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Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
3,101 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:
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Ratings: 3,101 |  Reviews: 947
Photo of Rastacouere
4.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mostly diminishing, but initially generous white head takes position above a straight golden body. Extremely complex hops nose hints at most nuances you can think of, all ahead prefumey and piney, but underneath hinting at a broad range of citrus fruits, leafy and minty in nature. Might gain a bit from being less liquorous, but this nose is truly fantastic, magical hoppiness I’d dare say, with maltiness being certainly felt if not exactly managing to show any flavours all the way through the hops. Palate is oily, full, slick, tannic and liquorous, hence surprisingly sweet, but it works thanks to a controlled level of citric acidity.

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

Growler split between a few people. Crystal clear golden orange body with a tall off white foamy head. Sticky and clumpy lacing galore. Huge hoppy as hell aroma that is spectacular. Pine and citric hops just bombard your nose. Some nice floral hops in there as well. Very light sweetness in the nose that seems to be just enough to make it seem balanced even though this is overflowing with hoppy goodness. The flavor is packed full of hop goodness. Very juicy with hops and it has a good amount of the hop sweetness that I taste in 120 minute but without going overboard. Citric, pine and floral earthy flavors are there in abundance. Pretty much hop juice is the way I would describe it. It’s fairly bitter but not to the point of being a palette destroyer. Mouthfeel is ridiculously smooth for the strength and the hoppiness. Just the right amount of body to it. No alcohol to be found anywhere. It couldn’t be any more drinkable, it almost went down like water. While most of my other favorite double IPAs are the smack you around and rip your tongue out kind this one manages to be a super refined and smooth hop bomb that managed to stay balanced and still hoppy as hell.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge-ass growler courtesy of RedwoodGeorge. You are a prince among men.

Pours a hazy coppery color with a very nice, thick, almost injection molded, pure white head. Lacing and retention are both spectacular. This beer just screams drink me from the moment it hits the glass.
Smell is a hop head's wet dream. Nothing but hops, pure, unadulterated hop aroma. Well balanced and just superb. Piny, citrusy, and just a bit earthy. Some alcohol in the nose, but at 11% it's not surprising. Everything is balanced out nicely with just a hint of toffee.
Taste, again, is just amazing. This is hop juice pure and simple. What starts off slightly sweet, and a little caramelly, easly blends into a piny, bitter and downright great taste. Loads of hops in this one, that's for sure, and yet it doesn't seem overdone. I've had some DIPAs that are just acrid with hops where as this beer blends everything together so nicely it's hard to find fault. There is, of course, a slight (very slight) alcohol warming sensation as this one goes gleefully down my throat.
Mouthfeel is just what I want from a DIPA, not tooth enamel stripping, but not something that is going to feel like water going down. With the amount of hops in this it's amazing that the former isn't the case.
Drinkability is insane for the alcohol content. I could easily drink this beer all night and not have any complaints. Of course, the next morning might be a problem, but I'm sure it would be a fun night.
Overall, this is easily one of the best IPAs if not one of the best beers I've ever had. It stands to style, and takes it just one or 10 steps further than you would have thought possible. An impeccable beer from an even more impeccable brewery.

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

Many thanks go to RedwoodGeorge for this wonderful fresh 67.6 oz/ 2 liters of pure heaven on earth.

This baby pours a lightly hazy peach color with a nice fluffy white two finger sized head, leaves lots of lace web down my glass. For an 11% brew this nice big head was not expected but is wonderful. The growler itself is great the coolest looking growler I have seen.

Aroma is holy cow wet sticky fresh from the vine hops. Fresh pine tree dripping sticky sap all wraped in grapefruit rinds. Like sticking your head in a barrel of fresh hop. There is some bready malt underneath along with hints of spiciness. If you love hops this is for you, I have never smelled anything this good, strong and fresh before.

Taste is big full huge amounts of hops very nice lots of juicey flavors fruity and piney tingle the taste buds. Man its like chewing on fresh hops how does Vinnie get so much hop flavor in this one? Its like randalized beer without the green stuff in your teeth. OK all these hops and you would think just tounge numbing bitterness but no, it is bitter but more balanced then should be possible.There is a lingering grapefruit bitterness with hints of pine but nice bready malt base does come thru and adds some sweetness also some spice shows up but probably coming from the huge amount of hops. This one truly is a triple IPA unlike the other triple IPA that tastes more like a barley wine, nothing against Devil Dancer but this is the shit here. This is the big IIPA all should be judged by.

Mouthfeel is nice smooth big almost creamy but a little to much carbonation for creamy. The carbonation adds a touch of zest to the hops. You can almost feel the hop oils rolling over your tounge.

Drinkability is beyond great, where the hell is the 11% well after a few pours I know its there and didn't finish my growler in one night so it will kick your ass atleast for a light weight like me but you will not know it until you get up. The only thing hurting drinkability here is having to go to Santa Rosa to get more. Vinnie can you please bottle this and send some to the Vintage Cellar. I have rated one other beer a 5.0 but that was probably a mistake, no mistake here you want the best triple IPA, or double as stylized by BA, then this is the one to rule them all. Again want to thank RedwoodGeorge for this one.

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Photo of AdvocateFan
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ap: Hazy straw color, nice white head, fades pretty quickly, but hangs on exceptionally long for an 11% ABV brew. Collar remains indefinitely. Bubbles rise to the surface at a slow pace due to the apparent viscosity of this big brew.

Aroma: Huge resinous, ammonia-amped hop aroma. Fat, deep malts also evident. Fusel alcohol is also evident, but restrained. A gem on the nose for hopheads. Bristling with resins, pine and agro-grapefruit skins.

Taste: Fantastically big hop flavor slams the palate, but still, this is restrained when compared to their IPA or even Pliny the Elder, their double IPA. Vinnie Cirluzo is credited in some circles as the father of the double IPA, and this massive brew is billed as a triple IPA. Like the truly well done bourbons and cognacs out there, this big beer is smooth and quite elegant and deceptively potent.

Finish: Tight, drying bitterness is big, but there is actually a hefty malt backbone that somehow manages to support the huge hop load. Finishes with tons of resinous pine and hop-sap flavors with almost cloying malt and hop sweetness. Beautiful indeed.

Misc: Surprisingly easy to drink considering the hop and ABV content. I paid $26.75 for the original growler (had to buy one to fill), but couldn’t afford the weight on my flight home so had to have it mailed to me for what turned out to be an unexpectedly whopping $60. So, all told, for $86.75 for the growler, I’m taking my time sipping it. Thankfully the growler has a swivel-top clamp that makes for easy resealing. The most expensive brew I’ve purchased considering, but still, I’m gonna say it’s worth it to have this one in my fridge. A true indulgence and an absolute must for the hardcore hopheads out there. Genius in a bottle. I was so ridiculously jealous of the local Santa Rosans who can just walk in and order a 10-oz serving of this beer any time they want (though it's plainly stated that they're restricted to no more than 3 of the higher ABV beers per night). Lucky bastards! Service at the pub was fantastic and the gourmet pizzas were very nicely done.

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

Used 5 tickets to sample at the ABF. This is a combining of the notes I took each time..

How'd it look?: hazy honey yellow body with frothy head.

Olfactory Rating: Foresty Citrus Fresh Baked Sweet Bread. This beer is almost as confusing in the amount of smells it provides as any I've sampled. Was first, third, fifith, and then seventh and eigth samples I tried Friday night. Glad I tried it so many times up front, as it was gone fairly fast, and I could smell more layers in the beer than I might have later on.

Taste Buds say: sweet, almost amzingly so, as the nose doesn't hint that is the first thing you'll taste. Malt sits up front and Vinnie's use of sugar in the brews to up alch % and add sweetness comes through. Then, the hops explode - and the alchohol slowly works it way down the throat. The hops are almost like chewing on a piece of grapefruit covered in pine tar. Very intense, and the only other beer I've had that compares, is Dreadnaught. Alch flavor is there, but not highly present. Simply stunned, these taste buds are.

Mouthfeel: Very rich taste, covers the tongue, and attaches to the top of the palette.

Despite an 11% abv...this is one drinkable beer.

Finally found my notes from that weekend in Boston and am adding in reviews as I can.

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Photo of brewbacca
4.72/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thee triple ipa of the west coast, had it on tap at the toronado's 18th birthday. served in a tulip.

appearance - nice warm golden color, with a decent head that retained it self through the serving ( I drink pretty fast), mild carbonation,

smell: like being in a pine tree forest, with david the nome

taste: amazingly smooth, not as rough as the elder, can't believe that this is an 11% abv, until I stood up from my third glass, I saw pixies fly around my head. It had a great finish that was silky smooth with hoppy tones and some pale malty notes, cabonation was light and didn't effect the taste much

overall, one of my favorite west coast ipa's, would be a great compliment to anything salty. which I was enjoying ribs and buffalo wings at the time. it wasn't to filling so you could down several before the alcohol got to you.

If you get a chance to come to san francisco make the journey north to russian river for the some of the best west coast brews.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One 1/2 pint wasn't enough, so I had a second.
It pours an amazing orange-hued amber with a medium-sized off-white head and a smattering of patchy lacing.
The aroma is certainly the high point of this brew, though the rest ain't bad either! A smell reminiscent of a fresh cut blue spruce comes to mind. Smells of citrusy grapefruit, orange and lemon zest is direct and potent. A sweet malty smell lingers through. A light perfumy rum alcohol aroma rises from the depths.
A solid, slightly sweet, almost oily doughy malt body lies a firm foundation for all the varied hop tastes to dance and frolic about. Bitter orange, pink grapefruit, essence of pink and floral hop flavors abound. A taste of over-ripe pears and hint of cherries in cream is noticed.
A rich golden rum fuminess releases in the exhale.
This is a really decadent and flavorful brew!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.88/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer served off of a hand pump at Naja's in Redondo beach served in a 8oz chimay glass. I have no idea how they could possibly improve this beer. OUTSTANDING.

Appearance. Perfect 3/4 inch head that maintains itself throughout. Dark brown/amber color. Very inviting.

The smell and the taste are identical in my opinion what you smell is what you get. Aromatic, fruity but not overpowering. The taste is a beautiful blend of hops. Its bold up front but once again a perfect balance. Finishes dry with just a touch of malt sweetness left behind.

Mild carbonation and a deep warm feeling in the gut adds to this well crafted brew. Drinkability is off the charts. If I ever get the chance to buy this by the palett count me in.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.87/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled (a few times!) at the ABF. One of a very select few beers I bothered to review while attending the ABF. Pliny The Younger was served up at the VIP session of the ABF.

Appearance: cloudy honey color topped with a dense white head. head displayed amazing durability and left much gummy lace, enough that I had to completely wash my glass afterward. The lace refused to get off my glass! Tenacious stuff!

Nose: big juicy citrusy hops aroma. Nice fruity notes (tropical in nature) and doughy malts in supporting roles offer a pleasing balance to the massive grapefruit and tangerine rind hops aroma.

Taste: starts off with a deceptively sweet offering of light caramel, bready malt, and hints of mango, pineapple and papayas. Those flavors don't last long, however, before the heavy load of juicy, resinous hops oils brush the sweetness aside. Tons of grapefruit peels, lesser notes of pine sap and even less alcohol simply take hold and linger long after each swallow.

Feel: full, creamy and almost a bit chewy.

Overall: just an ungodly good double IPA!! This is an 11% ABV beer - hard to believe and that just makes it all the more dangerous. Simply a can't-miss beer. Find it, drink it. You will enjoy it, guaranteed.

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

I swear, I want to have Pliny's alien love child. Forget that I'm male and have never met an alien.

This one was a nice clear dark honey yellow- with a decent head on top. Very nice...and a harbinger of good things to come. The smell? Hoppity hoppity hops. What more could a guy want?

The first sip revealed a nice underlying sweetness, topped by a hearty hoppiness. There were some fruity notes as well- with apple, pineapple, and a hint of papaya. There was a bit of alcohol fume, as well.

The body also had a bit of alcohol on it- but it was overall just slightly syrupy.

This beer was heartier than expected- and very pleasantly so! I look forward to my next encounter with the immensely palatable Pliny!

Be well

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

Had this bottle at American Beer Fest in Boston.

Beer had an awesome, pillowy head on top.

Aroma? Fuggedaboutit. Massive quantities of west-coast hops. Citrus fruit, anyone?

Aggressive hop flavor, but well balanced for such a light color. Outstanding.

Medium bodied, but not syrup given the strength.

Overall, very drinkable given it's strength and hop flavor.

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

Poured from a growler imported by brewandbbq from the sacred hop grounds of Russian River . . .

This is truly a hophead's delight. The light color seems to suggest a pils or a tripel, but it is truly a Triple IPA. The nose exudes pungent grapefruit, juicyfruit gum, pine sap, cotton candy, and citrus galore. The taste matches the smell. Each sip revealed a new layer of hoppy goodness, and the full-on hop assault pummelled my palate into submission. Despite the intense hoppiness, Pliny struck a balance between bitterness and malty sweetness. It lived up to the hype. I could drink pint after pint until I fall off my stool onto the floor. Man, does it go down easy for an 11% ABV ale.

Thank you, Vinnie, may I have another . . .

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.77/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured light gold and hazy from the growler, white, rocky head with a myriad of different sized bubbles. Quickly settled down to a thin whisp of carbonation.
Pungent in the nose, but not overwhelming.
First try at the brewpub, I figured it was because of the 10oz glass, but this time in a goblet.
Delectable aromatics. Alcohol steeped hops and fruit.
Melons, pears, peaches, tangerines, drizzled with candied pine sap. A bit nose clearing with the rich alcohol. A true hop cocktail.
Light to medium in the body and slightly numbing on the pallet.
Zesty hop attack has a nice drying quality that offsets the residual sugars.
Bitterness is not overbearing, with the majority of lupulus being in the flavoring.
Juicy, stickey, and slightly chewy. Filled with loads of lush pine infused citrus fruits.
Malt is light and a mere shadow in this brew.
Finishes long and balanced, with lingering honey, spruce, and a hint of Grand Marnier.
A beautifully balanced beer for such a hop monster. Very approachable and alcohol well hidden.

Revisit 2/16/10..Growler also.

Clear gold body with a white head. Plenty of sticky head when agitated.

Aromatics are laced with skunky kind-bud, onion skin, garlic, and fruit loops following through. Not screamingly pungent, but very resinous and dank.

Medium bodied and crisp. Tacky mouthfeel with a slight chew.

Juicy, earthy, resinous hops start the palate, with light malt following through and a pleasant bitterness. Alcohol is a mere afterthought. A blend of pine, garlic, grapefruit, and a hint of tropical fruits.

After five years of just a memory, it's good to revisit PTY. Not as tropical as I remember, and heavier on the dank, garlicy Columbus hops. Very dry and not over-the-top hoppy.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

once poured from the growler, the brew slipped over the lip of the pint, and I had to suck up some...pre-inspection, I'm wowed by this beer! Holy dribble cup, Batman!

Clear golden/ pale peach appearance, with an excellent cup of lacey, snow -white froth on top. Very attractive IPA, so far.

Nose is all pine, hints of pineapple and other tropical fruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, banana, lemon...braces of bitterness, but all of it pleasing to the hophead. Just heavenly!

Taste: all those good things and more, the tropical and citric fruit blaze over the palate, bright and luscious, hoppy, bitter, but overwhelmingly pleasant and tasty...the extra liquor doesn't click in right away, but makes itself felt eventually...11%?? Hooo, daddy!

There's enough malt here that it's not a raw hop blitzkrieg overpowering anything else in the brew, but hops are king here, as if there were ever any doubt. Damn, Zam-Bam-A-Lam!! this is a true killer-diller, not for the weak of heart or palate!

much thanks to Axisjones for the growler!

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Photo of oggg
4/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens. Served in 10oz glasses. (2nd batch)

This beer had a tiny layer of foam that receded quickly, as expected for such a huge brew. Deep golden color with a touch of haziness. Lots of citrus in the nose but I would call it moderate -- less than the aroma I get off the Elder. Crisp on the tongue at first, there is a moderate hop bitterness of grapefruit, citrus, and something different from Pliny the Elder. Hmmm... Can't describe it. Malt is present but again doesn't knock my socks off... unlike the alcohol, which did. Rather, I didn't taste the alcohol but I certainly felt it very quickly.

I really need to try this again. It was somewhat of a letdown, but then again, 1) no beer could live up to the hype that this "triple IPA" got, 2) small glass may have limited aroma dispersal, 3) I developed a bad headache after drinking it, possible from being dehyrdated and then going for a highly alcoholic beer (I doubt it was a reaction to the Younger), and 4) I've been on such a double IPA spree lately that my tongue was probably a little dead to the hoppiness of the Younger. Regardless, I owe the Younger another chance.

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

Poured a clean light orange with a nice fluffy head. Laces all the way down. This smells like hops. Hops, hops, and more hops- it has the signature cascade piney hop smell, very citrusy. This is what God must drink when he wants an IPA. Massive hops, but very very smooth. Whereas some IIPAs are over the top and almost undrinkable, this 3IPA is bitter but very flavorful, with fruity notes and floral-piney-citrus-juicy taste with a clean bitterness in the back. Its well balanced and not overly extreme. The drinkability is high. Too high. So high in fact, that the bartender (who knows me very well) warned me that it would go down easy for an 11% brew. I could not taste a single % of that 11. I could drink this all night, but that would probably result in alcohol poisoning.
Overall, an outstanding IIPA, probably the best I have had. Drink at your own risk though.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Russian River Brewing Company...

The brew is a deep straw-yellow in color with a boatload of very tiny bubbles. The head is a pure-white, light and fluffy with a very fine grain. The brew didn't stick around long enough to judge head retention but it did leave plenty of lacing on the glass.

The aroma was certainly inviting - plenty of hops with a nice mix of grassy and citrus notes. The taste was pure ambrosia - plenty of strong hop notes and yet not the least bit bitter. What impressed me about the Elder holds true for the Younger as well - the smoothness is astounding. You'd think that a brew with this much hopping would taste like paint remover but it's smoooth. The primary hop tastes are grass and grapefruit with much lighter notes of herb and flowers. There is actually a mild malt undertone, a clean, 'bready' taste that compliments the major flavors.

As for the 11% ABV: for a while I thought Vinnie might be fibbing a bit - there's no alcohol 'burn' to this brew. No alcohol taste at all, really. Of course, as you stagger away from the bar you realized there was ethanol hidden in there somewhere. My theory is that it somehow helps smooth out the hop bite without adding a sweet note.

Mouthfeel is mind boggling - again, you'd expect an extreme beer like this leave your lips numb, your teeth stripped of enamel and your tongue curled up like a smoked whitefish but this isn't the case. There's no heavy coating on the tongue, the very fine carbonation leaves a very clean, clear palate. This brew has an almost velvety feel on the way down.

Drinkability? Is it even worth discussing? If I were to walk into a bar and this were available, I wouldn't look any further down the board. With the possible exception of Pliny the Elder there may be no other beer that compares.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one came out a deep, rich orange in color with a monster head that just refused to go down.

Smell – Oh, shit, this is da hop bomb. I’ve had some pretty big hoppy beers before, to include The Chunks that requires a strainer to drink, but this thing was just huge.

Every hop, and I mean EVERY hop, that I have ever had is in this nose. The grapefruit, the citrus, the rare Simcoe, East Coast Amarillo, giant PacNW pine sap, huge monster citrus, big floral, and anything else you can think of it in this bouquet. Oh, and there’s a huge, monstrous super-sugary caramel malt sweetness here as well.

Taste – This is a sledgehammer made of hops striking down on the head of the barstool-affixed patron. It’s not unexpected though, because this is one of their best-selling beers.

The complex hops from the nose hit hard and mercilessly at the taste. This really is like liquid hop syrup, and if you’re a hophead looking for the next, biggest hop fix than the buck stops here. It really doesn’t get any bigger than this.

Mouthfeel – This full-bodied hop bomb is a meal in itself. Interestingly, the huge sugary caramel-infused malt balance keeps this one from being extra bitter, although significant bitterness is present.

Drinkability – If The Ruination is a delicate ballerina floating on the DAIPA stage, this is a steroid-using 260 pound female bodybuilder whoopin’ your ass. But man oh man is this good. Somebody tried to take a sip from my glass but I knocked them out into the street. I think it was my mama.

Comments – Vinnie the brewer said that he can’t run Pliny The Younger with Pliny The Elder because The Elder tap gets stale. The Younger is the clear patron’s choice.

He gave me the run down on the hopping of this beer, but I can’t begin to remember it all. He adds a complex mix of hops at four different stages of the brewing cycle then dry-hops the beer four times with varying mixes of hops. There’s an emphasis on Amarillo and Cascade, but he has everything in here from Centennial to Simcoe to all else in between.

The beauty of this concoction is that he got it so hoppy. He did it in “stages”, because at some point you can keep adding hops but the IBUs don’t change and you can’t really taste them. It really is a work of art and an amazing accomplishment from an excellent brewer. Cheers!

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

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Wow - did Russian River figure out how to ferment straight hops? Poured a lighter color than the Elder - looks like a pale ale. Great head, nice lacing all the way down the glass. Definitely none of the balance and subtley of the Elder - this is hop juice, pure and simple. Absolutely unbelievable that this is 11 % - smooth and not a hint of harshness.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a hazy golden buutterscotch color with a creamy white head. Sheets of lace down the glass.
Big resinous grapefruit rind aroma. Floral and perfumey with some malt and a bit of caramel.
Sweet floral tastes. Lots of sweet malt with toffee undertones helps balance the inpending hop onslaught. Does a good job of it too.The hop profile came in fresh and floral with citrus rind & juice flavors, a bit of pepper and hints of pineapple and vanilla in the finish. Great balance and the alcohol was almost non existent. It was almost on the verge of being a little cloying. Absolutely a glassful of nectar!
Medium bodied with a velvety smooth, creamy and slightly oily mouthfeel. Perfect!
Exceptional, almost laughable drinkability for such a huge beer.
If you find it...try it! Highly recommended.

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Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at Naja's, Redondo Beach in 8oz. (owner approved) servings and unlimited at O'Brien's, San Diego in 10oz sevings. When first in posession of this beer, I had NO idea what a triple IPA was supposed to taste like. I thought maybe a Dogfish Head 120 or a Rogue I2PA? No. This beer is amazing in color, smell, taste and drinkability. I've tried pretty much every Double IPA that I could get my hands on and I was convinced that a tie between PizzaPort's: Frank and Pliny the Elder was fair. Those are GREAT beers but Younger follows after Elder and is simply astonishing and amazingly well balanced.

At first smell, I was hit with a huge appearance of citrus scent and pine. The first taste could be described as biting into a sweet grapefruit, then getting hit in the face with a pine tree branch. Four hopheads standing around a table taking the first sip for the first time and eight eyeballs have never been so wide! The taste lingers forever then you put it down for ten minutes and wait. After a change of shorts, tasting this beer every ten minutes for about an hour sends you through an experience that is uncomprehendable. By the last sip, you are tasting a totally different beer. I wanted to heat it up and see what it would do. Mouthfeel is so smooth but powerful, and when swallowed, one is amazed at the balance acheived by Mr. Cilerzo running an 11% triple IPA through your brain. You think: "No way!"

In all, I would say I've tried the best beer that exists on the planet. There must be three times the hops in here than Elder. Vinnie Cilerzo is a beer God!

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

This is not beer, it is hop juice. That said, it is the tastiest thing I have ever put in my mouth. Had on tap at Lucky Baldwins.

Appearance: Pale ale color, nice dense head. Sheet after sheet of lacing.

Smell: Massive orange juice aroma.

Taste: orange rinds on a big bed of malt. There is no noticing the 11% alcohol level. This is perfectly balanced and insanely delicious. Although there is a sweetness to this monster, it is not a sweet beer.

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, silky and delicious. Not a drop of harshness for all the long lasting and beautiful hoppiness.

I had a Avec Bons Les Vouex afterwards and could barely taste it. I could sell my soul for this.

 683 characters

Photo of donnebaby
4.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A stout, small top covers up the ruby-tinted, dry and sticky orange frosted body. Nose is sweet constantness in a mighty, floral hop blast.

Taste manages to be huge without knocking out considerations of balance or drinkability -- which is something any beer can hope for. Spiced fire pine-sol blisters the throat in sweet, floral hop gratiness to the point of a hop pollen explosion, of bitter, poison berry. My eye started twitching with the intensity...

Yet there's an edge of fruitiness, of fruit juice complexity, of watermelon and peaches, that adds to balance the brew. After is barely dry, and just enough to compensate the fruitiness and represent the nose and IPA character. A greatly put-together brew that seems somehow subdued and drinkable.

One of my favorite beers to date.

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Photo of IceAce
4.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Billed as a Triple IPA with an ABV of 11.0% according to the taphandle.

Pours orange / copper in color with excellent clarity for an IPA of any type. The nose is seductively fruity sweet with a very strong backdrop of resinous floral hops.

The foretaste scrubs the front of the tongue with 'just right' carbonation while the hops perform a vise-like grip the full length of the sides of the tongue. Even the midtaste is dominated by the aggressive hopping while the elevated ABV begins to show a warming effect toward the aft of the mouth. The finish is thick with the generous grain bill while the hops begin a slow, slow exit stage right.

Mouthfeel is thick-n-chewy and only the over the top alcohol content reduces drinkability by ½ point.

Pliney the Younger is a big, complex beer and well worth almost any journey in an effort to seek out its hoppy goodness.

 877 characters

Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 3,101 ratings
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