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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.

2,354 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,354
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 4,299
Gots: 111 | 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: 2,354 | Reviews: 844 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonez05404
5/5  rDev +6.6%

bonez05404, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of dankness3
5/5  rDev +6.6%

dankness3, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of baybassboy
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

baybassboy, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of ubufan2112
5/5  rDev +6.6%

ubufan2112, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of kslsc400
5/5  rDev +6.6%

kslsc400, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of savagepm
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

savagepm, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of bastu
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

bastu, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of pdxkarl
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

pdxkarl, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of StaEva
3.5/5  rDev -25.4%

StaEva, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Soxfanmcgee
4/5  rDev -14.7%

Soxfanmcgee, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of mooseo
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Jose Pistolas in Philly, poured into a pint glass. 

A - Clear orange amber, with a small white head.

S - Grapefruit, orange peel, pine needle, honey. 

T - Huge, flavorful tropical grapefruit character. Very complex. Earthy pine and other citrus hops in mid-palate. Finishes with a nice light malty sweetness and hop bitterness.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, not much carbonation. A little sticky with a dry finish.

O - Delicious triple IPA. Super smooth,  refreshing, and highly drinkable. The alcohol is masked well and sneaks up fast. An excellent brew worthy of high praise.

mooseo, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

mdillon86, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of tdjb
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

tdjb, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Gfunk720
4.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Monk's for giving me a chance to give this a try. 4-5oz pour, out of a wine glass.

A- Glowing golden yellow with a bit of amber. The beer pours with a slight whitish foamy head.

S- Just marvelous smell of bittery fresh hops. Smells of mango, lemon rind, and grapefruit are also present. Not much malt, but it is there.

T- Just a blissful blend of citrus fruit, dry fresh hops, and just enough malt to hold it all together. The flavors all just meld together so well. Strong notes of lemon, grapefruit, and pinapple.

M- Couldn't ask for much more. Great body and carbonation. Aftertaste goes on for days...

O- Overall, I'm really glad I got to try this. I had a glass of Elder right after, and it really emphasized how great this beer is. Wish I didn't have to try so hard to land a glass, but was glad to have had the chance. I actually bought a glass for a non-beer drinker, and he was blown away. We spent the next few days trying to track down beers that were similar to Younger(if there is anything even comperable)


Gfunk720, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of quirkzoo
4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Paul for getting a ticket and sharing his pour.

The first time I had Elder on tap it was the first 5 I gave for appearance, it was a brilliant glowing orange. The snifter of Younger was a bit duller, still looked good, I just couldn't give it a 5.

The smell, oh the smell. Straight hops. Just like opening a bag of hops to brew with. Tons of bright citrus and pine, Lemons, grapefruit, citrus, just a touch of dank-ness. So complex, so much going on, so strong. This is really nice. From memory it seems just a bit more intense than Elder but only fractionally so.

The taste. How do they do that? All the hops from the aroma with a strong bracing bitterness and a dryness that cleanses the palate. The hop flavor is so pure, no vegetalness or any other flavor that detracts from the hops.

The mouthfeel. For me, this is what separates this beer from others. 11% and it drinks like 3%. I could sip on this all day long. No harsh characteristics or burn, just easy drinking hop juice.

Overall a phenomenal beer. Definitely better than elder but elder is so good it is hard to be much better. I was glad to take off work a bit early to enjoy this but in my opinion it is not so much better than elder that it justifies the type of crazy things people do to try it. Very grateful I got the chance to try it.

quirkzoo, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of cocoapuph
5/5  rDev +6.6%

cocoapuph, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of yuriruley
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

yuriruley, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.7/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well... It took a few years to get it but I finally did and I'm honestly glad that I did. Not only was I able to have the Younger but I had the Elder to pair with which was perfect. This beer poured out as a really nice looking golden copper color with a thin white head on top. The lacing isn't too sticky on this which I was surprised. The smell of the beer is loaded up with tropical fruits, pine and other forms of hop aromas. There isn't much in the way of malt coming off this bad boy on the nose. The taste of this beer is big. It's much easier to taste the massive different between the Younger & Elder when having them side by side. Younger lingers on the tongue for a very extended amount of time which keeps the beer in the glass for a longer period of time (which I personally enjoy). The flavors of pine and tingling hop flavors just cut into your taste buds leaving you with cotton mouth almost immediately after the first sip. The mouthfeel of this beer is a bit heavier than the Elder. It's little bit more oily too. Overall this beer is something that I'm proud to say that I got to try finally. I'm even more glad that I compare the two with each other. I can see now why people like the Elder better than the Younger simply based on the drinkablity. The younger is something that needs to be enjoyed over a good amount of time where the Elder is more session-able even though it's not. I wouldn't decline either Pliny on any day, I enjoy both beer a lot and I look forward to the next time I get to have this beer again.

Knapp85, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of keanlacrosse
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

keanlacrosse, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of tomfneph
4.85/5  rDev +3.4%
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!!!

tomfneph, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of b2611
5/5  rDev +6.6%

b2611, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of haazer
4.55/5  rDev -3%
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 72hw
4.4/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So Pliny The Younger... is it worth the hype? Maybe. Do I like Pliny The Elder better? Absolutely.

So why? Even though the Younger is triple hopped, the flavors and character of the Elder come through much more loud and clear. Pliny The Younger is a remarkable beer for its smoothness and crisp finish, but it lacks the unique Something that The Elder has in spades.

Does The Younger deserve the 100 rating from Beer Advocate? A reserved YES. The Younger is by far one of the best beers I have ever drank, but the score of 100 needs to be measured against The Elder which is far and away the better brew IMHO.

How do I justify the rating? If not for the high alcohol content, this would be my perfect sessionable beer bar none. No lingering taste, no overwhelming breath, ample flavor and a delightful feel from lip to throat - The Younger is truly a World Class Beer as far as I am concerned.

72hw, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of roblund
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

roblund, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of drnoodles
5/5  rDev +6.6%

drnoodles, Mar 11, 2012
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,354 ratings.