Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,011 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,011
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,408
Gots: 367 | 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: 3,011 | Reviews: 661
Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/21/11, no bottle date. Tulip glass.

A- Light very pale tangerine, almost yellow beer poured with about 2" of fine bubbled head. Eventually the head settled to a thin pad that stayed around until the end providing a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Strong tropical fruit and definitely some white winey grape notes like the bottle suggests. A lighter hint of grapefruit citrus in the background. After it warmed up a I noticed a burnt plastic smell that I eventually realized was probably the rye.

T- Tropical fruit notes again upfront followed by that nice hop bitterness. A touch of the malt backbone is present as well. Kind of watery, but has a nice finish. The burnt plastic/rye note showed up faintly here as well when it warmed up a bit.

M- Light body, lightly carbonated. Sort of watery again.

O- The first time I noticed the funky plastic smell and taste it was so faint I wasn't even put off enough to stop drinking. After a few more sips I did realize it was rye, but I still couldn't shake the association. Even so this was a really nice IPA even if it was a tad light in body.

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into an IPA glass

A - Pours a yellow, hazy, hefeweizen-like color with a white 2 finger head. It looks like pilsner malt to me.

S - Faint dankness and some grapefruit. No malt presence that I can detect. Maybe some tropical fruit notes as well.

T - Mildly piney. I was not expecting that from the nose. Again, some subtle citrus and tropical fruit notes. No dankness like I was expecting from the nose. White wine?

M - Very prickly and dry on the finish. A little bitterness lingers on the tongue.

O - Pretty mundane. Not offensive but not outstanding in any way.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a light straw body.
The aroma is lots of grapefruit.
The taste is moderate grapefruit bitterness, pine and more grapefruit.
The texture is crisp with soft edges.
It's good and bold.

Photo of mikereaser
3.87/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the blind bif 7, paired beers

Well after a cold from hell and then a pesky storm that we were lucky to skirt for the most part, I am ready to dip into my very generous box from quirkzoo that I received awhile ago. Inside were 12 hobo wrapped bottles and one very nice Crooked Stave shirt. The wait has been killing me but I wanted to hold off until this cold was gone so I could enjoy these beers.

1.a
Pours a golden orange with an inch of white foam that leaves some good lacing down the glass. Right off the bat the aroma of this one is very juicy. Lots of citrus hops and boy is it smelling divine! I don't want to stop smelling it. Its just too damn good.
Nice amount of bitterness but nothing that overtakes the flavor. Very resiny with a hint of soapiness. This is very drinkable. The flavor doesn't knock you over like the aroma does, but its very enjoyable. Very dry finish, sort of reminds me of plink the elder but I don't think its the right bottle for it.

1.b
Pours the same as 1A but a little darker and with just a little less amount of foam. The lacing is not as pronounced and sticky as 1A. In comparison to 1A this has a lot of the same citrusy notes but way more subtle. A little bit more of the malt comes through. Now this one seems a bit more ramped up in the flavor. There is a bigger malty backbone to it which helps bring the flavor of the hops forward. Less bitterness as well. Its thicker bodied than 1A as well.

So these seem to be two different beers, one seems like an IPA and the other a DIPA. Its neat to see how the higher the maltiness really seems to bring out the hops in the flavor while the other one is all aroma. Both of these beers are really good and I was in need of some good hops so these hit the spot. So lets see what I was drinking…

1A is Alpine Nelson
1B is Alpine Pure Hoppiness

I really wanted to guess Alpine on a hunch but never had, and both were wants in my book. Hell of a good start thanks to quirkzoo for a great start to this bif for me.

Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.88/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden orange with a white head. Good retention with considerable lacing.

S- Smells like an IPA... sort of.... The white-wine styled New Zealand hops are quite pronounced... and intriguing....

T- IPA-like, but quite funky at the same time....

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Intriguing. Daring.... Not your typical IPA.

Photo of Centennial
3.88/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into pint glass

A. hazy honey yellow, 2 finger head with excellent retention. A lot of sandy-like sediment floating around leads to a opaque appearance.

S. Bready Rye, lemon zest, pine and tangerine

T. Bitter pine hits first and then followed by rye and a spicy finish.

M. Crisp and clean but with a nice body, slightly grittiness come intermittently as you drink this, but still smooth.

O. I really enjoy this, I feel as if this bottle is slightly off from normal though and missing some of its "pop" will re-review shortly.

Photo of ocmpoma
3.89/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip:

The brew is a rich, dark copper with a thin film and some good lacing. The nose is awesome: pepper, heavy citrus (especially lemon), spices (is that cinammon?), and more -- a very complex, delicious nose that carries the expected hops and even a whiff of chocolate at the tail end. One of the best-smelling beers I've encountered.

The taste doesn't quite keep up with the nose; it took some consideration to get over how underwhelmed I was by the flavor. It's a good, well-balanced and well-hopped beer. The citrus and some hints of the spices on the nose are there as well, but I found myself sniffing rather than drinking it. The mouthfeel is very thin, too. If drinkability were 'sniffability' I'd give it a higher mark, too. Overall, a solid effort and a good beer.

Photo of Reaper16
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served into a globe glass

Pours a frankly not-pretty yellow-brown color. It looks murky and muddy. It looks like it is _actually_ muddy. When held to light you can make out an orange core though the haze. I got one finger of white head from this pour with some sticky lacing that salvages the score a bit.

Lots of grapefruit on the nose in addition to white grape. The fruit is lively and light; the smells dance around before quickly yielding to the malt backbone. The unique spicy quality of the rye is immediately discernible. I have to consider the possibility of this bomber being old. As is, the aromas are not as hoppy and dank as other rye IPAs like Founders Red's Rye or Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.

The beer doesn't taste old (though it clearly isn't fresh either). The hops are immediate and strong. Lots of citrus zest and overripe grapefruit come from the Nelson Sauvin hops. There is a woodsy, vinous quality that splashes the middle of the tongue for a brief moment on each sip. The rye flavor appropriately dominates the barley sweetness. Rye's kinda sour, kinda savory, kinda spicy flavor has been proven time and again to be a great match for hoppy beers, and this brew is no exception. The rye and hops blend seamlessly from the beginning of the drink til long after you've swallowed. The bitterness on the aftertaste is tempered by rye taste, creating a dryness more than anything that invites a new sip.

All that rye means that Alpine Nelson is medium bodied, which I suppose is for the best. The carbonation level is remarkably on-point. It doesn't look like it would be very active, but on the tongue this is one prickly beer, which facilitates the flavors nicely. And at 7% ABV this is a bomber that one drinker will have zero difficulty finishing.

I'd bet that this beer is incredible when fresh. In the state that I had it, it has to settle for really, really good. I wish this were in six-packs and more importantly I wish I could buy it in Missouri. This beer is a great companion for a evening of drinking, the body is nice for a chilly evening that happens to coincide with a hop craving.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark straw with a white creamy head. Lots of lacing the whole way down the glass.

Smells strongly of tropical fruits mostly pineapple, same as most beers with Nelson hops I've had.

Taste is about like the smell with loads of tropical fruits hitting you at first. Finishes with a slightly spicy finish due to the rye with medium hop bitterness throughout. Good flavor but seemed to be lacking something I can't quite put my finger on.

Carbonation and body are both about average for the style.

By far the best of the (albeit limited) beers I've had with this hop. Everything from Alpine is solid.

Photo of ridglens
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again Thanks to Hayesez for the pour! into a Portsmouth snifter from the fridge temp to room temperature. Looks a pretty dark orange. smell is awesome, with a huge presence of typical fresh hops, citrus smell of orange and grapefruit, and as i smell it, a building presence of mango (hayes says rubber...weird!). This is great! there is also some spiciness that i can't place (not our first beer haha), but adds a nice complexity. Taste follows the smell, but just a hint disappointing. it's decently bitter, and fresh grapefruit is there for sure (comes out a lot more as it warms). the mango and spiciness in the smell, however, didn't come out in the taste. it ended up being just a little odd, but not a terrible one. This one feels pretty good in the mouth, again not incredible. The taste is odd/different enough (to me) that i probably wouldn't want a ton of this one, but definitely worth a try!

Photo of HosP
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got from a very generous Scottfrie. Poured 22oz into snifter.

A- Pours almost a golden orange. Slight haze to it. Thin white head.

S- Lots of citrus, grapefruit in the nose. Grapefruit all the way from beginning to end. Some bready notes from the rye.

T- Grapefruit hoppy flavor up front, but not to strong. Some citrus hops blend well to the middle. Bready, rye flavor comes through in the middle to the end. Starts out with mild bitterness, but the rye cuts it down pretty fast. A little thin though but still good flavors.

M- Not quite a medium body. Lower carbonation.

O- Good beer here. Nice juicy, hop flavors with a nice rye mix to it. Smooth drink, something you could drink a few of these pretty easily. Would love to have another one. Thanks Scott!

Photo of harrymel
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled last week.

Light golden with a 3/4 moon of white foam atop and nice clarity. Smells like pineapple, sweet mangos, pine and a gobs of sweet malts. I like the nose, as I do with most Sauvin beers. Flavor is sweet and bitter with good bits of the character from the olfactory. I like the slight oxidation I get in Alpine's beers - nice woodiness. If this was in any other kind of beer, I'd be upset, but it is well played here. Medium bodied with sharp, tight carb and a semi dry finish. Nice beer.

Photo of raoulduke37
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pretty golden pilsener color, with a steady stream of carbonation rising into an off-white 1/2 cm head. Nice lacing around the glass.

Smell - Wonderful citrusy hop aroma, full of grapefruit and pine. Very aromatic malt profile backing this up, blending all the great scents together.

Taste - Very well-balanced IPA, but I fail to pick up that "something special" from the rye. Hop flavor is restrained as the malt takes over from the start. Nice not to be punched in the face by hops, for a change, but the problem is nothing really stands out too well, here. The best that can be said about this is that it's balanced very well.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Average mouthfeel, not too carbonated. Finishes pretty dry, with a nice caress on the tongue. The flavor would probably be enhanced on-tap, but otherwise, there are many other IPA's that I'd seek out before this one. Nothing wrong with it at all, well balanced, but nothing spectacular.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks like cheap airplane orange juice...cloudy, sort of yellowish. The head even looks a bit like pulp, chunky and webby.

S: Over the top smells of rye. Also some orange and grapefruit

T: Packs punches of specific flavors. Begins with massive grapefrut notes then moves towards some sour crab apple mixed with rye. From there the flavors meld towards dried hay. Finishes with lemon rind bitterness.

M: Medium body, mouthfeel is sort of hard.

D: Interesting brew. Definately original and worth checking out.

Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy golden-orange in color with a good-sized off-white and fluffy head that doesn't want to go away. When it does, a craggy lace is left behind. Nose involves a nice big hit of citrusy hops and a slightly sour earthiness in the background. Smooth and malty going down and wrapped in more citrusy hoppiness with a few sour candy notes in the middle. Well-balanced and quite tasty brew, and there's not much more you can ask for than that.

Photo of zeledonia
3.94/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted 22 March 2013, reviewed from notes. Thanks to BeerThirty for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden-orange. Not a ton of head, but partly due to a gentle pour. What head there is is white, and has good retention and lacing.

Smell is surprisingly weak in the nose. Some pulpy fruit, grapes, a little peach, and a bit of citrus. I have to really bury my nose in it to pull it in.

Taste is relatively sweet. Bitterness is toned down even from Duet, about 3/8 bitter. Has a really nice rye-like tingly spice in the middle. A slightly sugary sweetness topped with pineapple.

Feel is medium-bodied and a little sticky. Carbonation is good, medium, as it should be. There's a nice tingle that combines quite well with the spice in the taste.

An interesting beer, good but not great. The taste is the definite highlight, which is rarely my experience with IPAs. Smell was a minor let-down, disappointing for a purportedly hop-forward beer. Balanced to sweet for an IPA, which I've found true for all the Alpine IPAs I've had.

Photo of deapokid
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 3/14. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy golden color with a full finger of creamy white head. Carbonation is lively and the lacing is dense and sticky. This one was getting me excited from first glance.

The aroma of pineapple and orange is quite heavy. The rye malt acts as a backbone, which makes for a fresh, floral scent with just a dash of black pepper.

Taste is fruity and refreshing up front with a hint of rye saltiness and dry malt on the back end. There's a really nice differentiation between flavors and the hop bite is not strikingly aggressive, which makes for a balanced and unique IPA.

The mouth is like an exhibition of two distinct flavor types (sweet and savory) while the liquid itself is creamy and dry. It manages to be complex and easy to drink at the same time.

It's certainly serendipitous that I drank this the day after I had Oskar Blues GUBNA. This IPA is exactly what that beer isn't. It's a successful display of how well a strong malt and bitter hop pair with the sweet pucker of citrus fruit.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got in the NOOb BIF from psiweaver...thanks again!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my tall Allagash snifter/chalice glass. Pours a pale golden color with a massive frothy head, and excelent retention! Huge white froth leaves loads of sticky and full lacing.

Aroma is good, but not my favorite IPA. Full of hops and mild light fruit.

Flavor is fruity...along with the hop bite. Big grapefruit taste, and lasting dryness in the finish. Slightly creamy mouth, but crisp none-the-less in the sence of refreshing! Big carbonation, and low booze in the flavor. A very good IPA!

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is actually brown in color which suggests a monster malt base to this AIPA. The head is huge and yeasty with great retention and left some wonderful lacing.

Smell - The heavy hop aroma is huge here. I can't recall ever having the namesake Nelson Sauvin hops but they remind me of big PacNW hops. The malt here though is also big and provides a strong balance. It is not overly sweet but full of caramel.

Taste - The big hops and malt come out exactly the same at the taste. This beer is perfectly balanced with monster, PacNW style pine and herbal hops and big unsweetened caramel malts.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with a good bitter bite throughout.

Drinkability - This is a big beer that begs to be sipped. It goes down well enough but will be too big for the casual drinker. It feels like a DIPA in every way except in ABV.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciate the understated bitterness of this IPA and it was reminicent of the Mikkeller, anlthough yes I did not do a vertical at this time. Pleasant appearance and aroma, like a white wine and fruity. I believe I enjoyed this attribute more so in the Mikkeller. I liked the rye edge. Very drinkable.Bomber courtesy of AugustGarage.
Had it a second time and just as amazing.

Photo of ohiobeer29
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminds me of Columbus brewing company bodhi will have to do a side by side

Photo of Moses_Malone
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft. Corroborating those who have complained about the kegs brewed at Green Flash not being spectacular. The nose was weak, was not overwhelmed by the taste (muted citrus IPA). This was one of the weaker showings of Nelson hops I've ever had. 3.5 - above average, not special.

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'brien's the other night.

The beer pours a light peach color with OK head retention, but very good sticky lacing. On the nose the beer is very citrusy and spicey. In fact, there's almost a speeramint aspect to the aroma that is intriguing. The flavors on the palate generaly replicate the nose, though there's not as much spice. In fact, the beer has a fairly light mouthfeel and is almost a bit watery. On the other hand, this beer is very drinkable, and it's really difficult for me to believe the abv. is over 7%.

I thought this a nice beer, but really nothing all that special. If I lived in the San Diego area, I doubt I would ever order this again, as there are just too many other delectable options to choose from around here.

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an odd looking beer. Not sure if this is typical, but the beer appears to have a slight green hue. Fortunately it smells great, lots of citrus. Taste is a notch below the small, but still a high quality IPA, wasn't wowed by it based on Alpine hype. Would happily drink this again, but don't plan to seek it out.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid IPA, using the Nelson hop (only?) and some rye.
Nice pour, golden perhaps a bit of haze, but it was darn cold

Aroma is tropical and fruity, some stickiness is in there. Hoppy. A hint of pine, but mostly tropical and citrus with touch of apricot or persimmon

A bit of an odd taste, but that's not a slam. It's smooth in feel, but the flavors pop. Again, tropical fruit and citrus zest. Tangy. Somewhat sweet, a bit of spicy bread. It has a bit of pungency which gives the beer that 'oddness'

A nice beer. Good to see the Nelson and rye together; interesting

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,011 ratings.