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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

2,442 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,442
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 4,573
Gots: 134 | 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: 2,442 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RViator325
3/5  rDev -35.9%

RViator325, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of Aakundi
3.2/5  rDev -31.6%

Aakundi, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of hiphopj5
3.25/5  rDev -30.6%

hiphopj5, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of CharcuterIAN
3.33/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served 8oz pour, red wine glass @ The East-side club, OLY, WA.
Nice orange/gold color, no head/lacing. smells of mandarin orange, rose, malts up front, medium hop.
Taste much the same as smell, hoppy, malty sweetness, light alcohol tinge. sticky mouth feel...
SOOO much hype about this beer...but is it all manufactured obscurity? Frankly, this beer (for me ) was BORING! I'd much rather spend 5.50 for a full pint of the elder rather then 7.50 for a half pint of this. Don't get me wrong, it's "good" beer...but, it didn't knock my socks off.
Not the best beer in the world.
Looking forward to trying Sanctification.

CharcuterIAN, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of rustycentipede
3.33/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Apex in Portland. Was surprised to find it a very average imperial IPA.

A - Poured a very pale clear gold with no head and lots of bubbles.

S - Citrus and pine

T - I did not find this beer to be nearly as hoppy as I was hoping it would be. It was a pleasant taste, definitely nothing to complain about, but nothing stood out as special about this beer. A standard piney bitterness but very little residual hop flavor.

M - Very nice, almost champagne-like mouthfeel.

O - I am glad to that I got to try it, but I would not make any effort to have it again. It is by no means a bad beer, but I don't think I would have thought twice about it if I had not heard so much about it prior to drinking this. It's true that this beer "doesn't taste like it is 11%", but in my book that is not necessarily good. I found it to be lacking in both malt and hops flavor.

rustycentipede, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Dubbercody
3.35/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a glass with lunch today....12 oz glass.

Clear amber golden with a fantastic nose, smooth and with a nice malty edge.

Certainly nice to try, but I doubt I'll drop the amount of coin it cost to get this beer.

Good, nice tasty beer, really phenomenal ...but like Girl Scout Cookies...if they were available all the time wouldn't be such a big deal or so costly.

Dubbercody, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Ogneoneil
3.36/5  rDev -28.2%

Ogneoneil, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of DT509er
3.38/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a IPA guy, but my taste buds are over-loaded from the alcohol on the triple IPA's.

PTY was a rather surprising taste for me, I found it to have a subtle alcohol effect with a sweet taste overall. Texture was creamy, reminded me of a Cream Ale soda (texture only). No real head to each pour, its beer in the glass top-to-bottom.

This is a good beer but if I had to stand in line as others have done, and continue to do, this is not the beer I would wait for.

Prost!

DT509er, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of Hammond
3.4/5  rDev -27.4%

Hammond, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of PDXHops
3.43/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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).

PDXHops, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of jmullock1
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

jmullock1, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Stashmofo
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

Stashmofo, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of JDV
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

JDV, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of olibeer22
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

olibeer22, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

wrightst, May 24, 2014
Photo of benbjb
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

benbjb, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of jrjj211
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

jrjj211, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of StaEva
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

StaEva, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of AleGal79
3.5/5  rDev -25.2%

AleGal79, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of timobkg
3.53/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

timobkg, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of Callenak
3.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Callenak, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of Murtz
3.64/5  rDev -22.2%

Murtz, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of brdc
3.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

brdc, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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!

Sammy, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.7/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

ShadesOfGray, Mar 14, 2010
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.