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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,688 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1688
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: 1,688 | Reviews: 536 | Show All Ratings:
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
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 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 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 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 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
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.