Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...

Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
BA SCORE
4.7/5
World-Class
3,095 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#9
Reviews:
946
Ratings:
3,095
pDev:
7.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6,523
Gots:
512
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,095 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Soxfanmcgee
4/5  rDev -14.9%

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

On tap at the Jose Pistolas in Philly, poured into a pint glass. 

A - Clear orange amber, with a small white head.

S - Grapefruit, orange peel, pine needle, honey. 

T - Huge, flavorful tropical grapefruit character. Very complex. Earthy pine and other citrus hops in mid-palate. Finishes with a nice light malty sweetness and hop bitterness.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, not much carbonation. A little sticky with a dry finish.

O - Delicious triple IPA. Super smooth,  refreshing, and highly drinkable. The alcohol is masked well and sneaks up fast. An excellent brew worthy of high praise.

 596 characters

Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of tdjb
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Monk's for giving me a chance to give this a try. 4-5oz pour, out of a wine glass.

A- Glowing golden yellow with a bit of amber. The beer pours with a slight whitish foamy head.

S- Just marvelous smell of bittery fresh hops. Smells of mango, lemon rind, and grapefruit are also present. Not much malt, but it is there.

T- Just a blissful blend of citrus fruit, dry fresh hops, and just enough malt to hold it all together. The flavors all just meld together so well. Strong notes of lemon, grapefruit, and pinapple.

M- Couldn't ask for much more. Great body and carbonation. Aftertaste goes on for days...

O- Overall, I'm really glad I got to try this. I had a glass of Elder right after, and it really emphasized how great this beer is. Wish I didn't have to try so hard to land a glass, but was glad to have had the chance. I actually bought a glass for a non-beer drinker, and he was blown away. We spent the next few days trying to track down beers that were similar to Younger(if there is anything even comperable)

-Gfunk

 1,042 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Paul for getting a ticket and sharing his pour.

The first time I had Elder on tap it was the first 5 I gave for appearance, it was a brilliant glowing orange. The snifter of Younger was a bit duller, still looked good, I just couldn't give it a 5.

The smell, oh the smell. Straight hops. Just like opening a bag of hops to brew with. Tons of bright citrus and pine, Lemons, grapefruit, citrus, just a touch of dank-ness. So complex, so much going on, so strong. This is really nice. From memory it seems just a bit more intense than Elder but only fractionally so.

The taste. How do they do that? All the hops from the aroma with a strong bracing bitterness and a dryness that cleanses the palate. The hop flavor is so pure, no vegetalness or any other flavor that detracts from the hops.

The mouthfeel. For me, this is what separates this beer from others. 11% and it drinks like 3%. I could sip on this all day long. No harsh characteristics or burn, just easy drinking hop juice.

Overall a phenomenal beer. Definitely better than elder but elder is so good it is hard to be much better. I was glad to take off work a bit early to enjoy this but in my opinion it is not so much better than elder that it justifies the type of crazy things people do to try it. Very grateful I got the chance to try it.

 1,326 characters

Photo of cocoapuph
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of yuriruley
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.67/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well... It took a few years to get it but I finally did and I'm honestly glad that I did. Not only was I able to have the Younger but I had the Elder to pair with which was perfect. This beer poured out as a really nice looking golden copper color with a thin white head on top. The lacing isn't too sticky on this which I was surprised. The smell of the beer is loaded up with tropical fruits, pine and other forms of hop aromas. There isn't much in the way of malt coming off this bad boy on the nose. The taste of this beer is big. It's much easier to taste the massive different between the Younger & Elder when having them side by side. Younger lingers on the tongue for a very extended amount of time which keeps the beer in the glass for a longer period of time (which I personally enjoy). The flavors of pine and tingling hop flavors just cut into your taste buds leaving you with cotton mouth almost immediately after the first sip. The mouthfeel of this beer is a bit heavier than the Elder. It's little bit more oily too. Overall this beer is something that I'm proud to say that I got to try finally. I'm even more glad that I compare the two with each other. I can see now why people like the Elder better than the Younger simply based on the drinkablity. The younger is something that needs to be enjoyed over a good amount of time where the Elder is more session-able even though it's not. I wouldn't decline either Pliny on any day, I enjoy both beer a lot and I look forward to the next time I get to have this beer again.

 1,539 characters

Photo of keanlacrosse
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of tomfneph
4.83/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was in San Diego for a conference and I dragged my wife to Toronado's for valentine's day. (she doesn't really like beer). The place was packed and I noticed everyone was drinking the same thing. I saw the Pliny the Younger tap and laughed a little to my wife about it. The bartender said it was no joke, they had it unadvertised. Talk about serendipity!!!! We drank it from wine glasses. (yes, even my non beer drinking spouse liked this one!). It did not have a head. The beer is a beautifully distinctive strawberry blond color. The aroma is citrusy hops. The taste is the same. This beer is the essence of west coast hops but it is not bitter. (this is why the girls like it and other enthusiasts like the elder better). How do they get all that hop flavor without the bitterness? This is the genius if this brew. I favor stout beers so this won't be the best in the world for me, but it is damn good, and probably is the best in it's class. Drink it if you can get it!!!

 977 characters

Photo of b2611
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of haazer
4.55/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First beer(of course) at the Blue Dog event.

A- very pretty golden brew, orange highlights and loads of bubbles. Good carbonation. Lacing all over the glass.

S- Very fruity. Mango, pineapple, pine sap, kiwi. Incredible nose. No malt in here! Aggressive hop aroma all throughout.

T- Its a toss up here between the nose. Very bitter, biting hop flavor. The fruit is orange peel, mango and some honeydo. Sticky syrup, strong pine needles. The hops blend very to me as floral and earthy in profile. No abv detected.

M- Ever so smooth and crisp. Light to medium body and high carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel, coating my teeth. The best part of the beer for me.

O- Two four oz pours didn't do this justice. Incredibly drinkable. What sets this apart from other beers I feel is it really has no flaws. Is it the best beer in the world? I'd say no, better then elder? That's a toss up. Grateful I got to try this though. Blue Dog handled this event very well.

 954 characters

Photo of 72hw
4.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So Pliny The Younger... is it worth the hype? Maybe. Do I like Pliny The Elder better? Absolutely.

So why? Even though the Younger is triple hopped, the flavors and character of the Elder come through much more loud and clear. Pliny The Younger is a remarkable beer for its smoothness and crisp finish, but it lacks the unique Something that The Elder has in spades.

Does The Younger deserve the 100 rating from Beer Advocate? A reserved YES. The Younger is by far one of the best beers I have ever drank, but the score of 100 needs to be measured against The Elder which is far and away the better brew IMHO.

How do I justify the rating? If not for the high alcohol content, this would be my perfect sessionable beer bar none. No lingering taste, no overwhelming breath, ample flavor and a delightful feel from lip to throat - The Younger is truly a World Class Beer as far as I am concerned.

 896 characters

Photo of roblund
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of drnoodles
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of spdyfire83
4.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

200th Review
Served in a Fuller's half pint tulip
500mL flip top bottle

HUGE thanks to ricoch3t for bottling this up and sending it across the pond - you are a true gentleman and scholar my friend (especially considering how much I miss proper American DIPAs)!

In order to properly review this beer (again), I had to get "dressed up" for the occasion - i.e. putting on my PtY work shirt that I scored from RR while visiting last May. This definitely added to the experience since I was enjoying the beer alone since I couldn't convince anyone in Dublin to meet up.

A: Bright apple juice color. A few soft bubbles, but no real head per se on a vigorous pour. I assume that has something to do with the 10-day trek from the Rockies to the Emerald Isle.

S: Heavenly! Hop oils, pine, citrus, and more hops.

T: Burst of hops from the start followed by oily/piney middle to back with very nice citrus fruit. So, so excellent!

M: Fully bodied with almost no carbonation. Thick and chewy. The greatness sticks around for a bit which is awesome!

O: Standing ovation...still! I was a bit nervous about how this would hold up over the journey of 4,000+ miles from Denver to Dublin, but it made the trip just fine and came out swinging. If you haven't tried this, make it happen! It is worth the sacrifice and search. If you can make it happen, you will not be disappointed. If you are, send the rest to me!

 1,403 characters

Photo of tlbarsh
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of kbhess
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Giantspace
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of UncleBumpy
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of egshaun
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of spicelab
4.54/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Day 1 of the Younger [email protected] River, 3rd Feb. Reviewed from notes cobbled together the next day in a somewhat hungover state.

Clear apricot with a steady bead and minimal head - however the half-pint serving vessels filled to the rim all but exclude a reasonable head assessment.

Dark, brooding aromas of rockmelon, orange, guava, passionfruit and pineapple.

Flavours follow the nose, but become more animated - especially from the 3rd glass on. Bitterness hits early but the magnitude of the flavours makes it seem quite sane. The bizarrest part is that it seems to become more drinkable and moreish with each glass.

The hop oils provide a delightful chewiness, yet the mouthfeel is generally middle of the road in all respects - carbonation, bitterness and evenness.

Amazing how well it works. Ordeal by hops that is devilishly addictive. The more you have the more you want. Started out not super impressed with this, but by the 6th glass I felt increasingly like a dog with a bone. Lacks just a little complexity in my eyes to be truly mindblowing.

 1,074 characters

Photo of islandboi8204
4.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bishop's Collar.

Pours clear golden orange color, fluffy white head that recedes quickly. Streaky lacing down the glass.

Smells like pine, fresh-cut grass, tangerine, apples, grapefruit, and a little mango, pineapple. A ton of hops with some malt in the background.

Tastes like fresh hops, sweet tropical fruit flavors, but also malt to balance. Alcohol well masked, nice and dry. The finish is incredibly long and lingering. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is medium viscosity, reasonable carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with a little stickiness.

Overall, this met the hype for me. I had this alongside Hopslam, and while Hopslam had more tropical fruit/pineapple notes, it was way too sweet and syrupy compared to PtY. Very drinkable, so smooth, everything I love about Pliny the Elder but more extreme. I hope to enjoy this again next year.

 847 characters

Photo of Hopnug
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,095 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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