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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,607 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,607
Reviews: 601
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,363
Gots: 295 | FT: 17
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: rayjay on 08-14-2006

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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,607 | Reviews: 601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw color, with about 1/2" of white head that has decent retention and lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but it does not have quite the clarity that I have seen in other Alpine IPAs.

Smell: Light pale malt scents are evident, but that is quickly overshadowed by pungent tropical fruit dankness. Very nice.

Taste: Mirrors the smell. Nice, light malt backbone which adds a bit of sweetness but not too much. Then comes the hop flavors. Tropical fruit flavors shine, namely pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness, almost exclusively tropical fruit and dankness.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer has a light body with moderate carbonation, which is about right. Overall, the Nelson hops really shine in this beer. I love tropical fruit notes and limited bitterness in my IPAs, so I was a fan.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy grapefruit and earthy hop aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture with soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy bitter flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration. Very good brew.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: I must admit, I enjoyed the aroma far more than I have enjoyed anything else that is, or has ever been, placed in front of my nose. Very aromatic aroma of juicy oranges and pinapples, freshly cut grass, and what reminds me of either minced garlic or shallots.

Taste: Light, fleeting malt flavor and sweetness upfront before a bright burst of juicy hop flavors, zesty orange rind and pineapple rings. Full notes of white grapes and garlic (or is it shallots). Hint of damp grass. All in all, there's only a very reasonable amount of bitterness. Finishes decidedly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's really great smelling stuff! I had to be restrained from pouring out the growler onto myself so I could continue to smell this beer for days and days to come.

Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber received in a recent trade courtesy of mbudner. Thanks again man!

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy white head with good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Dank oily hop aroma with lots of dry earthy pine needle along with some sweet citrus notes, rye and subtle malt character. It smells like there is some incredibly fresh hops with a good bit of sweet citrus peel and grapefruit but the dry piny scent dominates.

Very well balanced dry, sweet and bitter medium body that is slightly earthy with a lot of uber fresh juicy hops. Lots of dry earthy pine up front that is quickly balanced by a nice citrusy lemon peel/grapefruit character, sweet rye malt and graham crackery malt presence. I was hoping that the rye would be more pronounced but it was a bit subtle providing nice balance. The ABV is excellently masked resulting in a complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable IPA.

Photo of shehateme
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of facundoCNB
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

an opaque orangy yellow pour with a full 2 fingers of white fluffy head which dissipated slowly and left some great amount of sticky lacing behind. smells of fruity hops, slight pine, herbal garlic-like scent, grapefruit, mint leaves.

this is my first experience with these nelson sauvin hops, and i am really liking it. there is a minty/fruity/grape-like flavor to it. add a nice malty sweet backbone (but dry enough almost like wine) and you have a delicious ipa.

this is a very easy drinking, refreshing ipa medium in body with highr carbonation (for the style) and a nice dryness in the finish.

this is an excellent ipa, with a nice semi bitter lingering flavor mixed in with what feels like white wine. reading the label on the bottle, i now see that this comes from the hops. what a wonderful experience.

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold, topped with a finger of bright-white foamy head. The retention has a nice creamy look to it (and great flare-up as well) leaving behind thick rings of sticky froth. The aroma is floral and spicy, with a ton of bitter grapefruit. This is quickly followed by some white-grape character and doughy grains. Just a great bouquet here.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit juice, citrus rind, and a deep dry spiciness. Once again, I'm also getting some softer bright-tasting fruit flavors, like peaches or grapes, which I'm assuming are coming from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Toasted bready sweetness creeps along the back, with this finishing with even more dryness and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big (yet still easy and mellow) creaminess that fills the mouth. Very silky feel here, that just seems to glide down the throat with no sign of alcohol in sight.

Lovers of grapefruit, spice, or just the Nelson hop in particular are going to really dig this. Personally, I felt that it naturally lacked some of the sizzle that this had fresh on draft in San Diego and had a strange "off" taste to it that I couldn't quite pinpoint. This is still damn tasty stuff though and is well worth seeking out.

Photo of cwps48
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerman4 for putting this in as an extra.

Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: The head won't stop. After my first pour, it stayed briefly at the rim, but kept growing after the next couple minutes. Eventually there was a mound a good inch and a half above the rim. Never seen a head grow like that. Leaves a lot of lacing. Nice golden color, not transparent. Head never went down all the way.

S: Hops. Citrus. Floral with a pine backbone. Smells a little sweet with how floral it is. A touch of alcohol in there.

T: Hoppy, but not too bitter. Lots of pine flavor. A bit of grapefruit. My roommate says it's like a dry white wine, but I don't know wine so well.

M: After the initial carbonation release, the carbonation level is very nice; slightly tingly, not a mouthful of air. Dry finish, though as it warms it's slightly less dry.

D: Drinkability is high. Easy to drink, smooth, definitely refreshing. 7% abv is hidden well in the taste.

Photo of Daniel101
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of NW_IPAHEAD
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a hazy orange(with some yeasty floaters) and a sticky white head. The aroma is pine, oranges and pineapple. The flavor follows the nose, with pineapple-orange juice being dominant. The finish lingers and is sweet. The beer is medium bodied and easy drinking. The beer works for me. I was expecting a bigger beer, but the profile is much more sublime and layered.

Photo of GregSVT
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtsey of MASPuros...thanks Mike!

A: Poured a golden hazy color with a small white head that fades to nothing and leaves a small amount of lacing.

S: Nose is all piney hops with a small amount of tropical fruit in the background. There is a small rye component to the nose but it's barely detectable although it does show up a bit more as it warms. It also get more fruity as it warms and I get a big passion fruit aroma.

T: Taste is all pine bitterness like the nose with a small fruity flavor on the finish. The rye adds a spicey kick towards the end of the finish as well. The fruity sweet flavors get more pronounced as you let the beer warm. I can actually taste the passion fruit that has been mentioned now that it has warmed and the bitterness is all but gone. Very interesting flavors and a big change from right out of the fridge to about an hour later.

M: Feel is par for the style. Creamy and the carbonation is just right.

D: I would have this again but I'm not sure if I'll search for it too hard. The 7% isn't bad and could make me want a few bombers in one sitting.

This is good but I may be tempted to reach for other offerings before this one again. If you like rye in your beer this is one to try though. Let it warm and you will be greeted with a very different beer from when it's cold.

Photo of RollBounce
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sean9689
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad props to Alex (MasterSki) and Shane (HopHead84) for getting me this beer. Much appreciated, bruthas!

Review #200...although this isn't anything too special, I feel it's a great beer on the top 100 that fits this special occasion nicely. I've had this on-tap at the Brewery but wanted to give it a proper review so I waited until I could score a bottle.

Poured from 22oz bomber into imperial nonic.

A - Pours a light rusty golden color that's not clear yet not mirky...right in between. There a good two fingers of white head that stays around and isn't going anywhere. Lots of bubbles come up from the bottom of the glass to the top, feeding the foamy monster of head. Super head retention and super lacing...probably one of the best looking IPA's I've ever reviewed.

S - Hops, bitter, hops, and more bitterness mixed in with notes of rye. Def some citrus notes such as tangerines, orange peels, sharp lemon hints in there as well.

T - Subtle citrus hops, bitterness, and the finish is where I get most of the rye characteristics. Pretty straight forward here, but very solid, with that said.

M - Light to medium bodied, very nice feel, smooth and refreshing. The large amount of head retention feeds into the feel, which I like.

D - One of the top IPAs for me, Alpine continues to kill it when it comes to all things hoppy. A brewery that I won't ever miss when I'm in the area visiting.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of a mild combination of pale and caramel malts with loads of hops. The hops are slightly leafy with good amounts of citrus and hints of scuppernongs.

Tastes good. Malt flavors that lean more toward pale than caramel kick things off and are overtaken shortly by citrus and leafy hops. Midway through the sip the hop flavors mellow out a bit and turn more toward pine and American grape flavors. Very light hints of spicy rye flavors make a brief appearance before yielding to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could easily have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and the way it showcases the unique Nelson Sauvin hop however it's in the middle of the pack of superb Alpine IPA/DIPA's. Still, very well worth a shot, even more so if you specifically like the hop.

Photo of UWDAWG90
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought this home with me from San Diego Beer Week and had a couple shipped back as well. Can't get enough of this one.

A - Pours a pale golden peach color, with large fluffy white head. Head retention is huge. Lots of bubbles, good carbonation.

S - The fruit just explodes from the first, nice hoppiness as well. Smells of Grapefruit first with what seems to be peach or apricot.

T - smooth an d buttery, here's where the NZ hops come through. A little sour or bitter with and end tatse of grapefruit

M & D - Good carbonation, very easy to drink.

Overall very good beer, love the hops and fruit flavors in this one.

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for the generous hookup!

Into a Duvel tulip, it's a murky greyish brown, but orange in the light. A sticky halo sits inside the glass, with a broken skim after a few minutes.

Grassy, herbaceous, and citrusy in the nose. Pungent hops and a hint of rye spiciness. Flavor is similar, intense yet balanced with plenty of malt and rye flavors lending sturdiness under all the hop greenery. A somewhat sweet cereal grain that reminds me of a local hop bomb, Daisy Cutter. Hop bitterness is firm and moderate, carrying long into the dry finish. Body is on the light side of medium with ample carbonation. Easy to drink, Nelson is another West Coast stunner from Alpine...

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego in August 2009.

A: Pours an orange-gold with a white head.

S: A little bit of rye behind plenty of citrus and tropical hops.

T: Lots of hops going on with a little bit of rye in the background.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and little alcohol feel.

D: Quite drinkable. Not nearly as good as Duet or O'Brien's IPA, but very good stuff.

Photo of tarheels86
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Toronado SD. Poured a clear straw/light yellow with excellent sheety white lace. Aroma is unreal, beautiful NZ hops shining forth: lots of rose wine, fresh grapefruit, fresh strawberries, peach, even fresh mint leaves. Taste is earthy hops, lots of butternut squash, grapefruit rind. Would love to try this again. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

22oz bomber. Pours a clear yellow with a dense bright white head. Excellent lacing. Unreal aroma of fresh nectarines, raw mango flesh, Thai mango and sticky rice. Taste is rich, earthy mango flesh, dank Columbus hops, earthy/chewy hops. Very earthy, squashy, rich mango throughout. Un-f*cken real. So good. 9/4/8/4/15=4.0

Photo of Schmaltzy
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sid and Best Damn Beer Shop.

A- Color is a nice light gold/yellow color around one finger of light head that receeds to some decent lacing on the glass.

S- Nice floral hoppy smells with tons of grapefruit and mango hops, smells very crisp and inviting.

T- Floral hops with tons of tropical flavors slight lemon/grapefruit flavors, finish is nice with a slight dry spiciness from the rye.

M- Nice light to medium body with good carbonation, really good mouthfeel and taste for a 7% IPA nice dry spicy finish.

D- Very easy to drink this beer, session beer as Sid stated. Tons of flavors and smells with the New Zealand hops and the rye lends a nice mild spiciness to the finish. Recommneded.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a semi-cloudy with an orange/grapefruit color, moderate carbonation, and a course white and large bubbly ring around the top.

S - Fantastic! A spiced fruity cornucopia tropical fruit basket with spices. Very acidic, pungent grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, guava, onion, and garlic. Malt is pretty much "not there" in the nose.

T - Doesn't mimick the nose. Has a slight phenolic/pvc character and the taste is mild compared to the nose. Pineapple and orange blend, and sweet malt flavors all mix very well with the onion and garlic, vegetable profile. Has a tangy, mild zing to it.

M - Smooth on the tongue with a slight watery finish. Is on the lighter side of medium body with very mild carbonation on the tongue.

D - High and very enjoyable!

Interesting IPA that's lighter in body.

Photo of Gambac
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego, poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

Not much head, kind of surprising. Beer was a nice golden color, and had a decent amount of lacing from said minimal head.

Lots of citrus in the smell. Got a little grapefruit among the smell, always nice for an IPA

Taste had a lot of grapefruit, but also some pine and a little other fruits - thinking oranges. Minimal pine resin, something I definitely enjoy. Catch a little bit of rye right at the end, seems to fit with the brewer's intent

Good amount of body, decent amount of carbonation. Still, incredibly smooth and easy to drink

My first experience with Alpine, and happy to be introduced. Have heard of the quality beers they produce, and this golden IPA did not disappoint. Can't wait to head back down to SoCal and try a few more!

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. into a snifter

P: Brilliant gold with a pearly white head of thick, tightly-packed foam that showed excellent retention. Once it finally evaporated, it formed a thin film of foam on top and left some spotty lacing behind.

A: Wow! Hops just rip open the nasal passages with a fresh and vibrant citrusy goodness that smells like there's a freshly-cut piece of grapefruit in my glass. As it warms, more of a tropical fruit presence comes out that turns up the dial even more on the pleasure factor. Next in line is a bit of floral and pine to deepen the complexity. While the sweetness of the malt is hardly even noticeable, the spiciness of the rye is, even if it is decidedly more subtle than I'd like. This is in the elite class of IPA's as far as I'm concerned!

T: Citric blasts of primarily grapefruit, along with tangerines and pineapples are the initial sensations my palate is greeted with, as the biscuity malt underneath is used as a springboard for the hops. Some spruce-like, oily pine gets in the mix after the initial wave, while some more tropical fruit deepens the profile and broadens the complexity. The rye doesn't add the brilliant amount of spiciness that Hop Rod Rye does, but at least it's flavor isn't as subtle as it was in the nose and does tingle the tongue a bit on the back end. Oily, slightly grassy, and impressively bitter on the moderately dry finish. In my opinion, the flavor doesn't come close to matching the magnificence of the aroma, but it's pretty good nonetheless.

M: Alpine's Nelson Rye is a medium-light bodied beer that offers some stickiness to coat the mouth with. But, it feels a bit thin and watery in spots and doesn't offer any creaminess due to the relatively low amount of C02.

Notes: I have a feeling that this bottle isn't doing the beer justice when compared to the draught version. It seems like the flavor might be able to match the nose, and the amount of carbonation would be improved to give it that slightly creamy feel that I love in my IPA's. Seeing as how Alpine just starting bottling these beers, I wonder if they are still fine-tuning the bottling line because the carbonation seemed a bit off. This doesn't replace Hop Rod Rye as my favorite rye beer, but it will become a staple in my beer diet, for sure. Quite nice!

Photo of Agold
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Before I even comment on the appearance of this beer, the aroma after opening the bottle was outstanding. Big tropical lush citrus with another note which jumped right to peppermint in my brain, but I can't really place aside from that association. Maybe some spicy and crisp. An IPA second only to masala mama in aroma. Appearance is average. Mildly cloudy orange color with a short white head that dissipates to a thin film. Very sparse lacing, almost none. Flavor is very tropical fruity as well. Lush and full, but does not quite live up to the world class aroma of this beer. There is a similar unique characteristic in the flavor which I cannot pinpoint, perhaps earthy, or maybe herbal, but not in an english way. Very balanced with a nice, but definitely not overwhelming, caramel quality. Mouthfeel is medium light and is lacking a bit of carbonation, but it is not so bad at all.

Photo of tjkinate
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really can't wait for my visit to the brewery in a few weeks.

A: Golden colored brew topped with a single fingered, creamy white head that exhibited solid retention and lacing.

S: Hops were more prominent than expected, but followed nicely by the rye and some tropical fruit. The bready notes were slightly detracting from the overall experience.

T: Tropical fruits upfront with a hint of spice, rye and bready malts follow. Very unique flavors here, unlike any other IPA I've tasted to date.

M: Medium/light, well carbonated.

O: A very good IPA, will definitely be having again, hopefully on tap during my visit.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,607 ratings.