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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.

2,396 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,396
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 4,420
Gots: 123 | 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: 2,396 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks, Prufrock, for sharing this rare and delicious treat. Served cool in a taster.

Pours an amber yellow with nice white head that dissipates but leaves good lacing.

Nose is big with pine and floral notes, I like it over the more common overwhelming grapefruit of most west coast IPAs.

Taste is superb! What PtY is most notable for is what's missing. There are no defects in the flavor of this beer, no cloying sweetness, no stale hops or pungent maltiness. Can't stand Imperial IPAs that are syrupy or reek like barleywines.

Mouthfeel is moderate, not nearly as heavy as any other 11% beer I can name off hand. Thanks, Vinny, for making it so damn drinkable. A half gallon disappears fast.

PtE from the growler is the best beer I've ever had and keeps its crown, but the mighty son is a very close second. My bucket list certainly includes visiting RR in person to have PtY directly on tap.

BattleRoadBrewer, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this op tap at Flanigan's Boathouse in Summer 2006, just rating it now for some reason. Maybe I'm just sobering up from that strange mid-afternoon event, held on Monday of all days. Fresh bursts of pine cones and grapefruits on the nose, with a lingering sweetness. Orange body, slightly darker than its elder kindred. Just such a wonderful flavor, an explosion of the aforementioned, more candi sugar than the Elder, swirling lighter fruits mingle into an extraordinarily balanced, large, and impressive IIPA. Not the grapefruit peel wonders of Dreadnaught, but an exceptionally balanced utter assault here.

JAXSON, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of khiasmus
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many, many thanks to Wespatrick for sharing this gem. Had at a tasting last night, Feb 13th. Reviewed from notes.

"Well, here we are then, gents. It's officially.. well, apparently, the best in the land."
"Go ON then, let's have at it!"
A hissy-pop and up swings the cap, as the aroma already begins to waft about the room, blending with the cheese-and-crackers upon the table, and making quite a name for itself, though we have yet to tilt it.
A glug-glug and it's in the glass in front of me, and the seriousness of evaluating comes due.
There's an almost-clear orange with tiny specks afloat throughout... "What is that?" "What?" "The specks there." "I don't see them." "Don your glassies then, old man!" "Ah... I suppose just a lack of filtering, then, and perhaps tiny hop-pebbles." "Lovely."
A finger-thick head rises up but settles quickly, at first gives the illusion of lace, but then shows itself to be sliding down after every savory sip.
A long, enjoyable whif, and the loads of grapefruit and resin come out. "Gents, it smells just like Sculpin!" "Ah, come off it, not just like Sculpin!" "No. Really."
The aroma and flavour are both monstrously grapefruity, with just a bit of resin thrown in... "Come along fellows, let us be honest, all of us know what a grapefruit tastes like, but when was the last time you chewed pine needles?" "Ah... what time is it? About... eight hours ago." Guffaws all round.
The percentage really does little to show itself except in a bit of warming after each swallow. The carbonation is medium-high, the body is rather thin, it's a tad boozy. But just a tad. "Really though? Have you ever had an 11% that was so drinkable?" "Yes sir. Unearthly." "Ah. Touche."
It only makes sense, as Wes pointed out, that this be the number one DIPA on the site, with Sculpin being the number 1 IPA. I could not get it out of my head that this beer is precisely imperial Sculpin. Just the same dangerous drinkability (As in, if a drinkability scale could go higher than five, this beer would be there), the exact same grapefruit-dominant hop profile, an excellent and well-crafted beer. The best DIPA? Not to my palate, but obviously well-deserving.

khiasmus, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really late on posting this. Notes are from February. Had it on tap at Surly Goat, Father's Office, Tony's Darts and Churchill's Pub within a few weeks of each other.

A: Pours a very clear golden-orange. One finger of medium-white head. Head dissipated very quickly, leaving nice lacing behind.

S: Lots of grapefruit and orange. Behind that there is tropical fruit, floral scents and pine. Smells very sweet.

T: The alcohol on this one is hidden really well. Has a well balanced citrus and tropical fruit sweetness with a malty backbone. Very crisp and drinkable. Less hop bitterness than the Elder on this one.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Has a great stickiness to it, which is probably my favorite part of this beer.

O: This is a very well balanced, refreshing and drinkable beer, especially considering that it comes in at 11%. With that said, I prefer many other DIPAs (yes, I know this is a triple) to this and I don't think it's worth going nuts over.

LaChupacabra, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of Bajasith
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Making a 125 mile trip worthwhile. Feb 13, 2010 was the start of a brew tour beginning at Port Brewing to grab some Red Poppy Ale and Angels Share Grand Cru.
Later spent the afternoon at Stone Brew and Bistro for some 2010 Baleywine and other famous Stone brews. Stone Brewerie had PtY on tap Thursday and were all out Saturday. I was told a local pub would have it on tap later in the evening.... I am there...
After 18 months I was able to have some Pliny the Younger in my hands so here it goes...
A: Pours radiant golden color with slight copper haze around the edges. Small frothy head that dissipated rather quick with nice lacing.
S: Very similar to PtE with a stronger smell of thick hops hanging around the fizz of alcohol. Reminds me of a thick forest after a rain.
T: Very well balanced. I am not sure if alcohol content of PtY helps balance the bitterness of the hops but let me tell you, it felt like a sweet tinge at the end.
M: Heavier and almost chewy compared to PtE.
D: Have to be carefull with this one. High ABV can hit you rather quickly since there is no end with PtY. Lighter ABV would make this brew highly drikable one after another.
Overall, PtY is the best DIPA I have had (for now)...

Bajasith, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of IceAce
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Billed as a Triple IPA with an ABV of 11.0% according to the taphandle.

Pours orange / copper in color with excellent clarity for an IPA of any type. The nose is seductively fruity sweet with a very strong backdrop of resinous floral hops.

The foretaste scrubs the front of the tongue with 'just right' carbonation while the hops perform a vise-like grip the full length of the sides of the tongue. Even the midtaste is dominated by the aggressive hopping while the elevated ABV begins to show a warming effect toward the aft of the mouth. The finish is thick with the generous grain bill while the hops begin a slow, slow exit stage right.

Mouthfeel is thick-n-chewy and only the over the top alcohol content reduces drinkability by ½ point.

Pliney the Younger is a big, complex beer and well worth almost any journey in an effort to seek out its hoppy goodness.

IceAce, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of kleffman
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said? I believe this is my third or fourth year having it, and it has always been incredible.

Grabbed a pint of this nectar of the gods at O'Briens. Pours a very clear deep orange color with a nice little head on top and just a bit of lacing.

Smell was not as over the top as I remembered and hoped for but still a rather nice citrus, lemon and slight piney hoppy sweet aroma.

Delicious taste that was actually quite sweet but not in a cloying way. Perfect amounts to balance the explosive hops and extreme alcohol levels. It all melds together so well you would have no idea it's so alcoholic.

A great full bodied mouthfeel with a nice prickly carbonation that makes for an easy drinking beer. I can't think of very many 11% beers that go down as well as a pint of Younger.

This is one seasonal offering that I'm very excited for every year. I can't imagine how crazy people are going to go for the bottles of it once the new production brewery gets up and running.

kleffman, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours with a small but solid head with a good effervescence. The beer couldn't smell more like pine, just wonderful like walking in a pinewood forest. I love aromatic beers and I could smell this one five feet away when the growler was opened. This is one of the driest hoppy beers I have ever tried, and now I fear I am going to crave it constantly. The beer is bracingly bitter and piney with some great complimentary mango and very mild citrus flavors that lend a hand in the complexity, this is not to say that the fruit notes sweeten the beer at all. There is just not a trace of the huge alcohol , just one remarkably well put together beer.

BieresDesMoines, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of DennyCrane
4.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap in SF at Toronado. $6 for what looked to be an 8oz pour.

Minimal head, wonderful appearance. The color was magnificent. Definitely got me excited.

Smell was great. Somewhat similar to the Elder. Definitely good.

Taste was awesome. First few sips, i swooshed it around in my mouth. Really good stuff. Very crisp and drinkable for a "triple IPA".

Mouthfeel was like a normal APA, not a big hop bomb. Very crisp.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer and am very glad that I got to try it. I hit RR in Santa Rosa on Sunday night around 9 PM hoping I could sneak in and get a glass before the end of the day allotment but I missed out by 10 minutes. As much as I enjoyed this beer, I am very glad that I didnt wait 6 hours in line like alot of people.

If you can get this beer without too much hassle, go for it. It is great but not worth the madness. I suppose nothing really is...

DennyCrane, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of Celismisser
4.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Stood in line for 3 hours, got my ticket, and had this at my home brewery...Tustin Brewing Company.

Not many beers I would wait 3 hours for...and only waited that long because my beer drinking buddy was adamant that this is the best beer ever created in the history of mankind. Usually when someone tells you something is the best you end up disappointed...not this time.

Great beer, you can tell it has high content but it is still very easy to drink with a great high hop flavor.

Best thing I can say...I will be standing in line to get my ticket again next year.

Celismisser, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of spark3148857
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Toronado

Pours clear pale golden color with little to no head to speak of. Aroma is pretty much spot on with the Elder, super balanced, super hoppy, with notes of pine and citrus. Taste is like taking a fistful of fresh whole cone hops and shoving them in your mouth. Huge vegetal, piney, slight citrus, but mostly just a ton of hop oil that coats the mouth and pretty much destroys the palate. Younger really shines on the mouthfeel. Smooth, silky, with absolutely no boozyness to speak of. Practically unheard of! Am I glad I stood in line for 30 min at Toronado? Yes. Is it the best triple IPA I've had? No. I would probably prefer having the Elder over the Younger on a regular basis but wow what a great triple IPA.

spark3148857, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of spicelab
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Day 1 of the Younger Release@Russian River, 3rd Feb. Reviewed from notes cobbled together the next day in a somewhat hungover state.

Clear apricot with a steady bead and minimal head - however the half-pint serving vessels filled to the rim all but exclude a reasonable head assessment.

Dark, brooding aromas of rockmelon, orange, guava, passionfruit and pineapple.

Flavours follow the nose, but become more animated - especially from the 3rd glass on. Bitterness hits early but the magnitude of the flavours makes it seem quite sane. The bizarrest part is that it seems to become more drinkable and moreish with each glass.

The hop oils provide a delightful chewiness, yet the mouthfeel is generally middle of the road in all respects - carbonation, bitterness and evenness.

Amazing how well it works. Ordeal by hops that is devilishly addictive. The more you have the more you want. Started out not super impressed with this, but by the 6th glass I felt increasingly like a dog with a bone. Lacks just a little complexity in my eyes to be truly mindblowing.

spicelab, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to the Hulmeville inn for this one.Limited to one per person but my wife who is pregant did not want any so WOOHOO!!! Two for me.

Poured a slighly hazy auburn color with a thin white heading. Lacing did stick around through every gulp and until the bitter end.

Smell is a little deceiving at first although the hops are clearly there in the taste there is more a lighter malty body in the nose. Bitter hops blast through with a nice hello.

Taste is smooth and malty as soon as the brew touches the tongue but a heavy citrusy - pineapple blast takes over.Very tasty indeed.

Mouth has excellent carbonation with a nice medium body. The pineapple grassy notes linger around for a long while. Again very alive on the palate.Alot lighter in the mouth than I would have anticipated not like a heavy syrup that you would find in other IIPA's.

Well this is good but honestly I don't know what all of the hubbub is about this brew with you CA folk. This is a very tasty brew but you can easily find other great IIPA's for less the hassle and wait but still a solid brew.

TheFightfan1, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of deschutes_fan
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%

deschutes_fan, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of oregone
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From (brief) notes:
Beautiful copper color with light head receding to solid and persistant lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine. Strong aroma taht you certainly don't have to stick your face into, but want to. Complex.

Tastes like hops up front. Citrus, pine, very resinous and then the backbone kicks in and lays the foundation for a looong and deliciously balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is superb. Lightly sticky, but not detractingly so. Fills the mouth with a silky layer of flavor that stays.

Kills it on drinkability. As drinkable as any regular ipa I've had. Just stupid easy. This really is the magic here. Such a big strong beer and flavor experience but I could drink this waaaay too quickly and easily.

oregone, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of haazer
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First beer(of course) at the Blue Dog event.

A- very pretty golden brew, orange highlights and loads of bubbles. Good carbonation. Lacing all over the glass.

S- Very fruity. Mango, pineapple, pine sap, kiwi. Incredible nose. No malt in here! Aggressive hop aroma all throughout.

T- Its a toss up here between the nose. Very bitter, biting hop flavor. The fruit is orange peel, mango and some honeydo. Sticky syrup, strong pine needles. The hops blend very to me as floral and earthy in profile. No abv detected.

M- Ever so smooth and crisp. Light to medium body and high carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel, coating my teeth. The best part of the beer for me.

O- Two four oz pours didn't do this justice. Incredibly drinkable. What sets this apart from other beers I feel is it really has no flaws. Is it the best beer in the world? I'd say no, better then elder? That's a toss up. Grateful I got to try this though. Blue Dog handled this event very well.

haazer, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of AwYeh
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Rose and Crown in Palo Alto as part of their IPA/Younger day for SF Beer Week. Poured into what looks like a mason jar, but hey there's only so many glasses and so much beer to go around.

A: Has a clear golden-amber color, with a thin lacing of white head on top. It's got just a bit of an oily rainbow sheen on top, which I've never seen before in a beer and which I'm guessing is from some kind of contaminant in the glass– no points off for that, although it didn't even look bad.

S: Big pine and citrus hop notes, with touches of flower in there. Big and bitter, but the flavors lend it a good deal of complexity and diversity. Pretty big caramel malt flavors show up too, but with so much hoppiness going on, they serve much more as providers of balance than attractions to see.

T: Ok, this is where the beer meets the hype surrounding it. Unbelievably full and complex; the 8 ounces I had contained far more flavor than most 12/16/22/25 ounce servings I've had in the past. Huge rushes of pine, grapefruit, and orange alongside a strong, sweet malt backbone. Tropical and fascinating; this could quite possibly pass as some kind of bitter juice cocktail to someone unfamiliar with beer. No hint of the 11% alcohol either, and as such no flaws to point out. Near the end I started sipping on the pint of Pliny the Elder I grabbed along with it to compare the two, and Younger was far more intense in flavor.

M: Sticky, smooth, and creamy all at once, with moderate carbonation and a continued absence of heat from the high ABV; mouthfeel is very, very solid. Great bitter, flavorful finish.

O: If this was available all the time, I would probably say I got gypped on the $10 pricetag for half a glass. But since it's a once a year beer and so outstanding, I'll give it a pass. Pick it up, if just to say you've had it and to judge for yourself if it's worth the hype (I'm saying yes, even if a lot of beers around the same level don't get the same attention on a wide scale).

AwYeh, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler shared by Dave (dukedevil0), thank you sir! Poured into a tasting glass a couple of times.

A - Pours a golden/orange/copper color with a small white head. There's lots of lacing around the sides of the glass, sticky stuff! There's some head here and there on top of the beer, but just a hint here and there.

S - Very complex with lots going on here! Tropical fruit, smokey malts, straight-forward citrus, sweetness.

T - Mostly a malty sweetness mixed with a large amount of hops. The hops are def there, but it's not overdone. A nice bitter finish.

M - Light, smooth, clean finish. Nice carbonation, just frothy enough to let you know it's there but not enough to take away from the beer itself.

D - So so easy to drink, it's scary! Probably won't have another glass until 2011 unless I get lucky again.

I wasn't totally blown away by this beer as some others are. It's as good as Elder, probably neck and neck. Would have been nice to have them both for a side by side. I think I prefer Elder to Younger...

Sean9689, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of angelmonster
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on phone, feb 2011 at Freshcraft in Denver

Pours a golden yellow straw colored body, with a 1 finger white head. Lacing is outstanding and head retention is good.

Smell is of intense pine, resinous marijuana, tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Also some sweet malts and for 11 percent no alcohol was detected. A year later I can still remember the amazing aroma that filled the somewhat small bar as dozens of glasses of Younger were simultaneously poured.

Taste is complex, full on hops though. First there's resinous floral weed, then pineapple and citrus juice, followed by bitter lime and ending with sweet malts and faint booze.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Head was present for abit and had some substance.

Drinkability is very good. Went through glass fast, this is a hop heads wet dream. Just enough malt and booze to counter the bitterness. One of the best hop forward beers made, just wish it wasnt such a hassle to get, looking forward to trying some soon

angelmonster, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of jethrodium
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River on February 5, 2011. Pours a golden amber with a small white head leaving a ridiculous amount of lacing on the glass for the alcohol content. Aroma is ridiculous with resinous pine hops, loads of floral hops, and hints of pineapple and grapefruit. Barely any malt coming through in the aroma. Initial taste is huge pine hops going into some more floral hops with just enough malt to balance it. A bit of grapefruit comes through as well. Great bitterness on the finish, but not too much. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Amazingly not overly sweet or syrupy for a beer of its size like many DIPAs. Amazingly drinkable as well. Barely a trace of the 11%. This could very easily put you on the floor very quickly. Just an amazingly good beer. Worthy of all the hype it gets. 5/5/4.5/4.5/5

On tap at Bobby G's. 2012 edition. Pours a clear golden with a small white head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is big pine, grapefruit, dank, hints of pineapple, orange, and some light caramel. Smells quite bitter. The initial taste is bitter with pine and grapefruit. Quite dank and sticky. There is also orange and pineapple. Just enough caramel malt to give some balance to the huge amounts of hops. The finish is very bitter and dry with just a bit of alcohol. Medium body. Dry. Medium carbonation. Just an amazing beer. There is no other double or triple IPA this big that still manages to be dry. 4.5/4.5/4.5/5/4.5

jethrodium, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of deapokid
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this rarity for the first time during a special 20-person morning session at Resurrection Ale House. Beer was served with a smile in a medium-sized tulip.

Packing a soft, short head and low carbonation, this brew is a nearly translucent gold, with flecks of red and orange. A bit more carbonation was excepted, but there's nothing on display here to take away from its hefty reputation.

Aromas are quite strong, walking the line somewhere between alpha hops and sour citrus. It's a pleasing and lively stink, reminding me of warm weather and summer fun, something which is miles away from the arctic tundra of Philadelphia. A beautiful bouquet of lovely scents.

The flavor is a bit surprising. I initially expected a pronounced hop scratchiness that would melt the taste buds right off of my tongue. Pleasantly, this offers up the best of both worlds, magnificently balancing a powerful hoppiness with a sunny and delicate amber sweetness. It's exceptionally light for its strength, masking the alcohol well and giving off a fresh and floral vibe. I also caught a mild roasted quality amongst the concluding flavors.

The liquid carries a warmth, despite the fact that it is rather thin and quite easy to consume. The hop character wakes up the tongue, but never overwhelms it, allowing other characteristics to poke out their heads. It's also dangerously drinkable, never even hinting at its raging 11% ABV.

This brew truly deserves the overwhelming acclaim. It's an exceptional DIPA and it certainly shouldn't be sequestered to holidays and special occasions.

deapokid, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of Dtroia
4.56/5  rDev -2.6%

Dtroia, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of jdhowe
4.56/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bobby G's Pizzeria in Berkeley, CA.

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange with little to no bubbly white head and a fine, thin, white ring of head around the glass. Continuous bubbling is visible from the base of the glass.

S: Super sweet and syrupy. Resinous hop character of pine, earth dankness, grapefruit, peach, and stone fruit. Tons of malt sweetness. Lots going on in this beer.

T/M: Really full medium mouthfeel with carbonation that feels low, but only because of how syrupy and resinous the beer tastes. Completely smooth with tons of hop resin coating the mouth. Prickly carbonation up front with a surprisingly subtle hop bitterness that isn't really harsh at all gives way to super resinous hop character, primarily citrus. Tons of malt sweetness provide waves of juicy stone fruit and candy. Finish is smooth, juicy, coating, and moderately bitter. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: This is a really excellent beer. It's hardly worth the trouble to get to enjoy it, but it's really quite nice. The abundance of flavor is almost too much, though; it's so thick and flavorful that after even a few ounces I feel pretty satisfied. I probably wouldn't drink this daily given the chance, but am glad I've gotten to enjoy it a couple times and would definitely do it again if it wasn't so much of a pain to get.

jdhowe, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of homebrew311
4.56/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a clear gold with thick white head that leaves tons of lacing. Nose is full of tropical aroma, citrus, grapefruit, and pine come through the strongest. Taste is expertly balanced with plenty of piney hops. To a of apricot and grapefruit throughout with bitter undertones. Mouthfeel is surprisngly light and had a slightly creamy feel. This is truly well balanced and the alcohol is nearly undetectable. Very good!

homebrew311, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one came out a deep, rich orange in color with a monster head that just refused to go down.

Smell – Oh, shit, this is da hop bomb. I’ve had some pretty big hoppy beers before, to include The Chunks that requires a strainer to drink, but this thing was just huge.

Every hop, and I mean EVERY hop, that I have ever had is in this nose. The grapefruit, the citrus, the rare Simcoe, East Coast Amarillo, giant PacNW pine sap, huge monster citrus, big floral, and anything else you can think of it in this bouquet. Oh, and there’s a huge, monstrous super-sugary caramel malt sweetness here as well.

Taste – This is a sledgehammer made of hops striking down on the head of the barstool-affixed patron. It’s not unexpected though, because this is one of their best-selling beers.

The complex hops from the nose hit hard and mercilessly at the taste. This really is like liquid hop syrup, and if you’re a hophead looking for the next, biggest hop fix than the buck stops here. It really doesn’t get any bigger than this.

Mouthfeel – This full-bodied hop bomb is a meal in itself. Interestingly, the huge sugary caramel-infused malt balance keeps this one from being extra bitter, although significant bitterness is present.

Drinkability – If The Ruination is a delicate ballerina floating on the DAIPA stage, this is a steroid-using 260 pound female bodybuilder whoopin’ your ass. But man oh man is this good. Somebody tried to take a sip from my glass but I knocked them out into the street. I think it was my mama.

Comments – Vinnie the brewer said that he can’t run Pliny The Younger with Pliny The Elder because The Elder tap gets stale. The Younger is the clear patron’s choice.

He gave me the run down on the hopping of this beer, but I can’t begin to remember it all. He adds a complex mix of hops at four different stages of the brewing cycle then dry-hops the beer four times with varying mixes of hops. There’s an emphasis on Amarillo and Cascade, but he has everything in here from Centennial to Simcoe to all else in between.

The beauty of this concoction is that he got it so hoppy. He did it in “stages”, because at some point you can keep adding hops but the IBUs don’t change and you can’t really taste them. It really is a work of art and an amazing accomplishment from an excellent brewer. Cheers!

RoyalT, Mar 08, 2005
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,396 ratings.