Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
Liked This Beer
4.7 w/ 3,091 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,091 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Mattylegend
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of FarmerTed
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

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

Enjoyed on-tap after waiting in line for an hr and 1/2 at the bottleroom in Whittier. review from notes.

A: minimal head as expected. Golden orange.
S: fruity hoppiness (e.g. Pineapples) blends amazingly with sweet maltiness.
T: sweetness coats the tongue and the bitterness clings for dear life. Very well balanced throughout.
M: perfect!
O: most people think it's not worth the hype it gets. I think it was well worth the wait. Even if it wasn't #1 on BA I'd wait in line again.

 485 characters

Photo of xHoPtImUsPrImEx
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of CaliHop82
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

PTY on Tap at BoneYard Bistro Sherman Oaks

A - This is the color of what a Triple IPA should look like. Its almost a pale orange in color with little to no head. The color is truely something to be amazed by.

S - This thing is like a being punch by a pine needle in the face with a clean citrus aroma that follows. You can taste the hops through your nose.

T - A hop resin bomb is what you get when you first taste. A hop resin flavor that has both piney and citrus fruit flavors. This is great cold and mellows out a lot as it warms up. Truely a unique taste thats hard to describe but leaves you wanting more.

M - Smooth resin mouthfeel. Velvet texture that is so easy to drink.

O - This is a fantastic IIIPA that leaves you wanting more. Not as much piney carbonation as the Elder but a unique beer that everyone must try. It is almost hard to believe this is a 10% beer as they have masked the alcohol very well. Probably not worth waiting 3 hrs for or even the best beer I have had. But truely a unique beer

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pliny the Younger.

As a casual observer for the last few years the hysteria surrounding this beer was been overwhelming and something of a fascination for me. Horror stories of waiting in horrendous lines just for a chance to sample, amusing tirades by local barkeeps, hostile bartenders, etc. This has been something of a turn off to say the least. Was there a beer worthy of such insanity? Well I made a last minute decision to head over to Vine Street pub in Denver yesterday, 3/1/2012 to find out...if I was fortunate enough to score an elusive ticket. Parking was atrocious and knowing they were tapping the keg at 4:20, the short drive from the office to pub seemed an eternity. I was able to get one of the last 20 tickets at the pub. The place was busier than I have ever seen it and you could feel the apprehension of all these beer geeks (myself included) watching the clock tick ever so slowly. Cameras were out all over the bar just taking pictures of the tap handle! The comical looks at some of the dining patrons who clearly had no idea what was happening was rather amusing. One lady even asked her partner, "What the f*ck is going on!?" My friend was rolling down 17th to join me as they continued handing out tickets. 15 tickets left! 10 tickets left! 5 tickets left! 3 tickets left! They were disappearing at an alarming rate! I called him up and told he he needed to get his ass to the bar! Stuck in traffic? Throw that jeep up on the curb and get here! As he drove by the window "2 tickets!" PARK IN THE FIRE LANE! He dashed in right as they were calling LAST TICKET! We did everything in our power to get noticed, bam! He was awarded the last ticket! But wait, the manager promised the ticket to someone else! WTF!? In the end everything worked out ok and we both scored a 10 ounce pour of Pliny the Younger. The keg flowed non-stop for what was probably 15-20 minutes until kicked, much to the chagrin of the beer geeks who let out a resounding sigh of disappointment as the keg died. Easily the most stressful beer chase in my life, was it worth it!? On to the review:

The beer was poured to a 10 ounce wine glass with extreme care by the army of employees Vine Street had on hand. They had an assembly line of workers to distribute the beer, fascinating. As the keg was tapped and the glasses filled the entire bar was filled with a billowing aroma of sweet citrus and piney hops. The power of the aroma was glorious! It was like swimming in a cloud of hops and I didn't even have my beer yet! Finally my glass, the beer is a crystal clear yellow golden amber color with a smaller 1/2 finger white head. Good retention and lacing. The staff was very observant of not spilling a drop and filling each glass with extreme care, nice, and odd and unlike anything I have ever seen. The aroma of the beer in my hand was even more impressive than what I experienced as it flowed from the keg. Huge hop character with hints of tangerine, pineapple, orange, pine, and grapefruit along with a distinct sweetness clearly evident in the nose. The most impressive aroma of any IPA I've experienced, it knocks you in the face and reminds you who you're dealing with. The flavor is equally impressive with an initial surge of the hops. Medium bitter the hops and caramel fruity sweetness actually balance the beer very well. Absolutely no hint of the high abv whatsoever and extremely drinkable. Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The beer drinks like a meal, chewy, with hop resins that linger on the palette well after the sweetness has faded. The flavor lasts on the tongue longer than any beer I've ever had, easily. Well crafted brew.

Overall, to say I really enjoyed the experience would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype? Tough call. The beer is amazing. To be honest the whole experience while stressful and chaotic in hindsight was actually a lot of fun! The whol ordeal is something I won't soon forget and perhaps that factors into the rating of the beer. As one of a couple triple IPA's I've had, this is hands down the winner... by a landslide. I now understand and respect the hysteria surrounding this beer and feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Pliny the Younger.

 4,242 characters

Photo of ChumleyX
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of TimMack
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of tgeorgf
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of BrewsoBrewco
4.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first official BA review. PtY on tap at the Bier Stein in Eugene OR.

A- Great golden almost orange appearance. No great head but the color was fantastic.

Smell- After being poured it was very piney with a good citrus note. Delicious hop smell that can be smelled from distance. Can tell that a hop punch is going to come with the taste.

Taste- First sip the citrus comes out very clearly with a still piney/ fruit hop aftertaste. Delicious. After it started to warm up the pine settled and the a lot more tree fruit comes out. I got green apple and pear.

M-Good mouth feel for an IIPA. Much better then the elder which I feel lacks in mouth-feel. Really felt as if something was going down.

O- I think it is a great IIPA. Best beer in the world...EEHH? It really does mask the alcohol incredibly and tastes great. Since we only had one 8oz pour and this is my first taste I don't think I can have the same review as people who have had it multiple time. Great beer. Would definitely have it again? Yes. Would i fight huge mobs of people. Probably not, unless it was from the source.

 1,099 characters

Photo of Tom-Peters
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BlackDog
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After calling Russian River, the distributor, and driving over an hour in Philly, I finally experienced the Younger. The hype, travel, and effort were well worth it.

Appearance: Nice, golden, white head, but it lacked a little bit, could have been thicker and had better retention.

Smell: The perfect smell. Strong hop aroma with hint of grapfruit, pine, lemon, citrus

Taste: Perfect. Such a nice hop taste, but so perfectly balanced that it isn't overpowering, but still enough to give it that great hop taste. Nice and crisp, medium body.

Mouthfeel: Again, perfect. Carbonation was right one (not sure what happened with the head, though), medium body was perfect.

Overall: Again, head lacked a tad. Aroma was perfect, taste was perfect. This is a very hoppy IIPA but is so perfectly balanced as to not overpower, giving it the perfect taste.

 849 characters

Photo of HOLYJIM
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of 26bones
4.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a much anticipated wait I was pleased with the delectable drink presented to me. This was not just some modest swill to guaff down. Comparible to the Elder with mildly enhanced citrusy flavor and a softer feel. Would have liked to savour a second pint but had to drive.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was one of the lucky ones to get a glass of this at TJs. The sixtel lasted all of 55 minutes before it kicked. 2012 version of the beer.

Poured from a tap into a 12 ounce tulip glass.

A: A light to medium orange color with a half finger white head that sat atop the beer. No glass lacing once I started to consume it.

S: This beer smells so damn good. Prickly hops with pine and citric notes mix with some sugar sweetness and some herbal notes.

T: The hops are amazing. Lots of prickly pine mix with grapefruit and some floral flavors, even a hint of some tropical fruits. The sweetness is sugar like with no real heavy malt flavors, just a bit of biscuit. Finish turns slightly bitter but some slight sugar sweetness lingering. Alcohol provides some warmth on the finish but it's a dry warmth. Amazing how the abv is hidden with the dryness.

M: Full, coating, prickly, sweet and some alcohol. This beer has everything.

O: Just a tremendous beer that is very complex, a bit more so than the Elder. It's not quite as drinkable as the Elder, but it seems so much more special and one to sip and savor. Fabulous.

Is PtY worth the hype that it gets? In my eyes, it definitely does and I'm so glad I got a glass this year. Thanks Jeff and TJs!

 1,247 characters

Photo of BabyTree
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of B33R501
4.57/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

beautiful beer. very happy for the opportunity to try this, and big thumbs up for tj's in paoli pa, for keeping this low key, no pub, no event, no mass hysteria. got lucky, read a blog from last year said they had it, called yesterday to find out it was being tapped at 4. showed up 320, no crowd, got a seat at the bar, no fuss, no muss, absolutely the way it should be. my computer distributor is 5 minutes away, and for that alone i will return to this fine establishment. and paid only $6.75 one tulip.

pours very pretty gold, i got the first pour of the tap, big head, took couple minutes to settle while i eagerly anticipated, the bartender topped it off to make sure i got the proper amount. smells fresh citrus hops with a nice malty presence in the background. big flavor, citrus hops again, bready malts, huge. with no annoying or off tastes. perfectly bitter and so drinkable, i could have had many more, except for the one per customer limit.

not much else to say, great beer, great bar, great experience. maybe someday the brewery will make alot more so all could try. but i wonder if it would be the same then?

 1,126 characters

Photo of bthomas
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of leodarko
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of beermebaby89113
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

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

Sixtel On-Tap into Tumbler Glass

Easily one of the best examples of beer craftsmanship one can experience. I had my first experience last night at a "hush-hush" tapping in Philadelphia. Beautiful amber/golden color with one finger of white head. Smells like you're standing amidst the growing hops in the field. I hope this is taken properly, but I compare this to a beer-mouthwash due to its crisp, fresh flavor that made my mouth and eyes tingle. The high alcohol is apparent, but is easily lost in the complexity of flavor. Easily one of the best pieces of work I've ever tasted. Can't wait for next year's batch!

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Photo of garuda
4.6/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brilliant tangerine color, thin white head that has little retention, and decent lacing.

S - I got a candied sugar smell up front, surprisingly, that was then knocked down by the huge resinous hops. The candied caramel malt was definitely one of a kind. I was just expecting more on the nose.

T - Really gets a lot better here. The hop profile really gets displayed nicely with grapefruit, some mango, then finishes super long with resinous pine notes intermixed with some floral aspects. Caramel malt provides some body, with a nice balancing sweetness as it moves across the palate, then disappears in the finish, giving way to the hops.

M - Full body, yet stays light and fluffy with the carbonation. Oily, prickly hops, finishing dry and bitter. Splendid mouthfeel.

O - Taste and mouthfeel are spectacular, and something about it just makes it incredibly smooth and easy drinking. A&S could have been better, but this whole experience was just incredible. A must have for hopheads and beer lovers.

 1,010 characters

Photo of jwat
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Chizoad
4.67/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kind of a weak appearance. Pale golden, nearly zero head and no lacing. Bizarre since it's got so much hops in it.

Piney aroma, like stepping into a forest. Some hidden malt in there.

First sip was overwhelmingly pine. Like swirling sap on the tongue. But it faded quickly, buoyed up by the malts, then backed up by some citrus, mostly grapefruit with a crisp finish. After my taste buds got used to the pine that eased up on later drinks.

Light, crisp body, no detectable alcohol in the taste, really unbelievable. You'll feel the alcohol soon enough though.

Great. Worth the hype. No need to descend into some religious exaltation over this one, but if you can get The Younger, by all means do.

 700 characters

Photo of shelby415
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98.6% out of 100 with 3,091 ratings
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