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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,469 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,469
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 4,822
Gots: 155 | 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: 2,469 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with an off-white head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pine and citrus zest hops, honey, and alcohol. Taste is of citrus zest, citrus fruit, slight pine, and a honey sweetness. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA that is quite tasty but it doesn’t quite live up to the hype in my opinion.

Photo of Gatordaddy
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of shangwang
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Monk's Cafe - finally get to try this elusive beer!

PtY was fantastic - I'm not sure if it totally lived up to what I expected, but it was very good. I'd had Elder a few times before and actually drank it side by side with Younger, and honestly couldn't tell a whole lot of difference. Younger seemed to be a little drier, but that was as much of a difference as I could sense. Love 'em both, but Elder is easier and cheaper, so I don't know if I'll really worry too much about finding Younger in future years. Needless to say, it's pretty awesome, and I'm glad I tried it!

Photo of SMMHawkins
4.67/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lucked into trying Pliny the Younger on tap at Vine St Pub in Denver for a 4:20 special tasting this past Friday 4/2/12. A friend was visiting from our hometown of Atlanta, GA, and this was a great start to his trip.

This is obviously a fantastic beer, so I won't try to describe it any more than it already has been. All I wanted to mention is that Pliny the Younger reminded us of Sweetwater Brewing Co's 420 Extra Pale Ale. Call me crazy, but my fellow Atlanta native buddy and I both had a similar response...

I'm sure this is blasphemy, but try 420 and see what you think!

Photo of Bilobatemonkey
3.82/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So much hype for this brew! I'm glad I finally got a taste. Not sure why everyone is up in arms about this one. Tastes very similar to PtE but with a higher ABV. I actually prefer PtE. Is PtY worth all the hype? In my opinion, no. If you haven't tried it, I do recommend giving it a try if you have the opportunity.

Photo of distvan
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of DaveHack
4.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Capones 3/3/12.

Very nice golden color, little head at all.

The smell on this beer is its strongest characteristic. I could've smelled it all day. Citrus and pine melded together perfect. It is not a faint aroma either.

Taste follows the smell, strong citrus and pine flavors. The taste of alcohol is there, but at 11% it is hidden more than would be expected.

In the mouth it feels great. This ain't yo mammas beer! It is nice and substantial and it coats the mouth in delicious hop resins.

This beer is definately one to try at some point in your life...is it worth the crazy hype, yes.

Photo of Blanco
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pliny. The. Younger. I finally had a chance to drink this illusive brew a few times over the pats week. Thanks to Teresa's Next Door and TJ's for the way they handled this.

The beer pours an extremely light golden orange color. Very clear. The initial aroma is a tropical fruit hop profile, with some floral notes. Taste is bitter with a nicely balanced malt profile. Whereas Elder is much more balanced, Younger leans toward the hop side. Aromas and tastes change as the beer warms. Seems every time I lean in for a sniff I get something different: citrus, grapefruit, slight pine, tropical fruit, lemon. It's as if every tpye of hop flavor and smell is worked into the beer somehow. Medium-bodied (leaning toward lighter). The only evidence of the high alcohol content is a slight chest warming, but it's nowhere in the taste. It's quite amazing how this beer mimics something smaller, lighter and more drinkable, yet it's such a big beer.

I love this beer. The best thing about it is the complexity of the flavors and the aromas, which makes it seem as if you are drinking several different beers at once. Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the first year I really had to make significant effort to score a glass.

In the past one of my favorites spots even served pitchers. Big shout out to Beachwood BBQ for the charity raffle.

Look- Pours a color a tad darker than PtE with = amount of head. Big hefty scent of grapefruit and pine.

Taste- Sweet, fruity and bitterness all in one. The taste is magical and probably hides the abv more so than any other.

The beer lives up to the hype. All around perfection.

Photo of jackrodgers77
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of rdell17
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of eyebereej
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Hopstamon
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
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 billyshears
4/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Retail1LO
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft into a 5.5 oz glass at Capone's. Pours a gorgeous golden hue with thin lacing. Brilliant citrus and hop nose that is perfectly balanced. Taste follows the nose closely. Perfect balance of hops, citrus and pine. Mouth is smooth with a sublime. Bitterness. Overall, stellar.

Photo of Mattylegend
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of FarmerTed
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nycwinter
4.67/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap after waiting in line for an hr and 1/2 at the bottleroom in Whittier. review from notes.

A: minimal head as expected. Golden orange.
S: fruity hoppiness (e.g. Pineapples) blends amazingly with sweet maltiness.
T: sweetness coats the tongue and the bitterness clings for dear life. Very well balanced throughout.
M: perfect!
O: most people think it's not worth the hype it gets. I think it was well worth the wait. Even if it wasn't #1 on BA I'd wait in line again.

Photo of xHoPtImUsPrImEx
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CaliHop82
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

PTY on Tap at BoneYard Bistro Sherman Oaks

A - This is the color of what a Triple IPA should look like. Its almost a pale orange in color with little to no head. The color is truely something to be amazed by.

S - This thing is like a being punch by a pine needle in the face with a clean citrus aroma that follows. You can taste the hops through your nose.

T - A hop resin bomb is what you get when you first taste. A hop resin flavor that has both piney and citrus fruit flavors. This is great cold and mellows out a lot as it warms up. Truely a unique taste thats hard to describe but leaves you wanting more.

M - Smooth resin mouthfeel. Velvet texture that is so easy to drink.

O - This is a fantastic IIIPA that leaves you wanting more. Not as much piney carbonation as the Elder but a unique beer that everyone must try. It is almost hard to believe this is a 10% beer as they have masked the alcohol very well. Probably not worth waiting 3 hrs for or even the best beer I have had. But truely a unique beer

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.97/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliny the Younger.

As a casual observer for the last few years the hysteria surrounding this beer was been overwhelming and something of a fascination for me. Horror stories of waiting in horrendous lines just for a chance to sample, amusing tirades by local barkeeps, hostile bartenders, etc. This has been something of a turn off to say the least. Was there a beer worthy of such insanity? Well I made a last minute decision to head over to Vine Street pub in Denver yesterday, 3/1/2012 to find out...if I was fortunate enough to score an elusive ticket. Parking was atrocious and knowing they were tapping the keg at 4:20, the short drive from the office to pub seemed an eternity. I was able to get one of the last 20 tickets at the pub. The place was busier than I have ever seen it and you could feel the apprehension of all these beer geeks (myself included) watching the clock tick ever so slowly. Cameras were out all over the bar just taking pictures of the tap handle! The comical looks at some of the dining patrons who clearly had no idea what was happening was rather amusing. One lady even asked her partner, "What the f*ck is going on!?" My friend was rolling down 17th to join me as they continued handing out tickets. 15 tickets left! 10 tickets left! 5 tickets left! 3 tickets left! They were disappearing at an alarming rate! I called him up and told he he needed to get his ass to the bar! Stuck in traffic? Throw that jeep up on the curb and get here! As he drove by the window "2 tickets!" PARK IN THE FIRE LANE! He dashed in right as they were calling LAST TICKET! We did everything in our power to get noticed, bam! He was awarded the last ticket! But wait, the manager promised the ticket to someone else! WTF!? In the end everything worked out ok and we both scored a 10 ounce pour of Pliny the Younger. The keg flowed non-stop for what was probably 15-20 minutes until kicked, much to the chagrin of the beer geeks who let out a resounding sigh of disappointment as the keg died. Easily the most stressful beer chase in my life, was it worth it!? On to the review:

The beer was poured to a 10 ounce wine glass with extreme care by the army of employees Vine Street had on hand. They had an assembly line of workers to distribute the beer, fascinating. As the keg was tapped and the glasses filled the entire bar was filled with a billowing aroma of sweet citrus and piney hops. The power of the aroma was glorious! It was like swimming in a cloud of hops and I didn't even have my beer yet! Finally my glass, the beer is a crystal clear yellow golden amber color with a smaller 1/2 finger white head. Good retention and lacing. The staff was very observant of not spilling a drop and filling each glass with extreme care, nice, and odd and unlike anything I have ever seen. The aroma of the beer in my hand was even more impressive than what I experienced as it flowed from the keg. Huge hop character with hints of tangerine, pineapple, orange, pine, and grapefruit along with a distinct sweetness clearly evident in the nose. The most impressive aroma of any IPA I've experienced, it knocks you in the face and reminds you who you're dealing with. The flavor is equally impressive with an initial surge of the hops. Medium bitter the hops and caramel fruity sweetness actually balance the beer very well. Absolutely no hint of the high abv whatsoever and extremely drinkable. Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The beer drinks like a meal, chewy, with hop resins that linger on the palette well after the sweetness has faded. The flavor lasts on the tongue longer than any beer I've ever had, easily. Well crafted brew.

Overall, to say I really enjoyed the experience would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype? Tough call. The beer is amazing. To be honest the whole experience while stressful and chaotic in hindsight was actually a lot of fun! The whol ordeal is something I won't soon forget and perhaps that factors into the rating of the beer. As one of a couple triple IPA's I've had, this is hands down the winner... by a landslide. I now understand and respect the hysteria surrounding this beer and feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Pliny the Younger.

Photo of ChumleyX
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of TimMack
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of tgeorgf
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of BrewsoBrewco
4.23/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first official BA review. PtY on tap at the Bier Stein in Eugene OR.

A- Great golden almost orange appearance. No great head but the color was fantastic.

Smell- After being poured it was very piney with a good citrus note. Delicious hop smell that can be smelled from distance. Can tell that a hop punch is going to come with the taste.

Taste- First sip the citrus comes out very clearly with a still piney/ fruit hop aftertaste. Delicious. After it started to warm up the pine settled and the a lot more tree fruit comes out. I got green apple and pear.

M-Good mouth feel for an IIPA. Much better then the elder which I feel lacks in mouth-feel. Really felt as if something was going down.

O- I think it is a great IIPA. Best beer in the world...EEHH? It really does mask the alcohol incredibly and tastes great. Since we only had one 8oz pour and this is my first taste I don't think I can have the same review as people who have had it multiple time. Great beer. Would definitely have it again? Yes. Would i fight huge mobs of people. Probably not, unless it was from the source.

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,469 ratings.