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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,270 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,270
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,015
Gots: 88 | 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: 2,270 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orbitalr0x


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
Photo of Crosling


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
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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


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
Photo of erica


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


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
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


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
Photo of SwillinBrew


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
Photo of Mark


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
Photo of Dukeofearl


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
Photo of SteveO1231


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

Finally got a sample of the all mighty "Younger" from the Liar's Club in Mission Beach @$2.75 a glass, can't beat it.

Poured in a snifter, dark orange amber color with an awesome creamy white head that reduces to a nice thin layer of white. The ceamy white lacing paints the inside of my glass as I sip. Moderate carbonation.

Very nice aroma of caramel malts and tons of grassy/citrusy/pine hops.

Really very nice taste! Sweet caramel malt sweetness and an awesome grapefruit rind bitterness. This brew is so drinkably smooth I cannot believe it, alcoholic brand flavor really stands out. Younger leaves a lip smacking pine tar dryness on the palate.

Thick and syrupy texture.

Awesome brew, very balanced, the high alcohol level is very warming. I wish I could get this more regularly.


Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2006 22:31:54 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of OStrungT


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

After months of patience, I finally got the chance to try this fine beer. I had it on tap at the Liars Club. All I can say is wow.

This beer pours a golden yellow with a thick fluffy off white head. The head fades slowly leaving thick laces all around the glass.

This beer has a hoppy aroma, but it is n ot overbearing like similar beers. I was surprised at how balanced the aroma was. It smells grassy. Also, I can detect a citurs aroma. A very slight piney aroma mixes in making this beer smell incredable.

This beer has a grassy hoppy flavor. It tastes hoppier than it smells. It has a plesent citrus, grapefruitlike flavor to it. It also has a strong piney flavor. I can detect some alcohol flavor in the finish.

This beer is very full bodied. It has a very aggressive, yet also quite pleasent flavor. It is carbonated well. It leaves a grassy aftertaste.

I dont know how good of a session beer this would make. 11% ABV is a little high. Also, the flavor is quite aggressive. I am sad that I am not at the Liar's Club still to drink some more. I hope to get another chance to sample this beer again soon.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2006 03:27:41 | More by OStrungT
Photo of pjwilson


4.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: that's a fine looking glass of beer, that can't be denied. Pours a nice pale, slightly amber color. That is some haziness to it, the hoppier the beer the more hazy. poured in to a pair of pint glasses to share with my dad. that head stayed along time.

smell: volumes and volumes and volumes of hop aroma. However, it doesn't really smell all that different than the standard Russian River IPA or Pliny the Elder for that matter.

taste: well, i ate a small dinner and i can feel a buzz with one sip. You can taste the hop fiber, alcohol, more hop flavor. There is alot of bitterness, more than the elder by far. The bitterness drowns out more of the flavor, however, there is still quite a bit of hop flavor in this sucker. If there was something like hop jucie this is. This tastes as close to "beer" as lambic does, if you get my drift. over the course of a pint i warmed to this beer more and more and it's not as bitter as some other beers i've had, again more hoppy than bitter.

mouthfeel: you can actually feel the coursness of hops in the mouthfeel. While that is probably an illision, to say that this beer is syurpy, would be an understatment.

drinkabiliy: it's a sipper, but i'd imagine most triple ipa's would be.

My quest for the hoppest beer in the world ends here.(come to think of it i wasn't really on a quest, but i degress) However, this isn't really a beer I'd like to have that often really. Pliny the Elder is far more drinkable, and is just an all around more balanced great beer. I know this beer is a hop showcase, but I think just a hair more "oumpf" in the malt deparment would improve it. Still what can I say, if you see it you'll no doubt grab a growler, although a growler is sure alot of this beer, i would recomind enjoying this beer very, very slowly

Serving type: growler

01-17-2006 04:08:41 | More by pjwilson
Photo of clvand0


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

This beer pours a golden color with a nice head that falls quickly but leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is very well balanced with the high level of hops and maltiness. Smells very nice. The flavor is much the same. Very hoppy and resiny, but the malt backing is just right to make it very well balanced. Finish is very bitter. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is very good for the abv.

Serving type: growler

12-10-2005 17:47:33 | More by clvand0
Photo of ManekiNeko


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

Served on tap at the Brickskeller in DC in a pint glass. Cellar temps, to boot.

Appearance: What the heck, it's actually pale!!! Honey golden yellow. Slightly hazy, but I'd still call this clear if pressed. Head is not overly present, but the barkeep apparently felt a full pour was warranted given the price ($7 per glass). Frankly, can't say I blame her. What head there was dissapated to a film and left decent amounts of lacing on the glass. Extra special kudos for actually being yellow, only impressive given what follows.

Smell: Honeysuckle-like floral aromas mixed with a heady amount of apricots. Sappy woodsy/earthiness underneath that. Some yeasty phenols lurking around. Overall, a hearty dose of tropicalia. Hoppy, but not. Yeasty, but not. Malty, but not. Stank and dank. Heady.

Taste: Honey-like sweetness for a brief instant, then smashed - Hulk-like - by piney bitterness. Alcohol and tropical citrus on the long lasting finish. Grainy malts with grassy hops on the extreme end (like, 50 seconds after a sip).

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light, given both the style and the ABV. What the heck was that again? 11%? You gotta be kidding me...While you know this is boozy by the slight burn, you wouldn't think it's that high.

Drinkability: I feel like I've quaffed some cross between the movie "What the *BLEEEP* Do We Know?" and the book, "Gödel, Escher, Bach." I just faced an onslaught - verging on a cacophony - of malts, hops and yeast. Hops eked out, barely, over the others. I can't honestly say I got the intent, or the entire point, but gawdamn do I think that this is the epitome of extreme beer. All other claimants, while possibly good/great, are just some other beer or beer style turned up to 11. This is something else entirely. Possibly something new under the sun.

I'm still confoozled. Maybe a few more pints will help me figure things out...

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2005 05:05:21 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Thanks to Kmpitz2 for sharing his growler...I wouldn't have done it for him. This beer is just too good. I have often criticized Double IPA's for trying to acheive balance when IPA's are supposed to be completely out of balance. This beer taught me better. Sweet and bitter can come together in a great IPA. The look is solid but to be expected straw, golden with a haze and incredible head retention. Aroma is bitter and hop flavored solidly, but not to knock your socks off. A boquet of hops is the fullest and roundest that I have had without intimidation. The flavor is a combination of sweet malts that hinge on confectionate sugar and cotton candy with a yeasty (almost musky) aura about it that adds much complexity. The hops give tremendous, but not sharp, bittering and pine, oak, nut, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper flavors. The carbonation always kept the beer soft and creamy. Never prickley or hot. Finishes a combined sweet and bitter. Not as drying as you'd think. The high alcohols hit only in the aftertaste and never become fusal or too sweet. This is truely and ideal beer.

Serving type: growler

11-28-2005 21:39:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kmpitz2


4.85/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy peach color with a 2 finger white head taht sticks around very well. Just doesn't look dark enough for me. Nose is sweet and hoppy. Citrusy sweet with a nice caramel background. Light notes of earthyness from the hop. Decent spun sugar sweetness. Very enticing IIPA. Flavor is all about balance. Citrusy hop and deep sweet caramel malt blast initially, with just a touch of earthyness from hop. It fades to a mellow caramel sweetness and moderate, but very calm and mellow bitter on the finish. Wow. Everything is in awesome harmony. Feel is thick with a light to moderate carbonation. Bitter hangs on just long enough to beckon me back in. Burps are also all about the balance...sweet and hoppy. Drinkability is way too good on this one. Just looked and saw the 11% and I don't believe it. Hot damn. I am very pleased with this to say the least.

Serving type: growler

11-23-2005 00:57:27 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of SheepNutz


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

A huge thanks to Kev for sharing this one. Also thanks to Lou91 for bringing this from Cali! 2L growler poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy medium orange color with two fingers of head. There's a decent amount of lacing. The smell is pure hop juice. Hop oil is what you get here! I'm lovin' every bit. If I knew what heroin was like, this would probably be damn close. The taste is also chock full of hops. The maltiness is there just enough to hold the beer together, but the hops shine through. No alcohol in sight, it's unreal. The mouthfeel is so thick and heavy. Just wow. The drinkability is beyond all awesomeness. I cannot believe this is an 11% brew. Lies I tell you! All lies!!! A really really fantastic beer.

Serving type: growler

11-23-2005 00:56:02 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of sloejams


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

I was lucky enough to have a friend bring me a growler of this, last month after a trip to Northern California. Immediately after opening the growler the hop punch hit me. A bouquet of hops almost overwhelm me. It poured a golden haze while the aroma continued to permeate my senses. The balanced foam head filled out what looked to be a picturebook painting of what a pint should look like. The scents still swimming around my nose: piney, gorgeous hops with a slight citrus undertone. It was a complex aroma that was truly remarkable.

My first sip completed everything. The aroma perfectedly made it’s way to the taste: it was a complex delight of many flavors, including a slight sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit creamy, well carbonated but decidedly easy drinking for it’s 11% ABV.

This is as closed to a perfect beer as it can come, possibly the best beer I’ve ever had.

Serving type: growler

11-21-2005 01:19:29 | More by sloejams
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mostly diminishing, but initially generous white head takes position above a straight golden body. Extremely complex hops nose hints at most nuances you can think of, all ahead prefumey and piney, but underneath hinting at a broad range of citrus fruits, leafy and minty in nature. Might gain a bit from being less liquorous, but this nose is truly fantastic, magical hoppiness I’d dare say, with maltiness being certainly felt if not exactly managing to show any flavours all the way through the hops. Palate is oily, full, slick, tannic and liquorous, hence surprisingly sweet, but it works thanks to a controlled level of citric acidity.

Serving type: growler

11-08-2005 01:19:21 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of meathookjones


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

Growler split between a few people. Crystal clear golden orange body with a tall off white foamy head. Sticky and clumpy lacing galore. Huge hoppy as hell aroma that is spectacular. Pine and citric hops just bombard your nose. Some nice floral hops in there as well. Very light sweetness in the nose that seems to be just enough to make it seem balanced even though this is overflowing with hoppy goodness. The flavor is packed full of hop goodness. Very juicy with hops and it has a good amount of the hop sweetness that I taste in 120 minute but without going overboard. Citric, pine and floral earthy flavors are there in abundance. Pretty much hop juice is the way I would describe it. It’s fairly bitter but not to the point of being a palette destroyer. Mouthfeel is ridiculously smooth for the strength and the hoppiness. Just the right amount of body to it. No alcohol to be found anywhere. It couldn’t be any more drinkable, it almost went down like water. While most of my other favorite double IPAs are the smack you around and rip your tongue out kind this one manages to be a super refined and smooth hop bomb that managed to stay balanced and still hoppy as hell.

Serving type: growler

10-20-2005 18:02:52 | More by meathookjones
Photo of LuckySevens82


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

Huge-ass growler courtesy of RedwoodGeorge. You are a prince among men.

Pours a hazy coppery color with a very nice, thick, almost injection molded, pure white head. Lacing and retention are both spectacular. This beer just screams drink me from the moment it hits the glass.
Smell is a hop head's wet dream. Nothing but hops, pure, unadulterated hop aroma. Well balanced and just superb. Piny, citrusy, and just a bit earthy. Some alcohol in the nose, but at 11% it's not surprising. Everything is balanced out nicely with just a hint of toffee.
Taste, again, is just amazing. This is hop juice pure and simple. What starts off slightly sweet, and a little caramelly, easly blends into a piny, bitter and downright great taste. Loads of hops in this one, that's for sure, and yet it doesn't seem overdone. I've had some DIPAs that are just acrid with hops where as this beer blends everything together so nicely it's hard to find fault. There is, of course, a slight (very slight) alcohol warming sensation as this one goes gleefully down my throat.
Mouthfeel is just what I want from a DIPA, not tooth enamel stripping, but not something that is going to feel like water going down. With the amount of hops in this it's amazing that the former isn't the case.
Drinkability is insane for the alcohol content. I could easily drink this beer all night and not have any complaints. Of course, the next morning might be a problem, but I'm sure it would be a fun night.
Overall, this is easily one of the best IPAs if not one of the best beers I've ever had. It stands to style, and takes it just one or 10 steps further than you would have thought possible. An impeccable beer from an even more impeccable brewery.

Serving type: growler

10-01-2005 00:56:01 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of mntlover


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

Many thanks go to RedwoodGeorge for this wonderful fresh 67.6 oz/ 2 liters of pure heaven on earth.

This baby pours a lightly hazy peach color with a nice fluffy white two finger sized head, leaves lots of lace web down my glass. For an 11% brew this nice big head was not expected but is wonderful. The growler itself is great the coolest looking growler I have seen.

Aroma is holy cow wet sticky fresh from the vine hops. Fresh pine tree dripping sticky sap all wraped in grapefruit rinds. Like sticking your head in a barrel of fresh hop. There is some bready malt underneath along with hints of spiciness. If you love hops this is for you, I have never smelled anything this good, strong and fresh before.

Taste is big full huge amounts of hops very nice lots of juicey flavors fruity and piney tingle the taste buds. Man its like chewing on fresh hops how does Vinnie get so much hop flavor in this one? Its like randalized beer without the green stuff in your teeth. OK all these hops and you would think just tounge numbing bitterness but no, it is bitter but more balanced then should be possible.There is a lingering grapefruit bitterness with hints of pine but nice bready malt base does come thru and adds some sweetness also some spice shows up but probably coming from the huge amount of hops. This one truly is a triple IPA unlike the other triple IPA that tastes more like a barley wine, nothing against Devil Dancer but this is the shit here. This is the big IIPA all should be judged by.

Mouthfeel is nice smooth big almost creamy but a little to much carbonation for creamy. The carbonation adds a touch of zest to the hops. You can almost feel the hop oils rolling over your tounge.

Drinkability is beyond great, where the hell is the 11% well after a few pours I know its there and didn't finish my growler in one night so it will kick your ass atleast for a light weight like me but you will not know it until you get up. The only thing hurting drinkability here is having to go to Santa Rosa to get more. Vinnie can you please bottle this and send some to the Vintage Cellar. I have rated one other beer a 5.0 but that was probably a mistake, no mistake here you want the best triple IPA, or double as stylized by BA, then this is the one to rule them all. Again want to thank RedwoodGeorge for this one.

Serving type: growler

09-25-2005 19:16:27 | More by mntlover
Photo of AdvocateFan


4.9/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ap: Hazy straw color, nice white head, fades pretty quickly, but hangs on exceptionally long for an 11% ABV brew. Collar remains indefinitely. Bubbles rise to the surface at a slow pace due to the apparent viscosity of this big brew.

Aroma: Huge resinous, ammonia-amped hop aroma. Fat, deep malts also evident. Fusel alcohol is also evident, but restrained. A gem on the nose for hopheads. Bristling with resins, pine and agro-grapefruit skins.

Taste: Fantastically big hop flavor slams the palate, but still, this is restrained when compared to their IPA or even Pliny the Elder, their double IPA. Vinnie Cirluzo is credited in some circles as the father of the double IPA, and this massive brew is billed as a triple IPA. Like the truly well done bourbons and cognacs out there, this big beer is smooth and quite elegant and deceptively potent.

Finish: Tight, drying bitterness is big, but there is actually a hefty malt backbone that somehow manages to support the huge hop load. Finishes with tons of resinous pine and hop-sap flavors with almost cloying malt and hop sweetness. Beautiful indeed.

Misc: Surprisingly easy to drink considering the hop and ABV content. I paid $26.75 for the original growler (had to buy one to fill), but couldn’t afford the weight on my flight home so had to have it mailed to me for what turned out to be an unexpectedly whopping $60. So, all told, for $86.75 for the growler, I’m taking my time sipping it. Thankfully the growler has a swivel-top clamp that makes for easy resealing. The most expensive brew I’ve purchased considering, but still, I’m gonna say it’s worth it to have this one in my fridge. A true indulgence and an absolute must for the hardcore hopheads out there. Genius in a bottle. I was so ridiculously jealous of the local Santa Rosans who can just walk in and order a 10-oz serving of this beer any time they want (though it's plainly stated that they're restricted to no more than 3 of the higher ABV beers per night). Lucky bastards! Service at the pub was fantastic and the gourmet pizzas were very nicely done.

Serving type: growler

09-22-2005 07:54:02 | More by AdvocateFan
Photo of lostbearbrew


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

Used 5 tickets to sample at the ABF. This is a combining of the notes I took each time..

How'd it look?: hazy honey yellow body with frothy head.

Olfactory Rating: Foresty Citrus Fresh Baked Sweet Bread. This beer is almost as confusing in the amount of smells it provides as any I've sampled. Was first, third, fifith, and then seventh and eigth samples I tried Friday night. Glad I tried it so many times up front, as it was gone fairly fast, and I could smell more layers in the beer than I might have later on.

Taste Buds say: sweet, almost amzingly so, as the nose doesn't hint that is the first thing you'll taste. Malt sits up front and Vinnie's use of sugar in the brews to up alch % and add sweetness comes through. Then, the hops explode - and the alchohol slowly works it way down the throat. The hops are almost like chewing on a piece of grapefruit covered in pine tar. Very intense, and the only other beer I've had that compares, is Dreadnaught. Alch flavor is there, but not highly present. Simply stunned, these taste buds are.

Mouthfeel: Very rich taste, covers the tongue, and attaches to the top of the palette.

Despite an 11% abv...this is one drinkable beer.

Finally found my notes from that weekend in Boston and am adding in reviews as I can.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2005 18:38:09 | More by lostbearbrew
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,270 ratings.