Pliny The Younger | Russian River Brewing Company

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Pliny The YoungerPliny The Younger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
929
Ratings:
2,970
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
13.06%
 
 
Wants:
6,324
Gots:
430
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 929 | Ratings: 2,970
Photo of erikm25
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a snifter at the Bottleworks Grand Re-Opening. They had a great selection but my mind was already set before I walked in. Golden orange with burnt lemon and butterscotch hues. Infusion of well balanced hazy copper rich tones. While lighter in complexion than my expectations it is a fantastic looking beer. Perfect pearl white head that fluffed up like thousands of minuscule marshmallows. Retention was strong. Sticky crystallized lacing all down the glass.

S: Coats the air with honey seared grapefruits and flowery resined hops. I pushed my nose close to the glass to inhale the orchestra of melting spruce and fresh pine needles. Hints of lemon soaked tangerines. Smells like they corked a pine tree and drained out all of the sap while blowing it full of toffee smoke. Citrus, berries, and perfection.

T: This one hits the mouth like an ax blade glazed in hops. Much like the aroma everything about the taste is clean, fresh, and crisp. Significantly rich with assaulting hops. Pineapple juice tang and orange rind pierce that are cut with just the slightest vanilla and banana roundness. Subtle spiciness emerges from the cacophony of hop madness. This is over 10% and while there is no alcohol in the taste you get a nice flush feeling about 6oz in (especially at 1130AM, after the gym, and on an empty stomach). Every taste is better than the previous. Not just first class for the style but first class for beer in general.

M: Perfectly dry and smooth with a medium mouth feel. My tongue was still tingling 45 minutes later.

D: The best IIPA I have tried. Thus, I am giving this five's across the board. A possible uniter of humanity? RR may be onto something. It's a sipper but after the first sip it's hard not to keep going. They should just call it a triple imperial IPA. I am by no means an expert on beer but this lived up to my anticipation. Thanks to RR for creating this and Bottleworks for providing it.

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Photo of wknight167
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Apearance - Hazy golden copper with a 2 finger white head with medium retention and awesome lacing.

Nose- Candied grapefruit and pine. Floral and spicy. Strong aroma, but not off putting, in fact, quite the opposite.

Palate- Strong enough malt back bone to support the amount of hops. Sweet start, hop flavor middle, balanced finish.

Mouthfeel- Very light for its ABV and well carbonated. Crisp.

Drinkability- I, like so many others, could drink this all day.

Overall- Well worth the trip. I will be back next year.

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

Best beer ever. Had the 2015 edition. Drove 9 hours to the Russian River Brew Pub and got lucky with only a 2 hour wait time on a Saturday to get in. Totally worth all the hype. So amazingly drinkable its scary. It almost hurts to say but I prefer it over Pliny The Elder.

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel like such an irresponsible goober for not having ever reviewed this phenomenal big ass hoppy elixir. I have had the privilege to drink both 2014 and 2015 versions and I will review it in general, based on both but realistically mainly based on the 2014 edition for it was vastly and clearly superior in every way possible way.( Even though both were 5's) maybe this years was 4.99 but whatever.
2014 was just over 11% abv


Appearance: similar to elder, maybe ever so slightly lighter and more golden and bright.

smell: fuck, hard to describe but it smelled delicate and beautiful. fruity and sticky, and dangerously dank and fresh. no alcohol to detect. the smell was so perfect for a triple IPA behemoth.

taste: every single one of my taste buds was tingling. all of my taste pores / receptors were activated 110%. at the time i had never experience quite a sensation but alas, i don't want to veer into mouthfeel. taste was juicy, sweet stone fruits, a little tangerine, orange, sweet cutie flavors.
hints of lemon zest and fresh grass / pine. The fresh pine needle, christmas tree action is real and amazing.

mouthfeel: smooth smooth smooth smooth tingly smooth smooth smooth smooth soft smooth smooth smooth delicate smooth smooth smooth smooth smooth, drinkable, smooth smooth smooth, ideal carbonation, smooth smooth smooth smooth.

overall: perfect. like, lets be real, no other triple IPA on the planet comes close? can anyone on this site name any triple IPA that even comes close to this? nah

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

When I heard about Pliny The Younger, I was at my infancy stage of beer enjoyment. I had read many reviews and often thought, "how the hell can any beer be as good as people rate this to be??!!" So, I decided to break Vinnie's rule and enjoy this beer at a local watering hole weeks after "it should have been enjoyed." Well, Vinnie, I can't imagine how this wonderful contribution to the beer world could get any better, even after sitting through a coast to coast joyride, over many wonderful brew towns in this great place of freedom to brew whatever the heck you want to! All I can say is thank you. One day I will enjoy this citrine jewel in the location of its birth, until then...

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Photo of abecall98
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sharing my buddies growler during the big game.

A - pours a beutiful rich pale orange. White sticky head stands out at the top. The beer head grasps the rim of the pint glass tightly. Amazing

s - wow, first wiff, smells like a fresh rain forest. Further smell brings out slight grapefruit bitterness. Every sniff is a new adventure.

T - this beer tastes so pleasing. The taste grabs your taste buds and screams bitter. Even the burps afterwards remind you of the taste. The hoppiness in this beer is awesome. It's a bitter sweet. Feels like biting into a grapfruit, you get the bitterness of the peel, and then the sweetness of the fruit kicks in to finish. Perfect triple ipa taste going on here.

M - only been in the growler for 2 days. Carbonation is there. The beer is bubbly, it's silky, it's smooth. It's everything you can ask for in a perfect beer. I can't complain about this mouthfeel.

D - wow, at 11%abv, this beer is dangerous. It is the highest abv beer that us unnoticable to me. The hops and malt create the perfect bitterness and sweetness to mask the abv perfectly. This beer also has such a good balance that it is hard to put down. It is very easy to drink an entire growler solo. Wish I could. So damn drinkable.

O - this beer is the top of it's style for a reason. It's got the whole package. If you enjoy ipas, this beer is a step beyond in the right direction. Highly recomended.

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Photo of danglin85
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Striking honey colored amber. Wasn't expecting the look of this beer to be as beautiful it was.

S - Pine & Grapefruit notes, classic DIPA smell, very fragrant

T - The classic hoppiness of other great DIPAs was there, but it was incredibly smooth, almost subtly sweet. None of that bitter or funny aftertaste you usually get with heavily hopped beers. Exceptional!

M - Despite its malty notes, it maintains the crispness you expect from an good DIPA.

O - I bought into the hype before I tasted this beer, so you'd think it I'd be at least a little let down, but I kid you not, I teared-up a little. It's that good. If anything, I think I expected something more aggressive, like Stone's Domination IPA, but the magic of this beer is how it marries the wonderful hoppy qualities of an DIPA with a smooth, sweetness that I've yet experienced in one of its peers. Hands down the best DIPA you will ever experience, and maybe, dare I say it, the best *beer* you will ever experience (outside of Belgium, of course... respect to the Trappists)

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

Went to Russian River Brewery yesterday to get me some Younger. We parked out back and didn't see much of a line. After walking up to the bouncer, I found out the back door entrance is for folks purchasing growlers only, who could come in and get anything they want to go, for the exception of a pour of Younger. Once we walked around the front, we saw the liny for the pliny which took us 3 hours to get through. As we waited, we decided we've came too far to turn back now, but this will be a one-time thing waiting in line this long for some beer. Once we got in though, holy smokes. Pliny the Younger did NOT disappoint. Less hoppy and much smoother than Elder, it was absolutely the best 10% beer I've ever tasted. Like everyone said, lots of grapefruit...simply amazing.

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

Great brew, I wish it was bottled and year round. It taste like a concentrated glass of grapefruit and pine. I've had heady topper, and I know this would rank higher if it were more readily available outside of California. I also think that this blows heady topper out if the water.

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

I had this beer about a dozen times in February and twice in March. I write this review now from notes I had written on my notepad app in my phone. I think this review deserves the complete journey I took from La Habra to Santa Rosa on a chilly evening in February. I drove seven and a half hours to get to Russian River and arrived a bit past 10:30pm. My girlfriend and I ordered a couple glasses of Pliny the Younger. What I saw was a small glass with a clear, obviously filtered, golden beer and a nice head. The aroma was enticing to me, not so much my girlfriend. "It smells like pine cones!" She was not a beer enthusiast like me but I agreed with her- "It also smells like citrus and in very good balance. Not one more than the other." So we drank. Poof! Like a memory it was there and it was gone- it vanished, it evaporated. It was so easy to drink I had to keep the second gulp in my mouth, swish it around and chew it a bit to get the complete experience. I was dumbfounded. "Isn't this supposed to be nearly 12%?" I asked my girlfriend. By this time she was done and ordered another. This was a woman that barely got the hang of Leinenkugel not two months before. As I watched her drink it, swish it around and chew a few times (like I told her to) she would close her eyes and "Mmmm! This is SO good." This was probably the fifth or sixth kind of beer she has ever tried. The aggressive amounts of ABV with the intense aroma and smooth flavor and the subtlety by which the flavors develop in your mouth which is such a rich dynamic from a hop punch in front to a sweet tang of citrus to the back which completely masks the amount of alcohol in addition to being filtered- this beer is quite frankly dangerously delicious and I can't wait for my next journey in February!

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

First of all I just wanted to say I am not one of these guys who went to beer college and pretends to know anything about beer. I know what I like and I know that Russian River has a huge hype behind them...But its the real deal. Pliny the Younger has been on my radar for a long time and finally got a chance to get a taste this past weekend at Harrys Hofbrau. It did NOT disappoint. From the second I got the beer in my hand(4oz pour) I swirled it around in my glass for what seemed like 10 minutes smelling the hell out of it. I wanted to stick it up my nose and breathe it in forever...It was refreshing. Its definitely got a huge scent and taste of grape fruit. Super smooth, much more than the Elder but amazing. Well worth the wait in line and wish it wasnt so hard to get...But I see why it is. If this beer isnt on your bucket list revise that list today! Cheers

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

On tap at Toronado. First keg tapping of 2009 in the yay area...Reprazent.

A: 12oz tulip chalice, light golden ambrosia with a thickish white head of pure white. Head lasts and leaves good lacing and legs.

S: Sweet, sticky, weed influenced, candy coated hops, with big light french bread malts as well.

T: holy hop monster, super sticky to the icky with tons of hops and a candy coated sweetness from the boatloads of malts.

M: Syrupy and sweet, like canned doal pears...but instead of pears..there are HOPS. Like marijuana laced beautiful candy coated candy coloured goodnes. The mouthfeel is sticky, icky, and full and it COATS your mouth...for real.

D: I can drink this all day and all night. It goes down WAY too easy for a 10 + % abv brew. I just slammed two of these with Jen in like 20 minutes...haha..every year, I drink too much of it, and every year it gets me drunk on the cheap...!

ENJOY this shit while it's around...! for real...it will be gone within the next 10-14 days...seriosuly. Get some PTY action YO

For Realz.

Jam Master F

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Photo of Naerhu
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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

On tap poured into a snifter at Falling Rock Tap House Denver.

Appearance - Brilliant gold hue.

Smell - Impressive tropical nose. Very Nice!

Taste - Honey, tropical fruits, very smooth for 11% abv! Really good beer!

Mouthfeel - Soft, smooth medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Really easy drinker.

Overall - The best Triple IPA I have ever had...

Grage (A+)

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Photo of HipHop5
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There is no doubt in my mind. For all the talk and trendy tales about this beer, now I understand this to be one of the greatest IIPA ever crafted.
Life's mysterious abundance, got me in the doors of Father Office in Santa Monica right before the mob, and a long quest was finally ended few feet from the bar counter(for an other year:).
Very much a replica of the Elder in the aroma profiles, the color takes a darker copper orange red tones here. Clear and crisp appearance with a impeccable inch head that is the gift that keeps on giving. Releasing complex Citrus,pineapple,caramel pine essence into your nose, just to prepare you to what I will call "A religious experience" has your lips come in contact with the tulip.
Smooth yet extremely strong mouth feel at the same time. A balance that would make any scale blush. Full body,Average carbonation, inviting hop bit up front but magically metamorphose on your taste buds to open up a vast field of complex hop flavors.
Definitely more intensity than with the Elder, and great sweet caramel silky consistency that lace down the glass as you watch your new lover disappear sip after sip. I had four in one hour. Just that good and I couldn't resist. Watch out though. 11% is a quick reminder that this one is a triple IIPA.
Enjoy

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Photo of LuckySevens82
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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 jvillefan
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A perfect golden yellow but it did not have a significant head to go with it.

S: It smelled bitter but was a little more muted considered they claimed to have dry hopped it 5 times. However the high alcohol could be keeping some of the aromas in solution.

T: AWESOME. I did a comparison with Pliny the Elder and the Elder tasted bland in comparison. The IBUs on Pliny the Younger must be over 150 yet there is still perfect balance within the beer with caramel, citrus, and pine.

M: Perfect retention and carbonation.

O: Even if you live in Alaska, the trip to Russian River in February is worth it if you are a beer enthusiast. I will be making the trip every year despite the fact I will be moving out of the area in a couple of months.

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

Absolute blast at Russian River this year, younger is nothing short of amazing
Sweet nectar - big bold body and it's heavy for sure. somehow Russian River did their magic to Younger and made it Elder on steroids.. all the qualities of Elder are boldly doubled or tripled or whatever to make this creation. Totally hidden alcohol, just sweet perfection

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

A huge thanks to Matt (drabmuh) for sharing his growler with me!

Served in my Russian River pint glass.

A: Remarkably clear, beautifully light in color, effervescent, white fluffy head that leaves generous amounts of sticky lacing

S: Huge hop aroma with grapefruit, citrus, floral notes. Alcohol virtually non-detectable in the nose.

T: This beer is worth all the hype. Wow! Unbelievably smooth. Huge hops, no astringency, the bitterness and sweetness walk a tightrope of perfection. The taste hits you initially with smooth hops, then transitions to a sweet, sticky deliciousness that coats the palate, and finishes with a wonderful bitterness that begs to begin the sequence again.

M: Everything is perfect here - carbonation, freshness, this beer is phenomenal.

D: At 11%, this beer kicked my ass, and I loved it. I finished three pints, and would've hurt myself even worse if we didn't run out.

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Photo of paint94979
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had Younger on RRBC in 2014 and 2015. Both years have been great. The malt profile of RRBC is unique in comparison to other IPA's. Younger only builds on what Pliny is. Drinkability is great. Very hard to tell that you're drinking 10-11% abv beer. I've had the best IPA's in the world and this is still my favorite with Heady being a close second. Look forward to the 2016 batch.

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

I had some at the brewery and liked it so much that I tracked it down at a couple places in San Diego (Hamilton's Tavern, SD TapRoom).

A - Rich orange-gold with minimal head.

S - Strong pine but citrus comes through as well.

T - It's an elevated version of PtE. There is a stronger citrus flavor that is able to hide the higher alcohol content. The overall balance is incredible.

M - Amazing smoothness that makes it so easy to drink.

O - This is my favorite beer so I am biased when I say that this is deserving of the hype. I probably wasted way too much time tracking this in February/March, but I imagine I will be doing the same thing next year.

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

While in Santa Rosa I visited the brewpub and filled my Growler, brought it home and poured a small glass. I have waited a long time for this to be available and it was worth the wait. Without a doub this is the best over the top DIPA I have ever partaken, and this is my favorite beer type. Poured a hazy gold tending toward orange with a soap suds head that left big chucks of lacing. Huge citrus hops nose, and a rich mouthfeel that feels like port wine on the palate. Flavors are citrus hops and the finish is long and bitter, but enjoyably so. I was prepared to be disappointed after the long wait, but this is the best brew ever for me. So sad I only have a growler. I really love this beer. I was going to save a 5.0 for the very best. This is it!

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

An in depth review is not necessary. Attending a sometimes hectic tapping of this brew is worth it. Also: I see alot of people having the Elder immediately preceding the Younger. I suggest enjoying something light and easy drinking while waiting for your pour of the Younger. The pallate is able to taste the beer more intensely.

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Photo of jampics2
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #200.

Something I never thought I'd get to try. Big HUGE thanks to Chad for the growler. Huge appreciation and beer karma headed your way! Thanks buddy!!

My inner hop head is mad at me. It's like he showed me this really cool club, vouched for me at the door, and introduced me to everyone. But now a days, I'm too busy hanging out with the Stouts and Wilds to even wave when I see him out. After this experience, I remember how much fun things used to be and I promise to spend more time and effort on the types of beer than got me into craft in the first place.

Which brings us to the actual review. A beautiful growler served cold, poured into open mouth tasting glasses.

Liquid gold in color, small white film of a head.

Smell is amazing. Hops rule this roost - citrus (grapefruit, orange, pineapple) and a touch of mint and alcohol. I could smell this all day; wow is this making my mouth water!

Best hoppy taste ever. A citrus punch in the face - earthy, peachy, pine, grapefruit - fades into a bitter lingering taste that is surprisingly NOT devastating but does score a significant blow on the palette. But the finesse between the hops and linger, and the levels of explosive flavor make this the best hoppy tasting beer I've had. Extreme and refined all in one - a brilliant tight-rope walk.

Mouthfeel was surprising on this one. It had appropriate lack of density and thin viscosity for the style but also felt significant. The carb was perfect and felt sharp when it needed to and creamy when it needed to.

Drinkability - OK, if this is 11%, Vinny is a magician. One sip begs for another. Almost sessionable in its appeal and how quickly the glasses disappear.

After 200 ratings, I guess I'm one of those who aren't afraid to award 5's (in fact, one other beer got a perfect score across the board from me). But this is one of the best 2 beers I've ever had and certainly the best DIPA on the planet. We sat around after a pour and discussed - what could be this beer's flaw. Sure it's strong, but a DIPA should be. It's just so well crafted and the appearance, smell, and taste are so spot-on that it deserves to be rewarded. I'm sure our paths will cross again, Younger!

Cheers and here's to the next 200!

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Photo of chrisrose30
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I waited four hours in a line outside Russian River Brewery to get in to taste this beer, and I have to say, it really is that good.

This beer was served in a 10 oz. glass. It is a dark orange with a thin white head, and it smells of sweet cherries, cantaloupe, zinfandel, hops. Upon drinking this beer, I was hit with an intense sweetness, but the hoppiness of the beer smoothed this out, and there was a really good balance. This is a very complex beer that should be sipped - three and I was feeling more than fine.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 2,970 ratings.
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