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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,086 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Hopbully
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ryser2k
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.14/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Wildwood last night. 8 oz pour.

A: Melted gold coloration. Very thin head. Translucent. Clear demarcation of the legs on the glass.

N: I can smell this while holding it at chest level. Intense pineapple notes, mango, passionfruit, and a smattering of grapefruit. Caramel sweetness. Very worthy nose.

T: Massive interplay between sweet and bitter. Grapefruit gives way to some onion that is eventually defeated by earth, pine, conifer, and ash. Bitterness is a 10 on a 10 scale. This is the hoppiest beast on the market. Has the caramel of a good bourbon and some honey melon.

M: Dry and desiccating as a desert. Very sticky and washes around in the mouth. Sublime.

O: A beer like this is worth the effort of the chase if you haven't had it. Clearly, this is true. Yet, as I drank the 8oz, the desire for another one diminished with each sip. I've had it 5 times now, and I don't see much reason to continue tracking it down year after year.

 954 characters

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

Served in a tulip glass.

Good ol' Pliny the Younger. This is my 3rd time with this beer. This came out to me with a half inch white cap of crisp white head on top of a golden amber body that had great clarity which showed off the lazy carbonation. The head eventually faded to nothing, but left a sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell wafts out of the glass with hints of mango, bruised pineapple, butterscotch, and a sweet hint of berries underneath. Fairly strong aroma, and certainly appetizing, though it fades a bit too quickly for me to rate this higher.

Very hop-forward beer for sure, with plenty of tropical fruit in the flavor and a sweet, boozy quality that is present throughout. While a beer like Heady Topper is a master of disguise, hiding all that alcohol behind the Hop Curtain, Pliny the Younger is unabashed by being an 11% alcohol by volume DIPA. The complexity here is the mix of hops and alcohol, with a nice sweet malt backbone.

The carbonation is crisp, the body is strong, a little on the viscous side. Superb mouthfeel...

I think this is a great beer. It would be hard to write about Pliny the Younger without talking about the train of hype that precedes this beer: people freak out about this beer. A bar announces this beer bring tapped, and if they don't announce it, its considered a "strategy." The hype is not worth it though. There are better double IPA's out there...that said, this is a great beer that people won't be disappointed in. I tracked this beer down this year to give it a review, but next year, I won't be on the hunt.

 1,584 characters

Photo of MitchD14
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap in a 12 oz glass at Bailey's Taproom in Portland. I must say, it lives up to the hype. I believe this keg was 10.5% ABV but it was not too hoppy to enjoy even with the high alcohol content. It has a beautiful translucent golden color and goes down extremely smoothly.

 290 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.01/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Had during SF beer week at Bobby G's in Berkeley CA. Had with a PtE side by side.

A: Pours golden color with great clarity. 1 finger white fluffy head.

S: Mango, pineapple grapefruit, sweetness lingering with hops.

T: Hop forward, very sweet citrus fruit. Hides the alcohol well behind a well balanced malt backbone.

M: Well carbonated medium bodied with a bitter dry sweet finish.

O: A good beer that is no where close to the hype. I waited about an hour for this beer which is on the low end, and honestly I would much rather have a TIPA from Knee Deep over this one. Glad to have it once and say I've had it but for this to top in the top 10 beers is all hype based IMO.

 683 characters

Photo of baybum
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TJ's in Paoli. Poured into a 10oz snifter glass.

A - Beautiful. Small white head with colors of orange but not as dark as I thought it might appear.

S - this beer smells absolutely wonderful. Hops and citrus abound. As it warms up the aroma is even better.

T - so smooth! Actually a little too smooth at 11%. But the flavor is a little disappointing for such a high ipa. No bitter bite at all. As this warms up the taste increases as did the smell.

O - I think this beer might fall a little short of the hype. Don't get me wrong I did love this beer. But I actually preferred Citra from a bottle then pty on draft. I would seek this out again and recommend it to any ipa lover. But you won't see me waiting 3 hours in line to drink it. Pte is as good and usually easier to find.

 796 characters

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.

 416 characters

Photo of aschlax
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Beer365
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of reverbking
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of srw
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of gabeuop79
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jmele
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mohrstein
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mportnoy
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PalatePilot
4.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First pour into my glass at Boulder Strong Ale Festival at Avery Brewing

A- Golden, almost orange. not a lot of head.

S- Piney, strong citrus, and slight alcohol

T- Great Malt bill for the hops, i found the hops to be a bit astringent. A really unique flavor, I guess thats why its so popular, I have never had a beer that tasted like it. It was different, but I cant say I loved the flavor. A little Resinous.

M- a little syrupy, chewy. I tried to love it. tried to see what it was all about. found the mouthfeel average for a IIPA

O- I just don't get it, I guess. It was a great beer, like I sai, very unique, just not the best IIPA I have ever had.

 656 characters

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jwhancher
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Decided to fight the crowds & try me some Younger on tap at Local 44. $8 for a tulip glass. Nice white head delivered upon the pour. Crystal clear gold color. Amazing considering how much hops go into it. Smells of dank hop resin. Attractive lemon rind & notes of melon, mango, orange zest, and some vanilla. Tastes amazing. All the hop characters in the nose in the flavor. Nice firm bitterness. Not pungent or astringent. Dangerously drinkable. Alcohol doesn't seem noticeable except I can tell it's there since I haven't eaten lunch yet. (This is my lunch.). Dry tasting. I love this beer. So glad I decided to come out for it. Only reason I didn't score this a perfect score is due to the extremely limited availability.

This one lives up to its hype. Fantastic beer by Vinnie. He's my hero.

 797 characters

Photo of Lurkerson
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Reggae4203
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of emsjf
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of RichardMNixon
3/5  rDev -35.8%

Photo of Methical
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of StoutOfHiawatha
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Beautiful, deep golden IPA appearance with a tiny strip of white head. Had it in a 5-ounce sampler at Capone's in Norristown, Pa.

S: pine, sweet malt, slight grapefruit, wonderful.

T: Had a chance to have this paired with the Elder. And while I've had and loved the Elder before, the Younger just blows it away. So much more complex.

M: Thick and oily, but so very nice. Just feels ... right

O: Lived up to the hype for me, and well worth an hour wait outside in the morning cold. The ABV is so amazingly hidden. You'd never know. But I can't really say anything negative. AMazing nose, really great mouthfeel, beautifully complex. So much going on. Blows your taste buds away. Can't wait to have it again.

 713 characters

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,086 ratings.
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