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Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Educational use only; do not reuse.

891 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 891
Hads: 2,789
Avg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 5,990
Gots: 334 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 891 | Hads: 2,789
Photo of McSmack
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally hit our city of San Diego. Had the pleasure of drinking 3 of these bad boys. Was also comparing it side by side with Pliny the Elder. Pretty amazing how RR can make the Younger taste like Elder and pack in 5% more ABV. Excellent beer!

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

this was by far the greatest beer I have ever tasted in my life the smell was of nothing but tropical fruits papaya pineapple passion fruit mangos some grapefruit the flavor was of the same nothing but tropical fruits and so so so smooth what an amazing beer Russian River the wait was worth it

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Photo of E1337JERK
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing beer. cool I got some only wait a little over 3 hrs with good company. Like having my mouth ran trew a forest and calling me back for more best beer ive ever had.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Two glasses at the Bistro's 15th Annual Double IPA Festival. An excellent beer, and extremely well-balanced. Great mouthfeel, like silk. That said, I think the rarity is partly responsible for such high ratings.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A really really well made and balanced TIPA. The hype kind of ruined it for me. It was good, but there are many "triple" IPAs that you can get that are just as good or better. Simtra, Hoparillo, and RuinTen come to mind immediately. Younger might have been the first of its kind, but these days there's not much to separate it from the rest of the crowd. Like Elder, it showcases a similar piney/grapefruity character and honestly if I didn't know it was 10.25% I wouldn't have known. The sweet malts hint at the higher ABV but there is no booziness to it at all. I think I waited about 30 minutes to try it, and I'm glad I got to try it, but probably not worth it again.

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Photo of PabloSanDiego
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Drinking it now at Stone Escondido for the second straight year. The hype is over the top but it really almost lives up to the hype. It's perfectly balanced and not sweet or malty despite the high ABV. And the hops aren't overpowering. Just really well done.

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Photo of fenixtx423
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Truly a phenomenal beer. More sticky hop flavor than the Elder, but just as drinkable. Younger had more pine/earth/spice flavors than Elder, and a bit less Simcoe tropical fruit flavor. The kicker with this beer is really the smooth low body palate cleansing drinkability combined with over the top delicious hop flavors and ABV. The only thing that keys you in to the ABV with this beer is a slight warming sensation about 5 seconds after each sip.

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Photo of Gachnar
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

May not be worth standing in the rain for 12 hours, but it is a perfect example of a strong IPA. Think of Pliny the elder, but more rounded with even brighter hop profile. Beautiful nose, and extremely smooth considering the ABV. The legend may be exaggerated, but not by much.

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Photo of ESCO138
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype in every aspect, unfortunately the hype and wait makes it hard to taste for nearly everyone. The only TIPA I can consume with ease.

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

L: Pours a beautiful crystal clear gold with micro bubbly, fluffy head and sticky lace that lingers on the glass for the entire duration of my 10oz pour (40min).

S: Aroma is bright and bold piney-fresh hops with intense clarity.

T: Taste follows the aroma... cleansing and pristine pine, citrus and slight lemon on a strong and bready malt base.

M: Crisp and dry, perfectly highlighting the giant hop flavors you get out of each sip.

Overall: PtY checks all boxes and then some. The perfect and benchmark imperial/triple IPA

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Photo of DudeBeerYaBro
5/5  rDev +7.1%

smell: like a brighter version of elder. hops up front, giving way to more hops...residual sweetness.
taste: booyah. piny, earthy hops up front. quick burst of citrus fruit in the middle, finish long and dry with a pleasant balanced bitterness.

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Photo of Rastacola
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

A phenomenal beer. A little sweet, but that sweetness carefully balances the beer and the high ABV. This beer is very hyped up and very deserving of it. I'd love to sit and drink multiple in a calm setting rather than a hectic Philly bar.

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

This is a perfect beer for IPA lovers. The Younger is to the Elder as the Elder is to Sierra Nevada. (I'm not saying Sierra Nevada is bad; RR is just in a different league.) The beer is perfectly carbonated with such a deep and complex flavor that it should by all rights be undrinkable, yet the mouth feel is so smooth and luxurious you'd think you were drinking a stout or something.

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had in a bottle at my house.. Hardee har har.. I stood in line for 6 hours on Monday Feb 17th.. Had to save my notes for this to be the 100th beer.

A: perfect hazy orange color that only left a little bit of head by the time my glasses got to me

S: smells of citrus and a small amount of pine.. I would argue that this is the exact smell that any "IPA" should shoot for

T: same as the smell.. Citrus and a little pine.. Very smooth and well balanced

M: I would say medium.. Ideal mouthfeel for IPA

O: obviously 1 of the highest rated IPA's and after getting to try it very well deserved.. Was lucky enough to have a non-drinking buddy that lives in CA take me and get 6 instead of the mandated 3.. Also lucky that he was cool enough to run to another bar and grab us burgers while we were in line or I would have been in trouble.. Big shout out to the coolest guy I know.. Thanks again Z!! Probably won't do it again cuz the wait was unrealistic but if you haven't had it it is worth doing once.. Very well done Russian River

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Photo of 1fortypoint6
4.46/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After nearly four months of planning finally had the chance to do a reasonably timed " side by side" review vs heady. While a secretly hoped the my results would lean PiY I cam safely say heady is the superior brew. While PIY is amazing, it seems to be more of a hop bomb than heady. When compared side by side, heady to me seems to be a better planned beer. The only other drawback with PIY is the buttery feel others have reported here which I definitely experienced and found distraction. Either way two great experiences with heady taking a distinctive edge.

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Photo of SaucedBoss
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was very excited to try this beer. I may have been too excited and ended up building it up too much in my head. While this is a great beer, it is not worth the effort off waiting in long lines to try it. I actually prefer the elder more than the younger. I'm glad I tried it and obviously I recommend anyone who hasn't tried it to do so. But next year I'll stick with the elder.

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

Drank at the bar at Russian River on superbowl Monday! The wait on Sunday was eight hours, Monday night I walked right in and sat at the bar.

Tasting against Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger is crisp, somehow light?, and just delicious. It is amazing that it has so much alcohol. Compare too against the syruping, nearly chewy 120 minute Dogfish head IPA - Pliny the Younger is clear and good and just so, so drinkable.

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Photo of CraftyJoseph
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Tustin Brewing During the Pliny the Younger Week!

This was my second time having this beer within 2 years and I have to say this batch was the best thus far.

A: Like Elder

T: Amazing hoppy goodness!

Overall: I did not find much of a flaw in this beer

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Photo of mdlb44
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the perfect imperial IPA in my opinion. It deserves a 5 for so many reasons. Perfectly balanced, great mouth feel, with that perfect TIPA kick at the end. Hop forward but nice and smooth. Perfect

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Photo of jsunj
4.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pliny the Younger. Oh how I've longed to try you over the years since entering the craft beer world. Finally had the opportunity to try this beer on tap at Lucky Baldwins in Old Town Pasadena earlier in February this year, side by side with PtE might I add. This beer definitely deserves its place on the BA top 250. Piney, floral, boozy, yet still retaining its balance.

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Photo of Kramerwtmf
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This review is based on my experience about two months ago. Pliny the younger is an amped up version of the elder. It's a little bit sweeter than the elder but I think it masks the 10.25% really well. Such a great beer but I've come to expect that from Russian river.

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

this was the best beer i ever had. belive the hype. full bodied, very smooth with a high abv. creamy head on top. very hard to get. waited an hour and a half and luckily was still on tap. would definitely do it again. i have tried almost all the top beers and this definitely my favorite of them all.

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Photo of Detroit_Velvet_Smooth
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had 2 10oz pours about a month ago at Falling Rock Tap house in Denver, CO. First time trying it, extremely smooth with the perfect balance of bitterness and floral/citrus, extremely drinkable and crisp. Beautiful rich amber color, and the smell contained everything from fresh wild flowers, to tropical fruit, to earthy. Lucky I got to have a second!

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Photo of Ancalagon
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been living in Santa Rosa for a while now and had heard all the hype but never gone down to Russian River to try it. Wish I had gone sooner. The Elder is great, but this is better. The first thing you notice is the color. Like liquid gold. Very thin head. Smells strongly like citrus along with pine and some tropical notes. Taste is exceptional. Not as hoppy as the elder. Great balance of hops and malt. Real thickness in flavor. Perfect amount of carbonation. Felt smooth. Overall this beer lives up to the hype.

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

When I heard about Pliny The Younger, I was at my infancy stage of beer enjoyment. I had read many reviews and often thought, "how the hell can any beer be as good as people rate this to be??!!" So, I decided to break Vinnie's rule and enjoy this beer at a local watering hole weeks after "it should have been enjoyed." Well, Vinnie, I can't imagine how this wonderful contribution to the beer world could get any better, even after sitting through a coast to coast joyride, over many wonderful brew towns in this great place of freedom to brew whatever the heck you want to! All I can say is thank you. One day I will enjoy this citrine jewel in the location of its birth, until then...

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 891 ratings.