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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Reviews: 946 | Ratings: 3,065
Photo of session1979
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

3/1/08: What a day here in Denver. We spent our time outside enjoying the 74 degree winter heat, had some friends over for a barbecue, threw some darts, drank beer, played basketball with the kids, could it get any better? Yes, yes it can. The mailman delivered a package, not just any package, this was beer mail. Ladies and gentlemen, Pliny the Younger is in the building!

Appearance: Poured a beautifully clear and brilliant light honey orange. A frothy thick 2 finger head adorns itself at the top of this nectar from god. It dissipates leaving a sticky lacing around the glass.

Nose: After letting the head settle I give a little swirl and bury my nose deep in the glass. I am greeted with big grassy hops, almost the same as when you were a kid and you would chew on a piece of grass while playing in the yard. Sweet crystal sugars, fruit - tangerine, and a slightly bready malt buried in the background. The alcohol is noticeable for a quick moment but then gone, hidden by this enormous nose.

Taste: Seriously, how? The first thing that comes to mind is how balanced and drinkable it is, almost like it has been slightly aged. Intense fruity hops, bold in nature but not overwhelming or one sided, followed by sweet hard candy sugars, doughy malt backbone, but the hops win out with a long bittering finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, initially sticky and sweet quickly followed by warming alcohol. Only light carbonation, overall a surprisingly thick and coating mouth, especially for this style.

Drinkability: You would drink this until you passed out or you ran out.

Overall: Last May I had a beertopia experience when I received a growler of the Elder in a trade. It was by far the best beer I had had until now, and while I can't say that the Younger is leaps and bounds beyond that of its uncle, the incredible complexities and balance give it the nod. Honestly, I would take either over any other beer on the planet, any day of the week. You drink this and you feel like you are experiencing a work of art. You understand that a true craftsman created this masterpiece, revealing it slowly one sip at a time. I am simply in awe, thank you Russian River.

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

Huge thanks to rayjay for getting a growler of this to me in the mid west. He hooked me up with some great beers, but this was the best one he sent me

a-- crystal clear golden color, of white head falls quickly and barley hangs on around the edges

s-- earthy vegital hops slight simcoe "cat piss" I don't really think it smells like our cat's litter box but that is the scent and I like it... warm apricot sweetness

T-- Antiseptic hop bitterness jumps out at you at first then the malts catch up to balance the equation and warm up with an apricot sweetness finish

m -- good carbonation, smooth, lingering hop sense

d-- easily slides down my gullet, I had to take 3 or 4 sips before I even started to figure out this beer it really good out standing brew. My wife and I put down the whole growler before we realized how much alcohol was in this beer.

Thanks again to rayjay but the only bad thing about this is I won't be able to get more for a long time.

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

Pours a crystal clear and glowing amber orange. Big carbonation bubbles come up and a thin white head caps it off, leaving sticky spots of lacing all down the glass. I can only imagine straight from the tap.

An unbelievable fresh citrus nose. It's like a mix between Pure Hoppiness and Summer Yulesmith, toss in some pine sap and you have it. Earthy, green hops at first, just incredibly clean. Then big bold citrus scents come through. Bitter grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and hints of lemon. A piney undertone is there for sure as well.

Taste was just shocking to me. It was so much bigger than the smell lead me to believe. The inviting nose had lured me in and now I was getting slapped across the face with hops, laughing as my cheeks turned red with embarrassment. My forehead began to sweat, I got chills down my spine, and from that point on I knew I was in love. Seriously, there are still great citrus flavors and it's super fresh but wow, the piney hops are coming through full force. It's like pure hop juice glory without the overly oily and resinous body. As it warms, malts (huh?) do come through. A light caramel sweetness doesn't so much tame the wallop but it's there.

Bitter but not drying, tingling but not numbing, full but not oily. When I got this growler I was drinking it within an hour. Within the next hour, I had consumed nearly three pints of this addicting serum. A few hours later, after I took a nap, I couldn't help but come back for more.

This is truly a dream come true for hop lovers and I'm fortunate to have tried it. I put it in the realm of Yulesmith and Pure Hoppiness as my favorites. Not really in a class of its own but for now, it stands at the top. Andy, you are quite the generous soul, thank you!

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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 brewdlyhooked13
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a hazed light orange amber. Very little head, but after transfers from tap to growler to bottle to glass, well, I can be forgiving. A thin layer of bubbles appears and kind of limps off to the side.

Aroma - good malt base, intense pine and fragrant grapefruit following.

Taste - whew! A sweet start, the malts are there but struggling to develop because the hops are on right now! Intense in many ways - pine, grapefuit, bitter, and a late sweet orange citrus on the back of the tongue that comes outta nowhere. I think the underside of my tongue is even tasting this, and that's impossible!! :-D Very sweet and bitter on the same swallow, pretty cool. Late aftertaste is quite dry and bitter. It does the DIPA proud. A smooth warming alcohol feel as it warms. What a fine glass o' beer.

Mouthfeel - as expected, the carbonation is probably half of where it started. I still get a good hoppy burp here and there. For a DIPA the body is thicker than normal but most reasonable.

Drinkability - sickeningly drinkable. At 11%, that is a problem. No wonder pimpp offered to hook me up with a sample, he was probably very 'happy' after downing over half the growler, lol. At any rate, big karmaic kudos to him for sharing this delicious brew.

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Photo of pwoods
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a million to jwolfie70 for providing me the chance to try this rarity. Also, thanks to SirChugsAlot, kersta8, dsigmon, beavers, and NJpadreFan for the kind words in the thread that SirChugsAlot made. jwolfie70 saw that thread and decided to offer me the growler. So, Thanks everyone!

A: Pours a bright, hazy, glowing blood orange rind. A nice 1 1/2 - 2 finger pearly white head forms in the snifter and takes its time walking down. Nice lacing throughout.

S: HUGE hop bomb! My nose was assaulted right when I popped the swingtop. Very west coast. Huge, slightly stinging citrus notes with massive amounts of pine and hop leaf resin. So much resin that it's almost like it's wet hopped. Alcohol is present in the slight sting mixed with the citrus. Malts are sweet yet controlled... I can't wait.

T/M: MMMmm! Tastes like I brushed my teeth with pine cones and then swished with grapefruit pulp, haha. A nice alcohol bite lets you know this beast means bidnus. Malts are super sweet and bready, cutting just enough of the hop blast to add somewhat of a balance. Body is medium+ throughout with a huge creamy, sticky, and sometimes chewy mouthfeel. Finishes instantly super dry but not overdone and with a long lasting bitterness.

D: I'll tell ya what... If I could finish this entire growler tonight, I would. After a second 10ish ounce sampling my tongue started to feel tortured. A 12oz. bottle is being hand filled and handed over to brewdlyhooked13 and then I'll finish the rest tomorrow... if my tongue can handle it :)

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.09/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We are, we are...youth of the nation. On tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Poured a somewhat hazy orange color. A good head when poured although did dissipate during the tasting. Some viscous sticks to the glass when you swirl it.

The nose is citrus hoppy with mostly grapefruit and oranges. A fantastic nose that shines of Amarillo, Summit and other "C" hops. To compare with Elder, the nose is much more hoppier and sweeter.

The taste is punch in the mouth hops. Sure it's a crazy west coast hop bomb but both hop, bittering and finishing, and hop to malt are so far out of balance, especially if you compare it to Elder. To start, the hops have a strong bittering bite that last through the finishing taste which overpowers the finish hop flavors. There are some piney and citrus finish but it plays second fiddle here. There is a sweetness to the beer that really is off for me as well. Feels like its under attenuated although there really isn't much of an alcohol or estery flavor at all. As your taste buds adjust the malt flavors come out but really limited with some sweetness and stickness.

The body of course is big. Carbonation is light, maybe to bring out the hop flavor. With the sweet syrupy finish leaves a blah aftertaste. Overall this is an ultimate hop bomb, but with my money give me an elder every time. I suppose I would have to say respect your elders.

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Photo of chefscott79
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So I finally got to try this at hollingshead

apperance..a deep gold with touches of orange head goes away easily...

smell...good lord I love the smell of this beer smells like super fresh hops and super citrusy

taste...just like the smell...I want more now as I type this review

drinkabliity...well I could drink this all day....well if I had a higher alcohol tolerence

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Photo of srroos
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Hollingsheads. Poured clear orange with ample but short lived head. I'm amazed a beer so hoppy can be perfectly clear like this.

Smells like the hoppiest of IPAs combined with the maltiest of barleywines. Much more complex than any other Imperial IPA I've ever had. Hard to distinguish individual aromas, but very interesting anyway.

The taste is incredible: hops and citrus, malt and fruits, all well balanced with no one flavor being to dominant. Obviously, hops are a major part, but they are so well balanced with the sweetness that I can't imagine anything better.

Mouthfeel is just as awesome as the taste. Medium bodied, slightly syrupy sweetness, with an excellent bitter and sweet finish. Drinkability is amazing for the extreme ABV.

This is one of the few beers that I loved so much I keep wishing for more. If Russian River bottles this, it will be a dream come true!

Had another tall pour at Hollingshead's again today. I stand by everything I said before in my previous review. Incredible beer in all regards, and the best Imperial IPA I've ever had, bar none.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served to me in a Chimay chalice at Hollingshead's.

A- Clear orange in color with a moderate head that dissipates quickly and leaves a bit of sticky lacing.

S- Tons of piney and citrusy hops backed by some very sweet and fruity malts. Tangy tropical fruits and orange peel too.

T- Everything the aroma promises. The bitterness is intense, but the sweetness of the malt evens it out nicely. The phenomenal thing about this beer is that the sweetness never becomes cloying. This is the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. The alcohol is well-hidden too.

M- Oily, slick, and syrupy with mild carbonation. Just right for a beer like this.

D- The drinkability is exceptional for a beer with such a high alcohol content. Every sip leaves you wanting more.

The best double IPA I've ever had. This is ridiculously good.

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Photo of kleffman
4.51/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said? I believe this is my third or fourth year having it, and it has always been incredible.

Grabbed a pint of this nectar of the gods at O'Briens. Pours a very clear deep orange color with a nice little head on top and just a bit of lacing.

Smell was not as over the top as I remembered and hoped for but still a rather nice citrus, lemon and slight piney hoppy sweet aroma.

Delicious taste that was actually quite sweet but not in a cloying way. Perfect amounts to balance the explosive hops and extreme alcohol levels. It all melds together so well you would have no idea it's so alcoholic.

A great full bodied mouthfeel with a nice prickly carbonation that makes for an easy drinking beer. I can't think of very many 11% beers that go down as well as a pint of Younger.

This is one seasonal offering that I'm very excited for every year. I can't imagine how crazy people are going to go for the bottles of it once the new production brewery gets up and running.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

$5 pint at O'Brien's. Now, last night I started feeling congested and felt a cold coming but I was still able to taste/smell fairly well.

Served in a pint glass. Caramel color with a quarter inch of foam. Good retention. A few soapy spots of lacing.

Big juicy hops. Lots of citrus, lemon, bitter orange and grapefruit zest. Hints of toast and caramel malt, but quickly overpowered by the hops. Just a wonderful bouquet of fruits and hints of pine.

Holy hoppiness! Yep, that's it!

Damn, I think this cleared my sinuses. The most citrusy and yet balanced DIPA I have ever had (just ahead of Summer YuleSmith). Lemon, grapefruit, orange, and a bit of pine on the finish.

Most perfect mouthfeel. Full bodied but not syrupy. Soft on the palate yet a little aggressive on the tongue. Just a little alcohol on the finish, and I was surprised to find out it was 11%

While this one was great, I probably couldn't drink more than 2 servings before getting full. Definitely worth seeking out.

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

I enjoyed a half liter of this at Hollingshead today. I have never had a sip of alcohol at work for my entire life, but given that I expected this to be a once a year opportunity, I made an exception. Halfway through, the barkeep casually mentioned that they actually received five kegs instead of their usual one. So it goes.

Pours a bright burnished orange. Clearer and more uniform in color than I expected. Little to no head. Smells like grapefruit and pine. Some tropical pineapple/passion fruit notes in the aroma, but little to no malt. Oily, viscuous, and perfect mouthfeel.

The flavor is robust and awe-inspiring. There is definitely tons of sweet, pink grapefruit-y tropical-ness and caramel malt to balance out a truly explosive pine and grapefruit hop backbone. That's right: this the rare beer in which the dominating characteristic is hops, and yet it actually is balanced by sweeter characteristics. Very drinkable.

I'm not sure what else there is to say. This beer has been well reviewed. This has joined Dreadnaught at the top of my DIPA chart.

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

On tap at Hollingsheads, poured into a Chimay goblet, transparent rich golden orange with not much foam. The smell is earthy but mostly citrusy hops. Pine citrus leafy hop taste. You get a nice bitterness in the end but its not overpowering. The mouthfeel is really good as there's not too much of a syrupy feel to it. There is a nice level of carbonation that is just prickly enough. This is about as drinkable as any triple or even double IPA could be. The high alcohol hits me but doesn't stop me from ordering another. I'm going back for more in a couple days.

I was able to revisit Younger at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe and must say that it's now my favorite IPA of any kind out there. The aroma really hit even more today as fresh citrus and pine and it was again exceptional. I think it deserves a 5 overall.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exeptional beer. It pours a deep red copper, with a small white head. The smell is dominated by floral hops. The taste is definitely sweet, but it is balanced out nicely by a very strong floral hop taste that keeps the beer from being too sweet. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops. The beer leaves a hop stickiness coat on your mouth. Definitely a beer that I would recommend trying.

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

12 ounce pour at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in the city of Orange for a whopping seven dollars after tax, 16 ounce pours were nine plus tax though, expesnive but definitely worth every penny

A-Golden orange with a nice brightness, 3/4 fluffy off white head, stuck around for about two minutes, some of the best sticky lacing I have ever seen

S-Crazy amounts of hoppiness, both citrus and floral, pine aromas, wood scents, deep sweet malt notes, tropical fruit, and strong perfume

T-Bitter, dry, hoppy, sweet, tangy, chewy, you name it and this beer has got it, the balance of this was awesome, sweet malt mixed with unlimited amounts of hoppiness, sweet tangerine, lemon, orange peel, grapefuit, pineapple, green apple, and then a somewhat chewy malt backbone, finish was dry and sweet at the same time, seemed like a session beer the way it was going down until it just hits you immediately, this baby is strong and there is no doubt about it, more complex than I thought an India pale ale could be, one of the best tasting beers I have ever had the chance to indulge in

M-Dry and sweet mouthfeel at different times, definitely more bitter when it was cold and crisp, taste lingered for minutes, perfect level of carbonation, nice looking medium body

D-If I did not know how much alcohol was in this beforehand I probably would not have been able to drive home because I would have kept drinking it, scary drinkability, alcohol is hidden amazingly, eleven percent is strong though, smooth and goes down with ease

I have been wanting to try this for the last two Febraurys, I always seemed to miss it at Naja's and Hollingshead, best IPA I have ever had without question, would have been a perfect score if it was not for the huge ABV, between this and the Beatification I drank last night, Russian River is easily my favorite brewer out there, this blows Pliny the Elder away and that is an almost perfect beer in my opinion, my buddy next to me said this was the best beer he has tasted, very highly recommended

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Photo of sfoley333
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured off the tap at Pizza Port C'bad on 2-9-08. Poured into pint glass a golden color with no head by the time the bartender handed it to me but a lot of cotton candy lacing. Smell is like running through the NorCal forests of Humbolt while holding an grapefruit in one hand and in the other pineapple.( in other words giant forest pine aroma mixed with grapefruit, citrus, and tropical fruits.) The Taste was pine resin hoppy at first with a monster sweet malty backbone. But as it warmed up the bitterness took effect adding layers of citrus rinds to the pine flavor with the sweetness still there but not overpowering. The mouthfeel is as full as a TIPA could be without being cloy or overdone, it was sticky with a light creamy carbonation. Considering its 11% ,extremely hoppy and bitter, with a giant malt backbone this beers has a balance of those extreme features that keeps it from being a one hitter quitter beer.

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

I was skeptical of the hype for this beer but cutting to
the chase, it delivers, especially as it warms up a little. Had this on tap first at RR brewpub, then at Toronado, review was from first tasting

A: 4.5: A deep, clear, golden orange color with a thin off white
head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring with moderate lacing
and a little carbonation with small persistent, rising bubbles
S: 5: Damn. Punch in the face. Citrus, pine, floral, everything
hits at once and in balance. I could just keep smelling this beer
T: 5: Perfect, at first while this was a little too cool there wasn't that much bitterness from the hops and instead was just a delicious semi-sweet citrus flavor then as it warms up a little the there is a stronger bitterness up front that never lets go but never quite devastates the palate like Hop 15 or Hopslam. Slight malt, chocolate taste hiding in the finish too. Also as it warms up there is a slight taste of alcohol in the background to remind you of the 11% abv. Basically, this is just too good.
M: Again, near perfect to me, nice medium to thicker body that is very smooth and in the finish remarkably creamy/silky with a moderate level of carbonation.
D: Considering the alcohol and ibu this deserves something higher than a 5. I have not had the Elder yet so I can't compare but of all the Imperial/Double/whatever IPAs I've had this is by far the best and easiest drinking.

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Photo of bcm119
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright peachy orange color. Nice fresh hop aroma, leans toward ripe citrus but also some earthy/herbal notes too. Nose is clean, citrus hops, with a permeating but pleasant bitterness that carries some ripe tangerine flavors. Slightly viscous, full mouthfeel. Malt provides perfect vehicle for all the hops, without getting in the way. Really nice hop complexity with the perfect amount of bitterness to finishing ratio. Hop flavors are complex, with leafy earth and pine coming through after initially ripe citrus burst. While this IPA is a whopping 11% abv, it is not overly sticky, cloying, or too sweet, and the alcohol is almost undetectable. Probably one of the best versions of the strong IPA style I've had, and almost worthy of its reputation, but not the lines and inconvenience of many of the release events. Tasted @ Toronado 2/2/08.

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

Served on-tap at the Toronado on 2/2/08.

A: Pours a bright orangish color with a thick white head. Tons of sticky sweet lacing all over the glass. Even the color in the brew screams out "citrus"!

S: The best nose in an DIPA that I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It bursts out with fresh hops. An absolute wallop of fresh citrus fruit in the form of grapefruit, orange, and other tropical fruits. Of course, the woodsy pine is also present.

T: An incredibly well crafted and delicious DIPA. The best I've ever had. An explosion of hops, but not at all over the top and always in perfect harmony with the slightly sweet and light underlying malts. It's really the perfect DIPA in my book, an explosion of citrus hops, a wonderful bitter pine aftertaste, and always in prefect balance and harmony with the malt backbone.

M: Another perfect, for the mouthfeel in this is sublime. Just ever so slightly thick with an active carbonation. Perfect amount of body.

D: Well, this beer sure did have a lot of hype and I wasn't sure if it could live up to it. Not only did it live up to the hype, it exceeded it. Probably my favorite beer of all time. It's really ever thing that I look for in my favorite style, the DIPA. It's a shame that it's only releases once a year but I would go the ends of the earth to sip this one again.

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

A- Tangerine colored brew pours with a light head which dissapates fairly quickly with some lacing.

S- Smell is very piney, some deep sweet malt notes, reminescent of Pliny the Elder but much bigger with hints of alcohol.

T- Taste is phenomenal. A very complex IPA, a boquet of piney, floral hops, big malt backbone, hard to describe but everything you could ask for in a triple IPA and more.

M- Mouthfeel is thick with carbonation a bit on the low side which suits this brew.

D- I could honestly drink this beer until I passed out. One of my favorite beers, bar none, and I don't say that a lot.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I couldnt really see how clear this beer is because the toronado is really dark, and the new bartendress didnt put the neon lights on. But it looked very yellow citrus grapefruit orange peely.



The mouthfeel left me burping up hops, and a shot of alcohol. There was a streak of alcohol and hops running from my tongue all the way down to my stomach, and i'm not bullshitting.

This beer is fantastic. WOW!!

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

Golden-amber in the glass with the faintest hop haze and a quarter-inch of white froth. Head retention is very good for such a high gravity beer, and the brightness and clarity are impressive.

The hop aroma is huge. Very resiny like Elder, but with a slightly greater sugary malt presence. Notes of pine and tropical fruit from the hops, the depth is outstanding and there's barely a hint of sweetness despite the staggering 11% ABV.

Plenty of juicy, resiny hops in the taste, but they're expertly balanced by the light malt backbone. Zesty and fruity hop flavors mix with notes of peach, pineapple and biscuit. A puckering hop bitterness comes out in the finish, overpowering the malt and drying the palate slightly.

Sticky, lightly oily with semi-crisp carbonation. Dry and bitter but displaying amazing balance, the bitterness never becomes wearying and the alcohol is hardly noticeable.

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Photo of klewis
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to weeare138 for this one.
Hand-bottled in a 12oz

A: Pours a slightly hazier, slightly lighter amber than the Elder with a bigger head as well. Lots of spiderweb-like lacing.

S: Big citrusy hop smell packed with grapefruit aroma.

T: Loaded with citric hop deliciousness. Not overwhelmingly bitter, per se, but tilting heavily toward that side of the spectrum. A slightly noticable alcohol presence.

M: Full-bodied, syrupy and thick. Light-moderate carbonation.

D: A great DIPA and significantly better than the Elder IMO. Worth the hype.

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

Had this beer a couple of times at some beer tastings in the East.
A - Pretty much looks like a big IPA. Lots of amber color.
S - Wow. Smells like Christmas from a couple of feet away. It's almost overwhelming, but in a good way.
T - Wow. Again. So many hops it's tough to take it all in. Very complex.
M - Very fresh. Very lively. Very nice.
D - This is a huge, hoppy beer. It's extremely drinkable given the agressive hopping and ABV.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,065 ratings.
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