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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

2,470 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,470
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 4,831
Gots: 158 | 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: 2,470 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- nice golden yellow orange. Small skin of head not a bit of lacing.
S- good god what a smell every year when I get my few glasses I can't help but think it smells just like a powdered sugar cover lemon jelly doughnut. Crisp citrus, sweet and bready.
T- well its just about the best ipa I've ever tasted huge hop oil and lemon zest, pine and sap. Touch of dry biscuit and bread. Mildly sweet but just the right amount. I love this stuff more and more every year. Livin in Philly really pays off if you can avoid getting shot. I kid I kid.
M- beautiful on the tounge like a good lady. It really coats the mouth but never too much, crisp carb that delivers the brew around the palete amazingly. Finishes with a nice clean linger that is much liked.
D- well I'm a beast but at 11 percent its not to be fooled with. If I wasn't driving and the keg didn't kick instantly oh wait it didn't I can get a second well then bring it on. I guess that says it all.
Well thank you scoats and all the fine folks at the grey lodge for doing a younger event perfectly. Ill be enjoying this blessed brew while it lasts. Oh vinnie what magick you brew.

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

10oz pour at Monk's Cafe, tapped for their Russian River Mad Monday. I got the first retail pour (not to brag), so I'm kind of a big deal.

A- I have to say that it had a glow about it, sort of a halo, an aura. But seriously, regardless of how it felt to finally have a glass of this beast in my hand, it really did stand out in appearance. Golden with a slight orange hue, impeccable clarity, 1-finger fluffy white head leaving a sticky lacing, but not uncharacteristically think lacing by any means.

S- Great sweet citrus (more orange than grapefruit) with a slight fruitiness of another variety, possibly even bubblegum. It is slightly piney, but the other aromas stood out much more, especially when compared to the Elder, which I find to be dominated by the piney/forest aroma. This definitely has a more complex and layered aroma. Once you really get your nose down in there, the aroma is also of bitter grapefruit.)

T- Huge floral flavor with intense grapefruit and a slight bitter orange rind in the finish. The floral taste is much more similar to the piney ("f*cked in the face by a pinecone" as I have seen some term it) aroma that I expected based on its Elder brother. Really a sensational brew. I found it surprising that with some of the sweetness, it is slight more reminiscent of Hopslam than Pliny which lacks a lot of the citral aromas and flavors I have mentioned.

MF- Nice and sticky on the palate with a slick, oily finish. In some ways, I expected something different on the mouthfeel here, maybe a bit more "chewy," though I am not sure that would be desirable in an IPA. I guess it is equally impressive that it wasn't that much different than the Elder or other great IPAs, yet packed 10.5% abv and a hop profile that could demolish the rest.

D- This beer is absurdly drinkable. I think that is a lot of what makes it such a masterpiece. Granted, if it was 5%, I would like it just as much, but there is something to be said for a beer that drinks like every other IPA yet packs a decidedly greater punch. The closest comparison I often here is Hopslam, but this really does it without the slight residual sweetness making it that much more amazing. Really, a spectacular beer that I feel very fortunate to have sampled.

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

Had 8oz pour on-tap at Falling Rock Taphouse on 2/26/10 as part of their special tapping the night before the Boulder SourFest. Place was packed so glad that ummagum and I got there 1.5 hrs early and got a table. It was a slightly hazy golden orange color. Had slight carb streams. Couldn't tell how soon after pouring that we got it since it was a mass delivery but it still had a 1/8" foam cap that stayed there for the duration (especially as I kept swirling it to kick up the awesome aromas). My glass had good lacing and not much sticking but my friend's had great lacing and lots of sticking so I used his as the lacing reference and chalked mine up to washing issues.

The aroma was exceptional. One of, if not, the best hoppy aromas out there. Lots of pine, c-hops, grapefruit with a great malt backbone. Very well balanced. A constant sniffer. The taste matched the aroma perfectly. Loads of hop flavor from start to finish with the malt coming in at the end to smooth it out. Great balance and one of the smoothest hoppy beers out there. My buddy and I kept remarking on how smooth it was. The ABV never came into play. Couldn't smell it or taste it and didn't really feel it. I could drink this stuff all day. Mouthfeel was medium to full with good carb levels and a great finish.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. After having so many of the top ranked ones and being disappointed (and wondering if the rarity was making it high ranked) I was so glad that this one held up. Worthy of the hype, rankings, etc and most highly recommend. I'd need to try it again at least 1 or 2 times to say for sure but this might be my favorite beer of all time. If not it's still pretty damn close. Rotation - not avail here in TX and is tap only so road trips are only hope. If avail here, my fridge would always be stocked with this.

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

On Tap @ Monk's Cafe

Look: Deep golden, slightly amber color, clear, with a medium head and great lacing

Smell: Powerful citrus & pine hops, malt, caramel and toffee

Taste: Up Front: Grapefruit, then pineapple, then apricot. Finish: Malt, with hops picking up steam along the way

Mouthfeel: Medium body, incredibly smooth, balanced, and a stickiness that coats the tongue and palate

Drinkability: Alcohol is well hidden, and it's uber-drinkable!

Overall Impression: This is the most hyped beer on the planet at this time. With all the hype surrounding this beer I was concerned that I might be underwhelmed. I was not, and the hype is warranted. However, this turned out to be my second favorite Double IPA of the day, which would make it my 3rd favorite of all time. Simply amazing!

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

Thanks treyrab for the growler hookup connection... living in Alaska, this is a dream come true for me, the anticipation was...well, you know what it was. to the beer:

Appearance: Murky golden with brown shades and amber highlights on the rim of the glass. White head was slow to form and the carbonation seemed mildly present coming from the bottom of the glass. Remnant lace indicated an intact and fulfilling body.

Smell: bright citrusy fresh hops, light caramel toffees and roasted glaze. Bottom line is that this was the freshest smelling Imperial i have ever had.

TTTasteWow: first impression was TOO drinkable! Went down like a mystic haze of fury without leaving the pallet with much to discern. Second sip: creamier body with hops totted with pine resin and syrup sticky mouthfeel. After more sips the bitterness seems to linger on the roof of the mouth, and bam, the first glass is already gone! wtf! The is a salute to the drinkability of this 11% masterpiece. Goes down way too smooth I wanted it to last. The hops do hang around however, well after the glass turned empty.

Drinkability: for a high ABV beer, this brew disguises the warming superbly, if a 5.5/5.0 on drinkability was permitted for 1 beer, this would be that beer.

Photo of mechamifune
4.62/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 10oz tulip. Very slight creamy head with light sense of cabonation. Color a clear golden with slight amber hue (though to be fair the lighting was pretty bad).

Smell is basically like being punched in the face with hops.... some slight citrus and pine is in there, but you have to search for it.

The taste goes hand in hand with the smell. An intense hop taste with pretty minimal sense of malt and obvious notes of citrus as you progress. A syrupy/resin mouthfeel follows... intense but pleasant. A little creamy with a pretty minimal sense of carbonation.

All in all i'm a little torn with this one. This is an incredible beer and I enjoyed drinking it as much as any other beer i've had.... but if you don't love (and i mean love) hops you will have a hard time enjoying it and I can't help but think that has to count against it a little bit. For as big as this beer is and as intense as it is, its relatively drinkable, but not nearly as much as Elder.

All in all one hell of a beer.

Photo of rfgetz
4.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost crystal clear golden orange color. Huge frothy white head that lingers, leaves great lacing and holds the delicious smell. The scent is a beautiful whiff of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple with vauge hints of pale malt and pine resin. I found myself smelling this beer more than i was sipping. Taste begins with the semi-acidic grapefruit, mellowing into a semi-sweet pineapple and tangerine. Bitterness comes through in the end through tastes of pine resin. In between, definite tastes of pale malt are present and provide just enough to smooth the edges between flavors. Body is medium, slightly oily and slick, but does not linger on the palate and cloud future sips. Overall, and excellent dIPA... more akin to a hoppier version of Blind Pig due to all the fruit notes. To me it appeared much less bitter than the PtE due to these tropical fruits.

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

On tap at Monk's amidst the chaos. Here we go!

Poured into a tulip glass, the color of honey. Vanilla head diminishes slowly, leaving a sticky coating of lacing - serious lacing.

Smells like hops, hops and more hops. Pine, pineapple, not too much citrus, more other tropical fruits like mango, banana, peach - pretty glorious.

Now for the real test...how does the Younger taste?
Answer: Freakin great. Hops, hops and more hops! Round 2! Sticky and sweet, absolutely demolishes my palate. Good luck tasting another beer after this guy. Though it is a hop fiend, I'm surprised by the amount of maltiness the Younger brings. It is more balanced that I expected, but don't expect a complex, deeply layered beer here. Pliny the Younger is predominantly a hop bomb, and I couldn't be happier.

Mouthfeel is great, decent carbonation, sticky and full on the tongue. Just the right amount of bitterness that lingers for days. Good, good stuff.

I'm not sure if this is the best beer in the world. It is the best I've had thus far but my beer journey is far from over. However I will say this: I had the highest expectations for this beer, and those expectations were blown into millions of tiny hop pellets. Bravo, Vinnie. Bravo, Russian River. And thank you Monks for giving me the opportunity to taste one of the best.

Photo of Pawel
4.62/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz. pour on-tap at The Horse Brass. Just fantastic blending of malty backbone with an up-front hoppy citrusy bitterness. Not nearly as unbalanced as I expected, but just as good. Really a superbly-balanced beer considering how strong it is. A much more pleasant and drinkable beer than I expected, and not the up-front flavor overload I was bracing myself for. I could drink a lot of these back-to-back.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.57/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a tulip.

Orange pour. Not the generic amber/orange that seemingly every DIPA is, but just a bright orange. Much lighter than I was expecting. Thin ring of foam retains well, and leaves some nice lacing on its way down.

Aroma is pure hops. Huge pine, huge citrus, though I didn't smell much citrus until after it warmed up a little bit. I'm sure there's a pretty hefty malt load in there somewhere, but it just gets buried underneath delicious hops.

Huge hoppy flavor, too. Pine is dominant throughout, though there's a nice citric flavor as I reach the bottom of the glass. Some grapefruit and sweet malt underneath. Resinous, yet sweet finish. Was definitely glad to see the citrus come through as it warmed.

Medium-full body. Great texture, appropriately carbonated. No way this beer is 11%. Supreme drinkability. A 5 in that category doesn't do it justice.

Photo of JCDenver
4.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At long last. Enjoyed a half pint on tap at Falling Rock. It was worth the wait. Pours a beautiful golden color with a nice, frothy head. It almost smelled better than it tasted, extremely fragrant floral, piney aroma.

Great mouthfeel, lots of body, somewhat sticky. Taste is a flavor explosion, strong notes of citrus fruit and pine. This is the most well-balanced beer I've ever tasted. The alcohol was extremely well hidden, and virtually undetectable. A beer that you could literally drink all day..dangerous.

Photo of fiver29
4.62/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by AJ. Thanks AJ! Pours clear orange color with thick off white head. Aroma is citrus, simcoe hops with grapefruit rind, and some resinous stinky citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor is an explosion of flavor. It follows the nose nicely and I can detect layers of resinous hop goodness. Upfront its citrus, then comes simcoe citrus, followed by pine sol flavor, and coats my mouth with hop resins and finishes with a touch of heat. Overall the alcohol is hidden well and I do detect a touch of alcohol in the finish. With more hops. Wonderful beer. Thanks AJ!

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

When looking, you probably won't think this is the greatest beer in the world. It's real yellow. But the aroma, jeez, what is this, like triple or quadruple dry hopped?

Amazing aroma, dry hops of multiple hop varieties, summit, amarillo seem plentiful. So smooth, yet so hoppy, you don't taste a hint of alcohol, a favorite at the DIPA festival hosted by the Bistro. Mouthfeel, while not complex, is perfect. You love to burp after drinking this beer. Very drinkable once again, no alcohol noticeable. You just want more and more.

This beer packs ton of hop flavor into a super light, dry body. Relatively low bitterness. Lots of dank pine and cannabis type of flavors and aromas. Legit as tit.

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling this live right now at Capone's.

Pours a dark golden orange/tangerine color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger fluffy, soapy white head that has amazing retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Soapy chunks of white lacing are left behind.

Uber fresh dank oily hop aroma that is very floral with a lot of sweet citrus notes balancing out the earthy pine. Slight malt presence and a somewhat strong alcohol character. The high ABV is noticeable in he nose and takes away from the hops a bit.

Chewy full body, especially for the style, that is bursting with uber fresh earthy piny and sweet citrus hops. Very floral with lots of lemon peel and grapefruit as well as some tropical mango and pineapple. There is a slight malt backbone providing some balance but this beer is all about the hops. There is a good bit of alcohol heat that takes away from the hops a bit too much for my liking but overall the ABV is decently masked. This beer is still dangerously drnkable but I wish that it had a little less heat. I've had this beer several times and I love it but I still prefer Elder.

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

holy crap i never thought i would ever get to try this but after a six hour drive and a 2 hour wait at the bar and here i am

hold crap is this beer good its just like a hop explosion, every thing you can think of there huge smell and taste of bitter grape fruit and pine. Then there is this malt to unlike any IPA i have ever had not like an acrid sweet but like a balancing biscuity sweetness that is again followed by the biggest hop kick i have ever experienced this beer is not for light hearted but holy crap is it one of the best i have ever had

Photo of maximum12
4.32/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, second, third, etc. many solar system-sized thanks to cloudskipper for going through the trouble of securing this growler & shipping it to the cold northern steppes. Was going to get one last year but turned out I was going on vacation after the release, so I've been waiting an entire year for this opportunity. Break out the glasses & pour that Younger!

Pours a clear, concise gold that would make the Gold Rush of '49 proud. Intense, hard-edged grapefruit is the dominant smell, with pine, citrus, all flowing out of the glass.

Pliny the Younger lives up to its rep as a serious IIPA. Yowza. The water-borne hops come mashing out of the gate at a full gallop. Again, the grapefruit of the hops is ascendant, but there's that Pine-Sol touch right behind it, & a colander full of bitter, mouth-shrinking hop character. Others include just a crumb of breadiness, malt that's a touch dankish & sweet but barely apparent, before the bitterness rushes in at the end to crush the living life out of everything else. Death to the non-hop!

Very sinewy & slippery in the mouth, tar-coated pine needles are all I can think of. Drinkable? Well, I'll have another glass & get back to you on that. But intensity of the hops, virtually unleavened by anything else, means this wouldn't be my drink of choice over a span of hours.

Well, it's tough to live up to the rep it's developed - Pliny isn't the best beer I've ever had. That said, it also obviously deserves the accolades. It's excellent, & I'm delighted I had the opportunity to try it. Thanks Chris!

Photo of punkrkr27
4.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 growler. Yet another huge thanks to DuffManSW for hooking this up! Big, loose white head with great lacing and a nice golden color. Big juicy melon and citrus notes in the aroma with hints of honey, honeydew melon, and a distinct skunky homegrown (yeah that kind) quality. The flavor is a juicy blend of wet hops, melon, grapefruit, tropical fruit, and a mellow bitterness on the finish that just lingers forever. The body is creamy and medium-full with soft carbonation.

Photo of Musition12
4.74/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm proud to say that this beer will be my first review.

I had this on 2/10/2010 at The Trappist as a part of Russian River night. Poured into a Russian River stemmed glass. From notes.

A: Pours a glowing opaque orange with a quickly dissipating one-finger head, leaving some beautiful lacing.

S: This was amazing. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, flowers, pine cones, and a hint of weed/cannabis. No malt aromas whatsoever.

T: Wow. Just utter bliss. Big, bold, and fresh grapefruit and pine hops dancing together on the tongue. Other secondary citrus flavors looming in the background, but the grapefruit is the star. The bitterness is there, but it's not astringent at all. Very subtle honey and bready notes. The 11% ABV is virtually undetectable.

M: Light to medium body. A bit sticky and unctuous.

D: Had to take marks off for this. As incredible as PtY was, its just not something I could have all night. Two was plenty.

I hate to lap up all the hype, but this is the best DIPA (or TIPA?) I've ever had. The whole experience was exemplary. For all the boldness (and occasional one-dimensionality) usually associated with DIPAs, this beer had remarkable nuance and depth of character. It transcends the limitations of its style to something greater and immortal. One of the best libations to ever grace my palate.

Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, the Younger is a stronger, hoppier (both are ridiculous) Elder. Nose is slightly more tropical and grapefruity than Elder. There is also a little more candi-cookie sweetness than the Elder. With a slightly lighter feeling body, deceptively, yet equally smooth and dry and refreshing. So fresh and delicious, a true ode to the hops.

Photo of illidurit
4.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by jerz at Woodshop 5.0. Pours a clear gold with an orange tinge and a creamy dense white head. Aroma is hugely pineappley/grapefruity with vanilla and a piney herbal character. Flavor is very herbal and bitter, lots of resins for sure. Sweetness comes through only in an orange/lychee hoppiness. Malt? What malt? We don't need no stinkin malt. Even if there was a pound of peated malt in this I wouldn't be able to taste it through the absurd hop whirlwind. I think I used the word "whirlwind" in my PTE review too now that I think about it. Whatever, this beer pulverizes. I'll rerate next year off a proper pint.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Abbey Pub in Bend...Personal thanks to Geoff for bring this on!

A: Pours a beautiful golden yellow with hints of tangerine and a rich frothy two finger creamy white head that hung around for quite some time and left very nice lacing as it fell.

S: Smells of ripe juicy grapefruit and a hint of pine, incredibly fresh and balanced, just a hint of the malt, and above all else...fresh!

T: Follows the nose, interestingly enough I think the elder has a little more bang for your buck, but what makes this incredible is the balance and smoothness of the flavor profile and the unbelievable fact that this is 11% abv. You never even dream that this beer is that high in abv.

M: Medium light body with smooth carbonation and again no sense of the abv, very crisp and very fresh.

D: This is one of the factors that sets this beer apart from others. As you drink this it goes down so smooth and you have no clue that it is 11%. Absolute perfection for drinkability.

Photo of Fweezle
4.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at a local tasting in St. Louis, big thanks to hooliganlife for bring 2 growlers.

A - Pretty typical of an IPA/DIPA, yellow-orange in color with a tightly dense white head that faded after a minute or so, a peek through the glass showed little hop chunks, awesome.

S - Huge grapefruit and citrus, but pretty one note. Best described as mild grapefruit juice.

T - Great DIPA, lots of citrus like the nose, good amount of malt, maybe some honey like flavors, little bit of pine and black pepper. What stands out to me the most about the beer is the bitterness, alot of DIPA are too syrupy and can't hold back all that sugary sweetness, this one stikes a good balance.

M - Mild mouthfeel, not too watery but has enough body to hold up to the taste.

D - Great great drinkability, hides the 11% perfectly although I was good at one glass.

I gotta say, I'm glad to have tried it. I was really hoping for a life changing event, but alas it was just a really good DIPA and nothing more, I'd be happy to try it again, but at least I know not to get all worked up over future releases.

Photo of gregc
4.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A secret tapping at Teresas Next Door on 2/23/10.Thanks Matt and Andy for the heads up.
Not too many people were told, it was great to be able to sit and relax while drinking this. Maybe 10 other people in the bar.

Pour is a nice golden like color with a nice small but creamy looking off white head.

Aroma was amazing tons of pineapple, citrus, pine...tons of hops...and a nice sugary sweetness and a small amount of alcohol. Very tropical.
The taste was nice pinapple and citrus sweetness, with a nice resiny piney bitterness and a decent amount of malt coming through. The sweetness of the malts and tropical flavors remind me of fresh Captain Lawrence DIPA.
Mouthfell was smooth no evidence that this is an 11 percent beer, had 2 didn't want to be too greedy but could easily drink this all night.

Photo of Patrick999
4.24/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, here it is, I finally get to try more than a tiny serving of this much-coveted beer. Poured into a tulip. I'm actually a little nervous because I know the reviews for this beer are scrutinized. While it does pour an attractive semi-clouded gold, the foam recedes rather quickly, leaving a few large bubbles on the surface.

The aroma is outstanding, it's all you ever wanted in an IPA. Apricot, orange, grapefruit, pine, a little mango. For aromatics, it easily deserves a 5.

I get a lot of intense stonefruit on the palate with a zippy pine backing. Hop character is of course very good...but I find that there's somewhat too much alcohol here. It can be harsh, on occasion devolving to what I can only describe as a peach-vodka character. That would be my knock on this beer. I don't think it needs 11%; it doesn't quite have a strong enough malt backing to mask and/or carry it, in my opinion. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I don't see how people can say the alcohol is barely noticeable....I think it's quite noticeable, and it does this particular beer a bit of a disservice in its harshness.

Feel-wise, it doesn't seem to be that well-carbonated, but it is from a growler that made it all the way to the East Coast, so I have to give it the benefit of the doubt. Plus, it has the requisite resiny feel that massively hopped beers have.

While it's got great hop character - we all know that - I honestly couldn't drink that much of this. For me, this is a sipping beer in a single 6-8oz serving. It's good in that context, I think. Not my #1 beer, though, not even my #1 DIPA. Even within RR's own stable, I think Pliny the Elder is the superior beer.

Photo of younger35
4.85/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received a growler of this from the super generous abecall98. I've missed this damn beer the past three years and I decided the 2010 version needed to be in my belly. Drank from some sort of Belgium snifter thingy with Mr. Scoobydank.

Appearance- Pours a light orange yellow with terrific clarity and a beautiful one finger off-white head. A nice collar and thin cap remains most of the beer along with plenty of lacing.
Smells- Smells a lot like Elder. A lot. Loads and loads of tropical fruits including, but not limited to; peach, pineapple, grapefruit, mango and passion fruit. The alcohol is definitely noticeably in the nose, way more than Elder. Not a lot else to say. It's just a big fruity hoppy party.
Taste- Oh man. So subtle and smooth with absolutely no booze what so ever, surprising considering the smell. Almost zero bitterness with a super citric and fruity hoppiness. Loads of pineapple and mango flood my taste buds but I don't get the crazy fruitiness that I got on the nose because the beer is so incredibly "balanced". A kiss of cracker in the super dry finish but it's fleeting and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. The hoppy fruitiness just lingers and lingers.
Mouthfeel- Nice and creamy with a slick oily feel from the ridiculously copious amount of hops. Light carbonation with a medium to below heavy feel.
Drinkability- Can't believe how good this is. The only real weakness I can find in the brew is the bit of alcohol in the nose. So fruity and hoppy and nice. Man I hope I can find a growler of this every year. Thanks much Abe!

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,470 ratings.