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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,285 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,285
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,070
Gots: 91 | 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: 2,285 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

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

This is based on notes from The Drafting Room and The Grey Lodge.

This beer came a very foggy simple copper and gold with a wide collar of head.

Smelled of a beautiful honey and oats with a slight marshmallow. There was also a slight candied apple, dehydrated pineapple, and grapefruit. The blend of smells here is exquisite.

Tastes of a sweet pizza dough, powdered sugar and honey which is engulfed in a long lingering dry crisp pine that stings my tongue. Where malt ends and hops begin, no one knows. I'm impressed.

The mouth feel is heavy and viscous with a tiny smooth carbonation.

This is a really impressive beer, but I wouldn't want more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2006 21:25:05 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange with a thin, cream coloured head. Spotty lacing was evident from the fine bubbles, which showed excellent retention. The aroma was all hops - powdery, floral, tangerine, pine, and grapefruit, not necessarily all at the same time though. There was a lot of malt sweetness up front, but a very strong bitterness hits at the same time. Floral and citrusy hop flavour fills the midsection, with mild pine, orange and tangerine. Spicy alcohol appears towards the end and grapefruit bitterness really lingers. Full bodied served with moderately low carbonation and significant alcohol warmth and numbing. Drying hop finish with slight stickiness. This is really good, really powerful. Highly drinkable for such a big beer. Everything is just turned up on this beer - a lot. I think I prefer the Elder as a beer I could drink on a regular basis - this one seems to be fit more for special occasions. I'd be a happy dude if I could get either on a regular basis...

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2006 03:22:55 | More by DrJay
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

4.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at The Drafting Room. My glass was filled with a golden copper color liquid with a thin white head. Some lacing was left but not like the amount left by the Elder. The aroma was filled with pine and citrus from the hops and a sweet caramel / tofffee scent. The flavor followed the smell. Hops were there but so was the sweetness. Somewhere in between a 90 min. and a 120 min. with the sweetness. Very smooth and not as bitter IMO as the Elder. The abv in this one (11%) limited me to only two glasses but they were tasty. Great brew, but I think the Elder comes out on top.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2006 17:21:07 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of memory
memory

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap. Appeared copper color with a grapefruit smell and taste. The alcohol wasn't overwhelming at 11 percent and I considered it very drinkable. .
Advertised as a triple, I wasn't blown away though. There are local tripals in my area of SE Pa. that are on par with this in my opinion. I don't think it is that far above them. However, this is very nice to drink. Is it possible to give a review after drinking just one?

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2006 04:42:16 | More by memory
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tria in Philadelphia, served in a 13 oz tulip glass. The beer poured a vibrant copper color, clear and with a thick off white head that disapated slowly and gave way to a nice ring around the end and a swirly island in the middle. The aroma was a strong pine and citrus nose that was similar to the Elder but kicked up a bit and more pure and extreme but enjoyable. The taste was very similar to the taste. There was the initial hoppy, piney taste with some citrus, grapefruit and a touch of sweet caramel. The mouth feel was very smooth with a nice alcohol burn on the way down that tells you this is a 11% beer. What a smooth ride the Younger was. I was expecting this to be hard to handle but found this very enjoyable and drinkable. I had 2 in this sitting and will go back for more wherever I can find it. Another RR hit and it has been a long time that I have waited to try this.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2006 01:21:01 | More by ggaughan
Photo of egajdzis
egajdzis

Pennsylvania

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

Poured a bright golden color with a medium sized, creamy, white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of piney hops, citrus fruits, tons of resin, caramel malts, and light alcohol. Strong pine in the taste, more citrus fruits, bitter grapefruits, with some sweet malts, and alcohol in the finish. Much more enjoyable than DFH 120.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2006 02:14:19 | More by egajdzis
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Despairing over not being able to get this on tap at the RR brewpub, I was overjoyed to find it on tap at Toronado in San Francisco.

A: An unmoving copper with a thin head. Still waters run deep, right?

S: Earthy hops--grass and cedar with a touch of sweeter fruit, maybe strawberry. This is certainly one of the strongest hop bouquets I've ever smelled.

T: An ode to the hop. The overall flavor is strong enough on malt and hops that it could pass as a barley wine (especially if Avery were making it), but it emphasizes on bitterness, from start to finish. The molasses like malty flavors up front give way to a dry and bitter finish, with hints of pine, grass, and alcohol.

M: I suppose that the quality of mouthfeel depends on how much you love the hop. The 'balance' is about as good as one might expect from a so-called triple IPA (which I will insist is not truly its own style); nonetheless, the residual bitterness is a little too much for my palate.

D: For sipping. 'Nuf said.

Overall, this is an ambitious and aggressive brew, significantly stronger than its (wonderful) uncle Pliny the Elder. It seems that RR isn't going for a beer that's going to please anyone other than the most die-hard of hop heads; while that may mean the beer won't be universally acclaimed, it's probably that kind of an attitude that helps make forward progress in the US craft brew industry.

Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2006 16:54:07 | More by benito
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TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Naja's in Redondo Beach. It was presented in a tumbler, and had a pale orange color with a thin foam comprised of big bubbles. The beer was very clear which I guess I didn't expect.

The aroma is massively hoppy, and of course the flavor also. Actually I compared this with the Pliny the Elder and I prefer the Elder because it seems a little more complex, kind of more malt in the flavor it seems to me. But that's just what I took out of it.

Drinkability is pretty high, even though this is pretty alcoholic. I think the hops weren't so excessive as to kill my tastebuds.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2006 22:44:39 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

2.88/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Redwoodgeorge for the opportunity...I was part of the unauthorized bottling project he undertook. Pours a one finger white head over a nearly clear orange amber liquid. Smells clean grapefruit pith. Sugar sweet and cherry. Underlying caramel accompanied by buried apricot esters.

Tastes buttery (blech). Caramel. Acidic. Mostly piney hops with some softer citrus. Cotton candy. Brutally woody dry with a taste of fresh 'morning cobwebs' in the forest. Fruity esters are lost under the hops.

Md thick mouthfeel and moderately carbonated. I swear I could feel the hop oils on my tongue. What I didn't like was a prominent and unpleasant diacetyl (buttery) that I found completely distracting. Ruined the beer for me, and it's reflected in the 'taste' portion of my rating. I found this same flavor in the samples I had at GABF last year (2005). In front of the brewer (knee-jerk reaction), I actually spit the beer out and said 'pediococcus!'.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2006 07:49:14 | More by mentor
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for this hand filled bottle...don't know if/when I would ever see it on draft around here.
Appears a light gold with a small off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of bready, biscuits, citrus, rich resinous hoppy pine, and vanilla. Much like The Elder.
Taste is of the same and very delicious with a touch of caramel standing out.
Mouthfeel is slightly sugary and mildly piney, woody, and candy.
Drinkability is decent with some ABV that's noticable.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 17:56:46 | More by weeare138
Photo of baiser
baiser

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pretty excited when I saw this on tap at the Toronado towards the end of their barleywine fest. Pours a hazy golden copper body, with a white fluffy head. Tremendous aroma, delicious west coast style hops. peachy, grapefruit, intense. First taste, so smooth, you don't notice the 11% abv at all. Tremendous beer, probably the best DIPA I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2006 08:07:52 | More by baiser
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my notes on recent trip, poured into a sampling glass.

I have to say, I was excited about this one... a west coast double IPA straight from the source, went at it first.

Pours a fuzzy light golden amber with a decent head and lacing here and there down the glass. Aroma is floral with hops, grapefruit.. my favorite smell.. and piny as the hops dominate. Taste is likewise, and I'm not complaining, and covers up the ABV... 11%!... good mouth. I want to bring a case home!

This one hid the alcohol so well, I had to slow down after the first one.. I drank it so fast, I was so excited:)

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2006 00:05:25 | More by objectivemonkey
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy light amber body, a solid head and lots of splashy lacing

Smell: A wondeful grapefruit and floral aroma beckons the drinker

Taste: Sweet biscuity foreground which is joined by a magnificent combination of bitter grapefruit and sweet floral flavors which persist well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation\

Drinkability: A truly engaging and refreshing concoction

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2006 22:28:04 | More by brentk56
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

thx george

glowing orange and clear in my brooklyn snifter. cloudy patterns of bubble haze gather and swirl on the surface. lacing sticks all about the glass... romantic in its appearance.

smells harshly of orange liqueur.. oily alcohol and crystalline caramel sugars. opening of the nostrils allows a steady flow of near-noxious ethyl gases. citrusey and sweet but with consequences. rocket fueled ipa for sure.

feels silky and syrupy.. comforting and warming going down. taste is along the line of behemoth BW, but this beer manages to hop itself into next week and maintain the double ipa thing. a new dimension of hops dominated by orange essence does its best to mask the abv. very little tart grapefruity hops.. this is more sweet, sweet, and sweet fruitiness. nice twist on the style with acidic fresh mcintosh apple skin crispness. some elements of the spicing here are extremely floral, rose and honeysuckle accenting the final product.

this is good, but overall way too huge for my current tastes. that said, i can totally respect its uniqueness and think that despite my personal opinions this is a really fuckin good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2006 01:52:51 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with RedwoodGeorge. Thanks for the opportunity... Brewed 1/3/2006, hand-bottled via counter-pressure system 1/19/06.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/8" off-white head over the clear light amber brew. Head fades reasonably quickly, with plentiful lacing. Aroma is a twinge of tangerine, and then christmas tree pine aroma that dominates it all. Flavor is as the nose indicates, with a fruitiness upfront that is quickly shouted down by the piney-yet-somewhat-fruity hops explosion. I can feel enamel dripping off my teeth, and it's great! Mouthfeel is amazing, that for all the hops power, it still has discernable flavors, and drinkability is superb for the style, not just another bottle of hops with a grain hull or two for color. Worth the hype. Thank goodness for "George's Unauthorized Home Bottling Project".

Serving type: growler

03-20-2006 23:30:01 | More by ppoitras
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RedwoodGeorge for this handbottled bomber, counterpressure filled from a keg and sent off to me. Pliny The Younger pours from the bomber an amazingly clear bright orange/peach color with a half inch of frothy bubbly white head on top. Slow carbonation rises up to meet some sticky lacing. Aromas of beautiful, vibrant hop cones attack my senses with bold citrus, grapefruit and pine needle aromas. A sweet, slighty doughy caramel undercurrent is present as well. Quite possibly hop nirvana. Green, leafy, floral and quite simply enchanting. Wow.

First sip brings a rush of intense piney and citric hop oils across the palate. Bitterness establishes itself from the get go as the resinous hops relentlessly attack the palate. The underlying caramel, mildly doughy maltiness does a good job of holding things together. Such an awe inspiring amalgamation of wonderful hop flavors. Green, intense and vibrant, like sucking on a fresh hop cone. One awesomely hoppy, incredibly tasty brew, no doubt about it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is a joy to drink. Honestly, the only hinderance to the drinkability here is the high abv, otherwise I could sit and enjoy this fabulously hoppy brew all day long. A hopheads dream come true, I only hope to have the chance to sample this again someday. Guess it's time to plan that trip to California, so I can sit and adore this one at the source. Russian River strikes again!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2006 04:08:01 | More by orbitalr0x
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Crosling

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 Gallon growler. Mild peach color, bordering on orange. Unbelievable hop aroma, loads of fruit, particular grapefruit and orange. The aroma is very vibrant and fresh, but also extremely dry, emphasis of an enormous and ridiculous dry hop, which we all know Vinnie has trademarked. The body is very rich and full, giving not only malt balance, but a variety of rich malt flavors, especially caramel and toffee, along with a light fruit platter. The hop character is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, but in such an unbelievably great way. Wow, such a hop monster, but still balanced in a completely maniacal way.

Serving type: growler

03-13-2006 23:16:57 | More by Crosling
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Received from the BA's BA, RedwoodGeorge, as part of his recent Home Bottling Project. Thanks a million George for bringing smiles to this hoppy beer lover, along with many others.

Electric tangerine with juicy pineapple edges. The French vanilla canopy is three fingers in height and looks incredibly thick, rich and creamy. There's been very little deflation in the several minutes since the pour and it appears as if the head will last forever. I don't have forever, though, because I'm dying to take a sip. It eventually melts just enough to reveal a thick, sticky coat of lace with a few dots of visible glass. I prefer dirty, hop-flecked DIPAs, but this one is more than superb.

The nose is, without question, one of the best in all of beerdom. I was pretty sure that it would be pure hoppy bliss... and it is. And then some. There's an incandescent, brain-filling explosion of the sweetest, juiciest hops imaginable each time I venture anywhere near the glass. Thankfully, the malt is buried without a trace, allowing the hops to work their incredible, lupulinirific magic. One of the best of all-time.

Pliny The Younger is a gorgeous, unbelievably delicious Double IPA. There's no question in my mind that this style should be all about the hops. Those that favor the caramel malty, more balanced side of the DIPA continuum, edging into barleywine territory, miss the opportunity to brew transcendent, explosively hop-centric beer, the likes of which is sitting before me right now. Make no mistake, this one is all about the hops. And hops. And more hops.

There's a solid, sugar cookie-like maltiness that lays down an unshakable base and provides support for whatever tonnage of hoppage that may be thrown its way. The trick is in laying off any hint of toastedness or caramel-like flavors that would dilute or mask the citric hoppiness. Lightly (and I do mean lightly) brown sugar-crusted candied grapefruit peel abounds, along with a blissful bitterness that is unrelenting in its pithy intensity.

I may be able to appreciate the slightest hint of bitter orange, but white grapefruit is front, center and side-to-side. I'd love to know what varieties comprise the hop bill, but it's pretty obvious that the best hops in the known universe (one or more of the 4-Cs) are represented in a major way. I just can't get over the liquid candy-like, sweet and bitter, unalloyed nature of the hoppiness. Pliny is everything that you've heard it is and is everything that I hoped it would be.

It's nearly impossible to completely bury a 10.5% ABV, but Russian River has given it a Hurculean effort. I'm not sure that I'd want the alcohol to be completely absent since it provides a power and presence that lets you know that this is a serious beer that must be respected. Hell, I repect it for the flavor alone. Maybe it's my elation at the out-of-this-world taste, but I'm halfway through the bomber and I'm barely feeling it. This is the most drinkable 10.5%'er ever!

The mouthfeel is simply perfect. Mouthfillingly full with an incredible lasting stickiness after the swallow. Lushly sappy is my favorite sort of DIPA mouthfeel and this beer fits that descripton to a 'T'. When it comes to the carbonation, I have to give credit to RedwoodGeorge for the amazing re-bottling effort. I had some qualms that PTY would be over-carbonated, but that hasn't been borne out in the actual drinking. It's perfect: enlivening without being the least bit spritzy, fading to muted by the second half of the bomber.

I held off on contacting RedwoodGeorge for a trade that would have brought me a growler of Pliny The Younger because I knew that I would love this beer more than any other that I've ever had and wanted to experience it in Santa Rosa, as it should (ideally) be experienced. When the opportunity came my way, however, thanks entirely to George's incredible generosity, I just couldn't turn down the chance to try one of the world's best.

Before cracking the crown, I told myself that there was no way I could give perfect scores to a beer that had been re-bottled from a keg, no matter how outstanding. I'm glad to report that I was wrong. Pliny The Younger is a remarkable beer that transcends any attempt on my part to put its magnificence into words. I still plan to make it out to Santa Rosa some day. When I do, I'm going to ask the Alstroms to come up with a rating scale that includes sixes, 'cause I'm gonna need 'em.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2006 23:40:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.63/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled thanks to RedwoodGeorge and his most Excellent trade!

Pours a clear copper colored ale that forms a surprising amount of head in my Duvel tulip glass despite the alcohol level.

Smell is vast quantities of fresh hops, I can tell THAT 3 feet from the glass as I look at it. Big abundant hop aromas here. The first thing that hits your nose is a stiff aroma of bitter oranges and Meyer lemons, a very citrus smelling IPA. Lots of pine and spice scents are in this one. Black pepper, lemon grass, cardamom, fennel. Fruit scents of papaya, mango, pineapple and probably others, this stuff numbs up your sense of smell after a while.

Taste is surprisingly mild at the beginning and is dominated by fruit flavors, peaches, melon and passion fruit at the start. Spicy hops flavors join in next pepper coriander, lemon zest, angostura bitters, and a bit of juniper berry. Quite a tasty beer indeed!

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A super tasty beer here that I could almost give straight 5s for but I do think Pliny the Elder and Three Floyds Dreadnaught are just a little better. Having said that I will hit this stuff like a starving Mako Shark anywhere I see it offered. Word Class Beer! That sums this up.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2006 02:50:40 | More by Zorro
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erica

California

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

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying this lovely beer in a lovely 2 liter Russian River growler. Shared samples with some friends at Bethlehem Brew Works, then revisited it a few days later so I could write about it.

Appearance was decent- on the first opening, there was a pretty lively fluffy ivory head which faded away after a few minutes, very aromatic. Nice sticky lacing too. The second time there were only a few bubbles on top that went away quickly, but the beer was still far from flat. Color is clear reddish-amber, deep yet bright orange, almost looks like a sunset. Very pretty.

Smell is Hop-City! A gang of hops smacks you in the face andfills your sinuses and lungs with a strong piny floral hoppiness. Not sure how else to describe it. Just mega-hops. Taste again, it's like drinking a hop-farm, yet this beer is far from bitter. It's really amazing how balanced it is considering how strongly hopped it is. Very floral, and a bit of a wheaty taste, it's just so good, you should just quit reading reviews and go taste it yourself. Can't really taste the alcohol either. Just extreme hops and almost too balanced it's scary.

Mouthfeel is well-carbonated but a little thick actually, it leaves a sort of hop oil coating on your tongue and throat- this would actually be a good thing to drink of one has a sore throat or a cough, as it's a tad bit syrupy. It would probably clear out your sinuses as well. The finish is very dry though, mouth-puckering and leaving you wanting more more MORE!!! Drinkability is excellent, as it is so hopped yet balanced, and the alcohol doesn't rear its head until it slides down your throat. Then you start to feel quite warm and fuzzy all over, inside and out. I was more than happy to share the wealth of this one but glad I had more to myself too!

Big big thanks to TheLongBeachBum for sending this to me!!

Serving type: growler

02-27-2006 17:03:40 | More by erica
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

4.95/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliny the Younger made the journey across the country in a 22 oz. bomber, bottled from a 5 liter keg using a counterpressure filler by BA RedwoodGeorge. While the bottling was unofficial, the beer coming out of bomber was in a very good shape. The head was one finger thick, which is a little small for the style, but it did stay put for a good little while. The underlying body was clear pale orange, and well carbonated. The looks were classic DIPA, while aroma took the style up a few notches. The smell was enticingly grapefruity, and peppery, with a very sweet smelling malt backbone. The juiciness of the smell was certainly mouth watering, and the taste did not disappoint. Quite citric and pungent, the hop laden flavor was cut by a lot of malt sweetness. The low perceived bitterness and well hidden alcohol made for an easy to drink brew. The mouthfeel was sticky, minerally, and thick, with a peppercorn zest in the aftertaste. With so much to enjoy in each sip, there was nothing to complain about the time that I had draining my imperial pint. The alcohol only became evident as the beer came near room temperature, but never did it feel like an obtrusive spoilsport. This drank much easier than the 10.5% strength it possessed would have suggested. A craft brewing masterpiece that deserves all the hype it gets. This beer was big, but still in a very delicate state of balance. Muscular, clean, and beautiful, there was none of the sloppy flab in here found in so many big beers. A Charlize Theron among beers.

Serving type: growler

02-25-2006 05:06:32 | More by rajendra82
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TheLongBeachBum

California

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

Presentation: A Growler freshly plundered and expertly filled at Hollingshead Deli in Orange this past weekend.

Appearance: A massive thrupp resounded from the RRBC Growler, only the proper Growler for this one! Hey this is a little darker than I recall from earlier rounds of this one, though that was in Bars and my mind can play tricks on me. Fiercely examined at close quarters with a sober light, this has a soft lush fettered peach skeleton with a nectarine body that exhibits some faded gold wedding ring flashes. Shear white head, rises boldly, it will fight you if you want. Nice off-white lacing and fresh carbonation lend a lively “young” feel to this one. Gentle swirls reveal the true nature of this brew. A milky mélange settles out to reveal the dog’s hoppy bollocks. Hard to knock.

Nose: Mmmm, I just burnt out my Septum…..4 lines of Pliny the Younger and that’s it. Dilated nostrils and hop oils trickle down the back of my throat. Fresh cut ferociously rubbed hops straight from the vine rubbed in the palms. I’ll whiff this one for weeks…..least I hope so.

Taste: The bell tolls and I am sure I get my lights punched out way before the ringing in my ears dissipates. The hops are intense, but unlike other “hop bombs” the overt yet fine-tuned balance is shattering in its perfect balance. The malts lay under the see-saw and act like the ideal fulcrum for the alcohol and bitterness. The piney Pliny has the hoppiness, but it’s in check, and it just pumps you relentlessly. I love it.

Mouthfeel: Now you’re playing with the Big Boys. A Wolf in Fairies clothing of sorts. Hard but soft. “Oh my Grandma, what big hairy balls you have”, “All the better to fuck you senseless with my dear….”. This one will get you, even if you ain’t wearing a red hood.

Drinkability: Half the Growler has gone and it’s getting to 1pm, I better leave the rest of this one for later…..no I really should,…..I must not drink any more……work tomorrow……Growler back in fridge…..must go to Bed…..don’t clean teeth…taste and dream HOPS…..I am so fucking tempted to drain this Growler and take a day off work tomorrow!! What’s the bet that I wake up on the Sofa at 5am with an empty Growler!?

Overall: My first Review of this marvel was for a Pub based experience, far from accurate I am sure, but I just wanted to record and portray the experience rather than the technicalities. But now, sat at home with my very own Russian River Growler that started life with Deification barely 6 weeks ago, it is now staring at me like a corner-hanging panty waving crack whore touting for business. I can’t think of anything except, what is wrong with this, what could be better?! (The beer that is not the whore). Well, it could be easier to get a hold of for a start, and, erm, well that’s it. I’m sure this has just got better since I last tried it too.

Perfect!? I….think…..so…..but why do I feel reluctant when I type that? Perhaps because it means the end of a beer journey in a way maybe!? Well not quite, I’m sure that today’s 5.0 will be tomorrows 4.75 when the next marvelous Ambrosia to come out of Santa Rosa appears and realigns the envelope. Change is the only constant, but right now I’d settle for this being a constant in my life.

Utterly Remarkable, Staggeringly Brilliant and Classically Definitive!!

Serving type: growler

02-09-2006 08:58:30 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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SwillinBrew

California

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

To me, this is the perfect beer. I've since had 7 growlers of it from Hollingshead and am finally reviewing.

A - a rich honeyish amber color with a little apricot with a creamy smallish egg white head. Many little buggles dance in my goblet.
S - solid wall of floral pine assail my nose. Very crisp and present aroma that opens up as the beer warms down a bit. Scent does punch you in the nose in a good teasing way... oh this teasing.
T - the scent segues to a delicious meadow of flowery citrus that says hops, pine and grapefruit live here. Enter if you dare, and you do. Strongly hopped but remarkably balanced per se. The malt backbone allows the hops to really shine, like salt added to cookie dough. There is a faint hint of alcohol that is hidden very well so watch out.
M&Dr - nicely carbonated and a bit viscous, ambrosia i say. This is one aggressive beer not for the faint hearted and definitely meant to be appreciated. Sip this with delight.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2006 06:30:10 | More by SwillinBrew
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Mark

California

4.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Was very pleased to find this at a favorite little place of ours, Pleasantons Main Street Brewery. Nice crysal clear light amber color was topped by a nice white head that retained well and left nice patterns of lace. Aroma, hops hops and more hops. Very piney and inviting. Taste, very hoppy with emphasis on the pine, fantastic freash taste and very smooth despite the high bittering. Not thick and viscous like some other beers of theis type can be. How can I give a average drinkability score to a beer that tastes exceptional? Well I don't think beers in the 11% realm are the kind you sit around and knock back. This is a great beer but I don't look to get ripped on one brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2006 00:21:37 | More by Mark
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Dukeofearl

California

4.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap 1/28/06 at Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA. $4.50 for a 25 cl "half" order.

Pours a rich full deep golden orange that looks very syrupy. A very slight bit of bubbles cling for dear life at the top.

This is one well constructed beer. I went in expecting a hop bomb overload that would blow its uncle Pliny the Elder (check your Roman history for their relationship) hoppiness out of the water. I was wrong. This still has a huge strong fruity hop profile, but it is well balanced by a solid malt underpinning, with brandy-like qualities.

This is one of those dangerous beers- a sipper that is really easy to drink right down. Alcohol is nicely present, but oh-so hidden. Watch out!

A very good beer. To be honest, I like the Elder better, but that's just personal taste- this is one incredible beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2006 15:49:44 | More by Dukeofearl
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,285 ratings.