Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,989 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,989
Reviews: 660
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,406
Gots: 366 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,989 | Reviews: 660
Photo of Kadonny
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

D: High, what another great beer to drink.

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

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to grilledsquid for this one, and what an awesome hoppy beer!

A: Hazy golden color, opaque in the center of it and clearer on the sides. A small white head with awesome lacing.

S: Yes! Awesome hop aroma. Huge grapefruit and grassy hops with a definite note of wheat. Even more citrus comes through after the initial blast.

T: hop bite in front, really good grassy sugary center with a bittersweet end. Lots of citrus and rye wheat malt, the rye really platforms the hops well making an overall very fresh tasting hop profile even if its just a single hop. Clean, fresh, and sweeter than the aroma implies, and great.

M: Medium, dry rye, nice.

D: Very good refreshing beer thats very good. Would definitely be in my rotation if I could buy it regularly. Will look to get this, and other alpine hop beers again.

Photo of juhl31
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-a very foggy yellow color with a white head. lacks much head retention

-good amounts of grapefruit. big time meaty english hop smell, but not a good meat smell if that makes sense at all

-probably the most actual rye tasting ryePA i have had. that meat is back up in there. the hop profile tastes english for sure, but not as much in the malt side

-very thick and smooth for an IPA

-not a great one for me. my least favorite of the alpine IPA's. i warmed up to it a bit as i got towards the bottom of the glass, but i still wouldnt want to order more. i am usually a big fan of ryePA's too

Photo of axeman9182
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of rmjavanut, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Nelson pours a murky tangerine. it's completely opaque, and not a particularly pleasant hue. The vigorous initial pour yields a creamy bone colored cap of about two fingers in height. Head retention is decent, but lacing is a little underwhelming. The nose is delicious, and pungent as all hell. It's a massive grapefruit bomb, with a subtle white wine presence in the background. One of the best smelling beers I've had in a while. The flavor manages to improve the beer still. A faint suggestion of bready malts kicks things off, before an exceptionally smooth wave of bitterness rolls into town. The end is a perfect blend of grapefruit rind, white wine (maybe chardonnay), and some spice from the rye. The combination of the unusual Nelson Sauvin hops and some rye in the grain bill has resulted in one of the most unique, and flavorful IPAs I've ever had. The body is surprisingly full for a beer that's as restrained on malty flavors as Nelson is. There's also a certain smoothness that I don't always find in the style. Unfortunately, the carbonation is a little bit lacking/dull, and this leads to the beer starting to hint at a syrupy mouthfeel. As much as I love the flavor of this beer, the lack of carbonation keeps jumping out at me and keeps Nelson from being as quaffable as it could be. All in all though, an excellent brew from Alpine.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer appears hazy and straw yellow with a nice white head and good lace. The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of hops, grapefruit, and citrus. This beer tastes fabulous. It is very smooth and creamy with minimal bitterness. In the finish lurks a subtle hint of warming alcohol. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. World class.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fresh bottle received in a recent trade. A truly special beer. Alpine makes several of the best IPAs on the planet.

Photo of kk73
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a very light and slightly hazy golden color with a very smallish and underwhelmingly white head that quickly disappeared and left a little lacing.

S - Smell is a ton citrus hops, primarily grapefruit, also some piney characteristics. Little bit of spice, and bready malt.

T - Tons of grapefruit and citrus goodness, with some hop bitterness that moves into a flash of spiciness from the rye.

M - Solid and medium bodied, with moderate carbonation, and some stickiness.

D - Very drinkable and could easily put down a couple of bombers of this beer.

Photo of awalk1227
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/25/10 Sent by Rock4sc96 thanks Chris!

Poured into an Alchemist Brewery pint glass.
I've been extremely excited to try this beer; not only have I heard good things about the Nelson Sauvin hops, but I have sought out Alpine's highly regarded IPAs for some time.

A: Pours a hazy sunshine yellow with a thick white head. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a white collar.

S: Perfect, perfect, perfect! Oh lord, I could smell this beer as I was pouring it. I can smell it right now, as it sits to my left while I type this. HUGE aromatic hops, citrus, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, delicious.

T: Oh lord, this has RYE in it too? One of my favorite beers is Terrapin's Rye Pale ale, along with Founders Red Rye and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. I love hoppy Rye IPAs, and this is now up in the big leagues with them. Delicious creamy malt starts it off, then a blend of spice from the rye and citrus blast from fresh hops finishes.

F: If you've read my other reviews, you know how I like my IPA mouthfeel. This is perfect. Prickle from the carbonation, but a smooth creaminess that denotes a fine balance.

D: No alcohol detected, and such a complex IPA you want more. A lot more. I love it.

Alpine, you've wowed me once again. I will seek you out soon.

Photo of scottfrie
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Gulden Draak tulip. Big thanks to sleepyhead for this one!

A: Pours a hazy dark iced-tea amber with a large, frothy, off-white head that slowly faded into a thick foamy film that left incredibly thick sheets of lacing down the glass.
S: Huge juicy grapefruit smell. Very citrusy and juicy smelling with tropical fruit notes and a hint of lemon zest as well. Amazing.
T: Super fruity-sweet sherbet flavors. This tastes like tangerine sherbet. It has an amazing and complex hop flavor. At first the beer is very citrusy with a big grapefruit punch, but then it becomes creamy and tropical with a buttery pineapple flavor. The rye is present in the very finish with a touch of spiciness. Aftertaste is creamy yet bitter and juicy all around.
M: Silky smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation over the medium body. Not viscous, syrupy or overly sticky, with a pleasant bitterness in the finish.
D: I had a very hard time describing the flavors in this beer. I don't think I've had an IPA or DIPA quite like this one. I could drink this forever. Thanks again Jeff for this amazing beer!

Photo of jpmclaug
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Scored this want in a generous BIF box from domtronzero.

A - Orange-yellow hazy body with a white head resting on top

S - A nice pineapple smell mingles with some funk rye aroma. This thing smells fantastic. I absolutely love the aroma Nelson Sauvin hops produce and the mix of that and a rye make an unforgettable aroma.

T - Picking up more pineapple-y hop flavor mingled with light rye notes. A formidable malt backbone stands up throughout this one. Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting however. Nice flavor but not amazing like the nose.

M - medium body, slightly sticky good amount of carbonation

D - Pretty tasty beer but the flavor doesn't match the awe of the nose. Not as bitter as I was expecting but still a pretty good beer. I wouldn't mind drinking more of this but wouldn't go nuts trying to seek it out.

Photo of slayer3604
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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..

Photo of djmichaelk
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Bought in Oct 2010 from K&L Wines.

A - Hazy yellow-orange, with a nice two fingers of pillowy head that settles down to a thick cap. Heavy rings of lace on the glass. Very inviting.

S - Very nice -- lots of hops, with both pine and grapefruit notes. A bit of a sweet-ish malt, and a spiciness that I'm guessing is from the rye.

T - More of what was in the nose, with a huge hop bitterness, and more of that spiciness. The rye is subtle, which is good for me since I'm not a huge fan of it. There's almost a touch of vanilla in the malty sweetness, but it's fleeting. Long dry finish, but very little alcohol burn.

M - It's almost a bit thin, with lighter carbonation than I would expect. But the stickiness is good. Somewhat drying.

D - The flavors are good, the aroma great, and the alcohol isn't too high. I'd go for another for sure; good thing I have one.

O - Price-wise, it's less expensive than Sculpin (which is overpriced) but more than Pliny (which is not) so I'll happily pay for it. The beer is definitely worth it. Solid buy.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded apricot hue with a bright white head formin thick and billowing above the head of my new DFH chalice. Lacing is intricate scattered pattern awesome looking clouded murkiness. Aroma is full of punget grapefruit scented hops and wine like aromatics crazy intense experience. Flavor finesses the palate with hop flavors full of fruity earthy honey malt wrapped with a touch of diacetyl, excellent interesting warming honey pine completed expressive and original brew. Mouthfeel is creamy slightly oily with hops, medium to full bodied never heavy or cloying. Carbonation is perfect and natural, with an insane level of drinkability. Solid well made beer from the beginning to the end.

Photo of berebrando
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this beer at The Bruery's new bottle shop in Old Town Orange. It's sold in a 22 oz bottle and I've poured it into a mug.

The color is hazy, light orange and yellow. The head dissipates quickly and there is not any significant lacing.

It smells amazing. I'd say it smells like the rind from a grapefruit - tart and sour with strong citrus notes. It feels very full and lightly carbonated when you drink it. My girlfriend seems to think "it's weird tasting now..." but I like it. I L-O-V-E the flowery and bold grapefruit flavors - that's it, it's like eating a rose petal and grapefruit rind. But in a good way, a wonderfully good way. The aftertaste is the same tart grapefruit tartitartness, and maybe some snozzberries. Mouthfeel - yes, it feels good in my mouth.

Drinkable? I'd say it's drinkable, but I probably wouldn't want to overdo it.

Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a less than one finger head with good retention and some lacing. The appearance is the weakest area of this beer. The aroma is wonderfully hoppy. Grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and tangerines with some pineapple.

The taste is very unique, and good. Grapefruit, zest, tangerines, pineapple, malt, grass, rye, some earthiness, and some spices, although I am having trouble identifying them. It must be the New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops that give this a unique flavor. Very nice.

Sweet, with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Decent carbonation, medium bodied, and recommended. I would drink this again with no problems.

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 KickInTheChalice
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to pretzelcity for including this in my box for the Support Your Team BIF.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden tangerine color, with a foamy white head. Nice retention, with sticky lace all over the glass. Soft carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass, replenishing the head.

Smell: Soft white grape skin, honey sweetness, a touch of citrus, along with a touch of musk. Aroma is just slightly bitter.

Taste: The distinctive flavor of the Nelson Sauvin hops really carrry the flavor, with the rye providing a more complimentary dryness than an overwhelming flavor. White grape, orange rind, some grassiness give it a restrained juicy hop flavor. Other than the rye, the malt really takes a backseat, despite retaining a fragile delicateness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and tingly through most of the sip, which combined with the grape flavor gives it a sparkling wine feel. Strong dry character, and it has a little graininess.

Drinkability: This is a great change of pace from some of the other American IPAs I have been drinking. Still a strong hop presence, but the grape flavor really kicks this beer into a unique area of the palette. Very interesting, and one I would drink regularly if it was available here.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold, with lots of little sediment particles floating in the brew. A massive pillowy sudsy foam head lasts forever, leaving clouds of sticky chunky lacing on the glass as the brew is consumed.

Aromas of citrus, green grapes, green hops, and ocean saltspray. Although you can smell lots of hops were used, there is nothing overboard, just a smooth inviting aroma.

The taste is quite different from the usual IPA and is quite laid back. At first there is some sweet malt, then a slightly bitter citrus hop taste kicks in, but then a bit of a grapy taste that adds a sub-layer of subdued sweetness (somewhat like Sauvignon Blanc, whence the Nelson Sauvin monicker comes from). Citrus rind prevails in the long finish.

Body seems a little more viscous than is typical of the style, as the yeast and other sedimentary particles remain in suspension. Ample carbonation gives this a somewhat creamy, as opposed to crisp, mouthfeel. The hops approach tongue numbing levels.

This is a very drinkable IPA, a different IPA with a unique aroma and taste, due to the Nelson Sauvin hop variety. Might be good to compare with Mikkeller Nelson or another Alpine beer like Exponential Hoppiness.

Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Golden and very cloudy. Decent head that fades into a filmy wisp. Great lacing, nonetheless. Slightly resinous aroma with a noticeable floral characteristic. Carbonation is a bit on the hard side up front. The middle brings out an interesting floral/spicy hoppiness with what seems to be a guava-like flavor in the upper palate. Finish is standard IPA bitterness. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was great. Just had my first sculpin a little less than a week ago. Can't remember exactly what rating I gave it, but I think this was slightly better than sculpin imo.

Pours a slightly cloudy orangeish amber with a 2 finger off white head that takes a while to dissipate and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma is incredible. Starts with a HUGE wave of tropical fruit - pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and then rounds into a tiny bit if pine with a slight hop bitterness after that. Really amazing aroma.

Taste starts out with a bit of bready malts, then shows a tiny bit of caramel before giving way to big time tropical fruit flavors, the same flavors as in the aroma. Like the smell, those flavors round into a bit of pine, a wave of grapefruit, and finish with a slightly dry hop bitterness that lingers. Delicious.

Probably the best beer I've ever had. This beer makes me wish I lived in cali (even more than russian river does)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Brian.

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

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

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

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

D: Jesus Christ. Yes.

Photo of mechamifune
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at brewpub.

Pours a hazy yellow, unlike any IPA i've had before in that sense. If it weren't for the smell you'd think it was a hefe.

And oh that smell. Pure hops and grapefruit.... if it weren't for the extensive description of the hops actually used, i'd assume this to be tons of amarillo hops... as it is though its a fantastic smell, probably the best i've had in an IPA.

Taste is in line with the smell. Lots of citrus fruits and an agressive bite to end each drink, presumably from the rye. A very "sharp" and crisp beer, with fruitiness permeating throughout. A lot of complexity to the taste which holds up through the entire glass.

Drinkability in turn is good. Because there is that bite to it, I couldn't say its overly easy to drink, but its far from harsh. 7% feels about right for it. As a whole a lot of fun to drink and very unique in the IPA world.

Photo of GradyS1
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of theghost3
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Moderate layered lacing.

The smell is strong of grapefruit and oranges along with coriander and a little bready malt. The taste is grapefruit and herbal hops, peppery with some caramel and bready malts. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium-bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is a drinkable IPA. Don't expect a hop bomb; just a citrusy, smooth brew.

Photo of gregshead
3.44/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light, light yellow color. Did a double take and almost asked the bartender if they handed me the correct beer.

S - Citrus and pine hops domintate the smell

T - Pine and Citrus/Orange hops dominate the taste. If their is malt/rye taste, it didn't show up for me.

M - Very light and carbonated mouthfeel. If I didn't have taste buds, I'd swear this beer was a wheat or hefeweizen by feel and appearance.

D - Overall, an ok IPA. I wasn't awed but I wasn't upset either. I would drink again but I would take other IPAs before it.

Photo of gameface23
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, muddled orange color with excellent lacing.

S: Blackberries, black currants, a muted spiciness from the rye (cinnamon?), grapefruit.

T: The bready rye flavor really compliments the hops. It's spicy and has great hop flavor, but it isn't bruisingly bitter.

M: Fuller-bodied due to the rye, but still finishes clean. It's a great balance between substance and drinkability.

D: A very nice offering from Alpine.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,989 ratings.