1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,328 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,328
Reviews: 841
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 4,219
Gots: 104 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pliny The Younger Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,328 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bouncepass
bouncepass

California

4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

06-06-2012 21:22:24 | More by bouncepass
Photo of olympuszymurgus
olympuszymurgus

California

4.43/5  rDev -5.5%

after a year...finally we meet again.
this nearly clear golen beverage is wanted. a fine floral aroma like the garden of eden - BUT - do not taste of the fruit of the tree in the middle! oh dear god, i did. it is too smooth. an intensity of bitterness and hop flavor, but not quite the shapness of the elder. a little citrus fruit in the nose and mouth. so nice for 11, doesn't feel like it, so little sweetness for an imperial. i wish i could drink it, but i put the 8 oz glass in a museum instead. ahh, posterity.

03-11-2010 07:36:59 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of dbalsock
dbalsock

Vermont

3.83/5  rDev -18.3%

Appearance: Light amber/golden color and very clear with smallish white head that stays around and provides some slight lacing.

Smell: Floral and citrusy, all I can smell are hops and sweet fruits. The aroma is very intense.

Taste: tastes like it smells, with grapefruit coming in and a pine forest on the aftertaste. The malt base isn't as deep as I expected and this is not as balanced as the Elder, but the amount of hops is quite impressive. This is a hop-heads dream. There's also some alcohol, but for 11% it's covered very well by the intense hopiness.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, especially as one keeps drinking it. It seems to magnify the bitterness with each sip.

Drinkability: For the amount of alcohol in this, it is way to easy to drink. It goes down the throat and is bitter enough to keep someone gulping. I'm very impressed and although it's not quite balanced enough for my tastes, I can see why this is so highly regarded.

02-07-2007 19:57:51 | More by dbalsock
Photo of MusicaleMike
MusicaleMike

Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev -8.1%

Served in a tulip glass.

Good ol' Pliny the Younger. This is my 3rd time with this beer. This came out to me with a half inch white cap of crisp white head on top of a golden amber body that had great clarity which showed off the lazy carbonation. The head eventually faded to nothing, but left a sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell wafts out of the glass with hints of mango, bruised pineapple, butterscotch, and a sweet hint of berries underneath. Fairly strong aroma, and certainly appetizing, though it fades a bit too quickly for me to rate this higher.

Very hop-forward beer for sure, with plenty of tropical fruit in the flavor and a sweet, boozy quality that is present throughout. While a beer like Heady Topper is a master of disguise, hiding all that alcohol behind the Hop Curtain, Pliny the Younger is unabashed by being an 11% alcohol by volume DIPA. The complexity here is the mix of hops and alcohol, with a nice sweet malt backbone.

The carbonation is crisp, the body is strong, a little on the viscous side. Superb mouthfeel...

I think this is a great beer. It would be hard to write about Pliny the Younger without talking about the train of hype that precedes this beer: people freak out about this beer. A bar announces this beer bring tapped, and if they don't announce it, its considered a "strategy." The hype is not worth it though. There are better double IPA's out there...that said, this is a great beer that people won't be disappointed in. I tracked this beer down this year to give it a review, but next year, I won't be on the hunt.

03-06-2013 14:27:18 | More by MusicaleMike
Photo of TenHornsProud
TenHornsProud

Colorado

4.9/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a clear, orange-burnt orange with a small white head that laces.

Dank hop with fruity notes, tropical fruit that meets pine/earthy and grapefruit. Just a huge aroma that is complex and covers the hop spectrum.

Taste is tropical fruit up front that fades into a big fruit middle--BIG, oily hops with notes of malt honey and sweetness. Really balanced yet bitter. The oily hop finish lasts and lasts. Perfect hop taste. Like drinking hop juice.

Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation, extremely smooth.

Just a big, hop masterpiece. Perfect for the style and what it says it will in a subtle way. The perfect craftsmanship of this beer is what sets it apart from similar brews.

02-27-2012 03:27:22 | More by TenHornsProud
Photo of ThePaleRider
ThePaleRider

California

4.98/5  rDev +6.2%

Had this white whale on tap at Hamiltons in San Diego

Great IPA appearance and fragrance. What sets this IIIPA apart from others is the fact that it's 10.25% and still drinks as smoothly as a pale ale. Goes down really well. Didn't give a perfect rating because the body is a little light. This brew feels and almost drinks just like the Elder, but packs more of a punch. Was it worth waiting in line for? YES.

02-20-2014 01:07:11 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of muchloveforhops3
muchloveforhops3

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

04-04-2012 22:26:51 | More by muchloveforhops3
Photo of mattsander
mattsander

Alberta (Canada)

4.78/5  rDev +1.9%

Enjoyed 3 tulips of the 2012 Younger at Monks Kettle in San Francisco (and a couple at Russian River in Santa Rosa).

Appearance: Finally, a DIPA that is actually pale! Not orange, not red. I'd guess 8 srm, almost the same color as the Elder.

Smell: Resinous, pine, cat pee, tangerine, peach. Enormous. The freshest hop aroma I've ever experienced. No malt character detected.

Taste: Echoing the aroma with massive fruitiness and a potent overarching bitterness. Pine lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. A very distinct smoothness similar to Elder, signature Russian River.

Mouthfeel: Chewy & sexy. The use of sugars really helps to keep this drinkable, it never feels bogged down by malt. Keep DIPA's pale!

Believe the hype, DIPA doesn't get any better than this. I think the exclusivity of Younger really helps to promote the importance of FRESHNESS in this style. Even after a short time in bottles, a beer like this will lose some of it's magic. Get it on tap in Santa Rosa.

02-21-2012 16:58:50 | More by mattsander
Photo of KevT
KevT

California

4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

07-03-2013 03:52:05 | More by KevT
Photo of humulusphile
humulusphile

California

4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

12-11-2013 09:40:03 | More by humulusphile
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze

California

4.88/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured a hazy golden buutterscotch color with a creamy white head. Sheets of lace down the glass.
Big resinous grapefruit rind aroma. Floral and perfumey with some malt and a bit of caramel.
Sweet floral tastes. Lots of sweet malt with toffee undertones helps balance the inpending hop onslaught. Does a good job of it too.The hop profile came in fresh and floral with citrus rind & juice flavors, a bit of pepper and hints of pineapple and vanilla in the finish. Great balance and the alcohol was almost non existent. It was almost on the verge of being a little cloying. Absolutely a glassful of nectar!
Medium bodied with a velvety smooth, creamy and slightly oily mouthfeel. Perfect!
Exceptional, almost laughable drinkability for such a huge beer.
If you find it...try it! Highly recommended.

02-02-2005 00:21:59 | More by rkhaze
Photo of ScreamForMe
ScreamForMe

Washington

5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-15-2011 07:53:11 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
CommanderOfAwesome

California

3.99/5  rDev -14.9%

Had during SF beer week at Bobby G's in Berkeley CA. Had with a PtE side by side.

A: Pours golden color with great clarity. 1 finger white fluffy head.

S: Mango, pineapple grapefruit, sweetness lingering with hops.

T: Hop forward, very sweet citrus fruit. Hides the alcohol well behind a well balanced malt backbone.

M: Well carbonated medium bodied with a bitter dry sweet finish.

O: A good beer that is no where close to the hype. I waited about an hour for this beer which is on the low end, and honestly I would much rather have a TIPA from Knee Deep over this one. Glad to have it once and say I've had it but for this to top in the top 10 beers is all hype based IMO.

03-05-2013 22:34:02 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of SMITHAND
SMITHAND

Oregon

5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-08-2014 18:08:01 | More by SMITHAND
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +3%

Got an amazing tip, shared with a few with Brendan (afksports) and had a bunch of it...finally a beer that lives up to the hype.

Pours a beautiful orange color with a half inch of head. Leaves nice lacing down the glass...all IPAs should look like this.

Smells of citrus and pine, bread is far in the background...but its balanced...I cannot explain this. Its a little subtle for a beer this big, but overall wish it was more

Taste has everything...citrus burst on the tip with pine and citrus in the middle and finishes with pine...herbs are mixed in. The malt is an after thought, yet is balanced. Once again, I cannot explain it, its fantastic.

Mouthfeel suffers a bit from the full feeling. Its light and crisp with amazing carbonation, yet it fills the mouth like a stout.

Drinkability is amazing, had 3, could have had more, chose to walk away...did you know it is 11% alcohol?

This is an amazing IPA...really what it boils down to

03-16-2011 02:37:56 | More by bs870621345
Photo of CosmoHopHead
CosmoHopHead

Kansas

5/5  rDev +6.6%

05-21-2013 03:58:50 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of McNazz
McNazz

Colorado

4/5  rDev -14.7%

05-05-2014 21:43:17 | More by McNazz
Photo of angelmonster
angelmonster

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev -3%

Review from notes on phone, feb 2011 at Freshcraft in Denver

Pours a golden yellow straw colored body, with a 1 finger white head. Lacing is outstanding and head retention is good.

Smell is of intense pine, resinous marijuana, tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Also some sweet malts and for 11 percent no alcohol was detected. A year later I can still remember the amazing aroma that filled the somewhat small bar as dozens of glasses of Younger were simultaneously poured.

Taste is complex, full on hops though. First there's resinous floral weed, then pineapple and citrus juice, followed by bitter lime and ending with sweet malts and faint booze.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Head was present for abit and had some substance.

Drinkability is very good. Went through glass fast, this is a hop heads wet dream. Just enough malt and booze to counter the bitterness. One of the best hop forward beers made, just wish it wasnt such a hassle to get, looking forward to trying some soon

02-08-2012 03:15:56 | More by angelmonster
Photo of OleDixie
OleDixie

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +6.6%

03-11-2013 19:12:56 | More by OleDixie
Photo of DrDogbeer
DrDogbeer

Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +5.1%

Wow! That is all I can say about this beer. I think I said it about 14 times while sampling it. HUGE thanks to Swnicholson for the growler!!!!
A sloppy pour from the funky growler produced a crystal clear, dark yellow body with a huge , pillowy, snow-white head.
There are not any IIPA's with an aroma this strong. Noticeable right after popping the growler. Resiny, piney and citrusy. Tons of tangerine, orange, pineapple on the nose. I could seriously just smell this beer all day long. Flavor is enormous. TOns of hops! Not too much in the malt department to mellow it out, but it remains extremely well balanced. This beer punishes your tongue, but my tongue begs for more! Slick, oily mouthfeel that completely coats your mouth. At 11% this beer is dangerously drinkable. Had a glass friday nite and a few more saturday. Damn sad to see this one go. :(

02-15-2009 14:12:43 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of Swervine44
Swervine44

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-12-2012 08:23:10 | More by Swervine44
Photo of eorwar
eorwar

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-12-2013 20:40:14 | More by eorwar
Photo of jlisuk
jlisuk

California

4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

06-26-2013 23:09:06 | More by jlisuk
Photo of chickencoop
chickencoop

California

5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-07-2013 17:32:46 | More by chickencoop
Photo of Centennial
Centennial

Vermont

4/5  rDev -14.7%

12-16-2011 04:57:05 | More by Centennial
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,328 ratings.