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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: 930 | Ratings: 2,974
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 johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: Sampled at EBF 2010. Pours a murky pale golden color with a stingy off white head that dissipates quickly. Wonderfully complex hop aroma, lots of citrus grapefruit and orange being in the forefront. The flavor is big with lots of caramel offset with plenty of hop flavor mostly of the peach/grapefruit/orange vein. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet resinous mouthfeel. Very nice big IPA that I waited much to long in line to taste. I’m glad I got to try this its a great beer, but I think I prefer the elder.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

once poured from the growler, the brew slipped over the lip of the pint, and I had to suck up some...pre-inspection, I'm wowed by this beer! Holy dribble cup, Batman!

Clear golden/ pale peach appearance, with an excellent cup of lacey, snow -white froth on top. Very attractive IPA, so far.

Nose is all pine, hints of pineapple and other tropical fruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, banana, lemon...braces of bitterness, but all of it pleasing to the hophead. Just heavenly!

Taste: all those good things and more, the tropical and citric fruit blaze over the palate, bright and luscious, hoppy, bitter, but overwhelmingly pleasant and tasty...the extra liquor doesn't click in right away, but makes itself felt eventually...11%?? Hooo, daddy!

There's enough malt here that it's not a raw hop blitzkrieg overpowering anything else in the brew, but hops are king here, as if there were ever any doubt. Damn, Zam-Bam-A-Lam!! this is a true killer-diller, not for the weak of heart or palate!

much thanks to Axisjones for the growler!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.61/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Monk's Cafe into a wine glass for the charity event Alex's Lemonade stand. 2 1/2 hours of waiting in line, good chats, and good crowded insane times!

Glass poured ahead of time. Pale brass yellow to bronze amber body. Very clear and crystal, not much noticeable carbonation. Given with only a thin off tan to white soapy collar that never lets up. Very pretty looking IPA, with some matching spider like lacing.

Nose is familiar. A great wet sense of juicy hop orange and tangerine. There's a honey sweetness behind this also, it really reminds me of hopslam, and a very dry heat that come off of it. Not boozy smelling at all. Clean, but doesn't give me the sense of a big body coming.

Palate hits hop front hard. Big juicy but still wet body, not unlike Zombie Dust, but with a quenching almost pilsner crispness. Hop explosive notes of hinted orange from the nose, but the body is far more tropical with giant fruits of mango, maybe peach, but giant fruit punch tropics. Incredibily dry finish, almost getting into brut champagne territory, with pine hop complimenting the arid quality nicely. There is just a touch though, a peck of grainy character on this in the swallow.

It's very memorable, and hardly contains any alcohol boozy heat. I completely forgot this just barely kicks in over ten percent abv, it sure doesn't feel like it at all. It personally for myself is just missing that hint of bigger body, and oomph, and a certain "wow" factor. It's so close but it's a great beer. I'll never forget it.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An incredibly huge thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for sending a fresh growler of this to me. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Three fingers of creamy-white foam, with incredible retention and gorgeous lacing. Semi-transparent gold, with tiny bubbles slowly & lazily rising upwards. This is the standard by which DIPAs are measured.

S - Huge, complex bouquet of flavors - mossy pine, fresh-cut grass, tangerine, Braeburn apple, grapefruit, and a touch of pineapple. Mild touch of malt in the background, but this is a huge hopbomb.

T - Incredible balance - great fresh hoppiness and sweet tropical fruit flavors, but also more malt than the smell lets on. Sweet and hoppy aftertaste that keeps me reaching for the glass. Only the tiniest hint of the 11% ABV.

M - Medium viscosity, reasonable carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with just a touch of tingling. Leaves a sticky resinous feeling after swallowing. Not sure what else I can ask for in a DIPA.

D - This is the most drinkable 11% beer I've ever had. The only thing that would keep me from filling up my glass is passing out.

This is incredible stuff - it takes all the things I love about Pliny the Elder but to the nth degree. This is a must try for all lovers of beer.

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


I slayed a growler of this last night with the help of the other Matt. Weapon of choice was my Stone IPA tulip. I obtained a growler in a trade with great BA. As a result of our heroic undertaking, my mind is still not firing on all cylinders, but this is the best DIPA I've ever had and only my second straight 5.

Beer poured from a Russian River growler into a Stone IPA tulip. Beer is yellow to orange and CLEAR! The pour forms a white head about an inch to a half an inch in thickness that falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to high and really steady. The bubbles nucleate at the bottom of the glass mostly, beginning small but rise slowly increasing in size as they rise to the head. The head retention is good. No chill haze, beautiful color, good head dynamics, nice level of carbonation, its a beautiful beer.

Aroma is primarily a lot of hops....a lot of hops. Very citrusy with some pine notes in there. There is some sweetness, its a dominate aroma component. Its difficult but sometimes I think I can smell some alcohol but mostly I can not. For being such a huge beer, I really can't tell based on the aroma at all. The aroma is also huge. I can smell it from across the table. I found myself not even drinking it just smelling it, very complex, very big, very wonderful.

Taste time, balance. This beer hits all the parts of the palate, forward, middle and back. Obviously there is hop bitterness in the back, there is some sweetness up front, but no alcohol. Beer is medium bodied, definitely not a malt bomb like some DIPAs tend to be. There are almost fruit notes in the mid-palate. Some sweet orange or almost lime flavors. Beer finishes cleanly, leaving no aftertaste. Bitterness grows as it does with most big hoppy beers, but it does not interfere with the other flavors or drinkability.

I was going to originally rate the drinkability as a 4.5 for this beer. But I had some food between my pints of it and after some food a blew through my second pint. It is an amazingly balanced and completely wonderful IPA. At 11%, it is unlikely that I would make it my daily drinker, but it is the most dangerously drinkable 11% beer I've ever had.

EDIT: I had this again at EBF (4 ounce pour) and compared it side by side with Pliney the Elder. I realized as Matt and I were drinking this growler that it was an important but absent variable in my review is comparing it to another beer. We drug out an Exponential Hoppiness for comparison but it wasn't the right thing to do.

At the fest I had 4 ounces of each next to each other. My wife and I both tasted each and agreed that Younger was better than Elder. It was sweeter and thicker, had more fruit notes on the palate and smells were uncomparable. The hop aroma on Younger blew the hop aroma on Elder out of the water. I'm not going to write an additional review of this beer on draft, I just thought I would include these thoughts in my present review.

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

01/27/05- Purchased at the Toronado on tap. I need to mark this date in my palm pilot as the day I had the best beer ever created by a human.

Presentation- 12 oz tulip glass poured from the tap.

Appearance- Nice 1/2-3/4 inch white ultra creamy head. Beautiful cloudy golden pour with excellent lacing.

Smell- I could not stop smelling this glass. Even when it was empty I would go back and literally try to wedge my nose into the glass. If it were possible this glass would become and appendage from my nose. A very sweet smelling hop presence. Lots of grapefurit and pine, but in a sweet floral manner. Didn't have that astringent bitter make your head fly back scent. This one just glided down with the greatest of ease.

Taste- This is truly God's elixer. The first thing I thought of was...how soon before I can find this bad boy on the shelves. Then I realized that it's probably not going to be bottled :( So,...how soon until I can get a growler of this stuff. Reminds me of Dogfish 90, but sweeter and with more character. Lots of frutiy and floral hops, but not overporing. Tons of flavor and a sweetness that works perfect..with at least my taste buds. You can detect the alcohol though. I had three beers of 9%, 11% and 6% and I am done for the day. Gimme that water!!!

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation, plus the sweetness make this super easy to send down the pipe.

Drinkability- According to the Toronado, this beer is the first triple IPA. I went to their website and they don't even show it as one of their current beers. So, I am going to email them and find out for sure. The bartender originally told me it was 13%, which threw my head back pretty damn quick. All I can tell you is that the first thing I thought of after my first sip was...I am going to buy a kegerator and order a keg of this. It's absolutely incredible. A pure pleasure to drink.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 6 oz mini snifter glass at Capones in Norristown. After waiting in line for 1.5 hours, let's see if this was worth the wait...

A: Crystal clear honey-orange body with an extremely tiny, almost non-present, white foam head. Some moderate to low lacing, actually - no retention really, either.

S: Sweet and prickly pine sap notes and pink grapefruit up front. Slightly bitter, with some lemongrass and a very faint whiff of honey in the back end. Really an outstanding smelling beer.

T: Up front are some rather harsh pine notes, a slight bitterness though not as much as I was expecting from an 11% IIPA. Melon sweetness, generic citrus qualities and prominent orange flavors complete this bitter to sweet flavor profile.

M: Smooth and creamy, low carbonation (strange) but overall, pleasant. Not as wonderful as the mouth feel I got with Pliny the Elder.

If I'm being completely honest, this was very good but wasn't worth the 1.5 hour wait in line for. I was fortunate enough to get two pours of this beer, totaling around 12 oz, but this doesn't really need all the hype surrounding it. In my opinion, Pliny the Elder wins the battle against Younger, although I was hoping it would be the opposite. Oh well.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.7/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally caught up with pliny the elder's nephew

A: poured a glowing golden orange in color with yellow highlights and had a nice tight finger of head with good retention but left plenty of frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront had an incredible hoppy aroma kinda like smelling fresh hops alongside grassy, nice piney, orange citrusy notes and some good sweetness I believe are from the malts but not a very noticeable amount of booze.

T: it definitely had a hop profile second to none which was very clean crispy but with a nice hop punch. It had piney, grassy, candi sugar accents but had citrus grapefruit flavor that helped out the bitterness. Super well balance with just a prefect amount of sweetness coming through to control the hoppy blast.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a perfect amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, sweet, grassy, piney, hoppy blast, and bitter finish that lingered on the palate; very well balanced

D: very very drinkable with the ABV truly hidden really well in the hop heaven and what has to be one of the best TIPA on the planet. Another west coast hop bomb which is definitely a treat if you can catch up with him.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.66/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Falling rock had this on tap, and I didn't want to miss it. served in small snifter at the half pint volume.
Bright ruby and amber brew, really likes the light and shines like a lantern. Good dense, white, and foamed head. Great lacing after every sip and quick swirls...all the way to the end.
Mild hops aroma, yet complex. The alcohol is well concealed. Some floral and vanilla seem to be present as well.
Balanced taste to it. For as much hops as this thing has, the malt is present just at the beginning and a bit in the end. Smooth and sharp. Not bitter, buy very dry.
Deceiving beer with the abv. Dangerous, but very nice.

This is my third PyT review, the other two being in 06 and 09.
Falling Rock tapped this tonight and I got in on the first of 3 kegs.

Clear, clean light copper pour. A 1 finger white head foamed up. Lacing was thin, a quick swirl brought about the head again, yet lacing didn't quite stick.
A good blend in the aroma of citrus hops, some butteriness, pine and faint biscuit.
A rather lack luster taste. A soft citrus body develops with thin pine and an aftertaste of malt. But that doesn't last long. The body is thin, the bite is quiet and the balance is easily overlooked. At 11% abv, it is very easy drinking. I'm a bit disappointed in this one this year. Still good, but not world class, imho.
Update the update: 2011 sample. I dunno, the taste just isn't meeting the nose (i've upped the smell score). Doesn't seem as juicy as I remember or expected based on the aroma. The appearance today wasn't all that good...no head...but that was due to the pour
Averaged out the scores above
Update: On tap at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder, Feb 11 2012. This version seems thinner. The nose is softer and less hoppy. Nothing bad about it. The feel is drier without the bite. It just kind of evaporates and leaves the palate quickly.
Update: 2016 tapping at FRTH. Appearance and aroma are more than good, but still not great. Boozey a bit, but this one seems a bit more balanced. For a triple IPA the bitterness is light. Sure, it's an IPA...but it seems the "triple" part is only for abv. Finishes really light and evaporative.

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Photo of WesWes
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a beautiful golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding. It's your typical West Coast DIPA, but done to perfection. It has your standard pale malt base which seems to provide adequate balance. The hop aroma is sublime. It's citrusy with hints of pine. It's very bitter, yet not as much as I thought it would be. The taste is great; so smooth and drinkable. The alcohol is nowhere to be found. What there is , is a damn tasty beer that's relatively light and loaded with hops. This is a thing of beauty. The mouthfeel is great as well. It's a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. The drinkability of this beer is off the charts. There's not heat whatsoever, just heavenly golden nectar.

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Photo of Gavage
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: light orange in color with a short 1/4" head that broke down quickly. No lace devlops.

Smell: grapefruit, loads of hop bitterness, and a hint of sweetness creates a nice aroma.

Taste: big malt profile with a finely balanced sharp bitterness. Loads of grapefruit, caramel, ripe fruit, and a bit of lemon are most dominant. The bitterness does not overwhelm. Alcohol levels are not even noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp throughout with dryness late. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: this beer went down rather quicky despite the big flavor profile. Is this beer the best in the world ? I still think Westy 12 would be my choice in a heads up competition, but this is one great beer. Special thanks to the Hulmeville Inn for getting this beer in house.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.77/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 version. I've had this year's version a couple times, at Beachwood BBQ and Verdugo Bar. The hop aroma is much more pungnet in the nose than I remember, and I can taste a smoother, more balanced beer in this year's version. Some caramel and bready notes emerge alongside with the intense, puckering hops, and it's slightly cleaner too. Overall, I like 2009's version a little more than the 2008 version, and the latter was pretty awesome as well.

2/13/08 (4.5/4.5/5/5/4.5)

I was fortunate to hear this beer would be on tap at Hollingshead's this week. I raced over this afternoon and grabbed a 12 ounce sample, which was poured into a goblet. On to the beer:

The beer glows a deep orange color. Aroma was very hoppy, lots of metallic smelling hops at first, but it mellowed out to be sweeter as it warmed. My first impression on this beer was that it isn't as "intense" as one might think. Extremely smooth and syrupy thick on the palate. All I could think of was hop juice, yet still has a nice balance to it. The long lingering flavor of hops comes to no surprise.

What else? If you find this, savor the flavor, and enjoy!

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

Had at Capone's at yesterday's Russian River Fest.Frankly, had come just to check off PTY from my wish list after many years of wondering. Fortunate to get four 5.5oz servings, and transfered 3 to a decent size tulip glass. My wife insisted on having 1 for herself. This might have been "sharing the love" a bit too far.

Descriptions noted before cover it pretty well. But I am writing this because I expect many who have not tried it may have the same misimpression that I had before tasting.

Having had PTE ...and can't keep track of many, many other excellent IPAs (Imp, double imp, DIPA, etc etc etc)from West Coast and otherwise I was expectig just a bigger/supposedly better beer...what a mistake.

The first impression was so surprising...that the hop profile was excellent; absoltutely delicious, vast ( no surprise)... but no haymaker/slap to the mouth. No jolt, just so full of flavor. The malts were big and very present in taste and mouthfeel, but not distracting or bullish.

Thought it was very good.

Half way through the glass it struck me that this might be the best balance of big hops and big malt that I had ever had. The arome remained so pleasant.

Thought was exceptionally excellent.

Finished glass. So smooth, hops and malts so married, so well. Wow.

But this was an IPA...Here I was expecting a rock concert...and instead I got artistry.

I found it the most drinkable and enjoyable IPA I have had...or at least in so long a time that comparison is moot.

Hope you get a chance to try this special beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.42/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Union Jacks in Glenside. Served in a 10oz serving.

A- Pliny The Younger came to me with a bright orange with some gold hints here and there. Holding this glass in my hand the color seemed to bounce on to my skin with the same bright color. Not much in terms of head just some white streaks scattered.

S- A nice mountain of hops that are quite subdued surprisingly. Cirtus scents left and right. A lot of grapefruit and some pine in there as well. Just so much juicy hops that I don't know what else to say. Tropical scents abound. My friend oglmcdgl said it reminded him of a powdered lemon jelly donut.

T- It's been about two years since I had this last and it's still the bomb. The hops work their magic giving off the tropic and floral qualities that they are known to do grapefruit being most dominate. A bit of piney essence as well. Some sticky sweetness presents itself as well. This is kick ass stuff!!

M- A bit thicker than the elder as the younger is pretty much medium bodied. Bittering hops on the tounge but not too much. For 11% alc it is hidden remarkably well with some sweetness coming from the some ingredient. The taste of this hangs around for a bit after drinking.

D- Dangerously drinkable, but at 11% dangerous in it's own right. Younger is limited so i'm glad I tried 20oz or so and will be looking for it again in the next month. After a month, my guess is that younger won't be around for another year or more, so in the meantime i'm enjoying living in SEPA.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was skeptical of the hype for this beer but cutting to
the chase, it delivers, especially as it warms up a little. Had this on tap first at RR brewpub, then at Toronado, review was from first tasting

A: 4.5: A deep, clear, golden orange color with a thin off white
head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring with moderate lacing
and a little carbonation with small persistent, rising bubbles
S: 5: Damn. Punch in the face. Citrus, pine, floral, everything
hits at once and in balance. I could just keep smelling this beer
T: 5: Perfect, at first while this was a little too cool there wasn't that much bitterness from the hops and instead was just a delicious semi-sweet citrus flavor then as it warms up a little the there is a stronger bitterness up front that never lets go but never quite devastates the palate like Hop 15 or Hopslam. Slight malt, chocolate taste hiding in the finish too. Also as it warms up there is a slight taste of alcohol in the background to remind you of the 11% abv. Basically, this is just too good.
M: Again, near perfect to me, nice medium to thicker body that is very smooth and in the finish remarkably creamy/silky with a moderate level of carbonation.
D: Considering the alcohol and ibu this deserves something higher than a 5. I have not had the Elder yet so I can't compare but of all the Imperial/Double/whatever IPAs I've had this is by far the best and easiest drinking.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.44/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. pour, at Hollingshead Delicatessen,

A: Poured into a Chimay chalice, Pliny the Younger pours a vibrant, sparkling orange, with a creamy, billowy almost white head. Good retention with solid lace.

S: Very hoppy, with lots of pine and fragrant grapefruit. Smells like a freshly cut Christmas tree.

T: Magnificent, incredibly hoppy and complex. Hop city, if you want to know what American hops are all about, then drink this beer. Lots of pine, grapefruit, and a fair amount of tropical fruit like papaya and pineapple abound in its great taste, with a good amount of complex, solventy alcohol.

M: Robust, resiny, warming, fruity, and complex.

D: Another great beer from Russian River, I prefer the Elder to this one, but this is a great beer in its own right, everyone who can find this elusive beer should try it. Too drinkable for it's weight, a pint will get you buzzed and only make you want more.

Edit 2/15/10 - Having this beer on-tap, fresh at Hollingshead's at 10:10 am when your taste buds are at their best, I think I really know where I am at with this effort. Upped the taste and drinkablity a bit, lowered the appearance, 4.6 tells you really what I think. This is the new #1. This is truly world class. In the end though I can get a similar experience from PtE and I don't have to fight crowds and lines. The hype machine has truly taken this beer to another level. It's so good, I think I will venture to Beachwood on the 23rd, but in the end, I don't know how pumped I'll be about seeking this beer out in 2011. Pretty much check it out at Beachwood since it's close. But the easy days of PtY are over.

Edit 2/25/11 - Having this year's version, it wasn't anywhere close to last year's, just a solid beer. Dropping the score down since sometimes it's insane, other times just a "good" DIPA.

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

Sampled thanks to RedwoodGeorge and his most Excellent trade!

Pours a clear copper colored ale that forms a surprising amount of head in my Duvel tulip glass despite the alcohol level.

Smell is vast quantities of fresh hops, I can tell THAT 3 feet from the glass as I look at it. Big abundant hop aromas here. The first thing that hits your nose is a stiff aroma of bitter oranges and Meyer lemons, a very citrus smelling IPA. Lots of pine and spice scents are in this one. Black pepper, lemon grass, cardamom, fennel. Fruit scents of papaya, mango, pineapple and probably others, this stuff numbs up your sense of smell after a while.

Taste is surprisingly mild at the beginning and is dominated by fruit flavors, peaches, melon and passion fruit at the start. Spicy hops flavors join in next pepper coriander, lemon zest, angostura bitters, and a bit of juniper berry. Quite a tasty beer indeed!

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A super tasty beer here that I could almost give straight 5s for but I do think Pliny the Elder and Three Floyds Dreadnaught are just a little better. Having said that I will hit this stuff like a starving Mako Shark anywhere I see it offered. Word Class Beer! That sums this up.

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

On tap at Local 44 and Memphis Taproom in Philly yesterday.

The beer pours a striking golden peach color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose... this beer is just heaven. There is a huge blast of pine and dry bitter citrus, with a hop presence so intense that it imparts almost a slight skunky, marijuana aroma. Have seen this in a few over the top wet hop bombs in the NW, but suffice it to say that such an intense, gorgeous nose is extremely unusual and impressive. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except there is an intensity of flavor that is just astonishing. Tried this side by side with the elder - the elder was almost light and watery by comparison!!! The finish just goes on and on in this beer, and there is an underlying creamy smooth mouthfeel to this beer that is, once again, astonishing.

At 11% alcohol, drinkability is of course a problem, but this great beer carries its alcohol very well. Ended up drinking three 10 ounce glasses of this great beer, before I was finally worn out. For a hophead like myself, this beer is a wet dream in a glass. Fabulous stuff!

Edit from 2/11. Was fortunate enough to have several glasses (three if the truth be known) at the brewpub on the release date (friday). Nothing really to add to my review, except to note what an incredible treat it was to have this beer so fresh. Fresh at the site; a couple weeks old in Portland; roughly a month old in SEPA... younger is consistently excellent and delicious.

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Photo of Kelp
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this from sugit.

Pours forth an orangy color. Little whit head that stays and no lacing.

The smell is easily the best part of this beer. An overwhelmong amount of hops is the first smell. Followed by citrus and not just the normal grapeftuitiness. A finish of toffee maltiness and pine.

This a great beer, but I liked the Elder better. This is way to easy to drink for the ABV that it is. Hops right off the bat, then citrus follows orange and the grapefruit. Pine follows with a finish of malt and grapefruit left on the tongue.

A pleasant warmth to the brew from the alcohol. A bit thinner than i expected. Decent carbonation and very smooth.

This was way to easy to drink down. I am glad I shared this with a few people, because if I had kept it I don't believe I would have remembered much the next morning. A lovely brew, just not as good as the Elder to me.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.77/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


On tap at Stone for the Don Younger toast.

A: Burnished gold and perfectly transparent with a huge frothy white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Monstrous hop aroma, with big pine notes accompanied by grapefruit, orange, and a little apricot. Bright, vibrant, and exceptional. Booze is really well hidden.

T: Deeply resinous with well masked yet apparent alcohol in the flavor. Malt provides a little backing but no evident taste. Lots of pine and grapefruit. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden for the ABV. Great hop flavor, one of the best in the style. Some orange and grapefruit rind in the moderately bitter finish. Overall, the flavor exhibits massive hop influence with a smooth upper moderate bitterness. Never astringent or harsh.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is crisp and sticky. This aspect is amazing. Unlike many other Double IPAs that attempt to approach this ABV, it's never heavy on the palate.

Overall: I love this beer, but I think a few others I've had in the last year are just as good. Regardless, this is world class and it was nice to finally try this year's batch with minimal effort.

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Photo of weeare138
4.44/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for this hand filled bottle...don't know if/when I would ever see it on draft around here.
Appears a light gold with a small off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of bready, biscuits, citrus, rich resinous hoppy pine, and vanilla. Much like The Elder.
Taste is of the same and very delicious with a touch of caramel standing out.
Mouthfeel is slightly sugary and mildly piney, woody, and candy.
Drinkability is decent with some ABV that's noticable.

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Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling this live right now at Capone's.

Pours a dark golden orange/tangerine color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger fluffy, soapy white head that has amazing retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Soapy chunks of white lacing are left behind.

Uber fresh dank oily hop aroma that is very floral with a lot of sweet citrus notes balancing out the earthy pine. Slight malt presence and a somewhat strong alcohol character. The high ABV is noticeable in he nose and takes away from the hops a bit.

Chewy full body, especially for the style, that is bursting with uber fresh earthy piny and sweet citrus hops. Very floral with lots of lemon peel and grapefruit as well as some tropical mango and pineapple. There is a slight malt backbone providing some balance but this beer is all about the hops. There is a good bit of alcohol heat that takes away from the hops a bit too much for my liking but overall the ABV is decently masked. This beer is still dangerously drnkable but I wish that it had a little less heat. I've had this beer several times and I love it but I still prefer Elder.

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

6 ounce pour into short tulip glass, enjoyed during PtY tapping event at Side Bar in West Chester (shout out to my man, Brendan, the ever friendly bartender at this awesome establishment). PtY was not hazy, as I had anticipated, but rather clear. Slim collar and decent lacing, although both head and retention were likely compromised by nature of event (servings were pre-poured before I got to the bar rail). In any event, the nose was incredibly flamboyant/expressive, with sweet piney hops evident. In the palate, the experience was at first extremely hoppy, followed by a mango/papaya floral fruit note, and finally, a sticky piney/citrus burn.

Loved this, though it was hard to match the hype.

Had PtY again, a couple weeks later, at a surprise tapping hosted by Monk's Cafe which was announced via e-mail blast. I just happened to be in Philly that afternoon, having lunch 6 blocks away. Needless to say, I dropped my fork and SPRINTED to Monk's, where I was fortunate to enjoy two full pours before the keg kicked an hour later. Must say, it was better than I had remembered. Would now give it 4.75. Cheers!

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,974 ratings.
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