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ZeeLander - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ZeeLanderZeeLander

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

95 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 95
Hads: 783
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 141
Gots: 95 | FT: 4
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: 95 | Hads: 783
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. (514 characters)

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 (191 characters)

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. (562 characters)

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. (254 characters)

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. (2,511 characters)

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. (1,028 characters)

Photo of thebeerfrontier
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ZeeLander - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company - Decorah, Iowa - IPA - 5.80% ABV - This tasteful IPA poured a hazy, light orange color with a stiff-white head that leaves excellent lacing on the glass. The nose featured aromas of papaya, ripe pineapple, citrus, resinous pine, and bready malts that leave a lasting impression on anyone that enjoys this brew. The mouth was great; hop forward flavors of juicy pineapple, fresh mango, grapefruit peel, pine, and zesty malts burst in your mouth with each sip. The mouthfeel was medium, with a tasteful finish that coats the palate nicely. Once again, TGB did a wonderful job on another great brew. Thank you, @billylightning, you know how much I love this beer! 97/100 (713 characters)

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

Pours hazy gold-orange with a nice one-finger frothy head. Massive citrus - lemon combination in the nose, so fresh! Taste is of dank, citrus bomb - grapefruit, oranges, pineapple. Very hop forwardly sweet the malt presence is neither noted nor important. Medium bodied and sticky. Finishes bittersweet, in excellent balance between the two. Excellent IPA for it's low abv! (375 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful noonday sun in the glass. This one is dank: Potting soil, sticky bud, pine and rosemary herb notes. Overall a really nice beer, but doesn't quite reach the level of some of TG's other amazing hoppy beers. (214 characters)

Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This bottle hit shelves less than two weeks ago.

Very nice showcase of the Nelson Sauvin hop. Great hoppy aroma with a lot of white wine characteristics. Taste followed the aroma, very juicy. The mouthfeel was great, smooth, distinctly similar in structure to other Toppling Goliath hoppy beers. Not sure if it is as good as pseudoSue, but it is pretty close IMO. (368 characters)

Photo of MickeyTheHead
3.06/5  rDev -29%
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 MNishCT77
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. pint poured at the brewery, unknown bottling/packaging date (but allegedly retired according to the listing), drank over 15 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden coloration, hazy (cannot see or read through), assymetric off-white head present with a 1/4 glass lacing; white bubbles that look and sound tight; moderate alcohol legs

S: 11/12 - huge Nelson Sauvin-ish aroma - white wine, gooseberries, dank and pine - that predominates all other aroma

T: 17/20 - moderate hop bitterness up front; in the middle of the palate, there are huge hop flavors that match the nose perfectly - gooseberries, white grape, peach and gentle dankness; on the back of the tongue, there is a moderate alcohol and finishes dry

M: 4/5 - moderate body, juicy, moderate carbonation

O: 9/10 - world-class single hop IPA that features NS in the best ways possible - actually preferred this to PseudoSue because the hop aroma/flavors were more intense

TOTAL - 44/50 (939 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -15.8%
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 SweetChicken
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours an orange-golden straw. Brilliant color, but hazy. Lacing and legs are tremendous on this beer. The nose of this beer is complex. It's get some fruit, some hops, but the single note that steps up an takes over is an earthy, dank truffle. Kind of off-putting at first, but just like truffles keeps getting tastier. Taste - hoppy bitter, earthy, hoppy bitter, earthy truffle. For a beer, I'm glad the earthiness was more balanced or at least tamer than the nose. I'm super-glad I rated this beer over time as my palate adjusted. I am really impressed with the depth of flavor this beer gets off a single hops. Granted it's singular, but impressive. I dug it (671 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%

Bottle as an amazing trade extra. Pours hazy yellow golden with a big fluffy creamy white head. Incredible aroma of pineapple, mango, pine, and hay. Just perfect aroma. Flavor follows with big juicy pineapple and tropical fruits, medium bitter, juicy. Wow. Medium light bodied and incredible flavor for 5.5%. These guys just need to replace every other brewery on the planet so I can drink it all the time. This hit the spot. (425 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
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)

Photo of joe1510
3.56/5  rDev -17.4%
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 SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
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 WynnDavis
5/5  rDev +16%

Phenomenal IPA. Full bodied, but incredibly drinkable. The Neslon Sauvin hop has a wonderfully delicate presence of passion fruits and citrus. The finish is very nice. It is not as juicy as a Pseudo finish, but rather subtle dance of citrus and dryness. The nose almost hints a Pseudo/citra hop. A really nice beer. And, super fresh might I add. (346 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

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 wethorseblanket
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%

Reviewed from notes. Twenty-two ounce bottle shared by Richard - thanks.

A: Pours a hazy yellow with a half-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and leaves splotchy lace.

N: Bursting with tropical fruits and citrus and melon, very floral.

T: Softly hopped or the Nelson itself is soft here. Grassy/herbal, citrus and tropical fruits all over. Well balanced mildly sweet malts.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Slightly bitter and sticky finish.

O: Quite good. Would love to have again. (510 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.87/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nose is dank grapefruit and somewhat floral. Taste follows, but more intense. Like going into a dank basement then discovering a second, danker basement under your feet through the finish. When the bottle is a couple months or older, it tastes more onion, which is still interesting, but different. Best fresh. Probably my favorite TG IPA! (344 characters)

Photo of robear
3.16/5  rDev -26.7%
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 ThickNStout
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks man!). No bottling info. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours a soft, hazy orange with a finger and a half head of tightly packed white bubbles. A thin film and modest halo remain that contribute to some attractive sheets of lace.

Inviting, almost tropical aromas of peaches, berries, oranges, grapefruit, flower petals and hint of malt sweetness. A restrained dankness creeps in as it heats up. Nice.

A delicious hop bomb of flavor. Grapefruit, mandarin, peach, earthy petals, mild strawberry, dank pine, a little crackery malt and a hint of peppery spice. Excellent balance with the hops prominent as they should be. Super smooth and easy drinking.

Medium light body with lively (but not overly so) carbonation. The aftertaste is slow to fade and carries more notes of citrus and dank pine.

Another win in my book for both Toppling Goliath and the Nelson Sauvin hop. Flavorful and easy to knock back, this is in the top of it's class and one in which I'd happily imbibe anytime. (1,037 characters)

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - murky orange yellow color. thin head, but fun lacing.

Smell - very very floral and lots of citrus here. Not too bitter at first, but does bitter a bit as it warms

Taste - bitter up front, but that is quickly replaced by a sweet citrus finish which is quite delicious

Mouthfeel - nicely carbonated and leaves the mouth with a nice bitter finish

Overall - I need to get my hands on more TG for sure! (415 characters)

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