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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: 3,119
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 392 | 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: 3,119
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4.13.11

A- Pours a bright, fizzy orange with a white bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Pine and a slight sweetness.

T- Bitter hops, lemon, and honey.

D- Creamy feel in the mouth, has a bitter start and finish, with a sweeter middle.

O- Good, but not as good as Pure Hoppiness. (302 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from Megan, I thank you again. For some reason, whenever I go to San Diego, I always pass on the Alpine beers. I don't know why. Fortuneately, I got the chance to try this one the other night. Poured a nice clear golden color, with a little white head. Good fresh piney hops, spicy, peppery rye and a long bitter finish. (332 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold in colour with a slight haze. It had a fine, bright white cap that stuck around until my pint was gone and there was lots of lace stuck to my glass. The aroma was intense with grapefruit and resin, nice for a West Coast IPA. It had a soft, citrus bitterness and grapefruit flavour throughout. There was some malt backbone that showed through towards the finish and a bit of rye spiciness as well. Quite refreshing. Just under medium bodied with smooth, fine carbonation. Light dryness, good texture. I liked the balance on this beer - solid IPA with a bit of rye that added depth to the hoppiness. (608 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to sample a beer made with Nelson Savin since they first hit the market. Lightly hazy, it even has some floaties from the growler, the beer is a light, copper color and it is topped by a ring of wispy, light tan colored froth. The aroma is quite distinct, certainly hoppy, but not as I have ever smelled before. It is quite herbal, with a note reminiscent of garlic chives, some musky hemp notes, and an almost woody grass-like note that can be quite pronounced at times. There is a fruitiness from the hops too, and with all of the herbal focus, it is not too far of a stretch to say this is like Sauvignon Blanc. It even has a touch of cattiness to it as well as notes of unripe grapes, lime and even some grapefruit if you really dig for it.

Very weird flavors here; certainly quite distinct in its hop character. The hops contribute a definite catty note to the flavor that almost leans towards cat litter (though not nearly as bad as that sounds). Strongly herbal hop notes contribute flavors of pine tar, woody-rosemary, oil-laden hemp seed notes, basil and something that is quite, distinctly, reminiscent of a herbaceous flavor that I just can't quite put my finger on, but is so apparent that I can't figure out why I can't put a name to it. The beer is fairly light on the palate, and definitely is perceived as being quite dry. While the herbal notes seem to dominate, there are significant fruit-like flavors contributed by the hops as well; flavors of slightly acidic, under-ripe, green grapes, kefir lime leaf, star-fruit, and a tart citrus character mix in, and somewhat mitigate the herbal notes. As to the malt notes, well this is definitely an IPA, and they only play a supporting role here; just barely noticeable under all of the hop influence. The bitterness is not over the top here; it is at a nice, contributing level though and helps to clean up the finish.

This is certainly a fascinating hop, it is quite different from any other hop variety that I have direct experience with. Very interesting, and very tasty, I definitely could do with more of this beer. I have a feeling though that these flavors would get old if I encountered them at such levels on a more regular basis. The hop character (both the aroma & flavor) is so musky; it is makes me think of the essential oils of a mix of herbs. I am not sure if it quite works in the IPA format, but could definitely see using it in some of the lighter colored Belgian-styled beers. Definitely well worth it though, and I am still quite exited to use this hop in my own brewing. (2,578 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very cloudy pale yellow in color. Forms a smallish white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the way down the glass.

S: Loads of sweet tropical fruit. Orange, mango, passionfruit. A little pine in the mix with an obvious sweetness.

T: Very light, sugary sweet malt base. A bit of the rye spice. Then lots of citrus hops: grapefruit, orange, mango. Finishes a mild bitterness and even more sweetness.

M: On the lighter side of medium with appropriate carbonation.

D: With the low malts, this one is a very easy drinker, though, for me, the sweetness is a bit much. (582 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fruity and drinkable IPA.

Really, really aromatic hops. It just reeks of hops that I wish other brewers would take note of. Waiting for the bitterness bomb to drop with so much hop aroma-- but it doesn't. Bitterness is quite pleasant and gives enough edge without overwhelming. Aroma reminds me of the Pittosporum trees that are blooming in the SoCal spring right now. I'm not so good at inventing fruit flavor metaphors but ithe unusual hop flavor does makes me think of overripe papaya, or really, canned peaches.

For me, being critical of silly-bitter IPAs, this one is very enjoyable while still indulging the hop receptors in the hippocampus or where ever beer scientists say they are. (692 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's in San Diego, CA on 7/11/09.

A - Clear golden body with no carbonation and slim off-white head that diminished to a patchy veil and left virtually no lacing.

S - Spicy and leafy hops with a slight catbox character, as well as a prevalent citrus character with lots of orange and grapefruit notes. Floral qualities also emerged as it warmed. Very aromatic hop profile overall.

T - Nelson Rye features a really complex hop profile with sweet, spicy and juicy characteristics that are balanced by a sweet caramel malt backbone. Finish is spicy dry due to the addition of the rye malt. Overall, this brew has a very citrusy character with lots of orange and grapefruit flavor.

M - Medium body with a very slick, oily texture and soft carbonation. Dry, lingering bitterness on the palate with a bit of residual spiciness.

D - Nelson Rye displays quite a unique hop character. It's juicy, spicy and dry, and packs lots of flavor. Really pungent aroma too. Alpine makes some fine IPAs. (1,006 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery during my San Diego trip last week. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info but since got at the brewery it's gotta be fresh and well handled. It was a slightly hazy golden color with tinge of orange. Good carb streams and good lacing. It had a massive white head that very slowly settled into a foam. Very similar in appearance to the Duet from them that I had last night.

I believe this is my first beer with the Nelson Sauvin hop so no priors to compare it to. Floral hops, lots of rye and some grapefruit. No pine though. I enjoyed the Duet aroma much more but this is still good. The taste followed the aroma with the hop and rye sharing the spotlight. But kick in at the start and race to the finish and end in a tie. Finish is smooth and not bitter. Mouthfeel is solid with a creamy texture. Carb levl was good in this one so better mouthfeel than the Duet.

Overall, an good AIPA that I recommend. Not sure if it was the nelson hop or the rye or the mix of the two but I didn't love this one like I loved the Duet and Pure Hoppiness from them. During my trip, I got to try a sample on tap at the brewery so this was my first real taste of it. Rotation: not avail here. While I enjoyed this one, if I'm going to get some Alpine shipped to me I'll stick to the others from them. But if in the area and can get on-tap, it would be worth a pint. (1,396 characters)

Photo of hansgruber
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy orange color with a one finger off-white head. Leaves a consistent cap of foam and nice lacing. Real nice looking beer overall.
The nose is full of citrusy hops and a touch of the rye used. Also getting some floral notes and an odd synthetic off flavor too.
Taste is full of floral, citrusy, and grapefruit flavors. The rye blends in nicely for some subtle spice notes. As in the nose there's a bit of an off flavor in there but it's minor. There's also a nice bitterness that lingers on the palate. The carbonation level is great as with any of the other Alpine beers I've drank.
Overall it's a solid easy to drink beer. (641 characters)

Photo of gameface23
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, muddled orange color with excellent lacing.

S: Blackberries, black currants, a muted spiciness from the rye (cinnamon?), grapefruit.

T: The bready rye flavor really compliments the hops. It's spicy and has great hop flavor, but it isn't bruisingly bitter.

M: Fuller-bodied due to the rye, but still finishes clean. It's a great balance between substance and drinkability.

D: A very nice offering from Alpine. (423 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle sent to me courtesy of smarcoly, thanks Scott! Poured into a tulip glass over the course of the evening.

A: Clear golden yellow body with some slight orange tones throughout. A bubbly, creamy two finger white head sits atop that leaves behind amazing lacing, and a thick bubbly retention cap. As I got to the end of the bottle, the beer became very hazy and had evident yeast sediment floating throughout. Judging upon initial impressions though, it's a gorgeous looking beer.

S: Orange peel, lemon juice, pineapple, pine needles and a well-rounded bitterness to the nose. All is balanced well by a slight pale malt and rye character sneaking into the back end of the aroma.

T: Citrusy bitter hops are evident up-front along with orange and lemon oils. Sweet tangerine and pineapple elements are on the back of the palate. Finishes slightly sticky with some residual hop bitterness and rye notes lingering.

M: Lively carbonation, super creamy and cleansing on the palate. Somewhat dry and sticky in the finish, but an extremely exceptional mouth feel.

This is probably the best IPA I've sampled so far from Alpine. I really enjoyed the citrus aspects of the beer coupled with some pine elements. The rye was a unique addition that didn't overwhelm the flavor profile but gave a nice balance in the malts. Nicely done. (1,338 characters)

Photo of FlyingBull
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at Alpine. I really enjoy going there. Not fancy - just down to earth with good people, food, and beer.

The pour was totally filled the glass leaving only a skim of white foam on top. No problem though - I appreciate the full pour. The beer was a clear gold/yellow color showing lively carbonation. The aroma was very citrus to me - grapefruit and orange, backed up by some fruitiness. I could also pick up nice pale malt. The taste was a nice balanced Nelson hop flavor with pale malt. The mouth feel was medium body with nice lively carbonation.

This beer is a very good example of a beer with Nelson S. hops. I generally am not a big fan of that hop but I fully enjoyed this brew. (707 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Local Peasant, in Woodland Hills, CA. Poured into a smaller than usual Nonic glass.

Appearance - Bright yellowish orange color (odd for an IPA). Cloudy. Big, fine head that settles down but never entirely goes away. Good stickage. A very handsome ale.

Smell - Fresh cut grass. Citrus rind.

Taste - A hop forward beer to be sure. The initial flavor is that of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (the beer almost tastes like a Greyhound). The ale also has a very herbal taste. The hops are prominent but only slightly bitter. A touch spicy. There is just enough malt to keeps things in check. Tasty.

Mouth - Slightly slick. A little oily. Good.

Overall - This beer reminded me, a little, of Deschutes Fresh Squeezed (similar citrus hop flavor). The Deschutes beer is superior, however, because it possesses more of a toasty malt flavor to balance out the hops. Also, I assumed that this beer would have a sweet malty English taste due to the name (Lord Nelson?). The beer has neither the color nor the malt foundation of an English bitter/pale ale. For these reasons, this is a good beer but not a great beer. (1,125 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Pale yellow, lightly hazed beer. Looks like someone threw a little Belgian white into an AAL. I like the light pale color, the white addition seems a tad odd.??head makes up for the color, though: nice, white, and foamy at the edges. Lacing comes in spotted sheets.

The nose is surprisingly weak initially. Warmth brings out some grassy notes. I also get a little lemon rind. Actually not impressed with the nose, but there's nothing wrong with it.

The taste, however (and mildly paradoxically) is quite enjoyable. Mildly hoppy opening that seems clean of malt. The initial taste I get reminds me of noble hops. More hops pile on that add a more distinctively grassy flavor. Despite the draw on the tongue this brings, it somehow seems refreshing with hints of citrus-including the lemon rind from the nose.

Finally the somewhat unexpected spice bite hits. I am going to assume this is from the rye, but it adds a little punch to the hops, making them seem fresher somehow. It's sort of like I picked a stalk of grass from a field and stuck it in my mouth like I did when I was a kid to emulate what I assumed farmers did.

Solid IPA. Not much more to say. (1,178 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden body with a huge froth monster of a head. Almost looks like a hefe.

Nose is spicy-sharp citrus. There's an almost vegetal spiciness contribution from the rye. Love it!

Flavor is a study in contrasts. Smooth up front, sharp on the finish. Light on the palate, but with solid rye and hops all over. Not quite as hoppy as I expected, but really a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated. For impact on the palate, this drinks more like a blonde than an IPA.

Hard to believe this is 7.1% It's almost quaffable. Really a good brew.

My first from Alpine. Duet is in the fridge and Exponential Hoppiness is on the way! Thanks to nogidrew63 for the trade on this one. (691 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, unknown date. Served at around 45F.

Pours clear gold with a one finger white head that leaves some nice spotty lacing and holds a small cap with large bubbles.

Aroma is fruity hops, white grapes, melon (cantaloupe), some resin, onion and weed, a little pine and citrus, some caramel malt. Very good strength.

Flavor follows with resinous hops, white grapes, cantaloupe, fruity hops, decent caramel malt backbone with the rye lending a hint of spice on the finish. Some sweetness, moderate bitterness. Some alcohol on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, sticky and oily with good carbonation.

A very unique IPA. Those Nelson Sauvin hops are something else. Very good, but to be honest not as mind-blowing as I was expecting coming in. The aroma is definitely the strong suit, excellent. (820 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great foamage/lacing. Light yellow.

Outstanding smell, peaches, bitter light hops.

PEACHES, orange, bread, hops are mellow and smooth.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Never had an IPA like this. Light carbonation. Bitter/dry.

Great little IPA, taste is very fruit forward. My first beer from Alpine, I can see why they're so highly regarded. (346 characters)

Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with Drazzamatazz and Heater

A: Slightly cloudy brownish orange. 1 finger fluffy white head upon initial pour. Decent lined lacing

S: Grapefruit. Pure, unadulterated grapefruit. A little bit of bready rye comes out as well. After allowing it to open, the grapefruit begins to fade and you get more rye

T: Grapefruit, but not as prevalent as the nose. Other citrus flavors, including orange and mango. Weird, but it almost tastes a little watered down. Just a little bit of hop bitterness

M: Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation, so overall a smooth beer. Light pine bitter aftertaste

D: When first cracked open, it smelled amazing. While it didn't live up to my lofty initial expectations, it was definitely a solid IPA. I would drink this beer often if it was available in my area (802 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big props to Raulazzer for making this happen. Been seeking this for a while, and I'm fresh off tasting Father Nelson from LCBC to compare.

A- Slightly hazy golden color with a 1 finger white head. Nice ring around edge. Fair lacing.

S- Fresh, acidic citrus fruits of pineapple, tangerine, and slight grapefruit. Hoppy as can be. Touch of vegitative aroma from the green onion Nelson character.

T- Even better. Enhanced qualities of the nose with big waves of sharp hop notes. Unbalanced as the hops still bring it in the finish with a tongue smacking-like dryness. Finish is interesting with slight harsh tones. Probably just the spice of the rye

M- Mid body with big flavor. Not slick, but not full or creamy. Very dry. Light carbonation.

O- Outstanding Nelson IPA. Quickly becoming my favorite hop. This one truly brings it to the forefront and puts it on a pedestal. Not as profound as Father Nelson due to the harsh finish, but true to the style. (958 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

45 IBUs
OG 1.065
22 oz. with no dates into a Bell's tulip. Thanks BulbMan!

Lighter and brighter looking than I expected, Nelson poured without any "redness" I typically, and erroneously, associate with rye beers. A clear hay golden hue, with a beautiful cream white head; excellent retention and lacing. Tropical fruit (esp. pineapple) is jumping out as I pour and I know that this is going to be a hoppy delight even before a sip. However, strong notes of sourdough bread make it clear that it's more than your regular IPA. Off to taste!

Fruity, spicy, mellow and bitter --- almost a contradiction, but very successful. And firmly bitter, no joke! Like other Alpine IPA's (have had Pure & Exponential till now), but with a twist. Creamier but still plenty crisp, Nelson smells and tastes of awesomeness. Eventually, rye seems to dominate this beer and not in an unpleasant manner. The mouthfeel is creamier, but still a little thin. Overall though, Nelson delivers exactly what it promises and is a major success!

Scores: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 4/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 4/5 (1,092 characters)

Photo of IKR
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light Amber color with a modest-sized white head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Primarily Piney hop aromas with some citrus fruits thrown in.

Taste:The pine aromas carry over to the taste, but I also get some grape-like and citrus notes. The rye adds a bit of spicy notes. I can't really pick up the malts in the taste. The finish ends with the grape notes, a bit of rye spiciness and mild citrus notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: IPAs aren't really my thing but this is a good beer. (544 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Murky looking yellow colour with some brown. Looks kinda like swamp water. Opaque. A lot of visible sediment. Half a finger of bubbly white head. Very strange colour for an IPA.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front with a caramel malt sweetness noticeable in the background. Some spiciness is present as well.

T - Grapefruit, spiciness, caramel. A good amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish. A good malt backbone adds some sweetness and becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink the beer.

M - Medium body, oily, chewy. Lightly carbonated. (634 characters)

Photo of phingdong
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebowski for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden hue with a nice sticky white 2 finger head. Leaves nice sticky lacing as it recedes.

Familiar tropical hop aroma with some pine and some funk in there as well. Smell of rye also comes through.

Nice thick and creamy mouthfeel that coats the entire palate. Taste mirrors the smell. Nice tropical hoppy fruit with a dank funk coming through nicely in the background. Very tasty beer. Maybe just a touch muted in aroma/taste compared to the best in this class.

My first beer from Alpine. I look forward to trying the rest of their lineup. (596 characters)

Photo of Moose90
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a really pale and clear yellow with a thin white head on it, very light and not very appealing. Minimal lacing.

S — Smells of fresh pine and citrus, very earthy and herbaceous, like a pine cone or pine needles. Rye spice.

T — Tastes like the forest in the best possible way, big fresh pine notes, like chewing on a pine needle, very crisp and clean.

M — LIght to medium bodied, adequate carbonation, very refreshing.

O — Very nice IPA from Alpine again, very unique piney hop note on this one. (533 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orange body with one finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma that is both citric and grapefruit hop infused along with some spices and possible touch of citric acidity and sourness (I assume the Nelson). Medium bodied, rather a more grape/tropical fruit like sweetness but balanced with both dry hoppiness and dry, bold malts (I assume this is the rye). A really enjoyable IPA that doesn't fit the norm and has a little bit of everything. (465 characters)

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