Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,722 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,722
Reviews: 925
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 5,387
Gots: 274 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,722 | Reviews: 925
Photo of ncvbc
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear and glowing amber orange. Big carbonation bubbles come up and a thin white head caps it off, leaving sticky spots of lacing all down the glass. I can only imagine straight from the tap.

An unbelievable fresh citrus nose. It's like a mix between Pure Hoppiness and Summer Yulesmith, toss in some pine sap and you have it. Earthy, green hops at first, just incredibly clean. Then big bold citrus scents come through. Bitter grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and hints of lemon. A piney undertone is there for sure as well.

Taste was just shocking to me. It was so much bigger than the smell lead me to believe. The inviting nose had lured me in and now I was getting slapped across the face with hops, laughing as my cheeks turned red with embarrassment. My forehead began to sweat, I got chills down my spine, and from that point on I knew I was in love. Seriously, there are still great citrus flavors and it's super fresh but wow, the piney hops are coming through full force. It's like pure hop juice glory without the overly oily and resinous body. As it warms, malts (huh?) do come through. A light caramel sweetness doesn't so much tame the wallop but it's there.

Bitter but not drying, tingling but not numbing, full but not oily. When I got this growler I was drinking it within an hour. Within the next hour, I had consumed nearly three pints of this addicting serum. A few hours later, after I took a nap, I couldn't help but come back for more.

This is truly a dream come true for hop lovers and I'm fortunate to have tried it. I put it in the realm of Yulesmith and Pure Hoppiness as my favorites. Not really in a class of its own but for now, it stands at the top. Andy, you are quite the generous soul, thank you!

Photo of Radiodred
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge fan of Vinnie and Russain River. I went to the TION night at O'briens and the line to get a tast was out the door, to the street, then down to the back of O'briens, and almost to the restroom. No joke!
It doesn't get any better than this.
Looks good, smells great, taste like heaven, smooth with a punch!

Photo of walows
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my!! This beer was hands down the most amazing beer i have ever had. This beer sent me to beer heaven. I feel really bad for the beers that i haven't tried yet because they don't stand a chance!

Appearance: I wonderful golden color, with a very night tight white head that was about an inch thick. It laced all the way down.
Smell: This beer was so pungent! It smelled of those wonderful little hop flowers and lots of them! First comes the malty sweetness, like caramel and the hops come in, which smelled like if you blended a grapefruit and a pine tree together.
Taste: Tasted just how it smelled, tasted as if you blended grapefruit and pine needles together. It had a wonderful sweet caramel malty taste and the hops come running in, it was so wonderfully bitter! Following this wonderful parade was a nice alcohol hotness. The aftertaste was my favorite part of this beer, the hops just got stuck all over my mouth and it was such a great experience.
Mouthfeel: This beer sat on my palette just so amazing. It was so thick and sticky with hops! You could chew this beer!
Drinkability: Even though this beer was very high in alcohol and was so thick and sticky, this beer was very drinkable, it was scary easy to drink. What an amazing beer!

I thought that i total lost my chance to try this beer, but i got so lucky and was a the right place at the right time and got the the first pour off the freshly tapped keg. I thought that this beer was all hype, but i was so wrong! This beer was AMAZING!

Photo of Gargamel92886
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At first I was concerned this beer would not live up to the hype. It did.

A: Straw colored, clear with thin white head

S: mild, citrusy

T: hoppy, not overly bitter

M: nice, crisp, fine carbonation

D: very drinkable. The alcohol hides so nicely within the beer, I didn't notice it until I stood up.

Photo of Overlord
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed a half liter of this at Hollingshead today. I have never had a sip of alcohol at work for my entire life, but given that I expected this to be a once a year opportunity, I made an exception. Halfway through, the barkeep casually mentioned that they actually received five kegs instead of their usual one. So it goes.

Pours a bright burnished orange. Clearer and more uniform in color than I expected. Little to no head. Smells like grapefruit and pine. Some tropical pineapple/passion fruit notes in the aroma, but little to no malt. Oily, viscuous, and perfect mouthfeel.

The flavor is robust and awe-inspiring. There is definitely tons of sweet, pink grapefruit-y tropical-ness and caramel malt to balance out a truly explosive pine and grapefruit hop backbone. That's right: this the rare beer in which the dominating characteristic is hops, and yet it actually is balanced by sweeter characteristics. Very drinkable.

I'm not sure what else there is to say. This beer has been well reviewed. This has joined Dreadnaught at the top of my DIPA chart.

Photo of Joeynocturnum
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to LongBeachHopHead for hand bottling this beauty so that I could taste the hype, and this is a case where I can believe the hype.

A- Bright glowing orange hue with a white head that was a little less than half a finger.

S- Hoppy-citrus and piney, could have inhaled this beer all night.

T- Sweet Citrus hop-bomb with hints of floral taste, 11% ABV was expertly hidden.

M- Crisp and refreshing, perfectly balanced carbonation no one taste overpowered.

D- Wish I had a growler, but was glad to have any. I probably would have been a mess, but if I had a growler I surely would have finished it in one night.

I have had Dreadnaught, the Elder, Hopslam, Sculpin and a few others in the last two weeks and I could see why PtY is clearly the CHAMP.

Photo of lostbearbrew
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Used 5 tickets to sample at the ABF. This is a combining of the notes I took each time..

How'd it look?: hazy honey yellow body with frothy head.

Olfactory Rating: Foresty Citrus Fresh Baked Sweet Bread. This beer is almost as confusing in the amount of smells it provides as any I've sampled. Was first, third, fifith, and then seventh and eigth samples I tried Friday night. Glad I tried it so many times up front, as it was gone fairly fast, and I could smell more layers in the beer than I might have later on.

Taste Buds say: sweet, almost amzingly so, as the nose doesn't hint that is the first thing you'll taste. Malt sits up front and Vinnie's use of sugar in the brews to up alch % and add sweetness comes through. Then, the hops explode - and the alchohol slowly works it way down the throat. The hops are almost like chewing on a piece of grapefruit covered in pine tar. Very intense, and the only other beer I've had that compares, is Dreadnaught. Alch flavor is there, but not highly present. Simply stunned, these taste buds are.

Mouthfeel: Very rich taste, covers the tongue, and attaches to the top of the palette.

Despite an 11% abv...this is one drinkable beer.

Finally found my notes from that weekend in Boston and am adding in reviews as I can.

Photo of BlackDog
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After calling Russian River, the distributor, and driving over an hour in Philly, I finally experienced the Younger. The hype, travel, and effort were well worth it.

Appearance: Nice, golden, white head, but it lacked a little bit, could have been thicker and had better retention.

Smell: The perfect smell. Strong hop aroma with hint of grapfruit, pine, lemon, citrus

Taste: Perfect. Such a nice hop taste, but so perfectly balanced that it isn't overpowering, but still enough to give it that great hop taste. Nice and crisp, medium body.

Mouthfeel: Again, perfect. Carbonation was right one (not sure what happened with the head, though), medium body was perfect.

Overall: Again, head lacked a tad. Aroma was perfect, taste was perfect. This is a very hoppy IIPA but is so perfectly balanced as to not overpower, giving it the perfect taste.

Photo of schuey1010
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was lucky enough to be at Pizza Port San Clemente on Valentines night and got talking to the bartender. Great beer there as always. Well, the bartender told me they had two five gallon kegs waiting to go on tap. He didn't tell me it would be on at opening, but he also didn't think they would put it on later in the day.

So this guy spent the night sleeping in front of the door waiting for them to open. The wife and I walked in and gave the secret handshake and were presented with two, maybe 8 or 10 oz. pours of this luscious, amazing elixir.

I drank my first in less than two minutes because I didn't want them to run out. (There were only three other people in the bar). I was able to have four myself as well as the four my wife had.

I am very much able to handle strong beers, but let me tell you, these four youngers really did a number on my Monday.
Then I think back and wonder if the two jack and cokes I had before PP had anything to do with it.

Overall, I will say that this batch is as good as any of the others I have tried. It goes down well, and the alcohol is virtually unnoticed until a few hours later when it's time for a nap.

Enjoy it if you can...

Photo of mpensworth
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Beautiful in the glass, nice and golden orange with a slight white foam head. The lacing was perfect in my glass as well.

S: Powerful citrus and pine aroma, makes the knees weak.

T: Ka-pow! My palate didn't know what hit it. Lots of pine and grapefruit flavors here, super fresh on the hop taste.

M: Good bitterness, feels pretty light for the amount of hops and alcohol.

D: Amazing flavors with a light balance makes it hard to have just one. I was lucky and got 3 glasses... and definitely felt like I had 3 glasses of it.

Overall it is an incredible beer. I don't think it would be so popular if it were readily available every year. But honestly, part of the enjoyment of this beer was the hunt... and kill.

Photo of rudeboy916
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an eight ounce glass. It appears medium bodied gold with only a thin layer of white foam.

I get an herbal grapefruit like smell to the beer. There is a bit of a grassy pine like smell as well. All you can smell in this beer are strong fresh dank hops.

It tastes initially very citrus like. I get a bit of a grapefruit flavor. There is a strong pine like dank flavor. There is a grassy hop flavor as well. I detect almost no malt presence in this beer. Hops are the star of this beer (obviously). The beer attacks the palate with a strong but pleasant bitterness. The herbal, slightly citrus, pine like and bitter quality of the hops all linger on for quite a while. This is a very clean and smooth tasting beer. In many ways this beer shows constraint and is not over the top (though the craziness surrounding this beer is).

The carbonation is moderate. There is a crisp mouthfeel to this beer.

The drinkability for being 11 percent is pretty good. It goes down quite easy but due to how flavorful it is this beer is a sipper. I could drink a few glasses of this if given the opportunity.

Overall a nearly flawless beer. I think the hype surrounding this beer is insane but the beer really is amazingly good. The cleanest, most flavorful (yet restrained) double/ triple IPA I have had.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I truly believe that not enough good things can be said about this beer. I had it on-tap at the release day. I also split a growler of it with friends the day after the release. Very fortunate to write this review.

The appearance is a light honey colored nectar that pours with a one and a half finger head. The head is white and sticky, but leaves after a while due to the ABV. The brew itself is as thick as honey, the carbonation bubbles struggle to make their way to the top of the brew. Leaves a thick alcoholic leg all around the glass. Also leaves a medium lacing on the sides. A beautiful beer with the greatest color and gravity, this thing is thick!

The smell is the best hop smell I have ever experienced. It reminds me of rubbing wet hops together in my hands at my local homebrew store. It has a hop bitterness with underlying citrus notes that bring two big characteristics together. No ABV is present anywhere in this beer, and it makes it dangerous. There is a marijuana smell that a lot of my beer tasting friends picked up, so this beer brings together my favorite smells in an IPA and intensifies them by ten.

The taste is of extremely bitter hops with a very strong malt backbone. It is balanced so well that the hops just explode with different flavors. What I love about Russian Rivers IPA's is that they have more of a pine characteristic than overly sweet. This pairs pine hops with sweet undertones in the taste. I had a growler at a bar last night and gave samples to about four different people, some that do not always drink craft beer. Everyone knew without the background of Younger that this was a very special beer.

The mouthfeel is a palate destroyer! The oils in this beer coat your entire mouth with hop bitterness, creating the best mouthfeel for a hop focused beer. Nothing tastes the same after this, for your palate is in fatigue after just a few sips.

The drinkability is dangerously high, I would of given this a six out of five if possible. Once you start, you cannot stop at all. I had about eight pours of this on the actual release, needless to say I got out of bed the next day at around noon. There is no surprise here that the taps ran out on the same day. Once you get to taste it, you just don't want to stop.

This was a true pleasure to try for I will never forget this weekend. A truly exceptional beer thats hype is well deserved. Cheers to Vinnie and Natalie at Russian River
J

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliny the Younger.

As a casual observer for the last few years the hysteria surrounding this beer was been overwhelming and something of a fascination for me. Horror stories of waiting in horrendous lines just for a chance to sample, amusing tirades by local barkeeps, hostile bartenders, etc. This has been something of a turn off to say the least. Was there a beer worthy of such insanity? Well I made a last minute decision to head over to Vine Street pub in Denver yesterday, 3/1/2012 to find out...if I was fortunate enough to score an elusive ticket. Parking was atrocious and knowing they were tapping the keg at 4:20, the short drive from the office to pub seemed an eternity. I was able to get one of the last 20 tickets at the pub. The place was busier than I have ever seen it and you could feel the apprehension of all these beer geeks (myself included) watching the clock tick ever so slowly. Cameras were out all over the bar just taking pictures of the tap handle! The comical looks at some of the dining patrons who clearly had no idea what was happening was rather amusing. One lady even asked her partner, "What the f*ck is going on!?" My friend was rolling down 17th to join me as they continued handing out tickets. 15 tickets left! 10 tickets left! 5 tickets left! 3 tickets left! They were disappearing at an alarming rate! I called him up and told he he needed to get his ass to the bar! Stuck in traffic? Throw that jeep up on the curb and get here! As he drove by the window "2 tickets!" PARK IN THE FIRE LANE! He dashed in right as they were calling LAST TICKET! We did everything in our power to get noticed, bam! He was awarded the last ticket! But wait, the manager promised the ticket to someone else! WTF!? In the end everything worked out ok and we both scored a 10 ounce pour of Pliny the Younger. The keg flowed non-stop for what was probably 15-20 minutes until kicked, much to the chagrin of the beer geeks who let out a resounding sigh of disappointment as the keg died. Easily the most stressful beer chase in my life, was it worth it!? On to the review:

The beer was poured to a 10 ounce wine glass with extreme care by the army of employees Vine Street had on hand. They had an assembly line of workers to distribute the beer, fascinating. As the keg was tapped and the glasses filled the entire bar was filled with a billowing aroma of sweet citrus and piney hops. The power of the aroma was glorious! It was like swimming in a cloud of hops and I didn't even have my beer yet! Finally my glass, the beer is a crystal clear yellow golden amber color with a smaller 1/2 finger white head. Good retention and lacing. The staff was very observant of not spilling a drop and filling each glass with extreme care, nice, and odd and unlike anything I have ever seen. The aroma of the beer in my hand was even more impressive than what I experienced as it flowed from the keg. Huge hop character with hints of tangerine, pineapple, orange, pine, and grapefruit along with a distinct sweetness clearly evident in the nose. The most impressive aroma of any IPA I've experienced, it knocks you in the face and reminds you who you're dealing with. The flavor is equally impressive with an initial surge of the hops. Medium bitter the hops and caramel fruity sweetness actually balance the beer very well. Absolutely no hint of the high abv whatsoever and extremely drinkable. Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The beer drinks like a meal, chewy, with hop resins that linger on the palette well after the sweetness has faded. The flavor lasts on the tongue longer than any beer I've ever had, easily. Well crafted brew.

Overall, to say I really enjoyed the experience would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype? Tough call. The beer is amazing. To be honest the whole experience while stressful and chaotic in hindsight was actually a lot of fun! The whol ordeal is something I won't soon forget and perhaps that factors into the rating of the beer. As one of a couple triple IPA's I've had, this is hands down the winner... by a landslide. I now understand and respect the hysteria surrounding this beer and feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Pliny the Younger.

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this white whale on tap at Hamiltons in San Diego

Great IPA appearance and fragrance. What sets this IIIPA apart from others is the fact that it's 10.25% and still drinks as smoothly as a pale ale. Goes down really well. Didn't give a perfect rating because the body is a little light. This brew feels and almost drinks just like the Elder, but packs more of a punch. Was it worth waiting in line for? YES.

Photo of MitchD14
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap in a 12 oz glass at Bailey's Taproom in Portland. I must say, it lives up to the hype. I believe this keg was 10.5% ABV but it was not too hoppy to enjoy even with the high alcohol content. It has a beautiful translucent golden color and goes down extremely smoothly.

Photo of grrrah
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at brewery, February 2012

A: Clear golden. Not much head as the pour was pretty much to top of glass.
S: Lots of tropical fruits and pines
T: Perfect, big hops, fruity, and perfect balance. Does not taste like a triple IPA
M: almost perfect. A little resiny in the mouth, but not nearly as much as one would expect from a 10+% IPA.
O: Still the best IPA I have ever had.

Photo of JRscott24
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This treat was being served on Valentines day at a local bar in Danville, CA. 2 full kegs tapped out in 43 Mins. Once again, this beer did not disappoint. A full-bodied brew with a powerful hop aroma and lingering taste. It is the perfect example of a triple IPA. Incredibly smooth. Incredibly strong. Memorable flavor.

Photo of De_Nada_Brewing
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this last year at Haven Gastropub in Orange. Was alittle skeptical at first when I had to wait 2 hours but it was well worth it!

The smell is amazing, a straight hop bomb.

Appearance is like pliny

Both taste and mouthfeel are amazing, not at all bitter.

Can't wait until next year when I try this again!

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

After 3000 miles traveled. After 4 hours waiting in line. I finally try The Younger.

A-Pours vibrant and rather clear. Thin, creamy head leaves wavy stains of lacing. I detect the lightest essence of haze in the body. Its color is a divinely illuminated shade of sunset orange. I am shocked by its clarity.

S-The wettest, ripest, juiciest and most concentrated display of hops I have ever experienced. Pine and a fist-full of grass ripped from the lawn. Then there is a cornucopia of topical fruit. Hop perfume, hop nectar, hop extract. I can smell it from a foot away.

T-The intensity and complexity of the flavors is like nothing I have ever experienced. It got better and better as it warmed. At its perfect temperature, the flavors I experienced were stunning. Peach, mango, cantaloupe, tangerine, nectarine, guava and pineapple. A liquefied sweet-dough malt embraces the hops but is absolutely overpowered. The flavors couldn't have been richer.

M-I have never had a beer with such a long aftertaste. I could literally taste it several minutes after a sip. I could taste it an hour after my final sip as well. Incredibly juicy and resinous. Like chewing on a hop. Drinks with far too much ease.

O/D-Worth the countrywide trip. Never have I experienced a beer with such a combination of power and finesse. The Jim Brown of beer. I am quite sure no beer can ever surpass this. Every beer I try after this can only hope to find a place on the same tier as Pliny The Younger...

Photo of Turst3Since1987
4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

First and foremost I just want to say that I did not intend to get drunk off younger but the opportunity to have as many glasses as I wished drove me to have my fill of it. And for the first time trying it, it was no less then amazing.

Golden, deep orange and minimum head, almost completely flat.

From the moment I had my first glass without putting my nose to it the smell found me, amazing sweetness deceptively covering the amount of hops it contains.

Mouthfeel was medium body, creamy silk, light oil consistency that made it one easy beer to drink and make u forget its actually 11%

Overall worth the wait and having a beer like this makes me appreciate perfectly crafted beer and has me searching for anything that can tap into the heels of this amazing brew, at least untill next year.

Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get two glasses this year.

A - golden crystal clear yellow with almost zero head. There is no head retention because of all the hop oil. Great alcohol legs.

S - the smell knocked me off my feet. So piney and hoppy. I could smell the beer from the table. Almost didn't want to drink it because it smelt that good.

T - perfectly balanced and smooth. Classic RR IPA with the piney, citrus flavored but just the right amount of malt backbone. Some warming but no burn.

O - if this beer was more widely available it would be easily the best beer around. Lives up to the hype and has inspired me to finally make the trek to RR next year for the PtY release.

Photo of scottfrie
4.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on tap at the brewery on release day 2/4/2011.

This glowing honey-amber liquid was served in a 10oz nonic glass. I wouldn't expect much of a head on a pour like this but what thin collar is there left great sheets of lacing down the glass. The smell is just the most wonderful bouquet of sweet floral, fruity and piney hops. This goes for the flavor as well. Overall the hops are full of fruit nectar, honey, and a touch of grapefruit and pine bitterness. Elder is a little bit more potent in the nose, with a bigger blast of grass, pine, and marijuana, but Younger is more fruity, sweet and nectary. The bitterness for this beer is also so well integrated, and it doesn't overwhelm or fatigue the palate at all.

The mouthfeel is everything I want in a beer. This is crazy smooth! There is NO trace of alcohol, and this is a 10.5% beer. Nor is this beer heavy, syrupy or thick. At all. The carbonation is just perfect, and one could quite literally drink this all day. By far this is the best mouthfeel on a beer I've ever had. Basically, this is one of the world's most easy-to-drink beers, and definitely one of the best beers I've ever had. Well well well worth the hype!

EDIT: Consuming this beer during the weeks of the 2012 release solidified this beer as my favorite of all time. There are many other amazing beer in this style and others, but this beer is the best. I love you Vinnie, I love you Russian River!

Photo of Buzzerben
4.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fortunate to be in Denver at the Cheeky Monk for a tapping.

Appearance: Clear, crisp orange hued. Akin to most kiler DIPAs/TIPAs
Smell: Citrusy sweet from 3 feet away
Taste: Enamel-busting sticky grapefuit
Mouthfeel: Suave suave suave.

Overalll: I was very impressed with this beer. I feel lucky to have had it. It most certainly lives up to the hype.

Photo of NWer
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at RRBC on Tuesday the 8th and again on Friday the 11th.
Trying very hard not to get caught up in the hype but couldn't help it.
This is one amazing beer. The perfect balance between flowery smoothness and hoppy essence you want from a DIPA.
It just tastes sooo good!
Thanks for the memories RRBC! My new gold standard to measure all others.

Photo of JupiterJesus
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Weird, it appears I didn't actually review this when I had it last year. I guess I have to rectify that mistake.

There's nothing I could say that hasn't been said already, so I'll focus more on differences between this year (2013) and last year.

Last year I waited a week to go to the brewery, so I was first in line. Unfortunately, this meant I was wasted by noon - not the most fun thing. My main recollection is that PtY was the most smooth, drinkable 10+% ABV beer I'd ever had in my life. The alcohol was smooth and well integrated, providing a spicy background flavor and a bit of alcohol sweetness to balance the massive hop bomb. This is nothing like the typical SoCal double or triple ipa, which is more like an overhopped barleywine and you can't drink more than a snifter of it. It smells so great you don't want to stop sniffing it and actually drink it!

This year, Natalie claims they added more hops and it is the 'best Younger ever'. I did notice that the quoted ABV on the board was 10.8%, while I think I remember it being more like 10.5% last year. My first thought this year was the opposite of last year - there was a LOT more alcohol heat. While the 2012 PtY tasted like a smooth 7-8% DIPA, you could taste every percentage point of alcohol in this year's younger. Palate fatigue starts to set in pretty quickly, so the first taste is like manna from heaven, but the last isn't nearly as good. I recommend eating this year's younger with food, probably some pizza bites, to periodically restart your palate.

I also made the mistake of showing up on the Saturday after Younger day, and thus waited SEVEN hours in line.... Yeah. Seven. Won't be doing that again.

Don't get me wrong. PtY is still an excellent beer, and it is still more drinkable and better made than any other double or triple ipa you can get. Even this year's PtY hides its alcohol better than other DIPAs, like the Hop Henge I tried just two nights before. I'm basing my 5 score on last year's younger. I would dock this year's maybe 1/2 point on flavor for the alcohol heat and the overall increased 'roughness' of flavor.

Side note: I wish there was a way to score on drinkability of a beer, which seems like a much more important factor in the enjoyment of a beer than appearance or mouthfeel.

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,722 ratings.