1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale - Blue Mountain Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

450 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 450
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 22
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 450 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Reviewed on 1/5/2010. Can. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma of hop oils, citrus, and grassy hops. Plus a touch of light tropical fruits. Flavor of plenty of hop oils and citrus hops with some caramel malt and light fruits. Super easy drinking. Great simple IPA.

12-23-2010 17:05:49 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of StoneTSR


4.8/5  rDev +26.3%

APPEARANCE: Copper and transparent minus a touch of haze. A homogeneous, thick, white and fluffy head rests on top with a nice bit of retention.

SMELL: Pine and hops hit the nose immediately. A strong, traditional IPA smell. It smells rich and potent.

TASTE: Pine and caramel combine for a delicious sweetness at the front end. A well-balanced beer, the Full Nelson cedes its sweetness to the hops on the back end and allows them to close out the sip. An appetizingly bitter aftertaste leaves the palate wanting more. This is a downright delicious beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Lively and bubbly, but slightly mouth coating. For all the richness in nose and flavor, the Full Nelson is surprisingly light to drink.

OVERALL: When I arrived at the Blue Mountain Brewery this past fall I did not know what to expect, but I honestly did not expect a whole lot. I ended up being very impressed with the people, the food and most importantly, the beer there. The highlight for me, by far, was the Full Nelson. One of the better beers I ever tasted. After sampling the whole line up I had two pints of this and grabbed a sixer of cans on the way out. I knew it would keep very well, and two months later, this tastes just as good as it did on tap. If you find this stuff, pick it up. You'll be happy.

12-16-2010 23:54:54 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of woodychandler


4.28/5  rDev +12.6%

The CANQuest (TM) CANtinues its (seemingly) unstoppable march to # 400 with another gem. CAN you believe how many CANned beers are out there?

From the CAN: "Real Virginia Beer"; "Demand Fresh Beer: Check My Butt to Make Sure I'm Not Older Than I Look" (Note - No Stamp on bottom of CAN); "Mountain Water, Valley Hops. Drink the Good Stuff."; "Nelson County: Yeah, we've been called Virginia's Love Child and we're OK with that. Backwoods Botanical Experiments, Hillbilly Shine and Mountain Music ... not too bad livin' when you consider it. So put a little authentic Virginia Terroir in your mouth with a brew loaded with our farm-grown Cascade hops and deep-drawn Foothills water. Got a bite, y'all."; "Pack It In, Pack It Out."

Crack & Glug Time: Two fingers' worth of rocky light-tan head that seemed anxious to bubble away into some nice sticky lacing. Nose was at once piney and earthy, leading me to wonder if this may not have been wet-hopped. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. I am reasonably sure that this was not filtered, given the intensity of the nose. My mouth was beginning to water in anticipation. Mouthfeel was medium with a very pine-like intensity on the tongue. Geez louise, this was simply an APA to these folks?!? I have had less hoppy IPAs on this journey! The CAN did mention 60 IBUs, but I am not really a stats guy. Finish started out by retaining its intensity, but it slowly gave 'way to a sweet caramel-malt on the extreme finish. Cooler? Heck, yes, if I CAN get some more! This might be worth an exploratory trip into Virginia to see what these boys are up to.

11-18-2010 02:55:17 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Mbarnes304

West Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +28.4%

That's a great beer. It's a little strange drinking a high hoped/60 ibus beer in a can.
The Review
The beer was clear, obviously filtered. The beer was copper in appearance and seemed to be moderately carbonated. This beer was  obviously brewed with cascade hopes the aroma was prevalent. The beer was very smooth for how highly hoped it is, and being 5.9 ALC/VOL.  This beer is a great beer, I would buy it. I don't like the fact that pale ale's are all over the place with IBUs, you never know what you are buying, but this beer tells you on the can. Great beer, I give it an A.   

10-29-2010 07:41:26 | More by Mbarnes304
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.8/5  rDev 0%

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, pale tan colored head that has some staying power. The beer is a nicely red tinged copper-amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of grapefruit zest scented with pine oil, sweet caramelized malt, toasted grain and a caramelized biscuit malt character. The hop and malt aromatics are fairly balanced here, though the hop citrus is definitely playing the leading role.

A nice biting hop character up front is thick with grapefruit and lychee, while the finish gets herbal, with pine notes along for the ride and a biting, rough'ish bitterness that lingers on in the long finish. This has a medium-light body to it that is thickened by crystal malt character; this is not overly heavy though and is certainly a quaffable beer. The hop character is a bit more aggressive in the flavor than it was in the aroma. A touch of cracker like grain and pale-toasted malt character adds some light spicing towards the finish of each sip

This is a nicely hoppy pale ale, it has a bit more crystal malt character than I might prefer, but that is perfectly in line with many American versions of the style. This will certainly help those in need of a hop fix and I always enjoy tasty beer coming from a can.

10-15-2010 15:49:05 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

Another great bottle received from CrellMoset recently. Thanks! I'm really enjoying this brewery.

12oz bottle poured into a conical pint. Dark amber/orange hues capped off by a small creamy beige head. Fair retention; lots of sticky lace left in the wake. I'm getting a sharp smack of pine in the nose right away. Nice! Either I'm getting used to it, or it fades nicely into an earthy floral scent. I like the smell of this one.

The body is par for the style. Moderate carbonation. Not too light, but not overly filling. Good beer for lunch. This is definitely on the more bitter side of APAs. IBUs clock in at 60. I think the hops are blended very well with a touch of sweet caramel malts. Balance leans ever-so-slightly in the bitter hops favor, but that's not a bad thing. I like the bitter side of this beer. Well done, Blue Mountain! And thanks again, Chris!

10-13-2010 17:07:24 | More by Onenote81
Photo of indiapaleale


4/5  rDev +5.3%

Pour - deep golden to auburn in appearance with plenty of bubbling action and a half inch of wispy, white head.

Aroma - very citrusy, lemons and oranges, a little spicy, a little sweet and definitely a good deal of malt balancing things out. The aroma just sucks you into the glass.

Taste - orange peel, lemon zest, earthy, spicy, tangy and a little dry in the finish. Plenty of flavor and definitely some terroir, as they say, from those cascade hops growing in the mountains of Virginia.

Overall - a gorgeous brew from a gorgeous brewery. Love the local element and all the flavor that is packed into this beer. Definitely worth the trip to the brewery to pick some cans up from the source!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I'd love to go back to this brewery and try some more of their beers on tap and time my visit for when they are harvesting all those hops!

09-10-2010 00:24:09 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of m1ked


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Picked up a six pack (cans!) after visiting this nice, tucked away brewery. Was visiting the area for a wedding and lucked into this brewery!

A- Pours a crystal clear brassy copper with an impressive 1.5" off white cap that remained for quite some time, until it was replaced with a thick lacing on the edges.

S- Straight pine up in the nostrils, with a touch of old wet rag that I sometimes get with some IPA's. It does not dominate, just a tiny whiff.

T- Now the piney hops get you right up front, but they are quickly followed by a nice caramelly biscuit that seems to give it an unbalanced balance.

M- Medium bodies with a good crispness from the diligent fine carbonation- maybe a tad under carbonation, but that could be from my transportation.

D- I love opening up new doors...especially to breweries! Virginia is for lovers...beer lovers! I had several offerings from this brewery and enjoyed many of their beers, and really enjoyed a few. This Full Nelson was the only offering in cans so I grabbed it. If I saw it at my local bar I would surely order this easy drinking & tasty IPA, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a (not over the top) IPA coming in at 60 IBU's with good flavor.

09-07-2010 23:15:35 | More by m1ked
Photo of dball


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

Hands down the best bottled beer out of Charlottesville. I've also enjoyed it on draft as well. This pale is true to it's name. It has a good hoppy flavor, flowery smell, nice dark golden color, and a great mouthfeel. It has a little higher price tag in the store than I'd like to see but it also never disappoints and you can get it at the brewery for $9. Very solid pale.

08-27-2010 23:15:16 | More by dball
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle says to enjoy by November 2010. I'm on it!

Nice copper color, very little head.

Smells bready with a hint of citrus. Not the most complex but nice.

Taste is nice balance of first citrusy (grapefruity) hops and slightly sweet malt.

This is very refreshing and relatively easy to drink. Wouldn't mind having this one again.

08-21-2010 21:03:12 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Clear medium orange color. About one finger of creamy off-white head. Average retetion but lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Very nice. Overall, very clean with a great usage of yeast. Grassy and citrusy hops. Some hints of orange and mango. Neutral malts with some toffee.

4.0 T: Overall pretty neutral, but also earthy and slightly grainy. Soft moderate hop bitterness with herbal and slightly citrusy flavor. Again, this is incredibly clean. Nothing mind blowing, but tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, but overall pretty good.

5.0 D: This is incredibly easy to drink. I could have tons of them with no qualms. Not stunning in terms of taste or mouthfeel, but good enough and so clean that it's impossible to hate.

08-06-2010 02:56:45 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of TMoney2591


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%

Served in a Blue Mountain shaker pint glass.

I hope a Half Nelson is in the offing... This one pours a clear golden straw topped by over a finger of white foam. The nose comprises sweet toffee, hot buttery biscuits, and some nice florals. The taste holds notes of light caramel, greens, a fairly strong floral bitterness, and some pine needles. The body is on the border between heavy light and light medium, with a lightish-moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solidly decent brew, but not entirely impressive.

07-11-2010 04:09:18 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

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.

07-04-2010 21:51:31 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of tchenery


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Serving type: CAN

A: 4.5 - I love seeing craft beer in a can and NO I didn't pour it in a glass.

S: Nice and hoppy and tinny.

T: Delicious. I think it's a bit smoother coming from the can, maybe a bit creamier. It definitely fills you up with hop goodness and is pretty bitter but in a good way.

M: Great silky mouthfeel, doesn't knock you out but makes you want another. Excellent 6 pack beer.

Couldn't be better. I'm just glad it's in a can. Now you can take your delicious Virginia craft beer to the pool, park, boat, wherever they say you can't have bottles.

I think having a beer in a can that you're used to having in a bottle gives it a bit more character, at least emotionally. It's a different experience.

06-25-2010 04:29:18 | More by tchenery
Photo of oregonskibum


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from a 12oz can into a tulip glass.

A: Color is an orange-amber. Pours with a 1 1/2 inch slighly off-white head. Fades slowly, leaving some splotchy lacing and heavy ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Leads off with a strong pale malt aroma that is on the bready side. Hops take a backseat, but there are some citrus and floral hops there.

T: Taste is similar to smell. Bready with some caramel sweetness. Some hop bitterness towards the end of the taste. Finishes quick with some faint bitter notes.

M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. In style.

D: This beer isn't bad, but nothing that great either. It would make a good camping beer, but if given the choice, would still grab a Caldera Pale in can over this.

06-19-2010 19:57:14 | More by oregonskibum
Photo of Wasatch


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.

Pours a nice cloudy copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is mostly malty, with some hop notes, and some citrus. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly hoppy, and a nice touch of citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first brew from Blue Mountain, tasty.

05-25-2010 00:29:29 | More by Wasatch
Photo of AgentMunky


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a medium woody colour, high clarity, little head, nice lacing.

S: Wonderful! Heavy hops laced with citrus are complemented by sweet, almost fruity, malts.

T: Hm, not much going on here. A piney (piny?) flavour joins the maltiness. Interestingly, the hops are not nearly as prevalent as in the smell. The aftertaste is bitter and only mildly pleasant.

M: Pleasant, slightly dry and biscuity.

D: It's good, but not something I'd drink on a daily basis.

05-20-2010 01:13:45 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of mattcrill


4.7/5  rDev +23.7%

Aroma: Doughy, Munich-like maltiness up front. Orange and lemon zest American hop aromas provide the supporting balance. Has the hallmark characteristics of an APA. Firm American hops with a solid malt base. Very enjoyable.

Appearance: Hazy amber colored pour with an off-white head. Leaves sticky lacing on the glass and retains well.

Flavor: Very similar to the aroma. Nice bready Munich base followed quickly by a firm citrus hop punch. Finish is bitter, clean, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. No alcohol heat or astringency noted.

Overall impression: A classic example of an APA. This is tough to beat. I really enjoyed the assertive hoppiness and the malty balance. Very well done!

05-16-2010 20:16:41 | More by mattcrill
Photo of glid02


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

03-28-2010 23:19:18 | More by glid02
Photo of Tucquan


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%

Had this on three occasions. Once on draft at the brewery on once at the Depot Grill in Lynchburg, VA on 2010-03-03 and again from the can on 2010-03-06. I'll focus on the drafts.

A - Clear, golden color with a 1 finger white head

S - Mild floral and citrus

T - Balance between the malt and hops is decent. Not a very pronounced malt flavor; mostly bread and caramel with some citrus. It's 60 IBUs. Doesn't come across as being very bitter.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

An enjoyable but not great American Pale Ale

03-10-2010 16:18:51 | More by Tucquan
Photo of sholland119


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%

On tap at the brewpub, 2/3/10.

A-Pours a clear amber with a thin white head and some nice lacing.

S-Fresh grassy hops dominate the nose with a mild citrus behind, supported by a grainy malt backbone.

T-Excellent. Peppery and grassy hoppiness and a nice bready grainy malt flavor. This is more of a hop head's pale ale. Guilty as charged.

M-Medium bodied and a bit dry.

D-Really nice. Grabbed a six pack to go and would gladly have this one any time.


02-12-2010 17:02:57 | More by sholland119
Photo of Dogbrick


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%

Sample at Alan's HSC initation. This beer is a clear orange color with a compact off-white head that burns away slowly. Stringy lacing on the glass. The aroma is moderately bitter with hops backed up by caramel and earthy malt. Medium-bodied with a hoppy character. Notes of caramel and malt along with a bit of citrus too. The finish is hoppy and lingering. Decent all around.

10-31-2009 01:43:32 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Kegatron


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

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.

09-17-2009 12:15:07 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a thick fluffy head that lasts a while.

Smell: very soft caramel, mild pine, and soft floral bitterness are tough to pull from the glass.

Taste: bready malt, caramel, soft pine, green grapes, some hints of grapefruit, and a nice bitterness make up a nicely balanced pale ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp at the start, less so at the finish. Aftertaste is brief and leaves the mouth quickly.

Drinkability: decent quaffable ale here. Worth a try.

08-20-2009 15:06:34 | More by Gavage
Photo of Deuane


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%

A 4 day old can hand delivered by Ray and Cornelia. Couldn't get much more fresh!

A-Golden copper with a thin off white head that reduce to a thin veil and leaves spotty lace.

S-Herbal/floral hop pop up front with a nice backing of lightly sweet caramel and biscuit malt.

T-Biting herbal hops up front with a touch of citrus. This almost comes off as a fresh hopped brew. Nice, light backing malt that supports well but lets the hops be the star.

M-Medium-light bodies sharp and crisp. Good lingering hop bitterness.

D-About as fresh as fresh can be. A nice light, refreshing, hop forward brew. I like the fact they are growing and using their own hops, keeps things local and fresh. I also like the cans. A step I think more micros should take. A tasty, easy to drink APA.

08-18-2009 23:04:05 | More by Deuane
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 450 ratings.