Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
3,112 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: 3,112 |  Reviews: 949
Photo of danwho
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of MaddMatt639
4.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on February 16, 2013 (a 45oz. pour at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City):

A: A very light amber color and a small head(but it's only a 4 oz. pour).

S: Very hoppy right up front, lots and lots of citrus notes and some pine. A slight malty note in the end.

T: Lot's of hops and citrus notes in the beginning. Very piney half-way through and just the right amount of maltiness in the end.

M: Medium heaviness on the tongue, which switches to heavy after a few seconds. Can taste the hops for a long while after with a little maltiness to it.

O: A pretty damn good beer and nearly lives up to full expectations. Enjoyed the hops and pine thoroughly. Would love to have a full pour in the future.

 701 characters

Photo of jmatthews
5/5  rDev +6.4%

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

An in depth review is not necessary. Attending a sometimes hectic tapping of this brew is worth it. Also: I see alot of people having the Elder immediately preceding the Younger. I suggest enjoying something light and easy drinking while waiting for your pour of the Younger. The pallate is able to taste the beer more intensely.

 329 characters

Photo of sourpower
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Azrael
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Spectre
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
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's a heavy hitter when it comes to flavor and is perfectly balanced.

 1,071 characters

Photo of WhiteDustin
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of itlynstalyn
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of gornway
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of grachdar
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of phingdong
4.4/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River 1 week after release (Feb 8, 2013). This was a real treat to sit down and take my first sip after traveling from NH for this and SF beer week, etc. The weather, setting (love RR brewpub), and atmosphere were perfect. Having tried all of the top IPAs/DIPAS except this one, I had to confront the Younger.

I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this beer as I typically prefer DIPAs (TIPA) in the 8% abv range. I'm not a huge fan of Hopslam and other 10%+ DIPAs. This was better than I expected. I was quite impressed by the tropical fruit in the nose and taste for such a big beer. The booze is well hidden and the drinkability is off the charts (had 9 glasses over the week). Tropical fruit, pine, some booze, nice malt backing without being over the top. Delicious.

While this was not the best DIPA/TIPA I've ever had, and the setting and experience probably bumped it up a notch, it was an excellent beer. My expectations were exceeded. I do think this is a beer that is best enjoyed as close to release/fresh as possible (all hoppy beers are of course, but perhaps some more than others) as I noticed a bit of decline/change in aroma/taste by my last glass a week after the first (probably palate fatique?). I hope to return next year.

 1,264 characters

Photo of jpaulsen
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of fireinsyrup
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of cincysig
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ZombieJester
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of imperiallibations
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of OUJayhawk1799
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of deac83
4.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sometimes you just luck out. With a business trip to SFO for Feb 18th it looked like I was out of luck. Saturday night I was trying to make dinner reservations for Sunday night, but the restaurant was fully booked. So I went online to look up Rosmunde's and on the front page it said they were tapping their keg at 5pm on Sunday. Had to standby for an earlier flight on Sunday but arrived at 4:30pm with about 25 people in line. And the best part is that 30 minutes later there was no line for the 2nd.

Certainly worth the effort and I can see why it is rated so highly. Amazingly hoppy and a very clean taste.

 611 characters

Photo of BBrewington
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Auracom
4.3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, had to travel to Cali for it once and for all. First day tapping at RR on February 1st, 2013.

A - Purely clear, bright golden coloring. Very little head or remnants of foam, but curiously-decent lacing.

S - Dank, sappy, a tad phenolic, and plentiful grapefruit resin as expected. The sticky dankness of it is a bit surprising and definitely deviates from Elder.

T - Everything that anyone could expect from a landmark beer. Pine cone, of course, but moreso a balanced blending of grapefruit rind, cracker jack, citrus, and light herbs. It's a feat to make a recipe like this taste so utterly simple, yet that's exactly how it drinks.

M - Medium body, perfect carbonation, semi-smooth, lingering residual bitterness from the finish.

D - Easily the most drinkable of the gargantuan Triple IPA's I've experienced. That being said, Exponential Hoppiness reigns supreme for now. Worth the voyage? Probably not. But I don't regret it nonetheless.

 954 characters

Photo of oddb0d
4.37/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I might be one of the few who at least from the 2013 batch of PTE think that it wasn't as good as other beers that I have had. The beer reminded me of a apple or cider after taste. It wasn't as hoppy as I personally would like and it's very smooth. Reminds me of a cross of Apple Cider and Chardonnay and an IPA.

I have heard that 2013 was different from previous years. I prefer Pliny the Younger. Glad I got to try it at Russian River Brewing.

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Photo of edproctor
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
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, 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'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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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,112 ratings
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