Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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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:
929
Ratings:
2,970
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
7.28%
 
 
Wants:
6,325
Gots:
431
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 929 | Ratings: 2,970
Photo of Hopstamon
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Monk's cafe in Philly during a charity event featuring The Younger.
Served in a small snifter. Fantastic flavor profile for this rare beer. Well balanced.
I only wish I was able to have a larger portion than the 8 ounces.
It's a "must try" beer at any price.

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Photo of dafla67
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange with little head.

S: citrusy (grapefruit), piney and sweet. Each aroma balanced very nicely.

T: At first, there is the sweetness with a slow conversion, like a gentle walk, to the hops bitterness.

M: so very smooth. The finish is a bit dry and sticky. No harshness like with some 11% abv.

O: An incredible DIPA. PTY earned every bit of its lofty reputation and status.

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

I was there at the 2011 debut. Simply an outstanding, world-class beer. Floral, pungent hops without the bitterness that so many have unfortunately associated with "good" IPA. Well-balanced and obviously carefully crafted, this is a distinctly American beer. And one to be proud of. Well done Russian River. Oh, and watch out because that 10%+ ABV will sneak up on you...

Finally, the Russian River staff and patrons couldn't have been friendlier or more welcoming. Rock on.

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

Has it really been a year since I sipped this delicious nectar? Yes. Yes it has.

Far too long.

A season has come and gone. Winter has given way to summer, and again submitted to the chilling winds of the North.

This beer is beautiful. Crisp and golden, with a head that should not be possible for a 11% ABV beer. To gaze at this beer, is to look at beer porn

Smell is very citric, a contrast to the more pine-like Elder.

Taste is OSUHJFOHHJKKkkk. Impossible to put into words -- Heavenly. Strong citrus hops with a malt backbone that is certainly pronounced, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel -- Again, this beer defies its ABV with a crisp mouthfeel that is light on the tongue. Doesn't finish quite as dry as Elder

Drinkability - Finished two imperial pints, and would have had more if there weren't health/safety issues to consider.

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

World Class Beer. I wish there wasn't so much hype around this beer because I really hate waiting in line to drink. I'm lucky enough to live really close to some of the best craft beer bars in the San Francisco Bay Area and there's always some place that has a keg once released.

The combination of hops, malt character and finish make this a world class beer. Well done, Vinny.

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

I was in San Diego for a conference and I dragged my wife to Toronado's for valentine's day. (she doesn't really like beer). The place was packed and I noticed everyone was drinking the same thing. I saw the Pliny the Younger tap and laughed a little to my wife about it. The bartender said it was no joke, they had it unadvertised. Talk about serendipity!!!! We drank it from wine glasses. (yes, even my non beer drinking spouse liked this one!). It did not have a head. The beer is a beautifully distinctive strawberry blond color. The aroma is citrusy hops. The taste is the same. This beer is the essence of west coast hops but it is not bitter. (this is why the girls like it and other enthusiasts like the elder better). How do they get all that hop flavor without the bitterness? This is the genius if this brew. I favor stout beers so this won't be the best in the world for me, but it is damn good, and probably is the best in it's class. Drink it if you can get it!!!

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

So friends of mine asked me what good beer I had around and I popped open a growler of younger. After half a glass, the double digit ABV frightened them off, and I was left with half a growler. I can't complain because this is a beautiful beer. It Poured a nice amber color, almost like mead, With a good solid head and an all hop aroma. The taste was exquisite with a heavy hop forward bitter blast, balanced out by a honey/nectar malt flavor. I had 3 glasses and I could drink this alll night if it were not for the alcohol hitting me after glass 3. It's an amazing beer!

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Photo of edproctor
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at hollingsheads deli in orange. Big shot out to everyone at hollingsheads for putting on such a world class event.

A- bright golden orange with a frothy white one fingers head that hung out for a bit.

S- PINE!!! Omg this beer is like smelling a forest...orange, grapefruit, big pine, and a florally bready sweetness.

T- Same as smell. Big pine up front, followed up with those citrusy, tropical fruit notes, and then rounded out with that big bready sweetness. Actually the finish reminds me slightly of those kings Hawaiian rolls.

M- A very full bodied beer. So thick and full...dries the shit out of the palette right away.

O- What is there to say...it's Pliny the younger and it fully lived up to the hype as far as I'm concerned. Well worth waking up at 5:30 am for.

Interesting side note: got to taste the infamous PTY/westy 12 black and tan. Like putting peanut butter and jelly together...well worth trying if you have the means. Thanks for that one Rolando!

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

I acquired a growler of the infamous Younger from vacax (thanks mate)! Served it in a Bruery tulip glass. I poured 3 glasses of RR brews and compared them. Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

A - A beautiful orange/copper tone with minimal head but amazing lacing that lasted the whole glass. A darker orange color than that of it's uncle.

S - Chocked full of piney aroma! Compared with the Elder it was far more hop aroma, grapefruit, citrus and pine just fills your nose! Absolutely beautiful smell!

T - Grapefruit, pine and citrus; just as the scent would allude to! Bitter! But, not over the top (believe it or not). It was a well balanced bitterness, no funny facial expressions after taking a sip of this beer. Insanely flavorful and potent! Some beers you'll need a few sips to get the flavor, this one is not that! If you're offered a sip of the Younger, take it and you'll know how it tastes! No new flavors come through near the end!

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation that creates a little dance party on your tongue. The finish sticks around too, which I really enjoy in good beers. It's a shame when they go away quickly, the Younger does not do this!

D - 2 friends came over and we had the growler gone in less than an hour! 11% so be careful! This is no harder to drink than Blind Pig or Pliny the Elder! Amazing for such a big beer!

I would say I was blessed to have been able to finally get this beer. I would love to get some every year! For anybody that's wondering if they should try to pile into a small bar to try get this on tap, I would say DO IT!

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Photo of Habanero58
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The things I will do to taste world class beers!!

Made a 11,000 mile or so round trip from London, UK to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA to be there during 3 of the 14 days of PtY at Russian River. Was in the first throng on Superbowl Day so hello to anybody who also got that little emerald green wristband!! Great organistation here from the Russian River team. Anyway...

No sooner than we were seated (having quickly made friends in the queue) than the magic words "Younger"? were spoken and the beer followed shortly after.
I will have to start backwards and say the thing that astounded me most about this beer was the drinkability.
It is so smooth and creamy and the 10.25% ABV announced on the RR blackboard is just SO well hidden that you really do not realise how strong it is.

Even with my poor sense of smell the floral, fruity, piney scent of PtY blew me away as when I had first tried PtE.

I returned to RR for two more days and on my last visit sampled PtY and PtE alongside eachother as I find this helps me to really spot any differences.
That they are close siblings is no doubt but the thing that stood out for me was that I thought PtE had a much drier finish. The bitterness was certainly there but seemed more discreet in the Younger.

Anyway, mission accomplished, it was nice to meet possibly the most drinkable, the most quaffable beer of all...which it probably shouldn't be? Amazing!!

And my bottles of Supplication and Consecration survived the flight home! Thanks to everybody who made me so welcome in Santa Rosa and RR.

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Photo of Spectre
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I could not drink Pliny the Younger without having the Elder right next to it. The major difference is the bite at the end and the mouthfeel. When you drink Pliny the Elder you get alot of hopps and pine from the front to the back of your mouth and when you drink the Younger you get a crisp strong pine with a hoppy flavor in the back of your mouth. With that being said, I don't think you would notice the difference if you were pounding and had them on separate occasions.

Appearance-Clear golden orange with a thin white head, darker than most IPA's.

Smell-Pinny hoppy scent, far from skunky but will give your nose a little pinch.

Taste-Like the scent the overpowering flavors are pine and hopps. This beer is extremely powerful but the the delicious flavors and crisp make it hard not enjoy.

Mouthfeel-Crisp and smooth the flavors dwell in the back your mouth, no bite at the tip of your tongue.

Overall I feel this is the top IPA followed by Heady Topper and Stones 12.21.12 Enjoy By.it's a heavy hitter when it comes to flavor and is perfectly balanced.

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Photo of ESCO138
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype in every aspect, unfortunately the hype and wait makes it hard to taste for nearly everyone. The only TIPA I can consume with ease.

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

May not be worth standing in the rain for 12 hours, but it is a perfect example of a strong IPA. Think of Pliny the elder, but more rounded with even brighter hop profile. Beautiful nose, and extremely smooth considering the ABV. The legend may be exaggerated, but not by much.

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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 gpatt55
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap @ Father's Office Santa Monica 2/11(From memory)

After waiting 1.5 hours and getting denied at the cluster that was Surly Goat the night before, I was happy to catch FOI's twitter feed the next night and have 20oz of the 15 gallons they released rather quietly.

Whether all the hype added to my immense enjoyment of this divine nectar is inconsequential. Long story short I can't think of a better beer that's ever passed my lips.

Poured a hazy straw/light orange color with a thin head. Incredible kaleidoscopic nose that combines the powerful skunky simcoe dispensary nose of Elder with a concentrated, almost delicate note of pure bright candied apricot fruit. WOW.

On the palate this beer is even smoother than Elder, if I had to guess the ABV blind I'd say 7-8%, it's that well hidden. There is an incredibly zen balance to the taste of this beer that I can only compare to the best Grand Cru Burgundy. Absolutely etheral, even though it's more concentrated, I'd say this is more drinkable than Elder. IBUs are off the chart. I get what they mean by Lupulin threshold shift. Definitely more purely concentrated hoppy than anything I've ever had. But the balance of this beer just swaddles the bitterness in cashmere. The fact that Vinnie makes an 11% ABV beer this balanced is a high wire act that I've never seen surpassed. Cheers. See you next year Younger!

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Photo of crazyjoedivola
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at falling rock taphouse.

Appearance is a clear golden orange with good carbonation but surprisingly very little head. No sign of what's to come.

Smell is wonderful! Hops, with lots of hops and more hops. Scents ranging from tropical fruit to huge pine aromas some grassy hops.

Taste just keeps getting better. At first it opens with a fairly soft balanced sweet maltiness. As the glass warms however the hops emerge and the flavor gains miles of depth. Sweet malts play with the tropical fruit and resinous piney hops to create a wonderfully balanced composition. No trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel at first fairly thin but after a few drinks i noticed that the mouthfeel changed and thickened. After about half of the glass I ran my tounge across my teeth and inside my mouth and found that the inside of my mouth was coated with resinous oils from hops.

Overall, aside from the head (which i suspect is the bar trying to prevent any waste by overflow) this is a perfect beer. Easily the best I've ever had. Well worth the travel and expense.

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

This beer definitely lives up to the legend.

Appearance) Beautiful straw gold colour.

Smell) rich citrusy grapefruit aroma

Taste) Sweet citrus and grapefruit hops. Rich smooth malty aftertaste. High alcohol content well hidden.

Mouthfeel) Oh so smooth. Unbelievable smoothness considering the amount of flavor packed into the taste

Overall) The outstanding example of its style. For once the hype is justified.

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

I was very excited to try this beer. I may have been too excited and ended up building it up too much in my head. While this is a great beer, it is not worth the effort off waiting in long lines to try it. I actually prefer the elder more than the younger. I'm glad I tried it and obviously I recommend anyone who hasn't tried it to do so. But next year I'll stick with the elder.

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Photo of walows
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my!! This beer was hands down the most amazing beer i have ever had. This beer sent me to beer heaven. I feel really bad for the beers that i haven't tried yet because they don't stand a chance!

Appearance: I wonderful golden color, with a very night tight white head that was about an inch thick. It laced all the way down.
Smell: This beer was so pungent! It smelled of those wonderful little hop flowers and lots of them! First comes the malty sweetness, like caramel and the hops come in, which smelled like if you blended a grapefruit and a pine tree together.
Taste: Tasted just how it smelled, tasted as if you blended grapefruit and pine needles together. It had a wonderful sweet caramel malty taste and the hops come running in, it was so wonderfully bitter! Following this wonderful parade was a nice alcohol hotness. The aftertaste was my favorite part of this beer, the hops just got stuck all over my mouth and it was such a great experience.
Mouthfeel: This beer sat on my palette just so amazing. It was so thick and sticky with hops! You could chew this beer!
Drinkability: Even though this beer was very high in alcohol and was so thick and sticky, this beer was very drinkable, it was scary easy to drink. What an amazing beer!

I thought that i total lost my chance to try this beer, but i got so lucky and was a the right place at the right time and got the the first pour off the freshly tapped keg. I thought that this beer was all hype, but i was so wrong! This beer was AMAZING!

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

A: Filtered deep golden beer with frothy head.

S: Citrus, spice and honey.

T: Best in class. The flavor unfolds wonderfully, the hops and high ABV somehow not overpowering, the finish smooth but sharp.

M: Standard for a triple. This is one place the high abv can be noticed.

O: This beer's scarcity is its one (terrible) fault. Pliny the younger may be delicious but is not in the same league.

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Photo of 1fortypoint6
4.46/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After nearly four months of planning finally had the chance to do a reasonably timed " side by side" review vs heady. While a secretly hoped the my results would lean PiY I cam safely say heady is the superior brew. While PIY is amazing, it seems to be more of a hop bomb than heady. When compared side by side, heady to me seems to be a better planned beer. The only other drawback with PIY is the buttery feel others have reported here which I definitely experienced and found distraction. Either way two great experiences with heady taking a distinctive edge.

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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 fenixtx423
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Truly a phenomenal beer. More sticky hop flavor than the Elder, but just as drinkable. Younger had more pine/earth/spice flavors than Elder, and a bit less Simcoe tropical fruit flavor. The kicker with this beer is really the smooth low body palate cleansing drinkability combined with over the top delicious hop flavors and ABV. The only thing that keys you in to the ABV with this beer is a slight warming sensation about 5 seconds after each sip.

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

Presentation: Standard pint from tap

Appearance: Golden yellow in color, minus points for looking strangely like urine

Smell: Nothing overpowering with a light hop and medium malt smell.

Taste: A balanced malt flavor straight from the start quickly blends with a balanced hop charactor and a alcohol flavor. Finishes at first with a strong alcohol flavor that is mildly covered with the hops. The alcohol flavor quickly vanishes as the glass empties, because it starts to get you tipsy.

Overall: An excellent offering, but I didn't buy into the hype. I like the elder much more. I think with a little more time the alcohol would have aged into a more balanced beer. I finish still in search of a beer I would put in my all time top 10.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,970 ratings.
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