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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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2,357 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,357
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,308
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: 2,357 | Reviews: 844 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ignorantharbor
5/5  rDev +6.6%

ignorantharbor, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of kpacedo
5/5  rDev +6.6%

kpacedo, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of draheim
4.48/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Bottleworks into a snifter - for the second year in a row, I just happen to walk into the shop just as they're pouring this sought-after rarity. Lightning does indeed strike twice in the same place.

Pours a clear glowing golden orange with a white head, some sticky lacing.

Aroma is dank and sticky resinous pine and citrus. Smells much like the Elder, only more intense and concentrated. Really does smell like what I imagine hop extract might smell like.

Taste follows nose: sticky chewy hop resin, pine & grapefruit rind mostly. Clean pale malt and almost no taste of alcohol in this 12% beast. Medium-bodied, balanced mouthfeel.

Overall, like the Elder, this is a well-balanced DIPA especially considering its 12% ABV. Perhaps a little more sharply bitter and tongue-scouring than I prefer, but still very enjoyable, and the boozy heat makes its presence known soon enough.

And at the end of the day that might be what sets this unique beer apart - it masks its alcohol so completely. Here we have an IPA that tastes like an IPA, with an ABV of a barleywine or strong ale. No small brewing achievement I'm sure.

draheim, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

sinstaineddemon, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of whatsajessica
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

whatsajessica, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +6.6%

GarrettB714, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of FutureJack
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

FutureJack, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of largefarva
5/5  rDev +6.6%

largefarva, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of mattsander
4.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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 BucannonXC5
4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a draft into what appeared to be about a 10-oz. skinny glass at San Diego Brewing Co. in San Diego, Calif., on Feb. 14. Not sure the name of it. Color was honey caramel with a nice gray lacing that stayed for about five minutes. Just a tad bit of film on the sides, which was a bit surprising.

Just a fantastic balance of hops on the initial smell. Smelled citrus pine hops and sweet floral notes as well. Also some grapefruit.

Tasted even better than the nose. Obviously citrus hops, but so damn smooth and balanced. Like the nose, the balance was citrus pine hops and sweet floral notes. For how strong it was, the alcohol never came through like so.

Medium body. Not sure the texture, but definitely good. Average carbonation. Long smooth finish.

This beer lived up to the hype as hard as it was to do that. The biggest surprise was how easy it went down. Unbelievable.

BucannonXC5, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of brystmar
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

brystmar, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Jaacob
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Jaacob, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of darkmoon66
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

darkmoon66, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of McCafferty
4/5  rDev -14.7%

McCafferty, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of BeforeNoon
5/5  rDev +6.6%

BeforeNoon, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of hitter114
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip from the falling rock taphouse

A: Typical AIPA Pale coloring. nice foamy and sticky head
S: strong smell of hops complex layering
T: DANG lots of layers of amazing fresh hops. Lived up to the hype
M: Delicious sticky mouth feel
O: IF you can get it....get it fantastic beer

hitter114, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Ktown67
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Ktown67, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of dfernandez77
4.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vibrant chrysanthemum yellow. Crystal clear. Medium white fine head that dissipated quickly.

It was served cold. First aroma was sweet - not malty sweet, cleanly floral sweet - with crisp herbal notes. A 12 oz pour allowed time to warm slightly, aroma and flavor opened up. Hints of desert sage and green peppercorn, clean tangerine sorbet like aroma in the backbone, and a echo of juniper.

Malt is very clean and crisp, the residual sweetness is more like blonde candi syrup than malts. Hardly any yeast esters, no fruitiness unlike typical ale yeast. The bittering is low, but the hop presence is huge - clean, bright, peppery, and crisply herbal. Alcohol presence is remarkably clean, more like a good gin than the boozy or hot character in most big DIPAs.

Medium body, slightly dry. Finish is very long, hoppy, and carries the crispness of hop oils.

Overall Impression:
I see many pours of PTY are about 5 ounces - and I don't think that's enough to get the full impression. At first I was a little underwhelmed. But after about 4 sips and 1/3 through the glass it really picked up. When it warmed just slightly and opened up it really started to shine. As it warmed and opened it remained clean, crisp, and invigorating across the board. The alcohol was not boozy or hot, but clean almost like a white spirit. The malt was clean and very slightly sweet, balancing the hugely floral and herbal hops very well. Altogether, fantastic.

A 4 hour wait in line for one pour is a bit of a buzzkill, yet I'm glad I did it. However, I don't think I'll do it again. It's worth doing at least once.

dfernandez77, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +6.6%

mhaugo, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of deereless
4.45/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted up at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquid and Solids in Longmont, CO. A: Medium to dark copper colored, lacy spotting on the surface of the beer and sides of the glass, very clear - 4.50, S: Wonderfully fragrant, intense aromas of peach and pineapple, a thick and syrupy sweetness overwhelms the nose, possibly one of the finest smelling beers I've ever encountered - 5.00, T: Strong grapefruit and bitter pine assault the palate, a medium sweetness as well as some mild tropical fruits in the background, slight alcohol burn - 4.50, M: Medium mouthfeel, slight effervescence perceivable on the tongue - 4.00, D: Very drinkable for a 10.75% beer, sharper bitterness on the palate than the nose lets on, all around an excellent beer - 4.00

deereless, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of BeerShman
5/5  rDev +6.6%

BeerShman, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of ritter57
5/5  rDev +6.6%

ritter57, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +6.6%

ineva, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of deebo
4.45/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The reason it took a bit of a wait to get into the brew pub on a Monday night. Not a big fan of the style but had to see what all the fuss is about.

A-Lively carbonation with a ring of white foam. A little bit of haze in this orange/golden colored hop bomb.

S-Tons of hops, apricot and bittering pummel the olfactory faculties.

T-Lots of hop but also lots of pale malt and a touch of honey. Obviously hop forward but surprising not overpoweringly so.

M-Full bodied, more so than Hopslam as a comparison. This one hangs on but not overly bitter. Alcohol is beautifully covered up.

D-Not meant for the long run. Goes really well with the spicy cheddar and jalapeno beer bites at RR.

O-A really solid beer. I guess I can understand why people wait in line for a few hours for a taste. Lots of everything in this beer-hops obviously are the star of the show, but full bodied with plenty of malty goodness. I prefer this one to the elder, has more malt and sweetness to better balance the hops and doesn't leave you feeling like you just sucked on a pine tree.

deebo, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of phishsihq
4.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It seems that Pliny the Younger comes and goes quicker with each passing year. The beer has been much sought over since being named the Best Beer in America a few years ago. A line formed at 8am at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquid & Solids yesterday for the tapping at 1pm, and easily sold out to the lucky 50 folks that grabbed a ticket. We were among the lucky few, and always are in appreciation of the GREAT hospitality, service, and friendliness of the GREAT folks at Liquid & Solids!

Pliny the Younger pours a very light and crisp golden color, with some amber hues noticeable near the edges. A tiny wisp of white head quickly dissipates, although a clingy lace is present throughout. A rich and powerful bouquet of citrus and piney hop aromas, as well as some grass, become more pronounced as the beer warms, and a certain sweetness encourages you to take that first sip. A wallop of hops hits the pallet immediately, but is very smooth and well-balanced. Grapefruit and other citrusy rinds come to mind, with that sweetness for the nose providing an exceptionally smooth balance, really where the Younger shines through. The body and carbonation are both relatively low, really letting the hoppy gloriness shine through in the 10.75% ABV masterpiece. Russian River is possibly the best brewery in the US right now, with the artfulness of their use of the magical hop and amazing lineup of sour beers. Get this one if you can!

phishsihq, Feb 19, 2012
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,357 ratings.