1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,468 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,468
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 4,817
Gots: 154 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 01-27-2005

Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder’s nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time and space consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don’t make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Younger Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,468 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

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 day...in 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
J

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 hand...so 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!

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,468 ratings.