodness. Very juicy with hops and it has a good amount of the hop sweetness that I taste in 120 minute but without going overboard. Citric, pine and floral earthy flavors are there in abundance. Pretty much hop juice is the way I would describe it. It’s fairly bitter but not to the point of being a palette destroyer. Mouthfeel is ridiculously smooth for the strength and the hoppiness. Just the right amount of body to it. No alcohol to be found anywhere. It couldn’t be any more drinkable, it almost went down like water. While most of my other favorite double IPAs are the smack you around and rip your tongue out kind this one manages to be a super refined and smooth hop bomb that managed to stay balanced and still hoppy as hell.

Serving type: growler

10-20-2005 18:02:52 | More by meathookjones
Photo of sloejams
sloejams

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to have a friend bring me a growler of this, last month after a trip to Northern California. Immediately after opening the growler the hop punch hit me. A bouquet of hops almost overwhelm me. It poured a golden haze while the aroma continued to permeate my senses. The balanced foam head filled out what looked to be a picturebook painting of what a pint should look like. The scents still swimming around my nose: piney, gorgeous hops with a slight citrus undertone. It was a complex aroma that was truly remarkable.

My first sip completed everything. The aroma perfectedly made it’s way to the taste: it was a complex delight of many flavors, including a slight sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit creamy, well carbonated but decidedly easy drinking for it’s 11% ABV.

This is as closed to a perfect beer as it can come, possibly the best beer I’ve ever had.

Serving type: growler

11-21-2005 01:19:29 | More by sloejams
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SwillinBrew

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To me, this is the perfect beer. I've since had 7 growlers of it from Hollingshead and am finally reviewing.

A - a rich honeyish amber color with a little apricot with a creamy smallish egg white head. Many little buggles dance in my goblet.
S - solid wall of floral pine assail my nose. Very crisp and present aroma that opens up as the beer warms down a bit. Scent does punch you in the nose in a good teasing way... oh this teasing.
T - the scent segues to a delicious meadow of flowery citrus that says hops, pine and grapefruit live here. Enter if you dare, and you do. Strongly hopped but remarkably balanced per se. The malt backbone allows the hops to really shine, like salt added to cookie dough. There is a faint hint of alcohol that is hidden very well so watch out.
M&Dr - nicely carbonated and a bit viscous, ambrosia i say. This is one aggressive beer not for the faint hearted and definitely meant to be appreciated. Sip this with delight.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2006 06:30:10 | More by SwillinBrew
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: A Growler freshly plundered and expertly filled at Hollingshead Deli in Orange this past weekend.

Appearance: A massive thrupp resounded from the RRBC Growler, only the proper Growler for this one! Hey this is a little darker than I recall from earlier rounds of this one, though that was in Bars and my mind can play tricks on me. Fiercely examined at close quarters with a sober light, this has a soft lush fettered peach skeleton with a nectarine body that exhibits some faded gold wedding ring flashes. Shear white head, rises boldly, it will fight you if you want. Nice off-white lacing and fresh carbonation lend a lively “young” feel to this one. Gentle swirls reveal the true nature of this brew. A milky mélange settles out to reveal the dog’s hoppy bollocks. Hard to knock.

Nose: Mmmm, I just burnt out my Septum…..4 lines of Pliny the Younger and that’s it. Dilated nostrils and hop oils trickle down the back of my throat. Fresh cut ferociously rubbed hops straight from the vine rubbed in the palms. I’ll whiff this one for weeks…..least I hope so.

Taste: The bell tolls and I am sure I get my lights punched out way before the ringing in my ears dissipates. The hops are intense, but unlike other “hop bombs” the overt yet fine-tuned balance is shattering in its perfect balance. The malts lay under the see-saw and act like the ideal fulcrum for the alcohol and bitterness. The piney Pliny has the hoppiness, but it’s in check, and it just pumps you relentlessly. I love it.

Mouthfeel: Now you’re playing with the Big Boys. A Wolf in Fairies clothing of sorts. Hard but soft. “Oh my Grandma, what big hairy balls you have”, “All the better to fuck you senseless with my dear….”. This one will get you, even if you ain’t wearing a red hood.

Drinkability: Half the Growler has gone and it’s getting to 1pm, I better leave the rest of this one for later…..no I really should,…..I must not drink any more……work tomorrow……Growler back in fridge…..must go to Bed…..don’t clean teeth…taste and dream HOPS…..I am so fucking tempted to drain this Growler and take a day off work tomorrow!! What’s the bet that I wake up on the Sofa at 5am with an empty Growler!?

Overall: My first Review of this marvel was for a Pub based experience, far from accurate I am sure, but I just wanted to record and portray the experience rather than the technicalities. But now, sat at home with my very own Russian River Growler that started life with Deification barely 6 weeks ago, it is now staring at me like a corner-hanging panty waving crack whore touting for business. I can’t think of anything except, what is wrong with this, what could be better?! (The beer that is not the whore). Well, it could be easier to get a hold of for a start, and, erm, well that’s it. I’m sure this has just got better since I last tried it too.

Perfect!? I….think…..so…..but why do I feel reluctant when I type that? Perhaps because it means the end of a beer journey in a way maybe!? Well not quite, I’m sure that today’s 5.0 will be tomorrows 4.75 when the next marvelous Ambrosia to come out of Santa Rosa appears and realigns the envelope. Change is the only constant, but right now I’d settle for this being a constant in my life.

Utterly Remarkable, Staggeringly Brilliant and Classically Definitive!!

Serving type: growler

02-09-2006 08:58:30 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received from the BA's BA, RedwoodGeorge, as part of his recent Home Bottling Project. Thanks a million George for bringing smiles to this hoppy beer lover, along with many others.

Electric tangerine with juicy pineapple edges. The French vanilla canopy is three fingers in height and looks incredibly thick, rich and creamy. There's been very little deflation in the several minutes since the pour and it appears as if the head will last forever. I don't have forever, though, because I'm dying to take a sip. It eventually melts just enough to reveal a thick, sticky coat of lace with a few dots of visible glass. I prefer dirty, hop-flecked DIPAs, but this one is more than superb.

The nose is, without question, one of the best in all of beerdom. I was pretty sure that it would be pure hoppy bliss... and it is. And then some. There's an incandescent, brain-filling explosion of the sweetest, juiciest hops imaginable each time I venture anywhere near the glass. Thankfully, the malt is buried without a trace, allowing the hops to work their incredible, lupulinirific magic. One of the best of all-time.

Pliny The Younger is a gorgeous, unbelievably delicious Double IPA. There's no question in my mind that this style should be all about the hops. Those that favor the caramel malty, more balanced side of the DIPA continuum, edging into barleywine territory, miss the opportunity to brew transcendent, explosively hop-centric beer, the likes of which is sitting before me right now. Make no mistake, this one is all about the hops. And hops. And more hops.

There's a solid, sugar cookie-like maltiness that lays down an unshakable base and provides support for whatever tonnage of hoppage that may be thrown its way. The trick is in laying off any hint of toastedness or caramel-like flavors that would dilute or mask the citric hoppiness. Lightly (and I do mean lightly) brown sugar-crusted candied grapefruit peel abounds, along with a blissful bitterness that is unrelenting in its pithy intensity.

I may be able to appreciate the slightest hint of bitter orange, but white grapefruit is front, center and side-to-side. I'd love to know what varieties comprise the hop bill, but it's pretty obvious that the best hops in the known universe (one or more of the 4-Cs) are represented in a major way. I just can't get over the liquid candy-like, sweet and bitter, unalloyed nature of the hoppiness. Pliny is everything that you've heard it is and is everything that I hoped it would be.

It's nearly impossible to completely bury a 10.5% ABV, but Russian River has given it a Hurculean effort. I'm not sure that I'd want the alcohol to be completely absent since it provides a power and presence that lets you know that this is a serious beer that must be respected. Hell, I repect it for the flavor alone. Maybe it's my elation at the out-of-this-world taste, but I'm halfway through the bomber and I'm barely feeling it. This is the most drinkable 10.5%'er ever!

The mouthfeel is simply perfect. Mouthfillingly full with an incredible lasting stickiness after the swallow. Lushly sappy is my favorite sort of DIPA mouthfeel and this beer fits that descripton to a 'T'. When it comes to the carbonation, I have to give credit to RedwoodGeorge for the amazing re-bottling effort. I had some qualms that PTY would be over-carbonated, but that hasn't been borne out in the actual drinking. It's perfect: enlivening without being the least bit spritzy, fading to muted by the second half of the bomber.

I held off on contacting RedwoodGeorge for a trade that would have brought me a growler of Pliny The Younger because I knew that I would love this beer more than any other that I've ever had and wanted to experience it in Santa Rosa, as it should (ideally) be experienced. When the opportunity came my way, however, thanks entirely to George's incredible generosity, I just couldn't turn down the chance to try one of the world's best.

Before cracking the crown, I told myself that there was no way I could give perfect scores to a beer that had been re-bottled from a keg, no matter how outstanding. I'm glad to report that I was wrong. Pliny The Younger is a remarkable beer that transcends any attempt on my part to put its magnificence into words. I still plan to make it out to Santa Rosa some day. When I do, I'm going to ask the Alstroms to come up with a rating scale that includes sixes, 'cause I'm gonna need 'em.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2006 23:40:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had every batch of Pliny the Younger and I wasn't about to miss out on this latest one.

The beer poured a rich golden color with a small white head that quickly turned into a small lace.

The aroma of this beer was bursting with amazingly fresh hops. Pine and heavy citrus (tangerine, grapefruit, and pineapple) were there in abundance. The alcohol was there to help carry the aroma up and away.

The flavor of the beer had an intense, yet incredibly rounded hop profile that blended many hop flavors. A myriad of citrus fruits were there, but tangerine was the heaviest. Many double IPAs have hop profiles that are good, but one dimensional. PTY had a multi-dimensional hop flavor. The malt profile was clean and sweet. Mostly 2 row pale malt with some light notes of caramel malt.

The mouthfeel was medium/light with a rich creaminess that worked so well for this beer. I'm assuming corn sugar and Carapils malts were used in this beer which made it crisp and dry, yet still dextrinous enough to never be thin.

The carbonation was fine and tight.

This beer is a masterpiece. This latest batch seems like the finest to me. The hop profile is a little different and improved from previous batches. I'm fortunate enough to live close to several places that have this beauty tapped. Life is good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2007 23:26:39 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden-amber in the glass with the faintest hop haze and a quarter-inch of white froth. Head retention is very good for such a high gravity beer, and the brightness and clarity are impressive.

The hop aroma is huge. Very resiny like Elder, but with a slightly greater sugary malt presence. Notes of pine and tropical fruit from the hops, the depth is outstanding and there's barely a hint of sweetness despite the staggering 11% ABV.

Plenty of juicy, resiny hops in the taste, but they're expertly balanced by the light malt backbone. Zesty and fruity hop flavors mix with notes of peach, pineapple and biscuit. A puckering hop bitterness comes out in the finish, overpowering the malt and drying the palate slightly.

Sticky, lightly oily with semi-crisp carbonation. Dry and bitter but displaying amazing balance, the bitterness never becomes wearying and the alcohol is hardly noticeable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 20:55:08 | More by largadeer
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2-13-08
On tap at Hollingsheads, poured into a Chimay goblet, transparent rich golden orange with not much foam. The smell is earthy but mostly citrusy hops. Pine citrus leafy hop taste. You get a nice bitterness in the end but its not overpowering. The mouthfeel is really good as there's not too much of a syrupy feel to it. There is a nice level of carbonation that is just prickly enough. This is about as drinkable as any triple or even double IPA could be. The high alcohol hits me but doesn't stop me from ordering another. I'm going back for more in a couple days.
5/4.5/5/5/4.5

4-15-08
I was able to revisit Younger at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe and must say that it's now my favorite IPA of any kind out there. The aroma really hit even more today as fresh citrus and pine and it was again exceptional. I think it deserves a 5 overall.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2008 04:32:06 | More by MiScusi
Photo of rkuhnel
rkuhnel

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While in Santa Rosa I visited the brewpub and filled my Growler, brought it home and poured a small glass. I have waited a long time for this to be available and it was worth the wait. Without a doub this is the best over the top DIPA I have ever partaken, and this is my favorite beer type. Poured a hazy gold tending toward orange with a soap suds head that left big chucks of lacing. Huge citrus hops nose, and a rich mouthfeel that feels like port wine on the palate. Flavors are citrus hops and the finish is long and bitter, but enjoyably so. I was prepared to be disappointed after the long wait, but this is the best brew ever for me. So sad I only have a growler. I really love this beer. I was going to save a 5.0 for the very best. This is it!

Serving type: growler

02-24-2008 03:59:30 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of Jedimaster1
Jedimaster1

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank on-tap at Stone Brewing (Just freakin' 8oz pint glass. I want BIGGER!!!).

A: A cloudy golden color. Very hazy with a head that lasts for the duration of the brew.

S: Hops and malt. Nice sweet smell that lets you know what's to come.

T: All I need to say is, WOW! The balance between the hops and the malt is exceptional. Great use of them to make this the best brew I have had yet.

M: Nice.

D: Too easy for an 11% abv brew. I could drink 10 of these if it weren't for the fact I knew about the alcohol contained here. It is masked exceptionally well.

Conclusion: I like this one better than the Elder, but not by much. These are the two best brews I have ever had! Got to try it if you haven't already! Good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2008 20:23:44 | More by Jedimaster1
Photo of paytoplay
paytoplay

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes a beer kept in such high regard can falter when actually faced with reality. This beer somehow became even better than the old stories I had heard for years befor having the chance to try it out.

The same DNA as the "Elder" but richer, velvity, and the best finish I've ever experienced with a beer ever. Aroma is also lifting, needed as the light in color beer is still huge in style and hop weight. Magic hops maybe? There is no other way to explain it. Please please please bottle this beer!!

This tasting note is from O'Briens Pub in San Diego back when this was released in Feb or March. That's how memorable it was. And with the Elder to be bottled very shortly, Pliny "Elder" will finally be available to the masses. For good or bad?!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2008 22:26:06 | More by paytoplay
Photo of NewSc2
NewSc2

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect 5 you say?! Well, I'll let you guys in on a little secret. I cheated a little bit, filling out these scores. Don't tell anybody, though... the truth is, I may have had beers that looked better than Pliny the Younger. (/sarcasm)

Whew.

Now that's over with, let me start the worshipping of this beer. This beer is easily in my top 3 beers I've ever had. I've had great, huge, stinging barley wines laced with wood and whiskey, but no beer comes close to Younger in terms of a big, balanced, delicious beer. This beer may be the best-looking, most easily-drinkable beer above 6% I've ever had. Couple that with a great taste, well, 5.

I've had this on tap at Hollingshead about a half dozen times over the past few months, and it really is a finicky beer. Some kegs Kenny taps seem a bit more stale than others. The pint I had today, though, was godly.

For all the gushing that the Pliny the Elder receives, Younger should get a waterfall. It actually has a pretty different mouth profile than the Elder, but a similar hop bouquet and complexity. For those of you who haven't tried Elder, Younger, or Blind Pig, and love IPA's, try to get your hands on these. The only experience I can compare tasting these beers with was me trying and enjoying my first glass of IPA at the Stone Brewery -- that one Ruination that made me fall in love with the IPA style. Bitterness to hide the alcohol, best served cool (not warm) to enjoy on a hot day, with fruits and malts to balance it all out. I've since moved on from Ruination, but I get to have that falling-in-love experience every time I try one of these great Russian River IPAs.

To start, Younger is a truly different IPA. Most IPA's pour somewhat clear -- Younger is very opaque and almost looks like a Hef or Belgian ale. The head is creamy, but settles down fast.

Smell might not be as complex as Elder, but it has a very different, less pine-y, and more citrus-y and sweeter nose to it. A sign of things to come.

As you take your first sip of Younger, it becomes clearly evident that this is not Elder (which, to me, is the premier DIPA). No, this is something different. To a hophead, it's very creamy, sweet, and yet still bitter and hoppy. To a casual drinker, this beer probably is supremely hopped but bearably so, with a deep taste and great feel. The complexity of the hops underlies the sweet nectary feel around your mouth. It's a pretty strong beer, but it seems Vinnie almost used a hidden alcohol hotness to blend a further dimension into the hops and malts. And that creamy feel just adds even more depth. Mmm.

Next sip -- wow! This is almost the pinnacle of mouthfeel. A taste so delicious you could swish it around your mouth until it gets warm, or you could gulp down its cool soft feel.

So you take another gulp, and another, and then you go on BA because you aren't really sure why you're feeling buzzed off of 6oz. of a tasty medium-bodied beer. Oh, that's why, it's 11%.

To the negative reviews of Younger here -- I can only assume the keg was stored differently or was from another batch. I had thought Younger didn't age that well kegged, but trying it today on tap, at least 4 months after its February '08 release, changed my mind. This keg tastes as good as the first one I had, and much better than the couple I've had in between. If you like Elder, you'll love Younger. If you're a hophead, you'll love Younger. If you love beer, well, you'll probably love Younger.

Undoubtedly, the beer that everybody will compare this one to is Pliny the Elder. Younger sacrifices some pine, grapefruit, and bitterness, and replaces it with a milky, creamy, sweeter taste and feel. Highly desirable, in my opinion.

I thought IPA's couldn't get any better than Elder, but after trying both Elder and Younger, Younger wins by a mile. When I talk about loving a Triple IPA, most people look at me and make a bitter face. Younger is not overly bitter, regardless of its IBU. Pliny the Younger sits at the summit of IPA and determines what else is worthy of being its kin.

Now I've fallen into the trap of believing a beer was great just because of its ranking (coughAbysscough), but Younger completed my search for a perfect 10 (or 5) IPA. I've read reviews that praise a certain beer, lifting it above its style, and tried them, thinking, "well, this it a great stout, but i was expecting cotton candy." But for all the hype this beer gets, I think it deserves its ranking. I haven't tried the current #1-3 beers above the #4 Younger, so I can't argue Younger's place, but to see it stand out up there, away from the Belgian ales, Stouts, and Barley Wines, means something to me.

You might not like it, but I know I do. It's the only beer I've tried that doesn't taste like it holds even half the abv it really has.

IPAs I've had: Lost Abbey 2nd Ann, Stone 10th/11th/Ruination/IPA simcoe hopped, Avery Maharaja, Alesmith, DFH 60/90, Racer 5/X, among many, many more.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2008 06:56:41 | More by NewSc2
Photo of JWD
JWD

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- this is the best looking IPA period!!!It glows.

S- WOW this along with elder is absolutly amazing, this ipa has the perfect balance of hops and malt. tons of both but the resiny, piney hops dominate in a floral paradise.

T- nothing comes close, I have yet to find someone who does not think its amazing!!!

M- perfection of the west coast style of DIPA.

D- good thing the brewery only serves in a 10oz i could have 10 of these but some other local establishments will serve you a 22oz pilsner YUM, this is my wifes favorite brew, that says something, this is what IPA is all about!!

My favorite brew to date!!!!

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2008 02:20:50 | More by JWD
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado. First keg tapping of 2009 in the yay area...Reprazent.

A: 12oz tulip chalice, light golden ambrosia with a thickish white head of pure white. Head lasts and leaves good lacing and legs.

S: Sweet, sticky, weed influenced, candy coated hops, with big light french bread malts as well.

T: holy hop monster, super sticky to the icky with tons of hops and a candy coated sweetness from the boatloads of malts.

M: Syrupy and sweet, like canned doal pears...but instead of pears..there are HOPS. Like marijuana laced beautiful candy coated candy coloured goodnes. The mouthfeel is sticky, icky, and full and it COATS your mouth...for real.

D: I can drink this all day and all night. It goes down WAY too easy for a 10 + % abv brew. I just slammed two of these with Jen in like 20 minutes...haha..every year, I drink too much of it, and every year it gets me drunk on the cheap...!

ENJOY this shit while it's around...! for real...it will be gone within the next 10-14 days...seriosuly. Get some PTY action YO

For Realz.

Jam Master F

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2009 07:45:42 | More by francisweizen
Photo of ironlung
ironlung

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap@Toronado S.F. on 2-6-09(Good times Joe...good times!)
Warmed up with a pint of his uncle to be able to fully appreciate the differences...
Looks lighter in hue and less haze than his uncle PtE. Smell is a big dose of hops, no malt or alcohol comes through. Taste is nothing short of spectacular! Just so easy to quaff, but with each drink you feel yourself getting more and more buzzed. This is hands-down the best triple IPA. It's just so smooth and rounded you feel like you can drink it 'till the cows come home. Then before you know it your on your thrid one and crossed-eyed, stumbling out looking for a cab! I'm knida glad they don't bottle this one(yet) because I could see myself going overboard on this beer(literally, I ride the ferry everyday). People go wild over this beer with good reason, it's the best! I thank my lucky stars(and curse them at the same time)that I live in the bay and get to have all these awsome RR beers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 23:12:06 | More by ironlung
Photo of hophead247
hophead247

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a tap into a 4 ounce taster glass...Finally had my chance to taste The Younger, and oh my GOD, what a day to remember. First the sample, then meeting Vinnie...the brewer himself.

This ale poured an amber color with a nice thick white head. Like the Elder, this ale was very clear and clean with no sediment at all.
The smell was of fresh hops...citrusy and crisp. One word describes the taste...PHENOMENAL!!! Like the Elder, this ale hides its alcohol content very well and has the perfect balance of malts and hops. I wanted to ask Vinnie how he does it, but refrained. At 10.75% I thought this would be tougher to drink, but I was wrong. It's definitely not one to chug, but to savor, for this is one ale that people will remember for years to come.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2009 05:51:36 | More by hophead247
Photo of RustyDiamond
RustyDiamond

Georgia

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Half pint at Russian River on 02.06.09. Board behind bar listed PiY as 10.5% with GOBS under the I.B.U. One of the most unique colors of beer I have ever seen. No head in sight and the glass was glowing orange. All I could do was stare for a few minutes. While doing this, I could smell Younger from a foot away. Crazy giant boozy grapefruit whiffs. Really. Chewy as hell. Grapefruit taffy. Cascade spearmint jolly rancher. Enormous whopper of a DIPA. Exceptionally drinkable for the size. Had a tulip of Younger Sunday night @ Toronado and could have had 6 more. But what's the point? This beer is the shit.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2009 17:58:17 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of popery
popery

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful. It's chock full of hop flavor. I've had a number of DIPAs, and this beer expresses hop flavor better than any beer that I've ever tasted.

I'm currently tasting this beer against Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. It's an interesting comparison, but the flavor profiles are quite similar. Pliny the Younger tastes a lot like Pliny the Elder, just as Blind Pig tastes like Pliny the Elder. Each beer steps up the strength and intensity of hop flavor. Blind Pig to Pliny the Elder is a smaller step than Elder to Younger but not substantially so.

Hops are the star in the flavor department. They are citric, piny and very floral. The citrus is grapefruit, orange and tangerine mixed with pineapple. The pine is dark and resiny, like sap. I don't know flowers well enough to identify the floral aspect beyond wonderful wildflowers.

There is a strong malt backbone that allows this much hop flavor to come through. Is this beer balanced? I would say so, but the malt does not express the same complexity and assertiveness of the hops. That is not to say the malt isn't strong or is bad. The malt is actually wonderful. It's like a caramel cookie swirled into a fine hop tea.

The alcohol is in this beer is exceptionally well-hidden. I'm giving this beer a perfect score, in part, because I can't imagine a way that this beer could be differ and be better for it. I say that because I can't imagine this beer without the same strength. I guess the alcohol is present, but it's not unpleasant in any way.

The color is very close to Elder and Blind Pig, which is to say golden-amber and wonderful. The aroma is very hoppy, with the flavors as previously described. The feel is also exceptional, almost oily with hop essence. Sorry, just trying to get through the other categories.

I should probably end this as I just finished my second glass out of the growler (not to mention some Blind Pig and Elder), and I can certainly feel it. It's a great beer. Try it if you can. I hope that they start bottling it. I can't imagine that they couldn't turn a profit on bottles. I know it's expensive to produce, but you can charge a pretty penny nowadays for a bottle of beer. Anyway, great beer.

Serving type: growler

02-17-2009 02:19:25 | More by popery
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't give up all 5's very often but this one deserves it.
Pours out really clean and clear with two fingers of white suds. Pine tree in a bottle here. I mean the oily pine shit you get on your hands after cutting down a pine tree. Very strong pine smell in other words.
Tastewise, the bitterness hits first with a blackness from hades. You get used to it really quickly. Then the pine smell is twice as strong.And the malt and mellowness take over.
Really a complicated drink here.
Mouthfeel is perfect and you never know you have had an 11% beer in your hands. This is the perfect mouthfeel for an IPA.
Drinkability should be lower since you can't get this all the time. In fact, this year it only lasted 12 days. This is a travesty!
This is the perfect IPA for now. I can't wait for the beer to beat this one!

Serving type: growler

02-20-2009 01:25:59 | More by peabody
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have long since given up on milestone beers. That being said this beer is a milestone all on its own so I am going to make it review 900. It has been my holy grail for the past year or so and a great big fucking thanks goes out to Talisker for once again hooking a brother up!

I owe you.

Being the good guy I am I took it to the local tasting group for all to enjoy.

A: Pours an ultra clear golden hue that is actually fairly light for the style. Bold creamy head quickly rises to a nice solid cap. Good retention, lots of lace and fizz when swirled. This one begs to be drank.

S: Holy hops batman! This baby is pure hop juice. Huge hop aroma with wonderful scents jumping out at you. Juicy orange and sweet apricot play well with peach and grapefruit. Green grass cuts through along with an absolute bouquet of flowers.

T: The malt in this beer must be ridiculous for the balance to be so spot on despite the insane amount of hops. Nice sweet caramel malt peeks through but trust me there is much more going on here in the malt department. That being said it has no chance to shine. The hops plow through with the malt doing its best just to provide balance... which it does quite nicely. The hop flavors are like nothing I have ever tasted. Sweet, Citrus, and Floral are all there. Sun sweet apricot and peach really stand out with notes of sweet mango. The green grass cuts through and seems to duel with sweet orange and bitter grapefruit. To call this beer complex would be an understatement. To call it great would be a crime. It is sooo much more and even better I could ever imagine.

M: Full bodied, rich, thick, smooth. It coats the mouth and throat with sweet and bitter fruit that just lingers and lingers. Pure sex in a bottle.

D: I had two full glasses and if there had been more I would have had a third. That being said I was fine drinking all the beers at the tasting. When finished with this one I was bombed, yet there was no hint of the ABV in the flavor.

Huge aromas, and out of this world flavor. This is one many will try to duplicate but will no doubt fall short.

It is worthy of that holy grail title. The best beer in the world? I would say so at least for now. The good news is my boy ibrew2or3 brought a growler home with him from his trip to Cali. I get a second round with this bad boy tomorrow. Life could not be better.

Give an arm, a leg, your first born. Get this one you will be glad you did. Talisker you rock man, I owe you big time!

Serving type: growler

02-25-2009 00:01:32 | More by tpd975
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Brien's, once again. Served in 10oz. glasses, a brilliant yellow gold with pristene clarity and a pure white 1/4" foam head.
It looks so inviting, especially when you know what your getting into.

Sweet hoppiness greets the nose. Citrus nectar of grapefruit, tangelo, honeysuckle, pine and peppermint, permeate the nose. The best hop smell in an ale, ever!

The taste is unlike any 2X IPA, once you get to know it. Sweet hoppiness reigns with tangy citrus and somewhat sappy pine leading the way. In steps a slight malt note, followed by a fresh peppermint and lightly bitter finish. Balanced and clean throughout...best hop flavor ever.

Medium bodied with the alcohol burried within the complex flavor. The carbonation is subtle yet perfect...refreshing as cool spring water. This brew is way too drinkable...there will never be to much hype put on this ale, it's the best in it's class, bar none.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2009 03:11:05 | More by scottoale
Photo of tubbnik
tubbnik

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap at the Local 44 event.

A - Served in 33cl Chimay goblet. Georgous golden color, slightly hazy, with soft foam head.

S - Almost 100% grapefruit. I prefer my hops to lean to the citrus side of the spectrum, and I just couldn't ask for a better first whiff.

T - Ditto the smell. Fresh grapefruit rind. Sweet candy. Alcohol is superbly well hidden.

M - Creamy smooth. Not too viscous for such a high malt content. Very nice carbonation.

D - Very Very good. While 11%, Younger never forces you to take small sips. A half a mouthful or more is a very reasonable dose.

It looks like my quest to find the most citrusy-perfect IIPA has ended. Younger is truly the standard (perhaps unfairly) that all future IIPAs will be judged against.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2009 16:23:44 | More by tubbnik
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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,126 ratings.