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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.

2,442 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,442
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 4,574
Gots: 134 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder’s nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time and space consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don’t make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 01-27-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,442 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdlb44
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mdlb44, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of RustyDiamond
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Half pint at Russian River on 02.06.09. Board behind bar listed PiY as 10.5% with GOBS under the I.B.U. One of the most unique colors of beer I have ever seen. No head in sight and the glass was glowing orange. All I could do was stare for a few minutes. While doing this, I could smell Younger from a foot away. Crazy giant boozy grapefruit whiffs. Really. Chewy as hell. Grapefruit taffy. Cascade spearmint jolly rancher. Enormous whopper of a DIPA. Exceptionally drinkable for the size. Had a tulip of Younger Sunday night @ Toronado and could have had 6 more. But what's the point? This beer is the shit.

RustyDiamond, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of auroracrisis
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Duvel tulip thanks to Evan, thanks again brah! I owe you big time!

A - Orange with yellow highlights. Tiny head with big bubbles and a small head as you sip down the brew.

S - Big time hops with alcohol and malt mixed in. Hard to describe but it's outstanding! Some citrus, lots of pine too. Whatever Vinny did here is working.

T - Hops, hops and more hops. It basically owns your entire palate with an assortment of hops. It's a controlled chaos though, you can find balance in the big malts in the brew. A fantastic array of flavor. I can't really describe it. I guess from what I know it's like Hopslam without the honey. It's more aggressive than Hopslam, ti's not as mellowed out.

M - Low carbonation on the heavier side of medium.

D - High. It's not necessarily perfect but the flavors don't keep your lips far from the glass. As it warms, the alcohol becomes a tad more apparent but it's still masked well.

Overall, I'd say this beer is almost an exercise in perfection. A complete expression of perfection on the higher alcoholic version of a DIPA. Great job, Russian River and thanks again for the taste Evan!

auroracrisis, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of bfields4
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at falling rock.

Pours a clear golden body. Good head that gives a nice lace to the brew.

Very piny in the aroma. A bit larger sweet grapefruit than with the elder, but not much. Slight biscuity malt.

Resiny pine flavor very prevalent. A touch of spiceyness and sweetness from the malt help finish off this well rounded beer. The grapefruit is a little more pungent in this version than the elder.

A good beer nice smooth easy drinker for alcohol and flavor profile. I don't know if i'd be able to pick this one apart from the Elder though had side by side.

bfields4, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of benclimbs
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most coveted beer on earth - finally after all these years!!!!
Had on tap at Russian River Brewery at 11:15 AM - had to get there early before the goods were tapped out! It was well worth the wait! Unsurprisingly, this is a pretty amazing IPA

LOOK - Pours blonde and surprisingly clear with tons of lacing and no head - looks identical to the elder.

SMELL - Simply Amazing. Perfect pure balanced hop character. Strawberries, pine, grapefruit, orange peel, and earth - no detectable alcohol. The nose on this is by far the best of any IPA i've ever had.

TASTE - Equally amazing, extremely geared. Starts out fruity, then moves on to licorice, spice and herbal notes and finishes with a sweet but creamy warm alcohol body and a super hoptastic, ultra bitter, dry delicious finish. WOW!

FEEL - Good mouthfeel, a bit on the slick, warm side but not overwhelming...the only quality of the beer that isn't stellar.

DRINK - Fantastic drinkability for such a huge brew.

This is an absolutely perfect West Coast IPA - The most telling thing is taking a sip of this and then a sip of Pliny the Elder...It tastes like a lager after this baby! So rich, complex, geared and amazing...one of the best beers i've ever had, and likely the best of the style.

benclimbs, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of DocJitsu
4.35/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color was a golden light orange.  Citrus bouquet. No head at all, but nicely carbonated. Nice mouthfeel.  An immediate blast of pine that yields to alternating grapefruit and floral flavors. Finishes with distinct grapefruit. No discernible alcohol warmth despite having an ABV of 10.7%.  Great beer, but not my own personal number one--certainly not the best on the planet. 

DocJitsu, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of cwguy5
4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed at the mecca, RRB. reviewed from notes taken on 2.9.12. poured into a half-pint glass. thanks to all the bar staff for a great experience!

A - perfectly clear golden color with a very thin white head that was really more of a ring; it did leave some lacing as a i milked it

S - soft tropical(pineapple, honeysuckle) turns fresh cut pine tree

T - follows nose - pineapple, peach, grapefruit yields to a strong pine resin; long dry, bitter finish

M - medium body; light, active carbonation gives some crispness; the hop resin leaves a strong but pleasant bitter coat in your mouth that is a complete palette jackhammer

O - as i sipped this i had mixed emotions. on one hand i was not blown away. admittedly this is not my favorite style. i thought it was just a little too much(in all ways). on the other hand i think it was a perfect execution of what they wanted when they wrote the recipe and i don't see any flaws. if you like the over-the-top hoppy bitterness then this could be the holy grail for you. i feel lucky to have gotten to try it. hopefully i will have another chance again one day.

cwguy5, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of ezperkins2
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

ezperkins2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of brendaniel
5/5  rDev +6.8%

brendaniel, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Dagsy
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Dagsy, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Hobbit
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Hobbit, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of mattsander
4.78/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed 3 tulips of the 2012 Younger at Monks Kettle in San Francisco (and a couple at Russian River in Santa Rosa).

Appearance: Finally, a DIPA that is actually pale! Not orange, not red. I'd guess 8 srm, almost the same color as the Elder.

Smell: Resinous, pine, cat pee, tangerine, peach. Enormous. The freshest hop aroma I've ever experienced. No malt character detected.

Taste: Echoing the aroma with massive fruitiness and a potent overarching bitterness. Pine lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. A very distinct smoothness similar to Elder, signature Russian River.

Mouthfeel: Chewy & sexy. The use of sugars really helps to keep this drinkable, it never feels bogged down by malt. Keep DIPA's pale!

Believe the hype, DIPA doesn't get any better than this. I think the exclusivity of Younger really helps to promote the importance of FRESHNESS in this style. Even after a short time in bottles, a beer like this will lose some of it's magic. Get it on tap in Santa Rosa.

mattsander, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of hannydawg
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%

hannydawg, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Reappropriated
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Reappropriated, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of BlackTuesday
5/5  rDev +6.8%

BlackTuesday, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of SteveO1231
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a sample of the all mighty "Younger" from the Liar's Club in Mission Beach @$2.75 a glass, can't beat it.

Poured in a snifter, dark orange amber color with an awesome creamy white head that reduces to a nice thin layer of white. The ceamy white lacing paints the inside of my glass as I sip. Moderate carbonation.

Very nice aroma of caramel malts and tons of grassy/citrusy/pine hops.

Really very nice taste! Sweet caramel malt sweetness and an awesome grapefruit rind bitterness. This brew is so drinkably smooth I cannot believe it, alcoholic brand flavor really stands out. Younger leaves a lip smacking pine tar dryness on the palate.

Thick and syrupy texture.

Awesome brew, very balanced, the high alcohol level is very warming. I wish I could get this more regularly.


SteveO1231, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of spdyfire83
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

200th Review
Served in a Fuller's half pint tulip
500mL flip top bottle

HUGE thanks to ricoch3t for bottling this up and sending it across the pond - you are a true gentleman and scholar my friend (especially considering how much I miss proper American DIPAs)!

In order to properly review this beer (again), I had to get "dressed up" for the occasion - i.e. putting on my PtY work shirt that I scored from RR while visiting last May. This definitely added to the experience since I was enjoying the beer alone since I couldn't convince anyone in Dublin to meet up.

A: Bright apple juice color. A few soft bubbles, but no real head per se on a vigorous pour. I assume that has something to do with the 10-day trek from the Rockies to the Emerald Isle.

S: Heavenly! Hop oils, pine, citrus, and more hops.

T: Burst of hops from the start followed by oily/piney middle to back with very nice citrus fruit. So, so excellent!

M: Fully bodied with almost no carbonation. Thick and chewy. The greatness sticks around for a bit which is awesome!

O: Standing ovation...still! I was a bit nervous about how this would hold up over the journey of 4,000+ miles from Denver to Dublin, but it made the trip just fine and came out swinging. If you haven't tried this, make it happen! It is worth the sacrifice and search. If you can make it happen, you will not be disappointed. If you are, send the rest to me!

spdyfire83, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of saxclar123
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%

saxclar123, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of DLSheidy
4/5  rDev -14.5%

DLSheidy, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of stevefinny
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

stevefinny, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of budsandsuds8
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

budsandsuds8, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of cbeer88
5/5  rDev +6.8%

cbeer88, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of MJSJr
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

MJSJr, May 19, 2013
Photo of pinnser
5/5  rDev +6.8%

pinnser, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of LuckySevens82
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge-ass growler courtesy of RedwoodGeorge. You are a prince among men.

Pours a hazy coppery color with a very nice, thick, almost injection molded, pure white head. Lacing and retention are both spectacular. This beer just screams drink me from the moment it hits the glass.
Smell is a hop head's wet dream. Nothing but hops, pure, unadulterated hop aroma. Well balanced and just superb. Piny, citrusy, and just a bit earthy. Some alcohol in the nose, but at 11% it's not surprising. Everything is balanced out nicely with just a hint of toffee.
Taste, again, is just amazing. This is hop juice pure and simple. What starts off slightly sweet, and a little caramelly, easly blends into a piny, bitter and downright great taste. Loads of hops in this one, that's for sure, and yet it doesn't seem overdone. I've had some DIPAs that are just acrid with hops where as this beer blends everything together so nicely it's hard to find fault. There is, of course, a slight (very slight) alcohol warming sensation as this one goes gleefully down my throat.
Mouthfeel is just what I want from a DIPA, not tooth enamel stripping, but not something that is going to feel like water going down. With the amount of hops in this it's amazing that the former isn't the case.
Drinkability is insane for the alcohol content. I could easily drink this beer all night and not have any complaints. Of course, the next morning might be a problem, but I'm sure it would be a fun night.
Overall, this is easily one of the best IPAs if not one of the best beers I've ever had. It stands to style, and takes it just one or 10 steps further than you would have thought possible. An impeccable beer from an even more impeccable brewery.

LuckySevens82, Oct 01, 2005
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.