Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
3,165 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,165 |  Reviews: 963
Photo of tfidler
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of rickfrothingham
4.92/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got a chance to try this at Resurrection Ale House in Philadelphia this morning, and it certainly lived up to the hype.

Wonderful blend of luscious citrus fruits (orange, tangerine, grapefruit) with a firm piney resinous character backing it up. Some alcohol is noticeable, but perfectly acceptable (not hot or solventy at all). No malt to be found - just a clean canvas for hops!

Pale gold with a slight orange hue. A bit hazy (but that's to be expected with the level of dry hopping this beer surely has) with a large white head, falling over several minutes leaving thick, belgian-like lacing behind.

Hops, Hops, Hops, with just a hint of malt support. Bold citrus and pine dominate (Tangerine/Grapefruit, some lemony notes with firm pine/resinous flavors lingering). The bitterness is huge but not overwhelming; in a way the sheer amount of flavor from the hops helps to cut through. There's a perception that the bitterness in this beer is balanced by resin rather than malt, and it totally works. Finish is crisp, with bitterness lingering long afterwards. I mean seriously long. As in, I left the bar, walked about a half mile home, and still felt a pine-resin bitterness coating my tongue. No flaws to be found (esters/diacetyl), though its possible a low ester exists and is simply covered up by the fruitiness of the hops.

Medium bodies, with moderately low carbonation. Very smooth considering the high abv and absurd hopping rates (which lends a certain bitter astringency to the mouthfeel of some double/triple IPAs). As with the flavor, the resiny character seems to counteract any astringency from the hops.

Wonderful beer; I certainly plan to sample this again if I ever get the chance, however unlikely that may be.

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Photo of bradleyjay34
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of gos42
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of newk340
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got to try after waiting for 3 years! On-tap at Churchill's 3/3.

A: A gorgeous translucent pale gold, a thin fluffy white head and beautiful lacing...

S: Gentle hop aromas grace the nose, nothing overpowering with some hints of lemongrass.

T: Extremely pleasant taste of hops straight off, but quickly fades into faint citrus flavors. A fantastic balance of flavors.

MF/D: Wow, this beer goes down extremely smoothly for the ABV. Faint bubbles dance across the mouth dispersing the flavors equally. Definitely worth the wait and lived up to my hype. Can't wait for it again next year!

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.92/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchill's On Churchill's Renaissance day

Look: Pours a darker shade of yellow with some orangish hues and totally translucent. 1/4 inch head and little retention

Smell: Copious amounts of pine and pine resin with a touch of citrus zest

Taste: You get that same pine resin upfront and its almost too much. I remember someone at my table saying "it reminds me of walking in the forest" The backend carries some nice citrus and honey notes which actually saved it for me

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mildly carbonated and incredibly bitter and dry. Which each sip my mouth became more and more dry and the beer became harder to drink

Overall: Glad I got the chance to try this one and glad all these west coast BA's hyped the shit out of this because I was excited to try it and then totally let down. Will NOT drink again

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Photo of orangesol
4.73/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this one on-tap at the pub a few times over the course of SF Beer Week '14 and I am adjusting my scores up a bit. Really an incredible DIPA when it is this fresh.

Old Review...

Served on-tap at Monk's on Russian River Monday. Finally captured the dragon.

A - Pours clear golden orange with a fluffy one finger tall white head leaving thin sheets of lace down the glass. A very nice looking beer.

S - Smells of fresh cut grapefruits, apricots, pine needles, pungent citric hops and a touch of sweetness creeping in as it warms up. The balance of aromas is very well maintained throughout.

T - Starts off with a ton of tropical fruits - mostly grapefruits, mangos and pineapples - quickly giving way to a mix of strong, bitter citric hops, fresh cut pine and a bit of sweet malt. The balance of this beer is amazing for how big it really is. Finish has plenty of lingering bitterness, clinging to the pallet long after the finish.

M - Medium-Light body with a well balanced flavor and moderate carbonation. Bitterness is surprisingly mild, lingering on the pallet for quite awhile.

O - What more is there to say that hasn't already been said? This one is easily one of the best beers I have ever had. I could drink this one all day, and that is saying something.

 1,275 characters

Photo of Kellough8
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #200

Younger watch 2012!
No sad sob stories of long lines or pawning off my first born here. Seems like the SD establishments handled this year’s release in stride.

-1st sampled at Pizza Port Brewbies Fest 2012
$5 per 6oz taster – 02-11-12

Aroma and flavor was so on point here – hops were floral, vibrant, and pronounced. Alcohol barely detectable. Could have been Elder if I didn’t know any better! Really great stuff.

-2nd encounter at Stone Brew – happened upon a “silent tapping” & quite the dumb luck.
$8 per 10oz - 02-21-12 at time of review

A: Served in a chilled 10oz goblet by Dr. Bill himself. Pours a golden straw-amber color with decent clarity. Tiny white rim of head and a bit of leggy lace down the glass.

S: Smells of citrus peels and various stone fruits like apricot. Some evergreens and light caramel sweet malts. Noticeable Alcohol notes.

T: Tastes of citrus fruits with predominant grapefruit and tangerine flavors, loads of resinous pine, and a smooth caramel malt backing. Alcohol definitely present and warming but not too overbearing. Moderate bitterness levels overall. Not too sweet. Smooth drinkable and delicious.

M: Med. body but rather light for such a big brew. Smooth overall with a decent creamy texture. Some sticky hop resin coating. Nice crisp drying finish. Signature Pliny.

D: A really great TRIPA that isn’t cloying in any way. Solid in balance. Hoppy yes but definitely enjoyed this more just 10 days prior. Went from really great to just really good. Not sure if it is Stone’s use of chilled glassware that muted the hops a bit here but alcohol seemed much more evident to the point of being a touch boozy.

All in all Younger will kick your ass!

Snootch Out!

 1,752 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with an off-white head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pine and citrus zest hops, honey, and alcohol. Taste is of citrus zest, citrus fruit, slight pine, and a honey sweetness. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA that is quite tasty but it doesn’t quite live up to the hype in my opinion.

 584 characters

Photo of Gatordaddy
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of shangwang
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Monk's Cafe - finally get to try this elusive beer!

PtY was fantastic - I'm not sure if it totally lived up to what I expected, but it was very good. I'd had Elder a few times before and actually drank it side by side with Younger, and honestly couldn't tell a whole lot of difference. Younger seemed to be a little drier, but that was as much of a difference as I could sense. Love 'em both, but Elder is easier and cheaper, so I don't know if I'll really worry too much about finding Younger in future years. Needless to say, it's pretty awesome, and I'm glad I tried it!

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

Lucked into trying Pliny the Younger on tap at Vine St Pub in Denver for a 4:20 special tasting this past Friday 4/2/12. A friend was visiting from our hometown of Atlanta, GA, and this was a great start to his trip.

This is obviously a fantastic beer, so I won't try to describe it any more than it already has been. All I wanted to mention is that Pliny the Younger reminded us of Sweetwater Brewing Co's 420 Extra Pale Ale. Call me crazy, but my fellow Atlanta native buddy and I both had a similar response...

I'm sure this is blasphemy, but try 420 and see what you think!

 579 characters

Photo of Bilobatemonkey
3.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So much hype for this brew! I'm glad I finally got a taste. Not sure why everyone is up in arms about this one. Tastes very similar to PtE but with a higher ABV. I actually prefer PtE. Is PtY worth all the hype? In my opinion, no. If you haven't tried it, I do recommend giving it a try if you have the opportunity.

 315 characters

Photo of distvan
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of DaveHack
4.77/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Capones 3/3/12.

Very nice golden color, little head at all.

The smell on this beer is its strongest characteristic. I could've smelled it all day. Citrus and pine melded together perfect. It is not a faint aroma either.

Taste follows the smell, strong citrus and pine flavors. The taste of alcohol is there, but at 11% it is hidden more than would be expected.

In the mouth it feels great. This ain't yo mammas beer! It is nice and substantial and it coats the mouth in delicious hop resins.

This beer is definately one to try at some point in your it worth the crazy hype, yes.

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Photo of Blanco
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pliny. The. Younger. I finally had a chance to drink this illusive brew a few times over the pats week. Thanks to Teresa's Next Door and TJ's for the way they handled this.

The beer pours an extremely light golden orange color. Very clear. The initial aroma is a tropical fruit hop profile, with some floral notes. Taste is bitter with a nicely balanced malt profile. Whereas Elder is much more balanced, Younger leans toward the hop side. Aromas and tastes change as the beer warms. Seems every time I lean in for a sniff I get something different: citrus, grapefruit, slight pine, tropical fruit, lemon. It's as if every tpye of hop flavor and smell is worked into the beer somehow. Medium-bodied (leaning toward lighter). The only evidence of the high alcohol content is a slight chest warming, but it's nowhere in the taste. It's quite amazing how this beer mimics something smaller, lighter and more drinkable, yet it's such a big beer.

I love this beer. The best thing about it is the complexity of the flavors and the aromas, which makes it seem as if you are drinking several different beers at once. Dangerously drinkable.

 1,135 characters

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the first year I really had to make significant effort to score a glass.

In the past one of my favorites spots even served pitchers. Big shout out to Beachwood BBQ for the charity raffle.

Look- Pours a color a tad darker than PtE with = amount of head. Big hefty scent of grapefruit and pine.

Taste- Sweet, fruity and bitterness all in one. The taste is magical and probably hides the abv more so than any other.

The beer lives up to the hype. All around perfection.

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Photo of jackrodgers77
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of rdell17
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of eyebereej
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Hopstamon
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Monk's cafe in Philly during a charity event featuring The Younger.
Served in a small snifter. Fantastic flavor profile for this rare beer. Well balanced.
I only wish I was able to have a larger portion than the 8 ounces.
It's a "must try" beer at any price.

 270 characters

Photo of billyshears
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Retail1LO
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft into a 5.5 oz glass at Capone's. Pours a gorgeous golden hue with thin lacing. Brilliant citrus and hop nose that is perfectly balanced. Taste follows the nose closely. Perfect balance of hops, citrus and pine. Mouth is smooth with a sublime. Bitterness. Overall, stellar.

 288 characters

Photo of Mattylegend
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,165 ratings