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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

714 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 714
Hads: 3,467
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,391
Gots: 485 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% 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 (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 714 | Hads: 3,467
Photo of Humulus85
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tjkinate for this one, I always love me a Rye IPA, and I always love me some Alpine. Served from a 22oz bomber into my Darkness snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy honey gold. One finger of dense white foam has great retention and left behind some super sticky lacing. Hoping it tastes as good as it looks!

Smell is just wonderful. Pine, grapefruits, and rye, in that order. Been drinking a lot of Citra bombs lately so this is a nice change up.

And I just died and went to IPA heaven. This hits all the right notes for me. Earthy, piney, hop notes blend with fruity, citrusy hop notes. This is all backed up that wonderfully distinct biscuity rye flavor. It reminds me of a less malty Surly Furious. Everything is so damn clean and balanced.

Again, I can't find anything bad to say. Super smooth, nice and crisp without being too dry. Leaves a minimal aftertaste. Light in body but not in flavor, and some perfect carbonation.

Overall this is easily one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever had (and I've had many), and now one of my personal favorite beers in general. If I had to choose only one beer to drink for the rest of my life, Alpine Nelson would be seriously considered. There is just simply not much negative to say about this beer (except I can't easily get it). I love the delicate, yet complex hop profile, that plays so beautifully with the Rye addition. Recommended to all, every BA should try this beer. Cheers!

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Photo of MacPhergus
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Slightly cloudy, light look; head medium, disappears quickly. Aroma of, what else, Nelson hops - trip fruits. Taste is top notch, no off anything, just pure WC IPA. Body just right at 7% ABV.

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Photo of djjacobsen
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased very fresh from alpine beer co. Pours a hazy orange color with some faint sediment. Looks like watered down orange juice. The smell is incredible. Beautiful representation of nelson and it's earthy, fruity, dank hop character. The taste is where the rye comes in subtly but enough and provides an incredible companion for the so stickiness of nelson hops. Such a balanced easy drinking but full flavored brew. One of my favorites. Top 3

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this at Alpine Brewery in Alpine, CA. and poured it into a pint glass.

A: Classic West Coast IPA appearance - clean and golden with a solid head that lasts, leaving lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Big Nelson hop smell that is strong and unique - sweet and floral, very herbal and earthy with hints of carmel and vanilla.

T: Big time hop up front - pink grapefruit, resinous pine, fresh cut grass, herbal, earthy with a sweet malt finish that balances the overall flavor perfectly.

M: Good bitter bight up front, milky viscosity with a mellow carbonation that lends to the overall creaminess perfetly. Extremely smooth and damn near perfect.

D: Too easy - we split 3 growlers between four of us and finished them all, wishing we had just one more to cap our night.

I'm born and raised in San Diego and grew up drinking IPA's - this is hands down my favorite IPA from the area. There'a a few others that give it a run for its money, but Nelson is consistently victorious (even in the bottle).

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Photo of starrdogg
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to thome50 for including this in our trade - this is one of my all-time favorites, but I've never actually reviewed it.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a thin white head.

S: The aroma of this beer never ceases to blow me away. It's an incredible, big dank fresh hop smell with some citrus notes in there as well. It truly makes my mouth water smelling this beer.

T: To me, this beer pretty much typifies what I think of when I hear the words "west coast IPA." It's got a huge citrus hop flavor, light on the malt, a little bit sweet and bitter in the finish. The rye flavor is present, but definitely subdued, I feel like it plays more of a role in the mouthfeel than the flavor itself. All in all, the flavor is flat-out amazing.

M: Perhaps the only part of this beer that isn't incredible, the beer feels a little bit thin, but it doesn't really hinder the drinking experience too much. It's got a very dry finish as well, probably due to the rye.

O: It honestly doesn't get much better than this for an IPA, and I wish I lived in San Diego so I could have this on a regular basis. Instead I'll have to be satisfied with enjoying it when I can. This beer is awesome.

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Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of Dijeriduster
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of cfrances33
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of HipHop5
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of fox227
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.83/5  rDev +10%
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!

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Photo of jooler
4.83/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of Cobrito
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Again, of the four Alpine beers to recently hit Atlanta thanks to the Green Flash relationship, I like this and Hoppy Birthday the best.

This is a phenomenal brew with some of the most beautifully integrated contrasting flavors you will ever experience. As some others have said, it does have an almost wine/champagne quality to it in addition to just being a West Coast IPA hophead's delight. Love it!

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Photo of jjdc
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of pimpinmidget
4.81/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5


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.

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Photo of pwoods
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
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 :)

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of AndyGz
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of PZBREW
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of MHurley
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is by far one of the best IPAs ive ever had. Pours a beautiful thick and creamy yellow into a sniffer with 1/2 in of white cloudy head. The lacing is soild and stays around. The smell of Pine and citrus fills the nose as if i stepped outta a cabin in the woods. This beer puts me in a whole other world when i drink it. And the taste... hoppy, citra, earthy and woodie. Overall amazing taste! This beer has you feeling as if your in the cabins walking out to take on the day, with the smell of pines everywhere and last nights camp fire still on your closes. This is one i will definitely be picking up again when i make it down to Alpine Beer co again.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.