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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson

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

1,694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1694
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: 1,694 | 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 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
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 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
Photo of kbm
kbm

Arizona

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

I ordered a pint of Nelson on tap at Toronado in San Diego.

Appearance: Copper with a bit of yellow hue. Thin head fast dissipation. Good lacing. Looks great.

Smell: Creamy ripe mango with strong basilesque hop overtones. Man the smell is so tropical but still maintains a respectable hop character.

Taste: Creamy mango with great hop presence but not overly bitter. The rye is present. Hop flavor sticks to the palate but not in an oily way.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Insanely drinkable with a creamy mouthfeel.

This was a pleasant surprise.

UPDATE: I had a bottle of the a recent batch of Nelson. The bottled version is vastly inferior to the tap version, IMO. Overwhelming rye and none of the tropical flavor. If you've had it in the bottle and were not impressed, try the tap. Not changing the review because I believe the tap version is a great beer and a number of reviewers are picking up those tropical flavors in the bottle - maybe I just had a bad bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2009 01:40:46 | More by kbm
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a vibrant yellow, with a full foamy white head which leaves generous lace.

S: Notes of rye, sweet malt, grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Rye is clearly evident with a spicy undercurrent which works well with almost herbal and at times and citrus notes of the hops. There's like a tropical fruit salad, orange, sweet wine, lemon, mango, very interesting.

M: Smooth, creamy, lots of carbonation, medium-bodied.

D: A nice beer from Alpine, a joy to drink, but I wasn't as blown away with it as I was with Duet, but a very good effort nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2009 20:45:54 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's in San Diego, CA on 7/11/09.

A - Clear golden body with no carbonation and slim off-white head that diminished to a patchy veil and left virtually no lacing.

S - Spicy and leafy hops with a slight catbox character, as well as a prevalent citrus character with lots of orange and grapefruit notes. Floral qualities also emerged as it warmed. Very aromatic hop profile overall.

T - Nelson Rye features a really complex hop profile with sweet, spicy and juicy characteristics that are balanced by a sweet caramel malt backbone. Finish is spicy dry due to the addition of the rye malt. Overall, this brew has a very citrusy character with lots of orange and grapefruit flavor.

M - Medium body with a very slick, oily texture and soft carbonation. Dry, lingering bitterness on the palate with a bit of residual spiciness.

D - Nelson Rye displays quite a unique hop character. It's juicy, spicy and dry, and packs lots of flavor. Really pungent aroma too. Alpine makes some fine IPAs.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2009 17:40:03 | More by ffejherb
Photo of surfer4life
surfer4life

California

4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Toronado SD

A - Pours a light copper with a decent white fluffy head, much lacing.

S - Smells like I'm walking through rows of hops, not pungnet though. Delightful. I can tell this has amazing balance because the malt is complimenting the hops so well. In for a treat here.

T - WOW! What an amazing beer, this is unlike any IPA I have ever had. Nice malty sweetness complimenting the very unique hop flavor. I get a lot of citrus, but not as much of the lemon/grapefruit zest I am used to, this is way less aggresive.

M - Medium bodied with perfect carbonation level. The creaminess is heaven to the pallet.

D - This is extremely drinkable, so smooth and well rounded and at 7%, it's ok to have more than one. Great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2009 02:55:01 | More by surfer4life
Photo of SweetNessa34
SweetNessa34

California

4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[SOURCE]: On-Tap at BluePalmsBrewHouse. Served on the day of arrival (4/9/09) shortly after tapping

[SERVING TYPE]: Pint Glass

[SMELL]: Amazing "nose" - packed full with a potent bouquet of fresh, lightly fruity hops combined with a crisp Rye aroma- jumps out at you from this super pale white/gold ale.

[APPEARANCE]: Super pale white/gold ale + light white, fluffy head

[TASTE]: Bold, dynamic combination of assertive flavors is almost startling in comparison to the super pale, light appearance. Clean, crisp Rye intermingles with a heavy dose of super fresh, slightly fruity hops and is balanced by a very minimal malt back - for an incredibly light, fresh and flavorful overall

[DRINKABILITY]: Intense combination of hops and rye flavors are very well balanced with minimal malt back. Thus, the overall result is a very drinkable beer that is light, fresh and jam packed with flavor + aroma.

[OVERALL]: very drinkable, extremely fresh-flavored RIPA (especially when poured shortly after tapping)

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2009 07:05:19 | More by SweetNessa34
Photo of RunDWP
RunDWP

California

4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the ultimate Southern California IPA. Had on tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego. Poured a light yellow color, almost the color of a lager, but plenty of lacing and sheeting action on the glass. Strong piney and floral aroma. A decent amount of malt, with a little detectable sweetness, but all the piney and slightly floral hop goodness was definately center stage. Excellent crispness to the hop bitterness. Just a joy to drink and right level of carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2009 03:55:02 | More by RunDWP
Photo of jbmorch
jbmorch

California

4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is made with 100% Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. The hops variety was named for the gooseberry-like flavor it imparts to beer, which is similar to the taste notes of a sauvingon blanc wine. I'll have to take their word for it, since I don't think I've ever had gooseberries before. I don't even know what they look like.

There is definitely a fruity accent to this beer, but not the sweet, cloying taste that usually makes it hard to even finish a beer normally described as fruity. Pat at Alpine is a master of developing recipes that are balanced and "clean," leaving no lingering malty syrupy flavor on the back of the tongue after swallowing.

Nelson is clean, slightly fruity, though the nose doesn't give away much hint of the flavor to come. The aroma/bitter balance is perfect, and for a near-stong ale it is incredibly drinkable; there is no flavor fatigue at all.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2009 13:39:34 | More by jbmorch
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5/9/09
Pint had at O'Brien's. Flavor was amazing and it was what I thought was missing in the growlers I purchased back in December. Grapefruit was bursting out of this beer like crazy. Light Grape-like flavor as described for the Nelson Sauvin hop was there as well. Just an amazingly tasty beer, which had been lacking for one reason or another in my growlers from the batch in December.
___

Growler filled 2 days ago.

A- Very light, gold, almost yellowish. Head builds up doesn't stick around that long. Just love the very light color of this. You could easily think this is a pils.

S- Big grapefruit. Also some of that juicy catty type flavor like you get in Gumballhead. The Pacific Brew News guys nailed that one... it is very much like Amarillo hops.

T- Hard to say what hop flavor I'm getting... maybe a tad fruity, a bit green. Hops taste really fresh. Nice bitterness the whole way and finishes pretty clean with only a small, soft lingering bitterness. I wish I could detect where the rye comes in here, probably cause the of lack of rye in my diet.

M- This serving is actually quite creamy- for an IPA, as light as the body is it must be the 7% alcohol slicking it up a little.

D- Really good. Doesn't leave a harsh bitterness like so many beers, which I do love, but this is very nice having a fairly clean hoppy finish.
4.5/4/4/4/4 = 4.1

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2008 20:28:49 | More by MiScusi
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,694 ratings.