Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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651 Reviews
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Reviews: 651
Hads: 3,197
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 1,413
Gots: 406 | FT: 16
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: 651 | Hads: 3,197
Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of OTB
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of pjkelley82
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | 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....

Edit: I have had this beer another two times since my review and all it did was prove how damn good this brew was and that my review is spot on. I've shared this beer with a few buddies and they agree that its a world class brew and in the top hoppy beers they have ever had. The general consensus was that it was too smooth and easy drinking (in a good way) and one could polish off 2 bottles before they knew it was done.

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Photo of BergBeer
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Look: Crystal clear straw gold with a thick white head. Good lacing and lots of legs.

Smell: Pungent citrus and rye spicy notes make this one amazing smelling beer. Getting white grapes, white pepper, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, a hint of farmhouse or straw funk, kiwi, all rounded out by a rye pepperyness. I wish they made air fresheners of this beer!

Taste: White grape and delicate white wine notes on the attack give way to tangerine, orange blossom, grapefruit hints, a hint of sweet malt, and rye comes out big on the finish to balance out the white wine notes. This beer really let's the nelson hops shine through and the rye plays a beautiful balancing game. The rye really brings the nelson hops to the for front without masking them as all. Nelson hops are too damn tasty!

Mouthfeel: Wet on the tongue while the rye adds a bit of bite and buzzes the tongue even furthering the nelson hops to the forefron.! Goes down wet and covers the mouth and throat. No hint of booze.

Overall: Outstanding brew. Too many times breweries don't let nelson hops roam on their own but alpine boldly goes where most are afraid and came back with one shining example how to make a nelson IPA ! Alpine is the pinnacle of IPAs in SD right now and this one delivers in spades! If your love nelson hops or want to try them out the right way get this beer

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Photo of amsguitarist
5/5  rDev +13.9%

This is the best IPA I've ever had. Smooth, complex and refreshing. Reminds me of drinking a refreshing frothy glass of orange juice with all the complexities of an IPA. Yes. It is that good.

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Photo of SierraJosh
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks David. I may move to SD for the sole purpose of drinking bombers of this beer on the regular.

Hazing yellow, odd for an IPA. Tropical/grapefruit, white wine, herbal & floral on the nose. Beautiful aroma. Massive tropical fruit and white wine on the taste, the spice of the rye pulls the finish dry and leaves you wanting another sip. Soft carbonation and minimal lacing on the glass. Remarkable beer, unique and simply the best. Nelson transcends the IPA style.

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Photo of largadeer
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of surfcaster
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first 5 beer-cannot imagine anything better

A: beautiful golden cloudy beer with a creamy thick head that put a dense lace down the pint glass.

S: I could smell this one from across the bar. Just pungent pine and a floral aroma that is so unique that it is hard to describe it. Bright.

T: Just magic. Explodes on the tip of the tongue. Juicy and robust. Very hop forward but such a different flavor than any IPA I have had.

M. Perfect carbonation.

O. My favorite IPA to date. Beats HT all day long.

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Photo of KATCanada
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap in the brew pub and multiple bottle.
Pours a great hazy orange even my non drinking wife was blown away. Just a great looking beer. Like all Alpine beer I've ever had the nose is beautiful and fruity. Beautiful balance, long smooth finish. I love Nelson hops and this is my favorite example. A top 5 beer of all time for me for sure.

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Photo of Tony49er
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type- On tap poured into a 13oz tulip glass

Appearance- Hazy peach and straw color, finger and a half of fluffy white head, lacing soft but strong

Smell- WOW....Tons of tropical fruits on the nose, papaya, mango, peach, mandarins, great white wine dryness and hop presence as well..just awesome

Taste- Yep another WOW....Tons of tropical fruits again, papaya, mango, peach and mandarins, awesome Nelson Sauvin hop dryness almost like a great white wine...just fantastic, tons of sweet tropical notes, but also great hop bitterness to counter the sweetness

Mouthfeel- Medium light body and soft carbonation

Overall- One of the BEST Beers I have ever had and easy one of the BEST IPA's I have ever had just a world class beer all around...if you have never had this beer and you are able to track it down on tap or in the bottle do yourself a favor and get some...CHEERS

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
5/5  rDev +13.9%

- 22 oz. bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 22-Nov-11
- 22 oz. bottle poured into Firestone Walker pint glass on 20-Oct-12

Much grapefruit up front and lingering honeydew at finish. Get some pineapple as well. Similar piney front as Just Outstanding, but opposite finish; smooth and flavorful. Wet texture. Bottle notes that the Nelson Sauvign hops are from New Zealand and have a white wine quality to it. I think this very aspect is what draws me to the beer. Crisp and refreshing.
Would and could drink this all day!

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Photo of vitALEity
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Hazy, light pale/straw with 2" of white head. Great retention (like a half inch of fluffy white snow) and great lacing.

S - Incredible. A fruit punch of gooseberry, lemon, sweet orange, pineapple, mango, guava, white grapes.

T - Tropical fruits, lemon, sauvignon blanc, wildflower honey.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, layers of flavor hit you all over your tongue. Dry but never bitter in the finish.

O - So different then the typical "west coast IPA" and so welcomed. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of damjadi
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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?

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Photo of UAhobbes
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Briesch
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a 22oz bomber purchased from brewery and bottled one week prior to drinking. If you want to know what Nelson is supposed to taste like, this is the only clear cut way to do so at this point and time.

This is the only beer in which I cannot find a flaw. Beautiful hazy orange color. Smell of pineapple, citrus and passion fruit bursts out of the glass. It contains a slight smell which you can often sense emanating from the Alpine brewery. Sometimes I like to just stand in the brewery to get a whiff of this intoxicating smell. It's hard to describe but it's great.

The taste follows into the nose perfectly and this has become the best IPA I have ever drank. Tons of fruity hop character but also a slight white wine taste which I have never picked up in any other beer. A few other Alpine beers have this quality and I'm sure it would make the wine drinker happy. At times I feel like I'm drinking a fresh squeezed glass of OJ. The mouth feel on this and all Alpine beers is spot on and in my opinion is what sets these beers apart from the field. Just a touch of hop bitterness and the beer finishes in a way where you immediately want another sip.

I can't say enough about this beer. It disappoints me to often find sub-par versions of Nelson on tap and reviews by those who have not tasted the real deal. Do yourself a favor and pick up a fresh bomber of this beer to see what all the hype is about. Either that or Go To Bed!

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Photo of KevinBrewer
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of TheFunkyBuddhaAdvocate
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Epic west coast ipa that I had the pleasure of enjoying 8 days fresh out of a bomber.
Amazing Pine notes and amazingly drinkable although I prefer generally more bitter ipas this is Amazing

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Photo of Drsven
4.99/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing! Depending upon your location this is probably more difficult to get your hands on than Pliny or Heady. Drank fresh at Alpine on draft and brought back a couple of bottles. Don't be fooled by the cloudy pour or hoppy smell, this is one easy to drink beer!

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Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.99/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So often these over hyped beers end up being a let down...not this one. This may very well be the best single IPA I've ever had. Nelson is at the forefront of this brew. It is incredibly smooth and balanced. Very easy drinking with its light body. Smell is fantastic. Color is a nice golden hue. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of mattwjones
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of DannyBigs
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alpine has just started distributing their kegs and I have been lucky enough to be in LA and a frequent customer to the bars where they get Alpine's stuff. This Rye IPA has a very unique hazy and golden color, not typical of other Rye IPAs I've had (Hop Rod, Ruthless). The smell is on point, I can't think of a better nose to a beer that I've ever had (Pliny is up there though). This sets you up for an unbelievable palate pleaser. Very very drinkable (got me into some fun last night) and not something you can burn out on. If you can get your hands on this, it's an unforgettable beer. A top 5 IPA for sure.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of donovanneb
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.