1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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

2,438 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,438
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 4,557
Gots: 133 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Younger Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,438 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BobbysLiquors
5/5  rDev +6.8%

BobbysLiquors, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of GlassHound
5/5  rDev +6.8%

GlassHound, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of TimMack
5/5  rDev +6.8%

TimMack, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of kslsc400
5/5  rDev +6.8%

kslsc400, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of sloejams
5/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

sloejams, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of Jgrody
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Jgrody, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of Iparedman
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Iparedman, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of mightyhef
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mightyhef, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of b2611
5/5  rDev +6.8%

b2611, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of InfernoBoss
5/5  rDev +6.8%

InfernoBoss, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Aberration
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Aberration, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of brians52
5/5  rDev +6.8%

brians52, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of ReddMoneyBrown
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ReddMoneyBrown, May 17, 2013
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was one of the first 20 people in the joint SuperBowl Sunday and thought I might as well order a Younger while I'm here. I mean...everyone else was doing it.

I've had this beer now 5 years now in a row and it never disappoints. (Note - I did review the 2009 Younger but I was new to BA then and to reviewing beers. That review was all over the place so I'm going to leave it out of this review. If you want to compare it that bad search my profile)

A - Looks very similar to Elder, the pour was to the tip of the 10oz glass so no head to speak of but the lacing stuck all over the glass from top to bottom. Looks, crisp and beautiful for an DIPA this big.

S - Smells similar to PtE but a tiny bit muted in comparison in regards to not as pungently floral. BUT, the Tropical Fruit and hemp and earthiness coming out of this is fantastic. Smells very balanced. Can't wait to dive in.

T - I've heard Younger referred to as Elder on Steroids which I agree with and disagree with. How could it be on steroids if it's a smoother beer? BALANCE...wow. It's everything Elder is but a bit stronger malt profile to balance out the enormous amount of hops. The Tangerine forward Grapefruit that the Elder provides in citrus is replaced by Younger with Tropical Fruits and I want to say strawberries. There is less pine in Younger than Elder but the earthiness is still present. Similar bitter finish in the end but not quite as much as Elder. If I could give a 6 here I would.

M - Similar qualities to Elder but smoother and easier drinking??? This is a 5

D - In my 2009 review I gave this category a 4 but this year is the easiest drinking Younger I can ever remember having. I could session this beer, and pretty much did as I drank my 3 pours and my wife's 3 pours as well. I could have kept going but she was starting to get annoyed with me.

Final Thoughts - If you can improve upon Elder which near impossible to do, it's been done with Younger. Many similarities but this is more complex and masterfully crafted. There were more "stages" to this beer. I kept thinking to myself...when you get this this level of IPA (10% +) it really can't be crafted any better. Truly world class. Never had a better IPA or beer period.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of cclark67789
5/5  rDev +6.8%

cclark67789, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of ipa247
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ipa247, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of ambudds
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ambudds, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
5/5  rDev +6.8%

SoCalBeerIdiot, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of seanthornton152
5/5  rDev +6.8%

seanthornton152, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Dawkins
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Dawkins, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of domjwl
5/5  rDev +6.8%

domjwl, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Bellybuttonjam
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Bellybuttonjam, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of halffull77
5/5  rDev +6.8%

halffull77, May 23, 2012
Photo of beerfan99
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River Brewpub on 2/17/2011, the last day before Pliny the Younger left Santa Rosa.

A: Light amber/orange color with a faint white head. Only complaint related to appearance was the 10 oz. pour.

S: Awesome and unbelievable hop aroma.

T: Hop flavors and bitterness which match the smell. Excellent malt blending, not too sweet and does not mask the hop flavors.

M: Definitely palate pleasing. Residual hop flavors present long after each sip.

D: After drinking 3 sips, I flagged down the waiter and ordered another. Good thing, because they ran out about 15 minutes later. Surprisingly easy to drink at 10.% and GOBS of IBUs, though it is probably a good thing they ran out, it might have gotten ugly.

I had several glasses of Pliny the Younger last year during SF Beer Week at Toronado and really wasn't all that impressed. I thought it was overhyped and I came away thinking that Pliny the Elder was still the top rated IPA in my book. However, based on my recent tasting of the 2011 Pliny the Younger, I can understand why it is the number one beer, not just the number one IPA, or should I say triple IPA. Anyway, I will be seeking out this beer every chance I get.

beerfan99, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +6.8%

jh1982, Nov 14, 2011
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,438 ratings.