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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

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186 Reviews
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Full Nelson Virginia Pale AleFull Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 degrees Plato
60 IBUs

Added by Todd on 11-02-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 573
Photo of OldSwampy
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from can into a glass, best by date on can bottom 19 Sept 16, so I got this one in time (20 May 16). Amber beer, ample carbonation with a cream head, a finger or more formed easily. Nice floral and resiny hops nose, maybe a bit of citrus fruit as well. Nicely balanced hops emerge from the firm malt background, a rather pure tasting pale ale profile, and quite enjoyable. Not too bitter or unbalanced, as it should not be. Malt tastes emerge more as beer is consumed (and presumably with a little warming), but hops continue to dominate. Mouthfeel also balanced, a little creamy and sudsy in the middle, fades gently in the finish. A great go-to pale ale.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

3/21/16 Capital Ale VA

Pours copper with nice head and retention.

Smell is ok. Nothing really pops out too much. Sort of a small floral hop think going.

Taste is good. Just hopped enough and maybe a little bolder than most standard pale ales. It's fairly smooth but tends to build with a bit of a resin taste

Overall pretty decent and easy to drink.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Overall: Another win for the APA. I'm not a hop head or an IPA fanatic, but I enjoyed this. Fairly high hop bitterness at 60 IBUs, but pleasant and enjoyable.

Look: Hazy honey amber color with a one finger head. Good bubble retention across the top.
Smell: Wonderful floral, piney, grapefruity aroma. Very uplifting and fresh.
Taste: Hop bitterness, grapefruit, some floral notes. The hop bitterness is moderately high, but never unpleasant or harsh. Finishes with a hint of a malty backbone, but some piney bitterness lingers.
Feel: Medium body. Sparkly and biting.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, best by date on bottom, can't read full date, March something (it's February)

dark golden color, clear, white head that fades. earthy, grassy, slightly pine hop aroma. taste is well balanced with some biscuit malt flavor. medium bodied.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I Like the Full Nelson.....its a nice slightly bitter pale ale.....very easy to drink. It pours a clear copper with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is slightly bitter with hints of pine and citrus. The taste is decently balanced but leans toward bitter. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall....very good.

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Photo of MinnBrewer
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great flavor...I love the choice of hops. Could be just a little more crisp. A little heavy on caramel (I prefer the use of a malty rather than sweet grain...like Vienna).

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Photo of stevoj
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cask offering at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont. Sharp, grapefruit hops, creamy, slick copper body. Soft hoppy nose, big Centennial hops in the taste. Lingering citrus finish.

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a nonic pint glass. Color is a cloudy orange. Head fades quickly. Taste is a mildly hoppy which lingers between tastes. This is another fine beer produced by the Blue Mountain Brewery.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Grille District inside Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities that are slightly better in the taste to me.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of DuffDaddy
1.75/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Twelve ounce bottle at Uncle Ronnie's house while there for Donna's funeral. Not such a great pale ale - tried it just because it was a local beer in the fridge.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -21.9%
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

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of willic
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

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Photo of tillmac62
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of ordybill
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a murky golden amber with a giant white head. The aroma is caramel malt, citrus and some floral notes. The taste is sweet floral hops and some grapefruit.

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Photo of BuccoFan
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of danmouer
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Dr_Farts
2.35/5  rDev -38.8%
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.

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Photo of qchic
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

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Photo of beerdedking
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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...

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Photo of T-34-85
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.