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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,705 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1705
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%


Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: rayjay on 08-14-2006)
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Ratings: 1,705 | Reviews: 536 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dmsohyea
dmsohyea

California

2.35/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the brewpub in Alpine. Taster glass.

A - standard IPA coloring, maybe a bit lighter yellow. Some lacing and good retention.

S - Smells floral and a bit uninviting. Not sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't know the horrors to come.

T - Tastes just off. The rye flavor and yeast selection just makes for a blah taste. I didn't enjoy it one bit and couldn't finish the 4 oz taster. Not super bitter, but it did taste a little like i was eating a flower.

M - Mouthfeel was above average. Not that I could really notice through the flavor that I hated.

O - Didn't like it. Sorry guys, I feel like this one is WAY over rated.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 06:34:46 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Browns in San Diego. Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Poured a clear orange with a fluffy white head that recedes to a nice haze and thick ring.
S - Incredibly pungent hop aromas that basically smells like the dankest weed you've ever had (sorry, it's all that comes to mind, and I don't even smoke). Quite vegetal, green, and slightly "catty". Very unique aromas, but I'm loving it!
T - Close to the nose, tons of vegetal, dank hop flavors. Very musky and green, but again, quite delicious. This was a challenging beer for me to review since coming up with descriptors was so difficult.
M - Medium-bodied, with a slightly sticky mouth-feel and moderate carbonation.
O - Again, a very unique beer, the Nelson hops bring so much to the party. I'd love to try this again, and will actively seek it out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2011 14:24:43 | More by jsanford
Photo of HopMasterFlex
HopMasterFlex

California

4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer popes a hazy light orange/yellow. It smells amazing. The blend of hops and grapefruit is captivating. I dig it big time. It tastes similar to the aroma. Big hops with sweet fruit flavors and a bitter aftertaste. Verk drinkable and considerably better on tap vs bottle. Out of the bottle it has a lot of malt flavor and less citrus and hops. Very enjoyable either way.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2011 09:17:06 | More by HopMasterFlex
Photo of juhl31
juhl31

California

3.45/5  rDev -22.5%
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

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 09:14:07 | More by juhl31
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 23:29:03 | More by LittleDon
Photo of mechamifune
mechamifune

North Carolina

4.45/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2010 20:13:37 | More by mechamifune
Photo of gregshead
gregshead

California

3.43/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2010 06:26:48 | More by gregshead
Photo of urwithdave
urwithdave

Florida

4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to beersinner for trading me this fresh growler! Poured into a solo cup on a fishing trip! I know it's not ideal, but it worked!!!

A- Dark copper in color. two fingers worth of a off white head. Obviously I cant advise on lacing in my solo cup, but everything else about this brew was spot on.

A- Piney hops up front with loads of citrus.

T- Bitter hops start the show. There is a lot of tangerine flavor. Some grapefruit but it's not as vibrant as the tangerine. The spice from the rye is distinct in flavor. There is a tad bit of sweetness that emerges towards the end, however the bitterness and the spice from the rye are in control.

M- Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Im guessing the growler was counter pressure filled because this thing didn't seem to lose a bit of fizz while in transit. It finishes dry with a lingering bitterness and spice from the rye.

D- A really crisp refreshing beer. Like I mentioned above, I drank this while on a fishing trip in 95 degree weather. The heat index was 110. It really hit the spot! I was a little disappointed that the 2 other peeps I was splitting it with enjoyed it as much as I did LOL!!!

Serving type: growler

06-17-2010 17:56:45 | More by urwithdave
Photo of squaremile
squaremile

Oregon

4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego. Pours a crystal gold with a half finger head that dissipates, but leaves some lacing. Nice is very clear with just the hops present, very nice pine as the main aroma. Taste is also very clean, with pine and grassy hops up front. Mouthfeel is pretty light and crisp, perfect level of carbonation. Finishes very dry. A really nice IPA, with the memorable quality the clean taste and crisp mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2010 18:12:17 | More by squaremile
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2010 23:57:18 | More by glid02
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this at Alpine Brewery in Alpine, CA. and poured it into a pint glass.

A: Classic West Coast IPA appearance - clean and golden with a solid head that lasts, leaving lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Big Nelson hop smell that is strong and unique - sweet and floral, very herbal and earthy with hints of carmel and vanilla.

T: Big time hop up front - pink grapefruit, resinous pine, fresh cut grass, herbal, earthy with a sweet malt finish that balances the overall flavor perfectly.

M: Good bitter bight up front, milky viscosity with a mellow carbonation that lends to the overall creaminess perfetly. Extremely smooth and damn near perfect.

D: Too easy - we split 3 growlers between four of us and finished them all, wishing we had just one more to cap our night.

I'm born and raised in San Diego and grew up drinking IPA's - this is hands down my favorite IPA from the area. There'a a few others that give it a run for its money, but Nelson is consistently victorious (even in the bottle).

Serving type: growler

05-10-2010 06:12:43 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Alpine Beer on draft, now I know I'm not in Orange County anymore. On-tap at Hamilton's Tavern, on to the beer.

Poured with almost no head on top, color is a lighter shade of orange. But this beer is not about the look, it's about the taste. But first, the aroma. It's like a juicy passionfruit hit you in the nose, along with assorted melons. And it tastes even better. It's not an "in your face" type of IPA. In fact, it's rather relaxed as it grabs the senses of your palate. Genereous amounts of passionfruit, mangoes, and melons play together to create a beer doesn't go bitter, weigh you down, or smack your face with boooze. A little spice from the rye keeps things rolling.

Alpine has done a 180 on me. I didn't have fun with Duet IPA, but Nelson could be my new favorite "single" IPA. In fact, I liked it so much, I did two pints of it, something I rarely do with the same beer at a place with so many great options. Even my friend who doesn't like hoppy beer wanted a pint of his own. Get this without hesitation.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2010 02:23:45 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks Deuane for sharing this growler at akorsak's - poured chilled from the growler into a duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful sunny golden w/ mild haze big quick settling cream that creates streamers of lacing w/ a tight bead. This is what I picture in my mind when I think of spring/summer -beautiful IPA appearance

S - The nose has a grassy/sweet citrus and mild spiced fragrance. The hops give off a lemony and slight sour green grape aroma w/ hints of tropical fruit and floral odors. The nose has a nice mellow pineapple ester too.

M - A moderately bitter entry w/ mild astringency and moderate carbonation w/ resinous texture and building bitterness which lingers after the dry finish

T - This is exceptional in flavor - not just the hops, but the cohesion of yeast, malt hops all bring a jazzy, herbal and gently spiced flavor w/ a gental citrus peel essence. The rye malt gives a nice backdrop to the tropical fruit elements the Nelson Sauvin hops provide w/ mild white grapeskin and a light sweet grassy taste in the finish

D - A Great rye IPA, the hoppiness level is full and it is certainly high in its class for overall drinkability and is just an excellently crafted beer all around. The balance is very good and I would definitely consider this a great example of the style!

Serving type: growler

04-05-2010 17:03:44 | More by Slatetank
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: growler

04-04-2010 19:47:33 | More by akorsak
Photo of olympuszymurgus
olympuszymurgus

California

3.58/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this beverage came with a bit of reputation in the sd area, as many of the breweries visited informed us we'd be mistaken were we not to head over to alpine. when i arrived, they struggled to determine what order i should taste in, but were convinced i should finish with this unique beverage. the nelsons have an arrayed aroma and flavor, it was like having a bite of something colorful off of someone else's plate when they weren't watching and you didn't pay attention to what they ordered. playfully citrus with an angry spice contributed both by the hop and the rye. i'm not sure what to make of this beer, but i'd like more to try. it's kind've like a rhinocorn. i don't know if it's even real. a fun and spicy rye.p.a.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2010 08:07:34 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of thedindaniel
thedindaniel

California

4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2010 04:50:32 | More by thedindaniel
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold in colour with a slight haze. It had a fine, bright white cap that stuck around until my pint was gone and there was lots of lace stuck to my glass. The aroma was intense with grapefruit and resin, nice for a West Coast IPA. It had a soft, citrus bitterness and grapefruit flavour throughout. There was some malt backbone that showed through towards the finish and a bit of rye spiciness as well. Quite refreshing. Just under medium bodied with smooth, fine carbonation. Light dryness, good texture. I liked the balance on this beer - solid IPA with a bit of rye that added depth to the hoppiness.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 23:49:27 | More by DrJay
Photo of Dijeriduster
Dijeriduster

California

4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as fresh as they come straight from the brewery. Growler fills are cheap here so I always get a few.

A - Light, slightly hazy golden colour. Very district luster - shimmery and clean vs. super hazy and amber in some IPAs

S - Amazing citrus notes. Grapefruit dominates the palate, actually a sweet smelling beer with only a hint of hoppy bitterness.

T - Again superb - grapefruit notes are just overflowing with this fresh Nelson. This comes from the Nelson hops a la New Zealand... Some malt notes, but pretty much only enough to support the massive hop profile.

M - Quite nice and drinkable. Thinner then some might like - Alpine IPA's usually are, but supports this sweeter IPA very well.

D - High. This is a stunner with the Nelson hops. Never had a bottle but I imagine it'd be almost as good as the fresh growler I got. Look for this and be suprised!

Serving type: growler

12-02-2009 21:34:27 | More by Dijeriduster
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrived early to Blue Palms to watch the cask of this get put on - a large burst of carbonation was released when Brian drove a corkscrew into the shive (or whatever it is called) - a good sign. Served after sitting for 20 minutes (after about a pitcher of watery foam was poured off) in a 20oz nonic - mine was the very first of the evening!

This was an angry, laborious, frothing pint - a cautious hand pumping still took two glasses and several minutes (the barkeep certainly earned his tip this evening) to finally serve up a proper pour. Remarkable appearance - lacing initially even coated the OUTSIDE of the glass...opaque lemoncello colored body with two fingers of permanent dense creamy shock-white foam. Swirling leaves an avalanche of lacing, like rapidly melting snow...

The aroma grew in intensity as the glass made its way down the bar - it was more intense than many IPAs I've had even from several feet away. Pushed up to my nose, it is a perfect balance of hops and grain - floral and unique.

The rye is subtle but works exceptionally well against the hops. It serves as a spicy foil to the singular grassy blast of pine, citrus, and pepper that the hops embody (they are all of these things yet none of these things). What a uniquely savory brew (I almost get notes of cheddar - and not in a bad way!) - grapefruit and lemon zest, pomelo, fennel, orangsicles, custard, white pepper, persimmon, mango - one could go on...and yet everything is very mild and well integrated into a whole. Quite different and tasty...

Thick, creamy, yet still light bodied, the mouthfeel would be perfect except for a slight chalkiness - a large amount of sediment rests on the bottom of the glass when it is nearly empty - excellent if you enjoy unfiltered brews.

Slightly spicy finish, with lots of fruit on the palate - on cask this is right up there with Sculpin for me in terms of drinkability.

Very well done and luciously fresh - don't miss it if you get the chance to sample this beer in this modality....

Serving type: cask

11-07-2009 05:41:45 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 18:51:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sunny day
grass and hay

liars club
beer and grub

aroma clean also hoppy
little bit of rye, but it's kinda sloppy

Taste is hoppy, rye is small
is this a Rye IPA at all?

Finish is pretty much the same

Taste like duet, with a bit more burn
Alpines folks have got to learn

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2009 20:00:22 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Toronado San Francisco anniversary fest. I really, really liked this beer. I've been an Alpine fan for a while, and I think they do a great job with their hoppy beers. I love the zingy, bitter hop onslaught on this one coupled with the spicy rye, it just really works for me. Poured golden with a wispy head, but very nice continuous lacing. Very fresh tasting herbal hops in the nose, quite a bit of dill aroma that I get from the Nelson Sauvin hops sometime, and a bit spicy in the finish as well. I just love the taste of this beer. Lots of herbal hops followed by lots of pine, pretty much my favorite hop situation. Long, tangy, spicy, piney, and herbal. Beautiful interplay between the spicy, slightly sour rye and the hops. Very bitter and long in the mouth with quite an austere malt profile. This is a delicious beer, but its a mouthful.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2009 22:09:04 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden body. Moderate white cap, decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: Clean light lemon-citrus hops. Fresh grassy. Pronounced rye.

T: The combination of citrus and grassy hops are so clean and refreshing. Not overwhelming, but very pronounced rye flavor. Definitely the best "rye" beer I've had.

M: Slightly thinner than I would prefer. Refreshing and crisp finish though.

D: Goes down so good. Incredibly drinkable. Could go for another growler easy.

Serving type: growler

09-20-2009 01:39:28 | More by callmemickey
Photo of breals
breals

California

4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a beautiful beer in all aspects. I love the color, probably the lightest IPA you can find. It has about 7% ABV which gives the body but it's still a "light" IPA. The one aspect that sets this beer apart otherwest coast IPAs is that it doesn't have a harsh bitter finish, this might be due to the New Zealand hops.

This is my new favorite beer. I'm lucky enought to live 15 miles from the brewery and I go there bi-weekly to fill my cache of growlers.

Serving type: growler

08-30-2009 03:22:36 | More by breals
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado 22nd Anniversary Party. Comes in at 7%. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a very clear golden yellow with some orange tints. It has a small white head that sticks around. A tad bit of spotted lace is left on the glass.

S-A great fresh hop aroma. The Nelson hops impart a combination of citrus and hay that is very pleasing. The rye also is a little apparent.

T-All of the citrus components are noticeable very quickly. I pick up on mango, pineapple, and some pine. The rye used gives it a nice spicy finish. Not very bitter.

M-Medium bodied with a pleasing soft level of carbonation.

D-This is one easy drinking beer. It is blended so well that palate fatigue does not come on quickly.

I finally got to try an Alpine IPA that is not Pure Hoppiness and I was left impressed. The combination of the Nelson hops and the rye gives this a unqiue flavor that still fits in perfectly in the IPA family.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2009 23:32:39 | More by mjl21
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,705 ratings.