Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,009 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 3,009
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,409
Gots: 368 | 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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Ratings: 3,009 | Reviews: 661
Photo of Azurescens
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 6/6/11.

A: Pours a fairly clear golden color with light orange hues, fluffy off-white head with great retention that leaves plenty of lacing around glass.

S: The aroma is dominated by fruity citrus hops, grapefruit in particular with spicy rye and some sweet malt hiding behind all the hops.

T: Some hop bitterness up front which fades into spicyness from the rye and citrus hops that aren't as powerful as in the aroma, letting more of the sweet malt flavors come through.

M: Really smooth and clean feel, sticky hop resins and a slightly thinner body than I was expecting.

O: Delicious IPA, not world class but great none the less, quite refreshing and drinkability is high. Well balanced, plenty of hops but not so hoppy that the malt flavors are completely hidden.

Photo of jeonseh
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, poured into my GI tulip

A - Apricot color with hints of lemon. Slightly cloudy with light carbonation trailing upward. Nice one finger head sits on top with nice lacing near the top

S - Very, citrusy nose. Nose is sweet orange juice, grapefruit, slight pine. Very fragrant nose

T - Taste at first is slight orange juice again. There is a nice kick of grapefruit that comes through next that gives the beer a bit of a bitter kick. Near the finish I get a slight pine hint. Overall, the beer has a nice malt backbone that helps balance the hops out well. It allows you to get a strong hop presence without becoming overpowering.

MF - Medium to light body. Good carbonation that leaves a slight tingle on the tongue. There is a nice malt stickiness that stays on the lips along with a nice, slight resin that lingers on the tongue

O - Overall, a good beer from Alpine. I liked the balance between the hops and the malt with this one that allows it to be tasty without being overpowering. However, while this was good, there was nothing overly great about it.

Photo of Stigs
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

split 22oz bomber, served in pint glasses

A - light gold in color, hazy. light and fluff yet ample head...spotty lacing.

S - insanely citrus. almost like Tang. freshly squeezed oranges, grapefruit, lemon rind, pineapple. a little bitter but very sweet and floral. great sniffer.

T - huge rush of grapefruity sweetness and bitterness, quite juicy. grassy in the middle with some floral notes, light buttery caramel malt throughout. lightly soapy at the finish.

M - medium bodied, very oily and slick. carbonation is ample and lively.

D - very nice, and unique, IPA. easily the strongest citrus notes (especially in the nose) I've ever come across, great aromatics.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Round #1 of my journey into Alpine IPA goodness. Duet and Pure to follow. Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear golden yellow color. First pour yielded 4+ fingers of head, plenty of carbonation in this one. Final pour was what I wanted: two and a half fingers of fluffy white head with very good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Them hops sure are nice. Fruity bouquet of hops, citrusy grapefruit, white grapes, more white grapes, and a grassy muskiness that starts at white grapes. Hints of rye earthy spiciness also poke through. Very nice!

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of white wine hints with grapefruit and an earthy spiciness. If this wasn't carbonated and a bit stronger, I bet you could fool a wine drinker into thinking this was a bottle of Chardonnay. Nice flavors going on here, but needs a bit more kick.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation, as expected, is a bit too high. Other than that, pretty creamy and overall good.

4.0 D: This is my first time with the Nelson hop (as far as I know anyway). The hops are truly in their own category, but I think they could use some help from a mild citrus hop. A little more rye could do wonders for this as well. Still, a very good beer that I enjoyed drinking.

Photo of tjfinkle
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Straw yellow, lots of carbonation, several fingers of white fluffy head

Smell - The fruity nelson hops are the most obvious smell right away, some other subtle smells such as pine are also apparent

Taste - Very hoppy with some fruity notes, and lightly bitter aftertaste

Mouth- Bitter, very noticeable carbonation, but not too much for a beer of this style

Drink- Very good well balanced golden IPA, would definitely recommend

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another share with Brez07, another borrowing of review.

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. [Grapefruit reminded me at first of fresh Finestkind, but then I got more of the juicy fruit character you get from Nelson Sauvin . Rye also added a little something extra to set it apart from most other IPA's.]

Photo of HopMasterFlex
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer popes a hazy light orange/yellow. It smells amazing. The blend of hops and grapefruit is captivating. I dig it big time. It tastes similar to the aroma. Big hops with sweet fruit flavors and a bitter aftertaste. Verk drinkable and considerably better on tap vs bottle. Out of the bottle it has a lot of malt flavor and less citrus and hops. Very enjoyable either way.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Bells snifter.

A- Two Finger off white frothy head dissipates slowly, nice lacing that sticks to the glass, very clear, golden straw color.
S- Nice hop forward beer, big grapefruit, pine, citrus, nice malt backbone.
T- Really bitter, typical west coast IPA, big grapefruit and pine flavors, some citrus and peach in the background, some spice, and slight malt presence as well.
M- Medium mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, really bitter, crisp finish.
O- Solid IPA, out of all the IPAs and DIPAs from Alpine that I’ve tasted I would have to say this is my least favorite, still enjoyable though and a quality beer.

Photo of Intelligentsia
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bottle. My first thought was that this is clearly a rye beer. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill IPA, it's more complex and definitely quite challenging. Ultimately I liked it a lot.

Amber color with some marvelous lacing that stuck the entire time I drank from the glass. Not a whole lot of head here, but some nice soap bubbles.The lacing is really impressive, however.

The aroma wasn't extravagant, and to be honest a bit disappointing. Mostly tropical fruit, but it didn't make me want to jump into it like many other IPAs have done. Better than your average beer, but not by much.

Taste was dominated by the Nelson hops. Very, very unusual. Not what I would expect from a San Diego IPA, but I definitely savored the flavor. Where else can one find Nelson hops? Tropical fruit on the finish, nice malt backbone to it as well.

Not much carbonation and a fairly average weight make it very drinkable. The 7% doesn't hurt, either. Hidden well.

Photo of jrallen34
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a cloudy honey gold with a huge 3-4 finger high white head. The head is beautiful as it is chunky, pillowy, cloud like and falls in sections. In addition to its great size it has incredible lacing. The head stays at least 5-7 minutes and as it falls it falls in chunks and clings to the sides.

The aroma is nice but a little on the light side, need a tad more of the citrus coming through to be great. What does come through is some sour citrus grapefruit and lemon with only the slightest touch of hops at the end. The hops are almost totally hidden but they come across with a slight soap smell.

The taste is OK, not as great as I was hoping. The start is light, only taste a very little of grapefruit then it fades to the hops which are nice not very bitter. The finish is kinda of soapy, I think that's the rye, that to me almost ruins it.

The feel is nice and viscous, really coasts your mouth.

Overall, this beer has some really nice attributes, needs a little tweaking on the taste and it would be perfect.

Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another one of my biggest and oldest wants from the man, Joseph. Cheers buddy!!! So stoked to finally try this.

Pours a hazy gold, half a finger of white head. Green onion and garlic, spicy rye, lemons and other citrus.

Spicy, sweet and citrusy. Interesting combo and and a nice light sweet(ish) malt base. Nice medium bitterness in the finish.

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No noticeable bottling date.

A real interesting body color, a very dark brass and polished brown, but slightly hazy. Head forms very nicely with some good lacing and retention, lots of clumpy circular rings, a very nice white color. These nice white bubbles come from the bottom to make the head.

Nose is interesting, mild grapefruit, extremely deep. Dank, mushy and floral with some strong grass. I'll admit this is quite unique but I am not exactly a fan of this nose, it's a little confusing if I could say much going on.

Taste brings some decent pleasure. A real wonderful great vinous texture, more like white wine, certainly as it says, very JUICY feel. The nose gets much larger, bolder, bigger as the tasting commences. Obvious hop angle, but scents and tastes seem to go all over. Almost kind of earthy and dirty after awhile, malts don't seem to become noticeable either.

Overall it's impressive but I don't think I am a big fan of this one. It's very good but I would probably choose something else, this seems a little excessive and all over.

Photo of mcintire78
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pale gold to straw in color with a large, two finger head, but only a small bit of carbonation. Head dissipates very slowly leaving significant lacing.

s: Strong smell of citrus up front, followed by an almost flowery hop smell. Was expecting more rye, but the citrus is overpowering.

t: A very gentle start up, that ends strong with rye. All in all, a very mellow beer.

m: Gentle is the only word for it. Very light carbonation and a lack of bittering hops makes for very easy drinking.

d: High drinkability, much higher than I would have thought from a West Coast IPA. You could down these one after another.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Florida9
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of mactrail
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of ffejherb
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of hansgruber
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of gameface23
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of FlyingBull
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,009 ratings.