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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

643 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 3,130
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,418
Gots: 393 | 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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Reviews: 643 | Hads: 3,130
Photo of tectactoe
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mike for splitting this with me - one that I've been dying to try. Nelson pours a murky golden and somewhat orange-ish color. Super hazy and amazingly unfiltered, it looks something like lighter-toned apple cider. Surprisingly little head for an IPA, and it looks a bit thick during the pour, but the yeasty haze is strangely compelling.

Alpine Nelson smells like the West Coast; wall-to-wall tropical fruits that immediately pummel your nostrils as the beer nears your face. Pineapple, mango, and a very large helping of oranges and/or tangerines. It almost has a "juice" vibe too it, and even begins to draw some similarities to Pliny the Elder.

The Nelson hops have a very nice, bursting wet and weedy aroma to them. Fresh, vibrant, and bright, exploding with savory leafiness and a mild twinge of bitterness alongside their wonderful tropical fruit inclusions. Not much malt (or rye, for that matter) in the aroma. This one is clearly all about the hops.

The flavor is just as "West Coast" as the aroma; again, just bursting through with a wonderful fruit profile. More pineapples and a gushing display of tangerines. The leafy side of the hops are more amplified on the palate, coming to life with a nice pungency; weedy, wet, grassy, with a beautiful sustaining bitterness.

Some slight onion-y flavors get tossed about; typically not a flavor I'm fond of in my beer, but it's light enough here to provide another layer of complexity rather than get in the way or distract. I finally get some rye in the finish, adding a nice dryness and the lightest touch of spice in the finale. Not as heavy on the palate as it appeared; slick, oily, and lightly carbonated.

Wow, this stuff went down like nothing. It was like drinking juice with some hops mixed in. Beautiful display of the Nelson hop and what it's capable of. Huge tropical fruit aromas and flavors make this sucker incredibly easy to drink. This is something you could crush just drinking outside on a hot day. Another staple in the already larger-than-life portfolio of West Coast IPAs. (2,068 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to Sixofsigmas for sending me this one as an extra in a trade a long time back. I just found it sitting in the back of the fridge! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a hazy golden yellow-orange with a massively fluffy four finger off-white head that subside to one finger stupidly slow. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, orange, citrus hop, and pot. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, pine resin, citrus, orange zest, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew completely wowed me. There is really a lot going right for this one overall. One thing to note is the head on this one. HOLY CRAP! It basically formed a pillow over the beer and was borderline solid. You could actually take a bite of it and chew it. It remained this way throughout the entire glass which was awesome. If you noticed that I mentioned getting pot in the aroma, well usually this is out of place, but it seemed to work great with the other aromas going on in this one. The flavor itself was very complex and extremely well balanced. Very nice feel on the palate as well. I would honestly have to say that this might be the best American IPA I have yet to have. Really nice job on this one Alpine! (1,328 characters)

Photo of spicelab
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber with big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN.

Mildly hazed light apricot with a very resilient white head and a vigorous bead. Eventually leaves a curtain of lace around the glass. Looks brilliant.

Smashed passionfruit, pulped grass, compost, kiwi fruit, white grapes, lime sherbet and apricot. Smells almost alive.

Similar flavours joined by a gentle and divine bitterness that doesn't intrude on the hop profile one iota.

Velevety mouthfeel, thanks to amazingly smooth carbonation and bitterness which, although moderate, is so unassuming you almost forget it's there.

Stunningly brewed IPA that demonstrates how making an outstanding beer is not about more, nor about less, but about zeroing in on that elusive 'just-rightness'. (733 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I sit in this 90 degree apartment, I'm thankful for traders like womencantsail who send me boxes of hoppy goodness. Thank you, Andy.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is _perfect_. Light orange with a dense white head with excellent retention, there's also a ton of lace. This is what an IPA is supposed to look like. It smells absolutely off the chain as well. Clearly Alpine, this has plenty of pine and citrus hop character, but the underlying rye spiciness is a wonderful twist. Ripe tangerines, oranges, a little grapefruit, pine needles and a little grape are all present. I've heard comparisons of the Nelson Sauvin hop to a grape and that is one that works, and beautifully with the rye character. Malt character is non-existent.

The palate opens with a beautiful, suffuse hop character with light bitterness and massive flavor. A veritable fruit basket, there's plenty of citrus and some tropical fruit (pineapple) with a light to moderate grape-character. While there is no sweetness, a light rye character is present, and works very well with the hop character. Drying on the finish, there's a lingering moderate, clean bitterness with a palate coaxing fruit character. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is perfect for an IPA. Beautiful stuff. (1,266 characters)

Photo of RachelZ
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Overall this beer was awesome small hints of alcohol but not overpowering! It pours a cloudy golden orange with a white head. Lots of hops and pines in the aroma. The taste is fruity with hints of pineapple, peaches and citrus. The aftertaste is strong and dry. (261 characters)

Photo of lnashsig
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Augustgarage for this incredible California IPA. Poured into my Dfh tulip glass, pours a beautiful yellow sun color, about 1 finger of head quickly subsides with a little lacing. On the nose, I get sweet grapefruit and a buttery sweet flavor. I love it, this is a unique and wonderful ipa. Unlike any I have ever had. On the first taste, the hoppy goodness hits my palate, followed by grapefruit, and there is that buttery sweet flavor in the back. The nose is so filled with grapefruit that it smells like I am sticking my nose into a glass of ruby red. Mouthfeel- nice, silky, with just enough carbonation. Drinkability- I could drink this every day for the rest of my life and die happy.

I have seen other Ba's talk about this beer, and comment that it was way better than big hyped IPAs like PTE. I really have to agree. This may be one of the best regular IPAs I have had in my 10 yrs of craft beer drinking. (924 characters)

Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm having a Nicholas Cage moment in Leaving Las Vegas. While I'm not on a bender destined to succumb myself in alcohol poisoning, each sip of this magnificent beer has me calling out for a nurse. I'm worried my neighbors may think I've gone mad. I don't even know where to begin, it's so unbelievable. First off, the pour on Nelson is beyond reproach; only rivaled by Heady Topper. Brilliant orange, super cloudy, spotty lacing. Very excellent head retention. The nose has hints of white wine from the use of Nelson Sauvin hops, and is backed by tons of citrus. Taste follows with grapefruit and pineapple. So freaking balanced I can barely stand it, as if that isn't an oxymoron in itself. The mouthfeel is creamy as ever, and I can't stop smacking my lips. I never thought I would enjoy a rye IPA so much. This is a world-class, must try beer, especially for people like me, who primarily drink IPAs. Those who have access to this on a regular basis should consider themselves extremely lucky. Hard to find a flaw. JUST WOW! (1,027 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome white foamy head. Fluffy white head has great retention and nearly perfect lacing. Brew is light orange with lots of light yellows, moderately clear.

Very light and pleasant aroma. Apricots galore, light pineapple, almost like tropical fruit bubblegum. Very light, yet distinguished.

Light, creamy, full flavors, easy drinking, prickly-silk carbonation, well blended. Sweetness is non-existent same with bitterness. Bitterness starts in then is overwhelmed by creamy smoothness. Orange, pineapple, apricot, bready, oats.

Super drinkability, a fantastic offering from Alpine. As smooth of an IPA as I've ever had. Missing slightly with the aroma and slightly deeper flavors. A awesome brew nonetheless. Highly recommended!!! (736 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by Pehlman...thanks! Poured from a growler into an Alpine Pint glass.

A: Golden in color with a formidable head that dissipated slightly with each gulp. Tried reviving it a few times, but to avail. On the other hand, the lacing...as Tyler put so gently...was "bitchin!".

S: A lot of that musky and wheaty rye smell backed up with a very robust hop backing. Hard to describe, especially since this was my first RPA. I almost pick up some sort of citrus or apricot flavor, but I'm not sure. Basically...incredible!

T: An extremely complex flavor profile that includes a very distinct grain-like taste with leafy and piney hop character. These flavors jell together very well, making this dangerously drinkable beer with a mild bitter finish. Words can't describe the harmony this beer exhibits between being a session beer and an in your face flavor fest. Maybe not the flavor, but the complexity reminds me a lot of Sculpin.

M: Highly carbonated with a nice medium to full body feel.

D: One of the most drinkable beers I've had to date. Extremely flavorful and mild at the same time. Even my dad liked it...and he never likes beer.

Overall: A must try. Perhaps Alpine's finest beer and something that should be treasured by all beer lovers. Cheers! (1,262 characters)

Photo of Jtbel1988
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Amazing hop aromatic on this beer. This beer is perfect. First sip brings an onslaught of Nelson hops and fresh grape juice. The beer settles out with some mid mouth bitterness. The backend of this beer is perfect! It leaves you with the perfect bittersweet taste to make you reach for another drink. WOW! (305 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to JessetheHut for sending this growler my way. Split two ways with BA pecorasc.

A- Looked like dehydrated urine (in a good way). Bright yellow and clear. Left a white fluffy head that was at least two fingers width thick.

S- Sweet Lord baby Jesus! This was so freakin' ridiculous. The nelson sauvin hops gave off huge grape notes that were wonderfully combined with the rye. Honestly this was one of the best smelling beers I have ever come across. There needs to be more beer made with these New Zealand hops.

T- Upfront there was a nice balance between the citrus from the hops and the bitterness from the rye. My only knock on this beers was that the rye seemed to be a tad bit overpowering. The beer finished with a nice spicy flavor. Well done.

M- Nothing to complain about here. Smooth and crisp, very clean.

D- Doesn't get much more drinkable than this. I think the growler was gone in less than 45 minutes between two of us. Great simple flavor with a wonderful feel.

Overall, I would be in huge trouble if I could drink this on a daily basis. My only negative was that I wish there was more hop flavor in this beer. Still, wonderfully crafted and a true delight to drink. (1,200 characters)

Photo of popery
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle, home. Alpine night #2. Another day, another fantastic IPA from Alpine. Whereas Duet was a nearly perfect version of what I look for in an IPA, Nelson is unexpected but also world class. This isn't my first encounter with Nelson Sauvin hops, but it's definitely the best use of them that I've tried. The beer smells of orange rinds, wild lilacs, honeysuckle and sweet white grape juice. The flavor is dry, bitter and spicy with rye. The whole package works extremely well. I have no real qualms with this beer, but I wouldn't mind if the rye was a bit stronger. I'd love to try an imperial version of this beer, so get on that Alpine. The mouthfeel has a nice hop oiliness surrounding the duel between hop bite and rye spice. It's an incredibly drinkable beer despite its unusual flavor profile. Alpine has managed to make a combination of rye and Nelson Sauvin hops feel completely natural and I'd love to spend a night with nothing but glasses of Nelson. (963 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is a bright, but cloudy sun golden yellow that pours a lemon shaving colored head.

Smell is wonderful, immediate bombardment with grapefruit and tropical aromas.

Tastes just as wonderful as this smells, fresh grapefruit, slight malt on the backend, love me some Nelson Sauvin hops.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and tropical.

Overall an outstanding IPA, definitely in my top favs. (394 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to quirkzoo for this one!

Hazy honey golden body, tons and tons of beading, dense milky finger of paper white head leaves tremendous gobs of lacing.

Hops explode from this beer... syrupy mango/citric sweetness gives my nose an orgasm. So intense, massive stuff. Faint spicy herbal qualities, fresh oranges, just delightful I think. Grapefruit bitterness evolves as it warms.

Incredibly thick tropical fruit, definite Sour Diesel flavors are everywhere, pleasant bitterness transitions into a clean, thirst quenching finish.

Overall, I can see why this beer is so highly sought after. I could drink only this beer everyday for the rest of my life and die happy. (677 characters)

Photo of jdhende
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brandon for this one.

A: Clear golden orange appearance

S: Great hop character. Grapefruit, lemon and orange aromas all hit my nose.

T: This IPA is just fantastic. The Rye is a really nice touch. After drinking this I'm a full on believer in Nelson Sauvin hops. Great Grapefruit notes just like in the nose.

M: Medium bodied with a cream texture.

O: Really complex and really drinkable. This is a really unique beer that I am really grateful for having the chance to try. (486 characters)

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lucky enough to have this beer a few occasions, so I felt that it was time to review.

Pours out with a nice honey color, with the aroma of hops and citrus being noticed immediately. Gives a nice two finger head that sticks around for while before an appearance of descending. Hops are at the forefront, quickly followed by citrus, giving it a very satisfying grapefruit taste. Nelson leaves a nice extended stay tingle in the mouth, a very welcome guest.

Overall, this is a most excellent example of a double IPA done right. Unfortunately for me, its not readily available in my area, so feel blessed if it sits on your beer station's shelves. (655 characters)

Photo of slayer3604
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THIS is probably my favorite beer right now. Just absolutely perfect, and a DIPAs aren't my cup of tea these days...

A-Looks just like an old school unfiltered Hefe from Germany....brilliant hazed gold with plump, sticky white head that never goes way....

S-Pear, mango, spice, zest, citrus this, citrus that, all sorts of sweet amazing malt and hop bukakki all over the place man! Such an awesome nose.

T- As if smelling it wasn't enough, what a great mass of fruit and sauvignon blanc with a nice dabble of bitterness in the end. I wanted to give this aspect a 5.0 but it seems like it drops off pretty sharpish after taking a swig.

M- Creamy and elegant....this CAN'T be a double IPA, right? too smooth and refind. Such a concentration of tropic madness going down. Their choice of rye definitely does it justice and gives it just a tinge of amber in the deepest realms of the appearance.

D-Wish this beer had a little longer finish. Crazy smooth for 7%, and has a lush sexy body to it....MMMM.. (1,005 characters)

Photo of thedindaniel
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This and Duet have become two of my favorite IPA's and definitely the best bang for your buck.

Pours light gold and slightly hazy with a nice amount of light foamy head. I love how the Nelson sauvignon hops smell, they're distinct and the rye definitely gives off a bit of grassy-summery aromas. The taste is pure citrusy bitterness with a perfect dry malt after taste. Once again, the nelson hops have a certain uniqueness to them, I've only had them in one other beer (Karl Strauss Big Barrel but the hop makes its presence felt.)The beer is very smooth, clean and crisp. This beer is very easy to drink but I don't know if rye is for everyone. Great west-coast IPA and another feather in Alpine's IPA hat. (709 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Errantnight for this one, cheers Derek!

Pours honey colored with 3 fingers of rocky ivory head. Sheets of lacing hug the glass & impressive head retention too

S: Pineyness, grapefruit & herbal hops

T: Piney & woody hops up front, then grapefruit a touch of biscuitty malt & some dryness. Juicy hops, grapefruit, apricot, & herbal hops all combine nicely as this warms, a long with a faint toffee sweetness/dryness, Finishes dry, spicy & citrussy, much lemons & grapefruit

MF: Creamy, semi-chewy & a touch juicy, superior balance

Great drinkability,, could stay on this all night, or until the well hidden ABV got me... Best beer by these guys I've had... Much to love here! (688 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 22oz bottle: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a creamy white head. Tons of thick lacing coats the glass. I've had Nelson that looks as cloudy as orange juice and as clear as a macro lager. This one is quite hazy, but not quite as much as I've seen. Smell is truly unique. Grape, grass, weed, and some tropical fruit and citrus. Taste is just bursting with tropical fruit, grapefruit, earthiness, grass, weed, and grape. Very very little bitterness. Just a touch of spiciness from the rye. This beer is all about the hop aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is awesome. Like no other IPA. The rye lends so much smoothness to the body. It's like silk. I've even described this beer as Nelson Sauvin milk before. It's that smooth and creamy. Overall, in a class of its own. There are very very few IPAs like this. Only something like Noble Nelson Showers compares (which I thought was even better). If you can get a bottle, go for it. If you've never had it and it's on tap (Green Flash brewed), try it out too, but it's much better out of the bottle. (1,054 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:
On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita CA 7/17/14.

A: Cloudy light golden body. A small creamy pearl white head on the initial pour recedes to a small ring around the rim of the glass. Glows when held up to the light, and would score higher if head retention was a little better.

S: MASSIVE juicy tropical fruit, and grapefruit. Potent white wine notes round out the aroma. Hints of pine. One of the best aromas I've ever encountered in an IPA. Not very many singular aroma profiles overall, but absolutely stunning in its simplicity.

T: Sweet white wine, zesty orange, and dank grapefruit. Crackery malt makes itself known as it warms. Minimal bitterness when compared to its peers. Again, very simple, but still absolutely beautiful.

M: Light/Medium bodied and effervescent. Long, drying finish accentuates the hop character.

O: After having this a few times, this is more than likely my favorite "single" IPA in the world. A wonderful exercise in balance flavor-wise when compared to most of its "West Coast" counterparts. Massive hop flavor and aroma without the hyper aggressive bitterness that characterizes the style. This is my "Desert Island" beer. Cheers Alpine! (1,210 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow what a great beer, pours two fingers of head and almost comes out with a mercury metallic hue when pouring, settles to a caramel orange in the glass. Nose is just full of citrus and tropical fruits and white wine with a touch of piney hops. Taste is a complex blend of candied citrus rind, bitter papaya, orange mango juice and some dark rye bread with a touch of sauv blanc notes at the end with the requisite ipa finish. Sculpin might have been dethroned in my book gorgeous beer. (486 characters)

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bomber into a tulip glass.

A- Beautiful light orange golden color, slightly cloudy.

S- Wonderful fresh-grassy dry hop aroma, tons of citrus and a bit of pine. Spice from the rye is present as well.

T- Follows, subtle malt sweetness underlays the flavors present in the aroma. Tons of delicious orange/lemon/peach flavor. Nice bitterness with more zesty rye flavor on the back makes for a really crisp finish.

M- Smooth throughout with a crisp, dry finish.

O- One of my favorite IPAs, I prefer this to Heady having had both, though freshness might have had something to do with that. Regardless, get this if you're anywhere near SD or lucky in distribution. (675 characters)

Photo of Dave_Carlson
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As far as single West Coast IPAs go, this one is hard to beat. Very unique and enjoyable flavor profile. If you can get it fresh (and this one does not sit on shelves long, so if you see it it's probably fresh!), it's definitely worth drinking. (246 characters)

Photo of mbudner
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

A- Very interesting how much the color varies from the thinner part of the glass to the part that bubbles out. Very light, apple juice-like, faint golden color to a darker orange (huge gradient variance.) The head is that white, frothy, yet bubbly head that looks like the most comfortable and delicious pillow in the world. The closest thing I can equate the head to is Pliny the elder.

S- Flowers, bubble gum, orange, sweet lemon, bitter spice from the rye. So much going on the in the aroma. It is really just perfect. Bready malts.

T- Mildly citrusy and heavily floral hop profile. I also get a little bit of the bubblegum from the aroma (the taste is of juicy fruit.) Slight piney-ness in the bitter finish. The finish is nice and bready. Ever so slight spicy flavor from the rye really differentiates this (among other things) from some of the other great IPAs out there, very unique.

M- Slightly (very slightly) under-carbonated. Nice slick, oily hop feel with a great amount of body.

D- Really amazing. I could drink this all day and all night. It smells like something I could only dream of an IPA smelling like Deceptively drinkable for 7.1%abv, but if it was 2% I would still want it all night (same if it was 20%.) This is simply a really phenomenal IPA. (1,332 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.