Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,993 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,993
Reviews: 660
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,408
Gots: 366 | 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: 2,993 | Reviews: 660
Photo of dmsohyea
2.36/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the brewpub in Alpine. Taster glass.

A - standard IPA coloring, maybe a bit lighter yellow. Some lacing and good retention.

S - Smells floral and a bit uninviting. Not sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't know the horrors to come.

T - Tastes just off. The rye flavor and yeast selection just makes for a blah taste. I didn't enjoy it one bit and couldn't finish the 4 oz taster. Not super bitter, but it did taste a little like i was eating a flower.

M - Mouthfeel was above average. Not that I could really notice through the flavor that I hated.

O - Didn't like it. Sorry guys, I feel like this one is WAY over rated.

Photo of airohead2001
2.42/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a blind tasting that included Nelson, Duet, and Pure Hoppiness. Nelson was my least favorite and Pure Hoppiness was my favorite.

A - Nelson is a nice looking IPA - hazy brown, one finger head with excellent retention, and some nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot of smell here. Just some mellow pine. No citrus or malts. Not as painfully piney as Duet, but also a whole lot less exciting.

T - Similar to the smell. In my opinion, this one is pretty weak and bland. The hop profile is very mild. Some malts show up in the finish, but without a piney or citrus hop kick, this one is clearly lacking.

M - Similar to Duet, the mouthfeel is so-so. Pretty thin.

D - I guess this beer is drinkable because it is so thin. But really, it just lacks so much flavor that I can't see myself wanting much more.

After having such high expectations for Alpine, I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed by this beer and Duet. Luckily, Pure Hoppiness was outstanding.

Photo of hikanteki
2.46/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours fine, with a clear dull-yellow color, smells fine, with subtle citrus and grass notes. But where’s the taste? I’ve had this a couple different times to make sure that I wasn’t getting a bad batch...and it’s been the same. It’s very bland, and despite that, is somehow difficult and rough to drink with an uneven mouthfeel. The rye in this beer is not its friend.

One of the very few times BA has led me astray.

Photo of Covocali
2.81/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smooth easy drinking ipa a good after taste

Photo of alkchrios
2.98/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the "best damn beer shop" in san diego california on vacation with my girlfriend. she spend a semester in new zealand and since something about this bomber had to do with NZ I was pressured into getting it.. it wasnt that bad but I was not all that impressed. Its a golden ipa rendering it a bit less hoppy with a lower IBU than I would prefer.. still not a bad beer by any means. Poured a copper color with a minimal head..very basic almost bland appearance. Upon the first sip I got a lot of grapefruit and burnt sugar...a bit of coriander comes to the nose which is a pleasant suprise. This beer is very crisp and slightly complex..it seems as though a ton of flavor is rather non-existent but still has some of those citrus tones I previously mentioned...the flavor just kind of dissipates the more you drink it.

Photo of Lucular
3.01/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am not a fan of onion in my IPA's.

Photo of rmalinowski4
3.09/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Mikasa tulip from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a clear straw color with two fingers of fluffy white head that sticks around for awhile and leaves tons of lacing. Very aggressive pour. You can see lots of tiny bubbles dancing up the glass to the nice crown that seems to be sticking around.

Smell is citrus, tangerine and pineapple, with some earthy pine in the background. The smell is somewhat faint and you really have to work to pick up the different components. Smells nice but should be stronger.

The smell is the opposite of the taste, lots of earthy pine upfront with some faint citrus grapefruit and pineapple in the background. The finish is of more bitter pine and earthiness. Was hoping for more citrus, but still not bad. I just expected a different flavor from the nose.

The mouthfeel is thin but not watery, and the carbonation is lively. It is easy to drink and pretty refreshing.

Overall this is not a bad beer, but it not great either. Expected more citrus than what was delivered. I would drink it again and reccommend that others try it as well. Slightly above average.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.12/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for another Alpine beer procured on his trip out west.

Bottle split and poured into my tulip the beer is golden yellow with a slight orange tint. Two fingers of off white head settle leaving spotty lace.

The aroma is mostly citrus hops. However there are a few components that perplex me. I pick out an off putting burnt rubber smell and a bit of onion. It also seems a touch skunky.

The flavor is much better than the nose. Citrus like hops are the main thing I pick up. A slight grassiness and a bit of the burnt rubber is there again.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall a bit of a dissapointment. Expo and duet were quite good. Their brother nelson not so much. Maybe another bottle someday will change my mind.

Photo of ChrisMon02
3.17/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nelson pours a really nice golden color with a fluffy head. Head reduces quickly but holds on for dear life leaving an eighth of an inch of smallish bubbles on top.

Smell is...green onions and dandelion. Oh no...

Taste is...onion and dandelion.

Mouthfeel is thin but a bit better than Duet.

I am utterly confused by my first experience with Alpine. Both Duet and Nelson have been, well...just ok. Maybe I was expecting too much but there are so many others I prefer it puzzles me. Really glad I got to try them but I wouldn't go out of my way to have then again.

Photo of Gregaroo
3.19/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at City Tap House Logan in Philly. Served in your basic pint glass. Very little character from the servers, which reflected on my love of this beer. I've had other Alpine's and LOVED them! Again, environment has a lot to do with perceived taste. I hope to have another somewhere else so I can edit my review.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.2/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. 7% ABV, no date.

A - Clear golden yellow beer pours from the bottle. The tall pour creates a nice bone-colored head that rises to two fingers and lowers without haste leaving thick, patchy lace all over the glass.

S - It's got a surprisingly low nose for an IPA. Nelson finally starts to open up but it may have well stayed low. The first thing I smell is an off-putting burnt rubber aroma that continues to decline the more I smell it. A tiny hint of skunkiness appears in the back but it's definitely not an aroma I'm font of in the least. Beer smell is pretty absent here.

T - Burnt rubber still pulls through into the flavor but is mostly hidden (thank God) by citrusy, floral hops. A light and unintrusive caramel malt backing provides a sweet balance to the pine, grapefruit, and floral "green" hops. It still doesn't amount to much in my book though.

M - Nelson is medium-bodied and smooth with a mellow bitterness to the finish. There is a twang of astringency from the burnt rubber on the finish that continues to be a little off.

D - Meh. A very weak IPA this one is. Rubber all over the place is a big turn-off. It's still drinkable but I won't be looking to get it ever again.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.2/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Grapehops for the extra! Poured from bomber (no date stamp) into a pint glass. Pours hazy gold, medium to thin off-white head, pretty lacing. Nose is soft, fleshy stonefruit and papaya, lush and fruity, with both fresh and dried pineapple here as well. Flavors are soft and fruity, but deceptively bitter. Pineapple and guava in the mouth, as well as a pervasive nutty earthiness from the rye. Mostly upfront palate, but some "white wine" acidity on the finish with caraway again on the long finish. Quite a complex beer but was not my style among my favorite IPAs. Overhyped IMO, so I am going against the tide on this one.

Photo of MichaelinFishers
3.21/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into two pint glasses for my wife and I to split. Thanks to Esther for the trade.

A: Pours with a very pale head, very light retention and just a little lacing. The color is a little odd. There's an unusual hue to it that I would describe as almost pink, but I'm slightly colorblind, so take that with a grain of salt.

S: Wow! The aroma is incredible! I'd heard that Nelson Sauvin smells almost wine-like, but this is amazing! (Looking on the label, it actually says that. How about that!) Delicate, fruity, floral, this is a beautiful aroma hop.

T: OK, this is where is starts to let down. Now that I've looked at the label, I'm reminded that this is a rye beer. And the rye just isn't working for me with such light malt accompanying it. I've had, and loved, other rye beers (Red's Rye, Cane & Ebel), but those pair the rye with bolder, fuller malts.

M: Nice, but nothing special. Pretty typical for a west coast IPA.

D: Having a hard time getting past the taste. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I dislike it -- I finished my pint with no problem -- but I don't think I'll be seeking this one out again.

Photo of beertunes
3.22/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The Alpine hype train finally hit Bellingham. Been looking forward for trying these SoCal legends for a long time. This one didn't push my buttons. Just a solid, good, enjoyable IPA, nothing less, nothing more.

Photo of nhindian
3.23/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Contrary to everything I've read about this beer previously, my glass does not contain a hazy, orange-juice-esque beer. In fact, it is pretty clear and light, with slow trickles of carbonation filling the glass. This isn't to say that it isn't nice looking, but sort of unexpected since the appearance is usually one of the defining characteristics of Nelson. A bone white head sits atop the liquid and lasts throughout the glass.

Aroma - The nose is fresh with a hint of grape tartness, like green grapes or grape must. A big burst of grapefruit and papaya follow, but is balanced with a sharp bite of rye.

Taste - I'm taken aback by just how assertive the rye is on the palate, so much so that it starts to butt up against the hops. I was expecting this to be a hop bomb, but it is much more balanced, and at times, unfortunately so. Because of this, no one flavor rises to the top and the rest of the ingredients battle for supremacy, leading to a muddled, confusing drink. In parts, I enjoy each component, but together it doesn't really mesh for me.

Mouthfeel - If there's one aspect of this beer I dig, it's the mouthfeel. It is dry and crisp, with a mellow, creamy body that garners an excellent finish.

Closing Arguments - I came into this beer with really high expectations, and frankly it didn't meet them at all. I wanted the Nelson Sauvin hops to shine, but instead they were overshadowed by the rye. I'm not sure of the age of this - the tap takeover I got this growler at was pushed back from its original schedule - but I can't imagine it could be that old. Thankfully Alpine will be seen more in Pittsburgh, so I will give this a try at least once more to compare and contrast.

Photo of ZAP
3.23/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very unique IPA...the much talked about Nelson Sauvin hops exude an aroma and flavor unlike any IPA I have had before.

If I had to describe in one word I would say Herbal...almost like tea but this has big chive/garlic notes in the aroma and taste....much more so than Summit hops which can give off some of that as well.

To be honest I am not a huge fan of the characteristics I am smelling and tasting but it is so unique it is enjoyable to taste something different..

Body is medium...easy drinking...there is just a hint of the spicy rye which complements the hops nicely.

I am glad I tried this but one is enough for me.

Photo of beergrrrl2
3.41/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this new Alpine Nelson that was contract brewed at Greenflash on tap. Nelson was probably my favorite beer and I've written beergasm reviews of it but this new collaboration needs to be tweaked. The beer was exceptionally cloudy with a chewy mouthfeel. It lost it 'brightness' and extraordinary deliciousness. While the Nelson hops were there, if I had this beer for the first time, I wouldn't order it again :( I hope they fix it.

Photo of juhl31
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-a very foggy yellow color with a white head. lacks much head retention

-good amounts of grapefruit. big time meaty english hop smell, but not a good meat smell if that makes sense at all

-probably the most actual rye tasting ryePA i have had. that meat is back up in there. the hop profile tastes english for sure, but not as much in the malt side

-very thick and smooth for an IPA

-not a great one for me. my least favorite of the alpine IPA's. i warmed up to it a bit as i got towards the bottom of the glass, but i still wouldnt want to order more. i am usually a big fan of ryePA's too

Photo of gregshead
3.44/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light, light yellow color. Did a double take and almost asked the bartender if they handed me the correct beer.

S - Citrus and pine hops domintate the smell

T - Pine and Citrus/Orange hops dominate the taste. If their is malt/rye taste, it didn't show up for me.

M - Very light and carbonated mouthfeel. If I didn't have taste buds, I'd swear this beer was a wheat or hefeweizen by feel and appearance.

D - Overall, an ok IPA. I wasn't awed but I wasn't upset either. I would drink again but I would take other IPAs before it.

Photo of DearthVader
3.44/5  rDev -23%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured to my La Fin Du Monde tulip (thanks for the glass Alex!)

What a beautiful beer. Pours a clear golden yellow that shoots bubbles of carbonation ferociously to the top where it meats the billowing pure white 3" of foam. The head dissipates to a creamy crown and a thin layer of film over the top. Gobs of lacing clinging to my glass. Picture perfect.

Smell is maltier than expected. The sweet malts overpower the crisp citrus and rye I was expecting my nose to explode with. I still get hues of slight grapefruit and orange peel. Definite notes of earthy bark tones, and the nice hop finish.

Taste has a powerful punch of grapefruit, but yet again the malt takes over. Slight orange and lemon zest, followed by the nice slightly hopped finish.

Extremely drinkable beer and perfectly carbonated. A dangerous beer with a ABV, but I could imagine drinking these all summer long if more available.

I was definitely expecting more. I'm starting to wonder if this is an old bottle, which I would be very upset with the store I bought this from yesterday. I will most definitely revisit this beer and hopefully be able to come back in and change the scores a little bit. I have an insane amount of respect for Alpine and the things they do.

Photo of joepais
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to errantnight for hooking me up with this. Bottle spit among friends produced a smaller white head than expected that went off to nothing. it has a somewhat cloudy yellow in color body to it.

I will say I wasn't to much impressed with the new hop variety. I didn't get the grapefruit aroma the touted on the bottle but more of grassy earthy hops to it. It was nice but having tried this right after their Duet It was a little underwhelming.
The flavor was kind of a nice for Rye. PA and I will say one of the better of that hybrid that I have tasted. It had a good balance of pepper and hop to it and it finished rather dry in the mouth. The feel was light with somewhat a lack of carbonation for me. I think this brew needed more.

I finished the glass easily. it's a ok beer but I have had better in this Hybrid of a style.

Edit.. after looking at others reviews I would be up to try this one again to see if it wasn't a fluke or a bad bottle

Photo of cmgage
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Mostly rated this on the fact that I am not a fan of the Nelson hop. Still a quality made beer though

Photo of HereforBeer
3.5/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft in Chicago shortly after they entered the market. I thought it was OK, but very unbalanced. I was pretty dissapointed after seeing a really high BA score. I hope I just had a bad batch.

Photo of retry4z
3.5/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Outlier detected. Justify rating with a review.

Photo of johnnyboy76
3.51/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not as good as Duet. Not bad. Just ok

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,993 ratings.