Russell Blood Alley Bitter | Russell Brewing Company

very good
83 Ratings
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Russell Blood Alley BitterRussell Blood Alley Bitter

Brewed by:
Russell Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BDTyre on 01-04-2011

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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by djoprahwinfrey:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bunman3
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whatever Russell does, I'm impressed. This is a very tasty ESB, more heavily hopped than many other beers in the style, but the final product is very enjoyable. It pours with about a half inch of head that dissipates rapidly. Blood Alley leaves a wonderful pub draft lacing - I could picture myself hoisting a pint of this with Brick Top from "Snatch". The flavour is delightful - brown bread, orange, and roasted malt. The piney hop finish is not overdone - it's just right!

 476 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Tiernan
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of chickenm
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head. Nice hoppy aroma with citrus and pine, as well as sweet malt. More balanced taste, caramel and bready malt with a decent amount of bitterness. Light bodied with rather low carbonation. Pretty good overall and quite drinkable; the quality of Russell's beers has been improving as of late.

 338 characters

Photo of HoppySeb
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of jpbebeau
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Tarks
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 20oz pint at the new Craft Beer Market in Calgary.

This beer appears a clear medium copper hue, with two fingers of dense foamy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a wall of storm cloud lace around the glass as it easily recedes.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, edgy orange and grapefruit citrus rind, a bit of brown sugar, and somewhat stronger floral, kind of soapy, hops. The taste is fairly bitter pine hoppiness up front, tempered at once by a decent bready caramel malt, and sandwiched by some latent floral/citrus hops. Simple, but quite duly effective at the same rate.

The carbonation is more or less average, the body on the low side of medium weight, and nice and zippy, which obviously precludes any overt smoothness. It finishes barely off-dry, with a noticeable citrus hop zing.

A pretty tasty ESB, with heady APA sympathies, the hops really predominating here. The comely bartendress volunteered that this was the most popular offering (of their more than 100 at the time!) so far that day - nice to see quality being ratified by the masses, I'd say.

 1,097 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into a pilsner glass, clear bubbly copper, very tall head retained very nicely, bits of random lacing left
S - interesting mix of caramel, pepper, herbs, and mild orange citrus
T - starts with peppery hops and toffee malts, then grainy and herbal character, finishes with a mix of mild citrus and leafy greens, very well balanced yet big flavours
M - medium body with solid carbonation, mild bitterness, medium to full finish
O - this is a big and very well balances brew, the hop flavours are complex and balanced by big maltiness, a great example of one of my favourite styles

 589 characters

Photo of Boozecamel
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 8/16/11. Thanks to kjyost for this bottle.
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Translucent medium to dark amber colour with one finger of thick, foamy white head with good retention.

S - Citrus and floral notes come through from the hops initially with some sweet bready and caramel malt notes in the background.

T - Biscuity malt flavours are initially noticeable up front with some floral and citrus hops flavours in the background. Some toffee and earthy notes are evident as well. A nice bitterness is present throughout that lingers in the finish.

M - Light body with a decent chew and light carbonation.

O - The first ESB that I have really enjoyed. I wish I could get this one locally.

 706 characters

Photo of Garin
2.81/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Looks: A nice clear coppery gold colour in the glass, with a thin but creamy white head. It's suprisingly leggy on a swirl -- a bit heavy looking.

Aroma: a bit of hops, a little toasty malt.

Taste: Pine resin hops dominate, grapefruit hops support. I'm missing the UK style floral hops. The net effect buries the mild biscuity malt way down. Some graininess makes it into the finish, but the lowest-end maltiness combined with the maximum-for-ESB bitterness makes it a faraway echo of what an ESB should be. The key is balance! Also there's a bit of sweetness that suggests too much caramel malt. For me, this beer misses the point of an ESB: this is not an ESB. It's a good beer, and I'll definitely finish the ones I have, but I'll recalibrate to think of this as a sort of IPA, which is much more in line with what they've brewed. I wanted an ESB, I bought this beer, I didn't get an ESB. Points lost.

Feel: on the heavier side of medium, but within an expected range. Firm carbonation and a bit boozy, but again: within the ESB range.

Overall: It's more like an IPA, but given that Russell already brews half a dozen other hop-bombs, I guess they wanted to market this as something else. This beer could be improved dramatically with slightly less resiny hopping, and slightly more malt flavour with slightly less body.

 1,329 characters

Photo of Mlkluther
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow with some orange highlights with fluffy white head that lingers and leaves a little lacing.

Nose is subtle. I didn't pick up to much for some reason. Piney hops and some malt.

Taste smooth, some malt that finishes with an aggressive hop bitterness.

Good beer. More hoppy than most ESBs but very enjoyable. So far I've been very impressed with Russell Brewing. I have three other of their beers in the fridge to try in the near future.

 460 characters

Photo of CurtisD
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of atigerlife
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with moderate carbonation rising. Small white head that dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma of grapefruit, honey and orange.

Taste of hops, grapefruit, malts, and sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and stingingly cleansing.

Overall, a decent brew for the style. Worth a try.

 290 characters

Photo of DamageCase76
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle. Sticker on the bottom has July 2011 which i assume is the bottling date.

Appearance: A bubbling foam above a light amber body with a a mild chill haze. Head really clings to the glass and there's always a bit of foam near the top.

Smell: Hops are noticeable @ once then segue to juicy tangerine. Floral a bit and like a breath of fresh air.

Taste: Hops are well balanced with roasted malt. Some grapefruit as well as a hint of orange. Flavor is full.

Mouthfeel: Just enough astringency mixed with some dryness. Upfront it's strong but the back end is a bit weak as it doesn't follow through though it leaves a bit of presence in the aftertaste. Gains some as it warms though.

Overall: Good flavor with a nice dose of dryness (not too much which i like) mixed with some mineral and bitterness. Be patient with the body as it improves nearing to room temp.

 989 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jeremy7
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A draft pint at the Libertine in Calgary, first time at this place, and first time for this beer.
Clear copper color, shiny gold highlights. Dense, off white foam leaves a solid head and thick coating of lace.
It smells of caramel malt, then a good shot of and grapefruit, floral hops.
The taste has lots of hop bitterness, pine and citrus. Enough malt backing to keep it from being overly sharp or acidic.
Medium carbonation, body, and mouth feel. Slightly dry finish, nice citrus aftertaste.

 498 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Russell Brewing 'Blood Alley ESB' @ 5.5% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchase for $7

A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to a clear amber in the glass with a medium size off white head leaving a minimal spotty lace along the pint glass

S-very citrus almost IPA like , hints of caramel in the back

T-crisp and clean tasting Bitter , doesn't have that IPA vibe

MF-mild medium carbonation , big medium body , the bitterness doesn't overly stay on the palate , seems to only linger

Ov-good beer , try it

prost LampertLand

 528 characters

Photo of Ravenonrock
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BcCraft710
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Idrankthat
4/5  rDev +1%

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Russell Blood Alley Bitter from Russell Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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