Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,723 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,723
Reviews: 925
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 5,391
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: 2,723 | Reviews: 925
Photo of ajsdad06
4.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler sent by joeneugs (the last year they sold growlers-rating from notes)

Pours a clear dark golden/orange color with a medium sized off white head. There was a big pop when we opened the growler.

The aroma was everything I would want in a DIPA: an explosion of hops containing pine, pineapple, clementine, apricot, resin, ...! Some touches of caramel malt sweetness, but this is about the hops.

The flavor brings much of the same: pine, resin, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, and caramel malts to try and off-set the bitterness. The alcohol remains hidden throughout. Medium, somewhat oily texture, dry, so easy to drink; great mouthfeel.

I had wanted to try this since I joined the site and it did not disappoint. This is everything a DIPA should be and more. My next step is to make it out to the San Fran area when it is on tap and have it as fresh as possible.

Photo of hophopandaway
4.44/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

After trying the Elder and blind pig and being massively underwhelmed, I was not expecting much from this beer. What an incredible surprise.
The look is much the same as other DIPA's and there isn't much to differentiate in this department but from there on in it just got better.
Wonderful floral hops are the dominant falvour but they are well balanced with some citrus all coming off the head that actually stuck around.
My first sip revealed a wonderful creamy silk texture that I haven't had from anothr DIPA and the sweetness balanced with the turbo-charged bitter hops that linger and dance on your palate long after the gulp of beer is gone.
This is a real belter of a beer, it tastes fantastic and slips down nicely for something as strong as it is. The only problem for me is that the alcohol is still a little dominant and IPA is not my favourite style of beer so not the best beer in the world for me, but certainly one of the best in its class for sure.

Photo of Habmike
4.77/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to klevelandrocks, marshalzhukov, and craytonic for all sharing growlers with me this year!

reviewed 2/8/10

beautiful golden with great clarity, bubbles, head retention. White frothy head.

Wicked citrus and hoppy aroma. Smells like cali bud.

Invasive and penetrating hops ninjas entering my chest cavity. Tastes similar to hopslam after it drank the ooze. Little to no heat whatsoever. Great drink! Really glad this one wasn't a let down in flavor.

A bit oily in the mouth (expected). Syrupy and carbonated. Without the carbonation it would come down below a 4 in mouthfeel but it helps a bunch.

This one goes deep and stays there, great drink!

Photo of JCDenver
4.92/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At long last. Enjoyed a half pint on tap at Falling Rock. It was worth the wait. Pours a beautiful golden color with a nice, frothy head. It almost smelled better than it tasted, extremely fragrant floral, piney aroma.

Great mouthfeel, lots of body, somewhat sticky. Taste is a flavor explosion, strong notes of citrus fruit and pine. This is the most well-balanced beer I've ever tasted. The alcohol was extremely well hidden, and virtually undetectable. A beer that you could literally drink all day..dangerous.

Photo of Orangevango
4.54/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite clear with a smallish head that dissipates quickly leaving a little bit of foam around the edge of the glass. This beer smells fabulous. To quote a friend "if hops had a vagina this is what it would smell like" The fresh, grassy, grapefruity, cleanliness of this aroma is what I want to reek of when I get out of the shower. (even though I would probably find myself only able to attract middle-aged fat and/or balding men with beards). The flavor follows the smell, though it is not as complex or nearly so orgasmic. Super-dry and bracingly bitter, I would even say that the bitterness is a bit over the top, but only a bit. The mouthfeel is unremarkable, acceptable levels of carbonation... not tannic or anything.

I kinda stopped taking notes at this point because I got enthralled by actually consuming this beer. It is made for drinking, that much is for sure, but my two glasses sent me straight to bed... yummy stuff.

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

This beer is one of the few that is worth the hype. Had it on a sample flight that included Row-two, Blind Pig, The Elder, and The Younger: all exceptional beers, but the Younger sort of blew them away compared side to side.
Incredible aroma, so smooth and well balanced....really hard to believe this is an 11% beer. Can't really say anything bad about it. If you get a chance, it's worth the wait.

Photo of Samichlaus82
3.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of CraftyJoseph
4.8/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Tustin Brewing During the Pliny the Younger Week!

This was my second time having this beer within 2 years and I have to say this batch was the best thus far.

A: Like Elder

T: Amazing hoppy goodness!

Overall: I did not find much of a flaw in this beer

Photo of t8s8l8
4.48/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

At the bar on my phone so won't make this too long

Pliny has this great dank aroma subtle fruitiness some mango, a little catiness. The thing I love about a lot of rr beers is they all fo.ish dry. The hop bit number the middle of the tongue a bit. Great clarity. A bit malty but definitely need ING with this beer beer. Wasn't sure what too expect. Though I would not wait in line for a taste I would seek out. Glad I had it in 10 oz Serving.

Photo of Hopstamon
4.65/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Monk's cafe in Philly during a charity event featuring The Younger.
Served in a small snifter. Fantastic flavor profile for this rare beer. Well balanced.
I only wish I was able to have a larger portion than the 8 ounces.
It's a "must try" beer at any price.

Photo of dafla67
4.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange with little head.

S: citrusy (grapefruit), piney and sweet. Each aroma balanced very nicely.

T: At first, there is the sweetness with a slow conversion, like a gentle walk, to the hops bitterness.

M: so very smooth. The finish is a bit dry and sticky. No harshness like with some 11% abv.

O: An incredible DIPA. PTY earned every bit of its lofty reputation and status.

Photo of pkasten
4.32/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Horse Brass pub in Portland.

a: bright golden color with a slight haze to it

s: bright, piney and floral hop character, but not as agressively hoppy as expected.

t: surprisingly well balanced. big hop flavors, but with enough malt that it's not at all overly hoppy. expected this to be a bit hot at 11%, but just a little hint of warmth.

m: medium bodied, fairly sticky, with the agressive hop coating lingering on the palate for several minutes.

d: again, better than expected for such a huge beer, but I don't think I would want more than one in a sitting.

overall: a really excellent imperial IPA, but I'm not so sure it's deserving of such hype. I felt that batch one of this year's Deschutes Hop Henge was stickier, prettier, and generally more agressive.

if this wasn't so rare and expensive, I'd happily have one now and then, but given the extreme hype and price tag, I don't think this is something I'd seek out again.

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

I was there at the 2011 debut. Simply an outstanding, world-class beer. Floral, pungent hops without the bitterness that so many have unfortunately associated with "good" IPA. Well-balanced and obviously carefully crafted, this is a distinctly American beer. And one to be proud of. Well done Russian River. Oh, and watch out because that 10%+ ABV will sneak up on you...

Finally, the Russian River staff and patrons couldn't have been friendlier or more welcoming. Rock on.

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

Has it really been a year since I sipped this delicious nectar? Yes. Yes it has.

Far too long.

A season has come and gone. Winter has given way to summer, and again submitted to the chilling winds of the North.

This beer is beautiful. Crisp and golden, with a head that should not be possible for a 11% ABV beer. To gaze at this beer, is to look at beer porn

Smell is very citric, a contrast to the more pine-like Elder.

Taste is OSUHJFOHHJKKkkk. Impossible to put into words -- Heavenly. Strong citrus hops with a malt backbone that is certainly pronounced, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel -- Again, this beer defies its ABV with a crisp mouthfeel that is light on the tongue. Doesn't finish quite as dry as Elder

Drinkability - Finished two imperial pints, and would have had more if there weren't health/safety issues to consider.

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

World Class Beer. I wish there wasn't so much hype around this beer because I really hate waiting in line to drink. I'm lucky enough to live really close to some of the best craft beer bars in the San Francisco Bay Area and there's always some place that has a keg once released.

The combination of hops, malt character and finish make this a world class beer. Well done, Vinny.

Photo of Homebrewpat
4.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was abosolutely thrilled to get this beer on draft at the Bishops collar in Philly. Unfortunately they only ended up giving out % oz samples. Still great to try. Nose is Elder on steroids more pine, more tropical. As perfect a mouthfeel as I've had from an IPA. Taste is sublime. Amazingly balanced between bitter hops and biscuit y malt. hope to get a full glass soon.

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

I was in San Diego for a conference and I dragged my wife to Toronado's for valentine's day. (she doesn't really like beer). The place was packed and I noticed everyone was drinking the same thing. I saw the Pliny the Younger tap and laughed a little to my wife about it. The bartender said it was no joke, they had it unadvertised. Talk about serendipity!!!! We drank it from wine glasses. (yes, even my non beer drinking spouse liked this one!). It did not have a head. The beer is a beautifully distinctive strawberry blond color. The aroma is citrusy hops. The taste is the same. This beer is the essence of west coast hops but it is not bitter. (this is why the girls like it and other enthusiasts like the elder better). How do they get all that hop flavor without the bitterness? This is the genius if this brew. I favor stout beers so this won't be the best in the world for me, but it is damn good, and probably is the best in it's class. Drink it if you can get it!!!

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!

Photo of edproctor
4.8/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at hollingsheads deli in orange. Big shot out to everyone at hollingsheads for putting on such a world class event.

A- bright golden orange with a frothy white one fingers head that hung out for a bit.

S- PINE!!! Omg this beer is like smelling a forest...orange, grapefruit, big pine, and a florally bready sweetness.

T- Same as smell. Big pine up front, followed up with those citrusy, tropical fruit notes, and then rounded out with that big bready sweetness. Actually the finish reminds me slightly of those kings Hawaiian rolls.

M- A very full bodied beer. So thick and full...dries the shit out of the palette right away.

O- What is there to say...it's Pliny the younger and it fully lived up to the hype as far as I'm concerned. Well worth waking up at 5:30 am for.

Interesting side note: got to taste the infamous PTY/westy 12 black and tan. Like putting peanut butter and jelly together...well worth trying if you have the means. Thanks for that one Rolando!

Photo of jwall76
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An absolute amazing IPA. Lucky enough to have had this at least once. Is it better than Sculpin though?

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

I acquired a growler of the infamous Younger from vacax (thanks mate)! Served it in a Bruery tulip glass. I poured 3 glasses of RR brews and compared them. Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

A - A beautiful orange/copper tone with minimal head but amazing lacing that lasted the whole glass. A darker orange color than that of it's uncle.

S - Chocked full of piney aroma! Compared with the Elder it was far more hop aroma, grapefruit, citrus and pine just fills your nose! Absolutely beautiful smell!

T - Grapefruit, pine and citrus; just as the scent would allude to! Bitter! But, not over the top (believe it or not). It was a well balanced bitterness, no funny facial expressions after taking a sip of this beer. Insanely flavorful and potent! Some beers you'll need a few sips to get the flavor, this one is not that! If you're offered a sip of the Younger, take it and you'll know how it tastes! No new flavors come through near the end!

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation that creates a little dance party on your tongue. The finish sticks around too, which I really enjoy in good beers. It's a shame when they go away quickly, the Younger does not do this!

D - 2 friends came over and we had the growler gone in less than an hour! 11% so be careful! This is no harder to drink than Blind Pig or Pliny the Elder! Amazing for such a big beer!

I would say I was blessed to have been able to finally get this beer. I would love to get some every year! For anybody that's wondering if they should try to pile into a small bar to try get this on tap, I would say DO IT!

Photo of Habanero58
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The things I will do to taste world class beers!!

Made a 11,000 mile or so round trip from London, UK to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA to be there during 3 of the 14 days of PtY at Russian River. Was in the first throng on Superbowl Day so hello to anybody who also got that little emerald green wristband!! Great organistation here from the Russian River team. Anyway...

No sooner than we were seated (having quickly made friends in the queue) than the magic words "Younger"? were spoken and the beer followed shortly after.
I will have to start backwards and say the thing that astounded me most about this beer was the drinkability.
It is so smooth and creamy and the 10.25% ABV announced on the RR blackboard is just SO well hidden that you really do not realise how strong it is.

Even with my poor sense of smell the floral, fruity, piney scent of PtY blew me away as when I had first tried PtE.

I returned to RR for two more days and on my last visit sampled PtY and PtE alongside eachother as I find this helps me to really spot any differences.
That they are close siblings is no doubt but the thing that stood out for me was that I thought PtE had a much drier finish. The bitterness was certainly there but seemed more discreet in the Younger.

Anyway, mission accomplished, it was nice to meet possibly the most drinkable, the most quaffable beer of all...which it probably shouldn't be? Amazing!!

And my bottles of Supplication and Consecration survived the flight home! Thanks to everybody who made me so welcome in Santa Rosa and RR.

Photo of Spectre
4.59/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I could not drink Pliny the Younger without having the Elder right next to it. The major difference is the bite at the end and the mouthfeel. When you drink Pliny the Elder you get alot of hopps and pine from the front to the back of your mouth and when you drink the Younger you get a crisp strong pine with a hoppy flavor in the back of your mouth. With that being said, I don't think you would notice the difference if you were pounding and had them on separate occasions.

Appearance-Clear golden orange with a thin white head, darker than most IPA's.

Smell-Pinny hoppy scent, far from skunky but will give your nose a little pinch.

Taste-Like the scent the overpowering flavors are pine and hopps. This beer is extremely powerful but the the delicious flavors and crisp make it hard not enjoy.

Mouthfeel-Crisp and smooth the flavors dwell in the back your mouth, no bite at the tip of your tongue.

Overall I feel this is the top IPA followed by Heady Topper and Stones 12.21.12 Enjoy By.it's a heavy hitter when it comes to flavor and is perfectly balanced.

Photo of ESCO138
4.96/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype in every aspect, unfortunately the hype and wait makes it hard to taste for nearly everyone. The only TIPA I can consume with ease.

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.

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,723 ratings.