ZeeLander - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ZeeLanderZeeLander

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

90 Reviews
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 760
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 142
Gots: 86 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: FreshHawk on 09-16-2011

Zelicious single-hop showcase using the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand. Delightfully confusing aromas of citrus and mandarin oranges give way to an incredibly complex body of earth tones and marigolds. This is truly unlike any hop you’ve ever tasted.

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 760
Photo of MickeyTheHead
3.06/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not very failure with Nelson Savina hop variety but it's definitely worth trying if you want to know what this hop is all about. The aroma and taste are unique. Can't say I'm a big fan of the hop but I think this beer was put together very well. (251 characters)

Photo of robear
3.16/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Hazy orange. Sediment abounds in this beer. It almost passes for orange juice but does have a brown hue that is keeps it from looking world class. Nice white head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Great for a quick quaff. But there is a hint of some vegetal hoppiness, which I get from straight Nelson hops. Again, just barely held back from being world class.

Taste: Whew. Onion and a bit of green garlic up front. Not at all what I was expecting. I'll be the first to admit that I am sensitive to the onion/garlic flavors prevalent in some hops. But having read through many ZeeLander reviews, I'm surprised that this hasn't popped up more often. It's a huge detractor for me, even though the finish has a nice slip of bitterness.

Feel: Chewy, thick, but not sticky. Good carbonation helps some of the orange julius effect wash down.

Overall: I'm not going to say this was a let down, but it helped me understand how Nelson hops taste on my palate. I can see why Alpine Nelson has a hint of rye in the grain bill, as it cuts through some of the huge, dominating vegetal flavors that hide under the orange aroma of Nelson hops.

I recommend picking one up, as many folks obviously taste this beer differently from me. But I probably won't be buying it for myself, which will leave more bottles for the rest of you. (1,327 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber of Zeelander, booty from a pillage-and-loot raid over the border. Maybe next time I'll bring back a quarterback. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Pour is very light golden, light carbonation, light penetrating. The nose comes out swinging with scents that aren't my favorite in an IPA: dankness, earthy, sweet. Really earthy. I half expect to see an earthworm in the bottom of the bottle.

Zeelander's flavor profile just doesn't hit my joy buzzer. The dirt in the nose translates right into the palate, & it's hard to get past all of potting soil. Laying that aside, there are some nice notes. Vaguely tropical, decent bitterness, slightly acidic (acid rain?), ending with an almost rye-like spicey note. The feel is the high point of the beer, with a lovely Slip-n-Slide feel going down. Easy enough to drink mindlessly.

Tried this in the tap room & thought it was a bit off, but I'm just not digging the beer. Pretty good, but give me Sue...which is evidently the Alpha King of Toppling Goliath. (1,011 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

From notes on 2/8/14

Orange reddish color. Mild hop aroma. Odd earthy hop flavor. Not bad, just different them what I’m used to. Not very bitter. I’d order a pint of it in a bar, but I probably wouldn't pay for another bomber of it. Slightly costly at $7 a bottle. (269 characters)

Photo of joe1510
3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle
$7.99
Coffee Grounds - Eau Claire, Wi

Zeelander glugs from the bottle shiny bronze. It tarnishes up a bit when the glass is full, glowing at the base and darkening as the glass flares. The foam is pure white and stiff the second it's poured, barely fading at all and leaving behind sticky lace that will have to be scrubbed from the glass. She's purty!

Uh oh, I've run across this last time I purchased Toppling Goliath, PseudoSue actually back in May or June, but thought the problem was solved. There are a lot of, to put it nicely, savory notes coming from this beer. Onion and oregano jump immediately to mind. This is not all bad, it has notes of dank earthiness I rather enjoy but it's just not how it's supposed to be. Deep pulls suggest some of the tropical notes usually present with Nelson but this batch has become onion-y.

The flavor, luckily, is less onion-y than the nose but that's still front and center. Doughy onion and oregano start it off and while they fade they do run through the finish. Apricot is the most vibrant aspect of Nelson while other soft tropicals, like peppery mango and papaya, flash here and there. Some of that character blows off as it warms to near room temp.

The mouthfeel is right. Medium bodied with ample carbonation to keep things moving. A moderate plus bitterness is welcomed. Drinkability is high. Mouthfeel is spot on. Bitterness is ever growing.

I'm a fan of this beer, I really am. The off character doesn't fit and there's a problem there but as is it is still a good beer. It's a shame that the last two Toppling Goliath beers I've purchased, using different hops, have both had that onion/oregano characteristic. I hope this gets figured out. (1,716 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy orange, good head.

Smell: Bit of citrus, danky, marigold flowers.

Taste: Mildly sweet, moderate grapefruit, earthy danky finish. Light body.

Overall: Picked up another bomber in Wiscoland of Toppling Goliath. Zeelander IPA doesn't quite hit the mark for me. I suppose I'm not digging the "danky" hops, I prefer sweeter, brighter, fruitier hop flavors. (380 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded pry-off pressure cap and attractive label art acquired in a trade with the very generous Duff27 and served cold into a snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given this brewery's reputation.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Nice thickness. Okay frothiness. Decent creaminess. Retention is average - about 2 minutes.

BODY: Dull orange-copper. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special, but good looking for an IPA.

AROMA: Grapefruit and accompanying bitterness. Pale malts. Citrusy zest. Floral hop notes. Hints of tropical fruit - mango and tangerine. Papaya. It's not too tropical, and doesn't veer into pineapple territory, thankfully. Melon.

A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

TASTE: Juicy, with some not-too-in-your-face grapefruity bitterness. Pale malts. Floral hop character. Citrusy zest. Plenty of pleasant tropical hop notes - papaya, mango, and hints of tangerine. Nice zest. A kiss of mandarin orange. Melon. I love the juiciness.

Very well balanced; the hop bitterness is well disguised but it's not too sweet. Very well built, with a good tropical hop profile. Good depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity.

Cohesive; not quite gestalt. It's a biteen too bitter for my tastes - not quite perfectly balanced.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, juicy, light-bodied, refreshing, and perfectly thick.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, scratchy, or rough.

This delightfully juicy texture complements the taste quite well, helping to elevate the beer beyond the limits of the taste.

OVERALL: Extremely drinkable for an IPA, but then it's got more of a session IPA ABV. I'd definitely buy it again if I saw it, but it's not the best IPA I've had. Damn good, definitely. Well worth trying. Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle. I'll inhale this bottle.

(2,059 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft serving in a footed tulip glass, review from written notes.

Opaque orange color, delicate lacing, good surface coverage.
Slightly tropical aroma, fairly pungent. Dried papaya.

Earthy flavor, oddly floral and slightly astringent, it's a bit overwhelming on the whole. It overpowers in an odd way,light pale malt aftertaste, but the astringent floral fruitiness seems to dominate. Appreciate the tropical character of the Nelson Sauvin, but the mix is just too jarring. Starts out nice, but not so easy to finish a glass of this. (537 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a golden orange color. forms a finger or so of a white head with decent retention and leaves some strong legs along the side of the glass. Fairly hazy and almost opaque but lets quite a bit of light through.

Smell: sweet bread and crystal malts. grapefruit juice, lime, earthiness, melon, citrus, and some earthy pine.

Taste: opens with a bittersweet grapefruit juice. some malts come through as bready and slightly sweet. hop flavors with a wide variety of flavors such as melon, lime, citrus, earthy pine. some lemon to lemon bread flavor comes through. hops range from bitter to earthy.

Mouthfeel: medium to full body. a bit too heavy for the strength and low on drinkability. Good bitterness and a little dry.

Overall: a good showcase of a very interesting hop. Unfortunately I think that this hop isn't quite an IPA hop. lots of good hop aroma and flavor but the drinkability suffers too much and thats a major factor in IPA's (947 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was had on tap at Sanctuary, brought to the table in a pint glass.

Appearance- There's just something about a bottle conditioned, cloudy body that gets me excited to try a beer, and this Zee Lander is no exception. It generates a golden-straw color with only a slight, filmy cap. The white lid is barely able to cover the beer, but there is a very decent amount of lace where the head I never saw used to be.

Smell- No surprise that the folks at TG have a very hop forward, citrus bomb for me to enjoy. Those New Zelaand hops are quite an experience to this beer drinker! Sure there is that sweet grapefruit, but it is combated by an even sweeter apricot or peach.

It adds great depth to an already great nose. The only thing that has me a little flummoxed is the slight sweat sock mustiness that creeps in with the sweet and sticky citrus notes.

Taste- Well, this Kiwi has a bit of a hard time transferring all the intricacies of the nose over to my taste buds. It still gives you all the citrus you can handle, but it seems to be more of a one off of grapefruit, not really any apricot or peach sweetness here.

There is also a new flavor that wasn't on the nose, a hop spiciness that grates into the finish. I did not ask for pepper in this fruit salad! And talk about lacking a kick. I am not positive on the IBU's, but I would be surprised if this one is pushing 70. It just does not kick you in the teeth like most of TG's offerings do.

Mouth feel- TG certainly did not misstep on the mouth feel however. It is just as nice in the mouth as any of their offerings. It is a dead ringer for medium bodied, and the carbonation leaves this drink feeling very creamy.

Overall- I think that the hops used in this IPA are just not the mix I would ever want to experience again. The nose is definitely exotic enough to perk any hop head up, but that peppery spice on the palate is too one-dimensional and not complimented or muted by the flavor hops that come before it.

I can't argue that the IPA is well crafted, and there will be those who enjoy it, but for my money, I will stick to Golden Nugget when I need a TG IPA fix. No sheep were harmed in the making of this review. (2,187 characters)

Photo of KVNBGRY
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I just don't think I can get behind Nelson beers. I thought I liked alpines, and while they are well made beers, the hops just aren't top notch. This looked like heady. Ugly as sin. (181 characters)

Photo of koutkid41
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really thick and bubbly creamy two finger head. Thick orange and copper color that has a thick haze.

S: Really amazing aroma, now I see where people get that white wine like aroma from Nelson. White wine/grape upfront with some tropical pineapple that fades into a nice piney scent. Also get some fresh cut apple and some faint dankness.

T: Sturdy bitterness upfront with a nice white wine like quality. Then it has some dank pine. Really crisp. Some weird chalkiness though.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and dry. Chalky.

O: Really nice beer, really nice showcase of the Nelson Sauvin hops. (595 characters)

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

Zeelander doesn't quite measure up to PseduoSue; Topping Goliath's world-class pale ale but I did realize tonight that this brew is pretty damn good when compared to most other beers in this category.

It pours a hazy yellow color which is similar to a lot of TG pale ales. The smell is citrusy but somehow lacking a little something I can't quite put my finger on. The taste is very bitter and somewhat citrusy and maybe a little watery as well. Like I said, very good but not quite up to the taste of the TG's gold standard, PseudoSue. (537 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: very cloudy yellow. Pastel yellow. Forms a a moderately large foamy white head. Very minimal lacing.

S: incredibly juicy. Lots of citrus, orange, mandarin, candied citrus peel.

T: taste is similar, but a bit less complex than the aroma. Slightly bready. Orange, citrus, and tangerine. Not quite as juicy. There is a slight astringency on the finish.

M: lighter bodied. Mild bitterness

O: A nice IPA. Would be very nice over the summer. (445 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 22oz bottle into snifter. This was bottled about a week ago.

A - Bright, translucent golden orange with a very nice 2 finger white head. Solid retention and artistic lacing on the glass.

S - It is wet, fresh, musty, dank with some notes of citrus and tropical fruit. It is rather aromatic, but not my favorite scents for an IPA.

T - Tropical and citrus fruits that seem slightly watered down compared to very sweet. There is a earthy, musty and dank grapefruit that seems to be most prevalent. Plenty of bitterness on the finish of this one.

M - Medium feel with fantastic carbonation that give it a wonderful body. It seems to finish a bit dry.

O - While quite good, I'm not sure this is the flavor I seek out in an IPA. I was happy to try it and review it, but will probably pass on it in the future. (818 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015-05-30
22oz bottle served in a large mug. There's clearly a date on the shoulder, but it's nearly invisible. Looks like it ends with 06-15. Traveled here in mr-jj's friend's suitcase.

Pours very cloudy amber-bronze with a medium to small white head and plenty of carbonation. Smell is juicy and lovely. Tropical.

Taste is maybe a bit of old hops. Wish I could read and understand the date on the bottle. Surprisingly soft. Strong bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, almost gritty. Overall, good beer. (504 characters)

Photo of CraigP83
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow/orange. Smells of spicy peppers habenaro hops. Grassy , earthy , very flavorful but not overly robust. My first run in with just Nelson Sauvin it kept growing on me after each sip (191 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very cloudy/hazed straw gold color. Good sized, soft, fluffy, light white head. Good retention leaving a decent lace.

S - Orange citrus along with bitter green onion and earthy aroma. Hints of sweet malt, but the Nelson hops dominate the nose. Some sweet tropical fruitiness.

T - Similar to the nose. Pretty strong bitter hop flavors with the sweetish fruit and bitter earth and onion combating. Slight sweet malt background but this is definitely a hoppy beer.

M - Medium body with healthy carbonation. Pretty refreshing feel with a strong bitter and slightly dry finish.

D - Easy to drink. A bit more bitter than sweet, but overall well balanced. Very hop forward but not too strong.

Notes: On tap at Sanctuary. Single hop IPA with Nelson hops. Nice IPA with slightly bitter taste, especially the earthy/onion type flavor. Not overly fruit, or overly anything for that matter, but overall nice. (915 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy darker orange gold with off-white head. Citrus, light fruits, a little pine, and some grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with floral and citrus notes. (181 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale orange, with a one finger white head from an aggressive pour. has a floral aroma with oranges, citrus zest, melon, and some onion.

Has a mildly sweet taste with the bitterness you would expect from an IPA. There is orange, citrus zest, melon, bread malt, and some tropical fruit shows up as the beer warms up. Thankfully There is no onion in the taste.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Leaves a bit of a sticky feeling in the mouth. Has a lightly bitter aftertaste. Well worth buying again. (514 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

just bottled days ago
A- pours a hazy apricot color with a nice 1 finger head and lacing i like hazy IPA"S
S-earth dank hops notes of grapefruit and citrus
T-dank bitter hops on the front end that showcase mango and grapefruit resinous pine bitterness malts edge there way in to make this oh so drinkable
M-dank and hoppy its a subtle bitterness that is offset with just how delicious this IPA is
O-TG brews another superb single hop brew using nelson sauvin hops TG is a world class brewer unlike any other its bitter and dank but you just want more of this IPA so drinkable (578 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-golden amber color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-bread, floral, citrus, orange, pineapple, earthy

T-bready marl, grapefruit, pineapple, white wine, earthy, pine, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-great showcase for NS hop, which I love, hope to see more beer featuring this varietal (338 characters)

Photo of alphagnome
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Pours a clear, golden body that plays host to gentle streams of carbonation and a magnificent amount of foam. While retention is a bit disappointing, plenty of lacing remains as the glass slowly empties.

Aroma:
Tons of musky hops and grapefruit. A light sweetness can be found alongside notes of grass and light pine.

Taste:
Right upfront you are greeted by a brutal bitterness, that is in my opinion is exactly what you should get in an American IPA. Somehow, it's balanced by a light sweetness. Laced with grass, grapefruit zest, and tangerine, this one packs a lot of tasty character into a glass.

Mouthfeel:
This one pierces the tongue with the furiosity of a pissed-off Squirrel. Medium bodied with a finish that is dry, but somehow doesn't leave you begging for another sip to keep you hydrated.

Overall:
What we have here is a brutal IPA, that is somehow civilized enough to enjoy. This is a beautiful creation that is worthy of your money. If you see it, grab it. (987 characters)

Photo of ChimRichels
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Super hazy light orange color on the body with a stiff head. Lacing is bountiful.

S - The aroma is not too different than something with a hefty dose of Citra hops - tropical fruits are forward, namely papaya.

T - Plenty of tropical fruits with a good amount of bitter dryness on the finish. The grassy notes come through a lot more than something like PseudoSue, but if you told me this was 100% Citra hopped I would wholeheartedly believe it.

M - This has a more dense/viscous body which I appreciate given the hop-forward profile

O - Another great brew by TG. I would look forward to doing a vertical with some TG IPAs. (631 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Has the Toppling Goliath APA/IPA look - clear amber, bubble show, nice retention/lacing

Smell: Tropical fruit (starfruit, melon, lemon and kiwi) and white wine grapes

Taste: A hint of shortbread malt lingers from start to finish but almost hides in the background as the flavors detected in the aroma take over; there is also a vinous character to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another excellent beer from Toppling Goliath, albeit the Nelson Sauvin hops take this one in a new direction (546 characters)

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ZeeLander from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.