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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.

2,328 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,328
Reviews: 841
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,217
Gots: 104 | 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
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Ratings: 2,328 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Docrock


3.75/5  rDev -20%

Served on tap at Russian River taproom at 2012 release. Served in a 10 oz glass. Had very high expectations given the hype.

App- No head whatsoever. Color is a nearly transparent gold. Other than the lack of head it was an attractive beer

Sm- Full citrus aroma. Fresh and clean, pleasant but not too heavy hop fragrance.

T- Well balanced hops, citrus, some bitterness and orange peel.Very little sense of the alcohol content. Bitter aftertaste but a good finish overall.

Mf- Smooth, but little sense of any carbonation, seemed a bit thin on the finish. Flavor was appealing.

Ov- A good beer. Not sure if it's worth all the hype. My mates were a bit dissapointed as well but it's still a good beer. Enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere. I would try it again if I could find it, but probaably won't make the 2000 mile trek again. Fortunately ties it into a business trip

I was a little sketchy of the hype and while it's not the best beer in the world by any means, it's still good and the experience and atmosphere was great, a lot of great beer talk at Russian River.


reviewed from personal notes..

02-19-2012 03:07:06 | More by Docrock
Photo of ewhugh


3.75/5  rDev -20%

04-01-2013 03:23:03 | More by ewhugh
Photo of DRisel


3.75/5  rDev -20%

02-01-2013 02:22:49 | More by DRisel
Photo of bifrost17


3.75/5  rDev -20%

06-05-2012 01:09:06 | More by bifrost17
Photo of seeswo


3.75/5  rDev -20%

04-01-2012 23:06:10 | More by seeswo
Photo of Cuzco

New York

3.75/5  rDev -20%

08-05-2014 17:57:06 | More by Cuzco
Photo of BeerMeBlazer

3.75/5  rDev -20%

07-24-2012 03:32:54 | More by BeerMeBlazer
Photo of seldomsthirsty


3.75/5  rDev -20%

12-10-2012 03:57:25 | More by seldomsthirsty
Photo of Cowcakes


3.75/5  rDev -20%

06-18-2012 21:13:45 | More by Cowcakes
Photo of FoodBrewsReviews

3.75/5  rDev -20%

04-25-2012 00:53:39 | More by FoodBrewsReviews
Photo of majcher33

3.75/5  rDev -20%

05-07-2012 17:53:03 | More by majcher33
Photo of kevin_m_bell

New York

3.75/5  rDev -20%

12-12-2013 03:31:11 | More by kevin_m_bell
Photo of xhcadamx


3.78/5  rDev -19.4%

A - pours the exact same color as Elder but with less head and very little lacing

S - I can understand why this was named after Pliny the Elder - the aroma profile is almost identical - just way more floral.

T - Alcohol is very prominent followed by a STONG FLORAL hop presence a bit of grapefruit. Unlike Elder there is no emphasis on the malt.

M - Creamy and smooth if the alcohol didn't have such a strong presence this would be highly drinkable

D - the strong alcohol burn is a let down

People are going hog wild over this beer but it's definitely not the best double / triple IPA I have ever had.

02-07-2009 08:16:35 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of dbONE


3.78/5  rDev -19.4%

Served in a large mouth glass, the head was firm and perched on a nice golden pedistal.

The aroma was like sitting under a Pine tree eating sweet grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. A complimentery blend for the nose.

Well here is another beer using an abundent amount hops. Are brewers aware of the shortage?
The sweet maltyness is a good balance for the hops used. A clean finishing medium bodied DIPA that won't leave your face turned inside-out.

Following the frame work of just about every other DIPA around this one is full of citrus and pine. There are notes of grass clinging to the piney resign. Sweet grapefruit and moderate carbonation smooth it out pallett for a clean, dry finish at the back of the tounge.

This one is a good find, another notch in the post for Russian River.

06-19-2008 16:07:19 | More by dbONE
Photo of benito


3.8/5  rDev -19%

Despairing over not being able to get this on tap at the RR brewpub, I was overjoyed to find it on tap at Toronado in San Francisco.

A: An unmoving copper with a thin head. Still waters run deep, right?

S: Earthy hops--grass and cedar with a touch of sweeter fruit, maybe strawberry. This is certainly one of the strongest hop bouquets I've ever smelled.

T: An ode to the hop. The overall flavor is strong enough on malt and hops that it could pass as a barley wine (especially if Avery were making it), but it emphasizes on bitterness, from start to finish. The molasses like malty flavors up front give way to a dry and bitter finish, with hints of pine, grass, and alcohol.

M: I suppose that the quality of mouthfeel depends on how much you love the hop. The 'balance' is about as good as one might expect from a so-called triple IPA (which I will insist is not truly its own style); nonetheless, the residual bitterness is a little too much for my palate.

D: For sipping. 'Nuf said.

Overall, this is an ambitious and aggressive brew, significantly stronger than its (wonderful) uncle Pliny the Elder. It seems that RR isn't going for a beer that's going to please anyone other than the most die-hard of hop heads; while that may mean the beer won't be universally acclaimed, it's probably that kind of an attitude that helps make forward progress in the US craft brew industry.


06-14-2006 16:54:07 | More by benito
Photo of Samichlaus82


3.8/5  rDev -19%

Appearance is clear, light amber in color, with a thin white head that leaves minimal lacing around the glass. Aroma is bursting with grapefruit and hops, with notes of sweet honey, caramel & fruit. Taste is sweet caramel malt upfront, mildly piney in the mid-palate, with a slightly bitter hop finish. Not too hoppy though. Very rich & well balanced. Mouthfeel is light in body, smooth, & again slightly bitter in the finish. Overall, is it the best Imperial IPA in the world? That’s subjective; I see how people could think so. I think it’s pretty damn good, but I tried it in a blind tasting among other DIPA’s, and it certainly wasn’t my favorite. The hype plays a lot into this. Still, extremely glad I got to try this!

10-24-2012 09:27:13 | More by Samichlaus82
Photo of Bilobatemonkey


3.83/5  rDev -18.3%

So much hype for this brew! I'm glad I finally got a taste. Not sure why everyone is up in arms about this one. Tastes very similar to PtE but with a higher ABV. I actually prefer PtE. Is PtY worth all the hype? In my opinion, no. If you haven't tried it, I do recommend giving it a try if you have the opportunity.

03-05-2012 14:34:22 | More by Bilobatemonkey
Photo of dbalsock


3.83/5  rDev -18.3%

Appearance: Light amber/golden color and very clear with smallish white head that stays around and provides some slight lacing.

Smell: Floral and citrusy, all I can smell are hops and sweet fruits. The aroma is very intense.

Taste: tastes like it smells, with grapefruit coming in and a pine forest on the aftertaste. The malt base isn't as deep as I expected and this is not as balanced as the Elder, but the amount of hops is quite impressive. This is a hop-heads dream. There's also some alcohol, but for 11% it's covered very well by the intense hopiness.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, especially as one keeps drinking it. It seems to magnify the bitterness with each sip.

Drinkability: For the amount of alcohol in this, it is way to easy to drink. It goes down the throat and is bitter enough to keep someone gulping. I'm very impressed and although it's not quite balanced enough for my tastes, I can see why this is so highly regarded.

02-07-2007 19:57:51 | More by dbalsock
Photo of garbercury


3.85/5  rDev -17.9%

Lucky enough to have this on tap on a visit to Russian River.

Mmmmm. PTY, taste the hype.

A---Good looking beer, no doubt about it, not a ton of head but well laced with a awesome orange hue.

S---Yep, this has some hops in it, lots of pine and some fruit esters.

T---Complex with a lot going on besides the hops, citrus of course, mango? Pineapple? For being a hop-bomb, this has a very nice flavor and finish.

M---dry and tart with the hops finish

D---I will say up front, hop-bombs are not really my thing. I have had this beer on two separate occasions and if you are a hop-head, this is a very solid choice, I like it much more than the Elder, which pretty much reminds me of Pine-sol. I guess that is what is funny about styles, Pty is treated like it is the second coming of Jesus or something, it is not. Dont trade away your first born to get this, but certainly make an effort to get some if you enjoy this style!

02-17-2010 22:55:32 | More by garbercury
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -17.9%

Got to try this on tap at Capone's. Pours orange with a thick white head. Aroma of nice hop oils and crackery malt. Flavor is quite malty with a sweet finish. A bit heavy and harsh at times and not as citrusy as the growler version I had. Certainly not as citrusy as Elder. Second time around I was less impressed by this one. It is a heavy IIPA and at times overbearing. Fun to try, but I think I'm done seeking out this one. Elder is better!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

03-31-2009 01:25:08 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of br3wmeister


3.88/5  rDev -17.3%

A- Pours a light hazed golden orange in color with a soft silky white head. The head retention was okay and it had minimal lacing.

S-Some nice fruit and floral hop aroma. Then some nice caramel and vanilla, a touch of pine hops as well. A little hint of copper metallic aromas as well.

T- Soft citrus fruit and sweet caramel initially then some great pine flavors come through. More fruity orange flavors come through the pine with hints of caramel and vanilla, then another burst of dry pine bitterness. The beer finishes sweet and juicy with some lingering dry metallic flavors.

M- Light bodied with a great refreshing juiciness to it. Hops cut through with some nice dry bitterness and balances things out.

Overall I would say this beer is way over hyped. Give me the Elder!

11-14-2010 05:05:02 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of DarthKostrizer


3.93/5  rDev -16.2%

On tap at Churchill's On Churchill's Renaissance day

Look: Pours a darker shade of yellow with some orangish hues and totally translucent. 1/4 inch head and little retention

Smell: Copious amounts of pine and pine resin with a touch of citrus zest

Taste: You get that same pine resin upfront and its almost too much. I remember someone at my table saying "it reminds me of walking in the forest" The backend carries some nice citrus and honey notes which actually saved it for me

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mildly carbonated and incredibly bitter and dry. Which each sip my mouth became more and more dry and the beer became harder to drink

Overall: Glad I got the chance to try this one and glad all these west coast BA's hyped the shit out of this because I was excited to try it and then totally let down. Will NOT drink again

03-06-2012 02:34:39 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of pennywhistle


3.95/5  rDev -15.8%

It smelled VERY strongly of hops. My nose is not fancy enough to decipher the different scents - to me, it was just super hoppy. It was light amber/gold, with no real head to speak of. It was sweet and watery when sipped, but had a syrupy feel on my lips afterward. It was nice, sweet, and subtle. Overall, the first half of the glass was really nice. However, after that...it just stopped being all that great. Maybe the hops killed my palate, I don't know. But it's not a beer I would drink a lot of.

05-25-2010 06:08:17 | More by pennywhistle
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -15.8%

Second time having younger, this time at monks, 6 ounce pour in a goblet. Pale yellow, no head, poured ahead of time for at least 100 people. The aroma was light pine. Taste was pine, citrus and alcohol, slightly bitter. The carbonation was good, full bodied. I was very disappointed younger, all 5 of us agreed elder was a far superior brew. Younger is good, but not as good as the hype.

03-12-2014 00:17:54 | More by bonkers
Photo of jdense


3.95/5  rDev -15.8%

12 oz. pour at Apex PDX first anniversary party 5.7.11, $8.50.

Half finger white head due to full pour, pretty quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Clear orange amber body, very little visible carbonation. Big pine hit in the nose, resiny, any fruit aromas are subsumed by the pineyness. Taste mirrors nose, very bitter on the back end, like chewing on pine needles. Despite this keg being a few months old, quite a bit of alcohol heat. Medium mouthfeel, decent effervescence. To be honest, I don't see what the big deal is. Frankly, I'd rather have another Tankslapper!

05-08-2011 21:47:30 | More by jdense
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,328 ratings.