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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

717 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 717
Hads: 3,484
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 1,389
Gots: 494 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OStrungT on 08-11-2006

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 717 | Hads: 3,484
Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky yellowish orange. Lots of white frothy head. Smells incredibly hoppy. Tons of grapefruit and a touch of pine on the nose. Smells great! Tastes great. Bitter hops and grapefruit on the tongue as well. The malts are very subtle in the background. Nicely carbonated. Overall a very tasty beer. Probably my favorite alpine beer!

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Photo of fox227
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy golden color with a small head and nice lacing.

S: Lots of goodness going on here. Lemon and stone fruit are present. I smelled the rye before I even poured this into my glass. You know that you're in for something good when you can get the aroma before you even pour!

T: A very complex IPA. The taste follows the nose very much as I get lemon, peach, rye, a bit of yeast, and the nelson hops come in at the end and lends a bitter balance.

M: Good carbonation, but not too much. The hops linger on the tongue, but not for long. This beer goes down very easy.

Overall I must say that beers wins out massively in every category that matters to me. Nelson is not a hop-bomb IPA, but a delicately complex and deliciously balanced one. Seek this one out.

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Photo of aval89
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beverages4Less in Santee, CA.

A: pours a beautiful golden color with a clear body.. 2 fingers of white head with lots of tiny bubbles.. lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom..

S: lemony-pine freshness!! Pretty danky smell! Also getting a doughy bread smell with a mild funk.. touch of peach is also in there..

T: doughy breadiness upfront with that mild funk again.. lemony pines come through with some citrus & overall fruitiness.. spice does come through on the finish with a mild hop bitterness.. the rye does linger a bit on the palate.

Mf: its actually quite creamy & soft. Pairs excellent with the medium body..

O: I love this brew. Drinks very good & is a great change of pace for west coast IPAs.

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Photo of phingdong
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebowski for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden hue with a nice sticky white 2 finger head. Leaves nice sticky lacing as it recedes.

Familiar tropical hop aroma with some pine and some funk in there as well. Smell of rye also comes through.

Nice thick and creamy mouthfeel that coats the entire palate. Taste mirrors the smell. Nice tropical hoppy fruit with a dank funk coming through nicely in the background. Very tasty beer. Maybe just a touch muted in aroma/taste compared to the best in this class.

My first beer from Alpine. I look forward to trying the rest of their lineup.

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: It pours a beautiful golden color with pretty good clarity for such a hop monster. Rocky two finger white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some spotted lacing behind.

S: Big time aroma from all of the hops, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and funky pine. The malt is very light with a hint of toast and spicy rye.

T: This one is super fresh, the citrus and tropical hop flavors dominate the palate with some funky pine cones on the backside. The malt is very light and understated, a hint of the rye. This is a perfect vehicle for a the lupulin fireworks. Nice dry, slightly salty finish.

M: Medium bodied and lush carbonation.

O: This is up there as one of the best IPA's I have had to date. An excellent example of the American style with a slight twist, seek this one out.

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Photo of cetherid
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip


beer is a pale straw color that is fairly clear. A HUGE amount of thick foamy head that dissipates slowly, leaving some killer lacing on the glass.


An awesome hop aroma is coming out of the glass (even just out of the bottle). Aromas of citrus fruit, dank weed, and cat pee are present (and amazingly those 3 things smell great together!)


Similar to nose, lots of fresh hops and great bitterness. Mainly citrus rinds and earthy/piney flavors. Almost a slightly sweet, slightly toasted malt taste (has to be the rye) as well that mellows out the bitterness. Such as solid tasting IPA.


Almost medium bodied with great carbonation. Pretty dry finish..bitter and dry..normally I like a little sweeter, smoother IPA but this one is stellar. California knows how to make great IPAs.


This and Sculpin might be my favorite IPAs. Awesome aroma and flavor. Very fresh/pungent, hops. just like an IPA should be. I'll need to try another Sculpin here very soon as my palate have definitely changed since getting into beer hardcore recently. Unfortunately this is a west coast beer but luckily I have connections to grab it.

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Photo of deapokid
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 3/14. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy golden color with a full finger of creamy white head. Carbonation is lively and the lacing is dense and sticky. This one was getting me excited from first glance.

The aroma of pineapple and orange is quite heavy. The rye malt acts as a backbone, which makes for a fresh, floral scent with just a dash of black pepper.

Taste is fruity and refreshing up front with a hint of rye saltiness and dry malt on the back end. There's a really nice differentiation between flavors and the hop bite is not strikingly aggressive, which makes for a balanced and unique IPA.

The mouth is like an exhibition of two distinct flavor types (sweet and savory) while the liquid itself is creamy and dry. It manages to be complex and easy to drink at the same time.

It's certainly serendipitous that I drank this the day after I had Oskar Blues GUBNA. This IPA is exactly what that beer isn't. It's a successful display of how well a strong malt and bitter hop pair with the sweet pucker of citrus fruit.

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Photo of dmsohyea
2.36/5  rDev -46.2%
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.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from my buddy MrTopher... thanks for sharing!

Poured from a bomber into a festival tasting flute.

A: Pale cloudy honey color with a nice finger of thick white foam.

N: Hoppy, floral, tropical fruit notes with a musty bready note.

T/M: Thick, almost "chewy" body. Spicy (like rye bread). Hops really compliment the rye flavor. It has a light taste but it is very rich...almost contradictory.

This is a great beer. If I could find this beer more locally, it would be a regular for me!

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Photo of jsanford
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/21/11, no bottle date. Tulip glass.

A- Light very pale tangerine, almost yellow beer poured with about 2" of fine bubbled head. Eventually the head settled to a thin pad that stayed around until the end providing a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Strong tropical fruit and definitely some white winey grape notes like the bottle suggests. A lighter hint of grapefruit citrus in the background. After it warmed up a I noticed a burnt plastic smell that I eventually realized was probably the rye.

T- Tropical fruit notes again upfront followed by that nice hop bitterness. A touch of the malt backbone is present as well. Kind of watery, but has a nice finish. The burnt plastic/rye note showed up faintly here as well when it warmed up a bit.

M- Light body, lightly carbonated. Sort of watery again.

O- The first time I noticed the funky plastic smell and taste it was so faint I wasn't even put off enough to stop drinking. After a few more sips I did realize it was rye, but I still couldn't shake the association. Even so this was a really nice IPA even if it was a tad light in body.

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Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a wonderful burnt orange color with frothy 2 finger head. Great Lacing

S- Citrus noes hit you right away folloed by a orange peel and some white grapes, Also catch alittle hop scent

T-Citrus and honey hit your tastebuds right away. With a nice balanced hop flavor in the middle and then finish's with a lovely grassy zesty taste

M-Medium body with Great carbonation.Has a thick but crisp feel in your mouth

D-Overall this is a great ipa. I have found alot of ipas to just be hoppy and not have much flavor or other things going on in them But this one has a well balanced citrus and honey flavor. Thats not too sweet or citrusy that its almost not an IPA but gives just enough to the hops to make this beer memorable. Will get this again.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium tulip. 

A: The beer's color is situated between straw and pale gold. A constant stream of bubbles feeds a fluffy white head. Good lacing and great clarity. 

S: Pungent hops present themselves as cat pee, eucalyptus, white grape and gooseberries. Maybe yellow grapefruit peel and grape skins.   Smell challenges my "expertise" and vocabulary. 

T: Taste mirrors smell very nicely. Pale malt bill is not hardy enough to offer much resistance to hop onslaught. Perfect level of bitterness. Resin shows up in taste. Finishes long and green. 

M: Heftier than your typical 7 abv beer. Above-medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation. Extreme hops add a gritty quality to mouthfeel and seemingly cling and rip at tooth enamel. Dry/astringent. 

D: Alpine crafted this beer to be the perfect vessel for the Nelson Sauvin hop, not necessarily the perfect IPA. An intriguing hop makes for an intriguing beer, and I really enjoyed thinking my way through this bomber.

Thanks to hurfer for the assist!

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow what a great beer, pours two fingers of head and almost comes out with a mercury metallic hue when pouring, settles to a caramel orange in the glass. Nose is just full of citrus and tropical fruits and white wine with a touch of piney hops. Taste is a complex blend of candied citrus rind, bitter papaya, orange mango juice and some dark rye bread with a touch of sauv blanc notes at the end with the requisite ipa finish. Sculpin might have been dethroned in my book gorgeous beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light orange color with a nice 2 inch stark white head that fades to a small cap. The head is very cloudy and puffy on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace around the glass on the drink down. Smells of citrus zest hops, pine tree, and some spiciness from the rye. Tastes of spicy rye, malt, and citrus zest/pine hops, but overall the beer has a muted taste in my opinion. Beer is slightly carbonated and seems a bit flat. Smooth but creamy in the mouth. I would have liked to have more carbonation for the style. Overall, this is a good beer from Alpine but I prefer a few of their other beers over this.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to Sixofsigmas for sending me this one as an extra in a trade a long time back. I just found it sitting in the back of the fridge! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a hazy golden yellow-orange with a massively fluffy four finger off-white head that subside to one finger stupidly slow. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, orange, citrus hop, and pot. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, pine resin, citrus, orange zest, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew completely wowed me. There is really a lot going right for this one overall. One thing to note is the head on this one. HOLY CRAP! It basically formed a pillow over the beer and was borderline solid. You could actually take a bite of it and chew it. It remained this way throughout the entire glass which was awesome. If you noticed that I mentioned getting pot in the aroma, well usually this is out of place, but it seemed to work great with the other aromas going on in this one. The flavor itself was very complex and extremely well balanced. Very nice feel on the palate as well. I would honestly have to say that this might be the best American IPA I have yet to have. Really nice job on this one Alpine!

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for the trade on this one. I had a sample of this brew for the first time on Saturday care of Deuane and figured I better pop my bottle open soon to take this in and throw down a proper review.

Poured from a bomber into a shaped pint glass, this brew appears a clear light copper color with slightly more than a finger of white froth for a head. Bubbles rise through suspension supporting the uneven pillow-like cap. Very solid retention on this brews cap and a wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is a unique mixture of tangerine meets canned clementines... (I can't take credit for the canned clementine comment thats my wifes and she has to be right because she is pregnant and supposedly preggers have a higher awareness of the senses. Rrrrright...) But ok, she is on to something, this brew smells pretty much like a tangerine went on a weekend long bender with a bunch of wine giving it quite a vinous aspect. Little bit of grass, little bit of herbs, whole lot of goodness going on in this brew's nose.

The taste includes a flavor of oranges meets mango with a seemingly persistent residual sweetness that fades into lasting herbal bitterness. The balanace of sweetness verse bitterness is spot on for my taste, I really like this brew. A flavor of herbs, somewhat catty lasts inside the mouth after each sip and brings forth the first indication of the 7% abv.

The body on this ipa is pushing full, it is a little on the heavier side of medium bodied and is met with a modest amount of carbonation that keeps the bubbles lively inside the mouth and prickly on the tongue. The abv is present with a light fruited aspect but really brings in a solid amount of warmth down the back of the throat for 7%. All in all a very solid, enjoyable brew. Certainly worth checking out. Thanks again Brett for the trade!

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hair6a11 hooked it up. Huge score, really appreciate this one. Bomber poured into snifter.

Appearance: Copper/burnt orange. Frothy stubborn finger n a half head. Lacing is noteworthy. Very impressive.

Nose: Dry, citric, and sweet. Reminds me of an Jimmy Russell Old Fashion. Wet hop notes.

Taste: The rye is fantastic. It gives great support to the bitter hop.
Mouth: Chalk rye dryness. Really great. Carbonation was spot on and as the beer warmed up brought some great chew.

Drink and overall: Great beer. It really is. Can't argue there. Good hop character, complex body. Awesome.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some more of these at the Provisions shop a few weeks ago. Glad I did, still had the amazing orange appearance and 1" head. Aroma was the funkiest Nelson aroma experience I've ever come across. A unique hop to say the least.

Taste, ever so drinkable, big funky hop almost tropical citrus thing going for it. Alcohol on the lips in nonexistant. Rye doesn't come out, must be a low % of the malt bill, which they keep low, allowing the hops to shine. Tons of Nelsons here, imparting an almost white wine like fee to the beer, very light, but heavy handed with the Nelson hop. You'll be tasting this one for awhile, and should be happy about it. Almost perfectly unbalanced.

EDIT: Scored more of this, damn, this beer is so funky fresh. Excellent, maybe my favorite IPA.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

A - Pours a mostly clear dark yellow, light orange color. The color really took me by surprise because most of the rye beers i have had have all had a much darker tint. The one finger creamy white head looks great. It sticks around for a while and as i roll the beer around the glass, its leaving some great lacing behind.

S - From the moment i popped the cap, this beer took me away. The aromas are ultra crisp, clean and delicious. Tons of grapefruit and citrus. Im getting a slight hint of rye, but really the grapefruit aromas are stealing the show here.

T - Grapefruit, citrus, honey/honeydew....you get the idea. This is a wonderful tasting beer. This is one well balanced IPA. The more i drink it the more i enjoy it, and the more i get the fruity notes that the label mention.

M - Pretty standard for the style. Its fairly light in body with medium carbonation. The finish is not as dry as other IPA's i am relating it to.

O - Overall this is a great beer that i would love to enjoy on a frequent basis. This is the second beer i have tried from Alpine, and i im glad i did, cause i really didn't understand Duet. Great job Alpine.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a hazy light golden orange with some sediment floating about and a creamy white head.

S-the nose is so tropical fruity, rather awesome. notes of a musky almost garlic like rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges taking over and dominating.

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, hops take over. tons of bright tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops galore with an interesting twang from the rye.

M-slightly more syrupy than the duet with the same highly carbonated active feel to it and crisp clean finish.

D-excellent IPA, the tangerines and tropical fruit flavors are so bright and enjoyable. the bitterness is rather light and the flavors go together pretty well.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden color with not much of a head but some great lacing down the glass.

S: A lot of grapefruit here. The citrus hops smell fresh and absolutely amazing. A bit of tangerine in there as well and some bubblegum.

T: Some fresh grapefruit hop flavor upfront. Before the hops can get too bitter, the malts come in and smooth it out. The malts don't have a ton of flavor on their own, but they allow the hop flavor to ride over them without letting any bitterness over them. There's no "pop" to the hops, but this beer just works. Another great one from Alpine.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey color. Some chill haze. A fat finger of head. A quarter inch of steadfast froth hangs around for the festivities. Heaps of lace spattered about and plastered in sheets.

The nose is a lively basket of hop character. Some grapefruit and light pine as well as the predominant and much ballyhooed sweet nelson hop white wine grapey quality are noticeable. It is true to the tales of uniqueness.

The flavor is delicious. The wine like qualities show again in a bit of dry sourness, but be not mistaken this is every bit an ale and a very enjoyable one at that. A sassafrass twang and some citrus pings mingle together to create a unique flavor profile atop the light bready base. The finish is more sweet than crisp with a nice hop dryness. A pleasure.

The mouthfeel tips in at or around medium. The sweet finish is an indication that this selection is a bit heavier in body than many of the other fine west coast varieties that have danced across this palate.

Overall, this bottle did not disappoint. It is quite unique and thoroughly enjoyable. This selection is one that makes a man reconsider the thought that he has run the spectrum of india pale ales and cannot be shocked and awed by something from this style. Bravo.

Thanks, Martin for the diligence.

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Photo of snpub540
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Delicate lacing is left on the glass. Pale copper hue, slightly cloudy.

Aroma is grapefruit and citrus mostly with a nice hint of the rye in the back. Smells very clean.

Taste is a nice bitter, citrus symphony of hop deliciousness. Super smooth with a nice malt backbone and a crisp hop profile. No complaints whatsoever here on flavor.

Drinkability is great. No alcohol harshness or extreme tongue buckling bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that is enhanced by the incredibly smooth taste. An almost perfect double IPA.

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Photo of nataku00
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden yellow, with a finger of foamy bubbly, off-white head. Head leaves a thick lacing as it slides back into the glass, with many large bubbles staying at the surface of the beer. Some light carbonation is visible.

Nose is really interesting. Sweet fruitiness, but unlike any of the other fruity hops I've ever smelled before. Sweet white grapes, white peaches, then a bit of spiciness from the rye and light biscuit malts. Really nice and complex aroma.

Taking a sip, a bit of the white wine characteristics comes through, fruity but slightly astringent, earthy bitterness, some lemon peel, then a wash of spicy malts. Finishing fairly clean and crisp, with just a slight hint of lingering spiciness from the rye on the back of the tongue.

Light bodied, well carbonated with enough small bubbles to scrub your tongue clean without too much irritation. Very easy to drink beer, and a very unique flavor.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 717 ratings.