Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale - Blue Mountain Brewery

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Full Nelson Virginia Pale AleFull Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

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very good

535 Ratings
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Ratings: 535
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 26
Gots: 50 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 535 | Reviews: 175
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

Photo of danmouer
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.02/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After reading a few other reviews of this beer I went with an aggressive pour and it yielded a nice one finger craterous white head that left a full ring of soap scum behind as it settled into a froth mass atop a clear medium golden with a tinge of orange.Where the aromas shit after an aggressive pour and letting it sit you would think something would come out if there but nothing except for a trace of tasted grain,lighter mouthfeel but it went down very easy.Wow really nothing stands out on the palate mild toasty-grainy notes some residual sweetness a bit of leafy hop but pretty bland.Iam hoping this is a off and or old bottle label says best before April of 08 so Iam guessing its off or just not as good as others may think?

Photo of merlin48
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle, courtesy of mntlover, pours a chill hazed, amber body with a tall offwhite head that lasts the session. Rings of sticky, frothy lace cling to the glass. A nice looker.

Aroma of floral, earthy, grassy hops, with a respectable measure of citrus and pine notes. Very inviting nose!

Creamy carbonation in the mouthfeel with a light medium body.

Taste has plenty of hops bitterness, but is not overdone. Some nice sweetish caramel balances well. Hops begin with an earthiness that morphs into citrusy grapefruit midway through. pine and grassy notes add a pleasant complexity. The hops mellow considerably by the finish, taking on a McIntosh apple character. Clean finish.

Highly drinkable. A bit different from most APA's, with its complex hop character. Very interesting.

Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can, with a paper sticker on the bottom, telling me this is best by 4/01/13.

Pours typical amber, dull and murky, lite tan head, goes rapidly to a medium buble film, collar and thicker bands of lace.

Dull bready nose, with just a hint of hops.

Middle of the road APA. Hops muted, malts in control. Notes of caramel, honey, and then just some dusty hops in the finish. More of an English pale in style and attitude.

Nothing special going on here. Glad to give it a try, but I'm happy to have purchased just a single can.

Photo of dwren89
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish gold with thin white head, great clarity

Aroma: beautiful American citrus hope aroma from the hops grown on Blue Mountains own hop farm, slight caramel and biscuity malt notes

Taste: Delightful balance of great citrus hop flavor, sturdy and flavorful malt, and lower bitterness than IPAs that doesn't demolish your palate. Easy drinking and full of flavor

Mouthfeel: smooth medium body with drying finish, medium carbonation

Overall Impression: A great beer to bring to any cookout or outdoor event year round. Balanced and sessionable, Full Nelson packs a lot of flavor in a session strength beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can served in a snifter. Dark, clear amber -- a bit darker than average for style -- with a near creamy bone colored head that has moderate retention and very good lacing. Fine spicy/floral aroma. More flavorful, including a tad more hoppy, than average, with a nice mix of fruity/herbal/grassy hops. Restrained bitterness until the mild-moderately bitter aftertaste. Nicely smooth feel, with medium body and near medium carbonation.

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can shared by Darren - thanks!

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of mild pale malts with good amounts of leafy and slightly citrus hops. I'm not getting the usual grape/gooseberry aromas that I normally associate with this hop out of this one.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy pale malt flavors up front are joined quickly by good amounts of leafy, almost grassy hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hops sweeten a bit, allowing for more citrus flavors. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a solid APA however don't expect loads of the normal Nelson Sauvin hop aromas/flavors. Still, worth a shot.

Photo of Munkaboo
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can picked up from a brewery, probably less than a week old.

Appearance: Dark orange / amber... looks like an IPA for sure

Smell: This is definitely the beer's weakest spot... smells very malty, which isnt a bad thing, but not something I'd expect given the taste... slight hop aroma, but mostly caramel/bready malt

Taste: Here's where it shines. Malty caramel/bread hits you, then the hops take on center stage. Oily/resiny hops with citrus and earth... damn this is freeeeshhh. Hops linger on after. Always a good sign when you burp and taste the hops! That's the sign of a damn good pale ale / fresh hop ale.

Mouthfeel: I for one like the oily/resiny mouthfeel. Easy drinker. Killed a 6er of this at Foxfield last year, so it's very drinkable.

Overall: One of my favorite APA's... it's almost an IPA-Lite.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejazz for this one!

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color with a large foamy head on top, off-white in color, probably 2 fingers in height. Decent head retention with rings of lacing forming all around the glass.

S: Some light caramel mixed with toast with some light grassy/earthy hops mixed in.

T: Nice combination of light caramel malt, bready and earthy hops, just like the aroma. There is piney finish on it which didn't show up in the aroma.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A solid pale ale, easy drinking, glad I have another one.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blue Mountaiin- Full Nelson

A- Clear golde copper with a big frothy head. Solid lacing down my tumbler glass.
S- A light touch of sweet caramel malt dominated by burning bitter hops.
T- Slight caramel malt is quickly overpowered by strong vanish like pine hops.
M- Bitter and oily. Strong tangy hops just dominate with a touch of sweet malt in the end.

Overall- A good mini hop bomb. Although mild and easily sessionable. I liked this 1.

Photo of asabreed
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best by 10/2009 stamped on the bottom into the designated white space for such a thing.

Appearance: A lighter copper-colored body and a decent bubbly head that unfortunately doesn't stick around for long. Hardly any carbonation at all floats to the top, letting the body stand as a kind of lighter ice tea-looking thing.

Smell: Big grassy herbal hops stand out, along with some pungent and bitter grapefruit notes. I get a lot more hops than I do malt here, along with some toasted grains and bread dough.

Taste: This is a lot hoppier than I was expecting, and I like that a lot. The malt backbone, however, doesn't seem to be holding up to the hops. That said, almost like Stone's Levitation, it has such a crispness from the hops, which is something new to me that I've been discovering lately in APAs. The malt backbone is there, don't get me wrong, with some lighter caramel sweetness and toasted grain flavors, but the hops take center stage. Finish is leafy herbal hops and some lemon juice type of bitterness and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied, with good carbonation and fullness all around.

Drinkability: A very solid APA, and one I could easily session. I've been impressed with Blue Mountain so far, minus the Evil 8, and am looking forward to trying more. If you're a pale ale fan and haven't tried this, it's worth seeking out.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Right from the cask at Floyd's Fandango beer/wine fest, as advertised at their booth -- although they should have made a bigger deal of it, didn't seem like a ton of people knew. Thanks to the brewer (pretty sure the guy pouring this was the brewer himself) for his most generous servings!

Poured a slightly hazed peach-orange meets sunny golden color, and its super-white head left plenty of lace dots in its wake...although the head never totally went away.

Aroma is like sniffing a hop plug, just hugely fragrant and fresh...really nothing more to want. This was made with Columbus and Cascade hops, if memory serves...and they were bursting out of this aroma, big-time. Just enough malt backup to add some balance.

Flavor was as wonderful as the nose...a big, succulent, taste bud pleasing zing of citrus, pine and grassy/flowery hops...just a smidgen of a caramel/toffee malt base, almost English in character, although the super-fresh hops here can't be mistaken for anything but all-American.

A soft mouth, totally creamy, a wonderful glide over the tongue and down the throat. No surprise, considering how freshly-tapped this thing was.

I regret skipping over Blue Mountain beers in recent beer runs. Who knew? I'll be paying more attention to them from now on. Excellent.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdude1982 for sharing this one.

A - orange with a thin, white lacing

S - sweet bread, citrus, faintly herbal and spicy

T - bread, bitter, citrusy, piny, faintly spicy

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is very easy to drink. For a pale ale it has a rather bold hop character. I could definitely sit down with six of these and enjoy a game. If I can find it again, I will definitely pick up more.

Photo of dirtylou
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, thanks bort

appearance: poured into a great dane pint...nice amber body with a huge fluffy white cap and pretty strong retenion. very nice

smell: grassy herbal hops, lemon peel, splash of citrus, lightly toasted malt

taste: pretty strong APA that is definitely worth of a purchase - well balanced attack of green grassy hops and toasted grain. light hoppy bitterness lingers

mouthfeel: medium body, spot-on

drinkability: high

Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to csmiley for this one.

Appearance: It pours a nice, clear copper color. The head is off-white in color and a huge, frothy three fingers deep. Retention was excellent. It might outlast the beer beneath. Thick waves of lace lined the glass.

Smell: The nose is primarily biscuity and malty. There is a bit sweet caramel in there, as well. A bit of light lemon and grapefruit scents are present, but are clearly a secondary component. Hops are light in character, though do present some citric and floral qualities. It's my hope that some of these characteristics are more prominent in flavor. The malts seem to overshadow the other scents here. Ultimately, it's a decent smelling beer, but a little too one dimensional.

Taste: As I suspected, the flavor profile is more diverse than the nose and ultimately takes this beer up a notch. Caramel and biscuity malts are the primary feature and kick it off pretty well. Citrus grapefruit, lemon and pineapple flavors follow it up. They add some sweetness, but are again a secondary feature. Hops really shine much more here. There are some citric and floral qualities. But it adds a nice, sharp bitter bite that livens it up a lot. There's a slight spicy quality that emerges late. I can't quite pinpoint what it is. Finishes sweet and a little bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied and features a pretty smooth feel. Carbonation is active and prevents it from being creamy. But, it's smooth enough. Drinkability is good. It definitely goes down easy, but there's a number of other APAs I'd prefer for sessioning. Far from a bad choice though.

Full Nelson's a nice APA. Frankly, the nose could use a little work. A little less malts and more hops wouldn't hurt either. With the number of quality APAs out there, it's tough to craft one that's unique and reaches the upper echelon of the pack. Blue Mountain did a pretty decent job with this one though it doesn't quite measure up to the top releases. Definitely worth checking out in any event.

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for the trade.

This beer could pass as a weaker IPA, but instead is a full-flavored and very sessionable. While many APA's just hold a citrus and spice character, Full Nelson also also a sweet, juicy Pineapple note in the finish. The aroma also hints at the smooth, creamy malt with a big hops presence. Definitely worth trying if you can find it.

Photo of ordybill
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.
Aroma- has a nice malt smell
Appearance- golden amber

Photo of hooliganlife
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours right copper with little to no head and very light retention and lacing.

light floral, citrus, and biscuit malts. very faint.

light and crisp with light bitterness. light malts hidden behind a mainly hop defined ale.

light carbonation with bite, but a little too much bite. fairly full bodied

this is a good pale ale, very hop orientated. light and clean, very easy

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12-oz can to tulip. "Had" rating of 4 earlier (on tap).

A: dark orange, copper body. the light tan head's huge w/ large, soapy bubbles. the head settles down quickly though, leaving minimal patchy lacing.

S: toast, orange, berry, a vigorous swirl really unleashes herbs and pine needles

T: very sweet, then very bitter.

M: dry finish. moderate carbonation.

Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD of 7/01/13

Pours an effervescent amber with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing, above average head retention

S: Breadyness & a bit of grapefruit pith

T: Pineyness, breadyness & woody hops, plus orange rind up front. A touch of caramel, pears & pine as this warms, some woody hops as well, a bit of grapefruit as this warms. Finishes piney with, caramel & a touch of orange peel

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nice balance

An easy drinking & well-built APA. Easily one of the better beers I had over the 6 days I was in the DC area. This is very hop forward

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks to Deuane for hooking me up with a couple of these newly canned babies from Blue Mountain.

Pours a clear copper, with 2 big foamy fingers of eggshell white colored head. This sticks around with a big frothy look, that leaves some equally big sticky lacing back. The aroma is freshly floral and spicy in the nose, with a splash of bright citrus flavoring and some toasted malt character, which gives the bouquet a pleasant toasted graininess.

The taste is pretty hop forward, with a spicy bitterness which lays down a steady dryness. Bready pale malts and fresh green citrus hold up the hops, and offer some balancing sweetness. The lighter-medium bodied, with a pleasant mellow creaminess and a slick oiliness from the hops. Really nice balance here between the smoothness of the carbonation and crispness from the hop bitterness. Just the right amount of each in the feel.

VA is a state with a ton of scenic wonder, and it's great that a homestate brewery is now putting one of their staples in cans for use outdoors. Fresh, full flavored, and thrist quenching, this is a geat Pale.

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: An almost clean grapefruit and candy hoppiness, fresh hop resin, some caramel malt.

L: Crystal clear amber, white creamy head that dissipates slightly. Good lacing.

T: Big hoppy wave of cascade up front with an accompanying caramel malt. Medium citrus like bitterness with a touch of raw spiciness. Finishes with a long hop derived malt flavor. Fairly dry finish following a fairly sweet opening. Slight tobacco as it warms.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

A great, classic pale ale. A little on the sweet side, but enough attenuation to finish dry. Great hop character throughout.

Photo of BuccoFan
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Hesperus
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber in color with very active carbonation, started with a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly, leaving behind a layer of foam. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Biscuit-like breadiness, grapefuit, and a little pine beneath everything else.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with a citrus hop back-up. A wisp of English-like fruitiness comes through as well.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated yet rich, medium-bodied overall.

Overall: One of my favorite pale ales. Malt takes center stage here, with standard hop flavors and aromas behind, which is a good thing in this case. This is immensely pleasant to look at; visually, it's as close to my ideal beer as I've seen.

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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 535 ratings.