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Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
931 Reviews
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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:
931
Ratings:
2,979
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
7.28%
 
 
Wants:
6,361
Gots:
446
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 931 | Ratings: 2,979
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tbauer1134
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this right after the Elder. First impression was pretty good. Then I went back to the Elder and it tasted watery. Blown away by that. Ate some bread to cleanse the palate and went back to the Younger. Obviously as the score indicates it was incredible. Pine, Dank, Grapefruit, Resin all X 2. Seek it out and wait in line for an hour for this beer. You won’t be disappointed.

 383 characters

Photo of starrdogg
4.43/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this after all these years last weekend at Toronado. It's absolutely a great beer, but I was sure there was no way it was going to live up to the hype and I was right. It smells incredible, but I honestly thought the flavor was a little on the boozy side, and after two 7 oz glasses, I felt like I'd had enough. So glad to have tried it though, life goal fulfilled!

 384 characters

Photo of KMachHops
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2016 version.
Look: 9oz pour. Good frothy head and amber in color.
Smell: Tropical, piney, and floral. Just dank!
Taste: Follows the smell.
Feel: Perfect carbonation and very smooth for +10% abv. Not boozy at all.
Overall: Had this three straight years and this year seems to be the best.

 290 characters

Photo of remingtonsteele1987
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the Younger on two separate occasions at the same establishment with consistent results limited to two 5oz tulip tasting glasses. Clear, light amber color with little head. Sweet vanilla, orange and papaya nose with just the slightest, slightest hint of barnyard animal aromas, but in a good way. Creamy, rounded and well balanced flavors of vanilla, citrus and tropical fruit with just the right amount of hops. Had a pint of the Elder next to the Younger for comparison purposes and I can say the Younger is no comparison. Big, big triple IPA with smooth and delicate features. Delicious!

 600 characters

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

2016 version on tap at O'Briens San Diego.
Poured into a 10oz glass.
The absolute freshest IPA I have ever had. The hop complexity is outstanding. Perfect carbonation. The smell is of fresh citrus fruit. The look is golden yellow with a nice head. You do not realize that you are drinking a 11% beer. The best IPA I have ever had.

 336 characters

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.

 255 characters

Photo of SaulFox
4.9/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose, Ca.

Transparent golden. Slight lacing
Tropical fruits, floral bouquet
Piney, melons, slight citrus
medium mouthfeel, the alcohol is very well hidden.
Glad I got to try this epic liquid

 224 characters

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

Lucky enough to catch the 2nd keg before it tapped out at Toronado. No wait in line made this even better than last year. It's that time of year when I stalk my social media accounts waiting to see where it may or may not get tapped. I hope to try a couple more times before this season is over.

The appearance is bright with citrus. Smell is juicy. Taste is smooth as can be, hard to believe it's a triple. Feel makes me think the trouble to try this beer is worth it. Overall happy to say I had one but I'll be happier if I can find a couple more.

 552 characters

Photo of RLM15
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Toronado San Diego

The beer is a beautiful, crystal clear, orange-gold color. On the nose there is a tone of pine with some sweeter tropical fruits to finish off. The taste follows through on the nose very well: massive pine hop bitterness with some smoother tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple to balance out the taste. I can't believe this is a 10.25% abv beer; it tastes like a 8% beer. As per any Russian River beer, its balance is outstanding and what sets it apart from the rest of the pack. I'm sure there are more hoppy, aggressive Triple IPA's out there but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better balanced one.

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

On tap poured into a snifter at Falling Rock Tap House Denver.

Appearance - Brilliant gold hue.

Smell - Impressive tropical nose. Very Nice!

Taste - Honey, tropical fruits, very smooth for 11% abv! Really great beer!

Mouthfeel - Soft, smooth medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Really easy drinker.

Overall - The best Triple IPA I have ever had...

Grade (A+)

 369 characters

Photo of Cooper925
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-glassy Amber feel with a delicate head and a light body

Smell-flushed juicy hops, tree fruit

Taste-aggressive hops, sweet and a subtle dry finish

Feel- Expertly crafted to be inviting yet complex with rolling waves of laminar smoothness

Overall-first class, worth the trip. its detrimental to your well being to miss this opportunity.

 343 characters

Photo of Benjo87
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at tornado, San Fransisco. For an Aussie, this feels like I've hit the holy grail.

Look - looks like liquid gold in a glass. Minimal head. Fairly clear golden colour

Smell - wow. You don't even need to put your nose to the glass. Juicy juicy hops. No alcohol at all present. Smells amazingly juicy.

Taste - smooth smooth smooth. You'd never know how strong it was. So well balanced. Not a dry beer at all. The taste lingers. All in all it definitely lived up to expectation. Amazingly well balanced beer.

 514 characters

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

Waited over 4hrs to sample this almost mythical brew, I was not disappointed. Contrary to my thoughts about triple the hops, this is a very smooth beer. It had a very creamy mouth feel and a smooth follow. Worth the wait

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Photo of n2185
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of tropical fruits and melon on both the aroma and palate. This beer is dangerously drinkable with low bitterness and little alcohol burn. A damn good DIPA, overall.

 170 characters

Photo of Biggtriksta
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewery last year during the two week release. It was an exceptional beer. I'm not sure if I've ever had such a balanced beer before. Each component of the flavor profile was spot on. Well worth the nearly-six-hour wait!

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Photo of paint94979
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had Younger on RRBC in 2014 and 2015. Both years have been great. The malt profile of RRBC is unique in comparison to other IPA's. Younger only builds on what Pliny is. Drinkability is great. Very hard to tell that you're drinking 10-11% abv beer. I've had the best IPA's in the world and this is still my favorite with Heady being a close second. Look forward to the 2016 batch.

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Photo of hoho2701
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is unbelievable. Perfectly crafted double IPA. Just as you think they can't make Pliny better, the Younger proves to be more refined than the Elder. Imagine all positive of the Elder and none of its negative.

 213 characters

Photo of luisitoelmatador88
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel like such an irresponsible goober for not having ever reviewed this phenomenal big ass hoppy elixir. I have had the privilege to drink both 2014 and 2015 versions and I will review it in general, based on both but realistically mainly based on the 2014 edition for it was vastly and clearly superior in every way possible way.( Even though both were 5's) maybe this years was 4.99 but whatever.
2014 was just over 11% abv


Appearance: similar to elder, maybe ever so slightly lighter and more golden and bright.

smell: fuck, hard to describe but it smelled delicate and beautiful. fruity and sticky, and dangerously dank and fresh. no alcohol to detect. the smell was so perfect for a triple IPA behemoth.

taste: every single one of my taste buds was tingling. all of my taste pores / receptors were activated 110%. at the time i had never experience quite a sensation but alas, i don't want to veer into mouthfeel. taste was juicy, sweet stone fruits, a little tangerine, orange, sweet cutie flavors.
hints of lemon zest and fresh grass / pine. The fresh pine needle, christmas tree action is real and amazing.

mouthfeel: smooth smooth smooth smooth tingly smooth smooth smooth smooth soft smooth smooth smooth delicate smooth smooth smooth smooth smooth, drinkable, smooth smooth smooth, ideal carbonation, smooth smooth smooth smooth.

overall: perfect. like, lets be real, no other triple IPA on the planet comes close? can anyone on this site name any triple IPA that even comes close to this? nah

 1,516 characters

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

Terrific triple IPA. Waited in line for as few hours and was able to get three glasses along with Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Overall was well worth the wait. The beer looked, smelled and had a very smooth chock full of flavor taste and feel. Too bad the availability is so limited.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,979 ratings.
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