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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

2,258 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,258
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 3,959
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: 2,258 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dubinsky
dubinsky

California

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

2011 Release on release day at RR. This is a transcript of my notes.

My first experience with this beer was last year, and i wasnt reviewing beers at the time. That was the beer that set off this rediculously consuming hobby of mine. This year didnt dissapoint either.

A - Poured from tap into a 10oz imperial looking pint glass. The beer came to my table minutes after the doors were opened on the release day and looked like it glowed. It was as fresh as one could possibly get it. It was a bright, clear glowing orange with a small 1/4 inch head. With such small pours i was thankful for the first time that the head was minimal.

S - The Smell was incredibly fresh, and mostly smelled of wonderful bright citrus and pine.

T - Its hard not to think of a fresher better elder with this beer. The middle and finish are what really differed this beer for me. The beer was explosive with hop flavor but was so balanced and never heavy or sticky.

M - The ABV is so well masked in this beer. I never smelled or tasted any alcohol burn. The beer is medium bodied and has great carbonation.

D - Considering i had 4 of these in one sitting, i can say this is VERY drinkable. I paced myself rather maturely and walked out of the brew pub with wife and kid and felt great.

Great Job Russian River for implementing their new policy this year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 04:41:01 | More by dubinsky
Photo of peacebone116
peacebone116

California

4.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally/actually made it up to the brewery to try out this wonderful offering from the people at Russian River. Served in a 10-oz glass. Moderately carbonated.

A: Brilliant golden honey colored with little head, but topped with lace that clung to the sides of my glass throughout enjoyment.

N: Resinous pine, citrus flowers and grapefruit zest and skunky marijuana.

T/M: Taste follows the nose perfectly, with a sharp kick from the warming alcohol that almost comes off as additional bitterness. The beer goes down so easily, despite the heavy alcohol. It is sweet with the citrus flavors, but almost well balanced. The body is oily but not really as chewy as expected given the hop levels.

Overall, this beer is maybe "not worth the hype"....But with that said, I can easily say this was one of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The flavors are so crisp and clean and, for a hop-head, this is a dream in a glass. I wish this were available year round! ...but people really do freak out about this rather than simply geeking out. It compares nicely to the Elder version, just a bit more alcohol--same flavor profile with a bit heavier body and mouthfeel. DELICIOUS!

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2011 19:20:36 | More by peacebone116
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

4.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Toronado SF.

A- Pours rusty orange with 1/4 inch of brilliant white head.

S-Piney, resinous hops, grapefruit, weed.

T/M-You'd never peg it for 11%ABV. If you're familiar with the Elder, the Younger is Elder times two. A beer whose hop profile shifts from piney to earthy to tasting like a mouthful of sticky weed, to tangerines and mouth watering bitterness, all held together by vibrant, chewy carbonation.

D-Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome beer. But it's not worth the hype. The way people trip over themselves trying to get their little 4oz sample doesn't add up. Yeah, it's a really good DIPA, but there are plenty of really good DIPAs, and most of them are available for more than 2 weeks a year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2011 06:59:15 | More by DaveHS
Photo of monkeylovebeer
monkeylovebeer

California

4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The annual arrival of what many hopheads consider to be the pinnacle of IPA perfection has become more than a mere release, it's an event. Running dry within the first day of tapping the kegs last year taught the good folks at Russian River a few things. This year they switched things up, releasing a limited amount of kegs per day, and not filling growlers for anyone. As they announced on their website: The only way to get it to go is in your tummy! Works for me.

In the dead middle of the week, an hour-and-a-half before quitting time, the brewery was full but not insane. The uninitiate who might have wandered in off the street still might wonder what was going on. Is there a major sporting event I forgot about? The most cursory look around the brewery would shut that line of thinking down pretty quickly though; the only televisions--of which there are two, each no bigger than a desktop monitor--are hung high and out of the way. This is no sports bar; this is a temple of beer.

The young, hipster staff seemed to get a perverse kick out of asking the humble supplicant, once seated, what he wanted to drink. It couldn't be that easy, could it? All I have to say is, "Pliny the Younger," and they'll bring it in a perfectly chilled 10 oz glass? Visions of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi flashed through my parched, hop-starved brain. "No Younger for you!" the server shouted in my imagination. "One year!" Luckily, it was only my paranoia working overtime, and soon the beer was down the pike.

The big board behind the bar lists the Younger at a healthy 10.25% ABV and under Bittering Units it only reads, "Gobs." The brew doesn't disappoint. It pours light orange with just a scrim of head and no lacing. The nose this little bomb throws, however, is heavenly: orange peel, the requisite pine forest, and a more than a hint of killer green bud.

The truly amazing thing about this Triple IPA, is how balanced it is. To me, Pliny the Elder, Russian River's Double IPA, is more aggressively hop forward--not to say the Younger isn't crazy hoppy (as the website reads: Younger is hopped three times more than our standard IPA, and is dry hopped four different times), its just that its sweet malt backbone carries a lot of weight.

As the sun falls behind the storefronts on 4th St. and working folks are released on their own recognizance for another day, a line begins to form outside on the sidewalk. Soon a bouncer takes position at the back door so that no one bum rushes the bar, and after a few of the most perfectly balanced beers I've ever had, it's time for me to head on and give someone else a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 08:01:49 | More by monkeylovebeer
Photo of Hawkfish
Hawkfish

Washington

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

First brew rated, figured it should be 'the One'.

All I can type is 'incredible' and 'epiphany'. It was when I drank Adam from HotD for the first time. Wow!

It ranks as one of the best beers ever sampled. Drank 3 between sour sample.

Beer Nirvana! I can hear Angels!

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 03:50:02 | More by Hawkfish
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

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

Body is a clear gold poured from draft to about a half-inch head. White foam dissipates pretty quickly to a cap and ring. Leaves trace lacing on the glass, which is motile and does not stick.

Aroma of light malt, floral and fruity hops--green grass and grapefruit, pine. Somewhat resiny. Hops are present across the palate, and begins with sweet malt and caramel. Mid-palate and in the finish, there is a pleasant hop burn on the tongue.

Body is medium with pleasing carbonation, producing a very creamy mouthfeel.

This is a great tasting, pleasant drinking ale. ABV at 11% is well masked by the big flavor. Excellent beer, but should be consumed responsibly.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 02:34:43 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of drummstikk
drummstikk

California

3.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 Pliny the Younger: Pale yellow, medium body and carbonation. Smells like pine and grapefruit. Your taste buds are totally shot after tasting this. Intense earthy hop flavors: marijuana-like and resinous. Probably lots of Columbus hops. Not as citrusy as 2010, but the same de-emphasis of hop bitterness and emphasis on hop flavor. Less bitter than Pliny the Elder. And again, the alcohol is masked by the intense hop flavors. Pretty tasty beer -- hard to explain the hype (especially when you think about all the other delicious double IPAs out there), but one of the best.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 19:12:57 | More by drummstikk
Photo of NWer
NWer

Washington

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

On tap at RRBC on Tuesday the 8th and again on Friday the 11th.
Trying very hard not to get caught up in the hype but couldn't help it.
This is one amazing beer. The perfect balance between flowery smoothness and hoppy essence you want from a DIPA.
It just tastes sooo good!
Thanks for the memories RRBC! My new gold standard to measure all others.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 12:18:38 | More by NWer
Photo of waltersrj
waltersrj

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Uber last year in Seattle...the keg blew in 12 minutes!

Pour: A dark, viscous looking orange color with tiny white bubbles coating the top layer of this beer.

Nose: Sharp piney notes with a hint of citrus hops (pineapple, tangerine, and orange rhind), sweet malts (caramel and slight toffee), notes of alcohol and more hops.

Taste: This changes as it warms but starts with piney hop notes (like PtE), transitions into citrus notes and finishes with a delectably sweet, caramel and toffee based malt and more hints of piney hops. This beer is fantastic, simple and perfectly composed.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not overly viscous, slightly oily but not overwhelming.

Overall: Glad I could have this but won't fly to CA for it. Glad we get it in Seattle :) Cheers to you RR!!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 09:10:46 | More by waltersrj
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

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

Had on tap at Toronados

A: A beautiful clear golden color with a nice foamy head that quickly drops to a few off white bubbles on top of the beer.

S: Unbelievable. Smells a lot like the other Pliny, but with a little bit of a tropical flare. Lots of piney hops, some mango, apricot and a lot of pineapple. As the beer warms, an earthy smell appears and some bitter hop resins.

T: I was expecting this to just be a bigger version of PTE, but as other have said, it doesn't taste "bigger," just better. The balance in this beer is uncanny. Citrus hops and grapefruit hit the palette first along with a sharp peppery bite and then it gets mellowed by the malts and finishes pretty crisply. It takes all of the rough edges that PTE has and polishes them into a masterpiece. One of the best beers I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 22:46:27 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of jamex
jamex

California

4.68/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured at Toronado, San Diego on 2/10/11. $7.

My first PtY. Had two glasses around 11:30am (I took an early lunch).

This is one of those few beers that you think about all day. Pours an amazing tangerine. Smell is amazing and the taste is incredible. Like a bolder, older brother of PtE. The mouthfeel is a bit more hearty than Elder. I could have easily had 2-3 more of these (might have ended up on the floor, but hey).

Sure this beer gets all kinds of hype, but after finally tasting it, that hype is well deserved. Well done RR, well done.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 18:57:30 | More by jamex
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.75/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From tap to wine glass

A: Pours a light golden-tan, clear, with almost no head. Little lacing is apparent, the ale appears too dense.

S: The nose is big, fresh, piny hops. You can smell the sweetbread malts attempting to balance, but the hops are just too big. They carry notes of orange zest, lemon and freshly cracked pepper. Alcohol is noted, but amazingly masked.

T: Fresh hops hit the palate up front, as expected, but the malt-backbone is much stronger than noticed in the nose. This beer is incredibly balanced, certainly a main reason it's so coveted. Flavors are quite singular and take some time to parse. Hops have plenty of fresh pine, but have layers of citrus notes - grapefruit, orange zest, lemon. Caramel and sweetbread flavors are perfectly flush with the hops. Subtle spicy tones round out the profile, some nutmeg, pepper, coriander. Alcohol is barely traceable, dangerous for the ABV, although a slight warming effect rolls in right at the finish. And that's it - finish is clean, aftertaste quickly vanishes.

M: Of course the beer is rich and viscous, but far from weighty or sticky. Carbonation is perfect and helps wash that short-lived aftertaste.

D: Simply one of the most drinkable beers in existence. If you didn't know what this was what it was you could throw it back to your favorite drinking game. At least for a few minutes, until you'd figure your beer is spiked.

I do wish this beer was available more often, but it's become a bit of a beer holiday. I'm sipping this at Toronado San Diego, probably the first tap in SD this year, and the place is packed on a work-day, 11:00 AM. The owner didn't even pre-announce it, just sent out a "by the way" email this morning.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 06:20:47 | More by rand
Photo of Sideswipe
Sideswipe

California

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

On tap at Stone 1/10/11

PTY arrived in a 8oz glass with a one finger layer of dense white foam atop it. The head bubbled away quickly leaving a small ring around the outside of the glass. The beer is a clear golden orange color, beautiful! The nose is huge citrus and floral notes with a good dose of pine, very nice! The taste. Is. Incredible! Orange, tangerine, and grapefruit play across my tastebuds. The malt manifests itself as a sugar cookie sweetness. The most amazing characteristic of this beer is the balance it exhibits. The ABV is completly hidden. It is the perfect blend of sweet biscuity malt and citrusy, piney bitterness. In a word, exquisite! Mouthfeel is medium with an appropriate level of carbonation. It's creamy, smooth and perfect. Drinkability is over the top. No trace of the 10+ABVis noticeable at all. This beer is the pinnacle of IPA evolution. A must try for any hophead.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 02:01:46 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

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

This is truly excellent and overall essentially a stronger, slightly more intense and richer version of Pliny the Elder, with the same excellent balance of hop and malt, bitter and sweet, full body and easy drinkability.

It is deep gold or pale amber with a smallish off-white head soon thinning to a foamy ring that eventually diminishes, but leaving nice lace all the way down.

Aroma is a stronger Pliny the Elder essentially, with caramelised grapefruit and pine, some lemon and plum as well as other undefined but rich light fruity character and a raisiny character.

Taste is excellent, a full but balanced character. It has complex balance of warming fruity-raisiny character with some lightly toasted caramelised grain and plenty of spicy citrusy hops including a lightly caramelised orange and grapefruit with some green grass and leafiness. Feel is excellent, again a great balance between a full, slightly oily body and a light lively zestiness. It is not viscous, greasy or heavy and drinkability is high.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 23:28:44 | More by Offa
Photo of Habanero58
Habanero58

United Kingdom (England)

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

The things I will do to taste world class beers!!

Made a 11,000 mile or so round trip from London, UK to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA to be there during 3 of the 14 days of PtY at Russian River. Was in the first throng on Superbowl Day so hello to anybody who also got that little emerald green wristband!! Great organistation here from the Russian River team. Anyway...

No sooner than we were seated (having quickly made friends in the queue) than the magic words "Younger"? were spoken and the beer followed shortly after.
I will have to start backwards and say the thing that astounded me most about this beer was the drinkability.
It is so smooth and creamy and the 10.25% ABV announced on the RR blackboard is just SO well hidden that you really do not realise how strong it is.

Even with my poor sense of smell the floral, fruity, piney scent of PtY blew me away as when I had first tried PtE.

I returned to RR for two more days and on my last visit sampled PtY and PtE alongside eachother as I find this helps me to really spot any differences.
That they are close siblings is no doubt but the thing that stood out for me was that I thought PtE had a much drier finish. The bitterness was certainly there but seemed more discreet in the Younger.

Anyway, mission accomplished, it was nice to meet possibly the most drinkable, the most quaffable beer of all...which it probably shouldn't be? Amazing!!

And my bottles of Supplication and Consecration survived the flight home! Thanks to everybody who made me so welcome in Santa Rosa and RR.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 22:19:08 | More by Habanero58
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Toronado
San Diego, CA

Clear golden orange and tangerine with a very thin head. Leaves some lacing on the glass. A disappointing pour.

Pungent orange and grapefruit hop aromas. Alcohol is hidden in the nose. Typical West-Coat DIPA aroma, but not over-the-top or particularly spectacular. Good, but not great. I expected more. Hop Stoopid and Sculpin have better noses.

Taste is bitter hops, tangerine, and grapefruit with little to no malt character. Simple, bitter and pungent hop juice, which I believe is the point of a beer like this! Alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden. I would not believe this beer is 11% abv.

Medium mouthfeel. Similar to Elder and Blind Pig. This is the anti-Sierra Nevada Hoptimum.

A fantastically drinkable DIPA. The alcohol is marvelously well hidden. Refreshing and delicious.

A delicious and sublime DIPA, but I don't think it quite deserves its reputation (as the best beer on Earth). It's delicious, but I am convinced I can find year-round offerings (including Pliny the Elder) that are just as good if not better and are far less expensive. Drink it if/when you can find it, but no need to go crazy trying to taste it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 20:48:04 | More by ehammond1
Photo of badboyrsl84
badboyrsl84

California

4.58/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I manged to get my hands on this one at 11 am at a packed Toronados in San Diego.

It pours a see thru 24 karat gold with a small lacing of head around the rim of the glass

I get a hoppy floral smell with tons of citrius and malty aroma.

The taste is full of hops but not so much that its over bearing. Lots of tasty hops with very littler bitterness. Itis just as smooth as the elder with more citrius flavor. The finish is grapefruit and some hop presence minus the bitterness.

To say this beer is drinkable is dangerous at 11%. It goes down smooth and the lack of bitterness helps make this one potent brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 18:51:43 | More by badboyrsl84
Photo of BeerAmbassador
BeerAmbassador

Arizona

4.72/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour at Russian River Brewery. Almost no head by the time it got to the table, poured a hazy amber or burnt orange. Aroma was very prevalent in the beginning and I got pine, grapefruit, tropical fruit as well as some floral notes. As many others have stated this beer is like a bigger version of Pliny the Elder but somehow it achieves more balance between the malt and the hops. All of that along with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel make this a very drinkable 11% alcohol beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 02:44:54 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

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

I was one of the first 20 people in the joint SuperBowl Sunday and thought I might as well order a Younger while I'm here. I mean...everyone else was doing it.

I've had this beer now 5 years now in a row and it never disappoints. (Note - I did review the 2009 Younger but I was new to BA then and to reviewing beers. That review was all over the place so I'm going to leave it out of this review. If you want to compare it that bad search my profile)

A - Looks very similar to Elder, the pour was to the tip of the 10oz glass so no head to speak of but the lacing stuck all over the glass from top to bottom. Looks, crisp and beautiful for an DIPA this big.

S - Smells similar to PtE but a tiny bit muted in comparison in regards to not as pungently floral. BUT, the Tropical Fruit and hemp and earthiness coming out of this is fantastic. Smells very balanced. Can't wait to dive in.

T - I've heard Younger referred to as Elder on Steroids which I agree with and disagree with. How could it be on steroids if it's a smoother beer? BALANCE...wow. It's everything Elder is but a bit stronger malt profile to balance out the enormous amount of hops. The Tangerine forward Grapefruit that the Elder provides in citrus is replaced by Younger with Tropical Fruits and I want to say strawberries. There is less pine in Younger than Elder but the earthiness is still present. Similar bitter finish in the end but not quite as much as Elder. If I could give a 6 here I would.

M - Similar qualities to Elder but smoother and easier drinking??? This is a 5

D - In my 2009 review I gave this category a 4 but this year is the easiest drinking Younger I can ever remember having. I could session this beer, and pretty much did as I drank my 3 pours and my wife's 3 pours as well. I could have kept going but she was starting to get annoyed with me.

Final Thoughts - If you can improve upon Elder which near impossible to do, it's been done with Younger. Many similarities but this is more complex and masterfully crafted. There were more "stages" to this beer. I kept thinking to myself...when you get this this level of IPA (10% +) it really can't be crafted any better. Truly world class. Never had a better IPA or beer period.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 02:19:44 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

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

A friend received a growler in a trade last year and shared it with me. I reviewed the beer when we consumed it, but misplaced my notes. I recently discovered them when cleaning out my beergeon.

Poured into a tulip and served at approximately 50 degrees.

A: The beer has nice clarity and appears to be situated between pale and deep gold. Carbonation expresses itself in lazy bubbles slowly rising through the beer and feeding a weak ring of head.

S: Pine and vague tropical fruits. A touch of alcohol and maybe some malty sweetness.

T: The beer tastes stronger than it smells. A kiss of sweetness up front; then the vague tropical fruits reveal themselves as mango and passionfruit. These flavors yield for resin/pine and a surprisingly light bitterness.
Something is a bit off in the finish, but I can't figure out what.

M: Medium bodied and not very warming, which is suprising given the big abv. Not as coating and/or slick/oily as other DIPAs, either.

D: Given some of the other characteristics of this beer, I would bet that Russian River constructed this DIPA with drinkability in mind. The beer is unique and doesn't get in the way of being drunk.

I would love to try Pliny the Younger on tap and wouldn't be shocked if it were a bit brighter, but that is probably not in the cards.

Serving type: growler

02-09-2011 16:54:18 | More by Wadsey
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

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

Hit the RR brewpub for lunch today. No lines, just a pleasantly packed pub. I loved how the sever immediately said "What can I get you to drink? Younger?". I'm sure they knew they would be right 99% of the time.

2011 release, on tap at the source. 10oz pour. 10.5% ABV this year.

With so many great reviews on this site, I'll give a fairly relativistic review. DIPA's are my favorite style of beer and Pliny The Elder is my favorite beer hands down. Nothing original there, but that's where I was coming from for my absolute first taste of The Younger.

Poured the expected bright orange, smelled of wonderful bright citrus and pine. At this point I wish the glass was bigger just to take in the sites and smells. Initial flavor is very much like The Elder, but the middle and finish are what really set this beer apart. The beer just explodes on your palate with wonderful hop flavor but never gets heavy or sticky. It shares what I think is the best quality of The Elder, there is "room" in the beer for the distinct flavor to shine. Nothing weighs it down to take away from the drinkability.

As others have said, you'd never believe the ABV on this one. There was maybe one tiny moment, out of three glasses, that I got a bit of the alcohol, but it was fleeting and faded fast.

The last thing that really cements this tasting experience, is sipping from the growler of The Elder that I brought home with me and realizing that as good as a beer it is, it takes a back seat to The Younger.

Hats off to Russian River for their new policy this year. You sure helped at least this beer lover get my chance at Pliny The Younger. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 04:42:43 | More by brotherloco
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

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

Drove up seven hours to Sacramento to stay at Abel's (abecall98) in Sacramento this past Friday, then drove another two hours Saturday morning to go to Santa Rosa...all so I could try this beer again on tap at the SOURCE.

Appearance - Given to me in a 10oz glass. After waiting in line for almost three hours, I was more thirsty for water than for beer to be honest. But alas, after seeing this beer, in its beautiful golden hue against the three o'clock sun...I pushed my thirst pangs aside. Slight white head that dissipates relatively fast, but leaves some nice thing lacing.

Smell - Wonderful. People were saying it smelled/tasted more "hoppy" than last year (IMO PtY is more citrus while PtE is more piney/hoppy). I don't know what they were thinking. The massive amounts of tropical aroma were prevalent even before I brought the beer to my nose. Grapefruit, orange, tropical fruits, slight pine, hops, and a malty aroma almost not noticeable due to the sweet tropical fruits.

Taste - I can honestly say, Holy Cow. This beer IS all that it is hyped up to be. Seeing as I drank more PtE oz for oz than any other beer last year, I just can't get over how different this "brother" to PtE is. Such an amazing tropical fruit/citrus quality. I had SO many of these while at the RR pub. I am so glad I went up there.

Mouthfeel - SO creamy, thicker viscosity, decent carbonation, slick, amazing.

Drinkability - If I gave this to someone, had them literally quaff down the beer, and then tell them it was over 10% they would laugh at me thinking I'm lying. This beer, this year over last, seems to me to be just insanely drinkable. Having no alcohol in my system and having this after standing in line for so long I would have expected to get some alcohol taste or warmth. No. Nothing. Utterly amazing. This is my FIRST perfect five I have given in over two years on BA. This beer deserves it hands down. Especially seeing as the most well versed style I know is IPA/DIPA, this beer just outdoes EVERYTHING. I am SO glad I drove up from LA for this. Amazing on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 03:51:56 | More by SpdKilz
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benclimbs

California

4.75/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most coveted beer on earth - finally after all these years!!!!
Had on tap at Russian River Brewery at 11:15 AM - had to get there early before the goods were tapped out! It was well worth the wait! Unsurprisingly, this is a pretty amazing IPA

LOOK - Pours blonde and surprisingly clear with tons of lacing and no head - looks identical to the elder.

SMELL - Simply Amazing. Perfect pure balanced hop character. Strawberries, pine, grapefruit, orange peel, and earth - no detectable alcohol. The nose on this is by far the best of any IPA i've ever had.

TASTE - Equally amazing, extremely geared. Starts out fruity, then moves on to licorice, spice and herbal notes and finishes with a sweet but creamy warm alcohol body and a super hoptastic, ultra bitter, dry delicious finish. WOW!

FEEL - Good mouthfeel, a bit on the slick, warm side but not overwhelming...the only quality of the beer that isn't stellar.

DRINK - Fantastic drinkability for such a huge brew.

This is an absolutely perfect West Coast IPA - The most telling thing is taking a sip of this and then a sip of Pliny the Elder...It tastes like a lager after this baby! So rich, complex, geared and amazing...one of the best beers i've ever had, and likely the best of the style.
THANK YOU RUSSIAN RIVER!!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 00:50:44 | More by benclimbs
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bauers

California

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

A long line forms along 4th Street in Santa Rosa every year about this time. The reason? The annual extremely limited release of Pliny the Younger!

Once again, a triumph for Vinnie Cilurzo! Only available on tap (no Growlers this year), at Russian River Brewing Company they are only serving it in 10-oz pours. Which, given the 11% alcohol, is definitely a prudent approach!

The pours I had were filled to the rim of the glass, leaving only a tiny amount of head to top the rich amber colored elixir. As soon as I raised the glass towards my lips I was assaulted by the hop aroma - pine, citrus, a bit of grass - wonderful! The taste was even better - sweet maltiness perfectly balancing the huge amount of hops. I didn't see a
breakdown of the hops used this year, but it definitely seemed like Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe were part of the mix. Probably some Chinook too - as Vinnie once put it on one of The Bistro's Double IPA festival's listing of beers and what hops were components... "gobs" of them are used! :-)

Russian River is allocating the Younger a few kegs at a time at their pub this year - it should be available for another 12 days if they have figured their schedule correctly. It will also be available at select establishments in California and the West. If you see it, grab it - I've tasted a lot of fine Double/Imperial IPAs in my time, but none of them surpass Pliny the Younger!

[Note: Unless you can get in line early enough to get seated when the doors open, you'll probably be better off waiting a few hours. I was in line on Saturday (2nd day of release) at 11:45 and got to a table around 2:30 - you can sit as long as you like once seated, so tables from the initial rush were slow to turn over.

Was it worth it? Let's say I'd do it again, but probably show up a few hours later so the initial turnover had happened.

Or else show up on Superbowl Sunday. I swung by the pub around 4:30 Sunday afternoon and was able to walk right in, get a couple of Younger's, and grab a table without a problem. Worth keeping in mind for next year.]

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2011 07:26:31 | More by bauers
Photo of hopmonkey
hopmonkey

New York

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

I was there at the 2011 debut. Simply an outstanding, world-class beer. Floral, pungent hops without the bitterness that so many have unfortunately associated with "good" IPA. Well-balanced and obviously carefully crafted, this is a distinctly American beer. And one to be proud of. Well done Russian River. Oh, and watch out because that 10%+ ABV will sneak up on you...

Finally, the Russian River staff and patrons couldn't have been friendlier or more welcoming. Rock on.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 19:15:44 | More by hopmonkey
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,258 ratings.