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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 dctriman


5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-18-2013 02:57:17 | More by dctriman
Photo of MrDanno96


4.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got in line more than an hour early for EBF session one to ensure I got a taste of this behemoth. That turned out to be unnecessary when it lasted more than two hours into the session. I even ended up getting a second sample.

A: Pours a beautiful golden copper color with about a finger of fluffy white head. Some lace sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: Wonderful aromas of floral grapefruit and pine meet the nose without even holding the quaff up to it. Closer inspection revealed more of the same, but even stronger. One of the most pleasing DIPAs I've ever sniffed.

T: A decent amount of sweet citrus and pine flavors up front quickly give way to an almost mouth puckering amount of bitter hops. Considering the amount of bitterness this brew produces, I'm impressed by how balanced it is. There is just enough sweetness to prevent the high bitterness from becoming unpleasant. In fact, the overall flavor is downright pleasant. However, I would not say it's THE best DIPA flavor I've ever experienced.

M: A nice medium body and incredibly smooth. I can't believe this is 11% alcohol.

D: An amazing DIPA to be sure. Considering this brew has 11% abv, it's dangerously drinkable. I would probably mistake it for something I could session if I didn't know better. Now, is it worthy of the epithet of "Best beer on earth"? I don't believe so. In fact, I think I enjoy PtE just a little more. I did a side by side comparison of the two at EBF and I truly just like the balance between sweet and bitter in PtE's flavor just a little more. IMHO, PtY is simply PtE with just a touch too many hops added. Regardless of this slight qualm, PtY is definitely an elite brew worthy of being in the same company as the world's best beers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2010 04:58:18 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of CosmoHopHead


5/5  rDev +6.6%

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


4.98/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 01:07:11 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of br3wmeister


3.88/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light hazed golden orange in color with a soft silky white head. The head retention was okay and it had minimal lacing.

S-Some nice fruit and floral hop aroma. Then some nice caramel and vanilla, a touch of pine hops as well. A little hint of copper metallic aromas as well.

T- Soft citrus fruit and sweet caramel initially then some great pine flavors come through. More fruity orange flavors come through the pine with hints of caramel and vanilla, then another burst of dry pine bitterness. The beer finishes sweet and juicy with some lingering dry metallic flavors.

M- Light bodied with a great refreshing juiciness to it. Hops cut through with some nice dry bitterness and balances things out.

Overall I would say this beer is way over hyped. Give me the Elder!

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 05:05:02 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of madvermin


4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Bobby G's Pizzeria before the rush started, major props to the crew there for managing the craziness with calm and a genial attitude.

Pours an effervescent light amber with heavenly white head that laces well. Translucent and a bit cloudy, but bubbles keep rising to the surface, and it gets clearer after a minute or two. Head is pure white, like cloud white, and is a beauty to look at while it lasts.

Nose is of tons of citrus and malt both, with sticky candy cane sugary character and grapefruit rind all over. Citrus is a blend of mostly sour fruit like lemon, orange, and grapefruit, and although there isn't too much tropical fruit, a bit of pineapple may have reared its head at some point. Aroma was not as strong or diverse as I would have expected, but it was well balanced, and pleasant overall.

Taste is ridiculous stickiness, with caramel and brown sugar, tons of hop bitterness and citrus all balanced to perfection. Grapefruit, orange and lemon are well represented, but there was surprisingly not much tropical character, maybe a bit of mango if anything. Malt kept everything under control the whole time, as the bitterness threatened to get wild, but never really did. Really one of the best tasting and balanced beers I've ever had, as I've never had something that was so incredibly flavorful yet so balanced.

Mouthfeel was flawless, as it was smooth and clean, while being full bodied and basically nectar-like the whole way through. Drinkability was even MORE perfect, as I had NO IDEA the abv was 11% until I saw it on this website a minute ago. There is no beer that hides it better than this, and the tempered bitter finish is so well done that you could drink this for hours without any problem.

This beer is not so much a souped up version of Pliny the Elder as it is a different beer altogether. Both are really incredible beers, and both are equals in my eyes. Russian River gets it right every time.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 00:55:07 | More by madvermin
Photo of IPAyForHops


4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

05-02-2013 23:30:43 | More by IPAyForHops
Photo of jacobseyb


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

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver on Tuesday and was very lucky to have gotten the two glasses of it that I did as the first keg was gone after about 10 minutes, and the second very shortly thereafter.

Poured a great golden amber almost honey color with about three fingers of off-white head that lasted quite some time and laced very well as it went down the glass. Aroma was a strong citrus grapefruit smell with little alcohol present on the nose given the ABV. Taste is similar to the smell as the citrus grapefruit flavors are very prevalent, with some sweetness as well. Feel is smooth and slightly syrupy with a slight tickle of carbonation on the tongue. Overall the beer was great, and if more had been available could have been dangerous given the alcohol content combined with the enjoyability of this beverage.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2010 04:28:56 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of jag21


4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

11-14-2011 19:32:49 | More by jag21
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

02-10-2013 22:08:56 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of heresy22


4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

12-30-2013 23:46:00 | More by heresy22
Photo of Grant35


5/5  rDev +6.6%

03-12-2013 05:37:18 | More by Grant35
Photo of SHerninko


4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

05-09-2013 17:26:19 | More by SHerninko
Photo of amano_h

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

06-08-2014 04:34:34 | More by amano_h
Photo of haazer


4.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First beer(of course) at the Blue Dog event.

A- very pretty golden brew, orange highlights and loads of bubbles. Good carbonation. Lacing all over the glass.

S- Very fruity. Mango, pineapple, pine sap, kiwi. Incredible nose. No malt in here! Aggressive hop aroma all throughout.

T- Its a toss up here between the nose. Very bitter, biting hop flavor. The fruit is orange peel, mango and some honeydo. Sticky syrup, strong pine needles. The hops blend very to me as floral and earthy in profile. No abv detected.

M- Ever so smooth and crisp. Light to medium body and high carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel, coating my teeth. The best part of the beer for me.

O- Two four oz pours didn't do this justice. Incredibly drinkable. What sets this apart from other beers I feel is it really has no flaws. Is it the best beer in the world? I'd say no, better then elder? That's a toss up. Grateful I got to try this though. Blue Dog handled this event very well.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2012 15:22:17 | More by haazer
Photo of Beeranator

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-10-2013 21:02:59 | More by Beeranator
Photo of bouncepass


4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

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


4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Release on release day at RR. This is a transcript of my notes.

My first experience with this beer was last year, and i wasnt reviewing beers at the time. That was the beer that set off this rediculously consuming hobby of mine. This year didnt dissapoint either.

A - Poured from tap into a 10oz imperial looking pint glass. The beer came to my table minutes after the doors were opened on the release day and looked like it glowed. It was as fresh as one could possibly get it. It was a bright, clear glowing orange with a small 1/4 inch head. With such small pours i was thankful for the first time that the head was minimal.

S - The Smell was incredibly fresh, and mostly smelled of wonderful bright citrus and pine.

T - Its hard not to think of a fresher better elder with this beer. The middle and finish are what really differed this beer for me. The beer was explosive with hop flavor but was so balanced and never heavy or sticky.

M - The ABV is so well masked in this beer. I never smelled or tasted any alcohol burn. The beer is medium bodied and has great carbonation.

D - Considering i had 4 of these in one sitting, i can say this is VERY drinkable. I paced myself rather maturely and walked out of the brew pub with wife and kid and felt great.

Great Job Russian River for implementing their new policy this year.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 04:41:01 | More by dubinsky
Photo of fiver29


4.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by AJ. Thanks AJ! Pours clear orange color with thick off white head. Aroma is citrus, simcoe hops with grapefruit rind, and some resinous stinky citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor is an explosion of flavor. It follows the nose nicely and I can detect layers of resinous hop goodness. Upfront its citrus, then comes simcoe citrus, followed by pine sol flavor, and coats my mouth with hop resins and finishes with a touch of heat. Overall the alcohol is hidden well and I do detect a touch of alcohol in the finish. With more hops. Wonderful beer. Thanks AJ!

Serving type: growler

02-28-2010 19:20:07 | More by fiver29
Photo of oggg


4/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens. Served in 10oz glasses. (2nd batch)

This beer had a tiny layer of foam that receded quickly, as expected for such a huge brew. Deep golden color with a touch of haziness. Lots of citrus in the nose but I would call it moderate -- less than the aroma I get off the Elder. Crisp on the tongue at first, there is a moderate hop bitterness of grapefruit, citrus, and something different from Pliny the Elder. Hmmm... Can't describe it. Malt is present but again doesn't knock my socks off... unlike the alcohol, which did. Rather, I didn't taste the alcohol but I certainly felt it very quickly.

I really need to try this again. It was somewhat of a letdown, but then again, 1) no beer could live up to the hype that this "triple IPA" got, 2) small glass may have limited aroma dispersal, 3) I developed a bad headache after drinking it, possible from being dehyrdated and then going for a highly alcoholic beer (I doubt it was a reaction to the Younger), and 4) I've been on such a double IPA spree lately that my tongue was probably a little dead to the hoppiness of the Younger. Regardless, I owe the Younger another chance.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2005 23:09:26 | More by oggg
Photo of Freshie


4.88/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not the biggest fan of big, strong IPA's. They are by no means my favorite style. I do however respect them, enjoy them, and admire their sometimes complex layers of flavor.

I have heard tell of this brew for some time now, so when I worked EBF 2010, I made sure that this one was my first one, so I was clear minded enough to review it and give it a fair shake.

Pours a nice dark amber color, with nice head.

Aroma is earthy hops with hints of pine. Very refreshing and enticing to smell.

The taste is very well balanced. Sweet hints of candy or citrus, with strong hop backbone coming in the middle. Finishes sweet on the palate.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are great. For 11% abv this goes down dangerously smooth. With all the flavors in balance, you really don't notice the alochol, with very little burn in the throat. Damn near sessionable.

A very amazing beer. I was very impressed to see it lived up to the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 01:35:29 | More by Freshie
Photo of nealbert


5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-24-2014 23:52:56 | More by nealbert
Photo of bcerv-ca


4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

02-26-2014 03:57:21 | More by bcerv-ca
Photo of distantmantra


4.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Last Drop Bottle Shop. Seattle, WA. February 18th, 2012.

A: Younger pours a golden orange color with a thin head of creamy white foam. Strong lacing clings to the sides of the glass throughout.

S: The beer has a strong aroma of citrus hops, pine and a small bit of cat urine. Slight bit of caramel malt present, but alcohol is not noticeable in the nose.

T: The initial taste is very fruity citrus hops: grapefruit, orange rind and just a bit of apricot. It's almost like Pliny the Elder turned up to 11. This initial fruit flavor explosion melds into a bit of bitter pine hops and some nice sweet malt. Extremely well-balanced.

M: The beer has a medium mouthful with average carbonation for an IPA. As I stated when discussing the aroma, the alcohol is incredibly well-masked. Unlike 120 Minute IPA, you don't taste the booziness. There is no lingering ethanol here. This beer is so well-balanced that it's hard to pace yourself.

O: Yes, there is hype surrounding this beer. However, it's still a damn good beer. I honestly think it's a slightly more extreme version of Elder flavor and aroma-wise. I don't think it's worth five hours of your life standing in line, but it's still an incredible beer that everyone should try once or twice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 04:17:12 | More by distantmantra
Photo of BreweryRun


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

Smells strong but with a light citrus note, overall smells fantastic. Pours very light but golden with a very small hint of orange, relatively small head. Initial taste is dominated by bitterness but rounds out with a small amount of citrus, finishes pretty dry. Doesn't scorch your tongue with bitterness. Virtually no alcohol character which is impressive considering the %age. Overall it's the epitome of a triple IPA, a dominate hop bitterness flavor that is balanced nicely and allows you to drink more without any problem.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2013 05:39:04 | More by BreweryRun
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,270 ratings.