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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1696
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%


Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: rayjay on 08-14-2006)
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Ratings: 1,696 | Reviews: 536 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy light golden yellow color. It boasts a huge thick fluffy white head, with a slight yellow tint. The head fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a strong citrus hop aroma. It smells of lemon, and orange. It smells slightly sour also. A slight piney aroma is present.

This beer tastes slightly sour. Not like a lambic, just subtly sour. It has a citrus flavor. Orange is dominate, with some lemon mixing in. Some piney hops are present, but only slightly. The rye flavor is quite appealing.

This beer is very smooth. It is also very crisp and refreshing. It leaves a citrus aftertaste. Almsot a lemonade like aftertaste, just not as sour.

I think that this beer would make a good session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, at 7.2%, but it is very well hidden. I could drink this all day long. Since I have a growler, I probably will.

Overall: As usual, I am not let down with Alpine Beer Company. This is another winner to add to the list of great Alpine brews.

Serving type: growler

08-11-2006 20:55:24 | More by OStrungT
Photo of damjadi
damjadi

Oregon

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Carcking open this beer was like coming upon an oasis in the hops desert!

Beautiful clear golden beer! Slight head (wish for a little more).

Smells of a citrus pine forrest! Wonderful bouquet. A bit offputting, worrying that the smell (like coffee) would not be borne out by the actual beer.

Taste: Hoppy heaven. The hop rolls across your tongue, great hop front and amazing finish! Balances the floral hop on a subtle malt backdrop.

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth and creamy. A tongue bath of exctasy.

Drinkability: Please Sir, May I have Another?

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 22:04:40 | More by damjadi
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A vigorous pour from the growler produces two fingers of head that clings to the glass impressively. Hazy, bright and golden, this could be mistaken for a hefeweizen.

Smell: Huge juicy tropical fruit and white grape with a kick of spicy, earthy rye. Nelson hops have a very perfumy, fruity, floral character that helps set this beer apart from Alpine's other heavily-hopped pales; combine that with a twang of rye and you've got a beer that's unlike anything else out there.

Taste & mouthfeel: Spicy, earthy and zesty, like rye bread with orange marmalade. Floral, fruity hops blends beautifully with the rye. Malty sweetness is minimal, but this is loaded with flavor. Finishes dry and earthy with mild bitterness. It's hard to break new ground with IPAs these days with it being such a saturated style, but Alpine has managed just that.

Overall: World class, probably my all-time favorite IPA.

Serving type: growler

03-13-2009 16:50:03 | More by largadeer
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow I cant believe I gave this beer all 5's but I had to it is so amazing!

Pours a golden yellow with a grea fluffy white head.

Smell of mandrian oranges and grapefruit.

The taste is sweet oranges, apricot, and I pick up on something differnt which I think is the rye but Im not sure. You get ever so slight alcohol on the back but it just adds a whole new element.

The mouthfeel is amazing. Super smooth, full, and a dry not not too dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 04:11:10 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of KevinBrewer
KevinBrewer

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Clear dark gold with a billowy white head that lasts, leaving thick lacing down the glass.

N- The bouquet of hop aromas is pretty amazing: pungent, resinous, piny, floral, and vinous. There is also sweet grapefruit and a spiciness which I assume is from the rye.

T- Creamy malt sweetness glides over the tongue supported by clean, pungent, piny hops. A luscious spiciness bursts forth in the middle, surrounded by the lingering pungent resins of the hop. Citrus rind and piny bitterness lingers into the aftertaste, accompanied by spicy rye.

M- Smooth creamy mouthfeel with delicate carbonation and a clean bittersweet finish.

D- Insanely drinkable, especially for 7% ABV. This is probably my favorite beer ever. I honestly cannot even imagine how this could be improved upon in any way.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 04:27:55 | More by KevinBrewer
Photo of OTB
OTB

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple cases of various IPA 's at Alpine on Friday including a bunch of Nelson. This beer is a golden with a beautiful dense one inch cap that has amazing retention and leaves behind serious lacing as I sip down. The nose, like all Alpine brews is a work of art. Sweet tropical fruit, Nelson Sauvign hops and malty biscuit round out the package. The flavor profile follows the nose down the road, gorgeous rye, pine, sweet dank hoppiness all balanced by a minimal malt backbone. I cannot say enough about the uniqueness of this work of art, it is simply one of the best IPA's I have ever had, and Alpine may be the little giant that continues to craft ultra uber cult status beers according to their own rules.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 23:08:54 | More by OTB
Photo of UAhobbes
UAhobbes

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nelson, to me, is easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had. I'm a big hop head who loves hop-forward beers. Not only is this beer incredibly well balanced, its fruity characteristics give it that respectable nudge into the elites.

If something terribly wrong occurred where one could only choose one brewery to drink from... Alpine would be the one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2014 00:03:39 | More by UAhobbes
Photo of mattwjones
mattwjones

California

4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can remember the first time I tried this beer I hated it. But that was years ago when my mouth thought good beer was Pacifico or Miller High Life. HA!

Fast forward to 2009....

My tastebuds have graduated past basic beer and I am now slowly becoming a hop head.

I stopped by Alpine Beer Co. and decided to go for a growler of Nelson instead of my usual Mandarin Nectar (look it up, good stuff) and was I blown away!

A: Darkish golden and clear. The head was clean and white, 1 to 2 fingers.

S. I wish I could soak my pillow in Nelson Rye IPA and fall asleep to the glorious hop smell I get from this beer! All I get is hops. The aroma is citrus and crisp and does not stop coming!

T: This is where it all happens. The first taste is smooth citrusy piney hops followed by the bitter hop bang. This is soo smooth and the malt is there but just enough to balance the hops out and still leave the beer crisp.

M: Clean, full, refreshing and perfectly carbonated.

D: This one is a drinker. It is getting close to the arbitrary 8% ABV required to become a II IPA but I dont care about titles and groupings, this beer is drinkable despite the highish ABV. It could defiantly catch up with you after a few pints.

Serving type: growler

05-29-2009 09:59:50 | More by mattwjones
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer appears hazy and straw yellow with a nice white head and good lace. The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of hops, grapefruit, and citrus. This beer tastes fabulous. It is very smooth and creamy with minimal bitterness. In the finish lurks a subtle hint of warming alcohol. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. World class.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fresh bottle received in a recent trade. A truly special beer. Alpine makes several of the best IPAs on the planet.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 22:39:08 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of donovanneb
donovanneb

California

4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you opened your eyes and saw the color of this beer, then closed your eyes and took a sip, for me it was the closest thing to Pliny the Elder that I have seen/tasted. Lighter in color, but full of flavor and almost sweet hops that linger in your mouth well after swallowing. Has the exact same flavor profile and elegance that Pliny has, but I think this one might be even tougher to find. Made with New Zealand hops it has all the flavor of a California IPA that all the “C” hops have.

Excellent beer, can’t wait to get a hold of another.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 15:24:59 | More by donovanneb
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major props to Huhzubendah for sharing this- Thanks Matt!

Review from notes:

Pours a beautiful light, clear, gold color w/ a one finger white head. Very clean and clear in appearance. Some of the best lacing I've seen on any beer.. period... I got grapefruit, citrus, pine, hops and pineapple on this one. Very balanced all around, and one of the nicest IPA's I've had the pleasure of trying. Taste is out of this world, w/ rye, floral tastes, and malt being added to the nose profile. Super smooth and balanced. Feel is super smooth and satisfying- w/ a hops/rye aftertaste. Overall, this is one of the best IPA's I've ever tried. I'd drive hours to get this if I could- Highly recommended! Cheers.

Serving type: growler

11-12-2011 13:52:29 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of pjkelley82
pjkelley82

New York

4.96/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review #400... and man a good one to review...

A- Beautiful . Hazy golden color. Nice head... great soapy lacing..

S- Simply put- the best hoppy beer I ever smelt... maybee it just tickled "my" fancy more than others..candied orange and mango, pineapple and guava. .. I can't even describe how damn good this beer smelled... there was something else in the smell that's hard to describe but simply when you smell it you smile... outstanding...

T-now my expectations are high and it did not disappoint....everything described In the smell is in the taste with a beautiful balancing showcase and nothing is too overwhelming but meshed together perfectly... bitterness and hops were present but again, nothing singled out another..

M-smooth and medium to light bodied with a great juicy aftertaste that begged you to keep sipping...

O- Best IPA out!...I swear by lunch (which is still world class imo):but damn you grze for getting me hooked on this beer...I drank it in a matter of 10 min. And that's pretty rare for me by myself.. but all I wanted was more... there is nothing left to say... you have to try this beer....

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:01:15 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

his is honestly one of the best I have come across hands down. I knew it would be good, but wow, blown away would be the appropriate term. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this growler was consumed on 05/06/2009.



The pour was phenomenal. Rich light amber in color with an amazing clarity to it. A huge towering head of white on the top that just would not fade at all, really amazing looking with tons of lace and foam just dripping down the sides of the glass. Intense to say the least as the tons of carbonation just rippled up through the glass. Rich, pungent, grapefruit aroma just screams off of this one. So big it could fill the room. Soo fresh, this thing rivals any of the IPA's I have ever had in terms of shear citrus smell. Light notes of pineapple as well, but even as it warmed it maintained the same rich and bright citrus notes throughout. Really just pushing right into the first sip, I honestly can say this had to be the most drinkable thing I have come across in months. It went down like water. Super clean taste with bright grapefruit and pineapple, hints of a subtle and sweet orange note as well. Incredible. I went through a glass without even knowing what was going on, it was just that good. Smooth, subtle and lightly dry in the finish, this was truly heaven on earth for me.



Overall one of the best I have had period, end of story. Go get this one.

Serving type: growler

05-07-2009 23:53:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Lothore
Lothore

California

4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light tangerine hue with a nice, 1.5 finger frothy white head that leaves decent lacing on the way down.

S- Grassy, Citrus, tons of grapefruit, mixed with light sweet fruits.

T- Bready and a tad spicy that leads into lots of citrus, blood orange, tangerine, grapefruit and has a nice bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D- A lot of these new top IPAs (Nelson, Sculpin, etc.) are very similar to pliny in the nose. This was wonderfully complex and balanced and one of the best IPAs i've ever tasted, bar none.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 01:21:44 | More by Lothore
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
HURTemHIZZY

Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was great. Just had my first sculpin a little less than a week ago. Can't remember exactly what rating I gave it, but I think this was slightly better than sculpin imo.

Pours a slightly cloudy orangeish amber with a 2 finger off white head that takes a while to dissipate and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma is incredible. Starts with a HUGE wave of tropical fruit - pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and then rounds into a tiny bit if pine with a slight hop bitterness after that. Really amazing aroma.

Taste starts out with a bit of bready malts, then shows a tiny bit of caramel before giving way to big time tropical fruit flavors, the same flavors as in the aroma. Like the smell, those flavors round into a bit of pine, a wave of grapefruit, and finish with a slightly dry hop bitterness that lingers. Delicious.

Probably the best beer I've ever had. This beer makes me wish I lived in cali (even more than russian river does)

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 16:29:16 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of PPIBrian
PPIBrian

California

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great IPA from the Alpine Beer Company. The unique character of Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand adds a wonderful grapefruit/citrus flavor that blends well with the malt. This beer is a light copper color, slightly hazy, with nice head with lots of lace that clings to the glass as you drink it. Light and slightly fruity aroma, with a touch of rye malt that goes very well with this interesting southern hemisphere hop. Overall impression -- this is an exceptionally smooth beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 09:11:53 | More by PPIBrian
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to grilledsquid for this one, and what an awesome hoppy beer!

A: Hazy golden color, opaque in the center of it and clearer on the sides. A small white head with awesome lacing.

S: Yes! Awesome hop aroma. Huge grapefruit and grassy hops with a definite note of wheat. Even more citrus comes through after the initial blast.

T: hop bite in front, really good grassy sugary center with a bittersweet end. Lots of citrus and rye wheat malt, the rye really platforms the hops well making an overall very fresh tasting hop profile even if its just a single hop. Clean, fresh, and sweeter than the aroma implies, and great.

M: Medium, dry rye, nice.

D: Very good refreshing beer thats very good. Would definitely be in my rotation if I could buy it regularly. Will look to get this, and other alpine hop beers again.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 00:10:31 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of chefguy
chefguy

New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alpine Nelson is an unbelievably great beer if you like your Hops piney and resinous. Nice light amber color, good carbonation, grapefruit aromas, smooth mouthfeel with a meduim body and just enough malts (including Rye) to give a malt back bone to the hops. As a Hop freak, this is one of my all-time favorite beers. Tastes like a pine tree air freshener steeped in dirty bongwater....just incredibly good. about my only complaint is the head retention is a little lacking.

update 2/29/12
Love this beer so much i've been getting shipments from an SD area friend. always UNBELIEVABLY good, one of my top 3 faves all-time. I hear the brewery has a taproom next door with great BBQ, i'm making a special pilgrimage from NJ soon just to experience it. urge you all to buy, trade, beg borrow or steal this beer...you'll LOVE it!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 00:37:19 | More by chefguy
Photo of jrnyc
jrnyc

New York

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this in a pint glass poured from a 22oz bomber.

A -Looks nice, nice orange color, medium head.

S: As soon as the bottle opens, the smell comes flying through, WOW!

T: This beer tastes great. A lot going on here, very hoppy, not bitter
, great taste also. A bit sweet.

M: good carbonation, feels very fresh and creamy.

O:This is a great beer. Has all the characteristics of a great IPA and incredible smell and taste. This one moves into my top 5/10.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 00:15:39 | More by jrnyc
Photo of Dspohn
Dspohn

California

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes. Purchased back in 2010 from a recent shipment which had arrived at Hollingshead Deli in Orange so I could confirm it was nice and fresh, and it did not disappoint.

This beer currently edges out the competition for my favorite IPA to date. A great looking golden beer with a bit of haze and solid white head that left a bunch of sticky lacing.

Explosive hop freshness, honestly it has an aroma and flavor profile that I find to be completely unique in the world of IPAs. A crazy combination of super juicy tropical fruit hops with a delicious spicy edge and just enough malt for support to balance things out. Ideal bitterness for my personal tastes. Something about it reminds me of the first Blind Pig I ever had which is the only other beer that I recall having this particular sort of zesty sweet and bitter fruit quality that I have trouble describing. Unfortunately the blind pigs I've had since haven't really had this character for some reason.

Any way you look at it, this beer has an outstandingly good hop profile that just perfectly fits my palate. I'm confident I could identify this beer correctly out of a line up of 10 top IPAs everytime. Alpine makes some damn fine IPAs and this one's my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 05:17:05 | More by Dspohn
Photo of Popp24
Popp24

California

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this on tap at the brewery 2 days ago and now enjoying it from a 22 oz. bomber.

A - Dark golden to light amber with a fluffy white one finger head. Tiny bubbles throughout.

S - It smells great. Very fresh hop smells and some sweet citrus smells as well.

T - Hops are very nice and flavorful but not overpowering at all. Nice fresh grass taste with a grapefruit aftertaste.

M - Very nice and smooth and creamy and light.

O - Great IPA with alot of complexity to it. Very easy to drink and super tasty. This beer makes me wish I lived closer to Alpine.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 03:06:51 | More by Popp24
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brewpub in Alpine two weeks ago. This review's from notes.

Pours a clear deep gold, just a touch darker than straw, with a creamy, pure white head that lasts the whole glass and drapes the glass with lace trails. Gigantic hop aromas in the nose - lemony, NS white grape skin, some resiny bitterness, very potent. The taste is awash with hop flavors - citrus, white grapefruit, tropical fruit, white grapes, it runs the gamut. A crackery malt base shows itself here and there, but never gives any semblance of 'balance'. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a medium carbonation level and mouth-coating hop oils. The finish is long and very bitter.

This is a majorly hoppy and complex IPA. Nelson Sauvin hops taste amazing at this hopping rate. A must try if you get a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 02:03:54 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of thebigredone
thebigredone

Wisconsin

4.91/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, thanks Chris!

For this review, all I want to say is this beer redeemed Alpine for me. I first tried Duet and Pure Hoppiness, completely overhyped IMO. Put a real downer on my desire to try other Alpine brews. Fortunately, Nelson is the real deal.

Very strong grapefruit and slightly tropical fruit flavors, a pleasing bitterness, refreshing carbonation, this beer is amazing.

This among my favorite IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 20:01:02 | More by thebigredone
Photo of jbmorch
jbmorch

California

4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is made with 100% Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. The hops variety was named for the gooseberry-like flavor it imparts to beer, which is similar to the taste notes of a sauvingon blanc wine. I'll have to take their word for it, since I don't think I've ever had gooseberries before. I don't even know what they look like.

There is definitely a fruity accent to this beer, but not the sweet, cloying taste that usually makes it hard to even finish a beer normally described as fruity. Pat at Alpine is a master of developing recipes that are balanced and "clean," leaving no lingering malty syrupy flavor on the back of the tongue after swallowing.

Nelson is clean, slightly fruity, though the nose doesn't give away much hint of the flavor to come. The aroma/bitter balance is perfect, and for a near-stong ale it is incredibly drinkable; there is no flavor fatigue at all.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2009 13:39:34 | More by jbmorch
Photo of Nashvillain
Nashvillain

Tennessee

4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this once before (thanks to Gregshead) and got to try one that I had time to review again (thanks to Thegordianknot).

Yes. Just yes. Everything about this. Reading my review is pointless if it doesn't in some way aid you in getting this beer. Your new life mission is to get as much of this stuff as possible and drink it immediately. Job, kids, life? They pale in comparison to this brew. That being said, actual review below.

Pours a dark straw into the glass. Big, pillowy head sits atop, making escaping without a beerstache an impossible feat. This thing has a ton of floaties. I'm sure they're good for you.

Oh yeah, there's extensive lacing too. As for the smell, it's cranberries, potpurri (not the crappy WalMart version, imagine a collaboration between Martha Stewart and Yankee Candle Co), and pungent awesomeness characteristic of Nelson Sauvin

Taste is dank. Just filthy, but in the best way possible. Like a messy dog kiss, nasty but bright and friendly at the same time. Almost resin-like, but not over the top. Finish is a light alcohol warmth that wraps everything up. Mouthfeel is smooth as it ought to be.

Has great potential for a desert island beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 05:38:49 | More by Nashvillain
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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,696 ratings.