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ZeeLander - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 838
Avg: 4.31
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 146
Gots: 104 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 838
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

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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
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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to Jeff who knows I can't get enough TG for this one. Bomber into Tired Hands stemware.

Pours a big 2.5 finger fluffy white head with excellent retention. Lacing is thick and layered with awesome cling. Beer is a semi-cloudy grapefruit. Very solid.

Nose is mango, starfruit, citrus, pineapple, kiwi and cane sugar. Aromatic is heck and very enticing. The Nelson hop presence is amazing.

Opens citrus, papaya, mango, starfruit and kiwi. Huge tropical fruit presence. Cane sugar in the back with a creamy hop bite. Ends citrus and more papaya. Fruity hop bitter aftertaste. Awesome!

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with some bubbles in the mouth and goes down soft and crisp. Messy finish with a filmy, lingering aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Really nice overall and captures the essence of the Nelson hop flavor perfectly. A really outstanding example of the style.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of koutkid41
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Hazy golden amber in color. Stiff pour yielded a 2 finger head. Nice Lacing and head retention. Beautiful

S. Smells hoppy. Floral and sweet. Not overpowering.

T. Taste is floral (white wine?). Some grapefruit. Sweet Malts. Hint of bitterness that lingers on the finish but it is minor.

M. Medium carbonation and body. Sticky mouth feel. It's very nice for the style.

O. A very solid IPA that I would be glad to drink. It is very balanced and refreshing. Beautiful to look at in the glass as well. All that said, I prefer Sue

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome bomber from laymansbeerfan (thanks!), into my Hill Farmstead tulip.

A: Unfiltered beauty; hazy light orange body with a white cap that leaves a little lacing.

S: Big-time smack of hoppy, bitter fruitiness...tropical is the best descriptor...there are shades of tons of different fruit; mango, papaya, orange, lemon, lime, definite grapefruit, melon...there is also some pine, and white grape...smells incredibly fresh and vibrant and unique.

T: Decent upfront bitterness, there is a nice citrusy grapefruit bite with some pine & fresh-cut grass. Middle of the mouth this thing takes a short White Zinfandel detour thats truly unique, with a dry, bitter fruitiness that is tough to explain. Dank herbal bitterness, tangerine, and other tropical fruits are front-to-back on the palate and never die off. Suggestions of pale malt and grainy crackers underneath.

MF: Bitter, good carbonation, medium bodied yet still a rather light mouthfeel.

O: VERY well done beer. Drinks like a Double IPA with the sheer amount of flavor in this brew. Very juicy and citrusy and fruity while maintaining a piney undertone that really complements and lends some more bitterness. Well freaking done.

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Photo of ChimRichels
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer rated high on appearance and mouthfeel for me.

A- Golden honey, non-transparent. It looks like a jar of honey that has sat around for a year. Thin head, medium lacing with no legs.

S- Golden citrus, malt, honey. Lots of thick base malt flavor here.

T- Maybe the least unique quality of this brew, but still great. It tastes like a light IPA that has the thickness of a milkshake with mild citrus.

M- Nice and thick. Milkshake to me on this. Nice amount of carbonation that comes off light and fluffy. I said it

O- Another great beer from TG> these guys are crankin out great brews!

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a tasty beer. A worthy comparison to Nelson from alpine.

Pours an opaque orange color with a white ring of head, some nice lacing, definitely reads as an unfiltered IPA.

The smell leads with Thai peppercorn and then has a sweet earthy aroma that immediately reminded me of Nelson from alpine (go figure). It has a great depth to it that keeps bringing me into the glass. Really plant heavy as well.

The taste follows suit with a nice pepper an plant dank hop front leading to a very elegant honey and piney citrus finish. A beautiful and dangerously drinkable beer. The feel is great and silkier than most IPAs with a great amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth with a lot of flavors tingling after the beer rolls over.

Overall a great and unique brew. Would love to have more of this.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright and hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with decent retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A very ripe and juicy hop forward aroma with big hints of citrus and pine. Upfront scent of citrus hops with juicy hints of orange, grapefruit, lemon, mango, tangerine, pineapple, and melon. Earthy and herbal hops with hints of pine resin, grass, and a little onion like scent. Nicely juicy and dank. Background pale malt scent with hints of caramel, grains, cracker, and yeast. A very good tropical aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very juicy and ripe hop driven taste with big notes of citrus fruit and pine. Upfront mix of citrus esters with notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, mango, tangerine, and melon. Dank piney hops along with some grass. Fairly oily. Solid backing presence of pale malt with notes of grains, cracker, caramel, and yeast. Very citrus forward and nicely sharp and bitter. A very good west coast style taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, creamy, and oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good juicy West Coast style IPA. Nice citrus and pine flavor with a nice clean bitterness.

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Photo of Wolberjs
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Gorgeous golden amber, and clear which is different from the other TG beers if I remember right. Nice 1 finger head with good retention. Keeps bubbling for a far bit once poured.

S - Citrus (nothing specific), pine, and some tasty Nelsony dankness. Solid.

T - Nelson deliciousness. Piney and earthy. Delicious.

M - Nice carbonated mouthfeel that tingles on the tongue. Dry biting finish. Very good.

O - Toppling Goliath's beers continue to blow me away. Only brewery that rivals Alpine in making a huge variety of delicious hoppy beers. A touch better than Alpine's Nelson if my beer palat's memory serves me right. So yes it's very delicious.

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Photo of gatornation
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of mjpolzin
4/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of millertime416
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, orange yellow. Maybe a bit over-carbed. But, honestly, most of TG’s ipa’s and pales look the same to me.

Dank tropical fruits with a slight hint of onion (which I love). Very faint hint of bubblegum.

Flavor is just loaded with fruit. Hard to describe and near perfection! Bitterness is spot on.

Honestly, this might be my favorite from the folks at TG. I love the aroma of Sue, but the aroma of ZL is not far behind and the flavor makes my mouth water for more. It even tastes great when I belch.

Mouthfeel, awesome (I don’t really care)

Definitely the most under-appreciated and underrated beer TG makes and it’s not exactly underrated or under-appreciated!!

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Photo of alphagnome
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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Photo of maximum12
3.35/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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ZeeLander from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.