Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 932 | Ratings: 2,989
Photo of misterscooter
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at Pete's Brass Rail in Danville, CA, on Valentine's Day. I'm in love.

Served in 10 ounce tulips.

A clear, golden hue, small but thick head that hung around but didn't stick to the sides.

Sweet, hoppy smell. Maybe a hint of golden raisin, although fleeting. Hops are there but not overpowering, enough to temper the light sweetness.

A lovely flavor, filled with the hops I want in an IPA but without any strong bitterness. Very smooth in the moth and goes down really well. I had to be careful to take my time because it just wants to slide down your throat and you can't wait for the next mouthful.

I wouldn't even know they were so strong except for how two makes you feel. And I felt great.

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

On tap at Local 44 and the Memphis Taproom yesterday

Pliny pours a bright golden orange with a thick, white head with good retention. Lacing was a little patchy but the way this beer glowed was rather unique. On the nose... well, it's just like I remembered. An explosion of hops - pine, citrus, hop resin, mild fruit. Dank hops. On the palate, it is just that, a riotous explosion of hops, semtex and hops. Medium-light in body with a mild sweetness to counter the hop bitterness, this is spectacular.
The past 6 weeks seems to have taken it's toll on the mouthfeel, the hops aren't as vibrant as I remember them being. That said, it's still a perfect 5 (fresh Younger deserves a 6) and drinkability? I had 4 glasses, over a liter of this stuff, and I wanted more. Fabulous stuff.

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

Hit the RR brewpub for lunch today. No lines, just a pleasantly packed pub. I loved how the sever immediately said "What can I get you to drink? Younger?". I'm sure they knew they would be right 99% of the time.

2011 release, on tap at the source. 10oz pour. 10.5% ABV this year.

With so many great reviews on this site, I'll give a fairly relativistic review. DIPA's are my favorite style of beer and Pliny The Elder is my favorite beer hands down. Nothing original there, but that's where I was coming from for my absolute first taste of The Younger.

Poured the expected bright orange, smelled of wonderful bright citrus and pine. At this point I wish the glass was bigger just to take in the sites and smells. Initial flavor is very much like The Elder, but the middle and finish are what really set this beer apart. The beer just explodes on your palate with wonderful hop flavor but never gets heavy or sticky. It shares what I think is the best quality of The Elder, there is "room" in the beer for the distinct flavor to shine. Nothing weighs it down to take away from the drinkability.

As others have said, you'd never believe the ABV on this one. There was maybe one tiny moment, out of three glasses, that I got a bit of the alcohol, but it was fleeting and faded fast.

The last thing that really cements this tasting experience, is sipping from the growler of The Elder that I brought home with me and realizing that as good as a beer it is, it takes a back seat to The Younger.

Hats off to Russian River for their new policy this year. You sure helped at least this beer lover get my chance at Pliny The Younger. Cheers!

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

Thanks treyrab for the growler hookup connection... living in Alaska, this is a dream come true for me, the anticipation was...well, you know what it was. to the beer:

Appearance: Murky golden with brown shades and amber highlights on the rim of the glass. White head was slow to form and the carbonation seemed mildly present coming from the bottom of the glass. Remnant lace indicated an intact and fulfilling body.

Smell: bright citrusy fresh hops, light caramel toffees and roasted glaze. Bottom line is that this was the freshest smelling Imperial i have ever had.

TTTasteWow: first impression was TOO drinkable! Went down like a mystic haze of fury without leaving the pallet with much to discern. Second sip: creamier body with hops totted with pine resin and syrup sticky mouthfeel. After more sips the bitterness seems to linger on the roof of the mouth, and bam, the first glass is already gone! wtf! The is a salute to the drinkability of this 11% masterpiece. Goes down way too smooth I wanted it to last. The hops do hang around however, well after the glass turned empty.

Drinkability: for a high ABV beer, this brew disguises the warming superbly, if a 5.5/5.0 on drinkability was permitted for 1 beer, this would be that beer.

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

Thanks very much to Grant for sharing this growler at the Brick Store Pub. I've somehow missed this every year in California even though I'm usually there every time it comes out- sadly I'm usually working too hard then to seek it out or go up to Santa Rosa. I love the Elder, and this beer is every bit as good as I'd hoped. Pours golden with okay head and some excellent lacing. Very nice for a growler. A beautiful blast of pine on the nose with some lovely sweet caramel malt providing a nicely layered backbone underneath. For me, the taste is perfect. Sweet malt and a heavy dose of extremely fresh tasting piney hops that have just oozed their oils into this brew. Some nice citrus on the finish as well that combines with the sweet malt for a nice slightly candied finish to the herbal explosion that came beforehand. Deep flavors that roll on and on. Exquisite. The mouthfeel is at first prickly with hops and then smooth with creamy malt. Looong finish. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all day and pay for it later. Not as dry as the Elder of course, but even more deeply flavored. A masterpiece from my favorite brewery.

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

Poured a clean light orange with a nice fluffy head. Laces all the way down. This smells like hops. Hops, hops, and more hops- it has the signature cascade piney hop smell, very citrusy. This is what God must drink when he wants an IPA. Massive hops, but very very smooth. Whereas some IIPAs are over the top and almost undrinkable, this 3IPA is bitter but very flavorful, with fruity notes and floral-piney-citrus-juicy taste with a clean bitterness in the back. Its well balanced and not overly extreme. The drinkability is high. Too high. So high in fact, that the bartender (who knows me very well) warned me that it would go down easy for an 11% brew. I could not taste a single % of that 11. I could drink this all night, but that would probably result in alcohol poisoning.
Overall, an outstanding IIPA, probably the best I have had. Drink at your own risk though.

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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 sholland119
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at TJs Everyday. Saved my notes so this could be review #400.

A-A beautiful clear orange, with a generous pillowy white head and lots of lacing.

S-Best. smelling. beer. ever. Pine hops, grapefruit hops, even some floral notes. Each swirl of the glass yields another burst of aromas.

T-Lives up to its hype, and the promise of the nose. As with the nose, all of the hop flavors are present at one time or another. Citrus, then pine, then floral, then pine, then citrus, etc. A nice, almost honey like sweetness in the finish is the final delicious touch.

M-And yet, for all of the flavor, this is still medium bodied, a little oily but not overly so.

D-Well the sixtel kicked in 26 minutes so I can only imagine the second would have been exceptionally drinkable like the first. Given the ABV, one is certainly the right number.



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

Pours a crystal clear and glowing amber orange. Big carbonation bubbles come up and a thin white head caps it off, leaving sticky spots of lacing all down the glass. I can only imagine straight from the tap.

An unbelievable fresh citrus nose. It's like a mix between Pure Hoppiness and Summer Yulesmith, toss in some pine sap and you have it. Earthy, green hops at first, just incredibly clean. Then big bold citrus scents come through. Bitter grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and hints of lemon. A piney undertone is there for sure as well.

Taste was just shocking to me. It was so much bigger than the smell lead me to believe. The inviting nose had lured me in and now I was getting slapped across the face with hops, laughing as my cheeks turned red with embarrassment. My forehead began to sweat, I got chills down my spine, and from that point on I knew I was in love. Seriously, there are still great citrus flavors and it's super fresh but wow, the piney hops are coming through full force. It's like pure hop juice glory without the overly oily and resinous body. As it warms, malts (huh?) do come through. A light caramel sweetness doesn't so much tame the wallop but it's there.

Bitter but not drying, tingling but not numbing, full but not oily. When I got this growler I was drinking it within an hour. Within the next hour, I had consumed nearly three pints of this addicting serum. A few hours later, after I took a nap, I couldn't help but come back for more.

This is truly a dream come true for hop lovers and I'm fortunate to have tried it. I put it in the realm of Yulesmith and Pure Hoppiness as my favorites. Not really in a class of its own but for now, it stands at the top. Andy, you are quite the generous soul, thank you!

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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 walows
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my!! This beer was hands down the most amazing beer i have ever had. This beer sent me to beer heaven. I feel really bad for the beers that i haven't tried yet because they don't stand a chance!

Appearance: I wonderful golden color, with a very night tight white head that was about an inch thick. It laced all the way down.
Smell: This beer was so pungent! It smelled of those wonderful little hop flowers and lots of them! First comes the malty sweetness, like caramel and the hops come in, which smelled like if you blended a grapefruit and a pine tree together.
Taste: Tasted just how it smelled, tasted as if you blended grapefruit and pine needles together. It had a wonderful sweet caramel malty taste and the hops come running in, it was so wonderfully bitter! Following this wonderful parade was a nice alcohol hotness. The aftertaste was my favorite part of this beer, the hops just got stuck all over my mouth and it was such a great experience.
Mouthfeel: This beer sat on my palette just so amazing. It was so thick and sticky with hops! You could chew this beer!
Drinkability: Even though this beer was very high in alcohol and was so thick and sticky, this beer was very drinkable, it was scary easy to drink. What an amazing beer!

I thought that i total lost my chance to try this beer, but i got so lucky and was a the right place at the right time and got the the first pour off the freshly tapped keg. I thought that this beer was all hype, but i was so wrong! This beer was AMAZING!

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Photo of Gargamel92886
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At first I was concerned this beer would not live up to the hype. It did.

A: Straw colored, clear with thin white head

S: mild, citrusy

T: hoppy, not overly bitter

M: nice, crisp, fine carbonation

D: very drinkable. The alcohol hides so nicely within the beer, I didn't notice it until I stood up.

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

I enjoyed a half liter of this at Hollingshead today. I have never had a sip of alcohol at work for my entire life, but given that I expected this to be a once a year opportunity, I made an exception. Halfway through, the barkeep casually mentioned that they actually received five kegs instead of their usual one. So it goes.

Pours a bright burnished orange. Clearer and more uniform in color than I expected. Little to no head. Smells like grapefruit and pine. Some tropical pineapple/passion fruit notes in the aroma, but little to no malt. Oily, viscuous, and perfect mouthfeel.

The flavor is robust and awe-inspiring. There is definitely tons of sweet, pink grapefruit-y tropical-ness and caramel malt to balance out a truly explosive pine and grapefruit hop backbone. That's right: this the rare beer in which the dominating characteristic is hops, and yet it actually is balanced by sweeter characteristics. Very drinkable.

I'm not sure what else there is to say. This beer has been well reviewed. This has joined Dreadnaught at the top of my DIPA chart.

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

Thanks to LongBeachHopHead for hand bottling this beauty so that I could taste the hype, and this is a case where I can believe the hype.

A- Bright glowing orange hue with a white head that was a little less than half a finger.

S- Hoppy-citrus and piney, could have inhaled this beer all night.

T- Sweet Citrus hop-bomb with hints of floral taste, 11% ABV was expertly hidden.

M- Crisp and refreshing, perfectly balanced carbonation no one taste overpowered.

D- Wish I had a growler, but was glad to have any. I probably would have been a mess, but if I had a growler I surely would have finished it in one night.

I have had Dreadnaught, the Elder, Hopslam, Sculpin and a few others in the last two weeks and I could see why PtY is clearly the CHAMP.

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

Used 5 tickets to sample at the ABF. This is a combining of the notes I took each time..

How'd it look?: hazy honey yellow body with frothy head.

Olfactory Rating: Foresty Citrus Fresh Baked Sweet Bread. This beer is almost as confusing in the amount of smells it provides as any I've sampled. Was first, third, fifith, and then seventh and eigth samples I tried Friday night. Glad I tried it so many times up front, as it was gone fairly fast, and I could smell more layers in the beer than I might have later on.

Taste Buds say: sweet, almost amzingly so, as the nose doesn't hint that is the first thing you'll taste. Malt sits up front and Vinnie's use of sugar in the brews to up alch % and add sweetness comes through. Then, the hops explode - and the alchohol slowly works it way down the throat. The hops are almost like chewing on a piece of grapefruit covered in pine tar. Very intense, and the only other beer I've had that compares, is Dreadnaught. Alch flavor is there, but not highly present. Simply stunned, these taste buds are.

Mouthfeel: Very rich taste, covers the tongue, and attaches to the top of the palette.

Despite an 11% abv...this is one drinkable beer.

Finally found my notes from that weekend in Boston and am adding in reviews as I can.

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

After calling Russian River, the distributor, and driving over an hour in Philly, I finally experienced the Younger. The hype, travel, and effort were well worth it.

Appearance: Nice, golden, white head, but it lacked a little bit, could have been thicker and had better retention.

Smell: The perfect smell. Strong hop aroma with hint of grapfruit, pine, lemon, citrus

Taste: Perfect. Such a nice hop taste, but so perfectly balanced that it isn't overpowering, but still enough to give it that great hop taste. Nice and crisp, medium body.

Mouthfeel: Again, perfect. Carbonation was right one (not sure what happened with the head, though), medium body was perfect.

Overall: Again, head lacked a tad. Aroma was perfect, taste was perfect. This is a very hoppy IIPA but is so perfectly balanced as to not overpower, giving it the perfect taste.

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Photo of schuey1010
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was lucky enough to be at Pizza Port San Clemente on Valentines night and got talking to the bartender. Great beer there as always. Well, the bartender told me they had two five gallon kegs waiting to go on tap. He didn't tell me it would be on at opening, but he also didn't think they would put it on later in the day.

So this guy spent the night sleeping in front of the door waiting for them to open. The wife and I walked in and gave the secret handshake and were presented with two, maybe 8 or 10 oz. pours of this luscious, amazing elixir.

I drank my first in less than two minutes because I didn't want them to run out. (There were only three other people in the bar). I was able to have four myself as well as the four my wife had.

I am very much able to handle strong beers, but let me tell you, these four youngers really did a number on my Monday.
Then I think back and wonder if the two jack and cokes I had before PP had anything to do with it.

Overall, I will say that this batch is as good as any of the others I have tried. It goes down well, and the alcohol is virtually unnoticed until a few hours later when it's time for a nap.

Enjoy it if you can...

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

A: Beautiful in the glass, nice and golden orange with a slight white foam head. The lacing was perfect in my glass as well.

S: Powerful citrus and pine aroma, makes the knees weak.

T: Ka-pow! My palate didn't know what hit it. Lots of pine and grapefruit flavors here, super fresh on the hop taste.

M: Good bitterness, feels pretty light for the amount of hops and alcohol.

D: Amazing flavors with a light balance makes it hard to have just one. I was lucky and got 3 glasses... and definitely felt like I had 3 glasses of it.

Overall it is an incredible beer. I don't think it would be so popular if it were readily available every year. But honestly, part of the enjoyment of this beer was the hunt... and kill.

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Photo of rudeboy916
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an eight ounce glass. It appears medium bodied gold with only a thin layer of white foam.

I get an herbal grapefruit like smell to the beer. There is a bit of a grassy pine like smell as well. All you can smell in this beer are strong fresh dank hops.

It tastes initially very citrus like. I get a bit of a grapefruit flavor. There is a strong pine like dank flavor. There is a grassy hop flavor as well. I detect almost no malt presence in this beer. Hops are the star of this beer (obviously). The beer attacks the palate with a strong but pleasant bitterness. The herbal, slightly citrus, pine like and bitter quality of the hops all linger on for quite a while. This is a very clean and smooth tasting beer. In many ways this beer shows constraint and is not over the top (though the craziness surrounding this beer is).

The carbonation is moderate. There is a crisp mouthfeel to this beer.

The drinkability for being 11 percent is pretty good. It goes down quite easy but due to how flavorful it is this beer is a sipper. I could drink a few glasses of this if given the opportunity.

Overall a nearly flawless beer. I think the hype surrounding this beer is insane but the beer really is amazingly good. The cleanest, most flavorful (yet restrained) double/ triple IPA I have had.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I truly believe that not enough good things can be said about this beer. I had it on-tap at the release day. I also split a growler of it with friends the day after the release. Very fortunate to write this review.

The appearance is a light honey colored nectar that pours with a one and a half finger head. The head is white and sticky, but leaves after a while due to the ABV. The brew itself is as thick as honey, the carbonation bubbles struggle to make their way to the top of the brew. Leaves a thick alcoholic leg all around the glass. Also leaves a medium lacing on the sides. A beautiful beer with the greatest color and gravity, this thing is thick!

The smell is the best hop smell I have ever experienced. It reminds me of rubbing wet hops together in my hands at my local homebrew store. It has a hop bitterness with underlying citrus notes that bring two big characteristics together. No ABV is present anywhere in this beer, and it makes it dangerous. There is a marijuana smell that a lot of my beer tasting friends picked up, so this beer brings together my favorite smells in an IPA and intensifies them by ten.

The taste is of extremely bitter hops with a very strong malt backbone. It is balanced so well that the hops just explode with different flavors. What I love about Russian Rivers IPA's is that they have more of a pine characteristic than overly sweet. This pairs pine hops with sweet undertones in the taste. I had a growler at a bar last night and gave samples to about four different people, some that do not always drink craft beer. Everyone knew without the background of Younger that this was a very special beer.

The mouthfeel is a palate destroyer! The oils in this beer coat your entire mouth with hop bitterness, creating the best mouthfeel for a hop focused beer. Nothing tastes the same after this, for your palate is in fatigue after just a few sips.

The drinkability is dangerously high, I would of given this a six out of five if possible. Once you start, you cannot stop at all. I had about eight pours of this on the actual release, needless to say I got out of bed the next day at around noon. There is no surprise here that the taps ran out on the same day. Once you get to taste it, you just don't want to stop.

This was a true pleasure to try for I will never forget this weekend. A truly exceptional beer thats hype is well deserved. Cheers to Vinnie and Natalie at Russian River

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

Pliny the Younger.

As a casual observer for the last few years the hysteria surrounding this beer was been overwhelming and something of a fascination for me. Horror stories of waiting in horrendous lines just for a chance to sample, amusing tirades by local barkeeps, hostile bartenders, etc. This has been something of a turn off to say the least. Was there a beer worthy of such insanity? Well I made a last minute decision to head over to Vine Street pub in Denver yesterday, 3/1/2012 to find out...if I was fortunate enough to score an elusive ticket. Parking was atrocious and knowing they were tapping the keg at 4:20, the short drive from the office to pub seemed an eternity. I was able to get one of the last 20 tickets at the pub. The place was busier than I have ever seen it and you could feel the apprehension of all these beer geeks (myself included) watching the clock tick ever so slowly. Cameras were out all over the bar just taking pictures of the tap handle! The comical looks at some of the dining patrons who clearly had no idea what was happening was rather amusing. One lady even asked her partner, "What the f*ck is going on!?" My friend was rolling down 17th to join me as they continued handing out tickets. 15 tickets left! 10 tickets left! 5 tickets left! 3 tickets left! They were disappearing at an alarming rate! I called him up and told he he needed to get his ass to the bar! Stuck in traffic? Throw that jeep up on the curb and get here! As he drove by the window "2 tickets!" PARK IN THE FIRE LANE! He dashed in right as they were calling LAST TICKET! We did everything in our power to get noticed, bam! He was awarded the last ticket! But wait, the manager promised the ticket to someone else! WTF!? In the end everything worked out ok and we both scored a 10 ounce pour of Pliny the Younger. The keg flowed non-stop for what was probably 15-20 minutes until kicked, much to the chagrin of the beer geeks who let out a resounding sigh of disappointment as the keg died. Easily the most stressful beer chase in my life, was it worth it!? On to the review:

The beer was poured to a 10 ounce wine glass with extreme care by the army of employees Vine Street had on hand. They had an assembly line of workers to distribute the beer, fascinating. As the keg was tapped and the glasses filled the entire bar was filled with a billowing aroma of sweet citrus and piney hops. The power of the aroma was glorious! It was like swimming in a cloud of hops and I didn't even have my beer yet! Finally my glass, the beer is a crystal clear yellow golden amber color with a smaller 1/2 finger white head. Good retention and lacing. The staff was very observant of not spilling a drop and filling each glass with extreme care, nice, and odd and unlike anything I have ever seen. The aroma of the beer in my hand was even more impressive than what I experienced as it flowed from the keg. Huge hop character with hints of tangerine, pineapple, orange, pine, and grapefruit along with a distinct sweetness clearly evident in the nose. The most impressive aroma of any IPA I've experienced, it knocks you in the face and reminds you who you're dealing with. The flavor is equally impressive with an initial surge of the hops. Medium bitter the hops and caramel fruity sweetness actually balance the beer very well. Absolutely no hint of the high abv whatsoever and extremely drinkable. Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The beer drinks like a meal, chewy, with hop resins that linger on the palette well after the sweetness has faded. The flavor lasts on the tongue longer than any beer I've ever had, easily. Well crafted brew.

Overall, to say I really enjoyed the experience would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype? Tough call. The beer is amazing. To be honest the whole experience while stressful and chaotic in hindsight was actually a lot of fun! The whol ordeal is something I won't soon forget and perhaps that factors into the rating of the beer. As one of a couple triple IPA's I've had, this is hands down the winner... by a landslide. I now understand and respect the hysteria surrounding this beer and feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Pliny the Younger.

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Photo of mig100
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from my time at the bar with The Younger:

L: Pours a beautiful slightly cloudy gold with 1/4" micro bubbly, fluffy head that settles to a small bubbly ring around the glass. Sticky lace and huge legs linger on the glass.

S: Massive waves of intensely fresh hops and pine permeate the air around the glass, with some very slight tropical aroma coming through, as well as some subtle crackery/biscuity malt.

T: Taste follows the aroma... cleansing and pristine pine-fresh hops, slight citrus and lemongrass with a strong bready malt base that hits at the back of the tongue. The balance between all of the flavors is really nothing short of incredible.

M: Crisp and dry, with no booze detectable whatsoever (at 11%!), perfectly highlights the flavor balance.

Overall: A more realized and brighter version of Elder. PtY checks all boxes and then some. The benchmark imperial/triple IPA. 'Lupulin Threshold Shift' be damned.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of MitchD14
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap in a 12 oz glass at Bailey's Taproom in Portland. I must say, it lives up to the hype. I believe this keg was 10.5% ABV but it was not too hoppy to enjoy even with the high alcohol content. It has a beautiful translucent golden color and goes down extremely smoothly.

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Photo of grrrah
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at brewery, February 2012

A: Clear golden. Not much head as the pour was pretty much to top of glass.
S: Lots of tropical fruits and pines
T: Perfect, big hops, fruity, and perfect balance. Does not taste like a triple IPA
M: almost perfect. A little resiny in the mouth, but not nearly as much as one would expect from a 10+% IPA.
O: Still the best IPA I have ever had.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,989 ratings.
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