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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,685 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1685
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: 1,685 | Reviews: 536 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG

Maryland

4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Alpine on 4/2/14

A-Pours a light tangerine hue with a nice, 1.5 finger frothy white head that leaves decent lacing on the way down.

S-Grassy, Citrus, tons of grapefruit, mixed with light sweet fruits.

T-Bready and a tad spicy that leads into lots of citrus, blood orange, tangerine, grapefruit and has a nice bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O-This was wonderfully complex and balanced and one of the best IPAs i’ve ever tasted, bar none.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2014 20:10:06 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of UAhobbes
UAhobbes

California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nelson, to me, is easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had. I'm a big hop head who loves hop-forward beers. Not only is this beer incredibly well balanced, its fruity characteristics give it that respectable nudge into the elites.

If something terribly wrong occurred where one could only choose one brewery to drink from... Alpine would be the one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2014 00:03:39 | More by UAhobbes
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: Draft
Glass: Pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $4.50
Purchased: Jan. 5, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 5, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a golden, straw, hazy color with one finger of off-white head. Good amount of sporadic spiderweb lacing on the sides of the glass. Average-to-above average retention.

Smelled grapefruit, pine, orange rind, citrus hops, floral hops, spices and resin hops.

Tasted grapefruit and initially it reminded me of a toned down Pliny the Elder. Pine, resin, citrus, orange rind, tangerine and light caramel malts, all in a pretty bitter form.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Long, bitter, citrusy finish.

This beer lived up to the hype. Just fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2014 06:31:11 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Received with about half a finger's worth of head. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a pale amber which appears as a dull straw when held up to the light. Head dissipates rather quickly. Lacing is minimal.

Nose- Lots of citrus, mostly orange and lemon. Some tropical fruits, mainly mangoes. Some peach. Not much else in the way of other IPA aromatics. No real pine or resin. Swirling reveals some caramel and matchstick.

Taste- Starts off with the fruit of the nose and runs with it. There is definite peach and other stone fruits which taste a little green. Some orange and lemon followed by a nice bit of spice from the rye. Definitely a welcome change from the typical pine and resin back of most IPAs. Light melon, light pine and resin on the finish. Seems like it will be a very tasty beer once it warms up a little bit. Some mustiness, even a little bit of musk that pairs with the melon aspects. Pepper, some pumpernickel or rye bread. Grain notes. A tiny bit of earwax on the finish. Definitely a really good beer but I don't know if it deserves its high ranking. It is growing on me as I continue to drink it. Some notes of caramel and honey. Some floral qualities as well. Some tendency to savory notes. Really good to great at this points. Some grapefruit, tropical fruits (papaya and mango). Alpine really has IPAs on lockdown.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a healthy dose of carbonation. At the moment it's a bit much for me but maybe it will mellow out.

Drinkability- Very subtle but has tons of complexity. Seems to more of a Pliny the Elder type of IPA. Six bucks for a pint of a beer that doesn't come to Oregon seems reasonable.

Overall- Really good to great beer that owes a lot to its mix of subtlety and complexity. Lovely use of rye to create a malt bill which not only contrasts the fruitness of the hops but interacts with it. Pretty much a great beer. Definitely worth a try. Very accessible IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2013 02:06:38 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of FlyingBull
FlyingBull

California

4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at Alpine. I really enjoy going there. Not fancy - just down to earth with good people, food, and beer.

The pour was totally filled the glass leaving only a skim of white foam on top. No problem though - I appreciate the full pour. The beer was a clear gold/yellow color showing lively carbonation. The aroma was very citrus to me - grapefruit and orange, backed up by some fruitiness. I could also pick up nice pale malt. The taste was a nice balanced Nelson hop flavor with pale malt. The mouth feel was medium body with nice lively carbonation.

This beer is a very good example of a beer with Nelson S. hops. I generally am not a big fan of that hop but I fully enjoyed this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2013 23:52:03 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of Hotrod88
Hotrod88

California

4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer has a nice golden look to it once its in the pint glass.

The first and only smell that I get is a sweet hoppy smell which is just fine by me.

Once it hits the tongue I would've expected the taste to be a little bit bitter but I was happily surprised to find it more hoppy than bitter.

It leaves a nice hoppy taste lingering in the mouth after finishing.

Overall an amazing IPA from an awesome brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2013 04:16:32 | More by Hotrod88
Photo of ALBuff
ALBuff

Hawaii

4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't floored at first look (depth of color underwhelming), but this beer had a great nose and nice silky texture. I marked it down for having a bitterness that lingered slightly too long on my tongue, but otherwise this was my favorite IPA tasted at Alpine (Nelson, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, 1910).

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 21:47:10 | More by ALBuff
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

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

On tap at Alpine. Had right after Keane Idea.

A - Hazy orange with half a finger if head. Pretty nice lacing left behind.

S - Like Keane Idea, lots of citrus with some mango and dank hops.

T - A bit less sweet than KI, with hops really front and center. Lots of citrus and mango. Very tasty. Nice bitter finish. Very tasty.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a nice bitterness. Alcohol not apparent.

O - Not sure how to compare this with Keane Idea. I think Nelson has less noticeable alcohol, though the abv isn't all that different between the two. Can't really go wrong with either, and Nelson is a beer I would love to have available year-round.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 22:50:18 | More by warnerry
Photo of DocJitsu
DocJitsu

California

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

Pours a gorgeous orange-golden color that is impenetrable to light. Showcases an antique whit head that dissipates quickly. The nose is glorious. Juicy grapefruit to the hilt! Mouthfeel is wet and a little cottony toward the finish. A lot of grapefruit up front. The rye expresses itself in the middle, followed by distinct pine flavor. This is a magnificent beer. I can't believe how good this is. I'm not a rye fan, but this is phenomenal.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2012 02:18:34 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brewpub in Alpine two weeks ago. This review's from notes.

Pours a clear deep gold, just a touch darker than straw, with a creamy, pure white head that lasts the whole glass and drapes the glass with lace trails. Gigantic hop aromas in the nose - lemony, NS white grape skin, some resiny bitterness, very potent. The taste is awash with hop flavors - citrus, white grapefruit, tropical fruit, white grapes, it runs the gamut. A crackery malt base shows itself here and there, but never gives any semblance of 'balance'. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a medium carbonation level and mouth-coating hop oils. The finish is long and very bitter.

This is a majorly hoppy and complex IPA. Nelson Sauvin hops taste amazing at this hopping rate. A must try if you get a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 02:03:54 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

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

on tap at toronado san diego

Pours a clear copper amber color with a crop of beige head resting on top. Patches of lacing accumulate on the glass while drinking, with some wisps of film retaining on top.

Punchy, hoppy nose highlighted by the great addition of rye to the profile. Some hints of slightly sweet fruits and citric peel. Mild malt scents and a bit of caramel. Faint alcohol presence.

Waves of hops crush the tongue right up front with plenty of citrus fruits. Grapefruit and pineapple accompanied by rye spiciness. Bitter and pleasant throughout with a soft tempering of bready malt and caramel character. Light sweetness and dryness on the back end with a soft warm glow.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and dry on the tongue for a bit. I've had this a few times, but I'm pretty sure this is my favorite Alpine beer so far.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2012 19:25:36 | More by xnicknj
Photo of JRO
JRO

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the pub in Alpine and later out of a 22 I brought back to the midwest with me.

Of the three IPA's of theirs I tried (Pure Hoppiness and Duet), this was actually my favorite. The level of rye perfectly balanced out this IPA and made for a delightful experience. Pure west coast IPA with all hops and zero sweetness, but manages to be smooth enough to not leave a chalky aftertaste and instead have you reaching for more.

Definitely glad to have made the trip out to this gem of a brewery. It's worth the trip.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2012 14:02:51 | More by JRO
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

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

Served on tap in a Shaker pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego, CA).

A: Darker amber than Duet with a similar short cap of off-white head which leaves a valence of lace at the top of the glass.

S: Huge hop aromas with spicy, somewhat earthy edge presumably from the rye. The hops aromas combine tropical fruits like pineapple and mango with lime and peach but with a leafy, raw, earthy, spicy edge from the rye. The malt component is more robust than Duet with some caramel-toffee but it works due to the rougher edge to the hops profile.

T: The is a very hoppy wand moderately bitter beer but very complex. The passion fruit and pineapple flavors are most prominent but they have more roundness due to the earthy, herbal nature that the rye adds. This beer just seems more leafy and raw hoppy than Duet, and I think it is a more challenging beer in many ways. The malt contribution is bigger than most IPAs although this works well to have more toffee to work with the earthy nature of this beer. Really an incredible IPA that I was blown away to find and try (on multiple nights).

M: Medium-bodied but with a thicker slicker feel. The carbonation and dryness quotient is low-average on this beer.

O: Nelson is a more contemplative beer than Duet (I was lucky enough to get to try the back to back on separate nights), but I think it has a bit more to offer as well with a more complex hop aroma and flavor. I liked them both a lot, but I would pick Nelson if I could have just a beer or two.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 03:11:33 | More by argock
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Da Boss and I stopped at the Alpine Brewpub earlier today on the way to Torrey Pines area. A pint went for $5.50

Beer poured a clear golden with a decent head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is fragrant floral hops that are very fresh and is a big part of the beer.

Taste is very good, grapefruit is predominate with mango and tangerine. Pale malts take a back seat in the balancing act. Finish is very clean.

Mouthfeel is smooth and nicely carbonated.

Overall drinkability is very good. This is a very flavorful and clean finishing ipa. It has a wonderful array of flavors and the hop bitterness is definitely there but not overpowering. I would recommend you try this if you can get your hands on a bottle!

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 01:10:39 | More by arizcards
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4/5  rDev -10.1%
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

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 20:46:12 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Chizoad
Chizoad

California

4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2011 00:09:15 | More by Chizoad
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2011 19:28:02 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Briens. Pint glass.

Pours a light straw gold, not much head or lacing to speak of. Smell has a nice citrus (grapefruit mostly) and pine balance, spice, a lot of honey and malt, kind of grainy. Really interesting and unique smelling. Tastes similar, with grapefruit and spice/grain up front, pine, and again kind of a honey and malt sweetness. Not as much of a hop bomb as I was expecting. Medium-full body and medium level of carbonation, kind of grainy mouthfeel. Overall, a super interesting and well crafted IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 05:15:38 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of AndyGz
AndyGz

California

4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, do I have a new favorite IPA?

Very light in appearance, it almost glows.
Clear Citrus and Mango notes predominate the nose.
Hop notes sweeter than I've ever experienced in anything this light. Delicate, frothy, small bubble carbonation.
Light, crisp, refreshing.

I LOVE this IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 09:09:28 | More by AndyGz
Photo of soze47
soze47

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on my trip to Alpine in late May, 2011. 4.5 oz. pour as part of a flight.

One of the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. The rye and NZ hops lend some really cool flavors to this brew. Not a standard IPA by any stretch. The golden body is well carbonated and it dances in your mouth, which is great since the flavors are so complex.

The NZ hops give a white wine quality to the flavor and nose, with the rye giving a nice tangy bitterness. These flavors blend and melt well into the more traditional flowery notes from the other hops. Combined, I get some great spice notes. Clove?

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 14:00:43 | More by soze47
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
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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,685 ratings.