Russell's is an Amherst institution. I was lucky enough to work here through my extended days at UMass, you really can't have a better job in college than delivering beer, selling beer, and being around beer all the time.
Russell's is family owned and old school. It is hard to get a sense of the really great selection that is available, because so much of the stock is behind the front counter. The layout of the store is a bit narrow, which means they rely on staff to really interact with customers.
They have a pretty extensive beer selection and incredible prices. Western MA is so much less expensive than Boston and even Worcester.
I always stop by and stock up when I am back in Amherst. Stop by and pick up some slices at Antonio's and something tasty at Russell's.
This liqour store seems,at first glance, to have a pretty good selection of wine and spirits. However, I've bought around 5 bottles of wine on recommendation of the owner, and they have alll been quite bad. The problem is, I assume, that the shop caters mostly to college students who buy beer and cheap spiritis. The wines sit there longer than they should, and they are genreally over-priced. I bought a bottle of wine on recommendation of the owener for 25 USD to commemorate the return of a friend, but the wine had gone bad and tasted like a weird portwine. When I came back to the store and told about my experience, the owner just told me to bring the botlle back next time. He didnt offer any excuse or compensation for the expired, expensive bottle. Unfortunately, my impression of the whole wine selection is that they are low quality wines (mostly rated below 3,5 at vivino) at a blown-up price. I would only recommend bying beer here. I will certainly not come back for wine.
This place is my favorite in Amherst.
There is so much craft beer crammed into this little downtown spot.
Great place to find all the locals: 8-9 varieties of Jacks Abbey, 8-9 varieties of Clown Shoes..
You can get Cisco's rare stuff, High and Mighty, Pretty Things, and even some gems if you look close enough.
This is the kind of place that might have some things sitting in the dust that they don't even know they have.
EVERYTHING is priced, so you wont find anything unmarked.
The older guy is the one in charge, if he is there he will take good care of you.
The younger guys that work for him dont show much emotion or character, they kind of just want to get you in and out.
A traditional, old-fashioned downtown liquor store with a contemporary understanding of the craft beer market. Although less than a quarter of the clean, well-lit little store displays beer, they make the most of what space they have set aside for brews. A double-sided rack of bombers and 750s fills half the back of the store's floorspace, and singles stand in neat tight lines on built-in shelves which in former times might have displayed canned goods or general merchandise.
This is not the place to go for a mainstream sixpack or case, or even to mix a six, although that can be done if you ask a clerk to retrieve your picks. But for a good choice of better craft beer, Russell's is inch for inch a most worthwhile stop.
Tiny place located on the main town square in college town Amherst. The beer, booze and wine is located all around you once you step a few feet into this place. Multiple quality options, from near and far. seems they choose what they carry wisely and take pride in their high quality operation. Personally I prefer Spirit Haus when in the area, larger selection and a heck of a lot more enjoyable shopping experience. Somebody else used the word claustrophobic....Go for the convenient location and quality options.
Russell's is a tiny liquor store located right in the middle of Amherst center. It looks like a little hole in the wall from the outside (and it is, really), but what's important here is the selection. The store itself is very small and very claustrophobic due to the fact that it is absolutely jam-packed with beer, wine, and liquor. There is almost no walking space. A lot of the bottles are displayed on wooden shelves, giving the place an almost library-esque feel. The selection is very impressive, especially given the size of the store. You can expect to find a fair amount of rarities here. I picked up a bottle of Parabola for an extremely reasonable $15. All the beer seems to be treated with care, and I didn't notice anything out of date on the shelves. Staff was very friendly and very knowledgeable, and happy to engage in good beer talk. This place is probably your best bet for tracking down rarities in Western Mass. They get all the stuff that the bigger liquor stores do, and seem to hold on to it longer due to more limited foot traffic. I make it a point to stop in when I'm in the area. A notch above its local competitors, in my opinion.
Layout it a bit quirky but the selection, prices and service completely trump that. A place that ages their own beers, staff that are extremely knowledgeable and capable of helping you out with a selection based on style or specific beers and suggesting similar beers if they do not carry the exact one you're looking for. The selection is extremely varied, anyone who likes beer will leave happy. Spent about a half hour just talking beer with the employees about anything and everything and left with a bunch of tasty brews at a good price. You'd be hard pressed to get that type of service at any of the larger beer stores in Western
MY favorite place naturally, but with a great selection across the board and a reasonable price range, they can get pretty much anything available. Service is great and you can find anything from your everyday brews, to locals, and stuff from port, lost abbey, avery, stone, rogue, unibroue, ect. Service is great and the staff can easily pick out whatever beer style you might be looking for with anything in mind. Family owned and operated since 1938 Russell's is an institution in Amherst. If your in the area I highly reccommend stopping in to see what they got!
Ah Russell's. When I was a young, fresh-eyed college student I was a bit overwhelmed by this place. Lots of liquor and wine up front, but, and very intelligently, a good chunk of the beer was behind the counter. This meant, and I myself had to do it nervously at times, ask for the beer from the cashier. This already conjures up huge respectability, at least for me, in the service of the place. Incredible selection of alcohol and well prepared for the college student population that literally have to walk by the place everyday in getting around town. A very fine establishment for a heavy, heavy college town.
Russell's is pretty much an institution in Amherst. If you went to UMASS or Amherst College, you've probably bought booze here.
The place is a bit like an antique store in that a LOT of bottles are covered with dust and prices are written directly on bottles with a white marker. Its a pretty cool little store once you step inside.
Because this is college student central, this place is run a little differently. If you want a six pack be prepared to "order it" up front and be carded for it without a doubt. The beer that students drink is not out for you to pick up and pay for.
That being said, there are a number of random bombers on display but mostly its wine.
Selection is decent, nothing crazy. Lots of New England stuff and imports. Its worth stopping in if you're walking around town or killing time.
The big plus to Russell's is the glassware prices. I bought two Brooklyn Brewery snifters for $3.99 each last time I was in.