Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,086 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of d4114
4.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2/9/12 at Stone Brewing

A- very clear golden orange, very similar the elder but a little more on the orange side. Nice white head.

S- Really astringent hops, big everything. Tropical fruits, grapefruit, sweet orange, pine, some actual bitterness and a sweet caramel.

T- Big citrus notes with a ton of bitterness but not in a sharp way it is just there. Not nearly as sweet as the smell which surprised me. No alcohol to be found but there is a slight warmth in the back of your throat. Citrus lingers slightly but has a very dry finish.

M- Pretty standard here, the exact medium light feel a refreshing double should have.

O- I was really really excited to try this but I have to say i'm not really sure if this holds up to the hype, for me anyhow. I think I was still expecting something a little different I guess but this is for sure an awesome A+ beer with insane drink ability. Also didn't have to wait in any kind of line or by a ticket (it wasn't even that busy really) which was a big plus.

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Photo of crazyjoedivola
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at falling rock taphouse.

Appearance is a clear golden orange with good carbonation but surprisingly very little head. No sign of what's to come.

Smell is wonderful! Hops, with lots of hops and more hops. Scents ranging from tropical fruit to huge pine aromas some grassy hops.

Taste just keeps getting better. At first it opens with a fairly soft balanced sweet maltiness. As the glass warms however the hops emerge and the flavor gains miles of depth. Sweet malts play with the tropical fruit and resinous piney hops to create a wonderfully balanced composition. No trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel at first fairly thin but after a few drinks i noticed that the mouthfeel changed and thickened. After about half of the glass I ran my tounge across my teeth and inside my mouth and found that the inside of my mouth was coated with resinous oils from hops.

Overall, aside from the head (which i suspect is the bar trying to prevent any waste by overflow) this is a perfect beer. Easily the best I've ever had. Well worth the travel and expense.

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Photo of Boonedoggle
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DocJitsu
4.39/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color was a golden light orange.  Citrus bouquet. No head at all, but nicely carbonated. Nice mouthfeel.  An immediate blast of pine that yields to alternating grapefruit and floral flavors. Finishes with distinct grapefruit. No discernible alcohol warmth despite having an ABV of 10.7%.  Great beer, but not my own personal number one--certainly not the best on the planet. 

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Photo of ColonelW
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of LaneMeyer
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SoCalStout
4.79/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on Tap at Toronado San Diego

Appearance: Crystal clear honey-orange body with an extremely tiny white foam head. Some moderate to low lacing, no retention really, either.

Smell: Monstrous hop aroma, with big pine notes accompanied by grapefruit, orange, and a little apricot. Bright, vibrant, and exceptional. Smells great, a lot like elder with a fuller smell.

Taste: Hops, hops, hops! Bitterness is pretty big, but balanced and met with a strong malt backbone, only to be swept away with more hoppiness. Citrus, grassy hops both take turns attacking the tongue, but are always smooth and balanced. I cannot believe how well this beer fuses together.

Mouthfeel: The feel is somewhat sticky, and resinous with hops. Incredibly smooth, very surprising. No sign of the apparent 11% ABV. I didn't think that such a hopped-up beer could be so drinkable and balanced.

Overall: This is an absolutely amazing beer. Pliny the Younger is indeed an excellent TIPA. Hype is huge on this and while it is very solid, IMHO there are other beers out there that are comparable. Glad I finally got to try this and am now satisfied.

 1,120 characters

Photo of mikul93
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Pours a beautiful orange with little head.

S Hops, malt and citrus. I thought it would be more floral than it as, but still has a wonderful nose

T Holy smokes! This beer is decadent! The hops and the malt are strong, but marry so well together. It all just comes together beautifully. Alcohol is hidden so well.

M Medium body, crisp with a gentle bitterness lingering.

O I need more! It is a shame this beer is only available once a year for such a small window. I drank as much as I could, but it still wasn't enough. The best beer I have ever had!

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Photo of ajramirez1
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at APEX pdx. 11% of greatness. I've had tried over 900 beers and this 1 takes the top spot by far. Incredible taste, not as hoppy as i would have guest, but thats what makes this beer unique.

This beer is quite amazing. Worth the wait, will be trying this beer every year/every chance i get...recommend everyone who appeciates beer tries this at one point in your life.


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Photo of buffs9
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Swervine44
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of rustycentipede
3.3/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Apex in Portland. Was surprised to find it a very average imperial IPA.

A - Poured a very pale clear gold with no head and lots of bubbles.

S - Citrus and pine

T - I did not find this beer to be nearly as hoppy as I was hoping it would be. It was a pleasant taste, definitely nothing to complain about, but nothing stood out as special about this beer. A standard piney bitterness but very little residual hop flavor.

M - Very nice, almost champagne-like mouthfeel.

O - I am glad to that I got to try it, but I would not make any effort to have it again. It is by no means a bad beer, but I don't think I would have thought twice about it if I had not heard so much about it prior to drinking this. It's true that this beer "doesn't taste like it is 11%", but in my book that is not necessarily good. I found it to be lacking in both malt and hops flavor.

 879 characters

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

Waited 3 hours in line for this gem. Had I come 30 minutes earlier, I could've been in with an hour wait. Le sigh.

On tap. 10oz glass

A: Clear amber, thin head that leaves little/no lacing on the sides.
S: Decent amount of citrus, very reminiscent of PtE. Little bit of pine.
T: Grapefruit malty front end giving way to a brutally fantastic hop that sticks in your mouth. Medium body that made you feel you were drinking something substantial, and again that lingering sweet flavor that bows out to reveal a great hop backbone.
O: I found myself admiring the beer and thinking about it the more I drank it. The contrast with PtE was surprising and it's easy to see why this pulls out ahead as the superior IPA, since the hop profile is more aggressive. Absolutely astounding.

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Photo of mborge
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of whitefire
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stood in line for 1.5 hours before getting in to the brewery an immediately finding a seat at the bar.

A: Pours a beautiful honey, hazy orange with very little head. In fan]ct, looking across the bar, there are no heads at all on the youngers being poured... slightly disappointing!

S: Very pleasant, lots of citrus.

T: Well balances, good carbonation, hides the alcohol well thought it's present.

O: This is an excellent beer, a must try if you can. In my opinion though, I prefer the elder.... IMO, This beer is a little too boozy and misses out on some of the aspects that I really enjoy about the elder. Still a great brew though.

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Photo of zackcg
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of bdm620
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of gbbass16
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I finally was able to try this one! I am surely not gonna say anything that hasn't been said already so I will not go into gory detail. All I will say is what a wonderful beer with all the elements. Perfect color, nose, mouthfeel and taste. More on the taste...silky, citrus, and oh yeah the hop profile is perfection. Was able to do side by side with elder. In compassion, elder has more wood and less hops. Younger pours a more golden yellow than elder. A huge highlight getting to sample this! Perfection!!!

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Photo of jburchett
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

On-tap at the Russian River brewpub. Pours a dark/clearish orange with a small amount of head. The smell is fantastic, lots of floral and grapefruit notes, along with a touch of pine and citrus. The taste mirrors the aroma, a wonderfully balanced brew with nice floral and citrus fruit notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation, and a dry and clean finish.

Just as amazing as expected, to be picky the beer was a *tad* too dry on the finish and the head was a little less than expected, but this beer is quite amazing anyway.

 556 characters

Photo of ipa247
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

Pours a piss yellow. Like when you're super dehydrated. Not much head but looks very solid. Smells phenomenal. Lots of floral aromas. The hop profile is far less piney than elder. Very enjoyable taste as well. Citrus, floral, touch of booziness. Smooth... Great flavours overall very solid. Jealous of those who can get it more easily

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Little 9oz swing top flask. Thanks Jason

A - clear medium yellow copper body. No real foam here

S - lovely bouquet of citrus and pine resin. Very enjoyable

T - citrus and pine. Fruity and bitter. Tropical and the like. Great complexity and profile

M - smooth and thick. Not really carbinated. But reasonable

O - very happy to have tried it. A great beer. Can't wait to try it again on tap in the future

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Photo of derftron
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served out of a fine wine glass 2x

Had this on tap at Higgins as well. Never had it before, but wanted to try it in its freshest form possible (in Oregon) and Higgins was the first to tap it. I have had PtE from kegs, as well as fresh bottles, and the fresh version is almost a different beer to me. My friend had PtY from a keg that was stored for a few months and said the fresh version was infinitely better as well...thus my desire to try it as soon as it hit town.

First off, I was fully prepared to be disappointed. Not that I thought it wouldnt be good (of course it would be!), but that it wouldnt measure up to the hype. Even with that in mind, this is the best beer I have ever had. The smell alone was amazing. Citrusy, grapefruit, a little funk, and almost tropical. Only fresh PtE compares in initial smell.

First taste did its aroma justice. Hard to believe this is an IPA. Little-to-no bitterness, a touch of citrusy sweetness but not the kind of sweetness that can come with other high alcohol beer. Finishes sooo clean and leaves no hint of alcohol on the tongue. The hop resin and pine aroma comes through but blends in perfectly. I could have drank 10 of these.

The appearance was golden with a head of about 1/4 inch that held on through the first couple sips.

Overall I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The great part was that there was no line, no commotion, and no BS auction system. Just a moderately full bar of people enjoying a truly great beer. My friend that was with me mentioned how much better this fresh version was compared to some he had a a festival that had been sitting in a keg for 3 months. I would reccomend that if you plan on trying this beer that you get it as soon as it comes out.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,086 ratings.
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