Hop Therapy
Russell Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
4.13 | pDev: 9.44%
Russell Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
Hop TherapyHop Therapy
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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 37 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Mar 24, 2015
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

3.44/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Aug 04, 2014
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Jul 04, 2014
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Jul 01, 2014
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oakbluff from Canada (MB)

2.87/5  rDev -30.5%
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.

Jun 07, 2014
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SebD from Canada (ON)

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Apr 25, 2014
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LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
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

Dec 31, 2013
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leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Jul 20, 2013
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dirtylou from New York

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Jun 17, 2013
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smekermann from Canada (BC)

4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

May 18, 2013
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
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

Apr 25, 2013
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papat444 from Canada (QC)

4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle, no freshness info.

Appearance: A totally hazy orange-gold body, thick 2-3 finger foam that drapes itself on the side of the glass.

Smell: Nice sweet hops, grapefruit flesh, oranges, intense and good.

Taste: Piney at first, sweetish a bit but balanced, lots of grapefruit and fresh clementines.

Mouthfeel: Deceptively drinkable, supremely balanced.

Overall: The balance on this DIPA is incredible. Very good hop fix.

Jan 29, 2013
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CookstLiquor from Canada (BC)

4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bomber. Pours a bright cloudy yellow colour. The smell of this beer is really amazing. So complex and fruity: melon, banana, grapefruit, citrus peel. Lots of similar flavours on the palate with some added floral and spice notes in there as well. WIth an IBU rating of 100+ it's no surprise that the finish is puckeringly bitter after a few drinks. This may well be one the best BC examples of an Imperial IPA.

Dec 27, 2012
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FondueVoodoo from Canada (BC)

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy tangerine with just a skiff of tight white foamy head.

S: Citrus smells and tropical fruit - big juicy pineapple scent with just a slight piney note and sweet toffee. Noticeable lacking in malts, replaced by terrific juicy fruits.

T: First taste of sweet toffee followed by big piney hops that stayed hidden in the scent - surprise taste - solid work! A smooth creamy middle note mixed with grapefruit rind and fruit.

M: Again a surprise in the mouthfeel, starts out with a quick fizz and leads to a thick syrup with creaminess that covers the entire mouth. Great combo of mouth feels - again solid work.

O: Hop Therapy offers a number of unexpected turns in the smell, taste and mouth feel, and expertly mixes the unexpected. Rivals some of the best double IPA's out there without breaking a sweat. We paired it with a spicy cauliflower curry - that allowed the hops to sing and the sweet toffee to stand strong. A bold brew worth getting your hands on.

Dec 24, 2012
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canucklehead from Canada (BC)

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. Big and bold with luscious hops that really ooze out of the beer. I like other DIPAs from BC such as Amnesciac but this is the first where the hops come alive above the malt . I really hope that this is not a one off brew as well as Russell is really hitting on all cylinders lately. One of the best BC beers of the year .

Dec 23, 2012
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CellarBrau from Canada (BC)

4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy golden pour with nice carbonation and a decent but somewhat short lived head. This beer could be dry hopped and unfiltered so I'll give it a pass.

S - Smells amazing. Hops! Maybe kiwi with an excess of floral and spicy notes.

T - Tastes like it should: super hoppy and fruity. Malt is almost absent to make room for tremendous hopping. A little citrus but mostly tropical fruits and some traditional hoppy notes. It's big and complex so I won't list a fruit salad but you should try it yourself.

M - So drinkable that it's rediculous. It's moderate to light in body and drinks like a much smaller beer. Creamy and VERY drinkable.

O - This has been sorely missed in our local BC beer line up. No one else is making a double IPA that is this easy drinking and fully hopped. I'm kind of surprised it's coming from Russell Brewing but I'm not complaining either. I just hope this isn't just a one off.

Dec 20, 2012
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a hazy amber gold with a finger of thick white head that leaves some nice bands.

Smell. BIG tropical fruits! Pineapple, mango, papaya with some great floral, citrusy and grassy hops. Some nice bready yeast and light toasty grains.

Taste. Red whole grapefruits, bitter rind and all, maybe some orange and lemon rind. Some fresh pine, just a little toasted malt. Lots of that bitter grapefruit rind in the fairly clean finish. Not getting any alcohol. Really nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with below medium carbonation.

Overall. Really awesome new IPA. Seems like a lot of care went into this one. Ranks among the best of BC's IPAs.

Dec 11, 2012
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DaftCaskBC from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: slight white head over murky and resiny golden amber liquid.

S: Simcoe hop aromas of spearmint predominantly; along with some grass, earth and leaves.

T: Mint, pine, aspirin, grass, flowers, grapefruit and alcohol.

M: Medium viscosity with a thick resinous character and a medium to low level of fine carbonation. Some drying from the alcohol and high IBUs.

O: This is a heavily hopped imperial IPA. You are about to find out whether or not you like Simcoe hops with this beverage.

Dec 03, 2012
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dirty straw with a creamy white head, good retention and it leaves some awesome lace.

S: Very dank hop aroma with some underlying hints of sponge toffee.

T: Lots of resiny hop flavour: pine, grapefruit rind, Amarillo/Aspirin, spearmint, more bong-water than the aroma suggested. It's bordering on briny, but hasn't stepped over the edge. Solid bitterness, but not at all brash... it's probably not quite the 100 IBU they targeted, but very close. There's a little sponge toffee from the malt, but this is really all about the hops. So much awesome flavour, the alcohol really sneaks up on you.

M: Well-attenuated, smooth & creamy with a light hop acidity and a crisp, slightly drying finish. Perfect.

O: Russell has been stepping up their game, but I'm still shocked. This is certainly among the best DIPA's in Canada.

Dec 02, 2012
Hop Therapy from Russell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 37 ratings