Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,330 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +6.6%
On tap at O'Brien's, once again. Served in 10oz. glasses, a brilliant yellow gold with pristene clarity and a pure white 1/4" foam head.
It looks so inviting, especially when you know what your getting into.
Sweet hoppiness greets the nose. Citrus nectar of grapefruit, tangelo, honeysuckle, pine and peppermint, permeate the nose. The best hop smell in an ale, ever!
The taste is unlike any 2X IPA, once you get to know it. Sweet hoppiness reigns with tangy citrus and somewhat sappy pine leading the way. In steps a slight malt note, followed by a fresh peppermint and lightly bitter finish. Balanced and clean throughout...best hop flavor ever.
Medium bodied with the alcohol burried within the complex flavor. The carbonation is subtle yet perfect...refreshing as cool spring water. This brew is way too drinkable...there will never be to much hype put on this ale, it's the best in it's class, bar none.
03-07-2009 03:11:05 | More by scottoale
4.8/5 rDev +2.3%
3/6/09 10 oz pour at O'Briens (x2).
Dark golden appearance with almost no head.
Smells like a hop monster.
Tastes like a hop monster. Similar to Pliny the Elder but a little "thicker". That said, mouthfeel is full but as light as an 11% ABV beer can be. Alcohol is well hiddn but starts to become apparent after about half a glass.
Overall, an excellent brew. It is definitely the Elder taken to the next level. As one would expect, the high ABV limits drinkability. It may be overhyped, but this is still a great beer that any hop head needs to try.
03-06-2009 23:10:17 | More by MickeyHops
4.47/5 rDev -4.7%
10oz glass poured on draft at Bailey's Taproom. Color somewhere between golden and amber, without much in the way of a head. Aroma of sharp, floral, piny hops, with notes of pineapple and cannabis. Palate is a straight-up hop bomb, possibly the hoppiest beer I've had outside of fresh hop season here in Oregon. Grass, pineapple, and cannabis notes peek through the sticky, syrupy, hoppy backbone, while a touch of bready malt comes through to balance things out on the finish, only to be overtaken by a serious grapefruit character that lingers long after the swallow. A fantastic offering, although somewhat brutal on the palate. But, if you love hops like I do, you've got to try it.
03-03-2009 01:58:36 | More by ElGordo
4.78/5 rDev +1.9%
For sure one of the best IPA's in the world. Pours an orangish brown with a silky beige head.
The nose has a bouquet citrus and pine over bready malts, caramel and toffee.
A perfectly balanced palate features sweet malts and fresh bitter hops.
Body is crips yet full and compliments the brew very well. I could enjoy this any time.
03-02-2009 22:58:25 | More by rye726
4.72/5 rDev +0.6%
Appearance- Orange Amber liquid with a fluffy off white head
Smell- Freshly herbaceous and flowery hops
Taste- Lush, verdant, piney hops up front, middle and last give this beer a uniquely "live" charatcter. Malt backbone is substantial, yet clearly overwhelmed by massive hops. Big alcohol presence is nicely masked by big flavor
Mouthfeel- Moderate smooth carbonation, medium bodied, but seemingly sticky with hops resins
Drinkability- A very big beer and quite extraordinary. High ABV detracts slightly from drinkability.
03-02-2009 01:08:00 | More by olmatty
4.63/5 rDev -1.3%
Tons of cheers to Beerzebub for this one.
Pours a very nice golden with surprisingly thick and well laced head. Carbonation is active and this looks thick.
Scent is the elder on crack. Citrus out the ass.
Taste is...so bitter yet clean. Tropical but not really sweet. Fruity but only in spots. Bitey but not dry. Alcohol well hidden. Really great.
Mouth body and carbonation are medium, and this is very drinkable and good, but so so difficult to get. I'll savor every drop of this growler.
02-28-2009 02:48:49 | More by sonicdescent
4.72/5 rDev +0.6%
Appearance: That same hazy golden-orange color of the Elder with the same cloud-white head. the head sticks around for a while and leaves nice lacing on the glass.
Aroma: For my money, this is the best nose I have ever experienced. There is tons of grapefruit, but the marijuana smell really sets this apart. The bready malt is also there as well, but all of this exists in perfect balance avoiding anything that could be described as overly sweet.
Mouthfeel: Oily and syrupy, this one just coats your mouth. The absolutely perfect carbonation helps to accent and trigger (for lack of better word) the flavors to bloom.
Taste: Wow! How can this possibly be 11%!?! The hops are just note perfect. it is like the best grapefruit juice you've ever had... in beer form! The bready malt is there, though subdued, to give it the perfect balance without any cloying sweetness.
Overall impression: I drank two half pints, but that was probably overdoing it. It is very drinkable, but that alcohol, though very well hidden, will get you. If the Tap House had not run out of the Elder, I would have switched to that. The buzz is somewhat stoney as well. I love love LOVE this beer, but I'd have to give the slight nod to the Elder, simply due to its lower abv.
02-27-2009 15:54:25 | More by jkendrick
4.2/5 rDev -10.4%
Had on tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA. A nice suprise on a recent trip there. Pours copper, looks virtually clear, with creamy head and decent lacing and retention (note: bar lighting was not the best so this is the best I can get to the look). Smell was superb. A nice kick of piney hops with some caramel maltiness. There is a presence of alcohol but nothing terrible. Taste was great as well. A strong citric kick to it, stong tastes of pineapple and grapefruit I thought. Strong malt backbone, a bit of a sweet caramel taste. Warming on the way down and leaves behind a nice hop bitterness to it. The first sip is pretty intense I must say. The mouthfeel was perfect I thought. Very smooth, somewhat silky...just great. Not too light or thin, but not too thick or creamy. Overall a great beer, not that anyone is suprised. I could easily have a couple in a sitting. I, unfortunately, had to drive so I could just enjoy the one. But between a great beer and a great bar, this was an amazing beer experience.
02-25-2009 03:52:27 | More by bunnyhustle
5/5 rDev +6.6%
I have long since given up on milestone beers. That being said this beer is a milestone all on its own so I am going to make it review 900. It has been my holy grail for the past year or so and a great big fucking thanks goes out to Talisker for once again hooking a brother up!
I owe you.
Being the good guy I am I took it to the local tasting group for all to enjoy.
A: Pours an ultra clear golden hue that is actually fairly light for the style. Bold creamy head quickly rises to a nice solid cap. Good retention, lots of lace and fizz when swirled. This one begs to be drank.
S: Holy hops batman! This baby is pure hop juice. Huge hop aroma with wonderful scents jumping out at you. Juicy orange and sweet apricot play well with peach and grapefruit. Green grass cuts through along with an absolute bouquet of flowers.
T: The malt in this beer must be ridiculous for the balance to be so spot on despite the insane amount of hops. Nice sweet caramel malt peeks through but trust me there is much more going on here in the malt department. That being said it has no chance to shine. The hops plow through with the malt doing its best just to provide balance... which it does quite nicely. The hop flavors are like nothing I have ever tasted. Sweet, Citrus, and Floral are all there. Sun sweet apricot and peach really stand out with notes of sweet mango. The green grass cuts through and seems to duel with sweet orange and bitter grapefruit. To call this beer complex would be an understatement. To call it great would be a crime. It is sooo much more and even better I could ever imagine.
M: Full bodied, rich, thick, smooth. It coats the mouth and throat with sweet and bitter fruit that just lingers and lingers. Pure sex in a bottle.
D: I had two full glasses and if there had been more I would have had a third. That being said I was fine drinking all the beers at the tasting. When finished with this one I was bombed, yet there was no hint of the ABV in the flavor.
Huge aromas, and out of this world flavor. This is one many will try to duplicate but will no doubt fall short.
It is worthy of that holy grail title. The best beer in the world? I would say so at least for now. The good news is my boy ibrew2or3 brought a growler home with him from his trip to Cali. I get a second round with this bad boy tomorrow. Life could not be better.
Give an arm, a leg, your first born. Get this one you will be glad you did. Talisker you rock man, I owe you big time!
02-25-2009 00:01:32 | More by tpd975
4.43/5 rDev -5.5%
Sampled at the 9th Annual Double IPA Festival at the Bistro in Hayward.
A - The beer poured a copper color. I had the beer in a festival tasting glass so not much to talk about in terms of head and lacing.
S - Pine, grapefruit, citrus, floral. Everything you'd expect from Vinnie.
T - An explosion of hops, but also surprisingly malty. For such a big beer, it's not at all hot.
M - Fairly viscous, but incredibly balanced for such an aggressive beer.
D - I could have pint after pint but I'd be drunk as a skunk before I knew it.
I'm glad I got to try it. I'd like to drink it again, although I'm not going to go to great lengths to get it. Inevitably, this one is going to be compared to the Elder, and I have to side with the old guy.
02-24-2009 22:14:51 | More by sessycuban
4.33/5 rDev -7.7%
I had this one on tap at the Horse Brass pub in Portland.
a: bright golden color with a slight haze to it
s: bright, piney and floral hop character, but not as agressively hoppy as expected.
t: surprisingly well balanced. big hop flavors, but with enough malt that it's not at all overly hoppy. expected this to be a bit hot at 11%, but just a little hint of warmth.
m: medium bodied, fairly sticky, with the agressive hop coating lingering on the palate for several minutes.
d: again, better than expected for such a huge beer, but I don't think I would want more than one in a sitting.
overall: a really excellent imperial IPA, but I'm not so sure it's deserving of such hype. I felt that batch one of this year's Deschutes Hop Henge was stickier, prettier, and generally more agressive.
if this wasn't so rare and expensive, I'd happily have one now and then, but given the extreme hype and price tag, I don't think this is something I'd seek out again.
02-24-2009 21:26:10 | More by pkasten
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
I finally got the chance to try Pliney the Younger at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver and it was well worth the wait.
A - The 8 ounce pour was a coppery-amber color that was clear with a nice head.
S - From the first sniff this beer is all business. Very hoppy aroma that beacons you to take a sip.
T - The Younger is similar to the Elder, but the higher ABV off-sets the smack of the 100+ IBUs.
M - The IBUs hit you from the beginning and linger long after the last sip.
D - The Younger is a very drinkable balance of malt and hops, each complimenting the other which leaves you wanting another one after you finish the first.
Definitely one of the best beers I've ever had. Highly recommended if you ever get the opportunity to try it.
02-24-2009 04:08:46 | More by CPTJack
3.73/5 rDev -20.5%
Falling rock had this on tap, and I didn't want to miss it. served in small snifter at the half pint volume.
Bright ruby and amber brew, really likes the light and shines like a lantern. Good dense, white, and foamed head. Great lacing after every sip and quick swirls...all the way to the end.
Mild hops aroma, yet complex. The alcohol is well concealed. Some floral and vanilla seem to be present as well.
Balanced taste to it. For as much hops as this thing has, the malt is present just at the beginning and a bit in the end. Smooth and sharp. Not bitter, buy very dry.
Deceiving beer with the abv. Dangerous, but very nice.
This is my third PyT review, the other two being in 06 and 09.
Falling Rock tapped this tonight and I got in on the first of 3 kegs.
Clear, clean light copper pour. A 1 finger white head foamed up. Lacing was thin, a quick swirl brought about the head again, yet lacing didn't quite stick.
A good blend in the aroma of citrus hops, some butteriness, pine and faint biscuit.
A rather lack luster taste. A soft citrus body develops with thin pine and an aftertaste of malt. But that doesn't last long. The body is thin, the bite is quiet and the balance is easily overlooked. At 11% abv, it is very easy drinking. I'm a bit disappointed in this one this year. Still good, but not world class, imho.
Update the update: 2011 sample. I dunno, the taste just isn't meeting the nose (i've upped the smell score). Doesn't seem as juicy as I remember or expected based on the aroma. The appearance today wasn't all that good...no head...but that was due to the pour
Averaged out the scores above
Update: On tap at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder, Feb 11 2012. This version seems thinner. The nose is softer and less hoppy. Nothing bad about it. The feel is drier without the bite. It just kind of evaporates and leaves the palate quickly.
02-23-2009 09:41:36 | More by Mebuzzard
4.97/5 rDev +6%
Had this courtesy of gford217 - thanks!
Pours a slightly hazy honey copper color with a thick off-white head. The head sticks around for quite a while before settling into a large-bubbled crown leaving solid lacing.
Smells great. Hops and more hops are front and center - citrus, tropical, floral, and pine hop aromas. This really is every hop aroma under the sun.
Tastes similar to how it smells, though with more of a malt backbone. The malt doesn't really have a flavor, just more of a setpoint from which to judge the huge amounts of hops. The bitterness sneaks up on you - managing to get stronger and stronger with each sip, but never so overpowering to hamper the hop flavors. The ABV is there, but it's as well hidden as any non-stout I've had with this high of a percentage.
Mouthfeel is good - good thickness with grainy carbonation make this one glide down my gullet.
Drinkability is great. I could drink not one, but multiple growlers of this - just so easy to drink.
Overall this beer did not disappoint. Everything is done exceptionally well and I hope everyone gets the chance to try this at one point or another.
02-23-2009 00:27:27 | More by glid02
4/5 rDev -14.7%
On tap at the Falling Rock $7 per 1/2 pint, wow. Served in a wine glass, nice orange color, smells amazingly hoppy like Pliny the Elder. Tastes bitter, hoppy, stronger. Honestly I think the Elder is better. This didn't seem to add hoppy value, only alcohol. A delicious IPA but the elder is better as far as I'm concerned.
02-22-2009 23:51:21 | More by ArrogantB
4.88/5 rDev +4.1%
Evan, who works at Brewbakers in Huntington and is a regular at Beachwood, popped in and was nice enough to trade me some of the Abyss '07 I had just bought for a few pours from one of his RR Growlers of the newest PtY batch. Many thanks to him for allowing me to finally try Younger - it was worth it.
Appearance: Poured with a translucent, "juicy" deep tree sap amber color. Head was fairly non-existent, but that could be more a consequence of this being in a growler. The lacing was pretty spectacular, canvassing-type stuff, which stayed for some time. Looks appetizing.
Smell: Deep, deep grapefruit, followed by basically the entire flavor spectrum of citrus fruits. Slight pine on the back end. Maltiness is there, expressing itself in a slight honey-like sweetness on the back end. Smells powerful, but not too powerful. Mega hoppy, but not in a detracting way. Just something else. Really is perfume-like, and makes you want to keep your nose in it for some time. It's less about complexity and more about simultaneous strength and balance.
Taste: Taste is similar to the smell. There is just an incredible balance here that only Elder can really compare to. It's basically the finest hop specimen I've tasted. Believe the hype.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, chewy, chewy. Juicy.
Drinkability: Intensely drinkable. I would basically take issue with anyone who said that Elder somehow is much more so.
02-22-2009 23:07:20 | More by RidiculedDisplay
4.58/5 rDev -2.3%
Memorable Quality: The smell is an out of this world basket of hops, the hops punched me in the face like I have never experienced from a beer before. I felt like I was chewing a hop plant. I thought about this beer for days after I drank it, thoroughly deserving of the hype, the best hoppy beer on the planet.
EDIT: This thing actually haunted me for months. No beers could get close to it. Amazing.
02-22-2009 23:02:31 | More by squaremile
4.75/5 rDev +1.3%
Pours from growler golden honey, substantial head dissapates to in impressive thin bubbly swirling lace that refuses to fade. Not expecting this with a brew of such girth. Rings of lace cling to the snifter. Pungent citrus hop aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, and sticky sappy pine needles. It's hard to keep your nose out of the glass on this one. Taste is again a rush of citrus hops with a nice piney bitterness. Some very lite honey like malts sneak in mid way. Mouth is smooth but somewhat sticky. Finishes with a slight boozy warmth that coats the mouth with some apricot and again piney bitterness. The 11%abv was extremely well hidden and way to easy to drink. This was simply fantastic. Thanks so much Chris, for the unbelevable opportunity to try this from the source.
02-22-2009 21:35:02 | More by drunkmonk
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
It was on tap at Collin's Pub Seattle
I've been waiting for this beer for quite some time now, and there I was.
The aroma was so divine, deep ruby red grapefruit with a wonderful floral bouquet.
Taste was amazing. More so than the Elder. In a way that its more complex, lasting and bright.
I could drink this all night long, and I did!
One truly amazing DIPA. A fine example of RR excellence to world class beers!
02-22-2009 19:15:40 | More by Dajtai007
4.35/5 rDev -7.2%
Found the Younger on tap - not once, but twice - today in Portland. 10 oz. pour at Concordia Ale House (tapered glass - $8), 10 oz. pour at Henry's Tavern (snifter - $6.25).
A: Clear golden/sunshine. Individual bubbles rise, slowly and lazily - not a very 'lively' look. Not much head either (barely 1/2 finger), a slight white cream; clings at the edges, a few floating suds at the center. Droopy lace, an indistinct pattern.
S: Placed at the center of the table, roughly 2 feet away from my nose, a perfume drifts over: sappy evergreen, orange citrus, mild honey/grain sweetness. Expected it to be bolder as it warmed, but it never grew - in fact, the aroma seemed to recede a little.
T: Burst of pine and pithy zest meets a tangy hop spicing. Flowery honey, sweetness of sticky buns. Develops quickly - transforming from a jarring jolt of hop spice/bitterness to a balanced citrus-y sweetness. Once the sharp hops subside, subtler elements like mint, even clove, enter. Doesn't kill the palate, a big plus.
M: Coating mouthfeel, thick and slightly chewy, remarkably creamy. Alcohol heat sneaks up just a little; some cheek-drawing warmth. Overall, a wonderous and exceedingly mellow feel.
D: Ridiculously drinkable for an 11% beer. Generally a fine DIPA, enjoyable in all ways. Taste approaches 'greatness' for me, everything else is 'good' or thereabouts. Would have again (and enjoyed twice in a day), but not one I have to rush out and have again. Won't go overboard with the glowing praise: it's a very good DIPA. Have one if you can find it.
On the personal side: I prefer Pliny the Elder
02-22-2009 05:46:39 | More by msubulldog25
4.15/5 rDev -11.5%
10 oz at County Cork for $5.75 IIRC. I enjoyed three glasses, and over all had a much more favorable impression them my first sampling, and have updated my scores to reflect it. In general, I found it to be exceptionally smooth, with only mild heat on the finish when I really looked for it. I don't feel that it's particularly hoppier tasting then PtE (I assume they've reached saturation point), and is simply a bit thicker and stronger, which detracts from the drinkability and overall enjoyment to PtE, which I prefer. A bit more of that resinous dank bite, but definately dangerous. Still, I don't think this would be the frenzy inducer that it is if it was a regular release. Luckily, PtE is!
Initial review 2/21/2009
10oz. snifter at the Concordia Ale House for a whooping $8 (granted hops aren't cheap now and there are clearly a lot in this, but still...). Clear pale orange with a light sand head.
The aroma is very fragrant and bright, much more resinous then the Elder, and really smells exactly like a bag of dried hops, with a blast of alcohol.
The taste was a let down for me. This beer is too hot and boozy for my taste. The 11% is painful, and detracts from the hop flavor, which ends up falling short complexity wise (e.g. the floral notes I enjoy in PtE), with a firm bitterness and dry finish.
Mouthfeel is slick and oily, solvent like, medium bodied.
Drinkabilty is pretty low all things considering, and overall I was sorely disappointed. PtE is one of my all time favorite beers, but probably I'll never bother having this again. If you can't find this but are eager to try it, take a PtE and drop a shot of vodka in it and you'll get the idea.
02-21-2009 20:20:58 | More by ccrida
4.83/5 rDev +3%
A- This had a slightly foggy dark golden color. The head held up petty well. The place I was in was a bit dark so it was hard to see all the finer details of an appearance.
S- This smelled very very delicious. It was almost as if I had crushed up a fresh hop flower in to a fine powder and then snorted it. Very fragrant, lots of grapefruit citrus, yet had a slight dry smell to it. This also had a sweet smell, that of honey added in.
T- I've been waiting for this for a while and wow. The first sip was just too hard to take it all in. I was pumped to get the chance to even try this. I knew there would be hops, but I didn't know what to expect out of it. The hop taste is just like if you chewed up a few hop flowers and sucked down the goodness. The hop taste is slightly dry and I felt like there was a taste of dust in the aftertaste. The dusty taste reminded me of just a dusty attic or something to that effect. I think it was more of a dry taste note. There is also a nice bitterness in the aftertaste, not too bitter though. As far as sweetness goes it is sweet, but not nearly as sweet as a 120min IPA. One thing I like about this over the Elder, is this one isn't a palate killer. I could fully enjoy another beer style right after because it won't be too harsh. The one draw back to this beer is its sweetness, although good and has its place, I don't think I could drink a lot of this beer in one night, the sweetness would be too much for me. But I would like to have it on a regular tap line up for sure.
M- Just the right feel for the mouth.
D- This is very drinkable, but I think over time the sweetness would slow me down.
02-21-2009 08:50:05 | More by Wetpaperbag
3.35/5 rDev -28.6%
Got a glass with lunch today....12 oz glass.
Clear amber golden with a fantastic nose, smooth and with a nice malty edge.
Certainly nice to try, but I doubt I'll drop the amount of coin it cost to get this beer.
Good, nice tasty beer, really phenomenal ...but like Girl Scout Cookies...if they were available all the time wouldn't be such a big deal or so costly.
02-21-2009 06:46:31 | More by Dubbercody
4.6/5 rDev -1.9%
Thanks to Grant for sharing this lovely growler treat.
Pours a beautiful gold color with a large frothy white head that reluctantly receded. Smells only of sweet, tangy c-hops that are the signature of west coast hop bombs. First sip is all puckering hops that are citrusy down to the bone. The hops overwhelmingly overpower the malts. There is no mistaking this Imperial IPA for an American Barley Wine...No sir! The 11% ABV is incredibly well hidden as I guessed on tasting it was around 8%. Tasty and unique. World Class
02-21-2009 05:51:10 | More by ATLbeerDog
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured out of a growler, shared by an extremely generous California BA, poured into a tulip.
I've been waiting to try this one for quite a while and was pretty certain that it couldn't live up to my expectations. The growler was full to the brim and opened with only the slightest hiss.
The pour was very good, extremely clear amber with a hefty cream-colored head that hung around on top for a while and left a bit of lacing. A good start.
It didn't take me long to get a whiff of this beauty, with a huge hoppy kick up front, juicy citrus, grapefruit, mangos and even some pine as well. There is plenty of malts in the nose to keep the hops for becoming overpowering, great balance overall.
The taste is exceptional with lots of the aforementioned pine hops but with even more grapefruit and other citrus sweetness thrown in. The malts provide a nice balance underneath but the finish is definitely bitter and sticky with hops.
The mouthfeel is well carbonated with lots of hop juice and a bitterness that builds up after each sip.
This beer is certainly the most drinkable 11% beer I've ever tasted and probably one of the top few beers I've had in recent memory. Exceptional.
02-21-2009 02:55:37 | More by gford217
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,330 ratings.