Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

814 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by OStrungT on 08-11-2006

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 814 | Ratings: 3,950
Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Fantastic lacing.

S: A sweet, alluring aroma of hops, citrus, and other light fruits.

T: Tasted of a good amount of hops, some rye notes, light malt, citrus (grapefruit), mango, and some other tropical fruits. A balanced flavor that's not too hoppy or too sweet. Very fruity and focused.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is another excellent West Coast IPA. It's quite well made and definitely easy to drink.

 628 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Dark orange-gold and hazy, with a smallish, quickly settling head and lots of sticky lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Big, fresh aroma of grapefruit and grass with a subtle, spicy rye note underneath.

Taste: Follows the nose, vivid citrus hoppiness, fresh-cut grass and pine, the rye is buried in there, just peaking its head out in the finish. Booze is nowhere to be found. Subdued bitterness underneath it all carries into the aftertaste a bit. Modest sweetness with a very reserved underlying malt character.

Mf: Medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean, yet smooth and just a wee bit creamy. Long finish is spicy and bitter.

Overall: A truly phenomenal beer. Preferred it slightly on tap, with its lower carbonation and fuller mouthfeel, but you can’t lose with this one. As good as anything made in this style without a doubt. Had a hard time not guzzling this one down like a racehorse.

 920 characters

Photo of natelocc787
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2 of these scores where close to achieving a half point increase but I couldn't quite do it. While I loved this beer it was lacking that "I deserve to be considered with the greats" factor. The rye is a great addition to this and really shows itself adding another dimension to an already good example. A well crafted IPA with rye, done just right-what's not to like? Bright, vibrant orange citrus fruits with a bitter backing in the nose and more in the taste blended with rye. I like this nelson hop variety. Mouthfeel was not crisp or creamy but somewhere in between. Search out all Alpine IPA's there's a reason 3 of them (including this one) are ranked in the top 100.

 673 characters

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but was traded fresh. Pours moderately hazy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big mango, passion-fruit, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of tropical/citrus hop notes with a fair amount of malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible balance and complexity of bright tropical/citrus hop notes with light-moderate malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible IPA! Fantastic balance and complexity of tropical and bright citrus hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and extremely smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,485 characters

Photo of CuttDeez
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass

A - A golden burnt orange body that is clear and slightly bubbly with a medium sized white head.

S - Tons of awesome citrus and tropic notes that are big and bold but an unmistakable spice and rye and grassy earthen aroma as well. This not only brings in a nice complexity but gives the beer a natural rustic feel.

T & M & D - Just what you would expect from Alpine in terms of IPA and Rye. The beer opens with a citrus juicy hop bomb and then the spice and chew of the rye comes in on the back end without completely overwhelming the front end. Fantastic. The beer is medium bodied and is bold on the palate with the good intensity of the hops and rye spices.

O - Another great offering from Alpine. Rye makes an interesting addition to the IPA as it fully embrasses a spicy flavor profile and does not try to ease up on the palate at all.


 878 characters

Photo of GradyS1
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a light golden color with a one finger head, the color is almost a light yellowish green
S-light hops, small malts, almost a smell of fresh cut grass, smells fresh
T- Very nice, an awsome balance of hops and rye the mix perfectly
M- Nice carbonation and a slight sweetness
D- Great beer, I could have glass after glass of these

 330 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden body. Moderate white cap, decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: Clean light lemon-citrus hops. Fresh grassy. Pronounced rye.

T: The combination of citrus and grassy hops are so clean and refreshing. Not overwhelming, but very pronounced rye flavor. Definitely the best "rye" beer I've had.

M: Slightly thinner than I would prefer. Refreshing and crisp finish though.

D: Goes down so good. Incredibly drinkable. Could go for another growler easy.

 466 characters

Photo of kayalla
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Hazy orange with a good white head. Aroma is floral hops with a lot of citrus fruits especially orange and grape fruit. The flavor is an explosion of hops but in great balance, not as sweet as the aroma seemed. Orange and grape fruit, maybe apple, peach. So nicely balanced, this is a stellar IPA and I always seek this out when they put out a new batch.

 397 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alpine Nelson
Pours a nice brass brown color, fairly transparent, slight haze. After a fairly aggressive pour a half finger of soapy bubbly head appears, nice white color that stays around for a good while, lots of spotted lacing, really pleasant appearance. Nice big nose, bitter earthy hops driven by the rye spice laden Nelson Sauvin hops power themselves forward. Citrus and tropical fruits come through as well with faint biscuit malts at the end, well balanced and very rounded. Rye leads the way on the tongue, bitter hops come in as well, but this is bursting with citrus and pineapple flavors at the finish. Mango and the faintest of malts are in there as well, the rye flavors really help balance the hops without taking away from the bitterness and let this shine as a massively hop forward ale. Very smooth and juicy in the body which plays well with the citrus and tropical flavors that are so prevalent.

Verdict: Superb IPA from Alpine, I feel like I've said that a few times, but they make some seriously hoppy goodness down there in Alpine. This is one to stock up on.

 1,086 characters

Photo of bump8628
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing gold with a nice inch-thick cap of dense white foam.

Mmm...what's this? Something different, for sure. Melon, white grape, juicy citrus, apricot. An excellent change of pace from the pine/citrus/grassy herb bombs that most American IPAs are (don't get me wrong I love those too). Malt is there I guess, but I'm not getting much in the way of rye, though that's fine by me. All I ask of the malt in my West Coast IPAs is that it gets the hell out of the way. Geez, this a damn good IPA.

I still think if I could only drink one IPA my whole life it would fit the classic American hop profile. But this one is lovely and it's great for feeling out the Nelson Sauvin hop.

 677 characters

Photo of argock
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a Shaker pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego, CA).

A: Darker amber than Duet with a similar short cap of off-white head which leaves a valence of lace at the top of the glass.

S: Huge hop aromas with spicy, somewhat earthy edge presumably from the rye. The hops aromas combine tropical fruits like pineapple and mango with lime and peach but with a leafy, raw, earthy, spicy edge from the rye. The malt component is more robust than Duet with some caramel-toffee but it works due to the rougher edge to the hops profile.

T: The is a very hoppy wand moderately bitter beer but very complex. The passion fruit and pineapple flavors are most prominent but they have more roundness due to the earthy, herbal nature that the rye adds. This beer just seems more leafy and raw hoppy than Duet, and I think it is a more challenging beer in many ways. The malt contribution is bigger than most IPAs although this works well to have more toffee to work with the earthy nature of this beer. Really an incredible IPA that I was blown away to find and try (on multiple nights).

M: Medium-bodied but with a thicker slicker feel. The carbonation and dryness quotient is low-average on this beer.

O: Nelson is a more contemplative beer than Duet (I was lucky enough to get to try the back to back on separate nights), but I think it has a bit more to offer as well with a more complex hop aroma and flavor. I liked them both a lot, but I would pick Nelson if I could have just a beer or two.

 1,505 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle again gotten via trade with dabecassis. Thanks to him. Poured into my SN tulip glass.

A: Ok, I see reviewers stating the color was a golden color, my beer was anything but that. Color was clearly a light brown mixed with a deep orange that was cloudy beyond belief. A big fluffy white head stays on top.

S: Alpine surely makes some citrus quality beers. This one had an aroma of grapefruit, orange and sugar sweetness. A bit of wheat and probably the rye pokes out.

T: Massive hoppy grapefruit flavors with some orange, tangerine, lemon, grass and some pine mix with the sugar sweetness that does not back down. The rye pokes through at the end to add a spicyness to the beer. Finish is smooth without much bitterness. Another great beer by Alpine.

M: Medium, creamy, smooth, slightly bitter and a hint of alcohol.

D: High, what another great beer to drink.

Overall another winner by Alpine. Boy these beers rock. So damn fruity and easy drinking it should be a crime. Great job Alpine, come to PA please.

 1,039 characters

Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado 22nd Anniversary Party. Comes in at 7%. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a very clear golden yellow with some orange tints. It has a small white head that sticks around. A tad bit of spotted lace is left on the glass.

S-A great fresh hop aroma. The Nelson hops impart a combination of citrus and hay that is very pleasing. The rye also is a little apparent.

T-All of the citrus components are noticeable very quickly. I pick up on mango, pineapple, and some pine. The rye used gives it a nice spicy finish. Not very bitter.

M-Medium bodied with a pleasing soft level of carbonation.

D-This is one easy drinking beer. It is blended so well that palate fatigue does not come on quickly.

I finally got to try an Alpine IPA that is not Pure Hoppiness and I was left impressed. The combination of the Nelson hops and the rye gives this a unqiue flavor that still fits in perfectly in the IPA family.

 926 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 3/11/2011

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, floral, hops, malts

taste: citrus hops, malts, very well balanced

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, creamy texture

drinkability: insanely drinkable. I'll be happy with any Alpine beers anybody is willing to send me.


the CPJ

 348 characters

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from the bottle into a Smuttynose snifter, this is burnt orange with a two finger white head. Very nice, clean looking beer.

S - Piney hops, some sweetness. Lemon and grapefruit.

T - Out of this world. One of the best. Sweet and juicy hops, decent malty backbone, but not over powering. Bitterness on the tongue.

M - Good feel, just what you would expect. Not over carbed, no alcohol. Excellent.

O - Great beer. Pretty easy to get in a trade, so it ranks very highly. Love the taste, look and smell of this beer.

 527 characters

Photo of Telix
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours super fizzy with a 2" fluffy cloudlike head. It's nearly sparkling with tons of carbonation streaming from the nucleation points. The color is a wheaty yellow color, and it's almost clear, but not quite.

S: Nice big aroma - citrus, slightly spicy, rye malts, grapes - it's sweet and slightly tart. Unique.

T: Tangy! It's almost champagne like in texture, with big sparkling fizzyness on the tongue that lends bitterness and a dry finish. The tart grape flavors mesh with the rye to make a unique, unexpected beer. I detected a subtle frutiness and a roasted chocolate note, but there can't possibly be any roasted malt in there. Full of flavor, unique, crisp, tart - this would be great in the summer or with food. It's really more like a saison than an IPA.

M: Sparkling champagne-like, fizzy on the tongue with huge carbonation levels. As the carbonation dies down a little and the beer warms up, the mouthfeel calms down into more normal territory. Refreshing, clean finishing.

D: I was surprised by this beer, as it really wasn't I expected. Instead of a rye IPA this was more like a saison, with huge carbonation and a lot of tartness. I'd love to have this again with some pork.

 1,253 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-light orange amber color with a smallish white head and a little lacing

S-tropical fruit, bread, pine, citrus, floral, slight herbal notes

T-bready malt, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, some spicy rye flavors, floral, decent bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp yet smooth

O-a great IPA with a solid range of flavors and a great aroma

 377 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrived early to Blue Palms to watch the cask of this get put on - a large burst of carbonation was released when Brian drove a corkscrew into the shive (or whatever it is called) - a good sign. Served after sitting for 20 minutes (after about a pitcher of watery foam was poured off) in a 20oz nonic - mine was the very first of the evening!

This was an angry, laborious, frothing pint - a cautious hand pumping still took two glasses and several minutes (the barkeep certainly earned his tip this evening) to finally serve up a proper pour. Remarkable appearance - lacing initially even coated the OUTSIDE of the glass...opaque lemoncello colored body with two fingers of permanent dense creamy shock-white foam. Swirling leaves an avalanche of lacing, like rapidly melting snow...

The aroma grew in intensity as the glass made its way down the bar - it was more intense than many IPAs I've had even from several feet away. Pushed up to my nose, it is a perfect balance of hops and grain - floral and unique.

The rye is subtle but works exceptionally well against the hops. It serves as a spicy foil to the singular grassy blast of pine, citrus, and pepper that the hops embody (they are all of these things yet none of these things). What a uniquely savory brew (I almost get notes of cheddar - and not in a bad way!) - grapefruit and lemon zest, pomelo, fennel, orangsicles, custard, white pepper, persimmon, mango - one could go on...and yet everything is very mild and well integrated into a whole. Quite different and tasty...

Thick, creamy, yet still light bodied, the mouthfeel would be perfect except for a slight chalkiness - a large amount of sediment rests on the bottom of the glass when it is nearly empty - excellent if you enjoy unfiltered brews.

Slightly spicy finish, with lots of fruit on the palate - on cask this is right up there with Sculpin for me in terms of drinkability.

Very well done and luciously fresh - don't miss it if you get the chance to sample this beer in this modality....

 2,018 characters

Photo of wcu80
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight up mango bomb. Nearly perfect use of the Nelson Sauvin hop. I usually find that an IPA is best on the first sip; every subsequent sip is less tasty. That's not this case with this beer. Each sip is just as good as the last. I was sad when the bottle was empty.

 269 characters

Photo of stoner420
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap

Straw yellow, cloudy, with a white foamy head, medium carbonation

Smells of hops, pine, citrus, grass, faintly of rye and grain

Tastes great, lots of hop tastes, but balanced really well by the rye and malt, finishes a little bitter.

Mouthfeel is good too, not too heavy, not too watery, very drinkable hard to drink just one, so many interesting flavors happening.

 384 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Brian.

A: Pours a hazy, light golden color. Head is moderate; the pour unlocks a finger or less of foam, with short retention and little lacing down the glass. I don't know if it's an off bottle, but this and the lack of clarity are two dings. Too bad the appearance is weighted so heavily.

S: Fresh-cut grass, a touch of spice, mint, orange, grapefruit, grain. It's unique and lovely; its pungency is something to be admired. I think it nearly nails this category.

T: And it absolutely nails this one. Great flavor. The malt presence is higher than I typically prefer, but it does well to offset the spiciness of the beer. There's a white pepper presence near the finish that imparts a light kick. A touch of mint and herbal / grassy flavors reflect the uniqueness of the Nelson hops. I find a presence of grapefruit, but with an earthiness that distinguishes the hops from an American variety.

M: Not quite as dry as I prefer, but it works very well for the type of beer this is. The spiciness is unique for an IPA, and it needs that heft to offset the bite. Just the same, it does impede drinkability a bit in a bomber form.

D: Jesus Christ. Yes.

 1,195 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to exraided for this bottle of Alpine Excellence. Haha I have shared 2 others with friends, this baby is MINE. Live review, can't find best by dating.

Pours an almost clear light amber with a finger of light beige head. Some bubbly lacicles cling to the glass, and a nice cap keeps the faith.

Neutral sweet, light grapefruit, orange zest, and perfumy lemon make for a med. strength aroma that entices the tongue.

Golly this a tasty beer. Usually don't start putting taste into words this quickly, but ten sips in this is just so fine. All the flavors of the nose, but in a bright clean medium strength taste that is just stupidly delicious. Clean (bears repeating) and vibrant flavors that end with hints of drying pine that never become resiny on palate giving a lasting enjoyment. As it warms the spicy rye character sneaks in to the sip.

Just as perfect here as the other 3 hop masterpieces from Alpine it has been my pleasure to enjoy. Just right low/med carb, just right viscosity and cling, just right thickness, and a perfect finish.

If I had enough of these I would drink them non stop until the polarity of our planet switches, and the most foolish among us are hurled into space.

 1,205 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Zated fluted glass. An interesting, more brown, color than most IPA's. Got about a finger and a half of white head. Smells amazing, very grapefruitastic. One of the best smelling IPA's I've had in some time. Nice citrusy, lemon and grapefruit flavors. The malt flavor is subdued and leads to a nice, looong bitter finish. Medium carbonation, and very satisfying. The 22oz is a perfect serving size.

 413 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Adam, 650ml into a snifter.

Clear golden orange with minimal head and almost no lacing. Nose has a really bright citrus quality, Nelson Sauvin is obviously prominent, tangerine, mango and perhaps a bit of white wine character I've always heard to be characteristic of the hop. A kiss of rye spice. Taste has more vibrant citrus qualities, mango, white wine, and again only a wee bit of rye, but just enough to be identifiable. Light body, lower medium carbonation and dries out super quick once the hops have made their appearance. An awesome Rye IPA - had this next to a FFF Rye'd the Lightning - two completely different rye beers, but each awesome in their own regard.

 689 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours from the bomber a hazy yellow/peach color with a small head and spotty lacing some clinging to side of glass...smell is citrus mainly grapefruit /and oranges..a sweet malt smell is there with a slight rye spice smell,,taste is grapefruit hops up with other citrus taste i get a candy sweet hop resin all on the citrus side..its followed by sweet caramel baked bread taste with some rye spices..the best rye ipa i ever had..mouthfeel is just right in carbonation full of flavor hops and malts..high drinkability this is the 3rd alpine beer ive had they are all outstanding ..this one is no exception highly recommended

 623 characters

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 814 ratings.