Hop Therapy | Russell Brewing Company

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Hop TherapyHop Therapy
37 Ratings
Hop TherapyHop Therapy

Brewed by:
Russell Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Derek on 12-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of Tmappin
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kmat10
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle poured into a Red Racer pint glass. A fairly clear bright peach color with two fingers of eggshell-white creamy/frothy head that becomes more compact over time but never goes away.

Aroma is the expected pungent hops, lots of grapefruit and orange rind/juice with a dollop of tangerine for added seasoning, pine boughs and sap, a resinous spice that vaguely recalls fresh pepper. A touch of cracker-like malt that lets the hops shine forth. Minimal tropical or orchard fruit notes. Palate largely showcases these citrus and pine flavors, along with a little herbal magic (sage?) and nice tannic flavors that recall strong green tea and a little spliff. Impressed by how dry this is. There is little overt sweetness like in some DIPAs, where there seems to be a need to provide some malt firepower to "balance" things. All that said, my mouth isn't numb either. Not yet. Oh, wait ... Yep, tingling a little now. The hop bill here emphasizes the citrus and herb/spice sectors of the hop palate. Again, little in the way of obvious tropical fruit flavors. I am getting some peach and apple late, and the booze is becoming more prominent.

I am finding this to be quite accessible from a body standpoint, drinkable and light considering the ABV and big hop flavors. Moderate carbonation. Finish is persistent, resinous, dry ... Some biscuit-like malts and tons of tannins.

Russell... Where did you guys come from, man? I'm digging it. The sheer hop resin power is top tier. Hits that sweet spot between caramel and citric/resinous, a feat that only a precious few DIPAs can manage, at least in this neck of the woods.

 1,629 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an opaque hazy bright orange colour with a finger of cream colored head.

S - A massive pine aroma with some grapefruit and a fairly prominent caramel sweetness. Overall, the aroma was fairly muted.

T - Big pine as citrus flavours with a big caramel sweetness. The advertised 100 IBUs are masked by the sweet caramel malt bill, which is a bit disappointing. Fairly plain for a double IPA.

M - Medium body; full of sticky hop resin. Light carbonation.

 466 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine is pretty intense with light caramel malt notes also noticeable. Taste is also pretty heavy on the citrus notes with plenty of piney hoppy notes with some lightly sweet caramel malt that can be detected and a bitter finish. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Enjoyable but unfortunately a tad too sweet for my taste.

 472 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Nice to see more of the small batch Russell offerings making it to Alberta - from East or West, I do not know, though the label does proclaim 'brewed in BC'.

This beer pours a slightly glassy, pale bronzed amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some streaky coral reef lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of musty pine and resinous leafy hops, orange and grapefruit rind, biscuity and crackery pale malt - with nary a trace of caramel or toffee to be found, really - subtly spicy yeast, further tropical fruit, a flinty mineral astringency, and more minty, grassy hop notes. The taste is more sharply bitter pine and leafy hops, bready, and now somewhat caramelized malt, toasted, and unbuttered breakfast biscuits, wet stone, a further drug-store minerality, thoroughly denatured grapefruit pith, and oh so little evidence of anything approaching 18-proof alcohol.

The carbonation is pretty understated, just a minor, if sassy at times frothiness, the body a plain Jane medium weight, and not particularly smooth, especially if you go looking for such a thing. It finishes generally dry, a bit of biscuity caramel persisting, I suppose, but in the end, this is really a showcase of big west-coast US hops, rendered through a Canuck filter.

A pretty decent big-ass IPA, the alcohol's whereabouts still more or less unaccounted for, while the hops fulfill their '100' IBU contractual obligations. Edgy, and enjoyable for it, the hops doing well in aping yer typical Yankee west coast IPA wankery (full disclosure: I am said sort of wanker), and making for a strangely drinkable version of the style. Good stuff.

 1,706 characters

Photo of oakbluff
2.87/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bomber- cloudy tangerine with a very fluffy white head. Nose- tropical fruits, slight pine. taste- fairly astringent, woody hop flavour with some peach. Not as sweet as expected, drinks quite cleanly just too astringent for my tastes. Not boozy at all for a 9% beer so has that going for it at least.

 300 characters

Photo of kjyost
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of jrenihan
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SebD
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice clear golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus (mostly grapefruit) resiny pine, toasty malts and some sweet caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some grapefruit, bitter pine resins, toasty malts, light toffee and some caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. Definitely doesn't feel like a 9% beer.

 607 characters

Photo of berley31
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Erik-P
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of LampertLand
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Russell Brewing's limited release 'Hop Therapy' a Double IPA with 100 IBU , @ 9.0% , served from (quite alot) of 650 ml bottle's purchased for around $9 each (ouch!)

A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to clear dark gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-not as overpowering as some , big pine presence

T-big tasty , piney , double IPA , tad rough on the swallow at first ,

MF-ok/mild carbonation , nice big body (ok I've had a few)

Ov-well worth it's 'cred' in Canadian beer , a must try !!

prost LampertLand

 568 characters

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of marvmoreno
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of leaddog
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a light copper with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell- Caramalts, leafy hops, pine resin, touch of tropical fruits.

Taste- Caramalts, leafy hops, and some pine resin. Caramalts and hops are nicely balanced. Finishes with a clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- A DIIPA that is nicely balanced between malts and hops. Overall, a pretty solid DIIPA.

 415 characters

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of CurtisD
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Geoffeweizen
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, split

Purchased @ Brewery Creek in Vancouver - Knowing there was a relatively new batch on the shelf, I was excited to grab this one. Lots of sediment and a bit of a stale aroma :( Malty, pineapple juice, peach candy, heavy pine. Perhaps past it's prime, perhaps just a bit malt forward. A dissapointment.

 319 characters

Photo of smekermann
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit: I had re-reviewed this, but then I found out that the original re-release date was two months prior. Thus, my re-review is worthless and I'm switching it back to my original rating. If you find this beer on the shelves at this point, though, you should probably just leave it there and pick up a Hopnotist instead. This beer is way past its prime at this stage.

Original review:
Before I even go on rambling, I should just come out and say it: this is, in my opinion, probably the best BC double IPA I've tried thus far. I've grown very skeptical of the type of IPA brewed in BC: to me, it feels very safe and very run-of-the-mill. It seems that Canadian brewers are afraid to match their US brethren in brewing distinguishable IPAs with a unique hop presence in favor of passable IPAs with an underwhelming hop presence and taste just to appeal to what they perceive to be the broader consumer base.

Doggz, look, if people in BC want IPAs, they probably want stuff that's at least comparable to what Washington and Oregon put out, ie. crisp, hoppy, West Coast-style IPAs. They don't want bland English IPAs, they don't want malty, mediocre IPAs (I'm looking at you, Amnesiac, and at you Granville Island brewing in general), they want a fresh, hoppy take on a, by now, familiar style. Why do you think Fat Tug and Central City IPA have trouble sitting on shelves? It's because people buy them. Why do you think the 39th & Cambie BCL keeps a steady stream of Green Flash West Coast IPA, even though when I talked to them a month and a half ago they told me it was a mistake and they would not order it again? It's because West Coast-style IPA flies off the shelves.

This Russell beer is among the best double IPA I've encountered on the rainy shores of British Columbia. It's brewed once, but I hope that when they see how fast their stock gets depleted they will work it into regular rotation. That seems to be my dream for all of these limited, one-off beers in BC: Lighthouse's Siren Red Ale, Russell's Hop Therapy, Central City's Double IPA... just make these beers either year-round or at least seasonal (edit: although I guess Central City's offering is seasonal; I've never seen it on shelves, though). Why would you want to limit your customers' exposure to this awesome, unique beer?

Anyway, I should probably talk about Hop Therapy instead of ranting about the BC beer scene. This beer has a pretty amazing hoppy smell as soon as you uncap it. It actually doesn't smell/taste like your regular "pine/grapefruit" IPA, instead it takes on some interesting earthy, grapefruit/onion characters, reminiscent of Nelson hops, even though apparently this beer doesn't use those.

The mouthfeel is very upfront with the hop aroma, again, very earthy and grapefruity in feel, with the aftertaste giving way to some sweet malts and almost none of the bitterness compared to something like Fat Tug. It's pretty much all alpha acids with none of the beta acid bitterness familiar to BC IPAs. Overall, this is a gorgeous beer; one that I will not only have again, but will actually share with my friends from Southern California, as it's good enough to stand up to Californian IPAs.

 3,189 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into tulip 24/4/12, cheers Rutager for the bottle

A hazy amberish orange, very tiny bubbles struggle to find their way to a short lived finger of foam that leaves lots of random polka dot lace

S fuzzy peach candy and lychee juice mix up with some faint pine and tangerine, some caramel malt and a little juicy fruit gum and candied pineapple, no idea where the 9% is hiding there's zero booze on the nose

T a little rind but its mellow, not quite as tropical as the nose but still pretty solid, a little dank and the bottle says dry but I get some gummy bear candy and still no booze anywhere

M medium bodied with low carbonation, feels a little flat but it has some life to it, rind on the finish with a slight floral aspect

O a well made brew and I'm impressed with how well they concealed the booze, very drinkable for a strong beer, this one will hurt you for sure

I'd probably have this one in my regular rotation if I could get it in Alberta, perhaps a matter of time as Russel Brewing already has some brews on the shelf out this way

 1,070 characters

Photo of 604growler
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of cbnz
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ericj551
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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Hop Therapy from Russell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 37 ratings