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Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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world-class
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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
931
Ratings:
2,979
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
7.28%
 
 
Wants:
6,360
Gots:
446
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 931 | Ratings: 2,979
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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Photo of JRscott24
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This treat was being served on Valentines day at a local bar in Danville, CA. 2 full kegs tapped out in 43 Mins. Once again, this beer did not disappoint. A full-bodied brew with a powerful hop aroma and lingering taste. It is the perfect example of a triple IPA. Incredibly smooth. Incredibly strong. Memorable flavor.

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

Had this last year at Haven Gastropub in Orange. Was alittle skeptical at first when I had to wait 2 hours but it was well worth it!

The smell is amazing, a straight hop bomb.

Appearance is like pliny

Both taste and mouthfeel are amazing, not at all bitter.

Can't wait until next year when I try this again!

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Photo of Turst3Since1987
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

First and foremost I just want to say that I did not intend to get drunk off younger but the opportunity to have as many glasses as I wished drove me to have my fill of it. And for the first time trying it, it was no less then amazing.

Golden, deep orange and minimum head, almost completely flat.

From the moment I had my first glass without putting my nose to it the smell found me, amazing sweetness deceptively covering the amount of hops it contains.

Mouthfeel was medium body, creamy silk, light oil consistency that made it one easy beer to drink and make u forget its actually 11%

Overall worth the wait and having a beer like this makes me appreciate perfectly crafted beer and has me searching for anything that can tap into the heels of this amazing brew, at least untill next year.

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Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get two glasses this year.

A - golden crystal clear yellow with almost zero head. There is no head retention because of all the hop oil. Great alcohol legs.

S - the smell knocked me off my feet. So piney and hoppy. I could smell the beer from the table. Almost didn't want to drink it because it smelt that good.

T - perfectly balanced and smooth. Classic RR IPA with the piney, citrus flavored but just the right amount of malt backbone. Some warming but no burn.

O - if this beer was more widely available it would be easily the best beer around. Lives up to the hype and has inspired me to finally make the trek to RR next year for the PtY release.

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Photo of tbauer1134
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this right after the Elder. First impression was pretty good. Then I went back to the Elder and it tasted watery. Blown away by that. Ate some bread to cleanse the palate and went back to the Younger. Obviously as the score indicates it was incredible. Pine, Dank, Grapefruit, Resin all X 2. Seek it out and wait in line for an hour for this beer. You won’t be disappointed.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comes in looking a yellow with 1/4" white head. Aroma is just massive waves of amarillo dry hopping it seems. Just massive and delicious.

Taste wise drops a ton of hops without being overly aggressive bitterness wise, you get a plethora of the usual descriptors, citrus, pine, grass, tropical fruit (lesser extent). Amazing it its ability to be light, dry and massively strong without letting you know it in the taste.

I give Lagunitas Waldo's a nod above it even though its basically the same beer. That is available in bottles, this is draft only with lines unless you go to the dipa festival.

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Photo of Cooper925
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-glassy Amber feel with a delicate head and a light body

Smell-flushed juicy hops, tree fruit

Taste-aggressive hops, sweet and a subtle dry finish

Feel- Expertly crafted to be inviting yet complex with rolling waves of laminar smoothness

Overall-first class, worth the trip. its detrimental to your well being to miss this opportunity.

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Photo of itsThatBoyE
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on opening day Feb 6, 2015. Waited from 5:00 AM around 70th in line. Had 3 10oz pours. This beer definitely lived up to the hype. I've had plenty of triple IPAs and this was hands down the best. And much better than similar ABV double IPAs. The balance of malty backbone with bitter hops was perfection. 0 alcohol whatsoever. Each sip made you desperate for more. Definitely going back.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on tap at the brewery on release day 2/4/2011.

This glowing honey-amber liquid was served in a 10oz nonic glass. I wouldn't expect much of a head on a pour like this but what thin collar is there left great sheets of lacing down the glass. The smell is just the most wonderful bouquet of sweet floral, fruity and piney hops. This goes for the flavor as well. Overall the hops are full of fruit nectar, honey, and a touch of grapefruit and pine bitterness. Elder is a little bit more potent in the nose, with a bigger blast of grass, pine, and marijuana, but Younger is more fruity, sweet and nectary. The bitterness for this beer is also so well integrated, and it doesn't overwhelm or fatigue the palate at all.

The mouthfeel is everything I want in a beer. This is crazy smooth! There is NO trace of alcohol, and this is a 10.5% beer. Nor is this beer heavy, syrupy or thick. At all. The carbonation is just perfect, and one could quite literally drink this all day. By far this is the best mouthfeel on a beer I've ever had. Basically, this is one of the world's most easy-to-drink beers, and definitely one of the best beers I've ever had. Well well well worth the hype!

EDIT: Consuming this beer during the weeks of the 2012 release solidified this beer as my favorite of all time. There are many other amazing beer in this style and others, but this beer is the best. I love you Vinnie, I love you Russian River!

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Photo of Buzzerben
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fortunate to be in Denver at the Cheeky Monk for a tapping.

Appearance: Clear, crisp orange hued. Akin to most kiler DIPAs/TIPAs
Smell: Citrusy sweet from 3 feet away
Taste: Enamel-busting sticky grapefuit
Mouthfeel: Suave suave suave.

Overalll: I was very impressed with this beer. I feel lucky to have had it. It most certainly lives up to the hype.

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

On tap at RRBC on Tuesday the 8th and again on Friday the 11th.
Trying very hard not to get caught up in the hype but couldn't help it.
This is one amazing beer. The perfect balance between flowery smoothness and hoppy essence you want from a DIPA.
It just tastes sooo good!
Thanks for the memories RRBC! My new gold standard to measure all others.

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

2/28/11 - 8oz pour in to a tulip glass

The color was exceptional, a clear shiny copper color with a thin white head that was only about 1 finger or so that dissipated quickly.

The aroma was full of citrusy & floral hops. A very intense aroma for a beer, but had the perfect blend of hops in the nose that work very well with each other.

Taste was amazing. It was sweeter and maltier than I expected, possibly to better balance out the loads of hops this beer has. Full of grapefruit and sweet like honey. The finish has a nice piney note on the end as well.

Mouthfeel was perfect, not too heavy or light, the carbonation was a bit lower than most IPAs, but suited this beer just right. It really brought out the smoothness and balance between the malts & hops on the tongue without the bringing out the bitterness.

This is quite possibly the best balanced IPA I've had even though it's a TIPA. I love the Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder, this is just one step beyond and much more refined. Excellent beer, well worth the wait, only wish it was more readily available.

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

Had this in a pint at the Brewery, loved it so much got a growler also served into pint glasses (6)

A - Slightly hazy golden with one finger white head with good lacing and good head retention.

S - Great hop profile with balance of citrus and pine and a bit of malt sweetness.

T - Smooth and balancde beginning to end, amazing hops grapefruit, orange, lemon, pine, with a sweet malt and the best dry bitter finish I've had in an IPA. Nice alcohol flavor as well.

M - Full body, medium carbonation.

O - Best IPA I have ever had. This is my favorite style. This is among my favorite beers. DRINK IT!

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

I was lucky enough to have a friend bring me a growler of this, last month after a trip to Northern California. Immediately after opening the growler the hop punch hit me. A bouquet of hops almost overwhelm me. It poured a golden haze while the aroma continued to permeate my senses. The balanced foam head filled out what looked to be a picturebook painting of what a pint should look like. The scents still swimming around my nose: piney, gorgeous hops with a slight citrus undertone. It was a complex aroma that was truly remarkable.

My first sip completed everything. The aroma perfectedly made it’s way to the taste: it was a complex delight of many flavors, including a slight sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit creamy, well carbonated but decidedly easy drinking for it’s 11% ABV.

This is as closed to a perfect beer as it can come, possibly the best beer I’ve ever had.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was one of the first 20 people in the joint SuperBowl Sunday and thought I might as well order a Younger while I'm here. I mean...everyone else was doing it.

I've had this beer now 5 years in a row and it never disappoints. (Note - I did review the 2009 Younger but I was new to BA then and to reviewing beers. That review was all over the place so I'm going to leave it out of this review. If you want to compare it that bad search my profile)

A - Looks very similar to Elder, the pour was to the tip of the 10oz glass so no head to speak of but the lacing stuck all over the glass from top to bottom. Looks, crisp and beautiful for an DIPA this big.

S - Smells similar to PtE but a tiny bit muted in comparison in regards to not as pungently floral. BUT, the Tropical Fruit and hemp and earthiness coming out of this is fantastic. Smells very balanced. Can't wait to dive in.

T - I've heard Younger referred to as Elder on Steroids which I agree with and disagree with. How could it be on steroids if it's a smoother beer? BALANCE...wow. It's everything Elder is but a bit stronger malt profile to balance out the enormous amount of hops. The Tangerine forward Grapefruit that the Elder provides in citrus is replaced by Younger with Tropical Fruits and I want to say strawberries. There is less pine in Younger than Elder but the earthiness is still present. Similar bitter finish in the end but not quite as much as Elder. If I could give a 6 here I would.

M - Similar qualities to Elder but smoother and easier drinking??? This is a 5

D - In my 2009 review I gave this category a 4 but this year is the easiest drinking Younger I can ever remember having. I could session this beer, and pretty much did as I drank my 3 pours and my wife's 3 pours as well. I could have kept going but she was starting to get annoyed with me.

Final Thoughts - If you can improve upon Elder which near impossible to do, it's been done with Younger. Many similarities but this is more complex and masterfully crafted. There were more "stages" to this beer. I kept thinking to myself...when you get this this level of IPA (10% +) it really can't be crafted any better. Truly world class. Never had a better IPA or beer period.

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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 Wendt
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, had to find out what the hype was all about. Waited 90 minutes and was told I was a genius for going on a Tuesday. The nice thing is, Russian River only allows in as many as can be seated (none of the usual madhouse, quite civilized) and they charge the normal pricing for it (and are proud of it! Truly a labor of love!). Background: I'm not a hoppy guy. Doppelbocks, stouts, porters, ciders are where I live. This beer changed all that. Smooth, amazingly smooth with a hoppy finish at the back / center of the tongue. Not overpowering at all in taste but packs a punch at 10%. Very much worth the wait. Best beer I've ever had? Yes. Easily the best IPA. Got to enjoy seven (10 oz) glasses this year and I'll be back for more next year.

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

I have been attending the Pliny the Younger release for several years. I have never rated the beer before. It has always been very, very good.

2015 is the most balanced Younger I have tasted.

It is great. There are no competitors.

Period.

Hint - ask for a tulip glass, pour the Younger in it and let Younger warm for 15 or 30 minutes - it will be better than you even imagined.

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

For not being an IPA fan, this Triple IPA is something that I wish you could purchase in a bottle. Tap availability only makes it taste that much better, sucks for those who do not get Russian River.

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

I've had this elixir twice --- once during its regular Feb. '09 release at the Eastside Tavern in Olympia and once, surprisingly, at HopFest at Brouwer's this past summer.

It pours a deep amber color with a foamy off-white head with nice lacing.

The smell is a sweet, yet floral hop kick. The pine and grapefruit are very strong.

While I expected the hoppy pine and grapefruit taste to follow the aroma, I was surprised at how sweet it was on the tongue. Don't get me wrong --- it's a palate killer. In both instances, I tried other brews following PtY and it was a waste.

It has a heavier mouthfeel than I expected it would. It was kind of syrupy, but in a very good way. It was smooooth.

Because I didn't notice any alcohol burn, I drank a couple of these right off. It came back to bite me.

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

2-13-08
On tap at Hollingsheads, poured into a Chimay goblet, transparent rich golden orange with not much foam. The smell is earthy but mostly citrusy hops. Pine citrus leafy hop taste. You get a nice bitterness in the end but its not overpowering. The mouthfeel is really good as there's not too much of a syrupy feel to it. There is a nice level of carbonation that is just prickly enough. This is about as drinkable as any triple or even double IPA could be. The high alcohol hits me but doesn't stop me from ordering another. I'm going back for more in a couple days.
5/4.5/5/5/4.5

4-15-08
I was able to revisit Younger at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe and must say that it's now my favorite IPA of any kind out there. The aroma really hit even more today as fresh citrus and pine and it was again exceptional. I think it deserves a 5 overall.

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Photo of mc4z
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado (SF). This beer is awesome. I could dock random 1/4 points, but for the style, it doesn't get any better. This pours a medium orange color that is surprisingly see through. The smell is juicy citrus fruit with a light sweetness. The taste is lots of strong citrus fruit. It's bitter, but at the same time balanced by the sweetness from all the malt. There is virtually no alcohol presence, which is quite a feat for an 11% beer. This beer is incredibly drinkable and perfectly balanced. Far and away my favorite TIPA.

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

Had from a growler at RBWG 2010. Easily the best DIPA I’ve ever had. Amazing fresh hop flavor there with earthiness, citrus, floral, and more. The flavor is right up there as well, plenty of hop and bitterness but enough malt so it’s not a crazy unbalanced mess. Love it!

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

Drove up seven hours to Sacramento to stay at Abel's (abecall98) in Sacramento this past Friday, then drove another two hours Saturday morning to go to Santa Rosa...all so I could try this beer again on tap at the SOURCE.

Appearance - Given to me in a 10oz glass. After waiting in line for almost three hours, I was more thirsty for water than for beer to be honest. But alas, after seeing this beer, in its beautiful golden hue against the three o'clock sun...I pushed my thirst pangs aside. Slight white head that dissipates relatively fast, but leaves some nice thing lacing.

Smell - Wonderful. People were saying it smelled/tasted more "hoppy" than last year (IMO PtY is more citrus while PtE is more piney/hoppy). I don't know what they were thinking. The massive amounts of tropical aroma were prevalent even before I brought the beer to my nose. Grapefruit, orange, tropical fruits, slight pine, hops, and a malty aroma almost not noticeable due to the sweet tropical fruits.

Taste - I can honestly say, Holy Cow. This beer IS all that it is hyped up to be. Seeing as I drank more PtE oz for oz than any other beer last year, I just can't get over how different this "brother" to PtE is. Such an amazing tropical fruit/citrus quality. I had SO many of these while at the RR pub. I am so glad I went up there.

Mouthfeel - SO creamy, thicker viscosity, decent carbonation, slick, amazing.

Drinkability - If I gave this to someone, had them literally quaff down the beer, and then tell them it was over 10% they would laugh at me thinking I'm lying. This beer, this year over last, seems to me to be just insanely drinkable. Having no alcohol in my system and having this after standing in line for so long I would have expected to get some alcohol taste or warmth. No. Nothing. Utterly amazing. This is my FIRST perfect five I have given in over two years on BA. This beer deserves it hands down. Especially seeing as the most well versed style I know is IPA/DIPA, this beer just outdoes EVERYTHING. I am SO glad I drove up from LA for this. Amazing on tap.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,979 ratings.
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