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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale - Blue Mountain Brewery

Not Rated.
Full Nelson Virginia Pale AleFull Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

175 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 175
Hads: 547
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 26
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 11-02-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 175 | Hads: 547
Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Highline RxR, on to the beer:

Half an inch of head forms top this light glowing orange liquid. Good spotty lacing adds a little texture to the appearance of the beer. The beer has a clean, crisp aroma. Sweet grapefruit and cantaloupe come to mind, and they make me want to take a drink right away. My curiosity was rewarded; I get a powerful hit of hops, a light maltiness which makes a small, but meaningful difference in this beer. The beer has a pleasing bitterness. Piney, honeydew, kiss of honey all makes marks here. Although this pale ale is light/medium bodied, Full Nelson is not afraid to show its strength in flavor. (638 characters)

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle a nice IPA pour is yellow in color with a white head smell of pine and hops taste is the same but slight enough flavor to be tastey but still drinkable a solid ipa (175 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don’t recall having tried anything from this brewery, but I was glad to give their Pale Ale a try. It has 5.9% ABV.

Look-It poured a slightly hazy golden amber with a honey tinge characteristic. The head was diminished even after a vigorous pour. I anticipated a noticeable sugar content in this one, but was hoping that it wasn’t going to be syrupy.

Smell-It smelled of leafy hops with citrus. I also get caramel and vanilla.

Taste-It tastes more bitter than one would expect from a wimpy ass pale ale with hardly any alcohol in it. It was a pleasant surprise that went well with the ample malts that were honey, caramel, and toasted grain. The hops had a citrus taste like lemon and orange peel. I also get a note of fresh autumn leaves which is appropriate, because those light orange hues were reflected in the appearance of this beer.

Mouthfeel-It is medium-bodied and crisp. It is sweet and only slightly differentiated as if the malts and hops aren’t integrated properly together. At least it isn’t syrupy, however, but it tasted more like a weak IPA than a true pale ale. See my review on Flying Dog’s Pale Ale to see why I consistently have yet to taste a pale ale worthy of the name.

Overall-It is a nice beer and is tasty, but isn’t stellar. It didn’t fully own the pale ale variety name, but I would try this one again maybe once or twice. (1,373 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, caramel gold color with a fluffy, low profile, white head that settles out into a thin surface coat with decent cling along the glass. Aromas of resinous pine pitch, tangy and tart grapefruit, subtle caramel sweetness, grassy notes, and subtle lemon zest. Flavors are roasted and richly sweet forward, with caramel out in front, followed closely by more vegetal and bitter notes of grass and pine tassel. Citrus highlights of grapefruit and orange, with subtle pepper spice and floral notes, too. Very balanced and dynamic palate on a full, smooth body with a dry undertone. The aftertaste is grassy and piney, lingering on through the smooth, dry, crisp finish. This is a really good, solid, balanced beer. (768 characters)

Photo of willic
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great Virginia hoppy ale! Very nice in every aspect, this beer can hold it's own in the world of aggressive hops. Very well balanced, at first you notice the cascade, then other hop characters, then again in the finish, you taste taste the cascade. I really like this beer! (275 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD 5/15. Pours a hazy medium amber (copper). Outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

Quite nice nose of citrus hops with a subtle pine hop background over a subtle caramel.

Almost light medium body with a texture that is somewhat smooth. Superbly carbonated with a nice effervescence from the middle on.

The outstanding flavor profile is intense, a bit complex and very well balanced. It begins with cascade hops (a blended citrus and pine flavor with a hint of spice). In the middle a balancing sweetness emerges against a mild bitterness with a slant towards grapefruit. The finish is a lingering rind like mild bitterness. (654 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Pours a deep orange. Lacing is left behind on the glass. Solid looking pale ale.
SMELL: Hoppy, leafy aroma with some citrus notes.
TASTE: Citrusy hops , honey, bread, fair bitterness. Just a touch of melon.
FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Fairly crisp and refreshing with lingering hop notes.
OVERALL: A nice sessionable pale ale. Easy drinking. Had it in the can and poured into a glass. (412 characters)

Photo of BuccoFan
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while in central VA over the weekend, at a restaurant with a poor draft menu, so I thought I'd give it a try. Pretty pleasantly surprised. Color was a sort of golden-ish copper. Quarter inch head that laced very well. Tasty flavor with a solid body feel that didn't lose anything in the finish. As I said, pleasantly surprised. Would definitely order again. (373 characters)

Photo of danmouer
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm tasting this one from a can that is two days past its "best by" date. The pour produces a moderately full head of foam that fairly quickly subsides to a nice wreath with a lacey surface and well decorated sides to my goblet. The beer is perfectly clear, medium amber in color, and absolutely appropriate for an ENGLISH pale ale.

The aroma is primarily malty. Very lovely aromas of vanilla sugar cookies and caramel. I have had this beer often and, when it is fresh, there is no question that the hops are aromatic American types. i think the brewery actually uses estate grown Cascades. But in this example, there are no hints of pineapple or tangerines. The hope contribution to the aroma is slight, but clearly earthy. There is a very subtle note of oxidation, as well, although I don't find it detrimental in this case.

The flavor is wonderful. i think too many hopheads have reviewed this lovely ale. It is very much like a fine English strong ale or ESB. The body is medium full, rich, creamy. The hop bitterness is spicy, bracing and palate cleansing. Slightly more bitter than I personally prefer, but very appropriate for a big, rich, classical ale.

Mouthfeel is, as I have hinted, medium-full, creamy, rich, beautifully balanced. The finish is dry, long, slightly too bitter for my liking, but otherwise fantastic.

I really appreciate that Blue Mountain is making a very nice example of a classic Burton-style strong ale. Keep in mind that "strong" is a relative term. This is a fine English bitter pumped up to the "export" or ESB level in alcohol and hoppiness. Well done, Blue Mountain. Even this "past date" aluminum can is a very fine brew. (1,665 characters)

Photo of Dr_Farts
2.35/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The only real shining feature of this beer is the body, between med to full, nice round mouthfeel. If only the other features were as good. Bland and forgetful. (161 characters)

Photo of qchic
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yes, found some fresh Full Nelson (which has been an issue in the past). It's a good VA pale ale with a nice citrus-pine hop/sweet caramel malt balance. Drinkable--wouldn't mind a touch more carbonation, but finishes pleasantly dry and bitter. Almost powdery. Interesting enough to keep me coming back. (302 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

A: Golden amber, cloudy, its a gusher with 5 fingers of off white head, great retention and some random chunky lacing. A little visible carbonation.


S: Malt, caramel, grapefruit, candy, floral, daisies. Light red chilly heat.


T: Sweet with floral quality, daisies, honey, light dull hopping on the end A little grapefruit candy.


M: Medium slightly syrupy body, little light bubbled carbonation.


O: Well done. Bought in Asheville, NC, drank in Kunming China Sept 8th, 2014. I really am enjoying this kind of APA on a hot Mid Autumn Festival’s night. Full moon, hot weather, family holiday. Especially nice with the weather. (638 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
4/5  rDev +3.4%

From variety case, best buy dated 9/14

This was a pretty good pale ale. Nice and orangey/citrusy with a full mouthfeel. The finish was a bit
lacking, but overall drinkable/serviceable and would have again. Decent APA... (224 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
4/5  rDev +3.4%

This is a very nice pale ale, referred to as a "strong pale ale" by the brewery. It has a very assertive hop aroma on the nose, and a solid, well propotioned malt bill to balance out the beer.

I would definitely have this beer again, and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys a nice hop-forward beer. Enjoy. (313 characters)

Photo of slusk
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice clear copper with a thin but persistent off white head.

A: floral citrusy hops I the forefront with a nice caramel and toffee backbone, toasty malt compliment.

T: Nice floral citrus hop with a bit of pine and grapefruit. Some lemon zest and a bit of orange malt accentuate a nice biscuit, caramel and toffee base. Bright, clean flavors in this well balanced brew. Bread crust undertones. Bitterness is moderate and lingers a bit in a semi dry finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with little to no astringency noticed.

O: A very nice and well balanced beer. Good complexity with a nice discernible hop and malt flavor. Clean flavors with a tiny bit of an English flare... but still shines as an APA. I'd buy this again. (765 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 10/2014. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, caramel, toasted bread, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, caramel, toasted bread, floral, grass, light pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange zest, floral, grass, caramel, toasted bread, light pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, balance, and robustness of juicy citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale ale. All around good balance and complexity of juicy citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,476 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The best thing about this beer is the appearance. It has a nice crystal clear deeper amber color with a nice beige head to match. Light carbonation.
The aroma was light and lean.
The taste is good but also lean with hardly any flavor.
Needs some work in my opinion. (265 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Bar of Soap Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours an orangeish medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Sweet cereal grain malt with a moderate hop presence and a bit of booze on the back end.

T- Bready malt that's slightly sweet with a nice hop balance. Bitterness is there and lingers a bit but isn't quite strong enough to necessarily cross over into IPA territory. Drinkable and flavorful enough to keep me sipping.

M- A bit dry from the hops and also quite viscous. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the full side.

O- I wasn't expecting too much from this but it's pretty tasty. (804 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Very clear deep rich gold color with one finger of foamy white head, little lacing.
S - Big caramel malt, a little citrus, some floral notes, a hint of toasted or nutty kinda malt too.
T - Big mix of malt, some really off nutty and bitter flavor, earthy hops, a little citrus zest.
M - Chewy and really hangs on to your palate.
O - Just ok, kinda really odd in some places, malt its a bit over-the-top (429 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours slightly reddish-brown-orange with decent sustaining head. I must admit to just getting over a cold, so smell was difficult; my girlfriend noted "bitter smells".

The taste grabs you right up front with an almost puckering bitterness. Grassy, earthy, and a bit lemony, and drying in nature. Underneath is a caramel or brown sugar maltiness, but it is overshadowed by the hops. The strength of the hops bitterness makes this seem more on the IPA side, while the earthy feel of the whole beer does try to fit into what I think of for APAs.

If you are looking for something akin to a palate-wrecker, this might work. The beer is a little one-dimensional, however. (667 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: pure translucent light amber; no head at this establishment; quickly fading cascading lacing
S: piney, musty
T: per the scent, pine and must.
M: dry, a bit of alcoholic bite, standard for an American IPA
O: A low-complexity IPA in disguise. By random chance, it's a perfect choice paired with a lamb stew, but is likely just average on its own compared to other IPAs.

20oz / Pint Glass / VGP, MD (401 characters)

Photo of RVigz
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear amber with a good light one inch head.

Smell: A sweet hoppy smell.

Taste: Tasted like sweet/ever so slightly dried fruit with a medium hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a hint of bitterness to leave the palate wanting more.

Overall: A medium hoppy/sweet beer that has great drinkability and finishes smooth. (337 characters)

Photo of zvir21
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer smelled like a run of the mill common wheat beer. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the combination of a smooth feel and bitter hopiness. I gave it to my fiance' who doesn't like beer but tries a lot of it and her first reaction was how smooth it was. It was very fizzy. When i opened the bottle it bubbled over. All in all a good bitter beer and I plan to have it again. (388 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to AtlCarl for carpet-bombing me into submission yet again with a box full of good-looking beer. This 12 oz. can looked lonely amongst all the bombers, so it's going to be put down right away. Best by 1/14.

Pour is standard orange pale, clear, filtered. Smells like beer. Really. There's nothing distinguishable from the Blatz my dad used to drink. Just beery.

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale made me wince. The pale malts jar with a hoppiness that's bitter enough to be Alan Harper. There's some breadiness, bit of toast, little caramel, but what it comes down to is the firefight between malt & hop. They don't co-exist terribly well for some reason that's escaping my conscious mind.

Decent enough, but there's an element lacking that I can't quite put my middle finger on. (786 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Poured clear amber with a creamy white head. Moderate retention and a little lacing left

S- caramel malt and pine hops

T-has a really nice balance between the caramel malt and the hops' pine and citrus. Not overpowering in favor of either

M-has pleasing fullness with a little bite from the hops

O- an easy drinking full flavor pale ale. Could see this being a regular (374 characters)

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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.