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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

643 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 3,126
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,417
Gots: 393 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% 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
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Reviews: 643 | Hads: 3,126
Photo of Dynobolt
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it for the first time on draft at my buddies place (Strangers in El Centro) did indeed taste different from the Nelson 's of Alpine. Still an easy citrusy drink to have very good. Hopefully green flash can close the gap and make it a world class beer. (258 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orange body with one finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma that is both citric and grapefruit hop infused along with some spices and possible touch of citric acidity and sourness (I assume the Nelson). Medium bodied, rather a more grape/tropical fruit like sweetness but balanced with both dry hoppiness and dry, bold malts (I assume this is the rye). A really enjoyable IPA that doesn't fit the norm and has a little bit of everything. (465 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

We pop a bomber, pouring into our Great Lakes pints. It glows a buffy, wheaty shade of yellow, and holds a reasonable one and a half finger tall head of tight, soapy white foam. This retains well, descending softly into peaked sheets of lacing around our glasses. A definite haze reduces clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be sharp and active. The aroma is delicious, even when ice cold. Warmth really allows it to blossom, giving bright Nelson Sauvin earthy, citric, and nectary fruity zestiness, white wine grapey vine and sugars, daisy blossoms, earthen mineral and metallic grit of toasty rye grain, dry cornflakes, vanilla bean coolness, sweaty pale malts, sunscreen and aloe chemical bite, peach and kiwi fruitiness, sweet bubblegum esters, ethanol airs, soft but sweet plastics, leafy basil resins, lavender wax, and dehydrated strawberry and raspberry leather. As with the aroma, you really get a nice tour of the showcased ingredients: rye and Nelson Sauvin hops. Notes include bitter grapefruity oiliness and nectary fruity sweetness of said hops, lemon zest and rind, mustard seeds, jasmine extract, creamy and buttery pale maltiness, toasty rye grain grit, concrete dust and clayed minerals, raw salted popcorn kernels, white pepper spice, hollow pine wash, musty daffodil florals, and mildly fusel booze. The body is medium to a bit full and chalky for the style, but so, so soft and gluggable. Carbonation is the same, contributing nicely to a foaminess and frothy creaminess that coats the mouth. Slurp and smack are what you would expect follow such a description; they are excellent. The mouth is eventually left pulled a bit tightly of puck, but only at the extreme back of the tongue and palate. The abv is appropriate, and drinkability is phenomenal.

Overall, what makes this beer special is how well everything comes together. That’s the thing with a lot of these high-profile brews; it isn’t necessarily one thing that stands out about it, but rather it is just how incredibly well the thing stands as a whole and from a distance. The balance is amazing, with the fruitiness of the Nelsons bonding with the extended, lingering bitterness of the rye grain inclusions. Again, nothing really stands out here, except for everything all at once…if that makes sense. If we had to point out something surprising or particularly exciting about Nelson, it would have to be his feel. It is soft, full, creamy, froth, and slurpy, pulling the mouth in every conceivable direction you would want it to. What a happy experience this has been, making us desperately hope that the rumors about Alpine expanding to our local market are indeed true. (2,702 characters)

Photo of Moses_Malone
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft. Corroborating those who have complained about the kegs brewed at Green Flash not being spectacular. The nose was weak, was not overwhelmed by the taste (muted citrus IPA). This was one of the weaker showings of Nelson hops I've ever had. 3.5 - above average, not special. (285 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received this one on a trade. Just in time to try to drink on a cold snowy night. I don't know why but I felt this strong compulsion to put on Pet Sounds, by the Beach Boys. Hmmm...

Appearance: Light golden straw yellow. Hazy in color reminds me a lot of another beer I have had. Can't recall.

Aroma: Very fruity, Fruity Pebbles aroma. Reminds me a lot of several beers I have had recently, this one reminds me a lot of Pseudosue. I don't know if Nelson Sauvin hops are a dominant hop in Psue or not, but the fruity vinous notes are definitely there. This is not your typical resinous, dank, earthy hop forward IPA that you are used to from CA. I think that is a good distraction.

Taste: Very light and delicate but does have a bitterness to it you would not expect. Almost like a light grapefruit or perhaps some other fruit note in there. This beer really does remind me of a lighter version of Psue in the taste. I kind of like the taste notes but with the less dominant sweet thick mouthfeel. I like how this one is more crisp and clean.

Overall: Very well made beer I am glad I got to try this one. It reminds me a lot in taste and aroma of several others but the clean lighter mouthfeel is what kicks it off for me! (1,227 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap at Simzy’s LB poured into footed stange. Hazy golden body with a thin white head that settles to a thin ring. Lace rings. Aroma is piney, with grape skin, herbs, rye spice, citrus, and grass. Taste is initially dank and musty with moderate bitterness featuring the same flavors as the nose. Some malt and tropical fruit sweetness comes through. Rye spiciness hits on the swallow. Medium body, thin texture, moderate carbonation, and a dry bitter finish. (462 characters)

Photo of hikanteki
2.46/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours fine, with a clear dull-yellow color, smells fine, with subtle citrus and grass notes. But where’s the taste? I’ve had this a couple different times to make sure that I wasn’t getting a bad batch...and it’s been the same. It’s very bland, and despite that, is somehow difficult and rough to drink with an uneven mouthfeel. The rye in this beer is not its friend.

One of the very few times BA has led me astray. (427 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look- Bright, clear copper color, pours two fingers of sticky white head that retains very well.
Smell-lots of oranges, a floral, spicy quality from the rye that's very reminiscent of pink peppercorns.
Taste-orange juice&zest upfront, green and pink peppercorns, biscuity malt backing it all up. Beautiful
Feel-light yet creamy. Well carbonated. Not overly wet.
Overall-unique, well balanced, delicous. Not all IPA's stand out, this one does. Superb (450 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My favorite TG IPA is Zeelander, and was really looking forward to this. Nose was awesome, but taste and finish were an abrupt Malty/Rye insult, and not as I had hoped. Still a decent beer. (191 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared today Isaac, thanks dude.

Pours a golden light amber, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing. It's hard to discern lacing in a plastic cup, but whatever.

Smells real delicious, I get some grapefruit, grape, orange, rye, a bit of honey, and a moderate level of bitterness. As per the usual for Nelson hops, the hop flavor is slightly reminiscent of white wine. I wish I had more and more of this.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp, and slightly spicy mouthfeel, with a medium level of carbonation.

This beer deserves the hype it gets- it's really tasty. (590 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ah, Nelson, you fickle temptress, at times a very good beer, at times a stellar beer. When on, the tropical Nelson notes marry with the rye and a surprising lightness of body to create something truly special. (209 characters)

Photo of mschantz
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Craft and Commerce in SD. Pours a bright, yet hazy, straw color with 1/2 inch of fine bubbled head that stood up well into the beer. Nose is dominated by slightly tart citrus notes and pine with biscuity malt backing. The taste is more malt than the nose would lead one to believe but the balance was beautiful as the tart citrus flavor was wonderful. Creamy mouth feel. Love this beer - the hype is well deserved. (436 characters)

Photo of TheFunkyBuddhaAdvocate
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Epic west coast ipa that I had the pleasure of enjoying 8 days fresh out of a bomber.
Amazing Pine notes and amazingly drinkable although I prefer generally more bitter ipas this is Amazing (190 characters)

Photo of Drsven
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing! Depending upon your location this is probably more difficult to get your hands on than Pliny or Heady. Drank fresh at Alpine on draft and brought back a couple of bottles. Don't be fooled by the cloudy pour or hoppy smell, this is one easy to drink beer! (278 characters)

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours slightly cloudy, pale orange/yellow (tangerine) with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly leaving bubbly white lacing.
S: Some citrus/grapefruit with bright tangy/floral hop notes and big elements of white grapes. Slightly musty, some resin, tang.
T: Lots of white grape, some must, florals and subtle citrus notes, vinous tannin and tree fruits - nectarine/tangelo. Definitively hopped without any lingering bitterness or vegetal notes. Caramel backbone with slight hints of spice/rye; medium body that finishes slightly dry but well rounded.
O: Great showcase of Nelson Sauvin hops, bright and full of flavor. (631 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Local Peasant, in Woodland Hills, CA. Poured into a smaller than usual Nonic glass.

Appearance - Bright yellowish orange color (odd for an IPA). Cloudy. Big, fine head that settles down but never entirely goes away. Good stickage. A very handsome ale.

Smell - Fresh cut grass. Citrus rind.

Taste - A hop forward beer to be sure. The initial flavor is that of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (the beer almost tastes like a Greyhound). The ale also has a very herbal taste. The hops are prominent but only slightly bitter. A touch spicy. There is just enough malt to keeps things in check. Tasty.

Mouth - Slightly slick. A little oily. Good.

Overall - This beer reminded me, a little, of Deschutes Fresh Squeezed (similar citrus hop flavor). The Deschutes beer is superior, however, because it possesses more of a toasty malt flavor to balance out the hops. Also, I assumed that this beer would have a sweet malty English taste due to the name (Lord Nelson?). The beer has neither the color nor the malt foundation of an English bitter/pale ale. For these reasons, this is a good beer but not a great beer. (1,125 characters)

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an odd looking beer. Not sure if this is typical, but the beer appears to have a slight green hue. Fortunately it smells great, lots of citrus. Taste is a notch below the smell, but still a high quality IPA, wasn't wowed by it based on Alpine hype. Would happily drink this again, but don't plan to seek it out. (320 characters)

Photo of KATCanada
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap in the brew pub and multiple bottle.
Pours a great hazy orange even my non drinking wife was blown away. Just a great looking beer. Like all Alpine beer I've ever had the nose is beautiful and fruity. Beautiful balance, long smooth finish. I love Nelson hops and this is my favorite example. A top 5 beer of all time for me for sure. (340 characters)

Photo of Rocknrao
4/5  rDev -8.5%

The color is a lurid orange, and it pours a bit on the cloudy side. The foamy pour settles down into a pretty light head quickly. The lacing it leaves behind its minimal.

The hop character is bursting out of this beer though it tastes a bit unbalanced to me.

I like this better than dogfishhead 90 minute ipa, although it's probably not a great direct comparison.

Don't like Nelson as much as Hoppy Birthday, but it's still good.

Maybe it's the rye, or maybe it's the higher abv, but there's a harshness to this that HB doesn't have, in my opinion.

Had it on draught at toronado in SF on an empty stomach. (610 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 22oz bottle: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a creamy white head. Tons of thick lacing coats the glass. I've had Nelson that looks as cloudy as orange juice and as clear as a macro lager. This one is quite hazy, but not quite as much as I've seen. Smell is truly unique. Grape, grass, weed, and some tropical fruit and citrus. Taste is just bursting with tropical fruit, grapefruit, earthiness, grass, weed, and grape. Very very little bitterness. Just a touch of spiciness from the rye. This beer is all about the hop aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is awesome. Like no other IPA. The rye lends so much smoothness to the body. It's like silk. I've even described this beer as Nelson Sauvin milk before. It's that smooth and creamy. Overall, in a class of its own. There are very very few IPAs like this. Only something like Noble Nelson Showers compares (which I thought was even better). If you can get a bottle, go for it. If you've never had it and it's on tap (Green Flash brewed), try it out too, but it's much better out of the bottle. (1,054 characters)

Photo of amsguitarist
5/5  rDev +14.4%

This is the best IPA I've ever had. Smooth, complex and refreshing. Reminds me of drinking a refreshing frothy glass of orange juice with all the complexities of an IPA. Yes. It is that good. (191 characters)

Photo of SierraJosh
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks David. I may move to SD for the sole purpose of drinking bombers of this beer on the regular.

Hazing yellow, odd for an IPA. Tropical/grapefruit, white wine, herbal & floral on the nose. Beautiful aroma. Massive tropical fruit and white wine on the taste, the spice of the rye pulls the finish dry and leaves you wanting another sip. Soft carbonation and minimal lacing on the glass. Remarkable beer, unique and simply the best. Nelson transcends the IPA style. (472 characters)

Photo of BergBeer
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Look: Crystal clear straw gold with a thick white head. Good lacing and lots of legs.

Smell: Pungent citrus and rye spicy notes make this one amazing smelling beer. Getting white grapes, white pepper, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, a hint of farmhouse or straw funk, kiwi, all rounded out by a rye pepperyness. I wish they made air fresheners of this beer!

Taste: White grape and delicate white wine notes on the attack give way to tangerine, orange blossom, grapefruit hints, a hint of sweet malt, and rye comes out big on the finish to balance out the white wine notes. This beer really let's the nelson hops shine through and the rye plays a beautiful balancing game. The rye really brings the nelson hops to the for front without masking them as all. Nelson hops are too damn tasty!

Mouthfeel: Wet on the tongue while the rye adds a bit of bite and buzzes the tongue even furthering the nelson hops to the forefron.! Goes down wet and covers the mouth and throat. No hint of booze.

Overall: Outstanding brew. Too many times breweries don't let nelson hops roam on their own but alpine boldly goes where most are afraid and came back with one shining example how to make a nelson IPA ! Alpine is the pinnacle of IPAs in SD right now and this one delivers in spades! If your love nelson hops or want to try them out the right way get this beer (1,354 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle poured into snifter.

A- golden orange, small white half finger of head, a little little lacing, medium carbonation

S- Circus of citrus fruits. Orange, grapefruit, and a cider-like smell were up front. Definitely a little funk present that gives it a scent like a wine. Some grasses in the back.

T- Very juicy and dank. Fruity hop character from the Nelson and a touch of pine give way to sweet potato, rye, and an almost sour white wine character. Little spice in there too. Great depth of flavor for a single hop beer.

M- Medium bodied and wholesome, being a rye IPA. Decent amount of carbonation. Smooth drinker.

O- Outstanding beer. One of my favorite single hopped beers. Dig the dankness that mixes with a sweet and tangy smooth finish. Nelson should be a must on any beer advocates wish list. I just wish it was easier to obtain. (863 characters)

Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So often these over hyped beers end up being a let down...not this one. This may very well be the best single IPA I've ever had. Nelson is at the forefront of this brew. It is incredibly smooth and balanced. Very easy drinking with its light body. Smell is fantastic. Color is a nice golden hue. Fantastic beer. (311 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.