Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,318 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
3.43/5 rDev -26.9%
Thanks to a hot tip, I got to enjoy a couple of the first glasses poured at the Horse Brass Pub. Served in a small nonic glass.
Pours bright and light golden orange with an almost pure white head. The head is ~3/4 of a finger, and with some gentle swirling lingers pretty well considering the ABV. A little bit of lacing is teased, but drips back in.
Loads of pine and grapefruit aromas, plenty of sweeter tangerine, peach(?) and floral notes, with quite a bit of alcohol weaving through it all. I can only imagine how great this would smell in a big snifter. Served in a nonic glass is no way to show it off, though. Really had to dig in there to enjoy the bouquet, literally getting my nose wet a couple of times.
There's not much of the sweet fruitiness I was excpecting based on the smell, but there's a ton of pine and grapefruit. The balancing sweetness tastes not of caramel or even light malt, but rather like simple syrup. Odd- it doesn't complement the bitterness very well. As it warms, the alcohol becomes increasingly pronounced and distracting. Pronounced alcohol burn as it warms up. Booziness aside, it's not as big and aggressive as I expected (I definitely prefer the Elder).
Mouthfeel is decent. There's a slick/oily quality that, in combo with gentle carbonation, smooths out the substantial ABV. However, it doesn't disguise a distracting sugary stickiness left on the palate in the finish (sticky hops= good, sticky sugar= bad). Not nearly as raw and angry as expected from a beer with this much hops.
Drinkability is OK, but not great for me based on the sugary stickiness, weird sweetness(tasted at times like straight simple syrup instead of light malt) and, to a lesser degree, the alcohol burn.
Overall impression: Glad I got a chance to give it a try without promising my firstborn for a growler trade. Intense and pretty enjoyable, but doesn't live up to mystique (and isn't even the best DIPA from Russian River).
02-17-2009 05:03:21 | More by PDXHops
3.53/5 rDev -24.7%
Poured into an 8oz tulip.
Had this on tap together with Elder and Blind Pig, so I'll compare to those.
Younger is the cloudiest of the three, with quickly dissipating head. I was surprised by the lack of head, given the amount of hops involved.
The aroma was surprisingly mild, again given the amount of hops in here.
Younger tastes maltier and sweeter than Blind Pig, but hoppier and more bitter than Elder. Whereas Elder is well balanced, Younger tips that balance towards the hops. The alcohol is hidden, but you can feel that this is a potent potable.
Overall, I feel this beer is over hyped, and the hype and rarity drive up the scores. It's a good beer, but it's not great, and I prefer Elder.
04-05-2011 19:43:26 | More by timobkg
3.6/5 rDev -23.2%
Served on Cask at Naja's Place in Redondo Beach.
This is the second time I've tried the younger, once on tap and once on cask. I've had the elder many times and will be drinking some tonight for MNF. I had to try the younger again before I reviewed it to give it a second chance. So many people say that it's better than the elder I thought it deserved a second go-around.
Pours a pale gold with a big head. Took the bartender a lot of pumping to get this one poured just right. The head subdues rather quickly. Not sure if that's the cask or the ABV.
The smell is of course hops plus a good dose of alcohol. The beer is 11% after all. The alcohol is almost dominant.
The taste is overload. Tons of hops and lots of alcohol burn. I'm sure there is sugar used in the brewing of both the elder and the younger. I like a good, strong beer, but the alcohol is almost to much.
If you are going to compare the Younger to something it might as well be the Elder. I had an Elder right afterwards and reaffirmed my preference. The Elder is perfection. Taste completely unique in a time when every brewer is brewing a DIPA. The Younger reminds me of several other DIPA's I've had. The hops are great in it, but I just don't care for the alcohol burn.
09-18-2006 23:22:50 | More by Callenak
3.68/5 rDev -21.5%
Thanks a million to alcstradamus for his generosity.
So this is it, the new number 1! Opening the growler produces a loud hiss, which is obviously a great sign.
Poured into an Allagash tulip-type glass, it is a fairly clear golden orange body capped by a white fluffy head. It shows good retention, and produces sheets of lace on its way down. After several minutes I am left with a thin collar and a decprated glass.
Nice aroma, with a combination of multiple tropical fruits, pineapple and grapefruit at the forefront, with caramel malts and cookie dough coming out from time to time.
I have to disagree with buckeyenation here, as this one feels a lot closer to barleywine than a pure hopbomb. Yes, the flavor shows a hop explosion, with all the above mentioned fruity hoppiness, grtapefruit and pineapple, and fortunately, the grapefruit is noit overpowering, but maltiness is clearly present.
Caramel and cookies are there, and there are some sweet traces on the palate.
Nice carbonation, lending a smooth consistency.
This is a good beer, but IMHO, far from #1.
I am very glad I had this opportunity, thanks again to alcstradamus, but I believe Hopslam and Dreadnaught are better.
OBS: As I finished my review, and a new average is made, it is now at #2. Westy is back on top.
02-15-2010 00:36:09 | More by brdc
3.7/5 rDev -21.1%
on-tap at Pizza Port Carlesblad. The more aggressive version of the elder in a side-by-side tasting. Hop attack of the palate, and a lot of malt. Powerful hop attack, common amoung the double IPAs I have had, is not satisfying to me. The elder is much smoother, and now my favorite. White head. You don't detect the alcohol in the taste, but it's there!
02-09-2007 05:53:07 | More by Sammy
3.7/5 rDev -21.1%
Had on tap at a "secret" tapping, Gray Lodge in NE Philadelphia. Poured into a stemmed pint glass, whatever that may be called! Was fortunate to get the first glass! Pours a bright copper/yellow color. Very small white head that dissapates to a thin ring, pretty quickly too. No real lacing to speak of, but could be due to the "bar-glass" washing methods.
Aroma was not as strong as I expected, but good! Piney hops, obvious grapefruit, and honey. Other than that, similar to most big name DIPA's.
Flavor was a little let down to be honest. It's good, but too sweet IMO. I hate to say it, but I prefer Elder better. The hops come fore front immediately, followed quickly by the intense sweetness, and finally followed again by another wave of hops and a dry boozy finish. I had heard that the grapefruit is very well detectable in Younger, they weren't kidding! Very carbonated and thin light, yet crisp mouthfeel. I actually enjoyed Younger less as it warmed up, it got even more sweet. Over all, a very good beer, but way too hyped! Again though, another good beer from Russian River!
03-14-2010 04:10:38 | More by ShadesOfGray
3.73/5 rDev -20.5%
Falling rock had this on tap, and I didn't want to miss it. served in small snifter at the half pint volume.
Bright ruby and amber brew, really likes the light and shines like a lantern. Good dense, white, and foamed head. Great lacing after every sip and quick swirls...all the way to the end.
Mild hops aroma, yet complex. The alcohol is well concealed. Some floral and vanilla seem to be present as well.
Balanced taste to it. For as much hops as this thing has, the malt is present just at the beginning and a bit in the end. Smooth and sharp. Not bitter, buy very dry.
Deceiving beer with the abv. Dangerous, but very nice.
This is my third PyT review, the other two being in 06 and 09.
Falling Rock tapped this tonight and I got in on the first of 3 kegs.
Clear, clean light copper pour. A 1 finger white head foamed up. Lacing was thin, a quick swirl brought about the head again, yet lacing didn't quite stick.
A good blend in the aroma of citrus hops, some butteriness, pine and faint biscuit.
A rather lack luster taste. A soft citrus body develops with thin pine and an aftertaste of malt. But that doesn't last long. The body is thin, the bite is quiet and the balance is easily overlooked. At 11% abv, it is very easy drinking. I'm a bit disappointed in this one this year. Still good, but not world class, imho.
Update the update: 2011 sample. I dunno, the taste just isn't meeting the nose (i've upped the smell score). Doesn't seem as juicy as I remember or expected based on the aroma. The appearance today wasn't all that good...no head...but that was due to the pour
Averaged out the scores above
Update: On tap at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder, Feb 11 2012. This version seems thinner. The nose is softer and less hoppy. Nothing bad about it. The feel is drier without the bite. It just kind of evaporates and leaves the palate quickly.
02-23-2009 09:41:36 | More by Mebuzzard
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,318 ratings.