Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,007 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,409
Gots: 368 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,007 | Reviews: 661
Photo of UAhobbes
5/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of just4fununlimited
5/5  rDev +11.9%

My favorite IPA from Alpine

Photo of Ian_Wedergren
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To me, Alpine Nelson > Pliny the Younger .. so drinkable and so flavorful.

Photo of KevinBrewer
5/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

O m f g so good

Photo of Eriktheipaman
5/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of Thebrewracho
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Nelson hop beer ever made. Can't get enough of this

Photo of TheFunkyBuddhaAdvocate
5/5  rDev +11.9%
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

Photo of Drsven
4.99/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.99/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of mattwjones
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of DannyBigs
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of donovanneb
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
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)

Photo of Lothore
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of hoppyhour
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What can I say that hasnt been said already, this brew is so well balanced and full of amazing grapefruit aroma and amazing clean citrus taste that it lives up to all the hype.
I enjoyed a bomber while we pulled off the road in De Luz Ca for a picnic about an hour away from where this is brewed.

Paired with deviled eggs and microgreens this beer blew us all away. Did I say well balanced? Amazing nose full of nelson grapefruit and nice carbonated bite with a very unique slightly diesely oily overtaste. Hops are the star of the show here with just enough malt to smooth it out. One of my new favorites. We hope to go to the brewery soon and try it off the tap. *** Highly recommended

Photo of Dspohn
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of chefguy
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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!

Photo of PPIBrian
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of jrnyc
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.