Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
930 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 930 | Ratings: 2,974
Photo of nathanmiller
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank 3/7/16 at Monk's Cafe. Incredibly smooth. Sweet aroma. Light first taste, dry finish. I didn't expect this to live up to the hype, but it did. Truly special.

 163 characters

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

Ooo baby. Watch this guy strut. Pliny the Younger's man-parts walk into a room and commands the attention of all the occupants a good five minutes before the man himself arrives. It snaps and yells and gets everyone to stand up in salute, looking astute and respectful as the man himself is about to enter. And the man? He himself is just a bunch of man-parts stitched together with the precision of the best cosmetic surgeon ramped up on the stress and the pressure of knowing his (or her) creation is set to be on every adult website one day. Looked at in high-definition 4k, 8k, retina display, 180-degree SBS VR technology. Gawked, ogled, eyes-gaped by thousands in the privacy of their home doing to themselves things in ways only they know they enjoy. The work has got to be perfect and indeed it is. Pliny the Younger takes no prisioners, makes no promises, and yet is promoted again and again to high legendary status. Some scoff at the hype, deeming themselves too cool for truth, banishing themselves to lesser beers deluded into thinking they still have their pride. Pliny the Younger strips these hip-types to the nude and laughs at their single excuse for a man-part. You can't even please men with those parts, he says. Your women must thirst for more every night, he goes on, waking you up at all hours in disbelief that it's over. They want more says Pliny the Younger. And when they get their heads on straight your women, he says, come to drink from one of my many abundant man-parts all stitched to me like a Picasso meets Rembrandt. And he laughs and laughs, bellowed out from deep inside, hearty and foul putting Santa on the naughty list and driving Satan to the hills of heaven. That's Pliny the Younger. And it's number 1.

 1,746 characters

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big, hoppy, slightly boozy wallop of TIPA! It definitely stands on the shoulders of Pliny the Elder, but not by quite as much as I thought it would.

 151 characters

Photo of Its_a_Daniel_Life
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had in Philly back in March. We had an 8oz pour that I nursed for about 45 minutes. This was the 3rd time I had it. The taste does not live up to the hype. After sitting and warming up it became more complex and really developed into a much better beer. If I was sitting down and had to choose between the Elder, Younger, or Blind Pig - Yes I would take the younger but only because it comes out once a year. With that being said I prefer the Blind Pig

 452 characters

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

On tap at Monk's in Philadelphia. Had this before the hype escalated to the point of long lines or lottery tickets. Just a beer I'd seen was rated highly (but not then top 5). So, obviously, this rating comes years after the drinking, which is probably not legit, but it also mean my response was not prompted by any circusy hoopla or the allure of scarcity. I didn't even know at the time that the Younger was hard to find. I just happened to be at Monk's. So I write, belatedly to say: this beer was a revelation, an epiphany. And I think that's where much of the hype comes from, which is to say I think it's at least partially justified. The way Pliny combined maximal hops intensity without any harshness to the bitterness, the complex shifts among pine, citrus, grass, the way 10% alcohol could be so hard to detect--it's not only that I'd never had anything quite like that, but that I had never had a beer that tasted so amazing. Unlike many fine beers I have sought and had in the decade since, I remember the first sip with complete clarity and detail. So, yeah, look, nose, mouthfeel were all excellent, but the taste--from that first sip through the bottom of the second glass--was extraordinary. While there are very good IPAs of DIPAs whose ratings seem to me to be much inflated by the difficulty of snagging the beer (Heady Topper, e.g.), I don't think this is one of them.

 1,402 characters

Photo of thampel09
4.38/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

While I believe this is better than elder I do think there is a lot of hype behind it. Not as big and juicy of a nose as one would expect and there was such an alcohol burn

 172 characters

Photo of Artmcd88
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at blue dog event. Had right after HF Susan and Legitimacy. I must say, I am very impressed. Yes, it’s overrated. Yes, it’s west coast. But yes, it’s awesome and worth the hype in some respects. This is the OG hop bomb. Pours a clear golden orange with a white head. Aromas of grapefruit, candies, orange, dank hops, alcohol. Taste is not crazy bitter, there is some hop flavors in there followed by some strange piney smokiness then there’s a tad of alcohol heat. I can see why this came to the top of our beloved RB list and has remained there simply out of respect. On to the next one...

 605 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comes in looking a yellow with 1/4" white head. Aroma is just massive waves of amarillo dry hopping it seems. Just massive and delicious.

Taste wise drops a ton of hops without being overly aggressive bitterness wise, you get a plethora of the usual descriptors, citrus, pine, grass, tropical fruit (lesser extent). Amazing it its ability to be light, dry and massively strong without letting you know it in the taste.

I give Lagunitas Waldo's a nod above it even though its basically the same beer. That is available in bottles, this is draft only with lines unless you go to the dipa festival.

 603 characters

Photo of dee_el
3.79/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

had last years batch at obriens in san diego. about 30 people for one keg. everyone got as much as they wanted, real chill atmosphere with people enjoying the nice san diego weather.

not much to talk about, really hoppy. I prefer elder over the younger, and prefer many other ipas over the elder.
don't believe the hype

 323 characters

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

I was fortunate enough to be visiting friends in the Bay area so drove myself up to RR for the first morning of release. 3 Hour Line around the block but very worth it. Easily the best IPA I have had so far. So well balanced, the fresh hop oils are my favorite part, and just an excellent mouthfeel. Very resiny but the high abv is hardly noticeable. I very much enjoyed every drop of all 3 pours.

 397 characters

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

By far the best triple IPA I've ever had. Got two large pours at the Stone Brewery last month and this baby packs a punch but goes down like a single IPA. Definitely not boozy at all like most triple IPA's I have had. Looked great, Smelled light, Tasted Smooth and went down smooth. Great beer, not sure if I would wait in line for hours for this, but worth standing in a line for 30 minutes for sure every time.

 416 characters

Photo of LocestLXCX
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I went into this thinking it would be good but probably really wouldn't live up to the hype. I was wrong. While the Elder has many peers nowadays, the Younger is still elite. Pretty much what you'd expect from an IPA rated so high. Excellent taste, smell, flavor and mouth feel.

 279 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I found myself in Philly with the family for the weekend. Serendipitously this trip coincided with some Younger tappings. Had a pleasant wait at the front of the line outside of Monk's Cafe, which was good enough to get one of the five or so seats at the front bar. 6oz pour served in a wine glass.

4.0 A: Nearly clear golden color. One finger of white lacing.

5.0 S: Superbly resiny and grassy, yet ultimately clean overall. Also tons of tropical fruits in there - mango, pineapple, papaya. The intensity of the aroma is where it's at though. I kept an inch in my glass for quite some time so I could keep smelling it.

4.75 T: Moderate bitterness. Resiny, grassy, tropical hops. Had an Elder to compare and surprisingly it tasted quite similar, just a bit more intense.

4.75 M: Medium body. No alcohol to speak of. Lightly spritzy and quite creamy.

5.0 D: Awesome beer that may be worth the wait in line, but not something I'd travel for. Having joined BA when this was THE beer atop the best of list, I'm glad I finally got to slay this whale.

 1,067 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one was a 5 for me. It might be mainly because of the hype and rarity, but I absolutely loved every drop of this beer. It was clean and crisp like most west coast IPAs, but had the juiciness of a NE hopped IPA.

 215 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.51/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 edition.Beautiful gold with a decent head. Tropical fruit aromas with a touch of pine. Flavor is similar with a rich yet deceptively smooth feel. Perfection of balance. Cheers!

 181 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.7/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had at Burgers n Brew in Davis. Waited 3 hours to get this - missing church ...now been 26 years since I was in church....I blame beer. Pours a typical Amber with modest head and lacing. So tropical and fruity....but so overwhelmingly smooth - hard to believe this is 10%. Such a great triple IPA. What also makes this beer better is that Mike and Chris haven't had it...which makes them inferior beer drinkers

 415 characters

Photo of drew42e
4.79/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours light amber and small head. Good carbonation. Aroma isn't as pronounced as i'd like, but floral and citrus are present. Taste is incredible, citrus, floral, earthy, but so smooth for abv its hard to believe this is a Triple IPA. Smoother even than Elder IMO, malt and hops nearly perfect balance. Maybe my favorite hoppy beer.

 337 characters

Photo of thebeers
4.36/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Vibrant golden color with thick white head. Intense aroma of mango, orange and a little peach. These continue to the taste, with little alcohol kick at end, a slight spiciness and lingering hop bitterness. Medium bodied. Amazing beer that's definitely worth trying at least once.

 283 characters

Photo of Nachojon
4.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

All time want. Had at Saraveza, 10/10 for their handling of this, walked right in and had this peer on their patio on a beautiful Portland Spring evening...

Beautiful beer, golden wheat color, clear and beautiful carbonation. Thin, pure white head that laces beautifully all the way through. Aroma is rather gentle and subtle, smells nice, the aroma is more malt.

Beautiful balance here in taste and feel. Hop forward with a nice progression all the way through.

So happy to have tried this beer.

 499 characters

Photo of Antnego
4.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So today, I got to try super-rare Pliny the Younger at Slater's 50/50 in Anaheim Hills. I'll put this into perspective: I'm a fan of Russian River's beers. Elder, Consecration and Blind Pig are among my all-time favorite beers. Do I think the Younger is worth a three-hour wait? If just for the beer itself? No. However, It was a great opportunity to socialize with other beer-lovers.

Is the Younger a damn good beer? You bet it is. It's rich, citrusy, piney flavor is beautifully balanced by a syrup-thick mouthfeel and malty milkshake-sweetness that's absolutely superb. I'm not debating the quality of the beer here. It's the hype behind it, and the trouble people go to obtaining it. You'd think Younger was made from white truffles and 24k solid gold by how crazy people go over it.

There are so many great beers out there that are underrated, that many people don't know about. You can obtain Trappistes Rochefort 8 from BevMo, and it's an equally good, if not better brew than Younger. If you're ever out in Denver, Colorado, Odessa Brewing Company makes a mean double IPA that hangs with the best of 'em. There are German selections out there that are just tops.

So if you don't make a Younger tasting, you're simply missing out on only one great beer in an endless sea of great beers. It's good, but it's not the "best ever," as some make it out to be. You could sit at home with an easily-had Rochefort or Grapefruit Sculpin, and enjoy yourself without all the stress and chaos. Cheers!

 1,500 characters

Photo of Jbagel1
4.69/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was my first time having the Pliny the Younger. We've all heard about how great this beer was, but many of us haven't had the chance to have one.. Some would say its not worth the lines you'd have to wait for a glass or its price. Maybe some would hate on its hype. This beer is worth all its hype! its such a light triple IPA. Nothing like any other 10% beer I've had before. Looks and smells amazing. its darker then I thought it would be. The hype is so real.

 467 characters

Photo of leighton
4.34/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft at the brewpub. Pours clear orange-gold with a slender, frothy white head. The nose has a lot of piney hops, pale bread, tangerine, light grass. Medium sweet flavor with some juicy melon, tangerine, light piney bitterness, peach, alcohol. Full bodied, lightly chewy, with fine to average carbonation. Warming finish, lightly resinous, with lots of juicy citrus fruits, tangerine, some grapefruit, nips of boosty alcohol, orange, mango, mellow bitter grass and citrus rind. Well, it’s very good, and very drinkable, but there are more expressive ’imperial’ IPAs out there nowadays. Still, I can appreciate that this is juicy and drinkable stuff.

 656 characters

Photo of Professor_Yeesh
4.01/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried it on tap at a local event. First impression was that the aroma was lacking. Maybe it was an older keg (2-3 weeks). The taste was overly sweet, which was unheard of from Russian River's beers that tend to be balanced nicely.

 230 characters

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.

 160 characters

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.

 197 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,974 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!