Admittedly, Russel brewing is one operation I don’t get around to sampling much. In the past, I have had their Angry Scotch Ale, their IP’eh, their Blood Alley ESB, their VCBW Cascadian Brown Ale, and most recently, their Naughty Spiced Porter. However, very few of these beers ever got a review, and I would be lying if I were to say that I recalled what more than half of them tasted like. However, with few exceptions, I have had nothing but good things to say about this brewery. And after looking through their extended lineup and seeing what they have to offer, I have to say that I’m pretty eager to expand on my sampling repertoire.
And I’ll start with this example of their Brewmaster Limited Edition series – the Hop Therapy Double IPA – a beer that more than lives up to its name. In addition to weighing in at a hefty 9% alc/vol, the beer boasts three American hop varieties (Amarillo, Cascade and Columbus) which were added a total of six times during the kettle boil, and then twice afterwards as dry hopping. This brings its bitterness to a threshold of 100 IBUs, which is well balanced by some seriously sweet and syrupy malt flavor.
Appearance: Light amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong bouquet of floral and citrus hops, slight piney nose
Taste: Sweet, coarse malt, viscous and chewy, citrus and pine hops, resiny
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and hop bitterness, slight feeling of residue
Basically, I would say this beer is not for the faint of heart. But it is definitely for people who insist that their beer be chock-full of flavor or just don’t mind a beer that pushes the envelope in terms of malt and hop strength. For me, it a very fitting example of a double IPA and an enticement to try more of what Russel has to offer.