Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

636 Reviews
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Reviews: 636
Hads: 3,074
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,412
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
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Reviews: 636 | Hads: 3,074
Photo of Chizoad
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pale clarity, and on the light side for an IPA. Very little head. Looking at it doesn't promise much.

Good aroma of hops, but little else. Citrus is mainly apparent.

Stupendous flavor that is dominated by lemon and shockingly the slightest bit of funk. Not particularly balanced but who cares, it's so good.

Nice, light and crisp. Perfect for a summer day.

Yet another great one from Alpine. No question in my mind that they make the world's best IPAs overall (nevermind that I haven't had all the IPAs in the world.) (526 characters)

Photo of oggg
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Liars Club

This brew is a terribly hazy deep yellow hue with a white wispy head. The aroma of peaches, lychee, flowers is unmistakable. On the tongue it is juicy, with loads of hop flavor -- the intensity of which almost rivals a spicy saison! The bitterness level is mild to moderate -- it won't twist your tongue like Wipeout IPA for example. The rye is barely spicy, very mild, but contributes a lot to the middle. Smooth and ridiculously thirst quenching. The abv tastes like 3%! Light to medium bodied.

Overall: oh gawd, I must learn to brew this... a brilliant (rye) APA, and another brilliant beer for Alpine (632 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5/9/09
Pint had at O'Brien's. Flavor was amazing and it was what I thought was missing in the growlers I purchased back in December. Grapefruit was bursting out of this beer like crazy. Light Grape-like flavor as described for the Nelson Sauvin hop was there as well. Just an amazingly tasty beer, which had been lacking for one reason or another in my growlers from the batch in December.
___

Growler filled 2 days ago.

A- Very light, gold, almost yellowish. Head builds up doesn't stick around that long. Just love the very light color of this. You could easily think this is a pils.

S- Big grapefruit. Also some of that juicy catty type flavor like you get in Gumballhead. The Pacific Brew News guys nailed that one... it is very much like Amarillo hops.

T- Hard to say what hop flavor I'm getting... maybe a tad fruity, a bit green. Hops taste really fresh. Nice bitterness the whole way and finishes pretty clean with only a small, soft lingering bitterness. I wish I could detect where the rye comes in here, probably cause the of lack of rye in my diet.

M- This serving is actually quite creamy- for an IPA, as light as the body is it must be the 7% alcohol slicking it up a little.

D- Really good. Doesn't leave a harsh bitterness like so many beers, which I do love, but this is very nice having a fairly clean hoppy finish.
4.5/4/4/4/4 = 4.1 (1,357 characters)

Photo of JohnParadee
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Surprisingly light yellow/orange color (thought it might be more cloudy & orange, based on smell). Relatively thin fluffy white head, which dissipated somewhat quickly. Lots of tiny bubbles, and good/sticky/even lacing throughout the quaff. On the nose, strong pine dominates over grapefruit/orange citrus notes. There is a distinct dankiness to the nose, which becomes all the more prominent upon first sip. As the beer settles and warms, the beer becomes more hoppy/piney/dank and less floral/citrusy on the palette, which is fine by me (that's how I like them, although a little more balance would be preferred here). Mouthfeel is full and coating. Alcohol burn is subdued until final points of the finish. All in all, I liked this very much. A very good example of West Coast style (reminds me a little of Sucks in that regard). Duet is better, but Nelson is a close second. Nice work, Alpine! (941 characters)

Photo of kindbill
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

7/23/13 Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Cloudy, unfiltered, golden yellow. Really beautiful. Almost looks like a Mimosa.

S: Citrus notes up front, grapefruit. This is my type of IPA. Really fruity. Must come from the Nelson Sauvin Hops.

T: Getting the rye most on the finish. Really fucking tasty. Citrusy, nice hop profile, finishes bitter.

M: Clings to the mouth nicely. Medium to high carbonation. Nice and lively.

This was my first east coast/west coast beer swap and I am extremely pleased. Need to search out more IPA's using this Nelson hop. (565 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks @tauroe for sharing this gem with me.
Pours hazy golden with huge white head and spectacular lacing. Smell and taste of citrus grapefruit orange lemon. Great full and creamy mouthfeel
Overall solid Nelson, would love to have again. Hill Farm Nelson a bit better (270 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler.

A: The IPA is a golden yellow color, radiant while retaining a hazy complexion. I don't have any notes on the head, so it wasn't that memorable. One of the palest rye beers I've seen.

S: Heaven in a glass. The Nelson Sauvin hops are lemony, sharp and and sweet. Surprisingly, they aren't overwhelming, allowing rye bread to share the stage. I can't spend enough time on the aroma, full and intoxicating. The hops are damn-near perfect.

T: The rye is most flavorful at the tail end of each sip, expressing a spicy bread flavor that is restrained. It's there but not in your face. Prior to the rye, the Nelson Sauvin hops run wild, all lemony citrus and herbal. Surprisingly, the hops aren't overdone in the ale. Rather than dominate, they create a moderate flavor burst that showcases then steps aside. That allows the nuance to be more fully enjoyed. Bitterness following the rye accentuates more herbal lemon. A great sipping ale.

M: Balance is the key to this IPA. The hops, while plenty flavorful, don't scorch the palate. The rye is a nice accompaniment.

D: A top notch IPA. The Nelson Sauvin hop should be used in more beers (wishful thinking). A stunning nose and solid body. More, many more, please. (1,251 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up at Walnut Liquorette yesterday, although the price tag was a bit of a turn-off, I've been wanting to try this one for awhile.

A: Nelson pours a clear, light golden color with a very thin layer of white foam and great lacing.

S: These Alpine IPAs (Nelson and Duet) have an amazingly sweet, fruity hop character that I rarely see in IPAs. Tons of tropical and citrus fruits and not much in the way of malt, but a hint of spice from the rye.

T: The initial flavor is piney and bitter, with a ton of grapefruit. The back-end of the sip features a bit of malt, rye, and that great tropical fruit on the finish.

M: There is low carbonation, and a medium body.

D: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. The excellent fruity hops make this so delicious and leave you wanting more. But at 7.1%, you need to watch out, as a bomber of this can do some damage. (873 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up by my buddy ArthurPendragon. Consumed on 10/11/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is transparent straw golden with a creamy one inch head. Retention is good and a little lacing is scattered.

The nose is floral with prominent bitter grapefruit and a little orange pith. Pine notes are evident, as well as grassiness and a touch of mint. Malt imparts a low level of sweetness and the rye contributes a decided spiciness. When it warms up this beer smells so damn good and light tropical notes are apparent.

The taste opens up with bitter grapefruit and strong rye character which lends spicy notes. Other citrus notes are of orange and a little pineapple. I get just a little pine in the flavor. The beer has a bit more sweetness than Alpine's other IPAs but it's fitting. Bitterness is at an upper medium level and alcohol is faint.

The beer is upper light bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. To be honest the bottle could have used a bit more carbonation, but maybe it's just me as I typically prefer higher carbonation on IPAs. This is a fantastic beer. As of now I prefer this beer on tap. (1,113 characters)

Photo of marqoid
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden with a small off white head
S: Wow, grapefruit.
T: Lots of grapefruit, a tiny background of sweet grainy malts, I do not detect anything distinct from the rye
M: Incredibly smooth with little hop astringency, but plenty of hop character.
O: This is now one of my favorite IPAs, this is an IPA for a non IPA fan. (327 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear light golden amber with a big fluffy white head that hangs on for quite a while and leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is wonderful, with massive pithy grapefruit, floral pine and grass up front. The rye spiciness is evident as well and it really makes this more original than most in the nose.

The taste seems to be a little less citrusy than the aroma. There is some grapefruit up front, but the sweet malts in the backbone are much more evident than in the aroma and finish is very spicy with the rye and bitter with pine resin and pineapple.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated, but the rye makes it smoother than most IPAs and I think it adds to the feel overall.

This is another great IPA from Alpine, who has never disappointed me in this style. They are clearly making some of the best IPAs out there and I'm pumped they're bottling more of them. Highly recommended...obviously. (950 characters)

Photo of hawks10
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into my Southern Tier tulip...

Pours a golden straw yellow, lighter hue than expected, somewhat hazy. Two fingers of fluffy bright white head forms and leaves some nice chunks of lacing at the top of the glass...

Beautiful floral hop aroma, piny and resinous. Sweet and citric, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple with some sour green apple as well. Little to no malt presence, just a wonderfully sweet and earthy hop presence...

Earthy bitterness at first gives way to a load of sweet and fruity hops. Citrus peel and even some grape? A sweeter malty presence shows up adding some nice balance and depth...uniquely sweet IPA, very tasty and complex...

Medium bodied and somewhat chewy, sticky hop resin, oily and somewhat slick. Good carbonation gives a nice tingle with a bit of alcohol warmth...

Really enjoyed this beer, tasted it along with Pliny and Sculpin, and this one was my top of the three. Definitely would like to have this one again in the future... (987 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy light golden color with a nice loose foamy white head that fades slowly leaving a good amount of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is off the charts!!! Really enjoyable aggressive fruity grapefruit orange resin character. Full flavored, the grapefruit taste bursts out and pretty much hides the rye-factor. However, I do sense that the rye is adding to the mouth feel and seems to extend the impact of the resin aftertaste. This is one heck of a nice drinker. Very enjoyable; reminds me some of Pliny. Huge thanks to radshoesbro for the opportunity. (563 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to LaChupacabra for sending me a box full of Alpine!

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a darkness snifter. no freshness info.

pours out a hazy, cloudy golden color, a little orange in there with a very nice looking pure white head with some big, solid bubbles that stick around. some good retention and lots of sticky lace clings to the glass. just a bit of sediment noticable. looks ideal.

holy aroma! packs a powerful dankness with lots of tropical fruits, oranges, and nectarines. vegetal, but in a good way, fresh pine as well.

am i nawing on a handful of fresh hop cones? lots of tropical fruits as well as fresh nectarines, peaches, and oranges. some spiciness most likely from the hops and rye. the dank vegetalness seems a lot more subdued in the taste when compared to the aroma. a bit of a white wine, berry like flavor, but its definatly not as noticable as some proclaim.

such a smooth feeling beer, the bitterness really isnt overpowering at all, almost has a creamy feel to it. minimal carbonation as well which i think actually compliments the beer.

this is really one hell of an IPA. very unique and an absolute must try for any hop head. insanely strong hop flavors with a very approachable bitterness. i hate to say this, but i think id even take this over pliny. i really cant wait to get into the rest of these alpine IPAs. the beer is gone, but my burps still taste like awesome nelson hops! (1,434 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Bright orange, one finger head and cloudy.

S-Grapefruit, tropical citrus, great balance, slight grass, grapes and rye.

T-Great balance, can't stress that enough, very citusy and tropical notes. Mild bitterness, grapes and rye.

M-Light to medium bodied, some hop resins.

O-Wow. An amazing IPA, one of the best out there. Such a wonderful beer. (348 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Pizza Port (12-8-07). Poured into a pint glass a golden color with an egg shell white thick foam head. Smell is of rye bread mixed with slight citrus overtone. Taste is oh my god good...light malt mixed with dank pot pine taste all blended up with a mixture of pineapple and rye. Mouthfeel is light with smooth carbonation level. Drinkability is high with my first pint gone in 60 seconds, dont taste the alcohol and I could drink this beer everyday for years. The best APA I have tried but I really think it is almost more of an IPA mixed with APA mixed with the color and body of a hefe. Great job alpine now lets put it into bottles. (655 characters)

Photo of peacebone116
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from my buddy MrTopher... thanks for sharing!

Poured from a bomber into a festival tasting flute.

A: Pale cloudy honey color with a nice finger of thick white foam.

N: Hoppy, floral, tropical fruit notes with a musty bready note.

T/M: Thick, almost "chewy" body. Spicy (like rye bread). Hops really compliment the rye flavor. It has a light taste but it is very rich...almost contradictory.

This is a great beer. If I could find this beer more locally, it would be a regular for me! (508 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a orange yellow color, cloudy, finger worth of head
S: lots of grapefruit, hoppy, sweet smelling
T: grapefuit, sweet malty backbone but balanced, can tell this is super hoppy
M: great
O: pretty awesome, goes down very easy and very balanced (251 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes I texted myself, on tap earlier today at Mellow Fellow in King's Beach

Pours a hazy yellow gold- a lot more on the yellow than gold side, almost blonde looking. No visibility, a finger of foam that receded pretty quickly, not bad lacing or anything, very mild carbonation

Smell has a lot of tropical and citrus. Strong grapefruit and pine apple backed up with a very catty pine scent, finishes with a mild bready malt tying it all together with a touch of alcohol

Taste is with the nose- a ton of fruit, a nice mix of grapefruit and other mild citrus notes meeting pineapple and other tropical notes. Same pine and litterbox scent from the smell translates in the best way, finishing with a mild bready malt and alcohol. Taste follows the smell a lot better than most beers

Feel falls on the lighter side. Dry finish, high bitterness, alcohol concealed well. Dangerously sippable

Overall a hands down incredible IPA. Well worth the hype, definitely a top tier beer. I can't get enough of it. Perfect after a day at the lake (1,048 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden/yellow color ale with a large foamy head with excellent retention and some really good lacing. Aroma of floral hops of mango, Sauvignon and papaya is just ab out perfect. Taste is also dominated by loads of fresh floral hoppy notes of mango, papaya and Sauvignon. Light residual sugar notes can also be detected and bitterness is very minimal. Body is about average with good carbonation. Can’s say I really tasted the rye malt so much but the hops flavours are just about perfect. (513 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1.5 fingers of thick creamy head with tremendous retention. Hazy golden-orange is the perfect IPA color. Perfect.
S: Intense tropical fruit with some catty Sauvignon Blanc after-aroma. Sauvignon Blanc aroma is interesting but slightly less than desirable.
T: Oddly "flat", maybe old? (edit: or maybe it came from those flat batches coming out of Alpine?). No date on bottle, but store employees say there is a 2-week turnover on these guys. Bought at Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA. Earthy with some tropical fruit bitterness following and then maybe banana and cream. Kind of yeasty, funky aftertaste, and maybe some cardboard as the only negative. Different than other IPAs and good.
M: Interesting creamy, then intensely bitter for a moment. A small bit astringent.
O: Very good. I had no problem drinking 22oz. I'd buy again and order another.

Edited on 12/27/13 after trying on draft at brewery. Increased rating from 4.15 (977 characters)

Photo of brian44556
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Bell's pint glass. Curiosity of Sixofsigmas. No dating on the bottle.

Pours a bright yellowish, orange, with an amazing thick, bright white 2 finger head. As the head pulls back into the beer a thick ring of lace is left all over the sides of the glass. Smell notes of piney hops, tropical fruits, and a slight hint of malt. A mellow bitterness from the hops jumps out with each drink and is well balanced with a crisp malt flavor profile. A great piney linger is left on the pallet with each drink that makes you want to hurry back for more. This beer is an easy drinker with a great finish. Carbonation is spot on. This is a great example of how an IPA should be brewed. Every Alpine offering I have had the pleasure of drinking has left me disappointed because I don't know when I'll be able to drink my next. Great brew Alpine! (861 characters)

Photo of azdback
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. A golden orange color. A bit cloudy and full of tiny carbonation bubbles. Head isn't that big (not a very aggressive pour, my fault) under one finger and bright white in color. Lace is pretty sticky and leaves a beautiful spotted pattern.

Smell is of amazing sweet and citrus hops. Pink grapefruit and pineapple. Some orange flavors also and a bit of pine resin.

Taste is a bit different then the nose. The hop bitterness is still there and has the flavors of sweet citrus, but there are earthy notes that taste of fresh cut grass. Quite nice.

Mouth is bright and refreshing. Not a bit thin but on the medium side. Not out of place for an IPA though.

Overall I must say how much I enjoyed this. Another Alpine brew that is hit out of the ball park. Thanks to Jeff for picking this one up for me on his last trip to San Diego. (866 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber pours into my glass a deep orange/yellow with a two finger creamy, bubbling white head and superb clarity. Aromas start with a distinct tropical, pungent, fruity hop explosion. Grapefruit melds in with a nice spicy rye character. There is somewhat of a vinous, white wine character lurking within as well. Quite the lovely aroma.

First sip brings a plethora of fruity, resinous, pungent hops upfront with bold mango and grapefruit flavors. Spicy rye mixes in beautifully. Flows down with a good kick of bitterness that's well placed. Lingering fruity hops on the palate. Delicious!

Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth with perfect carbonation. This one is exceedingly easy to drink and just amazingly enjoyable. A top notch IPA and I love the addition of rye and the Nelson Sauvin hops. Seek it out if you have the ability! (826 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden-apricot color with a nice 1 finger bubbly white head. Good retention and excellent lacing.

Very nice nose with notes of grapefruit and other citrus hop notes along with tropical fruit like mango and papaya.

Flavor also is very nice with a very nice, different distinct rye flavor with a mild spiciness. Very nice balance with mild floral and citrus hops notes, malty rye and a sweet caramel apple-like aftertaste.

Mouth is very light and smooth with a pleasantly surprisingly low carb. for the style.

Overall a very nice rye that's very different than any other I've had. All around a very nice beer and extremely easy to drink. A must find. (662 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.