1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,399 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,399
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 4,429
Gots: 123 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Younger Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,399 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whitefire
4.28/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stood in line for 1.5 hours before getting in to the brewery an immediately finding a seat at the bar.

A: Pours a beautiful honey, hazy orange with very little head. In fan]ct, looking across the bar, there are no heads at all on the youngers being poured... slightly disappointing!

S: Very pleasant, lots of citrus.

T: Well balances, good carbonation, hides the alcohol well thought it's present.

O: This is an excellent beer, a must try if you can. In my opinion though, I prefer the elder.... IMO, This beer is a little too boozy and misses out on some of the aspects that I really enjoy about the elder. Still a great brew though.

whitefire, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of zackcg
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

zackcg, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of bdm620
5/5  rDev +6.8%

bdm620, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Stoffel, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of gbbass16
4.97/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I finally was able to try this one! I am surely not gonna say anything that hasn't been said already so I will not go into gory detail. All I will say is what a wonderful beer with all the elements. Perfect color, nose, mouthfeel and taste. More on the taste...silky, citrus, and oh yeah the hop profile is perfection. Was able to do side by side with elder. In compassion, elder has more wood and less hops. Younger pours a more golden yellow than elder. A huge highlight getting to sample this! Perfection!!!

gbbass16, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of jburchett
5/5  rDev +6.8%

jburchett, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of mkotsayfan
4.93/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Russian River brewpub. Pours a dark/clearish orange with a small amount of head. The smell is fantastic, lots of floral and grapefruit notes, along with a touch of pine and citrus. The taste mirrors the aroma, a wonderfully balanced brew with nice floral and citrus fruit notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation, and a dry and clean finish.

Just as amazing as expected, to be picky the beer was a *tad* too dry on the finish and the head was a little less than expected, but this beer is quite amazing anyway.

mkotsayfan, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of ipa247
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ipa247, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Urbancaver
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a piss yellow. Like when you're super dehydrated. Not much head but looks very solid. Smells phenomenal. Lots of floral aromas. The hop profile is far less piney than elder. Very enjoyable taste as well. Citrus, floral, touch of booziness. Smooth... Great flavours overall very solid. Jealous of those who can get it more easily

Urbancaver, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Little 9oz swing top flask. Thanks Jason

A - clear medium yellow copper body. No real foam here

S - lovely bouquet of citrus and pine resin. Very enjoyable

T - citrus and pine. Fruity and bitter. Tropical and the like. Great complexity and profile

M - smooth and thick. Not really carbinated. But reasonable

O - very happy to have tried it. A great beer. Can't wait to try it again on tap in the future

ColdPoncho, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of derftron
4.95/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served out of a fine wine glass 2x

Had this on tap at Higgins as well. Never had it before, but wanted to try it in its freshest form possible (in Oregon) and Higgins was the first to tap it. I have had PtE from kegs, as well as fresh bottles, and the fresh version is almost a different beer to me. My friend had PtY from a keg that was stored for a few months and said the fresh version was infinitely better as well...thus my desire to try it as soon as it hit town.

First off, I was fully prepared to be disappointed. Not that I thought it wouldnt be good (of course it would be!), but that it wouldnt measure up to the hype. Even with that in mind, this is the best beer I have ever had. The smell alone was amazing. Citrusy, grapefruit, a little funk, and almost tropical. Only fresh PtE compares in initial smell.

First taste did its aroma justice. Hard to believe this is an IPA. Little-to-no bitterness, a touch of citrusy sweetness but not the kind of sweetness that can come with other high alcohol beer. Finishes sooo clean and leaves no hint of alcohol on the tongue. The hop resin and pine aroma comes through but blends in perfectly. I could have drank 10 of these.

The appearance was golden with a head of about 1/4 inch that held on through the first couple sips.

Overall I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The great part was that there was no line, no commotion, and no BS auction system. Just a moderately full bar of people enjoying a truly great beer. My friend that was with me mentioned how much better this fresh version was compared to some he had a a festival that had been sitting in a keg for 3 months. I would reccomend that if you plan on trying this beer that you get it as soon as it comes out.

derftron, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of mu11igan
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mu11igan, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of mudbug
4.72/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brewery.
This is a difficult review, I loved the beer, nice clarity, small head, outstanding aroma. I could taste the booze, drying on the tongue. well balanced otherwise.Is it a perfect beer? Well yes, but just a few miles south at Lagunitas is something that might put a magnifying lens on that declaration. I had the happy experience of going to Lagunitas and drinking the Holiday leftovers before getting in line for the Younger.
Don't do this if you want to taste the hype, four of us made the trip and it was unanimous. Younger is very very good. Sucks is in a class all it's own.

mudbug, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +6.8%

tbeq00, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of mrelizabeth
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

mrelizabeth, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Gobigvt7
4.35/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Higgin's Restaurant in Portland, OR. Served 8oz. in white wine glass while the theme song for "Rocky" is pumped through the speakers.

Beautiful clear gold with thin white head. Lacing on glass even after the head is gone. Looks like a cidre in the light. Some amber around the corners and deeper parts of the glass.

Sweet, wet hop aroma, resin, honey, and a whiff of Feet/B.O. just to round it out. Like pine needles soaked in rich honey.

Hmmm. Softer than I imagined. Sweet, syrupy hops. (Extract?). Hints of mango. No noticeable malt character. Very hot on the end but booze isn't a major part of the flavor profile. grapefruit. Piney, bitter ending. It's an exercise in hop love without notions of malt "balance". Somehow, it still works.

Almost cloying sweetness, but a very firm light body. Doesn't feel huge in my mouth. (that's what she said.) Hot. Prickly carbonation.

With the hype surrounding this beer, I have to say I expected more. That said, it is a unique and immersive taste experience. It doesn't taste like anything I've had before, but it still wouldn't crack my top 20. Definitely wouldn't kick it out of bed. Bucket List: check.

Gobigvt7, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of SageO
5/5  rDev +6.8%

SageO, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of BlakeMatt
5/5  rDev +6.8%

BlakeMatt, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of zchall23
5/5  rDev +6.8%

zchall23, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +6.8%

John11486, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of SDDanC
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado SD. 10oz pour into goblet. Pours a hazy, golden color with think silky head. Moderate lacing. Nose is fresh pine, but not the pungent bitter pine expected. Sticky resinous character in the nose, primarily alongside the sweet caramel smell. Citrus notes, grapefruit and lemon, some melon. Taste is much the same, instantly bitter upfront but unarguably fleeting in character. Bitterness subsides to resinous pine, almost like young pine bud. Caramel sweetness coats the mouth while the alcohol warmness becomes apparent. What a fantastic balance of strong piney hop flavors with the sweet alcohol layer. Carbonation is moderate, the amount is juuuust right. Slightly astringent. But ever so slight it is. Mouthfeel is sticky and a tad dry. Overall, lives up to the hype as a very, very good triple ipa. Excellent proportions of piney hop abundance and sweet malty layers.

SDDanC, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of geoffsm12
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

geoffsm12, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Russian River brewery at 11.30 am on Monday morning. This is the earliest I've had a drink in years.

Appearance: Golden honey amber color. Younger is glowing in the glass. It's slightly. Not much a head though my wife's glass did have a thin creamy head that laced up the glass with it's sticky residue.

Smell:The aroma is a resiny dank hop opera. It is big and bold in all the right ways. This ale smells so fresh. I pick up big lemony citrus and peach.

Taste: The taste is immediately bitter but this bitterness isn't cloying at all. It's smooth, menthol-like and refreshing. The bitterness vanishes in a subtle way. The tropical fruit flavors linger on my tongue. Bright grapefruit. Slight grassy notes in the secondary. I can't taste the alcohol. Amazingly played Russian River.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth,resfreshing and creamy. Full flavored but light and drinkable. This is a real bold ale.

Overall: Pliny the Younger taste terrific. The balance between a high ABV and ridiculous bitterness is managed perfectly. The price is good at $4.50 for a 10 oz. snifter and the wait wasn't even long. A must drink ale for any northern, CA hophead.

T

BerkeleyBeerMan, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of angelmonster
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on phone, feb 2011 at Freshcraft in Denver

Pours a golden yellow straw colored body, with a 1 finger white head. Lacing is outstanding and head retention is good.

Smell is of intense pine, resinous marijuana, tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Also some sweet malts and for 11 percent no alcohol was detected. A year later I can still remember the amazing aroma that filled the somewhat small bar as dozens of glasses of Younger were simultaneously poured.

Taste is complex, full on hops though. First there's resinous floral weed, then pineapple and citrus juice, followed by bitter lime and ending with sweet malts and faint booze.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Head was present for abit and had some substance.

Drinkability is very good. Went through glass fast, this is a hop heads wet dream. Just enough malt and booze to counter the bitterness. One of the best hop forward beers made, just wish it wasnt such a hassle to get, looking forward to trying some soon

angelmonster, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of robbieracer
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted this on Superbowl Sunday (Feb 4th) at 11:00 am, only waited in line for 1.5 hours so I feel lucky.

A- beautiful amber color, hazed slightly, with minimal head due to glasses were filled to the top.

S- Tons of hops, sweet smelling citrus, loved the aroma on this beer.

T- Very smooth, not bitter, and hints of citrus, and very hoppy.

M- smooth bodied, full bodied.

O - Wow, all the hype about this beer is true. The best beer I've ever drank. I was stunned at how such a strong beer can be so smooth and tasty and loaded with hops. The aroma lingers on and on...

robbieracer, Feb 07, 2012
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,399 ratings.