Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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2,458 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,458
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 4,679
Gots: 142 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,458 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bubba83
4.97/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm scoring this from when I had it on tap at the 2010 friday release at Russian River. I am going to pick out the aroma/flavors from a growler pour at home during this review, but I wanted to give it the on-tap score because the mouthfeel is better on-tap.

Body color is an enticing light orange, with some hues of dark yellow. Clarity is really good. Bright white 2-finger head with spiderweb lacing. The head is quite creamy looking. Retention is good, but it does mellow quicker than Elder down into a thin ring that stays until the bottom of the glass.

Initial smell is all pine, that's really the chief characteristic, and it's beautiful. Underneath the absurd amounts of pine there's some grapefruit pith and an underlying sweet caramel aroma. I smell no alcohol despite the fact that this is a fresh 11%er.

First sip tastes of the caramel I got in the nose, but quickly transforms, first into lemon, then grapefruit, then pine needles as the bitterness starts to creep up. Finishes up with a little bit of a spicy peppery kick with some faint alcohol in the background. I can't envision any hoppy beer ever surpassing this in the taste department.

Big chewy mouthfeel, while remaining oily and extremely smooth. The creamy head will bathe your upper lip and give you a hop mustache :) Somehow despite being pretty thick, it has a lot of small bubbles that remain active. This is the big difference of having it on tap. I still achieved a good amount of head from my growler, but the body of the beer did not retain the small bubbles that kept the beer popping in my mouth. The growler pour is more like a 4.0 in mouthfeel because of this.

Drinks EXTREMELY well. I should qualify that statement by saying that being a hophead is required though. Frankly, my lupulin threshold has shifted to such a point where I don't get any real bitterness here and I just taste all the delicious hop qualities instead. It's so damn smooth. There is absolutely no alcohol bite at all, and I don't get how that's possible. I could go on and on about this beer for days, but I'll stop so you can continue onto the next review.

A heart-felt thank you goes out to Vinnie and Natalie for all their hard work over the years to make beers like this a reality.

Photo of shortysdude285
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Long time BA, but a first time reviewer. I think I've chosen a fairly worthy beer for my first review.

I was able to get my hands on a 10 oz. at the brewpub on 2/5/10 and I also picked up a growler of the Younger while I was there. This review is of the growler.

A - It's a beaut. Dark for an IPA but a little lighter than a red. It's just asking you to drink it.

S - I don't have the best sense of smell but this one's a winner. Hoppy to the extent that it smells almost like weed. Honestly a perfect smell. It retains a smell of an intense yet perfectly balanced hop profile that wants to be challenged.

T - Again a winner. Somehow the taste catches you off guard with its quality despite your fair warning with the smell. If I were to guess without prior knowledge, I'd say the beer was a 7.5% as it hides the 11% quite well.

M - If you don't like IPAs or hops in general, avoid this sucker. If you've been bitten by the hop fever this one's a must. I've been a longtime fan of the Ruination but this one begs of a more strong adjective as it left my tongue completely numb.

D - On top of the totally intense profile this beer pushes, I could drink it all night if I had the chance (I've only got 1 growler so I'm forced to ration it as much as possible). If this beer was given the distribution of Pliny the Elder (my previous favorite beer) I'd need some convincing to buy anything else on the shelves. Despite its "gobs" of IBUS and 11%+ ABV, I'd drink this beer all night every night I could.

Simply put, this is the best beer I've ever tasted. The mini imperial pint glass at the brewpup served it well but I've found my snifter to accentuate its characteristics to their maximum potentials. My advice: line up before 11am when it's released next year; this one's not worth missing.

Photo of abecall98
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sharing my buddies growler during the big game.

A - pours a beutiful rich pale orange. White sticky head stands out at the top. The beer head grasps the rim of the pint glass tightly. Amazing

s - wow, first wiff, smells like a fresh rain forest. Further smell brings out slight grapefruit bitterness. Every sniff is a new adventure.

T - this beer tastes so pleasing. The taste grabs your taste buds and screams bitter. Even the burps afterwards remind you of the taste. The hoppiness in this beer is awesome. It's a bitter sweet. Feels like biting into a grapfruit, you get the bitterness of the peel, and then the sweetness of the fruit kicks in to finish. Perfect triple ipa taste going on here.

M - only been in the growler for 2 days. Carbonation is there. The beer is bubbly, it's silky, it's smooth. It's everything you can ask for in a perfect beer. I can't complain about this mouthfeel.

D - wow, at 11%abv, this beer is dangerous. It is the highest abv beer that us unnoticable to me. The hops and malt create the perfect bitterness and sweetness to mask the abv perfectly. This beer also has such a good balance that it is hard to put down. It is very easy to drink an entire growler solo. Wish I could. So damn drinkable.

O - this beer is the top of it's style for a reason. It's got the whole package. If you enjoy ipas, this beer is a step beyond in the right direction. Highly recomended.

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

Believe the hype... that's all that really needs to be said about this beer. perfection.

pours a deep golden almost amber color that is truly something special to behold. a small off white head rests atop the body of liquid awesomeness, lacing the glass minimally, and leaving only the slightest trace of itself. The smell is super piny, citrusy, hops all over, with a hint of cannibus. the quintessential aroma for an ipa.

The flavor is so overwhelmingly amazing it's hard to put words to. citrusy and piney, tons of hops. earthy and bitter as all hell. a little honey flavor. bitter grapefruit and alcohol in the finish. amazing. a palate destroyer for sure.

The mouthfeel is oily with hop resin and nice and thick on the palate. wonderfully, perfectly carbonated. The drinkability for an 11% beer is equal to the most drinkable single ipa available. incredible.

Photo of Shane94941
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at the brewpub on release a word unbelievable. One sip and my perspective of IPA's was changed forever. Completely destroyed my taste buds. Sticky and chewy in the mouth. Today (2 days after release) I just opened a growler and it is just as awesome. It is IPA perfection. Floral hop scent, good head, a little cloudy. The hops resonate in my mouth and the bitterness removes all saliva. If you are a hophead this is the pinnacle of beer.

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

On-tap at the brewpub on release day, less than 20 minutes after opening. Poured into a generic 10oz nonic. Consumed on a sunny day out on the patio.

Hazy tangerine body with amber highlights. A spider-web of ivory bubbles drifts across the surface, creating a thin collar over which gossamer arcs of lacing hover for a languid moment before sliding back down into the glass.

The aromatics underscore the freshness of this beer above all else, almost like freshly chilled wort. The orange-rind and evergreen notes are there from the hops, but joined as well by marshmallow and very fresh malt.

Orange blossom, honey, and apricot coat the palate, followed by a spicy citrus-blast, cushioned by a wave of almost syrupy sweetness. Glorious bitterness with green peppercorn, hemp, and grapefruit seeds into the finish. The alcohol lingers like a hoppy single malt - the pine notes coming across almost like menthol.

Smooth, resinous, almost creamy, medium-bodied with some added heft from the ABV - though I wouldn't describe this as hot by any stretch of the imagination.

Among the best examples of the style, edging out the Elder just a bit for king of the NorCal versions.

Hours later, after I had shipped off my growlers, as I was walking down the street in a completely different part of Santa Rosa, I found myself smelling hops. I soon realized the smell was coming from my hands (when I wiped my mouth after the last sip from the glass) even as they were wedged in my pockets!

Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I truly believe that not enough good things can be said about this beer. I had it on-tap at the release day. I also split a growler of it with friends the day after the release. Very fortunate to write this review.

The appearance is a light honey colored nectar that pours with a one and a half finger head. The head is white and sticky, but leaves after a while due to the ABV. The brew itself is as thick as honey, the carbonation bubbles struggle to make their way to the top of the brew. Leaves a thick alcoholic leg all around the glass. Also leaves a medium lacing on the sides. A beautiful beer with the greatest color and gravity, this thing is thick!

The smell is the best hop smell I have ever experienced. It reminds me of rubbing wet hops together in my hands at my local homebrew store. It has a hop bitterness with underlying citrus notes that bring two big characteristics together. No ABV is present anywhere in this beer, and it makes it dangerous. There is a marijuana smell that a lot of my beer tasting friends picked up, so this beer brings together my favorite smells in an IPA and intensifies them by ten.

The taste is of extremely bitter hops with a very strong malt backbone. It is balanced so well that the hops just explode with different flavors. What I love about Russian Rivers IPA's is that they have more of a pine characteristic than overly sweet. This pairs pine hops with sweet undertones in the taste. I had a growler at a bar last night and gave samples to about four different people, some that do not always drink craft beer. Everyone knew without the background of Younger that this was a very special beer.

The mouthfeel is a palate destroyer! The oils in this beer coat your entire mouth with hop bitterness, creating the best mouthfeel for a hop focused beer. Nothing tastes the same after this, for your palate is in fatigue after just a few sips.

The drinkability is dangerously high, I would of given this a six out of five if possible. Once you start, you cannot stop at all. I had about eight pours of this on the actual release, needless to say I got out of bed the next day at around noon. There is no surprise here that the taps ran out on the same day. Once you get to taste it, you just don't want to stop.

This was a true pleasure to try for I will never forget this weekend. A truly exceptional beer thats hype is well deserved. Cheers to Vinnie and Natalie at Russian River

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

Had this on-tap yesterday and am having it from a growler now. If this beer were available year-round, I'd drink nothing but.

a: This beer pours a slightly hazy somewhat dark gold. In an effort to get glasses out faster, Natalie Cilurzo was filling pitchers with younger and pouring glasses out of that. The head size tended to vary depending on how quickly she was going. At home, pouring slowly, this develops a one-finger head that dissipates before too long, but still leaves a nice lacing.

s: Hops. Hops. More hops. I'm also doing a side-by-side comparison of this and Elder. For all that they have similar piney-grapefruity hop profiles, the difference in intensity is staggering.

t: I'm almost at a loss for words. On the one hand this is every bit as intensely bitter and hoppy as its older cousin. On the other hand, there's this sweetness as well. It doesn't taste malty, though. It's almost like the sweetness is a facet of the heavy citrusy oomph. And despite being 10.75% ABV according to the RR chalkboard, there's not a hint of alcohol that can be tasted.

m: At the pub, it poured out of the tap so slow it looked like maple syrup. I was almost expecting something very heavy, but what I got was a medium-bodied sipper with just the right amount of carbonation.

d: More. More. More. The insidiousness of PtY is not that it's a great beer. The insidiousness is that it is so bloody drinkable that every empty glass is a major disappointment. An empty growler is cause for tears. When you start drinking this beer, you don't ever want to stop.

I have one growler left. On the one hand I'm having to fight off the temptation to open it now, because once I do, that's all I'll have left for an entire year. On the other good...

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

After standing in line for that long, just about anything would taste good. So I had several glasses to make sure my judgement was clear.

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden, amber color with a finger's worth of white foam that sticks around forever and leaves some nice lacing.

S: I think it's pretty obvious how this one smells. The hops are amazingly intense with aromas of bitter grapefruit and pine. The malt is there in a sense, but it's more mixed in with the incredibly bitter nose.

T: The flavor is pure resinous, bitter, pine with plenty of bitter grapefruit. The alcohol is not at all present (despite the beer being 11%). The bitterness starts before the beer even hits your lips and lasts all the way until the next sip.

M: The body is full with a moderate level of carbonation. The bitterness lingers on the palate but it really just makes you want some more.

D: This is an absolutely amazing beer. Despite its strength and intense bitterness, you just want to have more and more. I had at least 30 to 40 ounces of this and could have had plenty more.

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

Kinda bummed only got one growler. Waited in line from 1-3. They ran out of growlers while I was in the bar. Our waiter was kind enough to search out one growler for us. There was even some jerk who bought over 20 growlers.

A: Crystal clear golden color. Lighter in color than one would expect for such a high alcohol beer. One finger head. Good lacing.

S: Hugely hoppy aroma. (I could smell it when I walked into RR) Sweet malts, dank, resin, tropical fruits, pine.

T: Sweet malts. Mango, pine, resin, daaaank, bitterness. Killing it.

M: Very smooth. Light to medium bodied. Silky.

D: Incredibly drinkable. 11%? Are you serious, I'm trying to session this. Oh wait, just one growler : (

So basically, Sculpin and Pliny the Younger fucked, and made a stronger sexier baby.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.93/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got 4 growlers of this today at Russian River Brewery.

Appearance- amber color, thick creamy head

Smell- mainly hops

Taste- mainly hops, wonderful hops flavor

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Awesome!! I love it. Definitely one of my favorites

Photo of SShelly
4.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sitting in the taproom sipping a younger.

Hopp burst in the nose, honestly this whole place smells hoppy as hell so it's hard to tell what's going on.

Golden yellow with bright white head, not much retention.

Flavor is hop heaven! Bright and crisp with tons of pine, amazing smooth bitterness. Leaves resinous pine hop flavor in the mouth.

Truly suprised how smooth this is, heaven in my mouth, and with that I need another.

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

I've had this elixir twice --- once during its regular Feb. '09 release at the Eastside Tavern in Olympia and once, surprisingly, at HopFest at Brouwer's this past summer.

It pours a deep amber color with a foamy off-white head with nice lacing.

The smell is a sweet, yet floral hop kick. The pine and grapefruit are very strong.

While I expected the hoppy pine and grapefruit taste to follow the aroma, I was surprised at how sweet it was on the tongue. Don't get me wrong --- it's a palate killer. In both instances, I tried other brews following PtY and it was a waste.

It has a heavier mouthfeel than I expected it would. It was kind of syrupy, but in a very good way. It was smooooth.

Because I didn't notice any alcohol burn, I drank a couple of these right off. It came back to bite me.

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review transcribed from a RB review from Feb. '09. I have actually only had this beer once, and I was fairly drunk at the time. Mark my words, I will practically live at Russian River Brewing when this is released in '10. So did it live up to the hype? In a word, yes. This is a sweet hoppy nectar of the gods. It really just doesn't get much better than this. Had it on tap at Toronado in SF.

A - Deep golden amber color with a nice white head that lasts.

S - Really piney and floral hoppy aroma with sweet caramel malt. This kicks even the Elder's ass as far as aroma goes. It's just incredibly intense and incredibly awesome. Few beers compare.

T - Flavor is a piney hop explosion with some floral and citrus notes as well. Complex and awesome hop profile. Huge backbone of sweet malt (caramel, pale) and honey balances perfectly.

M - Syrupy mouthfeel with alcohol warmth despite very little alcohol flavor. Nice smooth carbonation.

D - Way too drinkable. I could drink this all night and end up on the floor, no question.

See you in 2010, PtY. Miss you.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay,so this is one of those great hype beers, the father of all IIPAs, etc., etc.

I've had it at OBF and some other tastings here and there, but a trip down to Sonoma gave me the perfect chance to actually review it, the whole pint of it (well half pint). Reviewing a sampler just isn't my style. A faintly hazy amber tangerine. The head was super sticky, with the lacing affixing itself all over the sides of the glass.

Blast of hops in the aroma. Sticky, syrupy and oily. The malt ismingled with the hops, providing sweetness to the hops but not adding any distinctivly malty flavors. The alcohol does the same. It doesn't contrast to the hops, it adds to the illusion of spiciness 'in' the hops. Interesting. If this beer got into any orfice other than my mouth, it would burn.

The taste is surprisingly balanced. Ooh, look, here's the malt! This isn't a tooth disintegrating, cheek numbing, hop bomb of an iipa like some out there. It's got actual balance. Sure the hops are stong enough to blast your palate and drown out any milder beers for the rest of the night, but this ain't Ruination. It's balanced. Pine tips, grapefruit, and other great hop characteristics abound. This is a great brew, and a great recipe. Let this not be a benchmark for IIPA's, otherwise too many other beers would suck. Instead let this be a plateau that other iipas continue to climb towards. There's plenty of room up here on the top for more good iipas!

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

othing. Seriously, this was a nice treat. Pours gold with a thin white head. Juicy hop and citrus aroma. Flavor was very fresh with the with sticky pine and floral hops dominating and citrus fruits coming up in a close second. Slightly sweeter than expected, but it still has a nice dry bitter finish. This was very nice.

Photo of slayer3604
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at lucky baldwins in pasadena, ca. They had an IPA fest going alll week with rumors of a PTY keg that they would crack sometime during the week, so i went a couple times out of the week then last minute i went again and BEHOLD! it was finally on tap! i grabbed two glasses of it and enjoyed the SHIT out of them.

A-beautiful beautiful color, rich lathery head with sticky lacing, the head is off white, body was amber golden with tiny ropes of carbonation rippling through it.

S- pure hops! this is one of the most intriguing beers ive ever had. now i understand what all the hype is about. I wasnt sure I would like this beer so much seeing as though PTE is an "OK" beer in my book. There is a great amount of malt complexity to it as well. This beer was teeming with all sorts of complexities.

T- A rush of pine, candi sugar, a bit of molasses, and finishes simi sweet with a crushing spice at the end that lingers forever!

M- Thick, chewy, and has given me my hop fix for the next six months.

D- I could drink this all day all night and into my retirement years. Such a shame its so rare. Good job RR!

Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the Local 44 in West Philly during Philly Beer Week. Awesome lineup of RR brews on tap! Review from notes (3/15/09).

A - poured a clear honey amber with a quick white head. Slight lace in the Chimay goblet. Didn't expect much head for a huge beer as such.

S - Very well balanced and pronounced nose. Caramel malts and citrusy hops of the grapefruit variety. A touch of biscuits. Good golly!

T - Extremely balanced. Malty sweet backbone complements grapefruity hops nicely. Impeccably smooth. Very little, if any, alcoholic tones.

M - So incredibly smooth! The carbonation was just enough to keep it crisp and hold the flavors together.

D - Three letters: OMG

Overall - for $5.50/goblet, I would drink this all day. Pliny the Younger is indeed an excellent DIPA. Maybe it doesn't live up to the extreme hype for me but it certainly surpassed my expectation for a delicious, smooth DIPA. Especially when drinking this at 11:20am on Sunday...

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

I had to fly all the way across the country to try this beer and just stumbled into a bar that happened to have it on tap. Lucky me.

The beer was in a tall snifter glass. It was a nice medium copper color with a thin whispy white head.

The beer had an excellent hop aroma. Not the kind that hits you hard and screams hops, but a much more subtle refined smell where you could tell the beer was going to be hoppy.

The taste is just fantastic. I imagined it being an Elder with just more hops but that really wasn't the case. It has an excellent hoppy flavor balanced well by a nice malt background. The hops are well balanced, nice and floral like the Elder but also and extra bit of resin and bitterness at the end that the Elder is lacking. A very strong hop flavor that in no way is overwhelming or over powering like many double or triple IPA's.

The mouthfeel remains on the lighter side, like the Elder, but with a good thickness from the hops. It never left a negative bitterness in my mouth or a negative thickness like some extra hoppy beers do.

A lot like the Elder the alchol is hidden in this one and the flavors are refined enough that I could drink about 6 of these before I knew what was going on. A great great beer and I feel so lucky to have found it.

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

Oh YEA!! This was all it was purported to be. Had it on tap at Russian River last week. Poured (in a 10 oz. glass) to a bright orange-red color with good head and lacing. Strong nose of hoppy citrusy grapefruit hit me as the waitress approached. As I nursed it along, the 11% abv also became much more noticeable. Mouthfeel was very full and slightly tingly, and the taste was a very dominant bitter grapefruit blended perfectly with alcohol and a touch of malt to round things out. I sipped toward the finish, which was long, very smooth and warming.

A GREAT beer.

Photo of erikm25
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a snifter at the Bottleworks Grand Re-Opening. They had a great selection but my mind was already set before I walked in. Golden orange with burnt lemon and butterscotch hues. Infusion of well balanced hazy copper rich tones. While lighter in complexion than my expectations it is a fantastic looking beer. Perfect pearl white head that fluffed up like thousands of minuscule marshmallows. Retention was strong. Sticky crystallized lacing all down the glass.

S: Coats the air with honey seared grapefruits and flowery resined hops. I pushed my nose close to the glass to inhale the orchestra of melting spruce and fresh pine needles. Hints of lemon soaked tangerines. Smells like they corked a pine tree and drained out all of the sap while blowing it full of toffee smoke. Citrus, berries, and perfection.

T: This one hits the mouth like an ax blade glazed in hops. Much like the aroma everything about the taste is clean, fresh, and crisp. Significantly rich with assaulting hops. Pineapple juice tang and orange rind pierce that are cut with just the slightest vanilla and banana roundness. Subtle spiciness emerges from the cacophony of hop madness. This is over 10% and while there is no alcohol in the taste you get a nice flush feeling about 6oz in (especially at 1130AM, after the gym, and on an empty stomach). Every taste is better than the previous. Not just first class for the style but first class for beer in general.

M: Perfectly dry and smooth with a medium mouth feel. My tongue was still tingling 45 minutes later.

D: The best IIPA I have tried. Thus, I am giving this five's across the board. A possible uniter of humanity? RR may be onto something. It's a sipper but after the first sip it's hard not to keep going. They should just call it a triple imperial IPA. I am by no means an expert on beer but this lived up to my anticipation. Thanks to RR for creating this and Bottleworks for providing it.

Photo of flannelman808
4.48/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 batch...

PTY:  2/16/12 ( I think it's been released for ~12 days)

A:  pale yellow amber and quite clear,  just a tiny bit of haze (i think id actually like to see more).  A thin stark white foam tops it off clinging to the glass fairly well along the way.


S: fallen pine needle and citrus peel are ever present.  Tangerine juice and grapefruit pith.  There is a hint of iced doughnut for me as well.


T:  huge and sticky this shows a sweet candied orange sweetness and Soft zesty bitterness.  along with the citrus pith suggestions, this carries a "green" quality usually reserved for green flash descriptions.  Some forest floor carries out in the mid palate.  Some astringent alcohol in the finish with a sense of its strength but in a dry sort of way (think old raj).  


M:  bright prickly and sticky all at once.  Medium finish.  Lengthily drying out the palate.


O:  not unlike biting into a honey tangerine through the skin.  But don't sweat what ya heard kid.  This is great stuff, if they brewed it all the time I think I would still be popular.  Not something worth waiting in a long line for however.  That said this beer is somewhat unique in its balance of flavors.  It doesn't register too sweet (120 min, brass knuckle, ect...) nor does it fall into a bitter hop head bomb ala Dreadnaught.  No, this one is balanced, well except for that pesky alcohol on the finish.


WOW I finally got to try it! WOOOHOOOO! man this beer is EVERYTHING everyone makes it out to be. or is it?

to try it at an IPA fest at NAJA's place in Redondo Beach (If you live in LA and haven't been I recommend trying Najas out).

Pours a dark amber color and has sticky head retention.

Smells like what one would expect of a big IPA, Lots of citrus and piney notes. Grapefruit aromas lead the way.

There is a hop and flavor explosion once this stuff is on your tongue. Wow I kept going back for more despite the high ABV. This is just an amazing beer tons of balance and complexity, yet it leaves a high note of bitterness to sooth the hophead in me. If you see this beer ever, buy all of them! Of course this will never be bottled so good luck.

Photo of grub
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. huge thanks eric!

64oz russian river swingtop. sampled may 5/09.

pours crystal clear deep orangey amber. a big fluffy cream coloured head forms, dropping very slowly and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is intense. wow, there's some hops in there! huge multi-dimensional hop blast. pine, grapefruit flesh and peel, orange flesh and peel, tangerine. alcohol. crackers and white bread. you can almost feel the IBUs before you even take a sip. goddamn this smells good.

taste is awesome. again, wow. intense multi-dimensional hop attack. mostly orange and tangerine up front, then the bite of the grapefruit and pine kicks in. and keeps kicking. fruit and peel. bit of sweetness in the fruit, and bitterness in the peel. earthy and floral too. i can tell there's some alcohol in there, but it's lost behind the bludgeoning hop attack. yet, as much as the hops are kicking your ass, there's a ton of malt in there too. slightly toasted whole wheat bread. white bread. cracker. touch of biscuit and grain. light almost nutty character too, just a hint hiding in the background. there's as much depth and complexity to the malt as there is to the hops. hints of caramel, but most of the sweetness comes from the big juicy citrus hops. medium-high bitterness level. actually, the first sip was probably higher, but i feel like i've quickly become numbed to some of its effects.

mouthfeel is great. medium-large body. very fine medium carbonation. it feels a little full-bodied for the style, but since we're playing at or beyond the upper end of the style guidelines, that's probably a good thing. screw a randall, this thing doesn't need fancy bells and whistles to peel the enamel from your teeth.

drinkability is surprisingly good. i feel like i'm being slowed down by the body more than by the alcohol or the bitterness. actually, i'm mostly just constantly stopping to explore the new directions i see in it.

Photo of Viggo
4.8/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to nerd for hooking me up with this growler IP at DLD, I owe you man, been waiting a long time for this one.

Pours a crystal clear light amber/orange, nice and bright, very thick white head forms, slowly settles down to a very thick ring around the glass and thin layer, big chunks of lace stick to the glass. Smell is insanely hoppy, very complex, tons of tropical fruit, pine, grapefruit, oranges, very perfumy, alcohol, apricot and light fruits, caramel, some biscuity malt, lightly sugary, tons of citrus in this one, mango, all over the place, amazing stuff. Taste is amazing as well, tons of orange peel, almost acidic how much hoppiness there is, pine and grapefruit, caramel sweetness through the middle, big alcohol but not overdone, slight graininess near the finish, almost a jasmine sort of character in the finish, very bitter but also is sort of balanced, very complex. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, pretty thick for a DIPA, with medium carbonation. Crazy hoppy but still balanced with the malt. Wow is this a good DIPA, insanely hoppy but just the right amount of malt to balance it out. Well done, big thanks to Michael for this one!

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

Thanks very much to Grant for sharing this growler at the Brick Store Pub. I've somehow missed this every year in California even though I'm usually there every time it comes out- sadly I'm usually working too hard then to seek it out or go up to Santa Rosa. I love the Elder, and this beer is every bit as good as I'd hoped. Pours golden with okay head and some excellent lacing. Very nice for a growler. A beautiful blast of pine on the nose with some lovely sweet caramel malt providing a nicely layered backbone underneath. For me, the taste is perfect. Sweet malt and a heavy dose of extremely fresh tasting piney hops that have just oozed their oils into this brew. Some nice citrus on the finish as well that combines with the sweet malt for a nice slightly candied finish to the herbal explosion that came beforehand. Deep flavors that roll on and on. Exquisite. The mouthfeel is at first prickly with hops and then smooth with creamy malt. Looong finish. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all day and pay for it later. Not as dry as the Elder of course, but even more deeply flavored. A masterpiece from my favorite brewery.

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