Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

3,066 Ratings
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
Reviews: 946 | Ratings: 3,066
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 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

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

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,066 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.