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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 932 | Ratings: 2,987
Photo of GMan310
4.63/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

really good beer just like pliny the elder just more bitter and hoppy and stronger but all that said its super smooth still. if you get a chance its a must try.

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

Got some today at the taproom San Diego. Best thing I've ever seen, smelled, or tasted. Words just can't do it justice so I won't even try. Ill just say that world class is quite an understatement.

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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 starrdogg
4.43/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this after all these years last weekend at Toronado. It's absolutely a great beer, but I was sure there was no way it was going to live up to the hype and I was right. It smells incredible, but I honestly thought the flavor was a little on the boozy side, and after two 7 oz glasses, I felt like I'd had enough. So glad to have tried it though, life goal fulfilled!

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Photo of KMachHops
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2016 version.
Look: 9oz pour. Good frothy head and amber in color.
Smell: Tropical, piney, and floral. Just dank!
Taste: Follows the smell.
Feel: Perfect carbonation and very smooth for +10% abv. Not boozy at all.
Overall: Had this three straight years and this year seems to be the best.

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Photo of remingtonsteele1987
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the Younger on two separate occasions at the same establishment with consistent results limited to two 5oz tulip tasting glasses. Clear, light amber color with little head. Sweet vanilla, orange and papaya nose with just the slightest, slightest hint of barnyard animal aromas, but in a good way. Creamy, rounded and well balanced flavors of vanilla, citrus and tropical fruit with just the right amount of hops. Had a pint of the Elder next to the Younger for comparison purposes and I can say the Younger is no comparison. Big, big triple IPA with smooth and delicate features. Delicious!

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Photo of bzainthemd
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 version on tap at O'Briens San Diego.
Poured into a 10oz glass.
The absolute freshest IPA I have ever had. The hop complexity is outstanding. Perfect carbonation. The smell is of fresh citrus fruit. The look is golden yellow with a nice head. You do not realize that you are drinking a 11% beer. The best IPA I have ever had.

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Photo of jluck2001
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the 2016 this last week at the brewery and it was the best batch yet! It made Elder taste like water to me side by side. Fabulous full bodied and incredibly balanced. If I didn't know that it was 11.25% ABV I wouldn't have had a clue......until later.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.9/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose, Ca.

Transparent golden. Slight lacing
Tropical fruits, floral bouquet
Piney, melons, slight citrus
medium mouthfeel, the alcohol is very well hidden.
Glad I got to try this epic liquid

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

Lucky enough to catch the 2nd keg before it tapped out at Toronado. No wait in line made this even better than last year. It's that time of year when I stalk my social media accounts waiting to see where it may or may not get tapped. I hope to try a couple more times before this season is over.

The appearance is bright with citrus. Smell is juicy. Taste is smooth as can be, hard to believe it's a triple. Feel makes me think the trouble to try this beer is worth it. Overall happy to say I had one but I'll be happier if I can find a couple more.

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Photo of RLM15
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Toronado San Diego

The beer is a beautiful, crystal clear, orange-gold color. On the nose there is a tone of pine with some sweeter tropical fruits to finish off. The taste follows through on the nose very well: massive pine hop bitterness with some smoother tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple to balance out the taste. I can't believe this is a 10.25% abv beer; it tastes like a 8% beer. As per any Russian River beer, its balance is outstanding and what sets it apart from the rest of the pack. I'm sure there are more hoppy, aggressive Triple IPA's out there but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better balanced one.

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

On tap poured into a snifter at Falling Rock Tap House Denver.

Appearance - Brilliant gold hue.

Smell - Impressive tropical nose. Very Nice!

Taste - Honey, tropical fruits, very smooth for 11% abv! Really great beer!

Mouthfeel - Soft, smooth medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Really easy drinker.

Overall - The best Triple IPA I have ever had...

Grade (A+)

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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 Benjo87
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at tornado, San Fransisco. For an Aussie, this feels like I've hit the holy grail.

Look - looks like liquid gold in a glass. Minimal head. Fairly clear golden colour

Smell - wow. You don't even need to put your nose to the glass. Juicy juicy hops. No alcohol at all present. Smells amazingly juicy.

Taste - smooth smooth smooth. You'd never know how strong it was. So well balanced. Not a dry beer at all. The taste lingers. All in all it definitely lived up to expectation. Amazingly well balanced beer.

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

Waited over 4hrs to sample this almost mythical brew, I was not disappointed. Contrary to my thoughts about triple the hops, this is a very smooth beer. It had a very creamy mouth feel and a smooth follow. Worth the wait

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Photo of n2185
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of tropical fruits and melon on both the aroma and palate. This beer is dangerously drinkable with low bitterness and little alcohol burn. A damn good DIPA, overall.

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewery last year during the two week release. It was an exceptional beer. I'm not sure if I've ever had such a balanced beer before. Each component of the flavor profile was spot on. Well worth the nearly-six-hour wait!

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Photo of paint94979
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had Younger on RRBC in 2014 and 2015. Both years have been great. The malt profile of RRBC is unique in comparison to other IPA's. Younger only builds on what Pliny is. Drinkability is great. Very hard to tell that you're drinking 10-11% abv beer. I've had the best IPA's in the world and this is still my favorite with Heady being a close second. Look forward to the 2016 batch.

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Photo of hoho2701
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is unbelievable. Perfectly crafted double IPA. Just as you think they can't make Pliny better, the Younger proves to be more refined than the Elder. Imagine all positive of the Elder and none of its negative.

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel like such an irresponsible goober for not having ever reviewed this phenomenal big ass hoppy elixir. I have had the privilege to drink both 2014 and 2015 versions and I will review it in general, based on both but realistically mainly based on the 2014 edition for it was vastly and clearly superior in every way possible way.( Even though both were 5's) maybe this years was 4.99 but whatever.
2014 was just over 11% abv

Appearance: similar to elder, maybe ever so slightly lighter and more golden and bright.

smell: fuck, hard to describe but it smelled delicate and beautiful. fruity and sticky, and dangerously dank and fresh. no alcohol to detect. the smell was so perfect for a triple IPA behemoth.

taste: every single one of my taste buds was tingling. all of my taste pores / receptors were activated 110%. at the time i had never experience quite a sensation but alas, i don't want to veer into mouthfeel. taste was juicy, sweet stone fruits, a little tangerine, orange, sweet cutie flavors.
hints of lemon zest and fresh grass / pine. The fresh pine needle, christmas tree action is real and amazing.

mouthfeel: smooth smooth smooth smooth tingly smooth smooth smooth smooth soft smooth smooth smooth delicate smooth smooth smooth smooth smooth, drinkable, smooth smooth smooth, ideal carbonation, smooth smooth smooth smooth.

overall: perfect. like, lets be real, no other triple IPA on the planet comes close? can anyone on this site name any triple IPA that even comes close to this? nah

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Photo of HBPierside
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrific triple IPA. Waited in line for as few hours and was able to get three glasses along with Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Overall was well worth the wait. The beer looked, smelled and had a very smooth chock full of flavor taste and feel. Too bad the availability is so limited.

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Photo of Gerad_12
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Stood in line back in February at Samuel Hornes in Folsom, Ca. The 2 hour wait was well worth it. Amazing IPA. Great nose, feel, and taste is incredible especially considering the 11%

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Photo of K4550
4.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the tapping at the South Philly Taproom in Philadelphia. Full blown blizzard, everyone was out of work for the day. The line wasn't too bad, only about 30 people at 930ish for a 10am tapping (the line grew a ton in the last 10 minutes however). Pours were $10, first come first serve, keg was kicked in 19 minutes. Color was a beautiful orange-y gold, head was thin. Served (unfortunately) in a skinny taster glass so I couldn't get much in the way of the nose (or maybe it was because I waited outside forever in the freezing cold). Taste was a little dank, but with some citrus. Sticky but had a fresh bouquet of hops on the back end that balanced everything out. Was tasty and I can see what the hype is about, but I don't think I'd be willing to stand in line for more than an hr to get a pour. Definitely a bucket list/BA Top 250 experience though for anyone who hasn't tried it yet.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pliny the Younger on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, fifteen dollars for 6.5oz, cash only for Alex's Lemonade charity. for charity, 10.5% ABV

App: ½ finger head, some floaties, soapy bubbles. Low retention. Orange-tropical color.

Smell: Intoxicating! Citrus, tropical aromas, pineapple juice, dank and sticky. Pomelo bitterness and lovely tartness. Fresh-squeezed OJ.

Taste: More of that pepperiness, super spicy, pineapple cake, piney. Don Limpio. Orange rind. Aggressive hops, lip-smacking. Oily, resin, like licking sap.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation, could use more bubbles. Dry, sticky finish, need water! Spicy, peppery all around- not too pleasant.

Overall: Very drinkable! Like water, poundable. World-class? Not so, but delicious. Worth trying once or twice, but I wouldn’t go crazy or stand on line for it. There are many wonderful Triple IPA’s out there these days… (Knee Deep is making some killer ones!).

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If not for the lines around this beer I would like it even more. There are some amazing IPAs out there without a 3 hour hype train. Maybe I wish I could just get more though.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,987 ratings.
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