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ZeeLander | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

114 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by FreshHawk on 09-16-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 898
Photo of KVNBGRY
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an absolutely gorgeous pale, cloudy orange color with a small cream colored head. Dissipates quickly, leaving a white ring of lacing around the edges and a very small amount around the sides. Has to be the most one of the most beautiful colors I've seen in a beer; reminiscent of landscapes of Monument Valley.

Aroma is sweet grapefruit and light pale malts. Orange peel and mango follow.

Not your typical IPA. Taste follows the nose, but is now more complex and subtle. Sweet but not at all bitter, except for a small amount of tang on the back of the tongue. Subdued grapefruit, mango and apricot. Some biscuit/bread malts.

Light bodied. Sweet, very easy to drink. Low on carbonation. Slightly sticky on the way down.

After a few downer entries from TG, they rise back to the top on this one. A bit more subdued for an IPA, but still nails all the flavors.

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Photo of BIN29
4.98/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: beautiful hazy bright orange.
S: intense tropical fruits. Powerful grapefruit peel, lemon and finishes with light pine.
T: this is really complex. Lots of flavors. Extremely unique ipa. Light apricot and mango. Citrusy, tropical and some spice.
M: medium-ight and highly drinkable. On the lowest scale possible of an ipa.
O: how can a 5.5 ipa be very complex and flavourful? One of the best ipas I've ever had. Full of flavors. This has everything you want from an ipa.

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Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Steasy66, cheers bud.

Pours a hazy apricot with half a finger of white head. Smell is dank and tropical, sweet oranges and other citrus, honey and pale malts, and a little cedar. Tangy citrus fruit juice, toasted pale malts, some dank hops with a very slight touch of savoury herbs, tropical fruits, light honey and floral notes. Medium+ body, medium low carbonation. Great stuff

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy orange with a creamy white head. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Smell is on the sweeter side but then you get that Nelson coming through. Orange, grapefruit, grapes, dank, grass, hay. Taste follows the nose pretty well. Quite sweet for a <6% beer, and very full bodied. Very different from what we're used to on the West Coast where everything is crisp, clear, and dry. Mouthfeel, like I said, is pretty full bodied. Carbonation is a bit low. Overall, a very good IPA. It's a bit different than the ones I'm used to though. Instead of relying almost solely on the aroma and flavor from the hops you get a lot of fruity sweetness from the yeast as well. This isn't exactly what I would call a "showcase" of the hop, since there's a lot more in there contributing to the flavor.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours hazy gold under a 1” white foam collar that leaves very fine lace.
S: Citrus, slight dank, herbal, melon, floral.
T: Melon, biscuit, citrus, has a moderate to moderately low malt backbone, medium high hopflavors and bitterness. Nothing harsh or over done. Has a pithy, citrus rind bitterness with a slight lemony tartness on the finish.
F: Very creamy, medium body and carbonation.
O: A big flavored beer with moderate alcohol makes it easy to drink more than one.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of ajchocholousek
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly aggressive pour into shaker (all I had access to at the time) yielded less than 1/2 finger of just a bit off-white creamy, chunky head. Pours a cloudy golden orange color. Really quite opaque.

Smell is big. Big notes of tropical fruit - mango, pineapple, and a touch of banana along with stiff notes of slightly musty grape and a fairly strong garlicy presence as well. Underneath the bouquet sits a caramelly, biscuity malty backbone that cuts through with surprising tenacity.

A soft, slightly creamy, slightly sticky mouthfeel yields a big grapefruit and floral bitterness followed by notes of biscuity maltiness, a bit of pineapple, white grape, and an earthy, nearly leafy finish. Still holds strongly that classic TG yeast profile. I'm not sure what they use, and maybe this isn't even the yeast, but their brews always have a soft, creamy juiciness to them that I just can't get enough of.

Overall, phenomenal brew. Very complex. Lots of flavors going on here and definitely enough malty character to support such an interesting hop. It's" balanced" (it's an IPA, come on...), it's juicy, its mighty refreshing, yet provokes contemplation. Brilliant.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Thick looking appearance. Solid opaque yellow to orange hue, looks like a booming peach up to the light frozen in place, with a good creamsicle orange middle and yellow edges. Head is fluffy, surprisingly controlled and small at only two fingers, with a nice swiss cheese creamy and clumpy retention. Good staying power. There's some neat things about it, but also appearance wise seems pretty muddy and stuck.

Bouquet is a nice hop quality and varied mix. Hints of slight pickle brine and earth, but a large controlled dank and weedy note that comes with it in the balance. Big huge notes of true dill like quality being expressed on this. Very nice if that's your sort of thing, and for me it's very impressive. Garden green freshness abounds, with tilled soil as well. Malt quality not present but don't seem to care.

Palate manages to hit the right notes. Light bodied but with a hint of juiced flavor giving to some faint malt sweetness and a touch of apricot, but the large earthy quality comes forward but is much more in control than the nose "largess" seems to indicate. And almost fresh green earth and salty finish with excellent citrus lime astringency in the mix for the aftertaste. Excellent feel on the palate with a very unexpected tropical juiced character, but taking a bit of a one eighty in flavors and aroma.

A very memorable dank IPA, and a great spin and twist on one for a change. Very well done.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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Photo of pagriley
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - cloudy deep orange with good head and lacing
S - Dank as all get up - very hoppy on the nose with the earthy skunky tones
T - follows the smell. little to no citrus or anything else much - If I really concentrate it is there, but the dank Sauvin note screams out loud. No bitterness on the finish to speak of - very smooth
F - great mouth feel, soft and perfect carb

O - I really struggle with this beer overall. It isn't an IPA - it just doesn't have the bite to fit that category. If it was a pale ale I would say world class, but the Nelson Sauvin doesn't hold up well to being heavily hopped for me. An experience? Certainly. A fantastic IPA? not so sure. A great beer? definitely.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Somehow never had this one, shared with rudzud and thanks to irish-hawkeye (Reddit) for this one.

Hazy orange color, nice creamy fluffy head.

Nose tons of Nelson, tropical floral notes, grapefruit and pith, some orange juice, little grainy malt, floral grassy notes.

Taste is more of the same, nice grapefruit, pith, little tangerine citrus, hint orange peel, some bubblegum, nice rind and pith bitterness, juicy, touch grassy floral too. Mild grainy malt, juicy malt with hint of sweetness to balance. Nice dry bitter rind finish, lingering pith and bubblegum grapefruit notes.

Mouth is med soft creamy bodied, nice carb.

Overall lots if nice Nelson, done quite well and very enjoyable.

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Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a hazy orange hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of loads of Nelson hops, great light tropical notes, grapefruit, citrus, lovely.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of skunky hops, Nelson, nice grapefruit, good sharp bitterness, pleasant. Really clean hop flavours.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, good carbonation.

O - Overall this beer was rather tasty, good hop characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Mike_Honcho1
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Poured a hazy orange color with a finger of white head. Leaves behind excellent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Big citrus and pine notes on the nose. Lots of orange peel and a bit of grapefruit. Slight crackery notes as well. I wish they made air fresheners that smelled like this.

Taste: Follows the nose. Nice orange peel/citrus with notes of pine and cracker. Good bitterness on the back end to balance it out.

Feel: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall: One of my favorite beers. They need to bring distribution to Chicago. This could compete with the best of them.

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Photo of danh53
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big fruity aroma. I pick out orange, pineapple, apricot, grapefruit, and pepper. I expected more fruit forward flavor, but all that fruit is joined by a spicy, bitter flavor in the middle of the mouth and in the finish. Lots of carbonation combined with the bitterness gives this one a real kick. Its very complex, but maybe a little too much for me. I like the strong bitter aspect, but wish there was a little more room for the fruit to come through in the flavor.

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Photo of jwc215
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of dank, musty grapefruit.

The taste is of grapefruit, lemongrass - earthy hop character. A firm malt backbone of sweet bread gives it balance. A subtle hint of alcohol warmth is in the long moderately bitter finish.

The body is chewy and smooth despite a hop bite.

A pleasantly hoppy, yet balanced brew that showcases the Nelson Sauvin hops well! Another well-done hop-forward brew from TG!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was golden in color with a bubbly white head crowning the glass.

Smell - Citrus hops give the initial impression in the aroma. Earthy notes are also detectable.

Taste - Grapefruit and grass is my initial impression. There is a little spiciness, but it is certainly dank. More potent citrus notes hang in the back as the grass faces. The finish leans more toward the dry side.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation was bubbly, though not overly abrasive. The final dry impression makes you want to drink more.

Overall - Being my first taste of Toppling Goliath, I am impressed.

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Photo of MartzMimic
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange with an inch of white head. Smells of pineapple, citrus and a bit a pine. Tastes of pineapple, lemon, oranges and resin. The bitterness is there, but it's fairly mild. Medium mouth that's a tad sticky. They have developed some unique and decent flavors for an IPA that's' practically sessionable.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
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

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Photo of umustdrink
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Opaque ruddy orange color. Creamy beige head, small bubbles, excellent retention. Small bits of lacing stick to the glass.

S - Green grapes skins, blood orange, hay, mustiness, light black pepper.

T - Starts out with earthy berries (sweet green grapes, gooseberry) and ripe melon, then into a dank, whole mouth bitter bite which lasts into the long-lingering aftertaste.

M - Creamy, medium-low carbonation but it still delivers a mild bite.

O - It's pretty complex, I drank most of the glass just trying to figure out what I was tasting. I need another.

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Photo of Etan
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy straw orange with a nice white head.

S: Fresh burst of garlic and pineapple, bit of sweet pale malt.

T: Lots of papaya, pineapple, light herbal edge, bright grain. Juicy.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth carb.

O: Yum. Great showcase of Nelson.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served on tap at Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, Iowa. It showed a pale but darkened straw coloring through the tasting glass, and held a strong two to three finger head of cream colored bubbles. Classically stitched laced and patterned lacing was left around our glasses. A chill haze cut clarity, but no sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be mildly active. The aroma smells like a freshly cut and drippingly sappy Douglas fir. Otherwise, nosable notes include intensely herbal and piney hops, marijuana freshness, wet oregano, pencil pseudowoodiness, toasty rye, amber, and pale grain, peach and strawberry fruitiness, Triscuit crackers, orange zest and watered juiciness, pickled ginger, iron and sand, paper mache, boiled oats, table salt, and raw popcorn kernels. The flavoring perfectly showcased those piney, herbal, and earthen Nelson Sauvin hops, bubblegum esters, both toasty and raw pale and amber malts, fresh honeycomb sweetness, buttered popcorn diacetyls, resinous grassy saps, cold bamboo shoots, dill weed and dandelion, bittered mineral and slate, moist cereal grain, garlic airs, copper, well-water richness, distant and washed cherry skin sweetness, clay, and dried autumn leafiness. The body was medium, and the carbonation was moderate. Each sip gave fantastic slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop to the finished body, with wetted pucker felt around the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank back very quickly.

Overall, what a fantastic use of Nelson Sauvin hops this was. From the nose to the taste you get a wild ride of organic, earthy, piney varietals that keeps things oh so fresh. We enjoyed this so much that we bolstered our caravan’s load with a growler of it, along with a growler of PseudoSue. You know that if you’ve only got two growlers to take, and one is PseudoSue, then the other must be darn good as well!! Well here that beer is. It remains juicy, warming, creamy, and inviting throughout most aspects of the tasting. Even after nine or ten days of sitting on this growler (would have gotten to it sooner, but our rigorous travel schedule forbade it), it comes out pretty much the same way on top, compared to when we first sampled it at the bar days ago. The hops may have faded the slightest bit, but the overall thrust of it hasn’t begun to be hindered. It is great to be able to still find a unique beer amidst a growing sea of quality IPAs. Must-try for fans of the style or hopheads alike.

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Photo of Phocion
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bomber a little over a month old (so probably considered expired by BA standards). Pours into my glass a hazy golden-orange colored body with a rocky nearly-white head. Excellent retention and like most TG IPAs/APAs, wonderful chunks of lacing everywhere.

Massive citrus aromas on this thing. Big grapefruit and tangerine scents. Gentle grainy pale malts and a bit of the telltale grassy, earthy Marlborough Sauv Blanc-type flavor typically found in this hop.

The flavor is far more earthy than the juicy nose, which I, for one, am okay with. Very clean grassy/herbal and slightly dank, resiny hops. Dry white grapes and a touch of citrus. Lightly bitter but not at all astringent. A little bit of bread dough and crushed grainy sweetness in the back. Clean, semi-dry finish.

Medium body and moderately carbonated. Very refreshing but surprisingly soft and creamy with an almost oat-like texture.

This is an absolutely delicious beer. Excellently balanced for an IPA but still letting the single hop shine through.

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ZeeLander from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.