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: 3,066
Photo of Cooper925
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-glassy Amber feel with a delicate head and a light body

Smell-flushed juicy hops, tree fruit

Taste-aggressive hops, sweet and a subtle dry finish

Feel- Expertly crafted to be inviting yet complex with rolling waves of laminar smoothness

Overall-first class, worth the trip. its detrimental to your well being to miss this opportunity.

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Photo of Benjo87
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at tornado, San Fransisco. For an Aussie, this feels like I've hit the holy grail.

Look - looks like liquid gold in a glass. Minimal head. Fairly clear golden colour

Smell - wow. You don't even need to put your nose to the glass. Juicy juicy hops. No alcohol at all present. Smells amazingly juicy.

Taste - smooth smooth smooth. You'd never know how strong it was. So well balanced. Not a dry beer at all. The taste lingers. All in all it definitely lived up to expectation. Amazingly well balanced beer.

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Photo of justmebro
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Waited over 4hrs to sample this almost mythical brew, I was not disappointed. Contrary to my thoughts about triple the hops, this is a very smooth beer. It had a very creamy mouth feel and a smooth follow. Worth the wait

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Photo of n2185
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of tropical fruits and melon on both the aroma and palate. This beer is dangerously drinkable with low bitterness and little alcohol burn. A damn good DIPA, overall.

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewery last year during the two week release. It was an exceptional beer. I'm not sure if I've ever had such a balanced beer before. Each component of the flavor profile was spot on. Well worth the nearly-six-hour wait!

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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 hoho2701
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is unbelievable. Perfectly crafted double IPA. Just as you think they can't make Pliny better, the Younger proves to be more refined than the Elder. Imagine all positive of the Elder and none of its negative.

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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 HBPierside
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrific triple IPA. Waited in line for as few hours and was able to get three glasses along with Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Overall was well worth the wait. The beer looked, smelled and had a very smooth chock full of flavor taste and feel. Too bad the availability is so limited.

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Photo of Gerad_12
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Stood in line back in February at Samuel Hornes in Folsom, Ca. The 2 hour wait was well worth it. Amazing IPA. Great nose, feel, and taste is incredible especially considering the 11%

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Photo of K4550
4.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the tapping at the South Philly Taproom in Philadelphia. Full blown blizzard, everyone was out of work for the day. The line wasn't too bad, only about 30 people at 930ish for a 10am tapping (the line grew a ton in the last 10 minutes however). Pours were $10, first come first serve, keg was kicked in 19 minutes. Color was a beautiful orange-y gold, head was thin. Served (unfortunately) in a skinny taster glass so I couldn't get much in the way of the nose (or maybe it was because I waited outside forever in the freezing cold). Taste was a little dank, but with some citrus. Sticky but had a fresh bouquet of hops on the back end that balanced everything out. Was tasty and I can see what the hype is about, but I don't think I'd be willing to stand in line for more than an hr to get a pour. Definitely a bucket list/BA Top 250 experience though for anyone who hasn't tried it yet.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pliny the Younger on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, fifteen dollars for 6.5oz, cash only for Alex's Lemonade charity. for charity, 10.5% ABV

App: ½ finger head, some floaties, soapy bubbles. Low retention. Orange-tropical color.

Smell: Intoxicating! Citrus, tropical aromas, pineapple juice, dank and sticky. Pomelo bitterness and lovely tartness. Fresh-squeezed OJ.

Taste: More of that pepperiness, super spicy, pineapple cake, piney. Don Limpio. Orange rind. Aggressive hops, lip-smacking. Oily, resin, like licking sap.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation, could use more bubbles. Dry, sticky finish, need water! Spicy, peppery all around- not too pleasant.

Overall: Very drinkable! Like water, poundable. World-class? Not so, but delicious. Worth trying once or twice, but I wouldn’t go crazy or stand on line for it. There are many wonderful Triple IPA’s out there these days… (Knee Deep is making some killer ones!).

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If not for the lines around this beer I would like it even more. There are some amazing IPAs out there without a 3 hour hype train. Maybe I wish I could just get more though.

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

Had a much more unique depth of flavor than Elder did. Much fresher too, cuz obviously, it is consumed within days of release. Aroma was particularly alluring. I wouldn't wait 8 hours like some people do for it, but there's really nothing that compares in terms if IPA. I recommend you get to whatever venue it's hosting earlier than two hours before tapping, or wait in line with the other hundreds.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on opening day Feb 6, 2015 after waiting in line for 4.5 hrs in the pouring rain. It is a spectacular beer to have straight from the source. Although a very high abv it does not taste alcohol forward and is truly balanced with a good amount of hops on your tongue, a bit of grapefruit follow through and a floral scent. Had a great time drying off and warming up and 3 10oz pours along with some Elder and Blind Pig hit the spot. It is a special beer worth the effort.

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Photo of itsThatBoyE
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on opening day Feb 6, 2015. Waited from 5:00 AM around 70th in line. Had 3 10oz pours. This beer definitely lived up to the hype. I've had plenty of triple IPAs and this was hands down the best. And much better than similar ABV double IPAs. The balance of malty backbone with bitter hops was perfection. 0 alcohol whatsoever. Each sip made you desperate for more. Definitely going back.

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Photo of rongcsc
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this in 2013. Waited in line for almost four hours and it was well worth the wait. The taste was as good or better than any beer I'd had up to then. Since then I've had beers I like more but it is certainly world class.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.05/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big hop aromatics are the star of the show for sure. Just a touch too sweet and syrupy for my taste. Especailly considering what it takes to get a scant 4oz pour of this beast I'll take the Elder any day of the week.

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Photo of AJKing
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer manages to do the "look" well - pale straw, makes you anticipate a pils if you just saw the glass but had nose plugs in. Take those nose plugs out though - big floral and citrus aromas, some pine. Once you take a swig, the taste transforms into a berry/pine marijuana flavor on the tongue. Mouth is smooth, and dry. Overall, this hop combination has likely been perfected, and better beers only occur because they approach with different combos.

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Photo of ryaneasterling
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very good, very strong. Don't drink before your wait in line, otherwize you will be the silly person. If you are that person, it's ok. My friend James thought he was drugged, there is a limit for a reason. Also, Younger is a masterpiece of the modern style. Check out the current champ on a weeknight and you'll only have to wait a half hour or so.

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Photo of Mburk
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer from the source at Russian River. Waited about three hours but it was well worth it. Younger is just like Elder but on steroids. This is the epitome of a west coast IPA with lots of pine but incredibly smooth! Highly enjoyed.

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Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A great beer. Great floral and citrus scents. Dry finish with overall low boosiness. Great marketting makes this beer highly sought after. I have tried it three times 2015 being the best.

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Photo of Dgc3043
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 2015 batch was significantly better than the 2014, in my opinion. In 2014 my friends and I enjoyed younger but wouldn't have put it as a top beer, however, in 2015 the experience was completely different. The floral smell at the start told us this was a different brew. It was smooth with an overall amazing taste. Hard to believe it was over 10%. By far, the best beer I've had.

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Photo of jow_42
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8oz pour @ Pizza Port Carlsbad during the Younger tapping

A - Pours a dark amber color. No head on the glass we got since they were pouring and walking them out to us. It had dissipated by the time we got it. Looks very similar to Elder.

S - Sweet hops. Tropical fruits, pine. The 11% is no where to be found.

T - I must say this is the smoothest triple I have ever had. Again, sweet hops up front, lots of pineapple, underneath the sweetness is a piney, resinous, dank note. People say its like Elder cranked up, and I can see that. As it warmed, much more bitterness came out, as well as some candied orange.

O - Did this live up to the hype? Yes. Its delicious. Best triple I have had. Would I wait hours on hours for a small pour of this? Probably not.

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Photo of witschen
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Late review - tasted at Toronado in 2013. Blown away by mellowness of this high abv double (triple?) IPA. Hops are big but not overwhelming. Lives up to the hype.

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Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
4.67 out of 5 based on 3,066 ratings.
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