Russell Farm Fresh IPA

Reviewed by on November 9, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Russell Brewing Company

  • Origin: Surrey, BC, CA

  • Rated On: November 9, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Russell’s Farm Fresh IPA is the latest in the currently fashionable beer marketing trend of ‘wet’, ‘fresh’, or ‘harvest’ hopped IPAs, which take advantage of the fall harvest bounty (at least in the northern hemisphere) of hops to add to this new form of seasonal brew.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with two hefty fingers of puffy, chunky, and mildly creamy off-white head, which leaves some streaky and dense tree branch lace around the glass as it gently sinks out of sight.

It smells of bready, rather doughy caramel malt, a bit of phenolic yeast, toothless citrus flesh, wet pine and musty green leaves, a suggestion of free-agent dank, and a twinge of paint thinner booziness. The taste is more bready, grainy, and fairly sweet caramel malt, muddled and consistently benign citrus notes, Pine-Sol, freshly fallen leaves, a now retreated yeastiness, and some equally and thankfully turtling medicinal alcohol astringency. The bubbles are pretty understated in their barely supportive frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and generally smooth, with a growing airy creaminess as things start to shed those fridge temperatures. It finishes sweet, and mostly malty, as the citrus, faintly tropical fruity, and wan pine forest hop esters are not about to pull a fast one and jump out from behind a curtain on us.

I guess the thing with fresh-hop brews is that you take what you get, all at the mercy of Mother Nature, much like vintners do. And here, all the marketing babble about the malt taking a backseat to the ‘star’ that are fresh hops just falls flat – switch it around, and that’s what we have – a quite malt-heavy affair, one in which I had to really buckle down to find, and then scribble about, the actual hoppiness.

Brady White

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