Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Russell Holiday Experience (late, but awesome.)

Just before the Christmas holidays, the Russell Beer Genie stopped by my apartment and granted us a wish for beer with some amazing creations! I promised him (and Russell Brewing) that this would kick-start the blog back into action!

What exactly did I receive? Check out this sweet picture -- I received 3 bomber bottles and a six-pack of Russell's Angry Scotch Ale! I took my time enjoying them, as there were other spirits which induced inebriation over the holidays. Either way, it's a new year with new posts! I've got a new job, which allows me the free time to actually have a life, and enjoy it too!

Below, you'll find the Punch Bowl IPA (6.5% ABV; 65 IBU), the Farm Fresh IPA (6.5% ABV), and the Timbertrain Coffee Stout (6.5% ABV; 50 IBU). I've previously reviewed the Wee Angry Scotch Ale.

A Wee Angry Scotch Ale, Punch Bowl IPA, Farm Fresh IPA, & Timbertrain Coffee Stout
 by Russell Brewing, @ Brewji Home
Photo: Brewji

The last few weeks have been tough, being the household (and general family) tech support guy, not having a computer that "works". Likewise, there's a bandage solution that allows me to post this!

Let's kick it off with the one I was most eager to try - the Timbertrain Coffee Stout (6.5% ABV; 50 IBU). As many of you already know, coffee stouts get me wet with excitement (salivary glands, obviously...). This stout smells like it's a dark ale (maybe a Rickard's Dark?) infused with coffee. On taste, you get a more medium-bodied mouthfeel with a roasted cocoa malt in the middle taste, which stands out the most. It's a bit more robust and a little less full-bodied than a "stout", but it still ranks as one of my favourite beers from Russell. Great collaboration on this one!

I give the Timbertrain Coffee Stout a two-heads-are-better-than-one 9.5 / 10
Tammy gives the Timbertrain Coffee Stout a those-must-be-some-magic-beans 9.0 / 10

Next up, we have the Punch Bowl IPA (6.5% ABV; 65 IBU). Now, Tammy isn't necessarily the biggest fan of IPAs, but I've had my phase of "my beer is cooler than yours because I can hold my bitterness gag reflex". IPAs are definitely a category I won't let go of, but it takes a good IPA to wow me. The Punch Bowl sets off notes of citrus and particularly grapefruit in the scent. On first taste, I got orange notes, followed by some sweetness and then the tartness of the grapefruit and bitterness of the hops kicked in. It's like the fruit medley of IPAs. I'd probably pound a pint at my local taproom.

I give the Punch Bowl IPA a not-my-type-but-totally-do-able 7.0 / 10
Tammy gives the Punch Bowl IPA a surprisingly-impressed 6.0 / 10

Finally, to end the magic wishes granted by the Russell Beer Genie, we switch over to the Farm Fresh IPA (6.5% ABV). Now, judging by the smell, it's your standard IPA with a little citrus and a little hops. On first taste, however, it feels like a mix between a Berliner Weisse and an IPA. I know, it sounds kind of weird, but maybe that's where the Farm Fresh terminology comes in. It initially reminded me of the Thirsty Farmer Saison from Granville Island, but then it tasted like someone poured that directly into a hoppy Northwest Pale Ale. Not quite my glass of ale, but I can see the flavour combinations and the intention behind the brew. I commend that.

I give the Farm Fresh IPA an honest thanks-but-I'll-stick-to-the-stout 4.0 / 10.
Tammy didn't get a chance to try this one...she wasn't home!

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