Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
3,186 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,186 |  Reviews: 966
Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of t2grogan
3.25/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of smartassboiler
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of imbibehour
4.61/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 1,534 characters

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of stevoj
4.33/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stood in line, being alone jumped me up a bit. Small, bright golden pour, small, scant head. Piney, hoppy aroma, flavor blossoms with resinous hoppy bitterness, ABV comes in late with a wallop. First sip was meh, but it gets better with each one. Scratch this off the bucket list.

 280 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of malfunxion
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of IrishColonial
4.25/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of GClarkage
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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 soon before I can find this bad boy on the shelves. Then I realized that it's probably not going to be bottled :( So, 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.

 1,881 characters

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

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

 1,045 characters

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.45/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Gavage
4.57/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 826 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.68/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

 1,225 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.72/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Someone from the East Coast with an opportunity to try and review this highly sought after beer, what an opportunity. I was beginning to compare this beer to the legend of Bigfoot (Sasquatch, not the Barleywine from Sierra), some people have seen it but it's so rare that it's more of a myth than an actual beer. (tongue in cheek, of course)

Pours a copper orange color, tight bubbled carbonation with a thin white head across the top.

Has a sweet pungent, oily hop aroma with pineapple, loads of citrus orange and grapefruit, and some pine. This beer is incredibly aromatic and I spent as much time with my nose in the glass enjoying the smell as much as I did the taste.

Taste is absolutely unreal, it's definitely the King of the IPA's. I've had many IPA's where the smell was outrageously good but the taste didn't measure up, and vice versa; the Younger has both characteristics. It's very bold and strong in flavor with huge amounts of grapefruit bitterness that dominates throughout the entire sip, has some sweet malt undertone to keep things a little bit in check but gets extremely beaten down by hop bitterness. Starts sweet for a brief second with some peppery sweetness on the side of the tongue. Malts re-appear at the very end for a brief moment before being slapped into submission by an army of hop bitterness. Finishes with strong grapefruit puckering, pepper, and orange rind that lingers for a LONG time after the sip. The back of the throat is coated with peppery grapefruit bitterness, and orange coats the mouth, almost metallic-like in nature. There's an ABV burn after the sip but that's the only indication of it's presence. As I work through the glass, the booziness becomes more apparent.

Mouthfeel is the smoothest I've ever experienced with an IPA. Drinkability is very good, you have to be a hop head to enjoy this, otherwise, forget it.

I only had one glass and I was begging for more but the bartender was the Pliny Natzi - One Younger for you! This is a world class beer, wish Vinnie would brew this more often and make it more accessible. Glad I had the opportunity to finally try this beer.

 2,132 characters

Photo of IPAchris
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of epyon396
4.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fthegiants
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,186 ratings