Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

3,076 Ratings
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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: 3,076 |  Reviews: 946
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.

 639 characters

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!!!

 515 characters

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

 334 characters

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.

 1,752 characters

Photo of mu11igan
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mudbug
4.7/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brewery.
This is a difficult review, I loved the beer, nice clarity, small head, outstanding aroma. I could taste the booze, drying on the tongue. well balanced otherwise.Is it a perfect beer? Well yes, but just a few miles south at Lagunitas is something that might put a magnifying lens on that declaration. I had the happy experience of going to Lagunitas and drinking the Holiday leftovers before getting in line for the Younger.
Don't do this if you want to taste the hype, four of us made the trip and it was unanimous. Younger is very very good. Sucks is in a class all it's own.

 602 characters

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mrelizabeth
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Gobigvt7
4.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Higgin's Restaurant in Portland, OR. Served 8oz. in white wine glass while the theme song for "Rocky" is pumped through the speakers.

Beautiful clear gold with thin white head. Lacing on glass even after the head is gone. Looks like a cidre in the light. Some amber around the corners and deeper parts of the glass.

Sweet, wet hop aroma, resin, honey, and a whiff of Feet/B.O. just to round it out. Like pine needles soaked in rich honey.

Hmmm. Softer than I imagined. Sweet, syrupy hops. (Extract?). Hints of mango. No noticeable malt character. Very hot on the end but booze isn't a major part of the flavor profile. grapefruit. Piney, bitter ending. It's an exercise in hop love without notions of malt "balance". Somehow, it still works.

Almost cloying sweetness, but a very firm light body. Doesn't feel huge in my mouth. (that's what she said.) Hot. Prickly carbonation.

With the hype surrounding this beer, I have to say I expected more. That said, it is a unique and immersive taste experience. It doesn't taste like anything I've had before, but it still wouldn't crack my top 20. Definitely wouldn't kick it out of bed. Bucket List: check.

 1,167 characters

Photo of SageO
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of BlakeMatt
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of zchall23
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SDDanC
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado SD. 10oz pour into goblet. Pours a hazy, golden color with think silky head. Moderate lacing. Nose is fresh pine, but not the pungent bitter pine expected. Sticky resinous character in the nose, primarily alongside the sweet caramel smell. Citrus notes, grapefruit and lemon, some melon. Taste is much the same, instantly bitter upfront but unarguably fleeting in character. Bitterness subsides to resinous pine, almost like young pine bud. Caramel sweetness coats the mouth while the alcohol warmness becomes apparent. What a fantastic balance of strong piney hop flavors with the sweet alcohol layer. Carbonation is moderate, the amount is juuuust right. Slightly astringent. But ever so slight it is. Mouthfeel is sticky and a tad dry. Overall, lives up to the hype as a very, very good triple ipa. Excellent proportions of piney hop abundance and sweet malty layers.

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