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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

643 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 3,126
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,417
Gots: 393 | 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: 643 | Hads: 3,126
Photo of Zonk
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden in color with just a bit of haze. Nice crisp floral notes to nose, maybe some grapefruit. Has a bit of spice to it, someone mentioned white pepper which I think is spot on. Mouthfee is crisp and so dry it feels almost powdery on the tounge. (255 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad props to Alex (MasterSki) and Shane (HopHead84) for getting me this beer. Much appreciated, bruthas!

Review #200...although this isn't anything too special, I feel it's a great beer on the top 100 that fits this special occasion nicely. I've had this on-tap at the Brewery but wanted to give it a proper review so I waited until I could score a bottle.

Poured from 22oz bomber into imperial nonic.

A - Pours a light rusty golden color that's not clear yet not mirky...right in between. There a good two fingers of white head that stays around and isn't going anywhere. Lots of bubbles come up from the bottom of the glass to the top, feeding the foamy monster of head. Super head retention and super lacing...probably one of the best looking IPA's I've ever reviewed.

S - Hops, bitter, hops, and more bitterness mixed in with notes of rye. Def some citrus notes such as tangerines, orange peels, sharp lemon hints in there as well.

T - Subtle citrus hops, bitterness, and the finish is where I get most of the rye characteristics. Pretty straight forward here, but very solid, with that said.

M - Light to medium bodied, very nice feel, smooth and refreshing. The large amount of head retention feeds into the feel, which I like.

D - One of the top IPAs for me, Alpine continues to kill it when it comes to all things hoppy. A brewery that I won't ever miss when I'm in the area visiting. (1,400 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold, topped with a finger of bright-white foamy head. The retention has a nice creamy look to it (and great flare-up as well) leaving behind thick rings of sticky froth. The aroma is floral and spicy, with a ton of bitter grapefruit. This is quickly followed by some white-grape character and doughy grains. Just a great bouquet here.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit juice, citrus rind, and a deep dry spiciness. Once again, I'm also getting some softer bright-tasting fruit flavors, like peaches or grapes, which I'm assuming are coming from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Toasted bready sweetness creeps along the back, with this finishing with even more dryness and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big (yet still easy and mellow) creaminess that fills the mouth. Very silky feel here, that just seems to glide down the throat with no sign of alcohol in sight.

Lovers of grapefruit, spice, or just the Nelson hop in particular are going to really dig this. Personally, I felt that it naturally lacked some of the sizzle that this had fresh on draft in San Diego and had a strange "off" taste to it that I couldn't quite pinpoint. This is still damn tasty stuff though and is well worth seeking out. (1,283 characters)

Photo of cwps48
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerman4 for putting this in as an extra.

Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: The head won't stop. After my first pour, it stayed briefly at the rim, but kept growing after the next couple minutes. Eventually there was a mound a good inch and a half above the rim. Never seen a head grow like that. Leaves a lot of lacing. Nice golden color, not transparent. Head never went down all the way.

S: Hops. Citrus. Floral with a pine backbone. Smells a little sweet with how floral it is. A touch of alcohol in there.

T: Hoppy, but not too bitter. Lots of pine flavor. A bit of grapefruit. My roommate says it's like a dry white wine, but I don't know wine so well.

M: After the initial carbonation release, the carbonation level is very nice; slightly tingly, not a mouthful of air. Dry finish, though as it warms it's slightly less dry.

D: Drinkability is high. Easy to drink, smooth, definitely refreshing. 7% abv is hidden well in the taste. (962 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired as an extra in a trade with Rishi, thank you sir!

Pours a dark amber, cloudy opaque body with a nice two finger off white fluffy head that sticks around for a while, leaving sticky lacing and chunky retention.

Aromas are interesting for a IPA.. I get some diacety and butterscotch, pine and sweet tropical fruit, mango and pineapple.

Very delicious and balanced, piney/tropical hops sitting on a pale malt backbone.. very little astringency/bitterness on the finish, super smooth with medium carbonation and body.

Overall I enjoyed Nelson's drinkibility and smooth balanced character. The hops don't blow you away with flavor such as other juicy hop-bombs, but work well with the malt backbone and aren't cloying at all. Would drink again. (798 characters)

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a hazy orange(with some yeasty floaters) and a sticky white head. The aroma is pine, oranges and pineapple. The flavor follows the nose, with pineapple-orange juice being dominant. The finish lingers and is sweet. The beer is medium bodied and easy drinking. The beer works for me. I was expecting a bigger beer, but the profile is much more sublime and layered. (419 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtsey of MASPuros...thanks Mike!

A: Poured a golden hazy color with a small white head that fades to nothing and leaves a small amount of lacing.

S: Nose is all piney hops with a small amount of tropical fruit in the background. There is a small rye component to the nose but it's barely detectable although it does show up a bit more as it warms. It also get more fruity as it warms and I get a big passion fruit aroma.

T: Taste is all pine bitterness like the nose with a small fruity flavor on the finish. The rye adds a spicey kick towards the end of the finish as well. The fruity sweet flavors get more pronounced as you let the beer warm. I can actually taste the passion fruit that has been mentioned now that it has warmed and the bitterness is all but gone. Very interesting flavors and a big change from right out of the fridge to about an hour later.

M: Feel is par for the style. Creamy and the carbonation is just right.

D: I would have this again but I'm not sure if I'll search for it too hard. The 7% isn't bad and could make me want a few bombers in one sitting.

This is good but I may be tempted to reach for other offerings before this one again. If you like rye in your beer this is one to try though. Let it warm and you will be greeted with a very different beer from when it's cold. (1,327 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber received in a recent trade courtesy of mbudner. Thanks again man!

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy white head with good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Dank oily hop aroma with lots of dry earthy pine needle along with some sweet citrus notes, rye and subtle malt character. It smells like there is some incredibly fresh hops with a good bit of sweet citrus peel and grapefruit but the dry piny scent dominates.

Very well balanced dry, sweet and bitter medium body that is slightly earthy with a lot of uber fresh juicy hops. Lots of dry earthy pine up front that is quickly balanced by a nice citrusy lemon peel/grapefruit character, sweet rye malt and graham crackery malt presence. I was hoping that the rye would be more pronounced but it was a bit subtle providing nice balance. The ABV is excellently masked resulting in a complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable IPA. (996 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

an opaque orangy yellow pour with a full 2 fingers of white fluffy head which dissipated slowly and left some great amount of sticky lacing behind. smells of fruity hops, slight pine, herbal garlic-like scent, grapefruit, mint leaves.

this is my first experience with these nelson sauvin hops, and i am really liking it. there is a minty/fruity/grape-like flavor to it. add a nice malty sweet backbone (but dry enough almost like wine) and you have a delicious ipa.

this is a very easy drinking, refreshing ipa medium in body with highr carbonation (for the style) and a nice dryness in the finish.

this is an excellent ipa, with a nice semi bitter lingering flavor mixed in with what feels like white wine. reading the label on the bottle, i now see that this comes from the hops. what a wonderful experience. (815 characters)

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to one of California's many BAs. From notes.

Pours hazy orange with a huge foamy white head. Great looking beer.

Smells of intense floral and citrus with a little malty sweetness on the back end.

The taste follows the smell almost to the letter with a little extra sweetness. Lots of floral and citrus hoppy gootness with a bit of sweet malt on the end to balance things.

Creamy with a nice bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

Very drinkable. I wish I had more. (474 characters)

Photo of brydeen
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly murky, golden color, with a creamy thin white head. Dissipates slowly, but clings to the glass the whole way.

S: A tropical yet earthy aroma. Not a punch you in the face aroma like many of my favorite IPAs, but very pleasant. Grapefruit and mango up front, with a dank spiciness behind it.

T: A light sweetness right off the bat, but finishes with a spicy bite of the rye. Really quite smooth and subtle. Not overly bitter with hops.

M: Very light carbonation and a surprisingly creamy texture.

O: Really solidly balanced beer. The flavor and aroma are subtle but delicious. Always a favorite of mine. (670 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw color, with about 1/2" of white head that has decent retention and lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but it does not have quite the clarity that I have seen in other Alpine IPAs.

Smell: Light pale malt scents are evident, but that is quickly overshadowed by pungent tropical fruit dankness. Very nice.

Taste: Mirrors the smell. Nice, light malt backbone which adds a bit of sweetness but not too much. Then comes the hop flavors. Tropical fruit flavors shine, namely pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness, almost exclusively tropical fruit and dankness.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer has a light body with moderate carbonation, which is about right. Overall, the Nelson hops really shine in this beer. I love tropical fruit notes and limited bitterness in my IPAs, so I was a fan. (826 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy grapefruit and earthy hop aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture with soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy bitter flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration. Very good brew. (328 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: I must admit, I enjoyed the aroma far more than I have enjoyed anything else that is, or has ever been, placed in front of my nose. Very aromatic aroma of juicy oranges and pinapples, freshly cut grass, and what reminds me of either minced garlic or shallots.

Taste: Light, fleeting malt flavor and sweetness upfront before a bright burst of juicy hop flavors, zesty orange rind and pineapple rings. Full notes of white grapes and garlic (or is it shallots). Hint of damp grass. All in all, there's only a very reasonable amount of bitterness. Finishes decidedly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's really great smelling stuff! I had to be restrained from pouring out the growler onto myself so I could continue to smell this beer for days and days to come. (875 characters)

Photo of theghost3
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Moderate layered lacing.

The smell is strong of grapefruit and oranges along with coriander and a little bready malt. The taste is grapefruit and herbal hops, peppery with some caramel and bready malts. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium-bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is a drinkable IPA. Don't expect a hop bomb; just a citrusy, smooth brew. (421 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a recent box from BrewerB, thanks for hitting this Want Brian!

It pours a light tinged gold in color, light in body, with a one finger frothy white head. It smells of clean grapefruit, pineapple, light soap, with a light citrus finish. It's really nice. The flavors are a combination of clean piny hops, soap, light citrus, and it has a light yet bitter finish. Still very solid. It drinks very light and smooth and has nice flavors that're both appealing and easy to come back to. This is a very approachable IPA. I'd put this in the Blind Pig ballpark. It's a nice IPA and I'm glad I could try it. (626 characters)

Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

ritzkiss shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled jan 1/2010.

pours hazy dark yellow with a huge fluffy white head. drops fairly fast with lots of chunky lace.

aroma is great. big hoppy blast. a bit resiny. grapefruit, but more a juicy pink grapefruit than a super sour one. touch of lemon. lots of white grape. grapefruit juice. light alcohol. white bread. bit of cracker.

taste is good. just over medium bitterness level. light alcohol. grapefruit juice. bit of white grape. bit of orange. slightly powdery. white bread and cracker. really neat hop character. bit of rye spice.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium-high carbonation level, but it manages to level out to a more reasonable level fairly fast.

drinkability is great. love the hop character and bit of extra depth you get from the light rye spice. good balance. this is one tasty brew! (877 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 22 fl. oz bottle
Served in a pint glass
Acquired in a trade with stawn

The crystal clear, light amber body was topped by a frothy, bright white, two-finger head which faded to a lasting film. Thick streaks of lacing stuck along the sides of the glass.

Tons of hops in the aroma. Fruity and citrusy with strong notes of sweet ruby red grapefruit and tropical fruits. Some earthiness came through as well. A bit of spicy rye appeared as the beer warmed. Overall, rather intriguing.

The taste was impressive. Hoppy right off the bat. Crisp and citrusy. Tart and spicy rye notes appeared up front and intensified in the center. At this point, the hops became more earthy and herbal. The finish was piney, pithy and dry yet surprisingly balanced.

The mouthfeel was silky smooth and creamy. However, likes it's brethren Duet, this IPA could have a bit more heft.

Drinkability was notable. While super hoppy, this beer was surprisingly balanced. Furthermore, the alcohol was well buried.

I was skeptical as to how the addition of rye would work in a West Coast-style IPA but I was very satisfied with the results. The folks at Alpine really know how to make their hops sing. (1,188 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this from Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego, around $6 if I remember correct.

A: Light amber in color with a smallish stark white head, approximately 1/4" worth, might be the fault of the glass though. Recedes to practically nothing. Excellent clarity. Some very nice lacing.

S: Really resinous pine, big time pine bomb on this beer, holy shit, I guess crushed spruce needles would be the best descriptor. The white wine, as described on the bottle is also a nice note. Below that is a nice blend of caramel and also a bit of a grainy rye bite to it as well. Absolutely in love with the smell, not a 5, but definitely a solid 4.75.

T: Smell follows the nose to an uncanny level, the smell is so thick that smelling it is like drinking it. Definitely have some white wine characteristics, pine, grapefruit rind is very prevalent. Grainy bite of rye and some caramel malts, this one is growing on me, didn't like the first sip but its interesting. Pretty hard to decide if I love or hate this beer, in all honesty each sip is a different experience. There's something somewhat off in the flavor. Still though, incredibly tasty, all the flavors are there, just picking up something weird here.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on with this beer, excellent thickness, just a hint at some alcohol heat, they got this one right on the nose here.

D: Still not totally sure about this one, its in the range of beers that I would probably drink again but it is incredibly odd. Rye and the nelson sauvin hops are a very unique flavor for me for some reason, for tonight this 22oz sample will be more than enough. Hands down the most unique IPA I've had in some time. I wish I could figure out what the one funky flavor is, its something familiar to me, but I can't place it. Definitely interesting, and very glad to try this beer. (1,839 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: Clear gold with minimal effervescence and a thin cap of white head. Scattered lacing.

S: Wet, piney hops. A touch of peach. Aggressively hoppy.

T/M: Tasty! Hm. Initially, I found it one-dimensional, but now I'm not sure. Perhaps the most impressive thing is just *how long* the taste lasts. The initial carbonation and piney-astringent hop burst dominant for several seconds, longer than some full tastes in other beers. This is what led to the initial impression of one-dimensionality. But then something interesting happens. The hops soften and sweeten into a fruit-like character that still reminds me mostly of peach, maybe pineapple. Though fruit is there, a vegetal/earthy character is even more dominant when the hops fade. This gently spicy sort of expansive, chewy beer lingers for a while on the aftertaste, and remains after both bitterness and fruit have faded. Mildly dry.

O: This is a delicious beer. One of my favourite hops. A little English-esque for my liking, but perhaps it's an older bottle? At any rate, highly recommended. Would have again. I've tasted better IPAs, but nothing quite like Nelson. (1,189 characters)

Photo of Keyportnick
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear golden. Minimal head

S- peachy, grassy, guava , lemon grass

T-malty bread. Peach,earthy grass, guava.

M- medium-full body really smooth

O- delicious ipa, wish it was more widely distro'd. Hope they don't go to coldspring though...this was a quick drinking review. (276 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to CAbeerCAbeerCA for this little surprise in my box today!

a - popped the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. poured a murky straw yellow, but settled a bit darker in the glass, more of a honey color. there was a nice frothy head and lacing was pretty thick and sticky.

s - very nice and balanced hops. great sweetness with a touch of sweatiness. a bit grassy, a bit earthy, but overall just smells great! i really dig the way this one smells.

t - again, quite good, but not as great as the nose suggests. much more bitter and sweaty, but not overly bitter. i wish the sweetness in the smell was a bit stronger in the flavor, but all-in-all a solid beer. bit of grapefuruit juice.

m - nice carbonation, easy drinker. leaves a subtle bitterness in the aftervibe. at times seemed a bit watery.

o - overall very good. all about the nose on this one...really smells fantastic. beyond that, a solid IPA. (928 characters)

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours slightly cloudy, pale orange/yellow (tangerine) with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly leaving bubbly white lacing.
S: Some citrus/grapefruit with bright tangy/floral hop notes and big elements of white grapes. Slightly musty, some resin, tang.
T: Lots of white grape, some must, florals and subtle citrus notes, vinous tannin and tree fruits - nectarine/tangelo. Definitively hopped without any lingering bitterness or vegetal notes. Caramel backbone with slight hints of spice/rye; medium body that finishes slightly dry but well rounded.
O: Great showcase of Nelson Sauvin hops, bright and full of flavor. (631 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My favorite TG IPA is Zeelander, and was really looking forward to this. Nose was awesome, but taste and finish were an abrupt Malty/Rye insult, and not as I had hoped. Still a decent beer. (191 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jyoungsbcp for this in trade!

Served at about 40 degrees into a tulip glass.

It has an unusally pale (for an IPA) golden yellow color and good clarity. The thick white head settles slowly and really sticks to the glass.

Aroma is classic west coast IPA with up-front citrus, especially grapefruit. Nice and pungent like a dry-hopped beer should be.

Flavor is very good, which is a relief after the frankly disappointing Alpine Duet. This beer is crisp and well-bittered with pine and citrusy hops. As the label suggests, there is a bit of a white wine character to it, which initially strikes me as oxidation, but I warm to it eventually. It finishes with a slightly spicy-dry kick. It's definately unusual in that respect and unlike any other IPA.

Mouthfeel is good but the winey/piney thing gets a little tiresome on the tongue.

Overall a very good, certainly unusal, IPA. One worth having and definately makes me want to visit Alpine next time I'm in California. (981 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.