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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPANelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

235 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 235
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 11
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malts (pilsner, cara-crystal and munich), hops (nelson sauvin) and yeast.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 03-14-2009)
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Ratings: 235 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BretSikkink


3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange color, nothing terribly special about the appearance once its been served. There's a fair amount of rockiness and stick to the head that inclines me to tip the score up just a hair. Hoppy nose alludes to the idea of the hop focus behind this beer. I can imagine some grape-like vinous character into this aroma without too much trouble. There's also a little citrus and a bit of funkiness in there.

Aggressive hopping does a number on the generally modest malts. Backbone of toast and maybe some peanut meat alongside the requisite caramel and toffee notes. The Sauvin Nelson hops are slightly bitter, bringing a little pine resin along with grapefruit pith and an odd twist of maybe pineapple.

Not my favorite beer overall. There's a good reason that most beers blend different hop strains. Kind of a one-trick pony, and I found this one to be a flat, syrupy drinking experience on draft. Not terrible and overbearing, but far from elite.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 03:43:30 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of loren01


3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bubbly copper color, nice head with good lace down the glass
S: Tangerine, orange scents very evident
T: Caramelly flavors up front with a spicy/citrus hop burst
M: Medium bodied beer, crisp mouthfeel
D: Tasty brew, not my favorite in the series but very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 00:24:10 | More by loren01
Photo of brdc


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting idea, with the same base beer and a single, different hop which allows you to "study" the differences between each hop variety. I just wish they had added some information about the "base beer".

We are trying four on the same night, now moving to Nelson Sauvin and Nuggett.
I cannot say I understand why chosing Nelson Sauvin, which I had to make some research to find out it is a particular variety from New Zealand I had never heard of before.
Both pour a nice, dark golden, Nelson Sauvin hazier.
Very nice, fluffy and long lasting off white head, with very good and long lasting chunky lacing. Very nice presentation.
Toasted, caramel malts form the base for an aroma that is grossly and overpoweringly dominated by grapefruits, along with an unusual bale field smell. It is at times unidimensional.
The aroma on the Nuggett is much more delicate, complex and actually more pleasant, but I do not like grapefruits.
The flavor follows suit; light caramel cookie base, still with a predominantly hoppy taste,
heavily bitter and grapefruity here.
Both are medium bodied.

A very interesting experiment, in a very good beer. I would say I prefer Nuggett very close to Warrior, then Cascade and Sauvin. As far as hops goes in my particular palate, Cascade and Sauvin go a bit too bitter and citrusy, with way too mucvh grapefruit on the Sauvin. Still a fun experiment that I recommend to all beer lovers.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 00:36:04 | More by brdc
Photo of PhxHorn


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one pours a medium yellow with a one inch white head. Smells lightly of citrus. Tastes mildly of citrus, but no flavor in particular stands out. Unremarkable is the word that keeps coming to mind. No oxidation flavor, but other than that it tastes like an IPA that's been sitting around for awhile. Carbonation is a bit light. Nothing special about this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 05:10:26 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of ZAP


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Big snowcone like frothy off white head...excessive for my liking.

S-I get a lot of pine along with a strong tobacco/weed element. Very pungent

T-Hops exude a similar impression on the taste....a lot of cannibus and tobacco along with the piney notes...malt seems sweeter with a slight caramel flavor.

M-Pretty hop forward....body is a solid medium..I don't like the charged up texture.

D-This is interesting to try but it doesn't really do a whole lot for me. I'd reach for a lot of IPA's before this one but it is unique.
Thanks to BigHuge for acquiring this hard to find IPA for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 04:54:06 | More by ZAP
Photo of Reaper16


3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle, best by 02/23/2011, served into a tulip glass

Pours a murky, hazy, copper sort of brown. Eggshell white foam crests up to two and a half fingers. Soapy lacing spindles down the sides of glass. The head makes the appearance work.

The Nelson Sauvin hops lend a vinous, dry sort of fruit character. Red grapes with a spritz of California grapefruit. There is some sourness coming from somewhere, like some sour grain mixed with perfume.

The lupulin character presents itself on the tongue as grapefruit and distant pineapple. It isn't as drying as the nose suggests it will be. The malt is biscuity and increasingly doughy as the beer warms. This beer, while solid, is not as vibrant as I would like.

The mouthfeel is hard to gauge at first. It seems like it is on the lighter end of medium bodied but the carbonation is pretty overactive for the first ten minutes after pouring. Once the prickly sensation dies down the carbonation level is pretty darn low. Weird. The drinkability is OK. This doesn't taste good enough to drink a lot of and it doesn't hold up to sipping for a longer than a half hour but aside from that it is solid.

This is the second beer that I've had (along with Alpine's Nelson) that has featured the Nelson Sauvin hop and I have been blown away by neither one. It is a hop that seems to bring good flavors to the table but not at the levels of intensity or clarity to really let the beer shine. This is a pretty solid IPA; one that, like the other Mikkeller Single Hop IPAs, is valuable more for its educational properties than anything else.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 18:48:34 | More by Reaper16
Photo of BEERchitect


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bright introduction to the fairly unknown Nelson Sauvin hops. Fruity and tawny, the beer takes a distinct wine-like or boozy turn.

Like all other Mikkeller Single Hop Series beer, the beer takes on a deep copper color with greater than normal haze. Great formation and retainage of off white foam and good lacing. A good but hazy look even for an IPA.

Fruity/citrus aromas emmit from the hops, but with a quick and sturdy rebuttal from the biscuity and caramelized malts. The beer takes a distinct wine-like tawny aroma, similar to gin or other fruit-forward alcohols.

Flavors of the malt hit first but with the white grape, juniper, under-rippended berry notion following closely behind. Bitterness seems sharp and seems to amplify the bitterness of the alcohol is quite a boozy fashion. Interestingly, the beer seems to have a more estery fruitiness because of the hops used. Finishes with a cool/minty tawny-tanic flavor.

Creamy and medium fullness early but the alcohols and hop bitterness seems to thin the beer without the classic dry-maltiness and smooth hop bitterness that I've seen in previous Single Hop Mikkellers.

This may be my least favorite beer in the series. Not saying that this hop doesn't work but I think it would pair well with Amarillo or Saaz hops for more roundness in flavor/aroma and for smoother bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 01:30:28 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Knapp85


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a golden orange color with a generous amount of head. The lacing is pretty sticky so it holds pretty well to the glass. The smell of the beer is hoppy, it's also got a good aroma of malts in there too. The taste of the beer reminded me of a Belgian IPA, it's was earthy but still had a very lively taste. Interesting flavor for sure. The mouthfeel was pretty good. Overall I thought that this one was interesting. All of these are worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 03:13:48 | More by Knapp85
Photo of popery


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with the Cascade version, I find this to be an interesting exercise in brewing, but it isn't a particularly great IPA in its own right. I appreciate the opportunity to taste the Nelson Sauvin hop in its own right. This beer looks just fine. It's a darkened amber with an off-white head. It appears essentially the same as the Cascade version. I imagine Mikkeller uses very similar grain bills for the Single Hop IPA series. The malt imparts a simple caramel sweetness. The hops smell and taste like a combination of grapefruit and sweet, pungent floral tones. It's not a variety that I've ever tried alone before, so it's an enjoyable learning experience. That said, it also doesn't work terribly well entirely on its own. Something is missing without a more varied hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 06:52:23 | More by popery
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 1/1/2010. Bottle. Pours a cloudy dirty orange with a super thick off-white head. Aroma of light sweet fruits and caramel malt. Flavor of sweet caramel malt (with some odd salty vegetal notes too) and a touch of light citrusy hops in the finish. Overall a decent IPA but not one of my favorites of the single hop series.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 16:58:43 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of MarkJBurch

New York

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

07-03-2013 16:18:37 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

01-29-2012 06:16:00 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of TasteTester


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

01-01-2012 23:16:27 | More by TasteTester
Photo of Brewsed

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

01-03-2012 22:15:25 | More by Brewsed
Photo of jophish17


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

12-24-2011 07:00:44 | More by jophish17
Photo of JustinMatthew


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

09-25-2012 23:15:35 | More by JustinMatthew
Photo of rhhjr

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

02-21-2012 16:05:18 | More by rhhjr
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cadmium orange color with a foamy buff colored head that occupied the general majority of the glass upon the pour similar to their tomahawk style. Head retention was very good leaving a shellacking on the glass for a lacing that stuck well.

S: Strange hop aroma meets you upfront, a mixture of wet onion grass, oranges and a touch of minced garlic. Leafy green tomato leafs with hints of musky sage rounds things out in an otherwise strange experience that is hard to put your finger, or nose on. Props for a different approach and hop usage.

T: Thin at the start, toasted watery grains with a bitterness of lemon juice and warm piney flavors. Stalky stems with some sweet maple syrup and French toast breadiness arrives in the middle. On the swallow finds some lemon juice with some herbaceous notes and a moderate bitterness on the fade.

M: Light bodied, feels a bit watery at times, no wheres near the malt support of their tomahawk. Some toasted memories and warmth with a fading flowery bitterness on the trail.

D: Woundn't invest in a six pack here. A quite strange aromatic appeal worthy of sniffing for ones self, but the flavor is slightly better then average and seems best suited left at a single serving.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 01:19:28 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of danieelol


3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a nice orange with great head and lacing.

Smell is grape and citrus, big English IPA-style malt character though. Remind me a bit of old-ish Lucky 13.alt. Baked bread, doughiness.

Taste is more grape and leaves, Ribena-esque. More English malt-funk.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbed but not too bitter.

Overall hard to judge this beer. It's enjoyable but not too IPA-like. I suspect it's quite old but the BB is 28/09/13 so it's hard to be sympathetic. Still enjoyable and interesting.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 12:41:08 | More by danieelol
Photo of Nugganooch


3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 10/14/11
*12oz bottle to pint glass

A: Pours a darkened hazy amber color with a two finger khaki foam whip and some intermittent lacing. Light carbonation evident.

S: Smells of sweet bready malts with a little spice and fruit. Not really anything indicative to the use of Nelson hops that I would expect. No signature wine grape aromas or simply they are too muted by the malt forwardness here.

T: Pretty pungent and slightly catty with hops. A big caramelized malt base. Bready cracker influence. Some nice tropical fruit notes like passion fruit and I can pick out hints of grapevine through all the sugars. Finish is slightly sweet.

M: Nice light creamy texture overall with decent carbonation. Lower to mid body range. Sticky sleek mouthcoat.

D: Overall a decent brew but not really a showcase of Nelson Hops. Didn’t pick up much at all in the aromas and taste seems a bit muddled with way too much caramels going on to really display those signature hop flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 19:16:31 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of scottfrie


3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy caramel amber color with a huge, very dense, light tan oily head that took its sweet time slowly receding into a thick film with a raised column of dense head in the middle of the beer. Epic lacing was left as well. This is one good looking beer.
S: Smell falls pretty flat. Not picking up much of anything. I'm no expert on nelson hops, but they smell pretty mild. Hints of citrus hop and a subtle sweetness.
T: Notes of mild citrus flavors including lemon, with white wine like qualities. Mild flavors overall. Maybe a hint of toffee from the malt. Aftertaste is tingly and lightly bitter. Good flavors overall.
M: Medium body, light and refreshing mouthfeel with even carbonation.
D: My knowledge of nelson hops begins and ends with Alpine's Nelson, but this beer tastes nothing like that west coast hop bomb. I like this beer though. It's light and very drinkable, and the hops and wine-like flavors work very well. I definitely respect Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and his brewing abilities.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 04:59:59 | More by scottfrie
Photo of nhindian


3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass.

A - Pours a rustic brown, very cloudy and opaque. A huge, 3-fingered head explodes quickly, filling every inch of the glass where the liquid doesn't cover. The retention lasts for a long time, and the head itself is rocky and thick. The lacing is pretty nice as well, with foam clinging all around the glass.

S - The aroma is full of tropical fruits in the form of pineapple and mango, which a healthy dose of grape too. There is much more malt than I was anticipating, as the caramel comes in to complement the fruits. In addition, I am getting some hop herbs and spice as well.

T - I am a little disappointed with the flavor from the initial taste. I am not really getting the wonderful fruits that were so present in the nose, but rather I am left with a lot of malt sweetness coupled with hop bitterness. As it sits on the mouth, the flavors do develop a bit, but it's too little too late as they are only fleeting traces of what they could be. Grassy, with remnants of tropical fruits.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate carbonation. This doesn't leave much of an impression on the palate as it is somewhat thin and unassuming. A dry, resinous finish leaves a clean feeling, however, which makes drinking this easy.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I think this is a great concept to really pick apart the nuances of different hops, but when the malt presence is as high as it is without a stronger hop flavor, it just seems like an opportunity gone by the way-side. It'd be interesting to try these all side-by-side, but I have only seen a select few of these.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 04:06:38 | More by nhindian
Photo of heygeebee


3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Mikkeller - will it live up to the hype?

Pours a gold / copper colour with a pillowy two finger head. Looks wonderful. So good so far...

Sensational powerful aromas of pineapple and citrus - a sign of greatness to come?


Standard hop-driven one-dimensional taste. No pineapple, nothing from the nose in the taste. Some other citrus, some hops, quite dry..

Full bodied in the mouth and carbonation is right.

Begs the question, tho - at $11 a bottle in Aus, is it worth 2-3 other beers???

In a word - !

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 10:25:02 | More by heygeebee
Photo of david18

New York

3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had many of these beers, both in bottles and on draft, and in general i'm very impressed with them. I was at Rattle n Hum this weekend and had a twelve ounce draft of this. It was not my favorite among the single hop selections but quite good none the less. Very good color, ok aroma. A little light on the flavor buy a very good beer none the less.

I liked it and will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2010 20:31:32 | More by david18
Photo of jenray


3.25/5  rDev -19%

08-21-2012 00:36:31 | More by jenray
Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA from Mikkeller ApS
90 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.