Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

651 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 651
Hads: 3,195
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 405 | 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
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 651 | Hads: 3,195
Photo of MHurley
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is by far one of the best IPAs ive ever had. Pours a beautiful thick and creamy yellow into a sniffer with 1/2 in of white cloudy head. The lacing is soild and stays around. The smell of Pine and citrus fills the nose as if i stepped outta a cabin in the woods. This beer puts me in a whole other world when i drink it. And the taste... hoppy, citra, earthy and woodie. Overall amazing taste! This beer has you feeling as if your in the cabins walking out to take on the day, with the smell of pines everywhere and last nights camp fire still on your closes. This is one i will definitely be picking up again when i make it down to Alpine Beer co again.

 658 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yellow straw in color. Massively hazy with a fingernail of eggshell around the rim. The aroma is tropical fruit with notes of mango and passion fruit. I love the taste in that the earthy rye blends seamlessly with the tropical hops. The mouth is slightly sticky, chewy, and crisp.

 284 characters

Photo of VikingBeer
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Beer Trappe. 12 oz., served in a tulip. Gorgeous golden, hazy tellow, like some tropical fruit juice. Smell is laden with surprisingly defined hop flavors of passion fruit, mango, lemon, grapefruit, and kumwuats, plus notes of grass and herbs on the back. Taste is very assertively hoppy: almost astringent kumquat- and grapefruit-rind up front, followed by lemon, passionfruit, mango, pine, tarragon, grass, all underpinned by a lightly-spicy, slightly sweet flavor from the golden-rye malt. Finish is dry, heavy on citrus-rind and mango. Mouthful is a bit light, perhaps the only criticism I have of this beer, but overall it's still a fantastic brew.

 667 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A kind and generous coworker brought this back from their beercation in San Diego

A - A standard pour yields two plus fingers worth of active light khaki colored froth with a rich and creamy whipped top which is comprised of big and bigger chunky bubbles... Rock star retention... Once the head finally fades away there is an uneven splotchy lacing and moderate collar... A few stray carbonation bubbles streak rapidly throughout... Some carbonation bubbles just cling to the sides of the glass... The color is a muted copper... There is a slight haziness throughout... A wee bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The nose can be detected without bring one's nose anywhere remotely near the glass... An intoxicating blend of hoppy goodness... First a sweet citrus and tropical fruit... This ebb and flows with a dank piney hop presence... The two fight for supremacy before the sweet tropical fruit notes prove dominate... Sweet orange... Pineapple... Grapefruit... Mango... The end result is a unique and world class aroma... Some light malt undertones of bread crust and caramel...

T - Starts with sweet citrus... Next comes the dank piney notes... There is a robust earthiness throughout the palate... A sturdy biscuity malt base emerges next with some faint toffee and caramel notes mixed in... The grapefruit reemerges on the finish and lingers in a very pleasant way...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lightly carbonated... Starts with a touch of lushness, but proves to be mostly dry throughout... A bit chalky on the finish...

D - A world class American IPA... The aroma is rock star and all other facets far exceed better than average and flirt with best on class... I've long wanted to try this brew and I wasn't dissappointed... I only wish it was available in my area on a consistent basis...

 1,871 characters

Photo of Alequine
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw color with a puffy head which settles into the beer. Light hoppy flavor with citrus. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel with a citrusy and light bitter finish.

 169 characters

Photo of LisaMessy
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A — Pours a coppery orange hue into the glass. Very nicely pours with a puffy khaki colored head. Though it doesn't stick around long, the head settles and leaves some nice lacing behind it and is quite consistent.

S — Smells of lots of fresh hops and is quite bitter, lots of piney, citrusy aromas, lots of character.

T — Nice layers of flavors, quite bright, lots of piney character, some bright bitter citrus, and is overall bitter and resinous without being overly sweet or sticky and cloying.

M — Medium bodied, long and lasting finish, bitter and dry.

O — Quite nice overall, really well done, delicious and balanced.

 638 characters

Photo of Briesch
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a 22oz bomber purchased from brewery and bottled one week prior to drinking. If you want to know what Nelson is supposed to taste like, this is the only clear cut way to do so at this point and time.

This is the only beer in which I cannot find a flaw. Beautiful hazy orange color. Smell of pineapple, citrus and passion fruit bursts out of the glass. It contains a slight smell which you can often sense emanating from the Alpine brewery. Sometimes I like to just stand in the brewery to get a whiff of this intoxicating smell. It's hard to describe but it's great.

The taste follows into the nose perfectly and this has become the best IPA I have ever drank. Tons of fruity hop character but also a slight white wine taste which I have never picked up in any other beer. A few other Alpine beers have this quality and I'm sure it would make the wine drinker happy. At times I feel like I'm drinking a fresh squeezed glass of OJ. The mouth feel on this and all Alpine beers is spot on and in my opinion is what sets these beers apart from the field. Just a touch of hop bitterness and the beer finishes in a way where you immediately want another sip.

I can't say enough about this beer. It disappoints me to often find sub-par versions of Nelson on tap and reviews by those who have not tasted the real deal. Do yourself a favor and pick up a fresh bomber of this beer to see what all the hype is about. Either that or Go To Bed!

 1,458 characters

Photo of MikeM417
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nelson Sauvin is one of my favorite hops, as you can tel by my avatar. I was looking forward to trying Alpine Nelson for quite some time. I finally got a couple of fresh bottles in a trade and I have to say, I was a bit let down. It must be that I am spoiled living here in New England, but it does not stack up to the heavy hitters over here. 5 years ago this was considered world class. Today, not so much.

 415 characters

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap and apparently a keg from Alpine, not Green Flash.

Gorgeous straw colored ale with fluffy head. Nelson Sauvin hops are interesting and it's nice to have a showcase for the hop in a world-class beer like this. Rye malt provides good balance, bu t this one is all about the hops baby. I liked this one more than Duet, which I wasn't expecting at all.

 360 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap in a tulip, the beer is a hazy, bright, golden orange color with a fluffy, clingy, off white head. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, apricot, and melon, all blending and balancing with a grassy and piney hops character. Very balanced. The flavors are tart and sweet forward, with a blend of grapefruit, melon, and passion fruit. Hops notes come in midpalate, providing notes of bitterness, subtle herbal and floral notes, and some dank, vegetal highlights. Smooth, robust bodied, with a dry edge and an aftertaste heavy on resinous hops profiles, bitter and green.The finish has a decent resinous linger, over a smooth, dry feel. Good beer.

 650 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have to say that if the stories are true about Nelson beeing not quite what it used to be since the Green Flash aquistion, I need myself a time machine to get back a year or so and try the original, because this was still pretty good. Yellowish staw color, just a tinge murky, with a finger of foam that stuck around a bit. The aroma is a nice blend of tropical and stone fruit; pear, mango, nectarine, grape, rounded out with an incredible floral quality. The taste is incredibly piney along with more of the aforementioned fruit flavors. Very rich mouthfeel for an IPA. Glad Alpine found its way out east!

 609 characters

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on draft.

Appearance: cloudy. This beer could pass for a wit or an unfiltered wheat. Nice 1-finger white head, which fades to a thin veil that last indefinitely.

Flavor: this beer if hoppy no doubt. There is an off-flavor I can't place - almost like a cross between green onions and dirt - wait, a very mild burnt rubber flavor. The hop flavor doesn't have a long lasting finish.

Aroma: a nice balance of hops and malt. Hops are dominant but the malt has its voice.

Mouthfeel: body is right where it should be. Not so heavy as to prevent you from drinking several.

Overall: I made an effort to try this beer when I saw it on tap at Freshcraft due to its BA score. I don't feel it lived up to its score. It was good but not great.

 743 characters

Photo of 57md
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark straw color with well over a finger of head. As the head dissipated, it left rings behind on the mug. The hoppiness on the nose is potent, the malt backbone is solid and the hop bitter finish rivals some of the best DIPAs. There is also a sweet citrus fruit note on the finish that complements the hop bitterness.

In short, one of the best single IPAs available.

 384 characters

Photo of Zonk
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden in color with just a bit of haze. Nice crisp floral notes to nose, maybe some grapefruit. Has a bit of spice to it, someone mentioned white pepper which I think is spot on. Mouthfee is crisp and so dry it feels almost powdery on the tounge.

 255 characters

Photo of PZBREW
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So worth doing. Very spiced a every delicious. Worth thetrip for this beer. Hope for days and so much fruity character. Not very dry. The sweetness makes it better because it isn't very bitter.

 193 characters

Photo of Pahn
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mini-review: on tap at Valhalla in NYC.

Hops stand up to the ABV. Really well constructed beer showcases the dank and fruity nature of Nelson Sauvin. Have wanted to try for a long time; not disappointed.

 206 characters

Photo of Jtbel1988
4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Amazing hop aromatic on this beer. This beer is perfect. First sip brings an onslaught of Nelson hops and fresh grape juice. The beer settles out with some mid mouth bitterness. The backend of this beer is perfect! It leaves you with the perfect bittersweet taste to make you reach for another drink. WOW!

 305 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Pale yellow, lightly hazed beer. Looks like someone threw a little Belgian white into an AAL. I like the light pale color, the white addition seems a tad odd.??head makes up for the color, though: nice, white, and foamy at the edges. Lacing comes in spotted sheets.

The nose is surprisingly weak initially. Warmth brings out some grassy notes. I also get a little lemon rind. Actually not impressed with the nose, but there's nothing wrong with it.

The taste, however (and mildly paradoxically) is quite enjoyable. Mildly hoppy opening that seems clean of malt. The initial taste I get reminds me of noble hops. More hops pile on that add a more distinctively grassy flavor. Despite the draw on the tongue this brings, it somehow seems refreshing with hints of citrus-including the lemon rind from the nose.

Finally the somewhat unexpected spice bite hits. I am going to assume this is from the rye, but it adds a little punch to the hops, making them seem fresher somehow. It's sort of like I picked a stalk of grass from a field and stuck it in my mouth like I did when I was a kid to emulate what I assumed farmers did.

Solid IPA. Not much more to say.

 1,178 characters

Photo of makeyourself
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best IPA you can find in San Diego and definitely one of the best in the west. No I'm not talking about the so-called "Nelson" which Green Flash produces and taste nothing like the OG. I'm talking about the OG hoppy citrusy masterpiece from the Alpine Beer Co.

 273 characters

Photo of chamawaiian
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best Nelson beer I've had so far. The combination of the rye gives beer an awesome slightly spicy bite. Just an explosion of nelson across the palate. My favorite beer from Alpine so far. If you like Nelson, this is a must try!!!

 231 characters

Photo of whitknee007
3.66/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I like the wine-like characteristics of this hop accompanied by flora aromas. Not the best IPA I've ever had but definitely unique in an IPA focused market.

 156 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass, approx 4 weeks old

A- pours a hazy golden color with a small creamy thick white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind

S- hoppy bouquet of tropical and citrus aromas with notes of tangerine, passionfruit & grapefruit. Some vinous white wine aroma mixes with grassy & herb notes & a hint of onion. Soft underlying caramel malt

T- bold citrusy & tropical hop flavors up front gives notes of orange marmalade, tangerine peel & mango. Spicy rye, along with some herbal and grassy notes kick in mid-palate, along with some white grape & a hint of wood. Light mint on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues all the way to the finish, thanks to the retaining head. Crisp dry finish, highly drinkable

O- One of the best IPA's Ive had that showcases the Nelson Sauvin hop brilliantly, while retaining high drinkability, superb!

 948 characters

Photo of jhavs
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle poured into a snifter tasting glass.
A= Golden, slight haze, head is white and soapy, visible carbonation rising in the beer, lacing and ring with thin head remains during entire tasting.
S= White grapes, some citrus, pine.
T= Pine, bitter, some citrus rind, bit of a white wine flavor. Melon in the aftertaste with bitter grapefruit.
M= Fairly effervescent, medium body.
O= Crisp and bitter IPA made with rye, unique Nelson hops flavors are abundant.

 466 characters

Photo of Jonada
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of a white, soapy head with good retention and lacing. Body is lightly hazy with good visible carbonation.

Smell: Orange, pineapple, nectarine, mango and lightly grassy. Overall smells super juicy.

Taste: Light malt sweetness followed by grapefruit, pineapple, orange/tangerine rind and a slight dankness in the finish. Bitterness is surprisingly mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with an almost soft mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Overall: Excellent IPA. Awesome flavor and super drinkable. Definitely worth seeking out.

 639 characters

Photo of Gregaroo
3.19/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at City Tap House Logan in Philly. Served in your basic pint glass. Very little character from the servers, which reflected on my love of this beer. I've had other Alpine's and LOVED them! Again, environment has a lot to do with perceived taste. I hope to have another somewhere else so I can edit my review.

 316 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.