Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

635 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 635
Hads: 3,068
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 379 | 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
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 635 | Hads: 3,068
Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a less than one finger head with good retention and some lacing. The appearance is the weakest area of this beer. The aroma is wonderfully hoppy. Grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and tangerines with some pineapple.

The taste is very unique, and good. Grapefruit, zest, tangerines, pineapple, malt, grass, rye, some earthiness, and some spices, although I am having trouble identifying them. It must be the New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops that give this a unique flavor. Very nice.

Sweet, with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Decent carbonation, medium bodied, and recommended. I would drink this again with no problems. (646 characters)

Photo of beagle75
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of persistent white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense and hop-forward with fleshy grapefruit and green vinous notes.

T: Begins off-dry, with focused and pungent hop aromatics that are reminiscent of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Acidity is mild, very clean. Flavors turn more herbaceous, floral, and slightly toasty in the middle. Some bitterness develops in the short finish, showing a little more of an herbaceous quality than peel of grapefruit.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate with a slight acidic burn, and with moderate carbonation.

D/O: At the first glance, Alpine's beer line-up may seem needlessly crowded with IPAs. A careful exploration of each will allow the taster to appreciate just how much variability is possible within the style: O'Brien's delivers the greatest balance, fulfilling the role of general-purpose IPA that does not disappoint; Duet is a showcase of Simcoe qualities (and a great substitute for Sculpin); and Nelson is the grapefruit bomb of the three. As advertised, it delivers grapefruit that is laser-focused and juicy, with an intensity that even challenges grapefruit-focused DIPAs such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder. If any criticism is required, its qualities have an obsessive simplicity about them--but after all, Nelson is a specialist whose companion brews pick up the slack nicely. (1,466 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden color with not much of a head but some great lacing down the glass.

S: A lot of grapefruit here. The citrus hops smell fresh and absolutely amazing. A bit of tangerine in there as well and some bubblegum.

T: Some fresh grapefruit hop flavor upfront. Before the hops can get too bitter, the malts come in and smooth it out. The malts don't have a ton of flavor on their own, but they allow the hop flavor to ride over them without letting any bitterness over them. There's no "pop" to the hops, but this beer just works. Another great one from Alpine. (568 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at south bay drugs.

A - Poured copper golden with 2 fingers of white head. Dissiaptes moderately and left little lacing.

S/T - Rye, roast toffee, grapefruit, citrus and resiny pine. Lots of resinousness.

M - Moderate in body, hop-dominated and finishes smooth. Something is a little off in this beer. The combination of hops give the finish a somewhat chalky mouthfeel.

D - Good overall. Definitely worth trying. (426 characters)

Photo of imagese
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to perfect pint glass

A- hazy light gold with the slightest billowy head that hangs around the edges and laces the whole glass nicely

S- huge sweet grapefruit slam with a slight pepper back end. Not much malt profile at all

T- super spicy grapefruit awesomeness!!! Very earthy and sweet. Pepper lingers with hop bitterness

M- very full and pleasant. The carbonation is close to being too much, but the thickness of the beer works with it

D- this is a big IPA. Bigger than a lot of DIPA's out there. If you like super hop forward beers, than this is an awesome beer to sit down and enjoy!!!

This is the first time I've had this from a bottle. Have had on tap several times, and don't remember being this impressed... (740 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for sharing this one!

Pours a cloudy orange, some amber highlights, huge and fluffy white head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, nice layer, looks good.

Smell is neat, white wine/riesling grapes, some floral, pine, grapefruit, bread and wheat in the middle, a bit of caramel sweetness, rye spice, orange zest, really cool hop profile.

Taste is similar, grapefruit up front, riesling again, pine, light citrus, orange peel, some biscuity malt and honey, a touch of rye with a spicy bitter finish, well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Carbonation detracts from it a bit but still a pretty swell beer. I need to get me some of those Nelson Sauvins. Thanks Eric! (742 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a golden orange colour into a snifter glass. I could really pick up grapefruit in the smell. The taste followed suit as a intense grapefruit like flavour followed with each sip. Good bitterness and a nice malty backbone. Very nice beer. (292 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White grapes, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, honeydew melon, apples, and perfume scents bellow from a clear, golden amber body. A fruity and vibrant aroma if I do say so myself with faint peppery bread notes.

Starts grape-like and heads to lemon and grapefruit citrus with melon, finally fading to grass. Hop flavors truly shine. Bitterness builds early but remains in balance. Finishes a medium in length melon sweet giving way to dryness with a distinctive bitter finish that is more pepper and earth than wood; alcohol heat is noticeable.

Mouthfeel is just great with high carbonation, pleasant creaminess from the medium body, and some faint tongue drying. Very sippable and the flavors just all work well together giving a refreshingly crisp, fruity quality with a pinch of mineral flavor and salt. (809 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, thanks augustgarage! Been waiting to try this one for a while. Into chouffe tulip.

A- Pale gold with mild orangey qualities, the background of the label looks like the beer color, actually. Thick head that is snowy, good if thin lacing, nice first ring and it follows all the way down.

S- Floral, fruity, hoppy. Tropical fruit and a bit of a citrus note. Slight peppery quality, but faint.

T- Whoa. Hoppy, fruity indeed- tangerines or clementines. What am I tasting? ... Ah, the rye. Didn't know this was brewed with rye but I can def. taste it. My tongue is going back and forth from the fruity hops, the slightly spicy malt... Tasty and a bit of a head-scratcher. Not exactly the most harmonious blend but very good.

M- ABV is well-hidden and this is a balanced beer- strong enough malt to counter the potent hops.

D- Fairly high. Very tasty, the rye threw me for a bit of a loop and I can say I still prefer Alpine's Duet IPA over this one.. that being said this is a great beer and I'm even more impressed with the skills of the Alpine brewers. This one disappeared from my glass faster than I expected- very very drinkable. (1,141 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nelson pours out a unique shade or dark golden that has an almost green look to it. The light tannish head is not enormous, but there is good retention and a gorgeous ring of microbubbles that clings along the edges of the glass. The aroma is a mix of grassy and floral hops that combines with the spicy rye to form an almost funky paper mill scent. I find the nose a bit peculiar, and actually not completely appetizing.

Whie I find the nose a bit esoteric, the flavor is what matters and it is flat out tasty. The front end of the brew has loads of flora, followed up by some grapefruit balanced by a spicy finish. Alpine has the knack to showcase hops in an enormous way without the bitterness that I typically expect. Not that there is anything wrong with bitter beer, but this is an exceptionally crafted brew. The feel is medium with spot on carbonation, well carbonated, but not prickly and bordering on smooth. Sticky with a pleasant floral, grassy quality.

Very tasty beer from one of the top pale ale producers in the country. (1,040 characters)

Photo of jtingue
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Very hazy golden orange in color. Pours with 3 fingers of tight white head, which descends beautifully forming meringue like peaks and tons of thick lacing.

Smell. A split between tropical fruit and hearty rye bread aromas.

Taste. Starts out with the bite of a bitter, bready rye malt flavor. Lots of citrus hops follow, with tangerine being predominant. A garlic like flavor develops, and is accompanied by the bitterness of the hops, but not the citrus flavor. The finish is slightly herbal and sees the return of those citrus hops. Herbal bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel. Medium to heavy body and tight carbonation give this one a very creamy mouthfeel. Reminds me more of a double IPA than a single.

This one is very interesting, and different than what I expect out of california IPAs. The addition of rye seems to make this a completely different beast. Not sure how I feel about the metallic flavor in the beginning. (964 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle thanks to Airfoil (picked up from brewery exactly 2 weeks ago). Poured into Lawson's snifter.

A- Pours a little bit hazy dark orange slightly amber. About a half finger of white head that quickly recedes. Not too much carbonation. Some light layered lacing.

S- Citrus hops, grapefruit, balanced with Bready/caramel malts. A little bit above average aroma strength and very pleasant smelling.

T- Citrus, grapefruit hops that blend with lightly sweet bready caramel malts with a hint of honey and a sweet citrusy finish that lingers for a little bit. Very nice balance and quite tasty.

M- Medium bodied, maybe slightly thicker then your average IPA, smooth, goes down easily.

O- This was a very nice IPA, that is typical to the other Alpine's that I've had. Alpine definitely nails the balance between hops and malts in their IPAs and I love the malts that they use. I liked Duet a little bit more, but Nelson is very good too. I would definitely drink this beer again. (985 characters)

Photo of Soonami
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpine Nelso was provided to me via trade courtesy of tbase. This is a really interesting IPA! The Nelson Sauvin hops used in the brewing of this beer really adds a fresh vinous, fruity aspect to this otherwise solid IPA. Without the interesting hops I think this a pretty typical IPA, in fact it reminds a lot of hill farmstead citra which I thought was pretty good but Nelson really has it going on. The bitterness in this beer is slightly subdued but i like that because it helps you really taste and smell the Nelson Sauvin. The rye also contributes a nice earthy spiciness helps keep the beer grounded. If possible get a hold of this beer, even if you have to pay ridiculous shipping for it. It's worth it! (711 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received from hophead84 - thanks for the hook-up!

Pours a lighter than average golden straw color, a bit of haze. Tons of head builds up in the tulip - whoah! Leaves a sticky, rocky head in the glass and chunks of lacing down the glass. Pretty.

Loads of citrus in the nose - candied grapefruit, lemons, a hint of spicy rye in there - very juicy and a hint on the tropical side.

The rye comes out way more in the flavor, giving a nice earthy spicy balance to the citrus hops. Loads of juicy grapefruit, hints of pine and floral hops, lemons, a medium bitterness that kicks in mid sip and has a medium lasting finish, light caramel malt tries to hold its own and without the rye it would lose - as it is, it's tasty!

The drawback on this beer is the carbonation - it's too heavy. Spritzy and gives it an edge that detracts on the drinkability. Sparkly but with a nice dryness in the finish.

Dial down the carb and you've got one of the tastiest IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking - very complex and layered with enough hops to please everyone. Love the rye - Yum. (1,082 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ehammond1

Look: Pours a semi translucent orange color with a 1/3 inch head and good retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: The beer has quite a strong hop aroma bringing forth some nice tropical fruits and there is also a slight grape note. The rye adds a subtle spice

Taste: The beer starts out the same way as the nose with some tropical fruits pineapple and peach stick out with a subtle grape undertone. Mid palate the rye spice picks up and to me it seems like the rye spice actual fights with the hop flavor just a bit which creates a unique flavor but throws me off just a bit

Mouthfeel: Not quite medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: I really enjoy this beer and I wish Alpine wouldn't be so fucking stingy with their disto of this. (762 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light gold in color with a very nice inch of white head. Leaves plenty of webby, spotty lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell is floral hops with just a hint of rye there to compliment.
Taste is wonderful. Beautiful hops, wonderful balance with hops. Citrusy and piney.
Incredibly smooth and easy drinking. Absolutely refreshing and a pleasure to drink. This bottle is drinking well, I'd imagine it's even better on tap.
Great beer. (443 characters)

Photo of t420o
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to schmoopsbeer for this one

A- Pour produces a half finger head that is white/near off white in color. Though you can see the active bubbles in the beer, it did not produce much of a head with a semi-aggresive pour. The beer is light golden/ Burnt orange in color.

S- Well just like the description on the bottle says I smell a lot of grapefruit. That is accompanied by orange, and like I've seen on some other reviews a garlicky/musty type scent. Its not garlic but something similar to it I am smelling just cannot put my finger on it. Strangely enough this is not off putting at all and seems to fir right in.

T- Grapefruit, dry white wine taste, herbal flavor, and some tangerine. Some tropical fruit hints also. It is really hard toput a finger on just what I am tasting in this one but its somewhat similar to a white wine but with a richer, buttery-herbacious flavor that accompanies it. The Nelson Sauvin hops are very interesting and I enjoy them a lot. Slightly dry on the backend. Cannot feel a hint of alcohol. Excellent

M- Nice carbonation level. Nice density. Goes down super smooth.

O- An excellent and interesting beer that I highly recommend. Very drinkable (1,193 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thins white head on a clear dark golden. Spotty lacing, good head retention.

Fresh bright hops. Tad of the rye.

Citrus noticed on nose isnt as prevalent on tongue. Rye spice on the back end but not overpowering in the least. Pretty easy drinkin, would guess around 6.5%abv

Good carbonation point, medium to medium thin mouthfeel.

Just a tinge different from most IPAs to set it apart. The rye aspect had me craving another sip repeatedly. Thanks kawilliams82! (463 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Doopie brought out a Nelson, Duet and a Pure Hoppiness a while back. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, white head with good retention. Slightly cloudy amber yellow with some carbonation evident. Slowly fades to a healthy wisp and clings to the sides. Slight wisp and ring remain, leaving some very nice lacing down the glass. Similar to Duet but definitely lighter in color.

SMELL: Similar nose as well. Pale malts, light butterscotch, with honeydew melon and lots of grapefruits instead of the apricots in Duet. Piles of pine as well. Very piney. Bold and very enticing.

TASTE: Pale malts and honeydew melon up front, with some citrus, lots of grapefruit and piles of pine flavors at the swallow. Some buttery notes, butterscotch through the middle, into a piney and bitter finish. Bold and lingering finish of grassy pine, grapefruit bitterness and some sweet melon notes. Great stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy enough, though a touch less than Duet, goes down nice and finishes very dry on the palate. Full and creamy enough, but a little too dry of a finish perhaps.

Really enjoyed this one, as I did all the Alpine hop bombs we had that afternoon. Perhaps my favorite all-around IPA brewer in the USA. Compared to Duet, this one was lighter in color and had more pine and grapefruit as opposed to apricot. Both are world class, however. Thanks again Doopie. Recommended. (1,468 characters)

Photo of angelmonster
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to billshmeinke for sending this to me in a LIF

Pours a big one inch white head. Body is a clear golden orange color. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is a mix of spicy rye , citrus, and pineapple. Pine and some sweet honey are also in the background.

First taste is a ton of hops. Starts off with citrus, mango, and pineapple. Bitter pine hops come in next and its all balanced by the rye which added some black peppercorns and clove. Alcohol is slightly present but not overpowing and blends nicely with the hops.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Head contributed little to the beer.

Drinkability is really good. Finished the bomber rather easy, really unique beer. Never heard of this beer or brewery up until acouple months ago but its easily one of the best Ipa's I've had. (822 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/11/11 notes. Big big thanks to Nugganooch
for sending me two fresh bombers of this one; thanks Dane! This has been a Want of mine for years that I just never got around to trading for. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent golden color with a slight orange tint, one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for three minutes of so and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks great.

s - Smells of fresh citrus hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, light pine hops, oranges. Smells very fresh and fruity; I'm loving the smell.

t - Tastes of citrus hops with a light bit of bitterness, oranges and tangerines, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Very nice taste, but not quite as great as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a fantastic IPA; another winner from Alpine. Really liking this one, and very glad I have another bottle of it. Well worth the wait. (999 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Golden and very cloudy. Decent head that fades into a filmy wisp. Great lacing, nonetheless. Slightly resinous aroma with a noticeable floral characteristic. Carbonation is a bit on the hard side up front. The middle brings out an interesting floral/spicy hoppiness with what seems to be a guava-like flavor in the upper palate. Finish is standard IPA bitterness. Medium mouthfeel. (430 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from mikey711, very much appreciated. The beer is lightly hazy, light orange color, dense foamy head. The smell isn't as unique as I expected from the Nelson Sauvins, but I guess the longer it lingered I noticed some nuances. Light citrus and pine, a little orange peel, and a very light touch of rye. These all came through in the taste, maybe not so much from the rye but still delicious. Very drinkable, the body was just right for an American IPA, perfect carbonation. (484 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass, from notes last month. Shows a rather clear medium golden color with a half inch of nearly white head. Bumpy head leaves lots of lacing initially, reducing through the glass.

Very hoppy on the nose with notable rye scents mixed in. Hops are of fresh pine and citrus and unusually well balanced. Taste follows with light citrus and rye, moderate on the malts. Light and flavorful. Feel is a touch chewy but not in a rich malt sense, as there is a coarseness from the rye that accompanies the finish. Just the right amount of bitterness concludes.

Note: Called an IPA by the brewery(golden rye IPA) and tastes as such. Very nice hop flavor, would like to see more of this Nelson Sauvin hop. (731 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Scored this want in a generous BIF box from domtronzero.

A - Orange-yellow hazy body with a white head resting on top

S - A nice pineapple smell mingles with some funk rye aroma. This thing smells fantastic. I absolutely love the aroma Nelson Sauvin hops produce and the mix of that and a rye make an unforgettable aroma.

T - Picking up more pineapple-y hop flavor mingled with light rye notes. A formidable malt backbone stands up throughout this one. Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting however. Nice flavor but not amazing like the nose.

M - medium body, slightly sticky good amount of carbonation

D - Pretty tasty beer but the flavor doesn't match the awe of the nose. Not as bitter as I was expecting but still a pretty good beer. I wouldn't mind drinking more of this but wouldn't go nuts trying to seek it out. (870 characters)

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