Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

635 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 635
Hads: 3,063
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,412
Gots: 377 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OStrungT on 08-11-2006

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
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Reviews: 635 | Hads: 3,063
Reviews by BoardwalkBock:
Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my second Alpine beer, Pure Hopiness being the first. PH was very good. Let's see if Nelson lives up to the hype. Thanks to Sebowski for the trade.

A: Surprisingly very light looking. Yellow, slightly hazy. Lacing covers the glass. Good head retention. Almost looks like Hop Ranch.

S: Big grapefruit, citrus and guava. Very nice caramel malt base. Quite amazing.

T: Taste follows the aroma. Very big hop profile but it does not overpower the beer. Very balanced beer. This satisfied my hop thirst on every single level.

M: Light to medium bodied. Perfect carbonation and bitterness.

O: After having the pleasure of trying so many delicious, wonderful IPA's in the past few weeks (Gandhi-Bot, PtE, PH, Jai Alai, Schlafly Tasmanian IPA, Sea Hag, Hopslam, etc, etc, etc.), Nelson definitely got my attention. Wonderful beer by Alpine. Glad to have acquired this since I failed at making it to the brewery when I was out in SD. Thanks again to Sebowski. (962 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm having a Nicholas Cage moment in Leaving Las Vegas. While I'm not on a bender destined to succumb myself in alcohol poisoning, each sip of this magnificent beer has me calling out for a nurse. I'm worried my neighbors may think I've gone mad. I don't even know where to begin, it's so unbelievable. First off, the pour on Nelson is beyond reproach; only rivaled by Heady Topper. Brilliant orange, super cloudy, spotty lacing. Very excellent head retention. The nose has hints of white wine from the use of Nelson Sauvin hops, and is backed by tons of citrus. Taste follows with grapefruit and pineapple. So freaking balanced I can barely stand it, as if that isn't an oxymoron in itself. The mouthfeel is creamy as ever, and I can't stop smacking my lips. I never thought I would enjoy a rye IPA so much. This is a world-class, must try beer, especially for people like me, who primarily drink IPAs. Those who have access to this on a regular basis should consider themselves extremely lucky. Hard to find a flaw. JUST WOW! (1,027 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deliciously rounded and profoundly unique with malt flavors of caramel and butterscotch balanced with citrus and winy notes- Nelson delivers the familiar wash of IPA flavors, but with a unique twist here and there to create intrigue and identity.

Pouring a firm orange camel color, the beer carries the standard hoppy hazy that allows only a mild glow to penetrate. Very well headed with a creamy egg shell white foam cap, the beer's froth retains remarkably and laces the glass with left over traces of foam. It's a sturdy looking beer.

Rich and zesty aromas seem to alternate from malty caramel in one whiff, but orange marmalade the next. Notes of herbs, grapes, citrus, and tropical fruits continue to emphasize the fruity-hop dominance of the ale.

Flavors are full of caramel, butterscotch, honey, and crisp grain as the barley makes a moderate impact on flavor. But what makes it's mark is the hops. Starting citrusy with the taste of grapefruit, freshly zested oranges, and a light mango flavor; the beer also weaves in the slightly woody flavors of white wine, juniper-gin, and sassafras for a truly unique counterpart to the ordinary citrusy-resiny hops. But the resin quality comes into play in finish with a decidedly bitter finish of drying hops, alcohol warmth, and light mint.

Medium bodied, the beer's early creaminess is quickly sheds, in favor of fleeting caramel malts, high hop bitterness, mild grassy astringency, and sappy closure. Only a linger of grapefruit bitterness reminds me of how dry the beer is and encourages a quick visit to the glass, much sooner than it should.

Although the beer has a lot of classic and intelligent characteristics that set it apart, the mild buttery taste gives the hoppy ale a rounded and rich taste while the winy hops give extra acidity with a somewhat twiggy taste. Likely considered flaws to some, the moderate tones of these properties give the beer more intrigue and seduction than they do deterrents. (1,967 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Par is whatever I say it is. I've got one hole that's a par 23 and yesterday I damn near birdied the sucker."

--Willie Nelson

Sun-splashed tangerine with bumblebee yellow trim. The pour produced two fingers of cue ball colored foam that has all sorts of interesting topography. The head is firm and bubbly and rocky and pitting and sticky. In addition, thick sheets and creamy chunks of lace are beginning to decorate the glass in wonderful fashion.

The nose is a big blast of Nelson Sauvin hoppiness that any lupulin lover should... well... love. NS smells citrusy and grassy-musky and Chardonnay grape-like. Sort of a cross between Columbus and Saaz... plus white grapes. Love it.

Love the flavor too. This is a fresh bomber and the hops are amazingly green and bright. In fact, this offering tastes like a recently bottled wet hop IPA. Nelson Sauvin is not as delicious as Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe and Amarillo, but it's distinctive and different and is doing a great job carrying this brew all by its lonesome.

The contributon from spicy rye malt isn't so prominent that it steals the hops' thunder and lightning. It succeeds in adding yet another dimension that any lover of rye-malted IPAs should... well... wait, I used that one already. Anyway, it's an amazing combination of flavors that I recommend highly.

The body/mouthfeel is merely good, something that was also true of Duet. A little more full creaminess would have put it right up there with the rest of the scores. This sucker is built for speed, though, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Alpine brews some hella good American IPAs. Duet was stunning and Nelson is as well. This is one of those times when I fantasize about living in Southern California and having access to beer like this on a daily basis. (1,807 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is actually brown in color which suggests a monster malt base to this AIPA. The head is huge and yeasty with great retention and left some wonderful lacing.

Smell - The heavy hop aroma is huge here. I can't recall ever having the namesake Nelson Sauvin hops but they remind me of big PacNW hops. The malt here though is also big and provides a strong balance. It is not overly sweet but full of caramel.

Taste - The big hops and malt come out exactly the same at the taste. This beer is perfectly balanced with monster, PacNW style pine and herbal hops and big unsweetened caramel malts.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with a good bitter bite throughout.

Drinkability - This is a big beer that begs to be sipped. It goes down well enough but will be too big for the casual drinker. It feels like a DIPA in every way except in ABV. (863 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mike for splitting this with me - one that I've been dying to try. Nelson pours a murky golden and somewhat orange-ish color. Super hazy and amazingly unfiltered, it looks something like lighter-toned apple cider. Surprisingly little head for an IPA, and it looks a bit thick during the pour, but the yeasty haze is strangely compelling.

Alpine Nelson smells like the West Coast; wall-to-wall tropical fruits that immediately pummel your nostrils as the beer nears your face. Pineapple, mango, and a very large helping of oranges and/or tangerines. It almost has a "juice" vibe too it, and even begins to draw some similarities to Pliny the Elder.

The Nelson hops have a very nice, bursting wet and weedy aroma to them. Fresh, vibrant, and bright, exploding with savory leafiness and a mild twinge of bitterness alongside their wonderful tropical fruit inclusions. Not much malt (or rye, for that matter) in the aroma. This one is clearly all about the hops.

The flavor is just as "West Coast" as the aroma; again, just bursting through with a wonderful fruit profile. More pineapples and a gushing display of tangerines. The leafy side of the hops are more amplified on the palate, coming to life with a nice pungency; weedy, wet, grassy, with a beautiful sustaining bitterness.

Some slight onion-y flavors get tossed about; typically not a flavor I'm fond of in my beer, but it's light enough here to provide another layer of complexity rather than get in the way or distract. I finally get some rye in the finish, adding a nice dryness and the lightest touch of spice in the finale. Not as heavy on the palate as it appeared; slick, oily, and lightly carbonated.

Wow, this stuff went down like nothing. It was like drinking juice with some hops mixed in. Beautiful display of the Nelson hop and what it's capable of. Huge tropical fruit aromas and flavors make this sucker incredibly easy to drink. This is something you could crush just drinking outside on a hot day. Another staple in the already larger-than-life portfolio of West Coast IPAs. (2,068 characters)

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LindaLaneIPA
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of cjn40277
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of tbryan5
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dabeel
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of woodchipper
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of surfwahine
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours almost a golden orange. Slight haze to it. Thin white head.

S - Juicy, citrus hop bitterness, hints of pineapple and grapefruit rind. There is some spice from the rye as well.

T - Tropical fruits upfront with a hint of spice, rye and bready malts follow. Very unique flavors here, unlike any other IPA I've tasted to date.

M - Not quite a medium body. Lower carbonation.

O - This is the most unique IPA I've ever had. Really like the white wine characteristics from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Another solid IPA from ABC. (532 characters)

Photo of Anstuart5
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of Ben7773
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of newk340
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

split bomber with hu5om (who received it in a trade) in new belgium goblets.

A: bronze amber in color with a light fluffy head that quickly dissipates and leaves phenomenal lacing.

S: very front heavy with white grapes, smelling similar to a white zinfidel wine, but with additional citrusy (grapefruit?) hops.

T: a BLAST of flavor, white wine extremely evident with continuous overshadowing of rye. leaves a very yeasty aftertaste.

MF/D: very smooth, carbonation evident but not overwhelming. flavors coat the mouth and throat leaving a champagne/beer feeling following each sip. (584 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber pours into my glass a deep orange/yellow with a two finger creamy, bubbling white head and superb clarity. Aromas start with a distinct tropical, pungent, fruity hop explosion. Grapefruit melds in with a nice spicy rye character. There is somewhat of a vinous, white wine character lurking within as well. Quite the lovely aroma.

First sip brings a plethora of fruity, resinous, pungent hops upfront with bold mango and grapefruit flavors. Spicy rye mixes in beautifully. Flows down with a good kick of bitterness that's well placed. Lingering fruity hops on the palate. Delicious!

Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth with perfect carbonation. This one is exceedingly easy to drink and just amazingly enjoyable. A top notch IPA and I love the addition of rye and the Nelson Sauvin hops. Seek it out if you have the ability! (826 characters)

Photo of briang01
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Alodnar
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.