Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

635 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 635
Hads: 3,068
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 379 | FT: 15
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
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 635 | Hads: 3,068
Photo of SierraFlight
3.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap at Simzy’s LB poured into footed stange. Hazy golden body with a thin white head that settles to a thin ring. Lace rings. Aroma is piney, with grape skin, herbs, rye spice, citrus, and grass. Taste is initially dank and musty with moderate bitterness featuring the same flavors as the nose. Some malt and tropical fruit sweetness comes through. Rye spiciness hits on the swallow. Medium body, thin texture, moderate carbonation, and a dry bitter finish. (462 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A truely exciting bottle from Randy in the Loko4locals Bif! Thanks homey! Poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden color with a little bit of an orange hue. A nice cap of white head sits on top.

A little bit of sweet carmael in the aroma. Just a little bit of citrus hops in the background. A big orange aroma though. Big orange juice aroma. A little bit of a rye flavor. A big bitter hop flavor is a lot more noticable on the pallet than the aroma. Lots of juicy orange on the aroma.

Nice light body with good carbonation. A little bit sticky somehow. Overall pretty tasty here. Pretty malty for an IPA but ths is darn good. (628 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ben for sharing! Poured into a tulip. Nice hazy orange color with a half inch head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is orange candy and mango, slightly sweet.

The taste starts out a little sweet and follows with orange candy and a hefty dose of bitterness to balance out the sweet malt.

The body is medium, and this is pretty refreshingly drinkable with the smooth carbonation.

Well I am happy to finally have some Alpine, I really want some more! (474 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
3.55/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at O'Brien's
A- Clear golden orange hue, minimal head that congregates to a cluster of foam in the center, sticky lacing
S- HUGE rye malts and bread malts, subtle citrus and grass hops
T- Taste is dominated by rye malts to an overwhelming extent (almost like eating a jewish deli sandwich), opens up to some grass and pine hops, finishes with a rye bread aftertaste
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture, highly carbonated
D- This is the most rye-heavy beer I've ever tasted, definitely an acquired taste that loses points for me personally (not a big fan of rye bread), the dominating rye appears off-balance and limits overall drinkability (643 characters)

Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Beer Company has a favorable reputation amongst BA members and even sports a few beers in the top 100, including Nelson. Since they don't make their way up to the SF Bay Area, I used a recent trip to San Diego as a great excuse to visit them in person.

Pours a somewhat hazy, medium orange color with a thin off-white head.

Prevalent grapefruit hoppy nose backed up by floral notes. Touches of pineapple, too.

Herbal hops mingling with a light malt spiciness. Minor presence of tropical fruity hops. Moderate level of bitterness. Lingering, chardonnay-like long dry finish.

Medium-light bodied with moderate-low level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't quite living up to its top 100 status, in my opinion. I'd take a Union Jack, Torpedo, or Stone IPA over this, no-brainer. Hop flavor/bitterness lacks variety and pungency. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not as good as it could be. (909 characters)

Photo of Rayman
3.61/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a chilled 16 oz glass, the bottle itself was just pulled from my refrigerator at the said temperature. Yellow golden hue that is transparent with a very light head.

S - Smell was very pleasing and a strong citrus aroma which can only be described as piney and grapefruit. The smell of this American IPA alone makes my mouth water

T - Having the privilege to try a lot of IPAs this ranks up there really well. Its not your average IPA, that being said the initial taste goes in well, but after it is sharp. The taste of rye really comes in that instance. It feels as if your mouth puckers a bit and just wants to keep drinking.

M - Mouth feels a bit puckered, perhaps because this is where the grapefruit characteristic comes out. If i were describe this after taste. I think it is what gives the characteristic of the grapefruit used and that gives it a personality. Which is strong flavorful and tad bitter like a grapefruit

O - This is definitely a must try because this beer will not disappoint the IPA enthusiasts. It will definitely be a plus if you do like grapefruits. (1,095 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this beverage came with a bit of reputation in the sd area, as many of the breweries visited informed us we'd be mistaken were we not to head over to alpine. when i arrived, they struggled to determine what order i should taste in, but were convinced i should finish with this unique beverage. the nelsons have an arrayed aroma and flavor, it was like having a bite of something colorful off of someone else's plate when they weren't watching and you didn't pay attention to what they ordered. playfully citrus with an angry spice contributed both by the hop and the rye. i'm not sure what to make of this beer, but i'd like more to try. it's kind've like a rhinocorn. i don't know if it's even real. a fun and spicy rye.p.a. (725 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow with a durable white colored head that leaves a temporary coating on the glass.

Aroma: Hops, with hints of pineapple, grapefruit, starfruit and other tropical notes.

Flavor: Fruity, slightly tart, and only moderately bitter at its peak. Moderate complexity. The hop flavor builds over time but nevers becomes harsh or overbearing

Feel: Light-medium body with near medium carbonation.

O: a distinctive IPA. Recommended. (489 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An IPA with the addition of rye.

Pours a clear yellow tinted amber with a huge puffy pure white head.

Nose is fresh pineapple and a hint of lactobacillus that fades with some air. Nose gets nicely perfumy and floral.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely balanced.

Flavor profile is bitter burnt rye toast and bitter coffee with an undertone of lacto. Flavors are actually quite complex although not for everyone.

Finish has a tart bitter character to it, along with bitter black coffee and burnt toast and is long lasting. Nice rye character through and through. (573 characters)

Photo of whitknee007
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I like the wine-like characteristics of this hop accompanied by flora aromas. Not the best IPA I've ever had but definitely unique in an IPA focused market. (156 characters)

Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a blind tasting involving Pure Hoppiness, Nelson, and Duet. Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a snifter.

A: I like the color of this better than Duet, as it is a little bit more golden in color. It poured a

S: A pleasant smell, but not very intense. Mostly pine, with a bit of oranges. More malty than the other two Alpine IPAs at this tasting.

T: I liked that this was a fairly balanced taste, with definite hops up front, but some noticeable malt character as well. The rye comes through at the end, which is nice, but overall everything tasted just a bit watered down.

M: Pretty good, but a tad thin for my liking as I look for a bit more stickiness and aftertaste such as I found with Pure Hoppiness. Nice level of carbonation.

D: Better than Duet in my opinon, but not nearly as good as Pure Hoppiness. If this was available at a bar nearby, I'd give it a try again, but would not actively seek out another bottle. Too many better options that are easier to get in the Midwest. (1,018 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear light copper color with a coastered white head. Nice fruit aroma mostly dominated by grapefruit. Medium mouhfeel. Nice malty backbone with a hoppy forward grapefruit rind notes. Bittenrss lingers. Nicely drinking. No alcohol notes found. (259 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber with a rising white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves a nice ring of lace with each sip.
Smells of some nice citrusy, grassy hops. There's a nice, sweet malt backbone to support the hops. Nothing is overpowering or overwhelming, just a nice sipping IPA.
Feels rich and creamy and leaves a lingering sweet residue. Well done for an American IPA. (370 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy pale golden with a thick soapy head.

Aroma is tropical citrus hop with a hint of pale malt.

Taste is toasted malt with more of the tropical hop quality - pineapple, orange, and melon. Finishes very smoothwith residual sweetness and only a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

Overall, a pleasant easy drinking IPA. Lighter and sweeter than expected. Very clean. (386 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
3.72/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the shot at this one Brian - I've been making quick work of that box! 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Pour is pale, straw yellow. It reminds me of hay, with some orange highlights. The head is a touch small even with a vigorous pour, but there's some nice lacing around the glass.

I can detect tangerines immediately in the nose. There's a very classic citrus-forward hop profile in the aroma. I swear I can swell hay as well, though that may just be psychomatic. I'm picking up on a little bit of grass as well. This just smells fresh.

Taste follows closely on the aroma. I get lemons and mangoes up front, with a slight citric burn in the back end. Actually, it really reminds me of lemon or orange juice. There's a bitter, astringent finish, with a touch of fruity sweetness for balance.

It's a tad overcarbonated, which only serves to amplify that bubbly, citric burn in the taste. Quite drinkable, but if the carbonation were toned down the mouthfeel would really benefit.

More than fine, just not exceptional. Ultimately, I'd call it a little dull. (1,067 characters)

Photo of hayesez
3.74/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Alpine brew received as an extra from Kaiser81. The Duet and the Pure Hoppiness have both been exceptional, and I can't wait to give the Nelson a shot. Split with Ridgley and K-Rho and poured into my Portsmouth snifter.

A light golden-yellow colored beer with a slightly gray dense foamy head. Quite a few tiny bubbles rise around the floaties suspended in this brew. The recession of the cap is leaving an impressive lace on the inside of my glass. This continues all the way down the top 2/3 of my snifter, as I slowly put this one away.

I had a bit of trouble placing all of the smells in this beer. It is a bit fruity and grassy as one might expect. But there is something else in there as well. This is going to be out there, but the aroma that comes to mind is new car tires. Kind of a rubberish smell. Mixed in there is a bit if grapefruit and a hint of pineapple. Weird. Can't say I've smelled anything quite like this one.

Fortunately, the Nelson doesn't taste like new car tires smell. The fruits are more pronounced - grapefruit, pineapple, and perhaps a bit of orange. Not sure I know exactly what the rye is supposed to taste like...this is definitely different than others I've had, but I can't necessarily attribute it to the rye. The taste is dulled down a bit from the nose, but definitely better. Again, a bit thinner than I would like, but still has a small element of creaminess.

I guess I'll place this as my least favorite of the three Alpine beers I've had (Duet, Nelson, and Pure Hoppiness). Still a fine brew, and one I would never pass up, but the smell just didn't quite do it.

Consumed: 8/5/2010 (1,640 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 7% abv. Pours a hazy golden color, with a great lookin white rocky head. Great head retention and lace. A real looker.

Grapefruit, citrus, floral and piney hop aroma. A bit of spicy aroma in the back end. A note of sweet caramel malt.

Some sweet pale and caramel malt up front. A nice spicy edge from the rye. Bitterness is restrained at first, however it does intensify and linger on the palate. Citrusy and floral notes.

Medium body, lower carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden. Seems a bit thin. Pretty nice. (529 characters)

Photo of iadler
3.77/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to DearthVader for sending this one.

A- Pours a clear gold with a nice two finger head that slowly dissipates into a nice white cap. Little bits of sediment floating around. Some nice spots of lacing are left behind

S- Fresh ruby red grapefruit juice, peach, pineapple, white grape, mandarine, peppery spice, funk, grass, pine and sweet malt. Very complex and intoxicating smell. My girlfriend could not stop smelling the beer.

T- Grapefruit, pineapple, peach. mandarine, white grape, rye, pine and some sweet biscuit malt. Has some floral and herbal hops including basil. There also seems to be this garlic/onion flavor that hurts the taste for me.

M- Medium carbonation and body and is pretty smooth. Finishes sweet with a good amount of herbs and a bit of orange.

O- A very interesting IPA. Not to familiar with Nelson Sauvin hops, but added some nice white wine qualities as well as the rye adding some peppery spice. I much prefer Duet and Pure Hoppiness over Nelson, that onion/garlic taste really got to me. (1,071 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.77/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alpine Nelson has a very clear yellow body and at most one finger of large bubbled, off-white head. Despite the small head, retention is pretty good and irregular, thick lacing stays behind on the glass.

Nelson has a pretty interesting aroma, with a lot of rye giving a spicy, seedy aroma and the hops providing both strong resin smell along with a pretty fruity bouquet.

The hops in Nelson are exceedingly fruity, with a lot of grape-like flavors. It actually tastes a bit like white wine. There is still a good amount of resin and bitterness to the hop profile. The rye malt is also a huge flavor; it's probably just as powerful as the hops. It adds a ton of spiciness and a good bit of seedy rye flavor, but also a bit of rye-bread sweetness.

The mouthfeel is fairly highly carbonated, but still maintains adequate body.

Nelson is pretty interesting. Pairing Nelson hops with rye really expresses the characteristics of malted rye, and also makes for a unique IPA. I like it, but I don't love it. Even so, I understand how others might love this one. (1,057 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light orange color with a nice 2 inch stark white head that fades to a small cap. The head is very cloudy and puffy on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace around the glass on the drink down. Smells of citrus zest hops, pine tree, and some spiciness from the rye. Tastes of spicy rye, malt, and citrus zest/pine hops, but overall the beer has a muted taste in my opinion. Beer is slightly carbonated and seems a bit flat. Smooth but creamy in the mouth. I would have liked to have more carbonation for the style. Overall, this is a good beer from Alpine but I prefer a few of their other beers over this. (620 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice, light, tasty, crisp and refreshing ipa. Pours a light golden yellow with earthy aromas and flavors. I'll have to give this another go around because I'm not too impressed with this highly regarded ipa. Happy to see these Alpine beers showing up in my area thanks to the Green Flash acquisition so hopefully I'll have another pint soon enough. (348 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Short Review. I've been wanting to try something from Alpine for a little while now and it seems like their beers just started showing up on tap. This is pretty nice, but it's not as good as I was expecting and it had some green onion hop aspects that held it back in the end, but i did like the fruity aspects in the hop profile and the mouthfeel was pretty good. I would like to try a super fresh bottle of this. It's pretty nice, but I don't think it's a stand out for the style. (486 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta Pilsner pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Alpine yesterday. Expectations are very high; I've had it before on-draft and loved it. I'm a huge Alpine fan.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I had this side by side with Alpine Duet for comparison.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, nice cream, pretty good hickness, okay lacing, and above average retention. Colour is a clear translucent vibrant pale yellow. It isn't much to look at, but I'm looking forward to trying it. No yeast particles are visible (not that they should be for the style). No bubble show.

Sm: Piney potent citrus ester hops. Some floral character. Hop oil. Very hop-laden, but the lack of bitterness in the aroma suggests good balance. Clean malts provide the foundation; I don't detect any rye. A rather strong aroma. I could smell it before I poured it (and my nose is broken). Much more piney and oily than the Duet.

T: Quite piney, with some citrusy and more minor floral impact. Light grapefruit citrus. Little bitterness - to its credit. The rye comes through a bit in the flavour, but the foundation still seems to be mainly pale malts. I suspect rye wasn't the primary grain used. It's well balanced in terms of both flavour and structure, but it's actually rather simple (at least in comparison to the Duet); the hop character is well layered but lacks true complexity. It has good depth of flavour, however. The finish is my favourite aspect due to its somewhat refreshing quality. It's a good IPA for what it is. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I'm impressed by the balance in particular.

Mf: More dry and coarse than I'd expect. I blame the rye, but it's nicely complemented by the refreshing feel of the pale malts. The roughness in the second act makes the smooth wet finish that much more refreshing. It could be more crisp, but it complements the flavour profile very well. Not as soft as Duet.

Dr: It's a very drinkable IPA and hides its above average ABV quite well. Would I get it again? Definitely, but preferably on-draught. This will please fans of the style and is more balanced than most IPAs. Rye was an interesting choice here. Another incredible IPA from Alpine.

Having had them side by side, I have to say the verdict is in: I prefer Duet.

A poor candidate for aging. Drink Fresh.

Drank fine out of a pilsner glass, but a conical pint glass is recommended.

Would pair well with spicey food or an aggressively dressed salad.

Probably best on-draught.

B+ (2,694 characters)

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into my pint glass. Taken from notes

The appearance was that of a slight golden/light orange color with a slightly off-white two inch head. Average head retention that when subsides leaves small spots of lacing.

The aroma was a mix of citrus aromas with earthy herbal smells. I got pine and floral aromatics with grapefruit and tangerines.

The taste upfront was of citrus flavors with grapefruit and then following is some pine and herbal flavors. Slight spicy undertone of rye in the finish with biscuit and cracker like malts.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a little less than average carbonation.

Overall good beer, but nothing spectacular. I liked Duet better then this one and pure hoppiness. (723 characters)

Photo of vande
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a hearty, somewhat hazy golden pour with slight lacing that clings to the glass as if its life depends on it...

S: Not quite what I was expecting... Interesting mix of citrus, pineapple, hints of the rye...

T: the pineapple - citrus hoppy presence melded together with the proof of rye nelson hoppy uniqueness makes this an interesting ipa...

M: medium bodied creamy textured...

O: Interesting, tasty... Glad I had one! (426 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.