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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,135 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2135
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.53%

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
Ratings: 2,135 | Reviews: 835 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Patrick999


4.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, here it is, I finally get to try more than a tiny serving of this much-coveted beer. Poured into a tulip. I'm actually a little nervous because I know the reviews for this beer are scrutinized. While it does pour an attractive semi-clouded gold, the foam recedes rather quickly, leaving a few large bubbles on the surface.

The aroma is outstanding, it's all you ever wanted in an IPA. Apricot, orange, grapefruit, pine, a little mango. For aromatics, it easily deserves a 5.

I get a lot of intense stonefruit on the palate with a zippy pine backing. Hop character is of course very good...but I find that there's somewhat too much alcohol here. It can be harsh, on occasion devolving to what I can only describe as a peach-vodka character. That would be my knock on this beer. I don't think it needs 11%; it doesn't quite have a strong enough malt backing to mask and/or carry it, in my opinion. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I don't see how people can say the alcohol is barely noticeable....I think it's quite noticeable, and it does this particular beer a bit of a disservice in its harshness.

Feel-wise, it doesn't seem to be that well-carbonated, but it is from a growler that made it all the way to the East Coast, so I have to give it the benefit of the doubt. Plus, it has the requisite resiny feel that massively hopped beers have.

While it's got great hop character - we all know that - I honestly couldn't drink that much of this. For me, this is a sipping beer in a single 6-8oz serving. It's good in that context, I think. Not my #1 beer, though, not even my #1 DIPA. Even within RR's own stable, I think Pliny the Elder is the superior beer.

Serving type: growler

02-24-2010 03:43:35 | More by Patrick999
Photo of younger35


4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received a growler of this from the super generous abecall98. I've missed this damn beer the past three years and I decided the 2010 version needed to be in my belly. Drank from some sort of Belgium snifter thingy with Mr. Scoobydank.

Appearance- Pours a light orange yellow with terrific clarity and a beautiful one finger off-white head. A nice collar and thin cap remains most of the beer along with plenty of lacing.
Smells- Smells a lot like Elder. A lot. Loads and loads of tropical fruits including, but not limited to; peach, pineapple, grapefruit, mango and passion fruit. The alcohol is definitely noticeably in the nose, way more than Elder. Not a lot else to say. It's just a big fruity hoppy party.
Taste- Oh man. So subtle and smooth with absolutely no booze what so ever, surprising considering the smell. Almost zero bitterness with a super citric and fruity hoppiness. Loads of pineapple and mango flood my taste buds but I don't get the crazy fruitiness that I got on the nose because the beer is so incredibly "balanced". A kiss of cracker in the super dry finish but it's fleeting and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. The hoppy fruitiness just lingers and lingers.
Mouthfeel- Nice and creamy with a slick oily feel from the ridiculously copious amount of hops. Light carbonation with a medium to below heavy feel.
Drinkability- Can't believe how good this is. The only real weakness I can find in the brew is the bit of alcohol in the nose. So fruity and hoppy and nice. Man I hope I can find a growler of this every year. Thanks much Abe!

Serving type: growler

02-24-2010 00:36:26 | More by younger35
Photo of somabeer


4.68/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So friends of mine asked me what good beer I had around and I popped open a growler of younger. After half a glass, the double digit ABV frightened them off, and I was left with half a growler. I can't complain because this is a beautiful beer. It Poured a nice amber color, almost like mead, With a good solid head and an all hop aroma. The taste was exquisite with a heavy hop forward bitter blast, balanced out by a honey/nectar malt flavor. I had 3 glasses and I could drink this alll night if it were not for the alcohol hitting me after glass 3. It's an amazing beer!

Serving type: growler

02-23-2010 10:25:24 | More by somabeer
Photo of Deuane


4.9/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my Cali connection Nick for going through a lot of trouble to pick up and send a growler of this fine nectar my way.

A-Bright, golden copper with a thin off-white head that reduced to a thin ring. Head revives nicely with a bit of swirling. Moderate, spotty lace left behind.

S-Luscious citrus (orange, tangerine, apricot) hops mixing with papaya, mango and some pineapple. Amazing, for how strong the hops are they do not overwhelm. Backing of sweetness is moderating and very pleasant. Regardless of this sweetness though the hops are, without question, the star of the show.

T-WOW! This is ALL about the hops! I am amazed at the power of the hop presence and yet it isn't overpowering or too bitter. The malt sweetness moderates the bitterness and allows the humulus lupulus beauty shine through.

M-Medium-light bodied, quite smooth and yet crisp. Can this beer really be 11%? I cannot see how...alcohol is barely noticeable!

D-From a growler, on tap, out of a cattle trough, spilled in the gutter and lapped up....it doesn't matter this beer is, without question, the KING of the West Coast hop bombs! I could drink PtY until I lapsed into a coma!

Serving type: growler

02-23-2010 00:51:45 | More by Deuane
Photo of phattysbox

New York

4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Mikeoxlong for trading this growler, I have been wanting to try this beer for about 2 years now! Als shared among friends as it will be ahrd to finish a whole growler!

After traveling across the country, the growler opened up with a nice hiss - no carbonation lost during transit. Poured into a snifter glass, and with an aggressive pour, only an 1/2 inch head appears and leaves little lacing. Instead, swirling the glass reveals the legs of this beer, an indication of alcohol content. The brew looks great - a wonderful amber/golden color and absolutely clear.

Smell: An interesting mix of resiny hops, toasted malts, and wafts of spicy alcohol. Breathing in more I find more complex nose, minor citrus, tropical fruit, pine, spruce, and sap. The nose is does not knock me off my feet but it is complex with many different hop profiles added into the aroma. The alcohol, which not terribly noticeable, detracts from the nose only slightly and lends a very spicy character to the brew.

Taste: Holy hops! Bitterness grabs the tongue and refuses to let go! Hops are a strong and harsh when the beer is cold but tends to be smoother when the beer warms up. The bitterness lends a resinous, piney flavor to the brew. Quickly after the hops however, the malts come through very clean and fresh with caramel, breadiness, and toffee. Very well balanced for 11% ABV but the alcohol is present and leaves a prickly feeling on the sides of the tongue. Complexity for a DIPA as through the roof on this one. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finishes rather dry, very typical of west coast DIPAs.

Overall: Pliny the Elder on steroids. Satisfies every hop heads wet dream with a doubt. My only marks on flaws would be the nose which is not as strong as other DIPAs. Gruit 16 ale comes to mind, PTY doesn't go past 16 in the nose. For 11% ABV, which is really hard to make in a DIPA, the beer is dangerously drinkable and well balanced. This beer would be perfect with 0 ABV heat more hop aroma, but is great as it stands

Serving type: growler

02-22-2010 00:59:42 | More by phattysbox
Photo of jeffthecheff


4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had a few glasses with my homey Joe. Poured from a super cool flip-top growler, it has a bright, yellow gold color with good clarity. The head is white with good retention and lacing. Carbonation held up good in the growler shipped across the country.

The aroma is nice, but not as strong as I expected. It had some citrus and general fruitiness, a bit of wood, and a lot of pine. A touch of alcohol is detected, but it is very low considering the strength of the beer. A touch of peach as it warms. Some very slight tropical notes come through to add a touch more complexity. The one thing I wanted from this beer was to be blown away by the aroma, but I've had better smelling hoppy beers before. It's a great smelling beer, but not one I'll be dreaming about.

The taste of this beer is great. It's sweet and filled with flavors of fruit gummies and bitter pine needles from the hops. Younger is very bitter, but not as much as the drier Elder. The finish has thick, malty sweetness as well as a very solid and pleasant bitterness.

Me and Joe both agreed that the mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer. Perfect as far as the style goes. It's thick and gooey, but with a clean and dry finish. It made me think of a hop flavored gummy bear. I would give it a 6, but I can't, so it gets a 5. The half growler gave me a good buzz, and was enjoyable to drink till the end.

I didn't like the beer as much as I thought I would, but that's only because the expectations were so high. A lot of people rave and rate highly of this beer for great reason. It needed a bit stronger of a hop aroma for me, but maybe the condition of a shipped growler affected that. I'd love to have it again someday.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2010 03:41:01 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of billab914


4.8/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a very generous BA for dealing with the madness at the release and shipping through one of the worst storms DC has ever seen to get this to me. It's been a long weekend of driving up and back to Buffalo and I've been looking forward to opening this growler.

Poured from a growler into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours an amber orange color with a one finger white head. The head settled and clung to the sides of the glass where it left excellent lacing on the sides.

Aroma pretty hoppy with citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and pine all present in the nose. It also has a somewhat sweet aroma to it which I really like. It smells so fresh and delicious, it really showcases the hops better then any other beer I have had.

The taste is just as hoppy as the nose lets on. It has a good amount of pineapple and grapefruit flavors up front with more of a pine finish. There is a sweetness to it that is stronger up front and then is somewhat balanced out by the bitter pine finish. The alcohol is a little present in the finish, and it definitely gives you a warming feeling after a glass. They really do an excellent job on both this one and elder at getting that sweet flavor but also balance it out with the bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good especially for the abv. It's a very good tasting and smooth drinking beer which makes it very drinkable. It is pretty high in alcohol content and that is quite evident after drinking one glass so there is a definite limit on how much of this I want to drink.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2010 01:32:15 | More by billab914
Photo of dukedevil0


4.65/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Infinitely huge thanks to generous Evan (beddachedda) for sending me a growler and being almost too fair in the trade when everyone else was getting shut out! You rock! Poured from the standard 2L Russian River sweet looking swingtop at Dave's place with a bunch of Chicago beer crew.

A: Pours a pretty clear orangy/yellowish amber color with multiple fingers of white frothy head.

S: Smells real floral, dank, and hoppy with sweet citrus and grapefruit notes. It's not super intense like some beers I've had but quite great smelling.

T: Tastes of sweet citrus abound in this hop bomb with a nice but subtle malt backbone. Flavors of grapefruit, floral, dank, and candy like flavors are present. There's a residual bitterness (punchy but not overwhelming) that simmers down over time.

M: The first few sips are somewhat resiny or oily almost, but then quickly becomes smooth. It's full bodied and viscous on the tongue due to above average carbonation, even out of the growler. Only a slight tingle in the throat on the way down though.

D: The more I drink, the easier it is to drink. Considering the potency of this beer it is amazing how sessionable it is. I keep yearning for more and more, which makes this a dangerously delicious brew with a deceptively low alcohol flavor despite a higher ABV.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2010 19:47:34 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of joepais


4.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to errantnight for hooking me up with this long time want.
Growler poured into a Sam Adams Pint glass produced a finger worth of white head, that goes to a nice ring of lace that slides down the glass. The body of the brew is a clear golden yellow to orange in color.

The first thing I notice at the cracking of the growler, was the hiss and the aromas of fresh hops. Big pine and cat piss (LOL) along with citrus and grasses. There is a wide rage of hop aromas coming from this one. One of the best noses from a DIPA I have ever smelled.
The flavor can best be described as Elder on steroids. I don't know if it's the malts that add balanced to this hop forward brew, or the alcohol warmth. There is a nice light orange flavor sweetness coming from the elixir. With the hop dryness holding back the alcohol warmth in the end. The brew has a medium feel to it with surprisingly good carbonation to it for a growler. A true testament to Derek stately care of this one.

Well I have a growler of this one to cherish for the whole day, and I didn't even have to stand in line at the EBF for it. I will make a few calls to see if anyone want to help finish this but I won't be to sad if I cant find anyone ;-)
I do know I won't be driving too much today though. Final thoughts... As an east coast guy I wish it was a little more balanced, but it is true to form for an west coast DIPA

Serving type: growler

02-20-2010 19:42:54 | More by joepais
Photo of rudylaw


4.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to dukedevil0 for sharing this with the Chicago BA crew. Just an amazing display of awesomeness by Dave!

Pours an orangey copper with a tiny head.

Smells deep of citrus, pineapple. It's a real deep and inviting aroma. Almost like you're squeezing the fruit into the beer yourself.

All there with a malty balance. To me, this tastes nowhere near as good as it smells. It's not a hop bomb, much more balanced than I thought/wanted.

Medium carbonated and extremely drinkable for an 11% brew.

I was a little let down with this one. I much prefer fresh Elder, HopSpam and Sculpin to this. A damn fine beer but nothing to push grandmothers down for.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2010 03:34:22 | More by rudylaw
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

A huge thanks to Matt (drabmuh) for sharing his growler with me!

Served in my Russian River pint glass.

A: Remarkably clear, beautifully light in color, effervescent, white fluffy head that leaves generous amounts of sticky lacing

S: Huge hop aroma with grapefruit, citrus, floral notes. Alcohol virtually non-detectable in the nose.

T: This beer is worth all the hype. Wow! Unbelievably smooth. Huge hops, no astringency, the bitterness and sweetness walk a tightrope of perfection. The taste hits you initially with smooth hops, then transitions to a sweet, sticky deliciousness that coats the palate, and finishes with a wonderful bitterness that begs to begin the sequence again.

M: Everything is perfect here - carbonation, freshness, this beer is phenomenal.

D: At 11%, this beer kicked my ass, and I loved it. I finished three pints, and would've hurt myself even worse if we didn't run out.

Serving type: growler

02-19-2010 04:02:54 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.7/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to treyrab for sharing some of his growler with me! Couldn't wait to dig into this one after all I had heard about it and was eager to see what this beer was all about. Poured into my tulip glass...

A: Pours a rich copper color with minimal bubbles during a fairly aggressive pour. The head is slow to develop and it bubbles up from the depths of this beer to form a somewhat coarse half-finger head. The head lingers for a little while then completely vaporizes. Lacing comes in spiderweb-like patterns.

S: This beer is a masterpiece of hop use. Burying my nose in my glass, there is not even a slight hint of grassy or piney hops. My nose is inundated by huge citrus notes and mounds of bitterness. Grapefruit and orange dominate the aroma, coupled with a bitterness and balance that is nothing short of incredible.

T: The taste is almost the same as the aroma, with the notable exception that the taste also incorporates a piney hop bitterness in the finish. The grapefruit is really striking here, and it takes some of the focus away from the orangey hops. Alcohol is completely imperceptible. You couldn't hide it better if you tried.

M/D: As might be expected after the notable hop profile, the feel is somewhat sticky, syrupy, and resinous with hops. Incredibly smooth, this beer is very surprising. I didn't think that such a hopped-up beer could be so drinkable and balanced. The bitterness isn't overwhelming, and Russian River strikes a delicate balance between the bitter character of the hops and the flavors that they impart to the beer.

Overall an incredible beer.

Serving type: growler

02-19-2010 02:33:36 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of AgentZero


4.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to jrallen34 who let me share his growler with him.

A - Very attractive looking beer, slightly dark, golden color, can see clear through on it. Bubbles cascade toward the top, bit of a head, that dissipated, left some bubbles on the side but not really much in the way of lacing. Growler opened with a pop, but it was 15 days in there so guessing there would have been a bigger head on a fresh one.

S - Smelled the pine notes from 3 feet out, but when I got to actually inspecting the nose it was not nearly as strong as I was anticipating. Pine dominates, no real citrus hops like I would have guessed. The pine is not overpoweringly bad like some of hop bombs though, it fades away to a nice sweet malt.

T - Pine and bitter right off the front end which fades into a decent sweetness before coming back with a some more piney hops and fading to a dry finish. Very complex, usually I consider a 3 stage beer a good thing, this one is a solid 4, maybe 5 if you count the return of the hops once the beer is gone from the mouth. Very nicely done. After a few swallows the bitterness is gone, and it's just piney and sweet, no real citrus that I can find though.

M - Smooth, nice finish. Carbonation was a little light, but assuming this is due to the growler.

D - 11%? Seriously? Could destroy this all day, don't even taste the alcohol. Dangerous, way too drinkable for the abv.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 18:48:17 | More by AgentZero
Photo of drabmuh


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


I slayed a growler of this last night with the help of the other Matt. Weapon of choice was my Stone IPA tulip. I obtained a growler in a trade with great BA. As a result of our heroic undertaking, my mind is still not firing on all cylinders, but this is the best DIPA I've ever had and only my second straight 5.

Beer poured from a Russian River growler into a Stone IPA tulip. Beer is yellow to orange and CLEAR! The pour forms a white head about an inch to a half an inch in thickness that falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to high and really steady. The bubbles nucleate at the bottom of the glass mostly, beginning small but rise slowly increasing in size as they rise to the head. The head retention is good. No chill haze, beautiful color, good head dynamics, nice level of carbonation, its a beautiful beer.

Aroma is primarily a lot of hops....a lot of hops. Very citrusy with some pine notes in there. There is some sweetness, its a dominate aroma component. Its difficult but sometimes I think I can smell some alcohol but mostly I can not. For being such a huge beer, I really can't tell based on the aroma at all. The aroma is also huge. I can smell it from across the table. I found myself not even drinking it just smelling it, very complex, very big, very wonderful.

Taste time, balance. This beer hits all the parts of the palate, forward, middle and back. Obviously there is hop bitterness in the back, there is some sweetness up front, but no alcohol. Beer is medium bodied, definitely not a malt bomb like some DIPAs tend to be. There are almost fruit notes in the mid-palate. Some sweet orange or almost lime flavors. Beer finishes cleanly, leaving no aftertaste. Bitterness grows as it does with most big hoppy beers, but it does not interfere with the other flavors or drinkability.

I was going to originally rate the drinkability as a 4.5 for this beer. But I had some food between my pints of it and after some food a blew through my second pint. It is an amazingly balanced and completely wonderful IPA. At 11%, it is unlikely that I would make it my daily drinker, but it is the most dangerously drinkable 11% beer I've ever had.

EDIT: I had this again at EBF (4 ounce pour) and compared it side by side with Pliney the Elder. I realized as Matt and I were drinking this growler that it was an important but absent variable in my review is comparing it to another beer. We drug out an Exponential Hoppiness for comparison but it wasn't the right thing to do.

At the fest I had 4 ounces of each next to each other. My wife and I both tasted each and agreed that Younger was better than Elder. It was sweeter and thicker, had more fruit notes on the palate and smells were uncomparable. The hop aroma on Younger blew the hop aroma on Elder out of the water. I'm not going to write an additional review of this beer on draft, I just thought I would include these thoughts in my present review.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 16:46:43 | More by drabmuh
Photo of emerge077


4.63/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Dave for sharing this, never thought i'd try it.
Apparently review #1300...

Out of the sturdy genie bottle, it poured a golden yellow orange, with bright clarity and sticky residual lacing. Deeply resinous nose, almost cheesy, with a pleasant soft citrus undertone, and a touch of alcohol. Not super pungent, but very nice.

Floral and fruity citrus dominates, just a ton of grapefruit, softly bitter in the back, building to a dry firm bitterness in the finish. Super well balanced, soft and smooth feel. The bitterness is fairly easygoing, this wasn't as brutal as might be expected. Infinitely drinkable, a few snifters would be dangerous.

Overall this is a fantastic west coast DIPA, maybe not the Best of All Time, but one to seek out for sure. Thanks again Dave for the opportunity!

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 15:41:41 | More by emerge077
Photo of Sean9689


4.55/5  rDev -3%
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...

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 15:38:41 | More by Sean9689
Photo of SaisonInTheAbyss


4.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

growler into balloon glass.

a- such a great coppery gold, very deep. Quite a large head, though I'm sure the balloon glass aided in that feature. Laces well.

s- such a big, great hop aroma. Obviously the focal point of this beer. Piney citrus all the way.

t- the best thing about this beer is it's clean flavor. I've never had an IPA this clean tasting (if that makes sense). A citrusy bitterness backed up with a balanced malt flavor. Very fresh.

m- not as carbonated as when i had it on tap (I think), but this might've been due to it's time in the growler. Medium carbonation.

d- this might be te only DIPA I've had that I can drink until passing out. Such a great beer.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 03:46:42 | More by SaisonInTheAbyss
Photo of jrallen34


4.7/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drank this from RR growler into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a medium orange that is surprinsingly clear. The head rises about 3 fingers but falls quickly to a soapy cover. The lacing is light.

The aroma is much lighter than I had anticipated. The aroma is some hops mixed with a little pine and a bit of soap.

The taste is also pretty light, much lighter than I thought it would be. It starts off a little sweet then goes to a full bitterness throughout. When you start out its a little bitter, but as your drink it, it becomes very drinkable.

The feel is medium in body, a semi dry feel, and a very lasting flavor.

The drinkablility is very high. You can't notice the 11abv but its highly drinkablility.

Overall, this beer is really really good. Its smooth, drinkable, and a nice expenience. Its not overally hoppy which is nice. Is it the number 1 beer in the world, no? Is it the best ipa in the world, no? Is it a top 50 beer for me, yeah, its that good.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 01:51:34 | More by jrallen34
Photo of homebrewhawk


4.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by mreusch. Thanks! Served in a Boulevard Tank 7 glass. Poured a deep gold with a thin white head. Massive piney hop aroma. Flavor is dominated by hop bitterness as you would expect, but there is a solid malt base without being sweet. Very drinkable for the abv, alcohol was not very evident. Lots of hops without being too green in the flavor. Nice mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Believe the hype.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 01:12:35 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of ramnuts


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

A very generous growler gift from my pal, Arbitrator! Thanks a million, my friend...

The waxed lever top popped off and released a heady aroma of tropical fruit and resiny pine. Like Hop Stoopid, I could just sit here and sniff the bottle for awhile, no need to drink right away. My wife asked if am drinking Pine Sol. She sniffed the tulip a bit closer and said, "Wow!". The smell alone is intoxicating.

It poured a very generous foamy head and spread nearly perfect lacing around the glass interior. The foam dissipated quickly. It struck me as very dry, despite the fruit aroma overtones.

Massive hop bite, almost to the point of mint. The alcohol is clearly there but is cleverly masked by the herbal overlay. Thinner and less viscuous than expected but delivers a solid mouthfeel, nearly creamy. Not chewy like some I know...(Amnesia's and Laurelwood's products come to mind). Some scary level drinkability for an 11%er. Could put me on my ass easily.

I love the resin taste. A bit more honey than I usually prefer but it does add a nice compliment to the dry character. Vinnie really nailed the balance on this big boy. Crisp and spicy with just enough earthy balance in there to even things out. Sticky but not sappy. An amazing bit of brewing magic - well worth the hype.

Really a one of a kind Imperial/TIPA. Astounding.

Serving type: growler

02-18-2010 00:38:51 | More by ramnuts
Photo of BetterDarker


4.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from my sister who has relocated to Napa who happened upon the event per my begging.

A- As has been stated before, much lighter than I expected, looks like liquid gold. 1 finger head with great lacing. Nice carbonation, especially considering it spent a week on it's way across the country.

S- Hop smack to the face, I went cross eyed and laughed. Amazing aroma. Pine with fruit and floral notes.

T- Heavy citrus hops on the front. Some tropical in the middle with a nice pine in the finish. Slightly boozy. I hop orgasm.

M- Remarkably dry for a beer this big, great carbonation even from a growler.

D- I got pretty silly pretty quick, not sure if it was the excitement, the hops ripping through my system, or the 11% ABV. None the less, if this beer was available year round, I'm not sure I would drink anything else.

Serving type: growler

02-17-2010 17:20:16 | More by BetterDarker
Photo of jbone78


4.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this tonight at a local tasting. My buddy Keith got this through a trade and he is awesome enough to share with us. Pours a really clear yellow to light orange with some Hop residue in my glass, yep hops I say. I am not a great smeller, but I do smell a ton of hops. So, for a normal person, you would smell a mega ton, I bet. The taste is very floral and not over bittering, which is great in my book. I am not a bitter freak, I like hop flavors. Wish we could get this in Florida year round.


Serving type: growler

02-17-2010 04:03:12 | More by jbone78
Photo of jampics2


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

Review #200.

Something I never thought I'd get to try. Big HUGE thanks to Chad for the growler. Huge appreciation and beer karma headed your way! Thanks buddy!!

My inner hop head is mad at me. It's like he showed me this really cool club, vouched for me at the door, and introduced me to everyone. But now a days, I'm too busy hanging out with the Stouts and Wilds to even wave when I see him out. After this experience, I remember how much fun things used to be and I promise to spend more time and effort on the types of beer than got me into craft in the first place.

Which brings us to the actual review. A beautiful growler served cold, poured into open mouth tasting glasses.

Liquid gold in color, small white film of a head.

Smell is amazing. Hops rule this roost - citrus (grapefruit, orange, pineapple) and a touch of mint and alcohol. I could smell this all day; wow is this making my mouth water!

Best hoppy taste ever. A citrus punch in the face - earthy, peachy, pine, grapefruit - fades into a bitter lingering taste that is surprisingly NOT devastating but does score a significant blow on the palette. But the finesse between the hops and linger, and the levels of explosive flavor make this the best hoppy tasting beer I've had. Extreme and refined all in one - a brilliant tight-rope walk.

Mouthfeel was surprising on this one. It had appropriate lack of density and thin viscosity for the style but also felt significant. The carb was perfect and felt sharp when it needed to and creamy when it needed to.

Drinkability - OK, if this is 11%, Vinny is a magician. One sip begs for another. Almost sessionable in its appeal and how quickly the glasses disappear.

After 200 ratings, I guess I'm one of those who aren't afraid to award 5's (in fact, one other beer got a perfect score across the board from me). But this is one of the best 2 beers I've ever had and certainly the best DIPA on the planet. We sat around after a pour and discussed - what could be this beer's flaw. Sure it's strong, but a DIPA should be. It's just so well crafted and the appearance, smell, and taste are so spot-on that it deserves to be rewarded. I'm sure our paths will cross again, Younger!

Cheers and here's to the next 200!

Serving type: growler

02-16-2010 15:36:30 | More by jampics2
Photo of lpayette


4.75/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've waited about 4 years to get a chance to try this beer, and am very glad to be able to do so just a few days after it took the top spot.

Appearance- Growler was full to the brim which was a nice thing because it seems little if any carbonation was allowed to escape. The color is what I would describe as gold with suggestions of caramelization that create some orange hues. Color-wise, this is is light for the style, especially considering the massive 11% ABV. The head is really dependent upon the pour, and being a growler fill I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Some lacing, but I'd like to see a bit more.

Smell- This is probably where PtY performs the best. The smell is incredible. It's dry hopped 4 times, and it shows. The main aromas in order of prevalance are grapefruit, orange, pine, and alcohol. In the background it seems there are faint traces of crystal and biscuity malts which offer up just a little bit of sweetness. I can pull vanilla bean out of the aroma too but it's a stretch, and I'm not sure where/what ingredient that's coming from.

Taste- Blistering bitterness. This is one of the most bitter beers that I can remember, keeping in mind that taste buds change from day to day, the only beer that I can think of that comes close in this respect is The Great Divide's Hercules DIPA (which I didn't like, but will try again). This beer is extemely hop-forward as a double or triple (as Russian River claims) IPA. There's still a good bit of malt to make moments sweet. I'm still surprised at the number of reviews that talk about how inperceivable the alcohol is in this... seriously? It's 11% or 22 proof, and not meant to be aged. If it were aged I suspect it would mellow out nicely, but that would defeat the purpose and the insane hop presence would fade quickly now wouldn't it? There are some complexities here with odd notes of vanilla coming through, but not quite as good complex to me as the Elder was.

Mouthfeel- Well... Full. Excellent carbonation for a growler fill.

Drinkability- I had no problem drinking this. A wonderful beer that I wish was more readily available. Well worth the wait.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2010 08:09:17 | More by lpayette
Photo of MisterClean


4.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to concourse for the share on this one. Very interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

A - Pours copper-gold with 2 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves nice lacing.

S/T - Honey and caramel up front. Surprisingly malty for a 2X IPA. Notes of grapefruit and resiny pine on the finish. Very well-balanced, a good beer.

M - Full-bodied and well-balanced. Surprise that there is no alcohol feel in a 10.75% ABV beer.

D - Great overall, worthy of the #1 spot? No, worthy of a top-25? Definitely. Dangerously sessionable. The resininess is a bit much, but the malt feel is truly dynamic.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2010 03:16:54 | More by MisterClean
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,135 ratings.