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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Educational use only; do not reuse.

890 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 890
Hads: 2,771
Avg: 4.67
pDev: 13.06%
Wants: 5,811
Gots: 315 | 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
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Reviews: 890 | Hads: 2,771
Photo of fatmusic14
4.33/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Falling Rock on 2/22 (and again at Backcountry on 2/23)

While I don't think any beer is worth waiting 5 hours for, this was on my "must try" list, and I wasn't too hungover to wake up at 6AM. Headed to the taphouse at 7:30am, in line at 7:45, and surprisingly, was not first. Nice little gathering, people drinking coffee, playing board games, and enjoying each others company waiting for the doors to open.

A - pours a lovely hue, somewhere between golden and amber. Other beers of similar stature have a better pour (i.e. Hopslam), but the color is not why I was there.

S - Holy Moly. If someone finds a way to harness the scent of this thing, please let me know. I would pay handsomely for it. Literally spent the first 2 or 3 minutes just smelling it. Everything you would expect from something in the IPA family (layer upon layer of hops, grapefruit), but jesus, was this a step in the right direction.

T - everything I was hoping for. So much going on in this pour, every sip makes your brain spin trying to wrap your head around the complexity. Piney, earthy, boozy. The one downside, the booze. I did not feel that the ABV was very well hidden. Still delicious, and I had 3 of them, but it was a TINY bit overpowering.

M - beautiful

O - Look. If you can get some friends together, and the weather is nice, go ahead. Its worth it for the experience and frankly, the beer also. Is it really #2? Eh, probably not. I am glad I went, and would absolutely drink it again if it were available, but I probably will not be attending another release day.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.33/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Mikeoxlong for trading this growler, I have been wanting to try this beer for about 2 years now! Als shared among friends as it will be ahrd to finish a whole growler!

After traveling across the country, the growler opened up with a nice hiss - no carbonation lost during transit. Poured into a snifter glass, and with an aggressive pour, only an 1/2 inch head appears and leaves little lacing. Instead, swirling the glass reveals the legs of this beer, an indication of alcohol content. The brew looks great - a wonderful amber/golden color and absolutely clear.

Smell: An interesting mix of resiny hops, toasted malts, and wafts of spicy alcohol. Breathing in more I find more complex nose, minor citrus, tropical fruit, pine, spruce, and sap. The nose is does not knock me off my feet but it is complex with many different hop profiles added into the aroma. The alcohol, which not terribly noticeable, detracts from the nose only slightly and lends a very spicy character to the brew.

Taste: Holy hops! Bitterness grabs the tongue and refuses to let go! Hops are a strong and harsh when the beer is cold but tends to be smoother when the beer warms up. The bitterness lends a resinous, piney flavor to the brew. Quickly after the hops however, the malts come through very clean and fresh with caramel, breadiness, and toffee. Very well balanced for 11% ABV but the alcohol is present and leaves a prickly feeling on the sides of the tongue. Complexity for a DIPA as through the roof on this one. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finishes rather dry, very typical of west coast DIPAs.

Overall: Pliny the Elder on steroids. Satisfies every hop heads wet dream with a doubt. My only marks on flaws would be the nose which is not as strong as other DIPAs. Gruit 16 ale comes to mind, PTY doesn't go past 16 in the nose. For 11% ABV, which is really hard to make in a DIPA, the beer is dangerously drinkable and well balanced. This beer would be perfect with 0 ABV heat more hop aroma, but is great as it stands

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Photo of Fweezle
4.33/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at a local tasting in St. Louis, big thanks to hooliganlife for bring 2 growlers.

A - Pretty typical of an IPA/DIPA, yellow-orange in color with a tightly dense white head that faded after a minute or so, a peek through the glass showed little hop chunks, awesome.

S - Huge grapefruit and citrus, but pretty one note. Best described as mild grapefruit juice.

T - Great DIPA, lots of citrus like the nose, good amount of malt, maybe some honey like flavors, little bit of pine and black pepper. What stands out to me the most about the beer is the bitterness, alot of DIPA are too syrupy and can't hold back all that sugary sweetness, this one stikes a good balance.

M - Mild mouthfeel, not too watery but has enough body to hold up to the taste.

D - Great great drinkability, hides the 11% perfectly although I was good at one glass.

I gotta say, I'm glad to have tried it. I was really hoping for a life changing event, but alas it was just a really good DIPA and nothing more, I'd be happy to try it again, but at least I know not to get all worked up over future releases.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

San Diego, CA

Clear golden orange and tangerine with a very thin head. Leaves some lacing on the glass. A disappointing pour.

Pungent orange and grapefruit hop aromas. Alcohol is hidden in the nose. Typical West-Coat DIPA aroma, but not over-the-top or particularly spectacular. Good, but not great. I expected more. Hop Stoopid and Sculpin have better noses.

Taste is bitter hops, tangerine, and grapefruit with little to no malt character. Simple, bitter and pungent hop juice, which I believe is the point of a beer like this! Alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden. I would not believe this beer is 11% abv.

Medium mouthfeel. Similar to Elder and Blind Pig. This is the anti-Sierra Nevada Hoptimum.

A fantastically drinkable DIPA. The alcohol is marvelously well hidden. Refreshing and delicious.

A delicious and sublime DIPA, but I don't think it quite deserves its reputation (as the best beer on Earth). It's delicious, but I am convinced I can find year-round offerings (including Pliny the Elder) that are just as good if not better and are far less expensive. Drink it if/when you can find it, but no need to go crazy trying to taste it.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap @ Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, pure golden hue, served up in a 10 oz glass with a white, half finger of head. Fair retention leads to a broken layer of suds across the surface with a thick ring around the edge of the glass. Moderate lacing that's spotty with good stick.

Smell - Dominant grapefruit pith along with a light pine resin. Clean, simple aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Grapefruit pith and citrus oils, with lesser notes of pine resin.

Mouthfeel - Full body with moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth with a crisp, clean finish.

Overall - Awesome beer, but hard to distinguish from the Elder. In fact, if you were to hand this to me and tell me it was PtE, I wouldn't give it a second thought. This one's got just a tad more body, but all the other sensory qualities are basically identical. Glad I was able to walk right up to the counter and order this; if I had to stand in line I would've been greatly disappointed. It's certainly not worth the hype and the hours of line waiting that happens every year. Just grab the Elder. I promise you they're nigh indistinguishable.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a growler.

S = Huge hops, fresh pine, and numerous citrus aromas (orange and lemons mainly).

T = Amazing mixture of bitter and sweet. Pine flavors upfront and then a strong malt backbone washes the bitterness away and leaves a semi-sweet pine finish.

MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall, this was incredibly balanced and very easy to drink. I've never been a "Hop Head", but, both Younger and Elder have converted me.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper/golden color with a solid inch off-white sticky head. I honestly didn't spend much time eyeing this one as the aroma when the bottle cap was popped kind of put me into a trance. Wonderful punget hoppy aroma. The aroma almost dares you and invites you at the same time.
Taste is much like the Elder. Hops are more agressive and the alchohol is more noticable in the finish. Still a marvelous tasting beer.
Mouthfeel is full, sticky and numbing. The Younger attacks the palate and leaves no doubt that he was there.
As much as I like this beer, and I LIKE this beer. IMHO, the Elder is better. I could drink the Younger often, but only a pint at a time. I could spend a happy life drinking nothing but the Elder. Both are excellent examples of thier respective styles by a top notch brewery and a very tallented brewer.
Thanks to RedwoodGeorge for not only providing the beers, but for the experience.

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Photo of minterro
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a chance to try this legend at the Euclid Hall's release on 02/22/15.

A&S: Very aesthetically pleasings. Fluffy white head with great retention, leaves a large amount of lacing. The beer is a transparent light orange, it semi-lively as far as carbonation goes. I was getting a little thrown off aroma wise being located right by the open kitchen area, but from what I picked up, it wasn't super powerful. I was mostly getting citrus, passion fruit, and floral notes.

T&M: The thing that stood out the most to me about this beer is the bitter profile. Very well balanced, with just enough of a kick at the end. Not super powerful, I was definitely expecting less subdued, but was similar to the aroma. Very velvety full bodied beer. Extremely drinkable.

Overall: A great beer. I was a little disappointed (in my opinion it didn't live up to the hype), wouldn't include in my top ten, but still extremely good.

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Photo of mcallister
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking indeed. Nicely carbonated with a large white and fluffy head that leaves some sticky lace behind.

Piney and very fruity hops with a sweet aroma of malt. Good bit of alcohol in the nose with more citrusy fruit aromas than the elder. Sweet and very floral and very hard too pull your nose out of.

Again balanced, but more sweetness and slightly more body and balls. Alcohol adds a dimension not found in the Elder. Not as balanced but more piney hops on the finish which is also much longer yet lacking the lush creamy mouthfeel. Not as drinkable because of the drying hop finish and the alcohol content but quite drinkable and delicious.

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smells strong but with a light citrus note, overall smells fantastic. Pours very light but golden with a very small hint of orange, relatively small head. Initial taste is dominated by bitterness but rounds out with a small amount of citrus, finishes pretty dry. Doesn't scorch your tongue with bitterness. Virtually no alcohol character which is impressive considering the %age. Overall it's the epitome of a triple IPA, a dominate hop bitterness flavor that is balanced nicely and allows you to drink more without any problem.

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Photo of Swimsum
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Grabbin2nd (thanks RJ) on 2/9/10

Poured out a nice and clear amber color. A white head emerges made up of tiny bubbles. A ring around the glass is left once the head settles. Swirling brings the head back for a bit but settles back to ring. This looked a lot like the Elder to me. No lacing down the glass.

A lot of citrus with resinous pine backing that up. A lot more citrus than found in Elder. Citrus is mostly grapefruit but some other tropic fruits possibly there. I love the smell on this and it is very strong. There are some floral hops and a bit of alcohol but not enough to replace the citrus.

Taste is the same as the smell. Tons of citrus and hops coming through. For me it has all the aspects of the Elder with the addition of a lot of citrus. There is a bit of an alcohol bite toward the end of the swallow but this taste amazing and is what I was hoping it would be.

Not a lot of carbonation here (perhaps some loss from the growler?) but it isn't as thick as some other Imperial IPAs that I've had. I like that it's not super thick however. As mentioned in the taste, there is a bit of an alcohol bite but overall this went down very smoothly.

This was a great experience and I'm very thankful for getting to try it. I would love to go get this on tap at Russian River when it is released but hopefully I'll be able to get to try this somewhere down south for 2011.

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Photo of pkasten
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Horse Brass pub in Portland.

a: bright golden color with a slight haze to it

s: bright, piney and floral hop character, but not as agressively hoppy as expected.

t: surprisingly well balanced. big hop flavors, but with enough malt that it's not at all overly hoppy. expected this to be a bit hot at 11%, but just a little hint of warmth.

m: medium bodied, fairly sticky, with the agressive hop coating lingering on the palate for several minutes.

d: again, better than expected for such a huge beer, but I don't think I would want more than one in a sitting.

overall: a really excellent imperial IPA, but I'm not so sure it's deserving of such hype. I felt that batch one of this year's Deschutes Hop Henge was stickier, prettier, and generally more agressive.

if this wasn't so rare and expensive, I'd happily have one now and then, but given the extreme hype and price tag, I don't think this is something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found the Younger on tap - not once, but twice - today in Portland. 10 oz. pour at Concordia Ale House (tapered glass - $8), 10 oz. pour at Henry's Tavern (snifter - $6.25).

A: Clear golden/sunshine. Individual bubbles rise, slowly and lazily - not a very 'lively' look. Not much head either (barely 1/2 finger), a slight white cream; clings at the edges, a few floating suds at the center. Droopy lace, an indistinct pattern.

S: Placed at the center of the table, roughly 2 feet away from my nose, a perfume drifts over: sappy evergreen, orange citrus, mild honey/grain sweetness. Expected it to be bolder as it warmed, but it never grew - in fact, the aroma seemed to recede a little.

T: Burst of pine and pithy zest meets a tangy hop spicing. Flowery honey, sweetness of sticky buns. Develops quickly - transforming from a jarring jolt of hop spice/bitterness to a balanced citrus-y sweetness. Once the sharp hops subside, subtler elements like mint, even clove, enter. Doesn't kill the palate, a big plus.

M: Coating mouthfeel, thick and slightly chewy, remarkably creamy. Alcohol heat sneaks up just a little; some cheek-drawing warmth. Overall, a wonderous and exceedingly mellow feel.

D: Ridiculously drinkable for an 11% beer. Generally a fine DIPA, enjoyable in all ways. Taste approaches 'greatness' for me, everything else is 'good' or thereabouts. Would have again (and enjoyed twice in a day), but not one I have to rush out and have again. Won't go overboard with the glowing praise: it's a very good DIPA. Have one if you can find it.

On the personal side: I prefer Pliny the Elder

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Photo of maximum12
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, second, third, etc. many solar system-sized thanks to cloudskipper for going through the trouble of securing this growler & shipping it to the cold northern steppes. Was going to get one last year but turned out I was going on vacation after the release, so I've been waiting an entire year for this opportunity. Break out the glasses & pour that Younger!

Pours a clear, concise gold that would make the Gold Rush of '49 proud. Intense, hard-edged grapefruit is the dominant smell, with pine, citrus, all flowing out of the glass.

Pliny the Younger lives up to its rep as a serious IIPA. Yowza. The water-borne hops come mashing out of the gate at a full gallop. Again, the grapefruit of the hops is ascendant, but there's that Pine-Sol touch right behind it, & a colander full of bitter, mouth-shrinking hop character. Others include just a crumb of breadiness, malt that's a touch dankish & sweet but barely apparent, before the bitterness rushes in at the end to crush the living life out of everything else. Death to the non-hop!

Very sinewy & slippery in the mouth, tar-coated pine needles are all I can think of. Drinkable? Well, I'll have another glass & get back to you on that. But intensity of the hops, virtually unleavened by anything else, means this wouldn't be my drink of choice over a span of hours.

Well, it's tough to live up to the rep it's developed - Pliny isn't the best beer I've ever had. That said, it also obviously deserves the accolades. It's excellent, & I'm delighted I had the opportunity to try it. Thanks Chris!

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Photo of sleazo
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Liars Club. Served in a 10 oz snifter. This is a true hop heads dream. the smell is strongly of west coast hops, piney, citrusy. The hops dominate the smell as they do the taste. you dont get too much of the malt here but the hops are what you are looking for in a 2XIPA. This just tastes like fresh hops smell. The alcohol is there, but not in a bad way. I could get really drunk by dowining alot of these

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass.

Good ol' Pliny the Younger. This is my 3rd time with this beer. This came out to me with a half inch white cap of crisp white head on top of a golden amber body that had great clarity which showed off the lazy carbonation. The head eventually faded to nothing, but left a sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell wafts out of the glass with hints of mango, bruised pineapple, butterscotch, and a sweet hint of berries underneath. Fairly strong aroma, and certainly appetizing, though it fades a bit too quickly for me to rate this higher.

Very hop-forward beer for sure, with plenty of tropical fruit in the flavor and a sweet, boozy quality that is present throughout. While a beer like Heady Topper is a master of disguise, hiding all that alcohol behind the Hop Curtain, Pliny the Younger is unabashed by being an 11% alcohol by volume DIPA. The complexity here is the mix of hops and alcohol, with a nice sweet malt backbone.

The carbonation is crisp, the body is strong, a little on the viscous side. Superb mouthfeel...

I think this is a great beer. It would be hard to write about Pliny the Younger without talking about the train of hype that precedes this beer: people freak out about this beer. A bar announces this beer bring tapped, and if they don't announce it, its considered a "strategy." The hype is not worth it though. There are better double IPA's out there...that said, this is a great beer that people won't be disappointed in. I tracked this beer down this year to give it a review, but next year, I won't be on the hunt.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.31/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Falling Rock, February 22. 10.25% ABV

A: Clear body. Light copper color with a little head.

S: Loaded with hops, smells like Simcoe to me. Booze is noticeable. This is a huge beer.

T: Follows the nose. Huge hop bite without being too bitter. A little hot. PtE with just an absurd amount of hops. Incredibly drinkable all things considered.

M: It's no PtE in this dept but decently carbonated and a little sticky.

O: I'm not a ticker, but I'm really glad I had the opportunity to try this. It's an excellent beer, but would never waste 3 hours of a day again to get it. I can think of several IIPAs that are better and also aren't impossible to get.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(had this from draught). Pours orange with white head. Aroma of grapefruit, wood/resin dominate. Taste is sweet with a nice hop end. Full bodied with oily texture. This is a really nice DIPA that hides the abv well and is well balanced. Quite drinkable. I'm looking forward to the next time.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 6 oz mini snifter glass at Capones in Norristown. After waiting in line for 1.5 hours, let's see if this was worth the wait...

A: Crystal clear honey-orange body with an extremely tiny, almost non-present, white foam head. Some moderate to low lacing, actually - no retention really, either.

S: Sweet and prickly pine sap notes and pink grapefruit up front. Slightly bitter, with some lemongrass and a very faint whiff of honey in the back end. Really an outstanding smelling beer.

T: Up front are some rather harsh pine notes, a slight bitterness though not as much as I was expecting from an 11% IIPA. Melon sweetness, generic citrus qualities and prominent orange flavors complete this bitter to sweet flavor profile.

M: Smooth and creamy, low carbonation (strange) but overall, pleasant. Not as wonderful as the mouth feel I got with Pliny the Elder.

If I'm being completely honest, this was very good but wasn't worth the 1.5 hour wait in line for. I was fortunate enough to get two pours of this beer, totaling around 12 oz, but this doesn't really need all the hype surrounding it. In my opinion, Pliny the Elder wins the battle against Younger, although I was hoping it would be the opposite. Oh well.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 on tap at Khyber Pass Pub

Poured into a tulip. Deep dark golden, possibly a little orange. Solid two fingers of frothy head. Beautiful lace floated down the glass as I drank.

Big resinous hop aroma; pine and a little bit of the sweet citrus aroma.

Flavor was quite sweet as expected, but I felt it could've used a bit more. Honey and caramel were there, but balanced by the sharp astringent bitter finish. I would've liked more hop flavor, not just the bitterness.

Perfect carbonation and medium mouth feel -- pretty full-bodied for the style.

Insanely drinkable for the style. Was easy to put away this bad boy and a struggle to actually try to savor it. An amazing beer, but there are also other great double IPAs out there much easier to get. Glad I had the chance to try it, though.

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Photo of beagle75
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft serving in a 0.5 L mug at Hollingshead.

A: Slightly hazy, rich golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Minimal lacing left on the glass.

S: Moderate sweet floral and pine hops smell. No hint of alcohol. I was expecting a more overwhelming smell to this beer.

T: Intense pine hops flavor with increasing bitterness as the aromatic flavors fade. The flavor is surprisingly balanced for what this beer is, yet the alcohol is not at the forefront. It tickles my palate in a most satisfying way and makes me smile at the thought of another sip.

M: Medium-bodied texture and light to moderate carbonation is noticed, but not distracting in any way. Seems appropriate for the style, similar to other RR IPAs.

D: Any hophead could endure more than a healthy portion of this beer, yet the abv is a limiting factor. This beer is a fine double IPA although not really in a class by itself, save for the high abv. It makes me recall a tulip of Deschutes Hop Henge reserve batch that I enjoyed at their Portland pub during Summer, 2009--another carefully crafted double IPA with a definite pine flavor and aroma. Perhaps the most notable attribute of this beer is the hype that surrounds it. Having just returned from a neighborhood deli where it was standing-room-only, the sky currently seems to be the limit. Russian River would be wise to preserve this feature of their beer, although the masses may clamber for more.

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Photo of Auracom
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, had to travel to Cali for it once and for all. First day tapping at RR on February 1st, 2013.

A - Purely clear, bright golden coloring. Very little head or remnants of foam, but curiously-decent lacing.

S - Dank, sappy, a tad phenolic, and plentiful grapefruit resin as expected. The sticky dankness of it is a bit surprising and definitely deviates from Elder.

T - Everything that anyone could expect from a landmark beer. Pine cone, of course, but moreso a balanced blending of grapefruit rind, cracker jack, citrus, and light herbs. It's a feat to make a recipe like this taste so utterly simple, yet that's exactly how it drinks.

M - Medium body, perfect carbonation, semi-smooth, lingering residual bitterness from the finish.

D - Easily the most drinkable of the gargantuan Triple IPA's I've experienced. That being said, Exponential Hoppiness reigns supreme for now. Worth the voyage? Probably not. But I don't regret it nonetheless.

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Photo of whitefire
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stood in line for 1.5 hours before getting in to the brewery an immediately finding a seat at the bar.

A: Pours a beautiful honey, hazy orange with very little head. In fan]ct, looking across the bar, there are no heads at all on the youngers being poured... slightly disappointing!

S: Very pleasant, lots of citrus.

T: Well balances, good carbonation, hides the alcohol well thought it's present.

O: This is an excellent beer, a must try if you can. In my opinion though, I prefer the elder.... IMO, This beer is a little too boozy and misses out on some of the aspects that I really enjoy about the elder. Still a great brew though.

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Photo of nectar14
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SD, into a tulip:

A: Faintly amber gold in color, 1 finger white head, leaving some slight lacing.

S: Assertive hops with whiff of sweet malts. Resembles the Elder, though slightly restrained.

T: Very balanced for a beer its size. Malt and hops linger on the back end together very nicely. Grain and smooth, unaggressive hops.

M: Fantastic blend of carbonation, sweet malt, and bitterness. Goes down very easy.

D: Alcohol hit me a bit hard, but this is easy drinking for a DIPA.

Highly recommended. Like the Elder, but more in balance and more... elegant.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend received a growler in a trade last year and shared it with me. I reviewed the beer when we consumed it, but misplaced my notes. I recently discovered them when cleaning out my beergeon.

Poured into a tulip and served at approximately 50 degrees.

A: The beer has nice clarity and appears to be situated between pale and deep gold. Carbonation expresses itself in lazy bubbles slowly rising through the beer and feeding a weak ring of head.

S: Pine and vague tropical fruits. A touch of alcohol and maybe some malty sweetness.

T: The beer tastes stronger than it smells. A kiss of sweetness up front; then the vague tropical fruits reveal themselves as mango and passionfruit. These flavors yield for resin/pine and a surprisingly light bitterness.
Something is a bit off in the finish, but I can't figure out what.

M: Medium bodied and not very warming, which is suprising given the big abv. Not as coating and/or slick/oily as other DIPAs, either.

D: Given some of the other characteristics of this beer, I would bet that Russian River constructed this DIPA with drinkability in mind. The beer is unique and doesn't get in the way of being drunk.

I would love to try Pliny the Younger on tap and wouldn't be shocked if it were a bit brighter, but that is probably not in the cards.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.