Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
3,172 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:
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Ratings: 3,172 |  Reviews: 964
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of terence
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of MarioM
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of bvermilion
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Rinkor16
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

EDIT 2/10/13: Just as good as before.

Saved my first beer review for Pliny the Younger! I'm actually sitting in the brewery right now.

A: Nice golden yellow. A little bit of orange. Very clear.

S: Citrus, Pine and definitely hops.

T: Extremely drinkable.... Dangerously drinkable. The alcohol is definitely hidden. You can taste the hops and citrus. Definitely hoppy. Did I mention extraordinarily drinkable?

M: Full bodied. Very smooth.

O: Extroardinary! First time having the Younger and I'm impressed.

EDIT: Here's a photo!

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Photo of Five-0
4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliny the Younger is an incredible beer. I waited in line for 4 hours to taste the Younger. The place was a madhouse.

The Younger was served in 10 oz. glasses so you really could not get the deep smell if it was in a bigger glass. I tasted it and the 4 hours melted away in my memory. After drinking 1/2 the glass I could finally smell the wonderful aromatic smell of the 10.8% brew.

I wanted to put this brew in perspective of my Russian River favorites. So I ordered a taste of Row 2 Hill 56, Blind Pig, and Pliny the Elder. This test gives you a perspective of how great this beer is. The others are still great but the Younger is a notch above.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Beeranator
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Snikwad1020
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of PORTerCITY
4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Russian River Pliny opening day (5 1/2 hr wait, yes FIVE Hrs and 30 min wait) reviewed from notes on February 1st 2013

A - Pale orange in color with little to no head. The color at the moment looked like gold, It seemed like they served the beers from the suitcase in Pulp Fiction.

S - Pine needles with citrus.

T - Pines and citrus fruit flavors.

M - Piney resin but smooth mouth feel. Too smooth, abv seemed hidden cause after taking three in, head change was evident.

O - I wanted to join beer advocate a while back, but told myself i wouldn't until having the pleasure of drinking Pliny The Younger. One of the best Double Imperial IPAS. By the second drink, I forgot about the wait in line not sure it completely makes up for the 5 hr wait but definitely worth the the time i invested that day. The drive, the wait, the adventure was truly a day i wont forget. Although next year Ill go on day 5 or 6 lol.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10 ounce glasses at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 5 February 2013. Released 1 February 2013.

A: Golden and clear, with some effervescence and very little head.

S: Resiny fresh hops (like the Elder) but with a fantastic underscent of tropical fruit (mango! papaya! pineapple! orange!).

T: Mmm. It's good, great even, but I can think of a handful of tastier DIPAs. Pliny the Younger is strong and commanding, filling the mouth. It's bitter and loaded with not only pine but grapefruit peel and orange juice. The malt base is dry and biscuity (again like the Elder). The main drawback of this otherwise delicious beer is the aftertaste -- it's bitter, yes, but with an obnoxious alcoholic tinge (almost like rubbing alcohol) or a tap line that has been poorly cleaned.

M: Full and delicious. No complaints here.

O: I really enjoyed this beer, but it is almost certainly overrated. That said, it grows on me, and after three or four glasses I feel like I *get* it. It's a perfected Pliny the Elder -- the same dry malt base, same pineyness, but wayyy more fruit (yay) and more alcohol (meh). It pairs wonderfully with pizza and spicy food, and, if you can ignore the dubious aftertaste, it's VERY good. Recommended.

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

Went to Russian River Brewery yesterday to get me some Younger. We parked out back and didn't see much of a line. After walking up to the bouncer, I found out the back door entrance is for folks purchasing growlers only, who could come in and get anything they want to go, for the exception of a pour of Younger. Once we walked around the front, we saw the liny for the pliny which took us 3 hours to get through. As we waited, we decided we've came too far to turn back now, but this will be a one-time thing waiting in line this long for some beer. Once we got in though, holy smokes. Pliny the Younger did NOT disappoint. Less hoppy and much smoother than Elder, it was absolutely the best 10% beer I've ever tasted. Like everyone said, lots of grapefruit...simply amazing.

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Photo of GregoryMo
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of earthartist2
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of chickencoop
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.17/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waited in line a little over an hour at the brewery to enter the all-you-can-drink Pliny the Younger outing today! Hell yeah! Poured into a 10oz pint glass on tap. Served with delicious pizza made by the fellows at Russian River, who use their own beer batter for the dough. Does Pliny the Younger hold up? Oh, yes. Yes it does.

Pours a golden, copper-tinged amber orangish color with a slight amount of head. Glasses were arbitrary all around in terms of good head retention, and it seemed as such depending on the pour. I would have really preferred to see this in a snifter, but with the massive amount of people drinking this beer PER MINUTE, I doubt that would be the most feasible option. Nevertheless, the color is extraordinary. It's similar to PtE, except it looks far darker and intense in appearance, as if it spent time soaked in oak. There are bubbles that glide to the top of the glass in a graceful, near poetic manner. No alcohol legs on the glass, which is nothing but extraordinary. Has a syrupy, thickened look resemblant of wine. This is art, first and foremost.

Aroma is a little difficult to capture in a glass this small, or while it is too cold, but when it finally reveals itself, it's incredible. The triple hop markup from the original PtE recipe is evident, yet not as explosive as you'd think. There are tons of tropical notes here. This continues later in the flavor, which I will vividly explain. Mango, papaya, and pineapple soaked with pine needles, huge citrus lime flavors, and awash with alcohol sweetness and malt hearty goodness often resembling light toffee.

As for the flavor... My God, the flavor. I can't describe how amazing this is here. While the aroma was a little bit more subtle in showcasing the aspects of this recipe, the flavor is outstanding in every respect. The juicy mango notes continue, as well as other tropical varieties, and yet a huge backdrop resembling tangerines appears after every sip. There are playfully tinged pine/citrus flavors at the tip of the tongue with every sip, but they soon are replaced by the tropical flavors and bready, crisp finish aided by the malts. The more this warmed up, the more the flavor resembled taking a spoonful of fresh grapefruit right on the palate. For a beer this crazy, this is so easy to drink that by my second I was passively taking huge gulps while chatting about (contrary to the first glass, where it was respectfully sipped). The aftertaste goes on forever. Other than being easier to drink than water, the texture and body is out of this world. After each sip, the mouth slightly salivates, floral notes numb the cheeks, and the tongue is coated with a mango-hemp buttery texture. It creates a chemical reaction that makes you smack and lick the walls of your mouth and teeth, and then immediately takes you to straight to Beer Heaven.

This is utter bliss. I've had plenty of beers that far more exaggerated that this in flavor, and yet, this wins in being so ridiculously EASY to consume, especially considering the amount of flavors and complexity that goes with this. I'll be looking forward to driving up to Russian River every year when this comes out as my personal Mecca in beer enthusiasm. It's because of beers like this that I eventually took up homebrewing. Don't miss out any chance to have this if you can. It's worth every penny spent.

UPDATE (1/6/2014): The more I think about this beer, the more that I feel that I was way to swept up over the hype to review it objectively. This is a fun brew, very experimental in nature, and fully reflects the great diversity of the beer landscape in America. However, with that said, it lacks so much balance for any practical consumption if this were, say, a year-round beer. It's exclusiveness makes it fun to drink, but there's a lot of stuff whacked out with this overall - slightly under-carbonated, syrupy, extremely bitter and fruity, but no bready or dry profile to back it up. It's kind of the antithesis what makes PtE such a perfect beer to begin with. Nevertheless, it is really good and I will give this a proper revisiting this year. Until then!

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Photo of WestCoastBrew2
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of thebcc
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of plauer4
4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No beer is perfect...except perhaps this one. I sat down to my first glass yesterday at the brewery in Santa Rosa and was prepared to be underwhelmed. I mean the hype alone, it just couldn’t be that good. Well, it’s that good. I am a sour/wild ale kinda guy but the grace and structure of this highly crafted brew seduced me to the hop side. After the first glass and a slice of pizza I was really enjoying life...I mean at a whopping 10% ABV, whoa! 2 glass limit for me. Is it my new favorite? No. But I will never forget it and will make it a point to stand in line again next year to get a couple glasses of perfection in a glass.

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Photo of sansho
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

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4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of laurastradford
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of JasonFromLA
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of henskejk
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Slipmthgoose
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,172 ratings