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Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
927 Reviews
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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
927
Ratings:
2,960
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
7.28%
 
 
Wants:
6,266
Gots:
419
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 927 | Ratings: 2,960
Photo of AJKing
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer manages to do the "look" well - pale straw, makes you anticipate a pils if you just saw the glass but had nose plugs in. Take those nose plugs out though - big floral and citrus aromas, some pine. Once you take a swig, the taste transforms into a berry/pine marijuana flavor on the tongue. Mouth is smooth, and dry. Overall, this hop combination has likely been perfected, and better beers only occur because they approach with different combos.

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

Very good, very strong. Don't drink before your wait in line, otherwize you will be the silly person. If you are that person, it's ok. My friend James thought he was drugged, there is a limit for a reason. Also, Younger is a masterpiece of the modern style. Check out the current champ on a weeknight and you'll only have to wait a half hour or so.

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Photo of Mburk
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer from the source at Russian River. Waited about three hours but it was well worth it. Younger is just like Elder but on steroids. This is the epitome of a west coast IPA with lots of pine but incredibly smooth! Highly enjoyed.

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Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A great beer. Great floral and citrus scents. Dry finish with overall low boosiness. Great marketting makes this beer highly sought after. I have tried it three times 2015 being the best.

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Photo of Dgc3043
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 2015 batch was significantly better than the 2014, in my opinion. In 2014 my friends and I enjoyed younger but wouldn't have put it as a top beer, however, in 2015 the experience was completely different. The floral smell at the start told us this was a different brew. It was smooth with an overall amazing taste. Hard to believe it was over 10%. By far, the best beer I've had.

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Photo of jow_42
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8oz pour @ Pizza Port Carlsbad during the Younger tapping

A - Pours a dark amber color. No head on the glass we got since they were pouring and walking them out to us. It had dissipated by the time we got it. Looks very similar to Elder.

S - Sweet hops. Tropical fruits, pine. The 11% is no where to be found.

T - I must say this is the smoothest triple I have ever had. Again, sweet hops up front, lots of pineapple, underneath the sweetness is a piney, resinous, dank note. People say its like Elder cranked up, and I can see that. As it warmed, much more bitterness came out, as well as some candied orange.

O - Did this live up to the hype? Yes. Its delicious. Best triple I have had. Would I wait hours on hours for a small pour of this? Probably not.

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Photo of witschen
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Late review - tasted at Toronado in 2013. Blown away by mellowness of this high abv double (triple?) IPA. Hops are big but not overwhelming. Lives up to the hype.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2016 vintage

Awesome beer. Finally got to have a full pour of this in Colorado.

Clear orange, golden color. Classic looking IPA.

Smells like Elder, very piney, some citrus, aromatic, definitely.

The taste amplifies the smell: very full. A nice amount of sweetness and intensity over Elder. Not boozy by any means. Just awesome.

A great IIIPA. Not quite big enough to be a triple really nowadays, but still, the balance and exposition of the beer stands on its own. Very nice.

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

Review for 2015, 2016 vintages

10oz pour at Britannia Arms Almaden in late February. Served in a lowball glass.
4oz pour at Harry's Hofbrau San Jose, 15 days after initial brewery release. Served in a small snifter glass.

A: Medium to dark orange in color. 1/2 a finger of head that dissipated quickly. Clear, not cloudy in the least. Great looking beer, very similar in appearance to Elder.
S: Malty sweetness right upfront with pine and tropical fruit. Passion fruit, orange, tangerine come through as well. Sweet malts in the background, makes me think of cake or frosting. No alcohol to be found in the aroma, the 11% doesn't come through even a little bit. Catty aromas from the simcoe are definitely present. Incredibly delicate, takes several passes to really process everything going on.
T: Sweet pineapple upfront, pine, and sweet malt. Oranges, tangerines, tropical fruits in the middle mouth and finish. Little bit of bitterness but not very much.
M: Medium to large mouthfeel, this is the only place where the size of the beer really comes through. Medium carbonation and a clean finish.
O: This one lives up to the hype. An incredibly well crafted triple. Easy drinking, smooth and delicious. The best beer in the world? I don't think so, but not far from it. I give this one a perfect score because it's amazing and there's no beer like it.

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

Simply the greatest beer known to man. If you can get a chance to enjoy Younger, you need to jump on that chance right away!

Uh Not sure what @GregSpeaksHisMind is smoking but I'll have what he's having. Protip: If you have to claim your taste is "impeccable", it isn't.

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Photo of Dawgboned37
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

FINALLY tracked this one down! 7oz pour into a tulip glass. Floral and light citrus nose. Resinous and a bit piney with some heat from the booze, but amazingly well balanced for a big 11% triple IPA. I understand the hype... this beer was very solid!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.27/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer I thought I'd never get to try. 64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear orange body with a small white head. A few wisps on the surface and a thin collar.

Smell - Orange. Some pine hops. Lots of caramel malt, but doesn't smell all that sugary.

Taste - Tastes like an amped up Pliny. Orange hops up front. Sweet pale malts. A touch of booze. Pine hops build in the back end with a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Not a sugar bomb, which I was afraid of. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Glad I got to try it. It's very good. I'd take a lot of things over it, especially if it avoids a trip to CA to get a taste.

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Photo of Phishyninja
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wait was 2 1/2 hours, weather was perfect (as usual) and we got seated right away on the patio. I got an Elder to taste side by side, and was surprised to find Elder to be a better beer in every way. And Elder isn't even the best IPA on tap every day! Still, I had a great time and probably will too. Just don't expect to have your mind blown, Younger is good but this is an over-hyped release that owes its weeks of long lines to those who suffer from FOMO.

Row 2 however, is the bomb.

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Photo of MichaelPhiladelphiaBeer
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wine glass on tap, pre purchased to avoid crowds.

Surprisingly disappointing nose but hard for the beer not to be disappointing given all the hype. Nice, little fruity, not too overpowering.

Mouth feel standard, little less bubbles than average.

Light pretty pour with a small head

Taste was clean - reminded me a bit of heady topper. Couldn't really taste the alcohol - definitely a nice bitter clean ending which somehow reminded me of a stainless steal finished white wine.

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

3/2015 on tap at the Pour House. Fantastic DIPA, but now that I've had it, I wouldn't fight crowds and drive hours to try it again..... But, I certainly wish it was easier to obtain....

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Photo of 2dogbrew
4.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happy to finally try this whale. It was damn good, but not one I need to seek out. Perfect balance of super hoppy and nice malt backbone. Great aroma.

Edit - had a second glass which was so much better than the first. Now I understand the hype.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Worthy of the hype...the alcohol is apparent but seems part of the overall package that is not overly anything...bitter, but not too much so....well balanced...good hop kick with fruit notes from many angles...tropical comes to mind...

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Photo of Hop_God
4.63/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at a local spot in Palo Alto during the 2 weeks younger was available. Pliny the Elder on steroids. Yes it has more alcohol, but it is beautifully balanced. very easy to drink. This has an amazing aroma and great citrus to it. Would love this to made more often.

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Photo of jakewatt135
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This and the elder side by side made the elder seem like it had no hops it in. Amazing beer. Super light body, not painfully malty like you could expect at 11% and honestly not crazy hoppy either.

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Photo of minterro
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a chance to try this legend at the Euclid Hall's release on 02/22/15.

A&S: Very aesthetically pleasings. Fluffy white head with great retention, leaves a large amount of lacing. The beer is a transparent light orange, it semi-lively as far as carbonation goes. I was getting a little thrown off aroma wise being located right by the open kitchen area, but from what I picked up, it wasn't super powerful. I was mostly getting citrus, passion fruit, and floral notes.

T&M: The thing that stood out the most to me about this beer is the bitter profile. Very well balanced, with just enough of a kick at the end. Not super powerful, I was definitely expecting less subdued, but was similar to the aroma. Very velvety full bodied beer. Extremely drinkable.

Overall: A great beer. I was a little disappointed (in my opinion it didn't live up to the hype), wouldn't include in my top ten, but still extremely good.

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Photo of Micros32
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily the best triple IPA ever. Very smooth and not overpowering holiness. Can smell Pliny the younger from 5ft away. Get your hands on it. Lives up to its reputation.

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Photo of Ironstutz
4.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

oh what a beer! had 6 on tap out in the source on Saturday night! Had my 3 and my fiancee's 3 and they were so great

L- Similar to his Elder, clear and filtered, sort of a dark copper color
S- I mean it is all really its Elder squared, the citrus and pine stand out. maybe more pine than citrus even, but overall a wonderful balance.
T- Dinalingadingdong! citrus, mango, pine, loveliness
F- nice mouthfeel, crisp but still present, a good west coast mouth on this
O - I mean, we all know it is amazing, anyone who hates is obviously just a hater. If you ever get the chance to enjoy this beer, do it!

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Photo of mschantz
4.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Small Bar - thanks to cuz for cluing me into this under the radar tapping. Pours a beautiful bright hazy mandarin color - much richer in color than Elder. The nose is huge citrus fruit and pine. Taste is citrus and juniper but drier than expected. Really interesting and complex. Crisp finish.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.
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