Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

3,076 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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,076 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of FutureJack
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of largefarva
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

Enjoyed 3 tulips of the 2012 Younger at Monks Kettle in San Francisco (and a couple at Russian River in Santa Rosa).

Appearance: Finally, a DIPA that is actually pale! Not orange, not red. I'd guess 8 srm, almost the same color as the Elder.

Smell: Resinous, pine, cat pee, tangerine, peach. Enormous. The freshest hop aroma I've ever experienced. No malt character detected.

Taste: Echoing the aroma with massive fruitiness and a potent overarching bitterness. Pine lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. A very distinct smoothness similar to Elder, signature Russian River.

Mouthfeel: Chewy & sexy. The use of sugars really helps to keep this drinkable, it never feels bogged down by malt. Keep DIPA's pale!

Believe the hype, DIPA doesn't get any better than this. I think the exclusivity of Younger really helps to promote the importance of FRESHNESS in this style. Even after a short time in bottles, a beer like this will lose some of it's magic. Get it on tap in Santa Rosa.

 990 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a draft into what appeared to be about a 10-oz. skinny glass at San Diego Brewing Co. in San Diego, Calif., on Feb. 14. Not sure the name of it. Color was honey caramel with a nice gray lacing that stayed for about five minutes. Just a tad bit of film on the sides, which was a bit surprising.

Just a fantastic balance of hops on the initial smell. Smelled citrus pine hops and sweet floral notes as well. Also some grapefruit.

Tasted even better than the nose. Obviously citrus hops, but so damn smooth and balanced. Like the nose, the balance was citrus pine hops and sweet floral notes. For how strong it was, the alcohol never came through like so.

Medium body. Not sure the texture, but definitely good. Average carbonation. Long smooth finish.

This beer lived up to the hype as hard as it was to do that. The biggest surprise was how easy it went down. Unbelievable.

 890 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Jaacob
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of darkmoon66
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of McCafferty
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of BeforeNoon
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of hitter114
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip from the falling rock taphouse

A: Typical AIPA Pale coloring. nice foamy and sticky head
S: strong smell of hops complex layering
T: DANG lots of layers of amazing fresh hops. Lived up to the hype
M: Delicious sticky mouth feel
O: IF you can get it....get it fantastic beer

 293 characters

Photo of Ktown67
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of dfernandez77
4.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vibrant chrysanthemum yellow. Crystal clear. Medium white fine head that dissipated quickly.

It was served cold. First aroma was sweet - not malty sweet, cleanly floral sweet - with crisp herbal notes. A 12 oz pour allowed time to warm slightly, aroma and flavor opened up. Hints of desert sage and green peppercorn, clean tangerine sorbet like aroma in the backbone, and a echo of juniper.

Malt is very clean and crisp, the residual sweetness is more like blonde candi syrup than malts. Hardly any yeast esters, no fruitiness unlike typical ale yeast. The bittering is low, but the hop presence is huge - clean, bright, peppery, and crisply herbal. Alcohol presence is remarkably clean, more like a good gin than the boozy or hot character in most big DIPAs.

Medium body, slightly dry. Finish is very long, hoppy, and carries the crispness of hop oils.

Overall Impression:
I see many pours of PTY are about 5 ounces - and I don't think that's enough to get the full impression. At first I was a little underwhelmed. But after about 4 sips and 1/3 through the glass it really picked up. When it warmed just slightly and opened up it really started to shine. As it warmed and opened it remained clean, crisp, and invigorating across the board. The alcohol was not boozy or hot, but clean almost like a white spirit. The malt was clean and very slightly sweet, balancing the hugely floral and herbal hops very well. Altogether, fantastic.

A 4 hour wait in line for one pour is a bit of a buzzkill, yet I'm glad I did it. However, I don't think I'll do it again. It's worth doing at least once.

 1,638 characters

Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of deereless
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted up at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquid and Solids in Longmont, CO. A: Medium to dark copper colored, lacy spotting on the surface of the beer and sides of the glass, very clear - 4.50, S: Wonderfully fragrant, intense aromas of peach and pineapple, a thick and syrupy sweetness overwhelms the nose, possibly one of the finest smelling beers I've ever encountered - 5.00, T: Strong grapefruit and bitter pine assault the palate, a medium sweetness as well as some mild tropical fruits in the background, slight alcohol burn - 4.50, M: Medium mouthfeel, slight effervescence perceivable on the tongue - 4.00, D: Very drinkable for a 10.75% beer, sharper bitterness on the palate than the nose lets on, all around an excellent beer - 4.00

 738 characters

Photo of BeerShman
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ritter57
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

The reason it took a bit of a wait to get into the brew pub on a Monday night. Not a big fan of the style but had to see what all the fuss is about.

A-Lively carbonation with a ring of white foam. A little bit of haze in this orange/golden colored hop bomb.

S-Tons of hops, apricot and bittering pummel the olfactory faculties.

T-Lots of hop but also lots of pale malt and a touch of honey. Obviously hop forward but surprising not overpoweringly so.

M-Full bodied, more so than Hopslam as a comparison. This one hangs on but not overly bitter. Alcohol is beautifully covered up.

D-Not meant for the long run. Goes really well with the spicy cheddar and jalapeno beer bites at RR.

O-A really solid beer. I guess I can understand why people wait in line for a few hours for a taste. Lots of everything in this beer-hops obviously are the star of the show, but full bodied with plenty of malty goodness. I prefer this one to the elder, has more malt and sweetness to better balance the hops and doesn't leave you feeling like you just sucked on a pine tree.

 1,062 characters

Photo of phishsihq
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It seems that Pliny the Younger comes and goes quicker with each passing year. The beer has been much sought over since being named the Best Beer in America a few years ago. A line formed at 8am at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquid & Solids yesterday for the tapping at 1pm, and easily sold out to the lucky 50 folks that grabbed a ticket. We were among the lucky few, and always are in appreciation of the GREAT hospitality, service, and friendliness of the GREAT folks at Liquid & Solids!

Pliny the Younger pours a very light and crisp golden color, with some amber hues noticeable near the edges. A tiny wisp of white head quickly dissipates, although a clingy lace is present throughout. A rich and powerful bouquet of citrus and piney hop aromas, as well as some grass, become more pronounced as the beer warms, and a certain sweetness encourages you to take that first sip. A wallop of hops hits the pallet immediately, but is very smooth and well-balanced. Grapefruit and other citrusy rinds come to mind, with that sweetness for the nose providing an exceptionally smooth balance, really where the Younger shines through. The body and carbonation are both relatively low, really letting the hoppy gloriness shine through in the 10.75% ABV masterpiece. Russian River is possibly the best brewery in the US right now, with the artfulness of their use of the magical hop and amazing lineup of sour beers. Get this one if you can!

 1,429 characters

Photo of basilcrow
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Boz12
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of distantmantra
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Last Drop Bottle Shop. Seattle, WA. February 18th, 2012.

A: Younger pours a golden orange color with a thin head of creamy white foam. Strong lacing clings to the sides of the glass throughout.

S: The beer has a strong aroma of citrus hops, pine and a small bit of cat urine. Slight bit of caramel malt present, but alcohol is not noticeable in the nose.

T: The initial taste is very fruity citrus hops: grapefruit, orange rind and just a bit of apricot. It's almost like Pliny the Elder turned up to 11. This initial fruit flavor explosion melds into a bit of bitter pine hops and some nice sweet malt. Extremely well-balanced.

M: The beer has a medium mouthful with average carbonation for an IPA. As I stated when discussing the aroma, the alcohol is incredibly well-masked. Unlike 120 Minute IPA, you don't taste the booziness. There is no lingering ethanol here. This beer is so well-balanced that it's hard to pace yourself.

O: Yes, there is hype surrounding this beer. However, it's still a damn good beer. I honestly think it's a slightly more extreme version of Elder flavor and aroma-wise. I don't think it's worth five hours of your life standing in line, but it's still an incredible beer that everyone should try once or twice.

 1,257 characters

Photo of Docrock
3.77/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Russian River taproom at 2012 release. Served in a 10 oz glass. Had very high expectations given the hype.

App- No head whatsoever. Color is a nearly transparent gold. Other than the lack of head it was an attractive beer

Sm- Full citrus aroma. Fresh and clean, pleasant but not too heavy hop fragrance.

T- Well balanced hops, citrus, some bitterness and orange peel.Very little sense of the alcohol content. Bitter aftertaste but a good finish overall.

Mf- Smooth, but little sense of any carbonation, seemed a bit thin on the finish. Flavor was appealing.

Ov- A good beer. Not sure if it's worth all the hype. My mates were a bit dissapointed as well but it's still a good beer. Enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere. I would try it again if I could find it, but probaably won't make the 2000 mile trek again. Fortunately ties it into a business trip

I was a little sketchy of the hype and while it's not the best beer in the world by any means, it's still good and the experience and atmosphere was great, a lot of great beer talk at Russian River.


reviewed from personal notes..

 1,119 characters

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

Live tasting, on tap @ Barley and Hops Olde Worlde Family Tavern... 10oz. Pour into a mini pint glass..

Appearance; pours a gorgeous, crisp clear golden color, head non-existent but that could be due to the line and be fact that they are preparing the beers in advance... The gold color of this beer is perfect, as if Younger knows it's the #1 beer in the world...

Smell; grapefruit, orange rinds, citrus in general... Not as heavy on the tropical fruit as Pliny the Elder..

Taste; exceptionally smooth, launches right into grapefruit and citrus rinds.. Quite bitter on the finish, moreso than Elder, but certainly not comically so... Good resins and a nice bitter finish. Hides 11% exceptionally well... Smooth and no hints of alcohol or alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel; this is where younger exceeds... Perfect amount of carbonation, but you can definitely sink your teeth into this one... On the lighter side of full bodied... Bitterness plays into the finish beautifully...

Overall; a great beer, and certainly one that I am glad to have experienced, although I don't know that it was worth $1/ounce and a 45 minute wait... I can easily get Pliny the Elder and I feel like Elder is every bit as solid of a beer, and given the price and accessibility is even more enjoyable although I certainly had a great ... I feel like Younger is a great beer, but I am certainly spoiled by the availability of Elder in my area... The experience is awesome, definitely glad i tried it, had some amazing times with friends in line however I don't know I'd endure the madness to try this again...

 1,583 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,076 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More