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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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2,254 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,254
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 3,956
Gots: 85 | 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: 2,254 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jh1982


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 12:50:37 | More by jh1982
Photo of nathanjohnson


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 12:24:06 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of ChaseT


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 12:05:14 | More by ChaseT
Photo of readicculus


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 09:51:23 | More by readicculus
Photo of joecast


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 08:58:04 | More by joecast
Photo of Bobbydigi


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 07:52:50 | More by Bobbydigi
Photo of bombadil


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 07:43:52 | More by bombadil
Photo of BrianTheBrewer30


5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 07:07:38 | More by BrianTheBrewer30
Photo of Doodler


4.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. On tap at the Falling Rock earlier this year. Had enough to go around for me to try 2 snifters ($8 each). Pours a nice golden hue with low fluffy white head and minimal lacing. Sweet, citrus aroma with less pine than I remember from last year’s release, but still - what a nice nose. Could breath this one all day. Starts with a mild pine resin and citrus flavor, with pineapple and orange flavors coming on strong on the finish. Nice hop balance and tell-tale floral pine on the tongue. Beautiful stuff and incredibly balanced with minimal bitterness. Thanks to Chris for procuring this great brew again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2011 06:30:39 | More by Doodler
Photo of ClaremontBrew


4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Made the pilgrimage to Russian River pub in Santa Rosa this past February specifically for this beer. When we first arrived (on the day of release), there was a 4 hour wait to get in. We aborted and went up the road to Bear Republic for lunch instead. When we returned to Russian River that night at about 8pm, the line was only 45 minutes long. Once inside, the atmosphere was awesome because everyone was there to try the same beer, and they had all put a lot of effort into being there. It was a great party.

The beer was served in 10oz nonic glasses (half imperial pint), but there was no limit to the number of pours you could buy (but no growlers).

This beer can be summed up as "Pliny the Elder times two". The characteristics are all the same as Elder, just more intense. More sugar, more alcohol, more hops. If you've had the Elder, just imagine the same wonderful hop aroma and flavor twice as intense.

Because of the extra sugar and alcohol, the body is quite more substantial than the Elder. On initial sip, the beer seems quite syrupy and heavy. But after a few more sips, this perception fades and the beer is pure enjoyment.

Overall, a great beer. I'm glad I made the trek (for the experience alone), but I doubt I would do it again. It's a great one time beer, but for repeated drinking, I prefer the Elder.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2011 15:10:53 | More by ClaremontBrew
Photo of beerdweeb


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

Waited in line this year at the brewery. Two hours later we were in the door with the Younger in our hands. The journey, pursuit, and anticipation made this beer all the better. I was expecting a boozy malt bomb but was pleasantly surprised to find neither to be the case. Worth the hype and wait. Get it while it lasts.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 02:34:48 | More by beerdweeb
Photo of heymikew


4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One must plan ahead to enjoy this highly craved nectar of the gods. Fresh on tap in the proper stemmed glass is the only way

Best be at that tap early because it wont last long

Last had it at Pi Bar during 2013
(previously 2011) SF beer week. Have enjoyed prior vintages at Toronado
('10, '08, 06) and the brewery in SR ('07).

Clear golden color.
Ambrosia for a hop head...slightly sweet, intense floral hop experience. Different vintages have slight nuances

I've not found anyone who didn't go gaga over it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 05:00:50 | More by heymikew
Photo of Maxxodd


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

Deserves it's reputation. Was lucky enough to have a lot of it this past year including the unannounced tap at Hamiltons in SD. Truly an awesome beer. Beautiful pour, color, burn, bitterness, balance, finish. Ahhhh, wish I had some right now. I know some people like to compare it to exponential hoppiness, but to me there is no comparison. Younger is the far more polished triple IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 05:58:13 | More by Maxxodd
Photo of litheum94


4.85/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Russian River during Younger Day 2011.

P: Golden body with a decent off-white head. Great lacing.

A: Great fruit aromas of apricots and peaches. Some tropical fruit as well. Nectar like floral hops and biscuit malts. Amazing aromas.

T: Flavors follow the nose, with tons of apricot amd peach flavors. Hops are floral and piney on top of biscuit malts. Finish is floral and has a long and lingering hop bitterness. Amazing balance for being a 'triple IPA.'

Yes. This is worth it. A beer that finally lives up to the hype. Just about perfect.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 04:52:34 | More by litheum94
Photo of drowland


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

Had from a growler at RBWG 2010. Easily the best DIPA I’ve ever had. Amazing fresh hop flavor there with earthiness, citrus, floral, and more. The flavor is right up there as well, plenty of hop and bitterness but enough malt so it’s not a crazy unbalanced mess. Love it!

Serving type: growler

07-25-2011 14:55:27 | More by drowland
Photo of ajsdad06


4.75/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: growler

07-13-2011 03:28:51 | More by ajsdad06
Photo of dboon


4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado!!! Check my facebook pics for an idea of what the world’s best triple IPA served at the world’s best Beer Bar looks like!! The hop flavors are similar to the Elder, but with a massive malt backbone and pronounced caramel notes. Well worth the 6 hour flight!!!!

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 00:48:56 | More by dboon
Photo of trappistlover


4.33/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(had this from draught). Pours orange with white head. Aroma of grapefruit, wood/resin dominate. Taste is sweet with a nice hop end. Full bodied with oily texture. This is a really nice DIPA that hides the abv well and is well balanced. Quite drinkable. I'm looking forward to the next time.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 21:33:12 | More by trappistlover
Photo of FARGO619


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

Poured into a 6 oz mini snifter glass at Capones in Norristown (just outside of Philly). After waiting in line for 1.5 hours, let's see if this was worth the wait...

A - Crystal clear honey-orange body with an extremely tiny, almost non-present, white foam head. Some moderate to low lacing, actually - no retention really, either.

S - Sweet and prickly pine sap notes and pink grapefruit up front. Slightly bitter, with some lemongrass and a very faint whiff of honey in the back end. Really an outstanding smelling beer.

T - Up front are some rather harsh pine notes, a slight bitterness though not as much as I was expecting from an 11% IIPA. Melon sweetness, generic citrus qualities and prominent orange flavors complete this bitter to sweet flavor profile.

M - Smooth and creamy, low carbonation (strange) but overall, pleasant. Not as wonderful as the mouth feel I got with Pliny the Elder.

Glad to know that this was served just a few days of its release so it was very fresh. Had 3-4 in one sitting. Such a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2011 16:32:05 | More by FARGO619
Photo of rudeboy916


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

Poured into an eight ounce glass. It appears medium bodied gold with only a thin layer of white foam.

I get an herbal grapefruit like smell to the beer. There is a bit of a grassy pine like smell as well. All you can smell in this beer are strong fresh dank hops.

It tastes initially very citrus like. I get a bit of a grapefruit flavor. There is a strong pine like dank flavor. There is a grassy hop flavor as well. I detect almost no malt presence in this beer. Hops are the star of this beer (obviously). The beer attacks the palate with a strong but pleasant bitterness. The herbal, slightly citrus, pine like and bitter quality of the hops all linger on for quite a while. This is a very clean and smooth tasting beer. In many ways this beer shows constraint and is not over the top (though the craziness surrounding this beer is).

The carbonation is moderate. There is a crisp mouthfeel to this beer.

The drinkability for being 11 percent is pretty good. It goes down quite easy but due to how flavorful it is this beer is a sipper. I could drink a few glasses of this if given the opportunity.

Overall a nearly flawless beer. I think the hype surrounding this beer is insane but the beer really is amazingly good. The cleanest, most flavorful (yet restrained) double/ triple IPA I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 23:13:05 | More by rudeboy916
Photo of Rifugium


4.13/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Does it live up to the hype? Well, kinda. At least it did in 2011 and earlier. Are there local beers that are just as good that you won't wait in ridiculous lines for and pay upwards of $20 a pour for? Sure. Still, no real complaints about PtY here.

2011 batch. Poured a golden peach color, nicely carbonated, with an attractive, fluffy white head that laced well. I expected just a really good IPA here, but no, it's much more. Big hops in the nose, and a medley of light fruits and citrus, with a noticeable sweetness. The hop bitterness and the fruit tastes complemented themselves pretty much perfectly. Lots of floral and citrus hops, juicy fruits of all kind: mango, grapefruit, orange, grapes, pineapples, apricots... Just so much going on here, and all great. Medium mouthfeel, smooth and delicious, and highly drinkable...if you can find it.
Rating: 4.35-4.5

2012 batch....meh....very underwhelming. Notably different. More bitterness, more hype, less fruit, less flavor. Supposedly this lapse was due to a Simcoe/Amarillo hop shortage, and the subsequent replacement of Chinooks in the recipe. Makes sense if true. Still a solid beer, but no better than "okay."

2013 batch. About the same as 2012. I guess they changed the recipe after all. Oh well.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 18:41:07 | More by Rifugium
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Belmont Station on 3.19.11 with hopburster.

10oz pour, followed by Elder and Bling Pig.

A - Beautiful bright light orange, crystal clear with a nice white fluffy head.

S - Pine, pine, pine, and then some citrus notes.

T - Smoth piney hops followed by silky citrus flavors.

D - Nicely carbonated, with no bitterness at all, zero.

O - I was afraid that the hype would let me down, but this is one of the best beers I will ever taste. I can not wait to try it again.

Seperately it would have been hard to tell the difference between Elder and Younger, but following the Younger I could detect some slight differences. I would never turn down either, ever!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2011 23:04:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of BOLTZ7555


4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sparky27 for the tip on this. Tried at Hollingshead Deli along side it’s older brother. Let’s just say that it’s good to be young!!! This rating would be insignificant but it is my 50th rating in the top 100!!! What a beer to mark being half-way there!!! Bright orange peel, lemon zest, and floral aroma with hints on evergreen. Huge 2-inch tight white foam with an amazing blaze orange body. Lacing clinging mightily to the inside of the glass, a fond memory of the sip that just transpired. Flavor is incredible...definitely more aggressive and profound than it’s older sibling. Orchard fresh nectarine, Ponderosa pine, and a bit of grapefruit rind tartness in the finish. Coating yet not cloying mouthfeel. AN INCREDIBLE SPECIMEN!!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2011 06:07:59 | More by BOLTZ7555
Photo of Lunch


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

I had the opportunity to sample this several times at EBF including a nice little side by side with PtE.

Russian River makes some great beers and PtE has always been a favorite of mine. Even if it is a little over-hyped, it is still a great beer and I really was looking forward to PtY. Pours just a hint darker than Elder at a golden orange with just a faint haze, but this is mostly clear. Nice frothy white head. I'm a fan of dry DIPAs and semi-sweet DIPAs and this falls into the later category. Big cirtus, floral and piny hops with a hint of sweetness. More pungent than Elder with a sweetness. Taste is very much the same. No real malt to speak of which is great and the citrus really shines. Some nice bitterness to counter the sweetness.

Hopefully I'll be able to make it out to the Russian River and sample this again one of these days.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 22:13:22 | More by Lunch
Photo of Soonami


4.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review of Pliny the Younger from tasting notes taken on March 3, 2011.

PtY is a pretty beer, that is a golden amber with just a little whisp of pale white head. It has surprising little cling for a beer of this hoppiness, but that might be due a protein rest or the low mash temperatures to make a highly fermentable malt. The beer smells very hoppy, with good citrus and fruity character as well as a dank piney aroma, probably from the Simcoe. This isn't as hoppy as I thought though, but it's hard to live up to the reputation. The beer tastes surprisingly sweet, although, at 11% I should've expected that. The hoppiness was expressive and very fruity, but the bitterness seems very restrained, perhaps tempered by the malty sweetness. This beer isn't the hop-bomb that I was expecting, I thought it would be a Pliny squared, but is more like Avery Maharaja, an Imperial IPA with big malt flavors. The mouthfeel is absolutely creamy and the carbonation is delicate.

Was it worth the wait? Does it live up to the hype? Would I wait several hours for this beer? The answer is probably no, but it's tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 14:43:43 | More by Soonami
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,254 ratings.