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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: 3,124
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: 3,124
Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color comes in a surprisingly bright hazy lemon yellow with a 2 finger white fluffy head. Almost looks like a wheat ale because of the haziness and yellow, almost like yellow Gatorade color.

The aroma has pungent juicy sweet grapefruit, orange, tangerine. A nice bready malt in there as well. Some mango and pineapple.

One could write paragraphs and paragraphs about this beer because of the complexity of flavors. The flavor follow with some bright floral, sweet melon, honey dew, sweet grapefruit. Then moves onto a hint of spicy rye, white pepper. Then a honey sweetness and lightly toasted bready malt. The finish has grassiness, astringent grapefruit pith, a bit of pine and resin. Mostly drying and some bitterness. There's a theme of white wine character with the sweetness.

The general theme of this beer is a hoppy grapefruit bomb with a gentle bready malt, light body, and fresh flavors throughout. Certainly one of the best IPAs I've had. (956 characters)

Photo of Dijeriduster
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as fresh as they come straight from the brewery. Growler fills are cheap here so I always get a few.

A - Light, slightly hazy golden colour. Very district luster - shimmery and clean vs. super hazy and amber in some IPAs

S - Amazing citrus notes. Grapefruit dominates the palate, actually a sweet smelling beer with only a hint of hoppy bitterness.

T - Again superb - grapefruit notes are just overflowing with this fresh Nelson. This comes from the Nelson hops a la New Zealand... Some malt notes, but pretty much only enough to support the massive hop profile.

M - Quite nice and drinkable. Thinner then some might like - Alpine IPA's usually are, but supports this sweeter IPA very well.

D - High. This is a stunner with the Nelson hops. Never had a bottle but I imagine it'd be almost as good as the fresh growler I got. Look for this and be suprised! (870 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle thanks to ehammond1, poured into a 3F stem. Thanks Eric!

Pour: Pours a beautiful, hazy, mango colored body. Two fingers of creamy white head for, and leave some really fantastic lacing. This looks awesome!

Smell: Bright mango, lemon rind, grapefruit, and orange juice mix with a light pine and some raw dough. Wow this smells amazing.

Taste: This is just astounding. Juicy grapefruit, tangelo, and oranges mix with some pineapple and mango. Absolute just gushing with fruit juice. Some lightly bitter pine and citrus play off a delicately bready malt profile. Finishes as lush with fruit as the start.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing and juicy throughout. Easy drinking.

Overall: This is absolutely one of the best IPAs I've ever had, if not the best. Truly a treat. Thank you again Eric for helping me finally try this long due want! (839 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another spectacularly inviting brew. Appearance is very light for an IPA and it looks crisp and refreshing. The best part is the nose. A bouquet of hops livens the mind like smelling salts. I'd recommend this to trainers in the NFL. This would wake me out of a coma. Needless to say the startups are 5's.

Some may argue this is one sided. I say its a damn fine west coast IPA and one sided is what I'm looking for. Hop Resin, mild citrus, and a raw wet taste combine for excellence.

Notes: Nothing but good things to say about this brewer. I will be making this a staple in the arsenal. (589 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden orange. Not much of a head for an IPA, settles into a light lacy cap. Aroma of tropical fruit; smells like a stick of juicy fruit gum with a hint of grassiness. Big fruit flavor up front on the palate. Finishes dry with a slight rye aftertaste. Medium bodied and slightly carbonated. Overall, an extremely well crafted IPA and one that ranks right up there with the best of them! Well done, Alpine! (418 characters)

Photo of HipHop5
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A creamy one finger and half head that dissipate fairly quickly.

Golden topaz tones and a medium to full body here. Thin and stringy lacing on a tulip glass.

Absolutely amazing peach,grapefruit and mandarin aromas/taste.

Medium to full body. Very sweet with few hop bitterness up front. Maybe a little in after taste as it warms up in glass and warms up your head. After all it's a well disguised 7% ABV. Extremely balanced and winey Nelson Hop back bone. The floral hops are stronger in the back.

Silky and smooth in the mouth as the fragrance is consistent through out the session. A mysterious potency of aromas and perfect consistency make this beer probably one of the most unique and drinkable IPA I ever tasted.

I literally could drink 2 or 4 of the 22 oz bottles I have in my fridge.

A master piece of warmth and refreshing all combined.

Enjoy it with no moderation. (881 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some more of these at the Provisions shop a few weeks ago. Glad I did, still had the amazing orange appearance and 1" head. Aroma was the funkiest Nelson aroma experience I've ever come across. A unique hop to say the least.

Taste, ever so drinkable, big funky hop almost tropical citrus thing going for it. Alcohol on the lips in nonexistant. Rye doesn't come out, must be a low % of the malt bill, which they keep low, allowing the hops to shine. Tons of Nelsons here, imparting an almost white wine like fee to the beer, very light, but heavy handed with the Nelson hop. You'll be tasting this one for awhile, and should be happy about it. Almost perfectly unbalanced.

EDIT: Scored more of this, damn, this beer is so funky fresh. Excellent, maybe my favorite IPA. (779 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of bret27. Pours a light gold color with a frothy off-white head. The lightness is actually enticing considering the darker hues of so many awful, oversweet crystal malt bomb IPAs. Aroma is just ridiculous. A huge wave of tropical fruits explodes from the glass. Peach syrup, tangerines, passionfruit, grapefruit, pineapple; I really can't stop smelling this. The taste is, thankfully, pretty much identical to the aroma, so much so that it was hard to tell when I had stopped inhaling and started imbibing. Fruit salad with a great resinous medium bitterness. Oh and I was so fixated on the fruitiness that I almost didn't notice the rye, which works to spice up (pun intended) the malt base, which would otherwise be imperceivable. Insanely smooth and drinkable. Just a fantastic IPA. (802 characters)

Photo of fox227
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy golden color with a small head and nice lacing.

S: Lots of goodness going on here. Lemon and stone fruit are present. I smelled the rye before I even poured this into my glass. You know that you're in for something good when you can get the aroma before you even pour!

T: A very complex IPA. The taste follows the nose very much as I get lemon, peach, rye, a bit of yeast, and the nelson hops come in at the end and lends a bitter balance.

M: Good carbonation, but not too much. The hops linger on the tongue, but not for long. This beer goes down very easy.

Overall I must say that beers wins out massively in every category that matters to me. Nelson is not a hop-bomb IPA, but a delicately complex and deliciously balanced one. Seek this one out. (762 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Loterbol tulip. Extra special thanks go out to errantnight for sending this in our recent trade!

A: Pours a slightly hazy, pale gold with an unbelievably gorgeous, three fingers of off-white meringue perched on top. The foam is fed by some moderately active carbonation that makes for excellent retention. The head slooowy recedes to some pillowy clumps that leave gobs of lace stuck to the glass.

S: Heavenly aromas of tangerine, white grapes, pineapple, apricot, pine sap, mint, wild flowers, clementines, lemon, grassy hops, and all of this is followed by a touch of rye malt.

T: The primary flavor going on here is an absolutely magical combination of Nelson Sauvin hops and fresh rye malt. I've had plenty of rye beers before, but I've never had one where the rye flavor is complimented so perfectly by the hop choice. As it warmed, I detected flavors of white pepper, more pine, earthy apricots, tangerine rind, orange zest, and white grapes.

M: The ONLY reason this didn't receive a 5 is I felt this was a touch too dry in the finish. This starts off fruity and juicy and then so very quickly it gets all spicy, bitter, and dry and I thought a bit of tropical fruit juicyness in the finish would have been perfect for balance. I completely appreciated the tangyness of the rye.

D: Please. This is one of the best AIPA/RyePA's I've ever had. Hands down. You southern CA SOB's are so lucky! (1,434 characters)

Photo of jooler
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

the look is a hazy yellow unfiltered look. initial smell is very fruity and citrusy. Initial taste is very sweet and a hint of spicy. the taste is kind f like second fiddle but with a more sweeter mouthfeel. (207 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer looks stunning, like liquid sunshine in the glass. The nose is sumptuous with Sticky citrus notes of tangerine and grapefruit. The rye adds a dry backbone that is perfect complement to the juicy, tropical sweetness of the hops. This beer is perfectly integrated and balanced. As good as IPAs get. This is a treat. (323 characters)

Photo of pimpinmidget
4.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thanks to drbenzo for this one

A: Pours a hazy yellow/orange color with about 1-2 fingers of white foamy head. Leaves nice lacing throughout the glass.

S: Grapefruit, Tangerine, Orange, mango, slight lemon quality. Some herbal spice and breadiness comes through. Really great aroma.

T: Wow! Big juice flavor. Same fruit flavors as on the nose, A little peach also that I did not pick up on in the smell. Nice hop bitterness is also present. Picking up a nice slight spice flavor that turns to a breadiness at the back end. Superb.

M: Nice medium body. Carbonation that is not too much, nor too little - just right. Has a dry finish to it that is really nice.

O: Again, huge thanks to drbenzo. He also sent me Duet and Pure Hoppiness. Of the 3, this is hands down my favorite. One of the best IPA's I've had. Since getting this bottle I have actively pursued more bottles. Outstanding. Seek this one out - you will not be let down. (940 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Growler

Alpine Beer Company
Alpine, CA

A clear goldenrod and yellow. Fluffy and light off-white head. Sticky and consistent lacing down the glass. Gorgeous!

A relatively sweet aroma. Hoppy and bright, citrus and grapefruit, extremely floral, and as this beer warms, it smells more and more of pungent, dank marijuana and grapefruit. Not a bad thing.

Sweet and bright IPA, yet bitter enough for balance. Tastes incredibly fresh and vibrant--floral. Relatively bitter, yet there's also a grape-like sweetness and a decent cracker malt backbone as well. Balanced and delicious. Grapefruit. Rose. Marijuana. This is perfect.

Medium bodied. A pleasure to drink. Slightly creamy even. Unique.

A uniquely perfect IPA. (719 characters)

Photo of pwoods
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My original review was definitely from a bad bottle. I've since had it a few times and this might be the best IPA out there. The Nelson hops are fucking outstanding and Alpine definitely knows how to make an IPA.

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a hazy grapefruit skin color. Large hiss when opened... infection? Still get about 2 fingers on an easy pour(infection... maybe, maybe not), pearl white with good retention. Pretty good lacing.

S: Lots of citrus and pine. There's a sharpness that could be either infection or a sharp spiciness from the rye. A bit of malts in the back but not much sweetness. Hmm...

T/M: Mild bitterness. Still plenty of citrus and pine. There is that sharpness that could definitely be an infection, but it could also be a spiciness from the rye.... really not sure. Not much sweetness from the malts which could be an infection fermenting what the regular yeast can't... and the carbonation is high which leans in that direction as well. I still don't know, though. It's definitely odd to say the least.

D: ABV is reasonable. Kinda of a chore to drink from the high carbonation and what might be an infection.

Alpine should send me another bottle so I know if it's an infection or not :) (1,249 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, grapefruit and orange citrus hops. In the taste, dry small citrus hops, dry small fruit notes, and a nice dry malt with a hint of rye. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry rye and hop aftertaste. Nice rye and big hops, simply remarkable. (329 characters)

Photo of AndyGz
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, do I have a new favorite IPA?

Very light in appearance, it almost glows.
Clear Citrus and Mango notes predominate the nose.
Hop notes sweeter than I've ever experienced in anything this light. Delicate, frothy, small bubble carbonation.
Light, crisp, refreshing.

I LOVE this IPA. (286 characters)

Photo of PZBREW
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So worth doing. Very spiced a every delicious. Worth thetrip for this beer. Hope for days and so much fruity character. Not very dry. The sweetness makes it better because it isn't very bitter. (193 characters)

Photo of awalk1227
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/25/10 Sent by Rock4sc96 thanks Chris!

Poured into an Alchemist Brewery pint glass.
I've been extremely excited to try this beer; not only have I heard good things about the Nelson Sauvin hops, but I have sought out Alpine's highly regarded IPAs for some time.

A: Pours a hazy sunshine yellow with a thick white head. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a white collar.

S: Perfect, perfect, perfect! Oh lord, I could smell this beer as I was pouring it. I can smell it right now, as it sits to my left while I type this. HUGE aromatic hops, citrus, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, delicious.

T: Oh lord, this has RYE in it too? One of my favorite beers is Terrapin's Rye Pale ale, along with Founders Red Rye and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. I love hoppy Rye IPAs, and this is now up in the big leagues with them. Delicious creamy malt starts it off, then a blend of spice from the rye and citrus blast from fresh hops finishes.

F: If you've read my other reviews, you know how I like my IPA mouthfeel. This is perfect. Prickle from the carbonation, but a smooth creaminess that denotes a fine balance.

D: No alcohol detected, and such a complex IPA you want more. A lot more. I love it.

Alpine, you've wowed me once again. I will seek you out soon. (1,269 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yes to this! Nelson pours a golden-straw color with a sharp citrusy hop aroma. It’s bitter and drying at the end, and I couldn’t get enough of it. (Yes, it’s a highly hyped beer and yes, it lived up to that hype.) I want another. (235 characters)

Photo of marquinoftroy
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This feels like a refined and mature IPA. There is a solid malt foundation supporting the hops, and adding rye to an IPA is a brilliant idea. It smells similar to a double IPA, a lot of malt and some spiciness. This beer does not smell as hoppy as I initially assumed, the bitterness is there but not overdone. Once it hits your tongue, youre not bombarded with bitterness. It's a big beer and balanced well. Plenty of carbonation and a nice finish. Also, if you live in San Diego, it's not that expensive. (506 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bistro's IPA fest last saturday. All New Zealand hops, not sure of the variety used.

Very unqiue. Bright yellow and hazy, almost like a hefe; reminds me of sunsine in a glass. Unfiltered with a capitol "U." I love it because it's a totally different color than any other of the 50 IPA's here today.

Taste/smell is awesome. The hoppiest beer I had that day, but let me explain: not bitter hoppy, rather they captured the essence of the hops more than any other beer I've had. Really really citrusy, with lots of grapefruit, but also lemon zest and kiwis (sorry!) with some pine (more like fir) and white pepper too. 65 IBU's and really smooth, with a relaxing, enjoyable bitterness that shares the aftertaste with the pungent fruits which hit you in the sinuses. Not british tasting hops, not over-the-top bitter US hops, but a totally different vibe that I'm having trouble describing.

Body is almost like a wit beer. Very pale rye must have been used for this to turn out so bright colored and smooth. For contrast, BR's Hop Rod Rye is dark red/brown and has a heavy malt body.

A great drink that really stands out, both for the grains and the hops used. Good luck finding this one, but do not pass it up! (1,232 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up! (1,513 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another lovely Cali bomber gathered from teh internets.

Appearance - Copper-hued brew with a fluffy mound of virgin white head. Lovely...

Smell - To me, this smells uncannily like an english muffin with butter and orange marmalade...

Taste - Much less of the sweet citrus, more bitter rind. Again with the buttered bread. Spicy rye toward the back end along with some grassy, vegetal taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a tasty beer! My experience with rye beers is limited, as is with the Nelson Sauvin hop varietal, and I have to say this beer has piqued my curiosity in both. The beer seemed to disappear as if by magic. So well rounded, with flavors that are completely foreign to me (The buttered bread, I'm telling you!).

I found this to be a very exciting and supremely drinkable brew. The fact that Alpine doesn't distribute in my state is unfortunate as this could have easily become one of my go-to beers... (971 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle pour.......

A - Perfect orange color, nice sticky lace retention

S - White wine, delicious green apples, grapes, hint of grass on the end

T - Much of the same as the nose except you get a strong orange grapefruit flavor to start with a nice bitter bite on the finish

M - Medium feel medium carb, bitter on the palate

O - Nelson Sauvin hops are amazing. Super complex, as you get a lot of citrus, grapes and some grassy pine on the finish. This is excellent! (469 characters)

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