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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

2,281 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,281
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,057
Gots: 90 | 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: 2,281 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks goes out to bifrostguard for this and his FIRST trade! Delivered on my doorstep on Saturday 2/7/2009 and shared with pwoods (<-- this guys owes me a shit ton! Just kidding), DrewOSU and Ftownthrowdown.

Poured from the flip-top Russian River growler into my traditional pint glass at around 40-45 degrees. Pours a clear, brass orange with an average tan head. Nice sticky lacing seen rolling up the edge of my glass. White, creamy halo of foam seen, as well.

You can smell this beer from the neighboring room! The nose on this beer is so intense. Huge, pounding of floral hops, ammonia (likely from the simcoe hops), sweet malts, orange citrus, grapefruit, grass, pepper, earth all mixed around a big slap of alcohol - basically the entire spectrum of hops all over the nose - holy shit, world class.

This is a MASSIVE freggin' beer! Starting on the drink was a huge wave of bittering hops. Medium bodied and FULL flavored. Finishes with a sweet, at time creamy finish. Waxiness on my tongue. This is a big, extremely tasty beer. Pine on the aftertaste lingers in my mouth. My palate is official shot for the remainder of the night. Soo much going on here. A plethora of hops and lightly balanced, semi-sweet malts, masterfully blended. Crisp and very dry, yet waxy finish. It's almost like a super-hopped strong ale.

Wow...

A million thanks go out to bifrostguard again - cheers!

Serving type: growler

02-10-2009 15:38:31 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got another one of the always welcomed infamous emails/calls! These get togethers are starting to become epic!

Poured from a growler.

Pours a very nice amber, gold in color. Completely clear and effervescent. A fairly good amount of frothy head forming on the pour. Mostly around the perimeter of the glass, but it's there. Smell is all hops. All glorious in their splendor. Obnoxious hops. Oily, resinous, floral, sticky, juicy. Heavenly. The type of hops that kick in your front door and make themselves at home and there ain't nothing you can do about it.
Taste is wonderful, powerful hops. I had to apologize to my mouth and tongue after drinking this. It was a full onslaught and both sides of my tongue were numbing.
Besides the full hoppy onslaught, this is a very clean and enjoyable beer. Very crisp with a wonderful mouthfeel.
The alcohol is a bit tough to hide, so you can notice it a bit in the flavor and in the warming heat in your nostrils.

Incredible, one of a kind beer. Very glad to have had the opportunity. I've had plenty of elder since it's bottling, and I have to go against the grain and say that I like the Younger infinitely better, hands down.

Serving type: growler

02-10-2009 14:15:42 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap tonight at Monk's Kettle.

A: Pours clear golden color with a moderate white head.
S: Very fresh citrus, pine, and floral hop notes. Really good smell to this.
T: Again, the citrus, pine, and floral hop qualities dominate the taste, but are somewhat balanced with the malts. Still an out-of-control hop bomb, but far better than most, and probably the best California IPA I've had.
M: Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Not too heavy, not too light, and the carbonation is perfect.
D: High ABV and out of control hops hamper drinkability, but this is very good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2009 05:33:50 | More by waltonc
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks goes out to a very helpful and patient BA, largadeer. Thanks again Chris!

Pours a nice clear yellowy orange with a stark white head that lingers forever and leaves great lacing. A very slight redness, this one doesn't quite glow, but tries as hard as it can. Carbonation stream rises from the etching in the bottom of my corsendonk goblet.

Nose is pure hops. Big West Coast hop resins waft out of the glass. A nice malty backbone is noticeable in the smell, but man o man this one just reeks of ooey gooey stanky ass hop resin. Grapefruit and pine abound, some slight perfume as well. Smells like this is going to be a major palate thrasher.

Wow. This is a fine fine D(T)IPA. Taste begins slightly mild, with good hop flavor. The sweetness from the malt backbone comes on early, and makes the taste feel a slight bit slick in the beginning. Through the middle of the taste, the hops start to take ahold of the reigns and begin to take names. Grapefruit, pine, and other citrus explode as the finish approaches. Said finish yields some fierce bitterness, but it is kept in check and balanced perfectly with a slight sweetness that makes its return here. Dry finish precedes the aftertaste that lingers of hop resin and citrus.

Mouthfeel is solid here. Near perfect viscosity, not too thick and soupy, but certainly not thin. If anything it is every so slightly undercarbonated, but when I say ever so slightly, I mean BARELY. Dry finish is spectacular without making one parched.

Drinkability is fairly unbeleivable here. You can feel the warming sensation when it begins to settle in your stomach, but there is next to no alcohol burn here, and this one goes down dangerously easy.

Overall, this is certainly one of the best DIPAs to be found on the planet. Amazingly well put together, quite balanced, and just plain delicious. If you are a hophead you MUST seek out this beer. It is one that you do not want to miss. If you never have this in your lifetime, and you die and go to heaven, as soon as they pour you one, as this will surely be on tap there, you will realize what you were missing your entire life on earth, and you will curse long and loud, maybe even punch a monk or two, drop kick a couple cherubs, and you will be kicked out and sent to hell.

So don't screw up and miss out on this.

I'm not saying this is the best DIPA on the planet, but it should certainly be in the discussion. I can count those that would rival it on one hand, and can think of none that surely beat it. An amazing beer.

Serving type: growler

02-10-2009 02:30:22 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4.1/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sonoma Wine Exchange (Wine Exchange of Sonoma?). Pours a yellow to orange and transparent, with a nice white head. Sticky, sticky lacing. Clear and gleaming in the light. Smells very hoppy, citrusy, but also very heavy on the alcohol. Some pine notes. Flavor is quite good. Very bitter, very hoppy. Citrus hops dominate, but again there's a pine sap presence too. Hops blow out my taste buds pretty early on. More of a malt profile than the Elder and definitely a more prominent alcohol presence too. The massive hops and alcohol don;t really work to its benefit, imo. Elder is a great beer because of how it manages to cram all that good stuff in and not be overwhelming, while Younger IS overwhelming. Still, its very tasty, just more on the overly aggressive side of things. Full bodied, but also a bit syrupy. Drinks well, but again, i prefer the elder.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2009 19:06:59 | More by aforbes10
Photo of lhaqq
lhaqq

California

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

Managed to get this at the brewery within the one week they had it on tap. A beautiful ride up through Sonoma County with apogee of a great beer.
A: Orangish gold body with a milky compact white head with decent lacing.
S: Papaya, guava, pine, and grapefruit.
T: Tons of pine and less citrusy up front, more of a floral hint of hops. Also somewhat spicy at the beginning.
M: Compact, light but high carbonation. Surprisingly creamy.
D: Definitely hides the 11% well; had three of these and it's definitely easy to have too many.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2009 08:15:48 | More by lhaqq
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.4/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - bright golden color, fairly clear with a slight haze, good sized white head with very good retention and lacing

s - prominent citrus aromas centering on lemon, moderate sweetness, slight alcohol, a lot going on in the nose

t - very sharp hop bitterness at the start, lots of citrus on the midpalate, lemon and grapefruit mostly, good deal of sweetness and alcohol on the finish without being overwhelming, hop bitterness and citrus lingers for awhile

m - medium-bodied, full mouthfeel relative to other DIPAs, not overly dry on the palate

d - pretty dangerously drinkable for an 11% DIPA, not too harsh on the palate, not one dimensional, so it stays interesting

Very good DIPA overall, though I actually like the Elder a bit more. It's too bad they don't brew this more than once a year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2009 02:05:58 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of ironlung
ironlung

California

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

On-tap@Toronado S.F. on 2-6-09(Good times Joe...good times!)
Warmed up with a pint of his uncle to be able to fully appreciate the differences...
Looks lighter in hue and less haze than his uncle PtE. Smell is a big dose of hops, no malt or alcohol comes through. Taste is nothing short of spectacular! Just so easy to quaff, but with each drink you feel yourself getting more and more buzzed. This is hands-down the best triple IPA. It's just so smooth and rounded you feel like you can drink it 'till the cows come home. Then before you know it your on your thrid one and crossed-eyed, stumbling out looking for a cab! I'm knida glad they don't bottle this one(yet) because I could see myself going overboard on this beer(literally, I ride the ferry everyday). People go wild over this beer with good reason, it's the best! I thank my lucky stars(and curse them at the same time)that I live in the bay and get to have all these awsome RR beers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 23:12:06 | More by ironlung
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

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

My 100th review! WOW! And the perfect beer to enjoy on such an occasion. I had the chance to enjoy this beer twice. Once on 2/6/09 at Hollingshead in Orange, and yesterday (2/10/09) at Beachwood BBQ. This a combination review from both tastings.

A: Poured into a Chimay glass, PTY boasted a robust white and frothy two-finger head. The liquid sitting beneath this extremely frothy beast comprised of deep and dark golden-copper hues along with shades of orange. Similar to PTE, but not as murky and chewy looking. It also gave off that "clean and crisp" appeal that every Double and Triple IPA should have.

S: Intense piney and tree like smells that were balanced off by the sweet malts. There was also a definite alcohol bite from the initial whiff as well.

T: For as robust and potent, the hops and malts balanced out each other out in complete harmony. Hop bitterness was strong, but not overwhelming, and seemed to stay pretty consistent throughout the whole sip. Alcohol was not noticeable, but not hot.

M: Smooth carbonation, medium to full-body, a numbing affect on the palate from hop bitterness.

D: Alcohol is extremely well hidden, to the point that I might think this a regular IPA! A hop bomb that is well balanced between both pines and malts, makes this very enjoyable for just about any time of the year.

Overall: WOW! This beer didn't disappoint at all. It deserves a spot on my top 5 beers I've ever had and one that is well worth seeking. Now that I have said that, I do believe that Pliny the Elder (when fresh) is on par with the Younger. So, if you are unable to get your hands on this, just grab an Elder, put a whole bag of hop pellets in your mouth and drink...then you'll know what PTY tastes like. LOL. Well, maybe not quite like that, but you get the point. A must try. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 19:48:39 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of abfraser
abfraser

California

4.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The downright worship of this beer is remarkable to me. A girl at the bar sounded like she was having an orgasm after each sip. But on to the beer.

A: Beautiful orange/amber with a nice thick, creamy-looking head. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Exceptional smell of citrus and piney like hops. The freshness is amazing. Almost an earthy component to it.

T/M: As expected, massive amounts of citrus & piney hops. Mouthfeel is unexpectedly creamy. Despite how over-the-top this beer is, it's very well-balanced. There's none of that stinging bitterness on the finish that ruins other big IPAs for me (many of the San Diego style brews). Overall, I'm impressed.

D: I had four in one sitting. I don't remember much else of the evening.

So, is it worth all the hype? Maybe. A remarkably well-made beer that's probably the best IPA I've ever had. At the same time, I probably wouldn't be driving all of the country to try it (which is what I get the impression some do).

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 15:03:34 | More by abfraser
Photo of xhcadamx
xhcadamx

Maine

3.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours the exact same color as Elder but with less head and very little lacing

S - I can understand why this was named after Pliny the Elder - the aroma profile is almost identical - just way more floral.

T - Alcohol is very prominent followed by a STONG FLORAL hop presence a bit of grapefruit. Unlike Elder there is no emphasis on the malt.

M - Creamy and smooth if the alcohol didn't have such a strong presence this would be highly drinkable

D - the strong alcohol burn is a let down

People are going hog wild over this beer but it's definitely not the best double / triple IPA I have ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 08:16:35 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of JoshuaCain
JoshuaCain

California

4.28/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the Toronado SF.
pours a dramatic orange/amber with a creamy one finger head. the head dissipates rather quickly, but there is some ok lacing left in the glass.
smell is the expected citric and piney hops, with a bit of grass and earthiness in the back.
the taste is rather unexpected, however, as I was anticipating an amped-up version of the Elder. the immediate impression is of pine, but that quickly gives way to a really nice spice, like some peppery greens, and black tea. the citric notes from the nose are barely present, but there is a nice floral character at the end, with a pleasant bitterness in the finish. malts do not register too much except as a faint sweetness in the memory.
mouthfeel is medium-full, without too much carbonation, a little sticky in the finish.
overall this is a heavenly tasting beer, but the ABV really sneaks up on you. I was aiming to have a few but had to quit after one.
definitely worth trying if you can, but the Elder is the more drinkable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 07:37:45 | More by JoshuaCain
Photo of Mauerhan
Mauerhan

California

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

oh day of days the younger has come to town. as I sit here with my buddy olie I wonder about this beer. how can anything be this good in liquid form. easy younger can be.

I am greeted by a whiff of of amazing head. strong straw color. not much lacing

smells like a pine forest after a rain storm.

taste is amazing. piney. an amazing flavor. sweetness dancing with a beautiful bitterness. a fantastic beer.
huge hop presence. leaves me wanting more.

mouth is smooth and creamy. this thing is a ninja. hits you like a silent freight train.

sad that it got me quite the buzz of the one. i dont feel like I was able to give this beer the love poem it deserves. I love this beer. totally worth all of the hype. if you have the means drink it....now

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 00:51:25 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

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

On tap at Toronado. First keg tapping of 2009 in the yay area...Reprazent.

A: 12oz tulip chalice, light golden ambrosia with a thickish white head of pure white. Head lasts and leaves good lacing and legs.

S: Sweet, sticky, weed influenced, candy coated hops, with big light french bread malts as well.

T: holy hop monster, super sticky to the icky with tons of hops and a candy coated sweetness from the boatloads of malts.

M: Syrupy and sweet, like canned doal pears...but instead of pears..there are HOPS. Like marijuana laced beautiful candy coated candy coloured goodnes. The mouthfeel is sticky, icky, and full and it COATS your mouth...for real.

D: I can drink this all day and all night. It goes down WAY too easy for a 10 + % abv brew. I just slammed two of these with Jen in like 20 minutes...haha..every year, I drink too much of it, and every year it gets me drunk on the cheap...!

ENJOY this shit while it's around...! for real...it will be gone within the next 10-14 days...seriosuly. Get some PTY action YO

For Realz.

Jam Master F

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2009 07:45:42 | More by francisweizen
Photo of yeastsipper
yeastsipper

California

4.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado. Poured into a tulip glass.

Beer pours and almost fiery, translucent orange. Small white head disappears almost instantly. Almost glowing appearance.

Hops, hops and hops on the nose. A touch of citrus, some sweetness and some booze.

Not surprisingly, the hops dominate. Hoppy flavor is fantastic. Quite bitter but also some balancing sweetness. Some citrus flavors but everything pales next to the hops.

Mouthfeel is is good. Nice carbonation. There is a lingering bitterness left on the tongue which is very noticeable but also very pleasant.

This is an amazing beer and one I am glad to have tried. However, I feel that in the quest to be huge, it lost some of the subtlety and nuance of the Elder. For my tastes, it is a bit too much.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2009 05:55:59 | More by yeastsipper
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

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

Finally...the elusive "Younger".

I made it to Russian River to partake in the almighty son. Brought to the table with no foam whatsoever. Poured in a 10 oz. glass with a nice caramel/amber color.

Fruit, very hoppy aroma. Awesome smell!

Massive grapefruity taste with hops to no end. No major aftertaste for so many hops. Smooth and silky feel.

Very easy to drink for the high alcohol content. So easy I put back two and was "hopping"...er...hoping for more.

Definitely worth driving an hour and a half to partake in it and look forward to it someday being put in bottles.

Awesome beer and well worth the hype!

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 23:22:48 | More by kaseydad
Photo of antilogic
antilogic

California

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

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 10oz taster. One of the first pours of 2009, I almost didn't want to drink it. The first keg blew in 7 minutes...

Color is a hazy, glowing orange, white head, aroma of floral hops, pine, citrus (more citrus in the nose than elder). Taste is similar to smell, full of grapefruit, pine, slightly sweeter than elder, but maybe a bit more in bitterness up front. The 11% is very well hidden, and the brew is balanced to perfection.

It's a shame it's so rare. I'll be going out of my way to get a few pints when it hits beachwood/hollingshead next week...

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2009 06:39:17 | More by antilogic
Photo of JWD
JWD

California

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

A- this is the best looking IPA period!!!It glows.

S- WOW this along with elder is absolutly amazing, this ipa has the perfect balance of hops and malt. tons of both but the resiny, piney hops dominate in a floral paradise.

T- nothing comes close, I have yet to find someone who does not think its amazing!!!

M- perfection of the west coast style of DIPA.

D- good thing the brewery only serves in a 10oz i could have 10 of these but some other local establishments will serve you a 22oz pilsner YUM, this is my wifes favorite brew, that says something, this is what IPA is all about!!

My favorite brew to date!!!!

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2008 02:20:50 | More by JWD
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

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

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a medium to deeper golden/amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, oranges, caramel, and pine. Tastes of citrus, pine, caramel, and grapefruit.

Light alcohol burn in the finish but no where near the 11%. Some lacing left on the glass. Nice and hoppy with a malty balance.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2008 19:19:47 | More by hopdog
Photo of NewSc2
NewSc2

California

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

Perfect 5 you say?! Well, I'll let you guys in on a little secret. I cheated a little bit, filling out these scores. Don't tell anybody, though... the truth is, I may have had beers that looked better than Pliny the Younger. (/sarcasm)

Whew.

Now that's over with, let me start the worshipping of this beer. This beer is easily in my top 3 beers I've ever had. I've had great, huge, stinging barley wines laced with wood and whiskey, but no beer comes close to Younger in terms of a big, balanced, delicious beer. This beer may be the best-looking, most easily-drinkable beer above 6% I've ever had. Couple that with a great taste, well, 5.

I've had this on tap at Hollingshead about a half dozen times over the past few months, and it really is a finicky beer. Some kegs Kenny taps seem a bit more stale than others. The pint I had today, though, was godly.

For all the gushing that the Pliny the Elder receives, Younger should get a waterfall. It actually has a pretty different mouth profile than the Elder, but a similar hop bouquet and complexity. For those of you who haven't tried Elder, Younger, or Blind Pig, and love IPA's, try to get your hands on these. The only experience I can compare tasting these beers with was me trying and enjoying my first glass of IPA at the Stone Brewery -- that one Ruination that made me fall in love with the IPA style. Bitterness to hide the alcohol, best served cool (not warm) to enjoy on a hot day, with fruits and malts to balance it all out. I've since moved on from Ruination, but I get to have that falling-in-love experience every time I try one of these great Russian River IPAs.

To start, Younger is a truly different IPA. Most IPA's pour somewhat clear -- Younger is very opaque and almost looks like a Hef or Belgian ale. The head is creamy, but settles down fast.

Smell might not be as complex as Elder, but it has a very different, less pine-y, and more citrus-y and sweeter nose to it. A sign of things to come.

As you take your first sip of Younger, it becomes clearly evident that this is not Elder (which, to me, is the premier DIPA). No, this is something different. To a hophead, it's very creamy, sweet, and yet still bitter and hoppy. To a casual drinker, this beer probably is supremely hopped but bearably so, with a deep taste and great feel. The complexity of the hops underlies the sweet nectary feel around your mouth. It's a pretty strong beer, but it seems Vinnie almost used a hidden alcohol hotness to blend a further dimension into the hops and malts. And that creamy feel just adds even more depth. Mmm.

Next sip -- wow! This is almost the pinnacle of mouthfeel. A taste so delicious you could swish it around your mouth until it gets warm, or you could gulp down its cool soft feel.

So you take another gulp, and another, and then you go on BA because you aren't really sure why you're feeling buzzed off of 6oz. of a tasty medium-bodied beer. Oh, that's why, it's 11%.

To the negative reviews of Younger here -- I can only assume the keg was stored differently or was from another batch. I had thought Younger didn't age that well kegged, but trying it today on tap, at least 4 months after its February '08 release, changed my mind. This keg tastes as good as the first one I had, and much better than the couple I've had in between. If you like Elder, you'll love Younger. If you're a hophead, you'll love Younger. If you love beer, well, you'll probably love Younger.

Undoubtedly, the beer that everybody will compare this one to is Pliny the Elder. Younger sacrifices some pine, grapefruit, and bitterness, and replaces it with a milky, creamy, sweeter taste and feel. Highly desirable, in my opinion.

I thought IPA's couldn't get any better than Elder, but after trying both Elder and Younger, Younger wins by a mile. When I talk about loving a Triple IPA, most people look at me and make a bitter face. Younger is not overly bitter, regardless of its IBU. Pliny the Younger sits at the summit of IPA and determines what else is worthy of being its kin.

Now I've fallen into the trap of believing a beer was great just because of its ranking (coughAbysscough), but Younger completed my search for a perfect 10 (or 5) IPA. I've read reviews that praise a certain beer, lifting it above its style, and tried them, thinking, "well, this it a great stout, but i was expecting cotton candy." But for all the hype this beer gets, I think it deserves its ranking. I haven't tried the current #1-3 beers above the #4 Younger, so I can't argue Younger's place, but to see it stand out up there, away from the Belgian ales, Stouts, and Barley Wines, means something to me.

You might not like it, but I know I do. It's the only beer I've tried that doesn't taste like it holds even half the abv it really has.

IPAs I've had: Lost Abbey 2nd Ann, Stone 10th/11th/Ruination/IPA simcoe hopped, Avery Maharaja, Alesmith, DFH 60/90, Racer 5/X, among many, many more.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2008 06:56:41 | More by NewSc2
Photo of paytoplay
paytoplay

California

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

Sometimes a beer kept in such high regard can falter when actually faced with reality. This beer somehow became even better than the old stories I had heard for years befor having the chance to try it out.

The same DNA as the "Elder" but richer, velvity, and the best finish I've ever experienced with a beer ever. Aroma is also lifting, needed as the light in color beer is still huge in style and hop weight. Magic hops maybe? There is no other way to explain it. Please please please bottle this beer!!

This tasting note is from O'Briens Pub in San Diego back when this was released in Feb or March. That's how memorable it was. And with the Elder to be bottled very shortly, Pliny "Elder" will finally be available to the masses. For good or bad?!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2008 22:26:06 | More by paytoplay
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dbONE

California

3.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a large mouth glass, the head was firm and perched on a nice golden pedistal.

The aroma was like sitting under a Pine tree eating sweet grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. A complimentery blend for the nose.

Well here is another beer using an abundent amount hops. Are brewers aware of the shortage?
The sweet maltyness is a good balance for the hops used. A clean finishing medium bodied DIPA that won't leave your face turned inside-out.

Following the frame work of just about every other DIPA around this one is full of citrus and pine. There are notes of grass clinging to the piney resign. Sweet grapefruit and moderate carbonation smooth it out pallett for a clean, dry finish at the back of the tounge.

This one is a good find, another notch in the post for Russian River.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2008 16:07:19 | More by dbONE
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Jedimaster1

California

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

Drank on-tap at Stone Brewing (Just freakin' 8oz pint glass. I want BIGGER!!!).

A: A cloudy golden color. Very hazy with a head that lasts for the duration of the brew.

S: Hops and malt. Nice sweet smell that lets you know what's to come.

T: All I need to say is, WOW! The balance between the hops and the malt is exceptional. Great use of them to make this the best brew I have had yet.

M: Nice.

D: Too easy for an 11% abv brew. I could drink 10 of these if it weren't for the fact I knew about the alcohol contained here. It is masked exceptionally well.

Conclusion: I like this one better than the Elder, but not by much. These are the two best brews I have ever had! Got to try it if you haven't already! Good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2008 20:23:44 | More by Jedimaster1
Photo of d0ggnate
d0ggnate

California

4.28/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another tasty treat found at The Liars Club after CBC 2008 in San Diego.
A: Glowing orange/amber pour w/o head, but I suspect the pour or glass lead to that.
S: Strong hop citrus/orange aroma. Deep pine noticed, also.
T: Cooked oranges carry and strong, piney hops abound.
M: A very powerful presence without stickying/muddling your palate. Quite crisp and sharp.
D: Legendary and worthy of some (at least my) praise. Very bold while holding beautiful beer qualities.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2008 04:38:04 | More by d0ggnate
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

4.65/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank the heavens, finally some Pliny! Thank you, Lucky B's!

Brought out in a Chimay Goblet... a beautiful pilsner-y gold with a creamy white head that stuck around to the bitter end.

Aroma is grapefruit and tangerine with hints of sticky pine. What is sticky pine? I dunno, but it smelled like that sounds.

Taste is... well, let me just say, I don't know that I would immediately peg this as the best DIPA I've ever tasted... but it's certainly the cleanest, and has the most perfect, medium body, clean finish, and balance of hop flavors to malt sweetness, particularly for a beer this size, ever. Only beer that comes close to this level of drinkability is Pure Hoppiness, which also was a chore to NOT chug like hop candy water.

Flavor is a burst of resiny hop goodness, and while it has an appropriately sweet and full middle that accentuates grapefruit and pine notes and a bit of musty tangerine... it has a clean, dry finish that's smooth as silk on the tongue. I've had more satisfying full-bodied flavor explosions before, but this is up there, and more of a 4.6 or 4.7 in taste than a 4.5.

It's interesting to me... this beer is both entirely deserving of its fame and reputation.... and yet not. Every hoppy beer producer and hop afficianado should make a point to seek this out, yes, but it's not more spectacular in flavor than some of your regional favorites. If I could get this regularly, or easily, I'd love it... but what makes it so spectacular is its easy drinkability. To seek this out and try to nurse the experience out seems at odds with the character of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2008 00:06:30 | More by errantnight
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,281 ratings.