Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,458 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,458
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 4,681
Gots: 141 | 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: 2,458 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHobo
4.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can honestly say this is a beer that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to drink, but I'm extremely grateful to chris for hooking me up with a growler from the most recent release. I am especially thankful because it sounds like it sold out in about 5 hours this year.

I'll be the first to say that IPA's are not my favorite style, but I do have a select few that I enjoy a great deal and so my rating of this beer is in comparison to the IPA's and double IPA's that I love.

First, let me start by saying that the growler that this came in was one of the coolest looking growlers I've ever seen...that by itself was a good start to this beer. I popped the top on the growler the night I received it in the mail which was exactly one week from when it was poured and the top popped as if it were poured yesterday. It pours a beautiful dark straw orange color with 3 fingers of heavy and a generous amount of carbonation. The head eventually dwindles down to a thin lacing on top of the beer, but this lacing never disappears which i thought was really impressive with this beer. It also leave a generous amount of lacing around my pint glass. The smell is incredibly balanced. I expected a hop bomb, but what I got was sooo much more. Smells of dry malt, citrusy hoppiness, pine. Its actually very effervescent and very pleasent to smell. The taste and mouthfeel were even better than the smell. I can't believe this is 11%. I could seriously drink a ton of this beer in a sitting and never get bored with it. Great balance of intial citrus hops, pine, mint and malt. Whats great though is that the finish is dry without any annoying after tastes that I usually get from big IPA's. Like I said this is absolutely delicious and oh so drinkable. I definetely felt the alcohol as the night went on, but just delicious to drink and not too over powering. I wish this beer was produced more often because I really love it. I've had seeral other highly rated IPA's including 3Floyds Dreadnaught, Pliny the Elder, Expoential Hoppiness, Pure Hoppiness, Sculpin IPA, Bells HopSlam and the only one I would put on par with Younger is the Pure Hoppiness from Alpine, but this wins out I think just based on the drinkability. I've read several threads about the quality of this beer not being what it used to. Even if thats the case it is certainly deserving of the hype it gets and is without a doubt one of the 1,2 or 3 best IPA's in the world.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.43/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear golden pour with two fingers of sticky head. The smell is an absolutely blistering assault on the senses. Sinus cleansing levels of hops. Huge floral and pine notes with an underlying orange peel citrus aroma. This takes the bar set by other west coast IPAs and throws it like a javelin through the heart of restraint.

The taste follows suit. Gigantic hop flavor envelops every crevice of my mouth with pine resin and earthy bitterness. There is no attempt at subtlety, nor do I imagine there should be. This beer is designed to showcase the hop, and it does so as though it would be the beer we gave to alien visitors to help them understand the wonders of our planet. But does it separate itself from the rest of the pack? It is certainly a tough task considering the sheer number of beers just like it that come from the West Coast. I'm not really sure it accomplishes that separation.

The body is full/medium and carbonation is at good levels. I was surprised to find that this washed down very clean, I was expecting a much higher level of stickiness.

Drinkability is solid for an 11% beer. Overall this is definitely one of the top 10 DIPA's I've had. A hophead's dream, I'm sure. To me, simply a great beer.

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

Has it really been a year since I sipped this delicious nectar? Yes. Yes it has.

Far too long.

A season has come and gone. Winter has given way to summer, and again submitted to the chilling winds of the North.

This beer is beautiful. Crisp and golden, with a head that should not be possible for a 11% ABV beer. To gaze at this beer, is to look at beer porn

Smell is very citric, a contrast to the more pine-like Elder.

Taste is OSUHJFOHHJKKkkk. Impossible to put into words -- Heavenly. Strong citrus hops with a malt backbone that is certainly pronounced, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel -- Again, this beer defies its ABV with a crisp mouthfeel that is light on the tongue. Doesn't finish quite as dry as Elder

Drinkability - Finished two imperial pints, and would have had more if there weren't health/safety issues to consider.

Photo of treyrab
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks goes out to my buddy Ryan for hooking me up with this. After two years gone by of PtY trades falling through, Ryan stepped up big, not to mention the best packaging job I've ever seen on a growler.

The top of the growler pops with a nice hiss and white smoke. Aroma literally pours out of the growler.

A: This pours a thick, sticky, resiny light copper with a nice one finger head. For the ABV and size of this beer, I was expecting it to be a bit darker, but this was fairly light (similar in color to Sculpin). The head surprisingly lasts a while and has mediocre lacing. Great carbonation streaming slowly from the base of the glass.

S: Unfrigginbelieveable. Imagine your head inside a bucket of fresh orange, pineapple, apricot, and grapefruit and you will successfully simulate the PtY aroma experience. This is the best smelling DIPA (or is it TIPA) that I have ever had. The blast of citrus is unbelievable. As it warms up, some alcohol aroma is apparent, but it is really masked by the citrus hops. No pine or grassy hops detected whatsoever. Also not much caramel or malt backing detected in the smell. Straight up citrus explosion.

T: Tasted cold, this was smooth as hell, with the citrus flavors subdued. It coats your entire mouth with thick, sticky, hop resin goodness. As it warms, the beer gets exponentially better. The alcohol comes out, but seems to enhance the citrus and hop experience. I preferred it better a little warmer.

M/D: This is a thick and sticky DIPA. I found myself continually going back to the growler though, hoping more would appear.

Overall, this lived up to the hype. Best DIPA I have had? I would probably say not, but it is damn close.

Photo of auroracrisis
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Duvel tulip thanks to Evan, thanks again brah! I owe you big time!

A - Orange with yellow highlights. Tiny head with big bubbles and a small head as you sip down the brew.

S - Big time hops with alcohol and malt mixed in. Hard to describe but it's outstanding! Some citrus, lots of pine too. Whatever Vinny did here is working.

T - Hops, hops and more hops. It basically owns your entire palate with an assortment of hops. It's a controlled chaos though, you can find balance in the big malts in the brew. A fantastic array of flavor. I can't really describe it. I guess from what I know it's like Hopslam without the honey. It's more aggressive than Hopslam, ti's not as mellowed out.

M - Low carbonation on the heavier side of medium.

D - High. It's not necessarily perfect but the flavors don't keep your lips far from the glass. As it warms, the alcohol becomes a tad more apparent but it's still masked well.

Overall, I'd say this beer is almost an exercise in perfection. A complete expression of perfection on the higher alcoholic version of a DIPA. Great job, Russian River and thanks again for the taste Evan!

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

Received my growler today from moosington-thanks man, this sure was a great trade. It is being shared with two BA's. I start the evening of excitement with the unveiling of the growler.

Poured into a duvel glass the color is light orange with a golden glow. Head is large bubble bit perfect.

Aroma is hopcentric from sniff one. There is a sweet malt behind the hops but the juicy, fruity hop smells are delicious to the nose.

Flavor is full, robust and again riddled with hops. There is a fairly prominent malt backbone but this monster is not sweet. The alcohol is well hidden but sneaks up quickly. If you're a hophead you'll love this grand double IPA.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too thin, not too thick, just perfect. This DIPA is a touch drier than any I've ever had; I think its the water.

Drinkability is off the charts. The alcohol is muted, and the flavor volume is tuned up. What an amazing beer. In fact its my only all 5's beer - and for good reason. I will definately seek this one out again; in fact I may go to the release next year.

Before this hopslam was my favorite DIPA, not anymore. West scores again.

Photo of md655321
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

MAMMOTH thanks to JMoore for this.

Yeah, its pretty great. Smells like hops, and weed, and hops, and citrus, and hops.

Everything good about every IPA in one conventient beer. Citrus, pine, sweet, sticky, etc. As incredible as one would think, but still a touch less than AMAZING. Is it worth IT? Probably not. But still wonderful, probably the best ever.

Had it side to side with Hopslam, and PtY clearly won.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber gold with a thin bubbly off white head. Retention is average, nothing special.

Smell is of massive hops, big pine and citrus noes come through. Pretty much all hops, with a little sweet malt coming through lightly.

Big, bitter, tongue bruising and beautiful. Tons of grapefruit and pine flavors. One of the more bitter DIPAs I have to date. A little bit of caramel malt comes through. Lots of alpha acids and hops, hops, hops.

Full bodied , acidic. Bitterness lingers on the tongue for hours.

Good drinkability for a beer this big. Overall a great DIPA, maybe not worthy of all the hype, but still a terrific beer.

Photo of richhandsome
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As a huge fan of The Elder, I waited patiently to find the Younger and was frustrated by near misses and the grim prospect of never actually tasting this beer. Sheer serendipity brought it to my lips; the tapping was unannounced and no sign was displayed. "We're just trying to keep it mellow, so don't make a big deal about it," the bartender advised.
While I heeded that advice, I had a hard time concealing my smile and, probably, erection.
A. A dim gold with minimal head and a faint cloudliness. Lacing is minimal. Tiny champagne bubble on the base of the tulip.
S. Phenomenal nose. Resinous hops, notes of oily pine, some citrus. It just smells active and robust.
T Although its stratospheric IBU count might suggest otherwise, this is drinkable, surprisingly it seemed more active after a fresh pour while some IPAs I've had need to sit. I liked this served cold. Just alive with IBUs and hops. I kept tasting this circle, like one element of fed into the other. As I breathed through my nose, I just tasted a spiraled spectrum of bitterness noted with dank, oily pine. It didn't so much taste as it performed. I wasn't tasting something, a process was happening in my mouth. Excellent beer.
M. Sparkly from carbonation, but gentle. This would work completely flat, but, again, the carbonation moves the flavor.
D. This didn't taste like 11 percent ABV at all, closer to 7.5-7.9.
Easily the best TIPA or DIPA or IPA I've ever had. Just a pleasure to drink. Well worth the effort I made to get this at the right time and well worth the wait.

Photo of mothman
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE Thanks to Jerz for hooking me and my crew up! We don't get a lot of good beer up in Fargo, so this is a treat!

Growler opens with a nice big pop.

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours 1 finger of white head. Pretty decent retention. Leaves a lot of lace rings. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma: Sweet floral hops, has some sugar flavors to it, it has a lot of pine notes which is really nice. Big grapefruit citrus with some other blended into it. The aroma is huge hops and a nice sweet malty profile.

Taste: It starts out with a massive amount of pine hops (some floral hop profile). It is sweet, but bitter. The malts are bready, but don't balance it out too much, which is good. The grapefruit citrus is dominate and really brings a lot to this beer. Maybe some orange citrus sticking out a bit.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but nothing that overly done which is really nice. It is incredibly smooth. It has a much bigger body than any other ipa. Just massive and tasty. A nice amount of carbonation. Ends very very clean for the style.

Overall, this beer is very fine. Lots of massive flavor and incredibly drinkable. My part of this growler of this is going fast and is incredibly easy to drink. You really can't get a much better beer for this style. This beer deserves to be at the top of its class. Thanks a ton Jer for getting this growler! Everyone loved the beer and was happy to try it.

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

Paid $6.25 for a 12oz pour into a pint glass at the Englander in San Leandro, CA.

Small white head with minimal retention and excellent lacing. Glowing orange DIPA color.

Nose is an overwhelming hop bouquet. Grapefruit citrus all the way. I thought this was less piney but more hoppy than the Elder which was my favorite beer up until today.

Taste is unrelentlessly bitter and hoppy. Very pungent of grapefruit and citrus. Puckeringly delicious.

Not quite as creamy and smooth as the Elder, but still quite nice. A long hoppy finish that keeps you wanting more and more. Absolutely no hints of the high ABV which slowly sneaks up on you. So drinkable it is scary. Meduim body and perfectly carbonated.

Easily my new favorite beer. The bar only let you have two 12oz pours, so my third beer was an Elder and it seemed somewhat tame and more malty to me after having the Younger.

Photo of nectar14
4.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SD, into a tulip:

A: Faintly amber gold in color, 1 finger white head, leaving some slight lacing.

S: Assertive hops with whiff of sweet malts. Resembles the Elder, though slightly restrained.

T: Very balanced for a beer its size. Malt and hops linger on the back end together very nicely. Grain and smooth, unaggressive hops.

M: Fantastic blend of carbonation, sweet malt, and bitterness. Goes down very easy.

D: Alcohol hit me a bit hard, but this is easy drinking for a DIPA.

Highly recommended. Like the Elder, but more in balance and more... elegant.

Photo of hayesez
4.72/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received a growler as part of a trade with Ricand. He sent it overnight from California to Indiana so that I could have it as fresh as possible. Gathered with four friends they day it arrived. I've been waiting to try this beer for a LONG time, and was very excited to finally give it a shot. Thanks again, Rick!

Had that wonderful *pop* as we cracked open the Russian River signature growler. Poured into five different vintage "Rose Polytechnic" beer glass (only broken out for special occasions, of course). Pours a dark golden (almost approaching orange) color with a foamy off-white head. Nothing out of the ordinary for such a beer, but a good looking glass nonetheless. As could be expected, there was very little lacing left behind.

I've always said that Hopslam is about as good as it gets as far as smell is concerned. I guess I have to add a qualification from now on and say "unless one is fortunate enough to have a shot at The Younger." A truly divine nose with great big hops. Full of citrus - primarily grapefruit, but sweeter fruits as well. Also a bit of a flowery smell...A wonderful balance of sweetness and hoppiness!

This is a hop machine! A wonderful blast of citrus grabs you right off the bat before retreating just enough to let the sweet fruit come through. Grapefruit upfront and then milder tropical fruits right after. A thick and slightly oily/resiny, almost creamy, mouthfeel. Very full...we all enjoyed this aspect very much. The bitter finish was very good as well, although not quite on the same level as the rest of flavor. Very, very impressive overall!

I can certainly say that the one glass I had was not nearly enough. Extremely smooth, with no alcohol bite whatsoever. I could have continued drinking this throughout the evening, if only we had more! I'm sure there was a bit lost in the growler transfer, and I look forward to the day that I get to drink straight from the source!

Consumed 2/9/2010

Photo of berkey
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to have a good share of this beer over the last week at both the release day and at the DIPA fest and enjoyed it immensely but the social nature of said events didn't permit me to take notes. I'm reviewing tonight from my only growler. From notes 02/10/10.

Bright and clean amber orange in color. The somewhat rough pour from the growler forms a large fortune cookie colored head. Retention is amazing and lacing is second only to The Elder.

Citrus is big on the aroma with a burst of tangerine and pineapple which is anchored down by great oily pine and floral notes.

First sip adds the typical grapefruit blast of most DIPA's (I'm not a fan of the Triple IPA moniker) to the other citrus characteristics noted on the aroma. In addition to the fruitiness this beer is insanely fresh, green, and oily tasting and reminds me a little of a fresh hop brew. The aftertaste is pungent, dry, bitter and grassy. The finish actually makes me imagine I'm chewing on fresh hop residue. Malts are subtle and slightly bready but really don't seem to be a big part of the show.

Carbonation has held up extremely well on this 5 day old growler which I find heartening since it means that my trading partner will get to taste this beer at its intended quality when he receives it in the next few days.

This beer drinks at about 6.5% with no clear alcohol flavor or heat. Respect this one though, the ABV will catch up with you (a lesson I've not fully learned and this is my third year having this beer).

Slightly better than last year's batch, this is hands down the best IPA of this strength I've ever tried and probably the best overall. I hope the next few years see more kegs distributed so more people can try this beer.

Photo of bret27
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap

S: As expected big doses of floral/pine/citrus hops, w/some sweet maltiness as well.

A: Deep orange, thick white head.

T: Similar to elder, but beefed up 4% and a ton more hop flavor. Citrus, pine, floral big american hop flavors. Big bitter dry finish.

M/D: Fairly thick and full mouthfeel as to be expected of a big beer. Still not noticeably boozy or sweet. Just the pure bitterness hurts drinkability a bit.

Overall: Definitely one of the great DIPA's of the world, but IMO possibly not the best. I've heard that previous years batches were better and I might believe it.

Photo of cptierney
4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ups to eliottJW and juhl31 for scoring me a growler, even when I couldn't make it up to the brewpub. A true friend indeed. Shared with many other friends and poured into a New Belgium tulip.

The color is lovely. Definitely a darker brown hue than Elder. This amber gloriousness was topped with a decent crown of white, clean bubbleage which was appreciated because I was concerned about the lack of CO2 in the hurried fill. the head quickly dissipated and there was minimal lacing as the brew disappeared.

Good God, this is the best smelling beer I have ever gotten my hands on. The hops blast me with that resiny citrus goodness that only a west coast IPA drinker can understand. The citrus is mind blowing with that grapefruit coming quickly to the fore. I have no sense of any malt to this beer, but frankly, I don't care.

Decent mouthfeel. Perhaps some oxidation has led to a letdown on carb bite making for a mildly flat beer. As the beer warms, however, I enjoy the complexities of its flavor with the mouthfeel taking a backseat to the onslaught of flavors.

What a hoppy beast! I allow the brew to warm and the initial the citrus blasts of lemon and grapefruit yield to a nice sweet undertone. So bitter it is balanced, so hoppy it is sweet, PTY is a glorious meddle of contradictions.

Considering its ABV and IBU, Younger is an exceedingly easy beer to drink. The potent hop oils have staying power and can become nearly overwhelming in any sort of a session situation. This beer, however, probably isn't the best choice for a session, and the hop oils mean you get to taste the brew for hours after you drink it. All in all, a pleasant and friendly monster beer that makes me happy that I live in Sonoma County.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.93/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with barleywinefiend. You da man Josh!

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Flip-top growler opened with a very nice pop! Pour yielded a short, white, soapy cap. Nice retention. Great lacing! Body is crystal clear and deep gold. Very light carbonation can be seen within.

Smell: Grapefruit, cannabis-like floral hops, tangerine, toasted grains, pine resin, and a touch of sea salt. There are so many hoppy components in here! I'm also getting some honey, melon, candied orange, and pollen. Amazingly complex. If there was just a bit more pungency to it, I'd give it a five. EDIT: I'm giving it a five. Neglect what I previously said about pungency. This might be the best smelling imperial IPA I've ever come across!

Taste: Pine resin, sea salt, hop flowers, grapefruit, honey, toasted malt, lemon zest, and loads and loads of hop bitterness! Yet, this beer is almost too bitter. If I don't take a long enough break between sips, I miss out on a lot of the more delicate flavors. Still, who the hell would knock an imperial IPA for being "too bitter." Not me. This beer is beautiful!

Mouthfeel: As with PtE, the body on this imperial IPA is much lighter than others. Carbonation is mild, but suits the oily/resinous feel of this beer perfectly. Clean, pure, hoppiness. Each sip numbs the entire mouth - throat, cheek, tongue, and all. Not too dry either. Very nicely done!

Drinkability: What can I say? Perfect! Imagine PtE with more flavor and more bitterness. I've got nothing left to say...

Photo of Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Jerz and VacaX for making the trek from Long Beach to Russian River, and fighting through the mob to bring this back to So Cal. They're champs for their efforts, and I don't know how I'll begin to repay them.

A - Poured from a growler into my Delerium Tremens snifter glass. Has a light copper color, with just under a finger width of head. The head actually died pretty quickly. I was surprised at this from other reviews I had read. There was some lacing left on the glass.

S - It's definitely hop forward. There are some orange scents and other tropical fruits mixed in. There's a nice sweetness on the back end too. I think Sculpin might be slightly more potent, though the two are very similar.

T - First off, the alcohol is very well hidden. Now, there are grapefruits, and other tropical fruits, mixed in with a very sweet aftertaste. But then, pine comes back and there's a lingering pine note as the sweetness dies down. After the beer sits for a bit and warms, or opens up, the alcohol comes out...though just a tad. Still amazingly well hidden for 11%.

M - Crisp and tasty. There's a medium body, with a slightly creamy texture. i thought the carbonation was slightly lacking, though I'm chalking up that to it being stored and transported in a growler.

D - Wow, this is deceptively strong. It's good...very good. I wish I had more. I'd drink more. Why, Russian River, do you brew this only once a year!!??

I think some value, or potency, or whatever you want to call it, was slightly lost in the beer due to it being in a growler, but it's still pretty phenomenal.

Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.95/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By the time we got to the bar to ask for growlers. They told us it was gonna be a while but here's a couple glasses to enjoy while you wait.

Appearance is dark copper with a nice head that recedes....but with the huge volume of people there I don't think they were worrying about perfect pours.

The smell was off the charts...this beer stinks of deliciousness.... You get your piney/citrusy hops, caramel for a second, more malty goodness, alcohol... a smack in the face vision....

When it enters your mouth you know you're on to some good stuff. The hops and malt blend together in a perfect cacophony of deliciousness. Up front hitting hard with the pine and citrus and then blending together with the malt and a bit of alcohol warmth.

Had the correct amount of carbonation, a nice resiny feel to it as it lingers for a good while, sticky, verrah niiice.

The beer is beyond drinkable, but at some point you'll pass out. So that should be considered your limit ha ha.

Photo of mikey711
4.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 300th review

A: Gldish amber hue with a nice fluffy white head that is surprisingly large at slightly over an inch for being poured. It is perfectly clear with a light carbonation that rises from the bottom of the glass. The beer is golden when held in the light. Lacing is outstanding and the head lingers long enough before it starts to fade.

S: Juicy Hops all over, but that is the point. Sticky pine notes that provide a powerful bitterness that is nicely complimented by resinous citrus hop notes that bring a whirlwind of fruit notes including oranges, mango, apricot, peaches, pineapple. Underneath all of that is a slight hint of caramel sweetness that is very inviting itself

T: The moment of truth...wow, just wow. It starts off with the fruit notes mentioned at first, providing an intensely near tropical fruit punch experience that then turns into oily resinous piny bitterness that while also instense is not overwhelming. There is also a touch of sweet caramel and biscuitiness

M: Very smooth and creamy at first while still being light and full of body. Yeah a bit of an oxymoron, but oh well. Also a nice gooey pininess lingers on my tongue and begs me to drink more.

D:Very easy to drink, but that is not unusual for IPAs and me. There is only the slightest bit of alcohol heat and i know i can drink plenty of this as it is very easy to put back. Needless to say the growler will have to go tonight, but i am optimistically up to the task

In short this is one of the best IPAs i have ever had

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

I acquired a growler of the infamous Younger from vacax (thanks mate)! Served it in a Bruery tulip glass. I poured 3 glasses of RR brews and compared them. Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

A - A beautiful orange/copper tone with minimal head but amazing lacing that lasted the whole glass. A darker orange color than that of it's uncle.

S - Chocked full of piney aroma! Compared with the Elder it was far more hop aroma, grapefruit, citrus and pine just fills your nose! Absolutely beautiful smell!

T - Grapefruit, pine and citrus; just as the scent would allude to! Bitter! But, not over the top (believe it or not). It was a well balanced bitterness, no funny facial expressions after taking a sip of this beer. Insanely flavorful and potent! Some beers you'll need a few sips to get the flavor, this one is not that! If you're offered a sip of the Younger, take it and you'll know how it tastes! No new flavors come through near the end!

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation that creates a little dance party on your tongue. The finish sticks around too, which I really enjoy in good beers. It's a shame when they go away quickly, the Younger does not do this!

D - 2 friends came over and we had the growler gone in less than an hour! 11% so be careful! This is no harder to drink than Blind Pig or Pliny the Elder! Amazing for such a big beer!

I would say I was blessed to have been able to finally get this beer. I would love to get some every year! For anybody that's wondering if they should try to pile into a small bar to try get this on tap, I would say DO IT!

Photo of bulletrain76
4.78/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Multiple draught and growler samples over the past weekend. First sip last friday at the release day which was supposed to be the start of a release week, though things didn't exactly work out that way. Walking into the Russian River brewpub, the aroma hits you at once. Yes, you heard correctly; I just rated the aroma by entering the room. Elder is probably my favorite DIPA, so a side-by-side was necessary to really get a feel for its larger nephew. The color is a deep gold, going a touch darker than Elder. The head is small, with some sticky white foam lingering in a slick. Oddly enough, at first, Elder has a much more expressive aroma, leaning on more pine and pungent dankness. I do a double take on Younger: there is a touch of alcohol and orange showing but it seems pretty closed. Temperature is definitely key with this beer. Many larger DIPAs (or TIPAs in this case) seem to benefit from a cooler serving temperature that lets the hops keep the upper hand over the malt sweetness. Younger breaks that mold because it is about as dry as you can get and still maintain balance in a beer this big. I have heard that it has been sweeter in past years, but can't say firsthand how this years release compares. All that I can say is that the sweetness never becomes at all bothersome. Sure, it is evident when compared right next to Elder, which elegantly shows how dry the style can be, but it works perfectly with the massive hop load. Let the temperature come up a few degrees, and the hops become incredibly juicy and expressive, showing all kinds of orange, mango, and grapefruit. There is a similar resiny dank touch as you get in elder, but it is overall rounder, fruitier, and juicier, probably helped in part be the additional perception of sweetness. The flavor is just crazy hoppy without being at all abrasive. This is one amazingly smooth beer, with just a hint of alcohol in the finish to remind you that it is nearly eleven percent full of it. Bitterness is almost mild to start, only building to full strength toward the back of the tongue. Mildly malty and sweet, but it's pretty damn had to pick out much definable malt character over all the hops. Medium-full body with smooth carbonation. Just about the perfect consistency for a beer like this, with the hop oils contributing as much mouthfeel as anything else. Younger has a surprising amount of subtlety and balance for a beer this big and hoppy. It definitely has more nuance than most big DIPAs, and may even be a touch understated. In the end, it works perfectly just like Elder works perfectly, just from a different approach.

Photo of calir1
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing.

Tasted again for the 10th time during the last release. I loved every bit of it. Wish there was more to go around.

The hugeness of the aroma and flavor is such a blast to the senses. I loved it.

Way to go Russian River, Please make more next year.

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

I had more than my fair share at the pub Friday afternoon (2/5/2010), which turned into an epic beer day. Thank you Russian River staff. And then shared two growlers one with Hoffmans and another with friends over the weekend.

A- Came in a 10 ounce glass with only a touch of a head. It's a clear golden liquid a touch darker then the elder. Beautiful. The head fell to a nice mat of tiny bubbles that covered the top of the beer. Laced very well on the way down

S- This beer has an aroma second to none. There is copious amounts of hops which envelope all your senses in its beauty. There is a nice contrast between the fresh wet pine up front to the sweeter grapefruit towards the end. A funny side note is that there is a hit of another medicinal herb to the aroma that comes through. All of the hop aroma is backed by a sweet honey like malt aroma. This has the best aroma I have ever smelt.

T - Pure ecstasy. Notes of hops immediately shock your tongue from front to back. The Fresh pine brings images of forest hikes early afternoon as the sun begins to warm the wet due off the needles of the trees. This then moves into a Blackberry like citrus flavor which is maybe the best part. The malt backbone hops all of this up with the strength required. The malt is honey like and sweet to balance the bitterness so that all the notes can be enjoyed. Amazing.

M - This beer seems too light for the amount of flavor that it contains. Perfect amount of carbonation to keep it light enough on the palette but sweet enough to give it the right presence. Bitterness dries out the finish leaving your mouth parched and urging for another sip.

O - I am having a difficult time here determining what constitutes a perfect beer. Because this now proved to me that it is not a product of its style but its ability to deliver all possible flavors with out overpowering the intent of the beer. This to me is another perfect beer. Vinnie Good Job, and sorry about drinking all your beer.

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

A-Beautiful color, golden light amber, clear
S-floral hops, pine and honeysuckle, amazing IPA smell
T-more crisp and clear than the Elder, extremely smooth and not as heavy as the Elder. There is a lingering hop taste, you taste hops all throughout from beginning to end. The aftertaste is what is best. You just want to keep drinking. Sweet and hoppy.
M-Wonderful smooth mouthfeel, lighter body than the Elder.
D-extremely drinkable. For being such a big beer the Younger is scrumptious!

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,458 ratings.