Pliny the Younger Beer Review: A Full Bodied IPA for Hop Heads

Pliny the Younger beer is a seasonal triple IPA from the popular Russian River Brewing Co and a sequel to their famous beer, Pliny the Elder. Made with three times more hops than usual, hop heads can dive right in!

Pliny the younger beer review infographic

Ideal for any season, the beer features a high ABV and complex flavor that makes it perfect for parties. To know more about this beer, check out our complete Pliny the Younger review below.

Pliny the Younger Beer Stats

Country United States
BrandRussian River Brewing Company
StyleImperial/Triple IPA
Taste Citrus, tropical fruits
BodyFull body
ABV10.25 percent
Flavors & AromasCitrus, fruity, bready malts, caramel, hops, pine
Serving Temperature55 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit

Tasting Notes

Pliny the Younger Tasting Profile

Pliny the Younger Beer Review

Pliny the Younger IPA is an imperial IPA from the Russian River Brewing Company, with a 10.25 percent alcohol content. The beer’s forward character is citrus and tropical fruits, but you can also expect bready malts, hops, caramel, and pine. It pours dark gold with a full body, crisp texture, and dryness towards the end.

Serve the Pliny the Younger brew into a pint glass to get the most out of its plush head, but you can also consider a snifter, goblet, or chalice. The beer should be served cool but not cold at a temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can add a lime slice to the top of the glass to enhance it.

The beer is the ideal party option, with the high ABV that offers a short night and the bursting flavors from the hops. The beer is not completely bitter and has some citrus sweetness instead, making it drinkable. With a lot of hype behind this West Coast beer, you’ll be surprised at how it meets expectations.

– Appearance

Pliny the Younger will pour a dark gold color into your glass with a clear appearance and visible carbonation, presenting itself as bubbles constantly floating to the top.

American ipa crystal clear look

The beer has a white foamy and plush head too, up to a couple of fingers high and offering good retention.

– Aroma

On the nose, the Pliny the Younger IPA will first hit you with the scent of tropical fruits, mild resin, citrus, and grass. This gives you a sugary aroma from the hops, along with light-bready malts in the backbone. They are faint as the hops take the shine. The aroma is not loud, only complex, and allows you to fully enjoy the flavor.

– Mouthfeel

With a full mouthfeel, the imperial IPA feels consistent, thick, and crisp in your mouth, with some effervescence. The beer is just thick enough without being undrinkable and will go down easily as you swallow. It finishes dry from the hops and has a smooth feeling.

– Flavor

The flavor of the Pliny the Younger IPA starts with light citrus and tropical fruits before moving on to offer some resiny, piney, grassy, floral and herbal hops. Then it goes back to the tropical fruits towards the finish. As the beer warms up, the pine notes increase but do not become too heavy or sweet.

In the backbone of the beer, you will taste the malt notes presenting themselves in light bread and sweet caramel. The beer is not too sweet, but there is a bitter bite towards the end and some dryness from the hops, balanced with the bready malts.

– Food Pairings

When having the Pliny the Younger beer, you should consider matching it with dishes that have similar tastes with the same intensity. The beer also goes well with spicy dishes as the bitterness cools it down and can act as a palate cleanser.

Amazing food and ipa pairings

Pair the beer with burgers or tacos with barbeque sauce, spicy noodles, Thai, Indian or Mexican food, and salads with a fruity dressing. The thickness of the beer goes well with fish like salmon or mackerel, or you can match the high carbonation with the creaminess from blue cheese.

The softness of the IPA pairs best with crunchy dishes such as chips, corn on the cob, fried chicken, or a crisp potato salad. Or you can go for classic snacks such as nachos, pretzels, hot dogs, a classic burger, pizza, pimento cheese, or guacamole.


The Pliny the Younger imperial IPA is made with malt, hops, yeast, and water. The exact malts are not known. The hops offer a dry and well-balanced yet hoppy and vibrant beer with all the fruity and piney flavors.

The brewery changes the hops slightly every year but keeps the base recipe the same. The hops used to make the beer in recent years include Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, Chinook, CTZ, Nelson, and Warrior.

Nutrition Facts

The Pliny the Younger IPA features a 10.25 percent alcohol content in every 12-ounce serving, and this is an expected range for an imperial IPA. It has an original gravity of 1.088 and medium bitterness. There are 287 calories in the 12-ounce serving of this beer, which is a pretty high level. But this is a normal range for a high ABV beer.

Along with this, there are 86 grams of carbs, so this craft beer is not suitable for anyone on the keto diet. It should also be considered if you calculate your daily dietary intake. Furthermore, it is not a gluten-free beer.


Pliny the Younger is brewed by the Russian River Brewing Company and was first released in 2005 as a seasonal winter beer. It was built upon Pliny the Elder, which is the first beer they launched, but with more malt, hops, and alcohol.

Pliny the younger beer story

The beer is not released year-round because of all the time and effort required to make it. The beer is released for about two weeks each year, so it’s best to keep an eye out if you want to give it a try.


Pliny the Younger IPA is a fantastic high-ABV beer for any lover of hops and fruity flavors. Our guide covered all you need to know, and here’s a summary before you go:

  • Pliny the Younger is an imperial IPA with 10.25 percent alcohol content.
  • The beer has flavors and aromas of hops, fruits, bread malts, caramel, pine, and citrus.
  • It is brewed with malt, hops, yeast, and water, and the hops change slightly each year.
  • The beer is best served in a pint glass with a citrus slice.
  • You can pair it with spicy foods and intense flavors, and it can act as a palate cleanser as well.

If you’re curious about this beer, you’ll have to wait for the next Pliny the Younger release from Russian River to give it a try.

5/5 - (12 votes)

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