Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale - Blue Mountain Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

175 Reviews
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175  | next → last
Reviews: 175 | Hads: 547
Photo of hopdog
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle stamped BB 04 2008.

Poured a medium and clear orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of earthiness, light citrus, and some toasted caramel. The earthiness dominates. Tastes of earthiness, citrus, pine, and caramel. Decent balance in the tastes. Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 2/5/08 (323 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber color with light, fluffy foam with plenty of sticky lacing throughout the glass

S - Piney earthy aroma with a malty background

T - similar to the aroma, it has a nice piney hop bite to it with malts in the background

M/D - Very drinkable and quite enjoyable with a nice hope bite (301 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a clear golden color with copper hues, a whopping two inch head of off-white foam, leaving tons of fluffy lacing. The aroma contains nice grains, grassy and citrus hops, pretty solid. Taste is similar, a nice amount of bitterness, good hop profile, hop centric but still rounded. The body is solid, good carbonation and crisp. In all, quite a nice local. Thanks to CrellMoset for this extra. (416 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy golden color with a nice white head

S - nice piney hop with a background grainy malt.

T - similar to the nose, this one is a piney bitter hopped brew, a grainy malt note underlines.

M - light bodied, nicely carbonated, slight resiny note with a bit of hop harshness.

D - flavorful, just a little bit over the smoothness edge for me to do as a session beer. (378 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (2,027 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of CrellMoset, thanks again!

Pours a cloudy gold color with a huge off white head.

Aromas are pretty nice, and hop dominant. Some nice pine like notes, some hard candies, and a bit dusty.

Taste is hoppy, with some slightly sweet grainy malts. Beer then becomes a bit creamy with a mineral like bitter hop bite on the finish. This has some nice flavors, but seems a bit scattered and unfocused. Pretty good taste, but needs some refinement. Kind of raw tasting.

Mouthfeel seems kind of thin, but not too bad.

Drinkability is good. This beer has flaws, but it tasty enough, and quite easy to drink. But all in all, it just comes across as an average beer that needs some tweaking in order to be a good one. (726 characters)

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD stamped on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange-copper color, some carbonation can be seen rising between the sediment. The head formed 1 finger thick and had decent retention.

Aroma: Citrus and spicy hops.

Taste: Very hoppy throughout, mainly citrus, spicy, and piney hops. The citrus and pine combine in the finish, with the citrus lingering nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp and refreshing. The carbonation balanced well.

Overall: Almost hoppy enough to be classified as an IPA. I enjoyed this one, pick one up if you get the chance. (620 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (375 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of CrellMoset poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with a short-lived off-white head that faded to a collar quickly leaving a bit of lacing. Aroma is heavy on roasted malts compared to most pales and has some earthy hop tones as well. The taste has a much bigger hop profile than the aroma and starts off with a pine hop bitterness that lingers throughout. There is a strong caramel malt presence in the middle before the hops hit the palate again in the finish. The bitterness holds the drinkability back a bit, but I enjoyed this one and look forward to other brews from Blue Mountain. (625 characters)

Photo of argock
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date, but the bartender at Blue Mountain reports that it was bottled 2 days prior.

A: Deep mahogany-amber color with thick, tan head with lots of sticky lace.

S: Delicious with herbal and grassy hops with some dark fruit maltiness poking through to give this beer a real earthy attitude.

T: The flavor bill matches well with the aromas. The hops are most prominent with mainly herbal and grassy notes with a little pine there too. There must be a lot of malt that goes into this beer as some date and caramel flavors come through as well.

M: I wish this was a bit slicker but it still goes down very smoothly and pleasantly. The aftertaste is a bit faint.

D: An excellent beer and a very welcome addition to our local repetoire. Available widely, but head out to BM for the freshest beer you could ever want. (881 characters)

Photo of bubbaoyster
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not a typical American Pale Ale.

More grain flavor in the middle followed by a nice hop finish. Very little sweet characteristics. Much more body than I'm used to with this style of beer, but well balanced with the hops at the end.

A nice beer - reasonable ABV makes it good to have a few of these. Great with food.

Blue Mountain is growing their own hops ( Cascades ) in Va. Makes for a very fresh hop flavor - highly drinkable! Can't wait to try more Blue Mountain beers! (478 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (440 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of dashirey.

A: The pale is a amber, a light brown that has touches of golden orange throughout. Just over a finger of head has laced at the top of the glass.

S: The aroma is citrus-infused, grapefruit and notes of pine. For an APA, this one comes across with all guns blazing.

T: The ale is strong, perhaps even a little too strong for a pale ale. Citrusy grapefruit grabs you initially, intense and biting. As the ale sits on the palate for a period, the caramel, grainy malt body emerges as a support system for the hops. The hops re-emerge at the end and leave a scalding, oily flavor to linger on the tongue.

M: The ale is full-bodied, lots of hops crammed into the bottle. For a pale ale, this one packs a wallop.

D: The alcohol is low but the flavors may scald your tastebuds. In terms of a sessionable pale ale this one works. (863 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice head that drops a fair amount of lacing around the glass

Smell: Grainy and grassy, with a hint of citrus

Taste: Starts out with a caramel base that has some developing fruit flavor as well as some earthy hop elements; after the swallow, the grainy flavors explode on the tongue and overwhelm the fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit unbalanced to my palate, with a grainy flavor that lingers on the palate well after it has worn out its welcome (536 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Regular brown 12oz glass bottle, pry-off cap. Blue mountain on a black background with yellow and orange writing.
Hazy copper body with low carbonation and a creamy buttes head with large bubbles in the middle. Great retention and beautiful lace.
Sweet grassy hop scent, some mulch and mild pine.
Up front sweet malts quickly taken over by grassy then pine then resin hops. Very strong hop profile that seemlessly enters the aftertaste and stays with you for a while.
Medium to full body. Good coating and a very dry and harsh hop finish.
Great drinkability if you like unshakable, harsh, strong hops wrestling your tongue to the ground. Too strong in the hop department for an APA, but I wont let that substract significantly from the rating.

-Oelergud (754 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, shimmering orange body with a small, wipsy, white head.

Smell: Floral, leafy, even spicy hop character on a foundation of pale maltiness.

Taste: Sweet, candied pale malts initially. Overall, a tangy hop character, with a number of leaves, flowers, maybe a few drops of spiced lemon water pass by the palate. Medium-high bitterness that lingers beyond the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A tasty, flavorful APA. (496 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that will make you do a double-take. It rocketed to my top 10 list on my first try.

The beer pours a beautiful copper color with moderate head. It dissipates quickly but leaves good lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma is slight but pleasant - grassy and sweet, like a fresh mowed field or a taste of buckwheat honey.

The flavor starts simple - sweet and grassy - but that initial taste is followed by a pungent hop bite that grabs the tongue and forces you to reevaluate that first impression. It's a complicated and delicious flavor with a surprisingly strong malt backbone considering the color. There are several layers of hop bitterness and flavor, so your whole mouth will be engaged throughout the sip.

The mouthfeel is strong, with a pleasant but challenging hop bite and a slight sting from the carbonation. It will keep your mouth busy the whole way down to your throat. (901 characters)

Photo of PhageLab
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Transparent reddish brown coloration, attractive two tip head of froth, excellent retention, some spotty lacing.

S - Surprisingly malty and bitter aroma, I was expecting something piney, but this caught me off guard in a good way.

T - Bitter hop profile with a rich malty backbone, slightly bready and well balanced. I'm not sure what kind of hops are used, but they are really bitter and shine back through in the finish.

M - Light bodied, high carbonation, dry finish, crisp feel that suits this brew rather well.

D - Were the abv a bit lower I'd say this could be an excellent session brew. This tastes a lot like an ESB to me, but whatever it is I think I'll revisit soon. Might have to try some other brews from this local brewery. (780 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.02/5  rDev -22%
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? (735 characters)

Photo of Greenlabel
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I recently received a bottle of this product in a full bottle swap but had never heard of it or the brewery before that time. I had not seen it available during recent trips to the Mid-Atlantic area but, if I do come aross it, I'd definitely purchase a 6-pack.

The beer poured an orangy color, decent head and very nice piney aroma. Quite hoppy but well within what might be expected of a Pale Ale. No unpleasant aftertaste. Definitely a model of what I would consider to be a session-type beer despite its 5.9% ABV.

One further comment - I was impressed that this small brewer had an easily noticed and non-coded "best by" date on the label. Kudos to them for that. (668 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a decent tan head that slowly diminishes to a ring. Aroma is a mild burst of citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste is citrus and pine hops up front and malts right behind for a decent balance. The beer is somewhat on the heavy side of medium, especially for the style, with a slight alcohol syrupiness. This one shows many characteristics of an average APA, just a bit heavier on the alcohol. (427 characters)

Photo of esv
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz 60 IBUs 5.9% ABV. Purchased at the Brewery.

White head. Tight bubbles. Stood over 1/4" tall. A darker copper.

You could smell the pale malts. Light, grassy hop nose. Nothing "raw" in the nose. Slightly fruity.

Solidly bitter but not obscene. Strong hop flavor, even "raw" but within style guidelines. Beyond bitter grapefruit.

Medium mouthfeel. Somewhat dry.

It's nice. A nice example of an exuberant APA. I'd be delighted to find it in my glass again. (463 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale, bisquit, and carapils malt scent along with a pretty outstanding hop aroma as well. The taste is good also. It has a bitter hop flavor that blends well with the tastey malt bill. It has a complex array of malt flavors that make for a really balanced and well rounded palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good APA. It's malty as well as wonderfully bitter. Another fine beer from this oustanding brewery. (612 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After having this on tap recently, I had to take another go at it from the bottle to round out the full review... in each instance, it was a very similar experience, as far as my scribbled notes go. Thus, this could apply to both encounters:

A: Deep amber pour... head is on the short side, but long lasting - a light, almost sandy white. Lacing sticks the the glass all the way down.

S: Light, floral hops... could be a little more aromatic and crisp, but the aroma present is a nice one.

F: Round hop flavours... but very well-balanced all around. Citrus, herbal. Some sweetness in the body. One of the better local IPAs I've had the pleasure of tasting.

M: Beautiful... slippery, but not quite oily. Glides through the mouth, just shy of leaving behind a sticky residue, which makes for an overall smooth drink.

D: Nice attributes, it's definitely one to be followed up with more. With a start like this, Blue Mountain could make for one of the finer breweries on the East coast. (990 characters)

Photo of biglickbrewer
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here we have a new "Virginia Pale Ale." This is not your half-hopped pale ale. "Full Nelson" is fully hopped!

Pouring a bright, clear, coppery amber, this ale starts off with a good sized head but lacks retention. Nonetheless, the aroma is rich with Cascade hops and sweet malt.

Up front, the sweet maltiness bathes the palate while the aromatic hops immediately flood the nose with citrus and floral notes. The significant hop aroma soon gives way to a hop bitterness that is a little more assertive than your typical APA. The bitterness lingers after the swallow while the sweetness from the firm malt backbone plays on the top of the tongue.

Comparing this APA to another Virginia pale ale, New River Pale Ale, New River can boast more hop flavor and aroma--at least in its original recipe--but brewer, Taylor Smack, has crafted a wonderful brother beer to NRPA with "Full Nelson."

Judging by the events at Old Dominion Brewing Co. lately (contract brewers of NRPA), we Virginians should be grateful for Taylor Smack's newborn APA; after December 31, 2007, it may be in a class by itself! (1,095 characters)

firstprev| 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175  | next → last
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.