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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,606 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,606
Reviews: 896
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,998
Gots: 222 | 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
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Ratings: 2,606 | Reviews: 896 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JSEg
4.92/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer. Worth waiting 8 hours? Probably not. But what beer is worth 8 hours? Overhyped? Not by a long shot. Russian River really put a ton of work into this beer and it shows. The smell was incredible; intense grapefruit which I love. This beer is 10% but is not boozy what-so-ever. In fact, almost no alcohol taste and very easy to drink. I think everyone owes it themselves to at least experience this beer once.

Photo of zenithberwyn
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Falling Rock, February 22. 10.25% ABV

A: Clear body. Light copper color with a little head.

S: Loaded with hops, smells like Simcoe to me. Booze is noticeable. This is a huge beer.

T: Follows the nose. Huge hop bite without being too bitter. A little hot. PtE with just an absurd amount of hops. Incredibly drinkable all things considered.

M: It's no PtE in this dept but decently carbonated and a little sticky.

O: I'm not a ticker, but I'm really glad I had the opportunity to try this. It's an excellent beer, but would never waste 3 hours of a day again to get it. I can think of several IIPAs that are better and also aren't impossible to get.

Photo of Marshall_ofmcap
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of mc4z
5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado (SF). This beer is awesome. I could dock random 1/4 points, but for the style, it doesn't get any better. This pours a medium orange color that is surprisingly see through. The smell is juicy citrus fruit with a light sweetness. The taste is lots of strong citrus fruit. It's bitter, but at the same time balanced by the sweetness from all the malt. There is virtually no alcohol presence, which is quite a feat for an 11% beer. This beer is incredibly drinkable and perfectly balanced. Far and away my favorite TIPA.

Photo of UAhobbes
4.9/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been about the hype for two years now...learning about the Younger releases last year and missing my opportunities. After striking out twice already this year, my opportunity came this morning (2/22/14). After the hours of driving, parking, waiting, holding in a coffee dump, waiting, making small talk, waiting, finding a quick spot for said coffee dump, waiting, taking pictures, waiting, and more waiting....my snifter was poured and the deliciousness was before me.

It's an odd feeling, seeing 6 ounces in front of you and realizing that each ounce equated an hour of your life. It's an odd feeling, having what you've "dreamt" over, researched, and hyped over to be in front of you. What do you do first?

Smell: It smells like heaven, or what I hope "heaven" to smell like. To me, it's smell is the liquid brother of bacon smell. The aroma coming off this thing was amazing. Super piney with hints of citrus.

Taste: I sipped too quickly. I don't know if it was the hours of waiting or the general anticipation of it all but I sipped before it had a chance to open up. The first taste, to me, wasn't worth the hype. It wasn't until five-ten minutes went by that I realized just how delicious this beer tasted. The longer I waited, the better it became. The Younger went down so easily, especially for it's 11 ABV.

Overall: Worth it. The combination of how delicious it was, coupled with the camaraderie one creates with other beer nerds makes for a wonderful experience. I'm glad this isn't an everyday beer for it gives us something to yearn for throughout the year.

Long story short, enjoy the process and let it breathe.

Photo of mbw314
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beersgud
4.66/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stem glass poured from tap at tap room San Diego's 7th anniversary party.

Pours golden with about 3/4 inch head, ideal appearance for an IPA.

The aroma for some reason is a little hard to find. Very clean, but honestly not too strong. What I am finding is typical of the style. Piney with a hint of citrus.

Taste is where this beer really lives up to the hype. I can't imagine an IPA tasting a whole lot better than this. Remarkably clean for an 11 ABV. This beer goes down dangerously easy. So mellow for a beer that is so aggressively hopped.

Very light and airy but strikes the taste buds at the same time.

Overall, probably the best IPA I've ever had. A little bit better than a hopslam or an enjoy by, but not by a whole lot. Don't know if it's worth the hype, but then again, hype grows exponentially. Definitely worth seeking out if you can find it, but I wouldn't wait 8 hours at the brewery for it like some of the stories I've heard. All in all, an amazing beer, the gold standard for the style.

Photo of jweave16
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of DownInToMyBelly
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Maillard
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of EB1
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Bbates
2.67/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok guys.... This beer is pure marketing hype. I hate to be a buzzkill here, but anyone can create a beer that is so over-hopped that it kills the taste of a mediocre brew. When did overly-hopping a beer become the gold standard? This started in California and has unfortunately spread to other states. Hops do nothing but mask the true flavor of a brew, and have classically been used to cover up mistakes. In the case of Younger, a hop EXTRACT is used, ala Anheuser-Busch. Look, I LOVE beer- all styles but just as hops can set a brew off they can ruin it very quickly. It seems Belgian an German brewers, with centuries old tradition, have a firm grip on the concept of the judicious use of hops to complement a beer without overpowering it. The only explanation I can come up with is the fact that lupulin, a compound found in hops, works on the same receptors in the brain that THC does. At one point I had great hopes for the direction of brewing in the states, but am dismayed at the current school of thought that hops equals great. I know I may be ruffling a few feathers here but let's keep it real. This brew is pure viral marketing and nothing more. The best thing about Pliny the Younger is the sense of camaraderie it creates among those waiting 3+ hours in the rain for it. This is what people really love about it. That and the feeling of exclusivity they get from the unreasonably difficult process of obtaining it.

Photo of BigBlueShep
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Melman
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Hosack
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of wolf_switzer
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Brandon_G
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Erick_G
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of rhartogsq
4.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it in a wine glass type vessel at Toronado San Diego 2/18/14.

The color was a great, golden ale color. I was expecting a little darker, but you can't smell or taste color, so no worries. No head, no lacing.

I didn't get much on the nose surprisingly. some tropical notes for sure. Some hop oil.

Taste was great. The booze was minute in it. the hops didn't linger at all. very smooth and enjoyable. tropical hop extract perhaps?

mouth feel was very creamy and stuck to the side of your mouth, I liked that.

was happy I lucked into getting this beer to cross off my bucket list. Would have it again if available, but not wait for a long time in line for it. The experience drinking it with other people waiting for it was actually pretty neat, as we all had the same goal.

Photo of nickpro
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Booner818
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of cornejo
4/5  rDev -14.7%

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

On tap at Falling Rock in Denver.

After what I'd heard about the lines at the brewery in Santa Rosa, I didn't know what to expect here. Showed up at 4 pm. No line at all. Sat down. Had a blind pig and PtE while waiting and had my Younger handed to me at 6 pm.

What an experience. A true world class beer full of hops, pine, and citrus on the nose and tongue. Wonderful mouthfeel and a lovely light orange hue.

It lives up to the hype. If you have the chance, drink this beer.

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,606 ratings.