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Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
925 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
925
Ratings:
2,935
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
12.85%
 
 
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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.25%

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.

Added by xlperro on 01-27-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 925 | Ratings: 2,935
Photo of squaremile
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Memorable Quality: The smell is an out of this world basket of hops, the hops punched me in the face like I have never experienced from a beer before. I felt like I was chewing a hop plant. I thought about this beer for days after I drank it, thoroughly deserving of the hype, the best hoppy beer on the planet.

EDIT: This thing actually haunted me for months. No beers could get close to it. Amazing.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from growler golden honey, substantial head dissapates to in impressive thin bubbly swirling lace that refuses to fade. Not expecting this with a brew of such girth. Rings of lace cling to the snifter. Pungent citrus hop aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, and sticky sappy pine needles. It's hard to keep your nose out of the glass on this one. Taste is again a rush of citrus hops with a nice piney bitterness. Some very lite honey like malts sneak in mid way. Mouth is smooth but somewhat sticky. Finishes with a slight boozy warmth that coats the mouth with some apricot and again piney bitterness. The 11%abv was extremely well hidden and way to easy to drink. This was simply fantastic. Thanks so much Chris, for the unbelevable opportunity to try this from the source.

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Photo of Dajtai007
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It was on tap at Collin's Pub Seattle

I've been waiting for this beer for quite some time now, and there I was.
The aroma was so divine, deep ruby red grapefruit with a wonderful floral bouquet.
Taste was amazing. More so than the Elder. In a way that its more complex, lasting and bright.
I could drink this all night long, and I did!

One truly amazing DIPA. A fine example of RR excellence to world class beers!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found the Younger on tap - not once, but twice - today in Portland. 10 oz. pour at Concordia Ale House (tapered glass - $8), 10 oz. pour at Henry's Tavern (snifter - $6.25).

A: Clear golden/sunshine. Individual bubbles rise, slowly and lazily - not a very 'lively' look. Not much head either (barely 1/2 finger), a slight white cream; clings at the edges, a few floating suds at the center. Droopy lace, an indistinct pattern.

S: Placed at the center of the table, roughly 2 feet away from my nose, a perfume drifts over: sappy evergreen, orange citrus, mild honey/grain sweetness. Expected it to be bolder as it warmed, but it never grew - in fact, the aroma seemed to recede a little.

T: Burst of pine and pithy zest meets a tangy hop spicing. Flowery honey, sweetness of sticky buns. Develops quickly - transforming from a jarring jolt of hop spice/bitterness to a balanced citrus-y sweetness. Once the sharp hops subside, subtler elements like mint, even clove, enter. Doesn't kill the palate, a big plus.

M: Coating mouthfeel, thick and slightly chewy, remarkably creamy. Alcohol heat sneaks up just a little; some cheek-drawing warmth. Overall, a wonderous and exceedingly mellow feel.

D: Ridiculously drinkable for an 11% beer. Generally a fine DIPA, enjoyable in all ways. Taste approaches 'greatness' for me, everything else is 'good' or thereabouts. Would have again (and enjoyed twice in a day), but not one I have to rush out and have again. Won't go overboard with the glowing praise: it's a very good DIPA. Have one if you can find it.

On the personal side: I prefer Pliny the Elder

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Photo of ccrida
4.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Update 2/24/2010-
10 oz at County Cork for $5.75 IIRC. I enjoyed three glasses, and over all had a much more favorable impression them my first sampling, and have updated my scores to reflect it. In general, I found it to be exceptionally smooth, with only mild heat on the finish when I really looked for it. I don't feel that it's particularly hoppier tasting then PtE (I assume they've reached saturation point), and is simply a bit thicker and stronger, which detracts from the drinkability and overall enjoyment to PtE, which I prefer. A bit more of that resinous dank bite, but definately dangerous. Still, I don't think this would be the frenzy inducer that it is if it was a regular release. Luckily, PtE is!

Initial review 2/21/2009
ap-4
s-4.5
t-2.5
mf-3
d-2.5

10oz. snifter at the Concordia Ale House for a whooping $8 (granted hops aren't cheap now and there are clearly a lot in this, but still...). Clear pale orange with a light sand head.

The aroma is very fragrant and bright, much more resinous then the Elder, and really smells exactly like a bag of dried hops, with a blast of alcohol.

The taste was a let down for me. This beer is too hot and boozy for my taste. The 11% is painful, and detracts from the hop flavor, which ends up falling short complexity wise (e.g. the floral notes I enjoy in PtE), with a firm bitterness and dry finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily, solvent like, medium bodied.

Drinkabilty is pretty low all things considering, and overall I was sorely disappointed. PtE is one of my all time favorite beers, but probably I'll never bother having this again. If you can't find this but are eager to try it, take a PtE and drop a shot of vodka in it and you'll get the idea.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- This had a slightly foggy dark golden color. The head held up petty well. The place I was in was a bit dark so it was hard to see all the finer details of an appearance.

S- This smelled very very delicious. It was almost as if I had crushed up a fresh hop flower in to a fine powder and then snorted it. Very fragrant, lots of grapefruit citrus, yet had a slight dry smell to it. This also had a sweet smell, that of honey added in.

T- I've been waiting for this for a while and wow. The first sip was just too hard to take it all in. I was pumped to get the chance to even try this. I knew there would be hops, but I didn't know what to expect out of it. The hop taste is just like if you chewed up a few hop flowers and sucked down the goodness. The hop taste is slightly dry and I felt like there was a taste of dust in the aftertaste. The dusty taste reminded me of just a dusty attic or something to that effect. I think it was more of a dry taste note. There is also a nice bitterness in the aftertaste, not too bitter though. As far as sweetness goes it is sweet, but not nearly as sweet as a 120min IPA. One thing I like about this over the Elder, is this one isn't a palate killer. I could fully enjoy another beer style right after because it won't be too harsh. The one draw back to this beer is its sweetness, although good and has its place, I don't think I could drink a lot of this beer in one night, the sweetness would be too much for me. But I would like to have it on a regular tap line up for sure.

M- Just the right feel for the mouth.

D- This is very drinkable, but I think over time the sweetness would slow me down.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Grant for sharing this lovely growler treat.

Pours a beautiful gold color with a large frothy white head that reluctantly receded. Smells only of sweet, tangy c-hops that are the signature of west coast hop bombs. First sip is all puckering hops that are citrusy down to the bone. The hops overwhelmingly overpower the malts. There is no mistaking this Imperial IPA for an American Barley Wine...No sir! The 11% ABV is incredibly well hidden as I guessed on tasting it was around 8%. Tasty and unique. World Class

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Photo of gford217
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a growler, shared by an extremely generous California BA, poured into a tulip.

I've been waiting to try this one for quite a while and was pretty certain that it couldn't live up to my expectations. The growler was full to the brim and opened with only the slightest hiss.

The pour was very good, extremely clear amber with a hefty cream-colored head that hung around on top for a while and left a bit of lacing. A good start.

It didn't take me long to get a whiff of this beauty, with a huge hoppy kick up front, juicy citrus, grapefruit, mangos and even some pine as well. There is plenty of malts in the nose to keep the hops for becoming overpowering, great balance overall.

The taste is exceptional with lots of the aforementioned pine hops but with even more grapefruit and other citrus sweetness thrown in. The malts provide a nice balance underneath but the finish is definitely bitter and sticky with hops.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated with lots of hop juice and a bitterness that builds up after each sip.

This beer is certainly the most drinkable 11% beer I've ever tasted and probably one of the top few beers I've had in recent memory. Exceptional.

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Photo of DrewOSU
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got to enjoy this monster of a beer, thanks to beachbum1975!

A: Pours dark yellow to amber, with ¼ inch of frothy tan head. Layers of white sudsy lacing on initial pour.

S: The smell is amazing! Strong hop, citrus and pine notes on the nose. Very fragrant

M/T: Medium, syrupy body. A sting of alcohol with a clean but hoppy finish. This beer is HOT! Full flavored, with a strong alcohol presence on the tongue, that proceeds to the back of the throat. After initial hit, I get an explosion of bitterness, with a citrus finish.

D: For such a large beer, it drinks very well. The hops dissipates in the aftertaste, leaving you wanting more.

Monster beer through and through and the best double IPA I have ever had.

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Photo of craytonic
4.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an enormous sea-foam head that takes quite a while to subside, I quickly gave up the wait and fought my way through. Nice lacing all the way down the glass. I prefer a dirtier IPA with spots and flecks, this one was a clear peach-orange-lemon-amber. I love the sound of a RRBC growler opening.

Smell: Best and sweetest smelling hoppy beer ever. 5.0 without a doubt. Pure sweet hops, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, and pine/evergreen. Incredibly juicy, but I would like to be able to smell at least some of the malt. I buried my nose in the growler for a solid five minutes every time I returned for a pour.

Taste: Pure wet hop. Still, there is a sweet maltiness to it, lots of grapefruit, tangerine, orange, pineapple, citrus, and a floral element. Did I mention the hops? There is some malt, but it is understated and provides some balance.

Mouthfeel: Near perfect, if not perfect. It is like liquid, creamy candy. Very creamy and full with a nice hop stickiness; you can feel this one on the teeth. Near perfect carbonation; I might want a tad more but it could be the growler.

Drinkability: Despite the 11% ABV, this beer is highly drinkable - like a creamy, hop candy.

-- Updated for 2010 release; a bit of a step down from 2009 IMHO. More bitter, less sweet. Still smells like hop heaven but other scores adjusted accordingly.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a growler.

S = Huge hops, fresh pine, and numerous citrus aromas (orange and lemons mainly).

T = Amazing mixture of bitter and sweet. Pine flavors upfront and then a strong malt backbone washes the bitterness away and leaves a semi-sweet pine finish.

MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall, this was incredibly balanced and very easy to drink. I've never been a "Hop Head", but, both Younger and Elder have converted me.

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Photo of peabody
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't give up all 5's very often but this one deserves it.
Pours out really clean and clear with two fingers of white suds. Pine tree in a bottle here. I mean the oily pine shit you get on your hands after cutting down a pine tree. Very strong pine smell in other words.
Tastewise, the bitterness hits first with a blackness from hades. You get used to it really quickly. Then the pine smell is twice as strong.And the malt and mellowness take over.
Really a complicated drink here.
Mouthfeel is perfect and you never know you have had an 11% beer in your hands. This is the perfect mouthfeel for an IPA.
Drinkability should be lower since you can't get this all the time. In fact, this year it only lasted 12 days. This is a travesty!
This is the perfect IPA for now. I can't wait for the beer to beat this one!

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a big wine glass at 50 F/ 10 C.

Brilliant orange color with some fine haze. Minimal off-white head; a nice dense little head does materialize with a swirl, fleetingly. Finely patterned lace.

Hops dominate the aroma, mainly loads and loads of fresh pine, along with some milder tangerine and lemon. There's also a clean, straightforward sweet malty aroma something along the lines of cookie dough. Vibrant and alluring.

The flavor starts light, with a fresh fruity piny hop flavor floating on the palate, then everything builds and builds. Intense pine, citrus zest, sweet light clean malt, and very intense bitterness. The sweetness and bitterness grow together, but in the end the bitterness digs in deep and the sweetness is overcome. Some noticable alcohol, but it fits in seamlessly. Great cohesion and balance. Very very long finish of fresh citrus rind and pine bitterness, somehow achieving almost total dryness.

Cushy luxurious carbonation. A pleasure to drink.

Great beer, and a big thanks to my broski Alex for sending me this.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Toronado today so run and get some while they still have it!

What a beer! It's everything I would want in a DIPA. A hazy gold, with almost no head. Smelled like a hop bomb but not so much to turn you off. The taste was SO balanced it really isn't even funny. Just as it starts to get too bitter the honey like sweetness coats your tongue!

Well deserving of the hype!

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Photo of Radiodred
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge fan of Vinnie and Russain River. I went to the TION night at O'briens and the line to get a tast was out the door, to the street, then down to the back of O'briens, and almost to the restroom. No joke!
It doesn't get any better than this.
Looks good, smells great, taste like heaven, smooth with a punch!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BIG, Huge Thanks to Abecall98 for providing this in a recent trade. AWESOME trader... Growler sent from CA

Well, here goes... I get a little excited reviewing some of these special beers.

Pours with a nice foamy white head that fades fairly quickly. Clear Orange/Amber color with the slightest amount of visible carbonation. Nice rings of lacing left behind in the glass . Nice looking beer.

Aroma is fantastic. Big, fresh, pine, pine, pine. Have I mentioned pine? Almost a touch of lemon... very light though. There is the slightest sense of some light malt.... But I mean real light.

Very interesting. You can easily detect the higher ABV. Some light mint. Pine resin..
Moment of sweetness in the middle, but it then is slammed away from the hops. If you are not a hop head... just stay away. Good thing I'm a lifetime member of that club.
Some citrus, but this is really about the pine to me. Lingering hop bitterness does not begin to describe the finish. Touch of honey.

Mouth feel is medium bodied, just under sticky and definitely a lot of hop resin/oil....

My God, this beer packs a punch. Drink multiple at your own risk...

A very, very good beer. Bordering on classic. I think I liked Pliny the Elder better.

Am I a heretic?

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Photo of Onenote81
4.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler courtesy of tzanio. HUGE thanks!! This guy went out of his way to send me a growler, because he felt he shafted me on our last trade, which he did not. Mega-karma his way!!

Poured this into my brand new snifter (what better way to break it in). Pours a beautiful orange/gold with a sticky, frothy white head on top. Decent amount of carbonation rising up. The webbing on this clings to the glass edge for dear life. Perfect sip rings follow.

This is the best smelling beer I have ever dipped my nose into! Wonderful mixture of flowers, grapefruit, pine forest, and alcohol. Other beers attempt this scent, but fall way short. I wanted to bathe myself in this it smelled so good.

Mouthfeel was creamy, yet still held a nice mellow crispness that I like in my DIPAs. This beer had a high warming quality as I sipped and sipped. Flavor was strong citrus smack smothered in booziness. I could sense the alcohol very much so in this beer. This hindered my drinkability, as I could only drink one glass of this. Curse my feeble palate!!

Besides the high boozy quality in this one, this is near perfect. I'm glad I saved some for the next couple of nights. And I'm glad I had an opportunity to try this. Thanks again, Tzanio!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Jasonm for sharing this!

A- Body is a minimally translucent bright amber/orange color. Pours with about a 1/2 finger white foamy head that eventually subsides to a nice thick collar.

S- Absolutely heavenly. Bright juicy grapefruit and citrus are the main character and it has a balance of a slightly sharp piny character.

T- Wonderful. A big bright kick of juicy citrus and sharp pine flavors come through first with equal strength. A sweet malt provides the backbone for this and is completely overshadowed-but still detectable. The pine intensifies for the finish keeping the intensity of this brew up. What lingers is a slight alcohol heat and a medium strength residual rind bitterness.

M- Well carbonated. Medium weight oily body. The oiliness is wonderful but a bit of alcohol astringency can be detected also.

D- This is an absolutely wonderful DIPA that I thought I would never get the opportunity to try. Its an intense experience that goes right to the top without going over the top (as many Hop-bombs due). Its just barely kept in check.

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Photo of mykie73
4.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Horsebrass

A - Apricot in color, and very transparent.

S - incredible and my favorite part of this beer. pine, spruce, and lots of vitamin c.

T - The balance of this beer is quite an achievement. delicious hop goodness. I can for sure taste the elder in there. slight alcohol burn on the very back of the throat but very well hidden...actually amazingly well hidden...it was very hard to notice.

M - light and well carbonated.

D - Very drinkable, you can get through one fast. But after two, I'd much rather move onto a pale ale. If it was availabe all the time, not sure I would seek it out.

Perhaps a over hyped, but this is due to its rarity and it's unique Triple IPA status. I prefer other Big IPAs but this is an amazingly well crafted beer. I can now say I tried it, and very much enjoyed it, but I will go for something else at any bar with rotating taps...actually, I would order it again.

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Photo of mjl21
4.9/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Served in a 10 oz glass.
Consumed on 2/2/09 (opening day for PTY at the brewpub).

A-Beautiful orangish yellow color. The beer looks as if it is glowing in the glass. Not a ton of head. Some lacing is left in the glass.

S-Resinous pine smell wallops the nose. Lots of citrus in here also. Smells incredible.

T-All of that pine hits up front with the citrus tones. Definite sweetness is found. Some alcohol ca be detected but is still well balanced.

M-Tongue gets coated with oily hop resin. Stickiness lingers. You know this thing is thick.

D-So good yet so dangerous. If you are drinking this save it for last or stick to it. 30 ounces in a session has been my limit.

This stuff keeps getting better. The 09 batch was insane. After drinking it at the pub and going through 2 growler fills, I would say I got my share this year. Would be perfect if it was released once every 3 or 4 months. It's always nice to have a special beer to look forward to drinking.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A - light orange, with a thin, wispy head. Sticky lacing left all the way down.

S - Holy hop explosion! A potent menagerie of pine, grass, grapefruit, and tangerine. The perfect blend of all things hoppy.

T - In the words of my cousin, "it kicks your mouth's ass!" Major juicy hoppiness assaults the palate, overwhelming everything you've tasted in the last year. A bit of toasty breadyness and caramel sweetness prevent total imbalance.

M - Surprisingly light bodied, with fine, smooth carbonation.

D - Incredibly high for an 11% DIPA. I'd drink the whole keg myself if it wouldn't kill me.

Unbelievable. Worth any and all hype that surrounds it. Pray it gets into bottles next year.

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Photo of GJ40
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a growler in my Double Mountain tulip pint glass.

A - RR has a pretty outstanding growler. I really thought a genie was going to come out. The beer itself is golden and quite clear with a thick white head and nice lacing.

S - Wonderful floral and citrusy hops. It was everything I expected from RR.

T - Loads of hop presence. It starts with a strong attack of hops oils and rich hop flavor but a citrusy bitterness increases over time. The alcohol is always lurking in the background but the hops keep it at bay (until the next morning). I had high expectations for this one and it certainly lived up to them.

M - Good consistency with an almost oily quality that makes it slide right down. Nice carbonation with a moderate level of very fine bubbles.

D - A powerful and compelling beer. I found it comparable to Hop Slam yet very unique. And all of this from a growler shipped across the country. I can only imagine how good it is straight out of the tap.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.44/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to a hot tip, I got to enjoy a couple of the first glasses poured at the Horse Brass Pub. Served in a small nonic glass.

Pours bright and light golden orange with an almost pure white head. The head is ~3/4 of a finger, and with some gentle swirling lingers pretty well considering the ABV. A little bit of lacing is teased, but drips back in.

Loads of pine and grapefruit aromas, plenty of sweeter tangerine, peach(?) and floral notes, with quite a bit of alcohol weaving through it all. I can only imagine how great this would smell in a big snifter. Served in a nonic glass is no way to show it off, though. Really had to dig in there to enjoy the bouquet, literally getting my nose wet a couple of times.

There's not much of the sweet fruitiness I was excpecting based on the smell, but there's a ton of pine and grapefruit. The balancing sweetness tastes not of caramel or even light malt, but rather like simple syrup. Odd- it doesn't complement the bitterness very well. As it warms, the alcohol becomes increasingly pronounced and distracting. Pronounced alcohol burn as it warms up. Booziness aside, it's not as big and aggressive as I expected (I definitely prefer the Elder).

Mouthfeel is decent. There's a slick/oily quality that, in combo with gentle carbonation, smooths out the substantial ABV. However, it doesn't disguise a distracting sugary stickiness left on the palate in the finish (sticky hops= good, sticky sugar= bad). Not nearly as raw and angry as expected from a beer with this much hops.

Drinkability is OK, but not great for me based on the sugary stickiness, weird sweetness(tasted at times like straight simple syrup instead of light malt) and, to a lesser degree, the alcohol burn.

Overall impression: Glad I got a chance to give it a try without promising my firstborn for a growler trade. Intense and pretty enjoyable, but doesn't live up to mystique (and isn't even the best DIPA from Russian River).

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Photo of popery
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful. It's chock full of hop flavor. I've had a number of DIPAs, and this beer expresses hop flavor better than any beer that I've ever tasted.

I'm currently tasting this beer against Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. It's an interesting comparison, but the flavor profiles are quite similar. Pliny the Younger tastes a lot like Pliny the Elder, just as Blind Pig tastes like Pliny the Elder. Each beer steps up the strength and intensity of hop flavor. Blind Pig to Pliny the Elder is a smaller step than Elder to Younger but not substantially so.

Hops are the star in the flavor department. They are citric, piny and very floral. The citrus is grapefruit, orange and tangerine mixed with pineapple. The pine is dark and resiny, like sap. I don't know flowers well enough to identify the floral aspect beyond wonderful wildflowers.

There is a strong malt backbone that allows this much hop flavor to come through. Is this beer balanced? I would say so, but the malt does not express the same complexity and assertiveness of the hops. That is not to say the malt isn't strong or is bad. The malt is actually wonderful. It's like a caramel cookie swirled into a fine hop tea.

The alcohol is in this beer is exceptionally well-hidden. I'm giving this beer a perfect score, in part, because I can't imagine a way that this beer could be differ and be better for it. I say that because I can't imagine this beer without the same strength. I guess the alcohol is present, but it's not unpleasant in any way.

The color is very close to Elder and Blind Pig, which is to say golden-amber and wonderful. The aroma is very hoppy, with the flavors as previously described. The feel is also exceptional, almost oily with hop essence. Sorry, just trying to get through the other categories.

I should probably end this as I just finished my second glass out of the growler (not to mention some Blind Pig and Elder), and I can certainly feel it. It's a great beer. Try it if you can. I hope that they start bottling it. I can't imagine that they couldn't turn a profit on bottles. I know it's expensive to produce, but you can charge a pretty penny nowadays for a bottle of beer. Anyway, great beer.

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Photo of flexabull
4.77/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I finally got to try the elusive Younger of the Plineys.

I walked into a jam packed Toronado on Friday the 13th, and found about 10 Russian River beers on tap... YES! I started with this one, and it turned out that it was a hell of a way to start the night.

Pours a bright gold color, quite clear, with a nice off white head.

Aromas are off the charts. There is a huge blast of pineapple, maybe the most I have ever noticed in a beer. Also some really sticky resins and pine. This smells like a glass full of smashed fresh hops.

Taste follows along the with the aromas, and is big. Lots of pineapple, fresh resins, pine, and other giant hop flavors. The malts are there, and they provide a nice thick slightly sweet creamy backdrop. This is easily the biggest hop bomb I have ever had. But it's not just a bomb, it's an expertly balanced and put together beer. It's just really BIG.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Big, thick, and full... just like the smell and taste.

Drinkability is quite good. But is still this beer only "fault". (I say that rather loosely) After this one, it was hard to drink anything else, or much more. I had a couple of other beers, but not only did they pale it comparison, but they were about all I could handle. I am partly to blame by starting with this one. But I didn't want to wait when I saw this on the Toronado's beer board.

Really... an unbelievably hoppy beer. And I am so glad I got to try it, and I'll be excited to get this on a more constant basis next year. But all in all? I think I like the older Pliney a tad bit better than this. And that's only because the Elder get's a 5 on drinkability, and this one is pretty much a one and done. But, a hell of a "one" this is.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.