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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,697 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1697
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: 1,697 | Reviews: 536 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 5/14/13

Big cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for getting this in a trade and sharing it

Appearance: Golden orange, rather hazy, with some straw around the edges - pours with a big, bright white head - fluffy, big, creamy head - fades to a remarkably solid, creamy cap - leaves sheets of lacing

Smell: Very, very unique and very, very hoppy - remarkably fruity, bright, and sweet in a very unusual way - malty sweetness kind of reminds me of cake - the hoppiness reminds me of my head exploding or something - extreme citrus and tropical notes - bright, lively orange and tangerine - some mango, pineapple, and melon - lightly spicy and lightly earthy - some rye, but not much

Taste: Brilliantly hoppy executed in a brilliant way - loads of citrus, with orange, tangerine, and grapefruit flesh - some oil, some pith - tropical notes with pineapple, melon, and something like lime - lightly grassy with some herbal and weed notes - moderately bitter - unexpectedly balanced with the nicely pale malts - the light spiciness from the rye adds to the unique, lovely character from the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, excellent carbonation, extremely smooth and extremely drinkable

Overall: You done broke the Nelson Sauvin, son!

I've had beers brewed with New Zealand hops. They have not been stellar. This is mind-blowingly awesome. I need to try everything from Alpine. Now. Seriously. Now!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 00:38:36 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JayORear for the surprise bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Perfectly clear light gold. A slight haze after the last bit of the pour. Head is white and pillowy. Creamy and thick. Drops to a small spotty head with a slightly larger collar. Some small spots and streaks of lacing. Not what I was expecting to see, but that's because I didn't really know what this thing was.

Smell: Grapefruit. Loaded with grapefruit flesh, fresh juice, and rind. Deeply floral with a solid earthiness. Slight backing spiciness with a light, slightly sweet malt backbone. Sweet candied hops. Pine resin. Peaches. Mango. Very tropical and dank, but sweet. Cotton candy. Bright white wine as it warms.

Taste: Tropical fruit explosion. Mango and peaches. Juicy ripe fruit. Malts are light and bready. Slight hint of rye spiciness that I would miss and chalk up to hops if the bottle hadn't alerted me to it. Hops run the gamut. Earthy and herbal with a slightly damp earthiness. Lingering mild bitterness. Some oily pine as it warms. Some bubblegum/cotton candy, but it's more tropical. Nice backing spiciness as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that runs on the lighter side. Average moderate carbonation with a juicy feel up front. Finishes relatively clean, but slightly dry.

Overall: Ha ha!

A ryePA that doesn't go too far with a super awesome hop variety? Yeah, this wins and wins hard. Incredibly drinkable with a crazy amount of flavor. Never gets abrasive. Seriously, why can't I get more of this?

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 00:35:59 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of deadonhisfeet


4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. The pour is gold and straw-colored. Very pale and pilsener-like. It sports a nice 2-finger creamy white head. I get some nice notes of lemon, orange, pine, and cedar on the nose.

Crisp and light-bodied, almost like a hopped-up American Pale Wheat Ale, but somehow retains a nice, creamy feel. The flavors are very well-balanced, but hoppy enough so that you don't forget this is an American IPA. Up front I get some orange marmalade, lemon zest, and a nice cracker-like graininess. Flavors of grapefruit come in at mid-palate. Not sure if I'm getting any of the rye. If I am, then it's very subtle. Right in the back of the mouth, there's a nice pineapple and apricot-like sweetness that joins the bitterness on the finish. The finish is dry and lingering, but this is in no way a palate-wrecker. Very, very refreshing and well-balanced. Not a trace of booziness.

I got this beer in a trade (thanks ThaFATkid!) and I'm glad it was included. Those West Coasters really know how to make a good IPA. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 11:55:41 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of Keyportnick


4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear golden. Minimal head

S- peachy, grassy, guava , lemon grass

T-malty bread. Peach,earthy grass, guava.

M- medium-full body really smooth

O- delicious ipa, wish it was more widely distro'd. Hope they don't go to coldspring though...this was a quick drinking review.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 04:30:36 | More by Keyportnick
Photo of zeledonia


3.98/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted 22 March 2013, reviewed from notes. Thanks to BeerThirty for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden-orange. Not a ton of head, but partly due to a gentle pour. What head there is is white, and has good retention and lacing.

Smell is surprisingly weak in the nose. Some pulpy fruit, grapes, a little peach, and a bit of citrus. I have to really bury my nose in it to pull it in.

Taste is relatively sweet. Bitterness is toned down even from Duet, about 3/8 bitter. Has a really nice rye-like tingly spice in the middle. A slightly sugary sweetness topped with pineapple.

Feel is medium-bodied and a little sticky. Carbonation is good, medium, as it should be. There's a nice tingle that combines quite well with the spice in the taste.

An interesting beer, good but not great. The taste is the definite highlight, which is rarely my experience with IPAs. Smell was a minor let-down, disappointing for a purportedly hop-forward beer. Balanced to sweet for an IPA, which I've found true for all the Alpine IPAs I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 06:13:31 | More by zeledonia
Photo of arfenhouse


4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light gold with white head. Retention is good with decent lacing.

S:Big on tangerine and pine. Good amount of spicy hop, mango, and peach. Some orange peel.

T: Tangerine, pine, and peach. Slightly sweet. Spicy hop and pine finish it off. Very small bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry.

O: Great IPA. Smells and tastes great.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 07:38:56 | More by arfenhouse
Photo of MDDMD


4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-light orange amber color with a smallish white head and a little lacing

S-tropical fruit, bread, pine, citrus, floral, slight herbal notes

T-bready malt, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, some spicy rye flavors, floral, decent bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp yet smooth

O-a great IPA with a solid range of flavors and a great aroma

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 12:04:11 | More by MDDMD
Photo of writerLJBerg


4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Hamilton23. Thanks!

A: Brackish topaz with a whisp of head. Looks very still and serene.

N: Lime, ruby grapefruit, fresh cut grass clippings. Hints of conifer. Hops overshadow any malt in a good way. There is some biscuit/cracker, and I can follow the nose to some significant mango flavors.

T: Tropical to start, as with Pure Hoppiness, but this has a two tier effect that begins with the mango, grapefruit, pineapple and transitions into the cracker/bread and piney base. There's a significant amount of bitterness to this which is made all the more prominent by the zest and spice of the rye.

M: Dry, medium mouthfeel. Really cuts through the palate.

O: A very good IPA with an incredible bitterness that's well integrated into the whole. Drink and enjoy; Alpine is doing great work

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 23:05:00 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of rudzud


4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Received this extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy light orange hue with a thin half finger head that faded to leave a thin cloud and light halo. Do wish this had a bigger head/lacing.

S - Smell is incredible. Tangerine, pineapple, lightly floral. This is an incredible nose. Really top notch and exceptional on the nose. I want this as a candle.

T - Not quite as good as the nose, but still mighty tasty. Tropical notes of that tangerine and pineapple are still there just fainter. Some spicy notes too. Someone said rye so okay, I can see that. Lightly floral too with some well rounded malts. No bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, or at least thinner than what I was expecting. Very, very light on the carbonation.

O - Overall, this is a crazy aromatic with solid taste. Would like a better head and mouthfeel though. Bad bottle perhaps, dunno, but still amped to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 01:59:59 | More by rudzud
Photo of AlexFields


4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy light golden apricot color with a big clean white head, very attractive.

Smells of big juicy tangerine/orange, spicy rye, some floral notes. Smells awesome.

Taste is similar, lots of rye spice, big juicy sweet citrus, has that unique spicy floral kick New Zealand hops seem to have. Great beer.

Super drinkable, partly because it just tastes awesome, also great carb level and great mouthfeel.

Love it!


Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 02:26:13 | More by AlexFields
Photo of mookihouse


4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light golden hazy yellow with a thin head that lasts till the last sip.

Smell is incredible.  I can't recall another IPA with such alluring floral and tropical fruit smells.

Taste of pineapple, citrus, a little fresh cut grass.  Hop is there but no lasting bitter after taste.

Had this many times both on-tap and from bottles.  Bottle in this review is about 30-days old but pretty much as good as fresh.

I prefer Nelson over Pliny most days.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 05:29:18 | More by mookihouse
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - lightly hazed golden color with a white head that thinned leaving some bits of lacing.

S - tropical fruit, citrus rind and a hint of rye malt.

T - very nice blend of fruity hops, rye spices and citrus rind bitterness.

F - light/medium bodied it goes down very easy.

O - very tasty, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 00:00:01 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of dlello2


4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle sent by ScottO. Reportedly less than a week old!

This was a fantastic beer. Perfect shimmering orange appearance with a nice couple of fingers of head. The smell erupted from the glass with tons of tropical fruit deliciousness. Mango, pineapple, citrus. Truly fantastic aroma. The taste followed the nose almost perfectly, perhaps I've found my new favorite hop. The balance was near perfect with just the right amount of lingering bitterness. Part of me wants to say that I'd have liked a bit less sweetness, but another part of me thinks this beer needs it! Overall the aroma was the winner for me with this one--will definitely seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 22:00:04 | More by dlello2
Photo of Etan


4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle sent to me by rmaste. Thanks!

A: Pours a slightly murky straw-gold color with a fine white head.

S: Nelson sauvin hops shining brightly in the nose. Dense tropical fruits (papaya, mango, overripe pineapple), lemony and a bit catty, light earthiness from the rye. Very nice.

T: Moderately sweet hop taste establishes itself first with some some pineapple and grapefruit and pine notes. Malt profile is clean and light, lending some mild breadiness, a bit of vanilla, some slightly spicy rye. Very restrained bitterness.

M: Light-bodied with active carbonation, creamy feel. Has some heft to it.

O: Fantastic rye IPA with some nice complexity from the Sauvin hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 00:31:07 | More by Etan
Photo of Hamburgers


4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle, only 5 days old. At least that's what Alpine said when I bought it. Pours a cloudy pale gold with one finger white head. Aroma is super grassy, slightly piney with notes of citrus fruit. Flavors of citrus with just a hint of spicy rye. Medium body with ample carbonation. Crisp, clean finish. A smooth IPA, not too bitter.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 07:32:00 | More by Hamburgers
Photo of CurtFromHershey


4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy copper gold. Attractive beer, but minimal head and lacing.

Smell is unlike any other beer I've had, likely the Nelson hops. Somewhat floral, a bit spicy, and something else I can't put my finger on.

Tastes follows the nose closely but slightly muted.

Mouthfeel is slick with tight carbonation.

Overall a fantastic beer I hope to get to enjoy again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 02:07:35 | More by CurtFromHershey
Photo of ALBuff


4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't floored at first look (depth of color underwhelming), but this beer had a great nose and nice silky texture. I marked it down for having a bitterness that lingered slightly too long on my tongue, but otherwise this was my favorite IPA tasted at Alpine (Nelson, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, 1910).

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 21:47:10 | More by ALBuff
Photo of brydeen


4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly murky, golden color, with a creamy thin white head. Dissipates slowly, but clings to the glass the whole way.

S: A tropical yet earthy aroma. Not a punch you in the face aroma like many of my favorite IPAs, but very pleasant. Grapefruit and mango up front, with a dank spiciness behind it.

T: A light sweetness right off the bat, but finishes with a spicy bite of the rye. Really quite smooth and subtle. Not overly bitter with hops.

M: Very light carbonation and a surprisingly creamy texture.

O: Really solidly balanced beer. The flavor and aroma are subtle but delicious. Always a favorite of mine.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 23:59:30 | More by brydeen
Photo of Drunk_And_Sarcastic


4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a long time lurker but this will be my first official review.

Serving Type: Growler purchased at the Alpine on Thursday (3 days ago).

A - Hazy straw to gold color, opaque

S - Some citrus notes with light fruits, a little bit of bready malt

T - Upfront I get some lighter fruits and a little bit of grapefruit hop flavor, in the middle I get a great amount of rye and sweat malts, and towards the end I get that pine/resinous hop bite that is crisp and clean.

M - It is a tad undercarbed (definitely a result of the growler and transportation). I would say its about medium body with a little bit of that oily/stick characteristic but still light enough to make this sessionable.

O - This is a top 5 IPA for me and one of my all-time favorites. Rye and Sauvin hops are two of my favorite ingredients and this beer uses them to create an amazing and dangerously sessionable IPA. Like all Alpine IPA's, this one is crisp and clean. I wish more breweries featured rye like this.

Serving type: growler

12-31-2012 03:57:38 | More by Drunk_And_Sarcastic
Photo of warnerry


4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine. Had right after Keane Idea.

A - Hazy orange with half a finger if head. Pretty nice lacing left behind.

S - Like Keane Idea, lots of citrus with some mango and dank hops.

T - A bit less sweet than KI, with hops really front and center. Lots of citrus and mango. Very tasty. Nice bitter finish. Very tasty.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a nice bitterness. Alcohol not apparent.

O - Not sure how to compare this with Keane Idea. I think Nelson has less noticeable alcohol, though the abv isn't all that different between the two. Can't really go wrong with either, and Nelson is a beer I would love to have available year-round.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 22:50:18 | More by warnerry
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
no born on date but picked up from the brewery approximately 1 week ago

Thanks to harink for sending this over in a trade.

A: Pours a very murky, kind of urine yellow with just under 1 fingers width of sea foam white colored head. Honestly, this is pretty ugly in the glass. It does leave tons of really cool honey comb lacing, which is its redeeming factor.

S: Aroma is very vinous, white grapes and sweet white wine - like a moscato. Accompanied by mild dank, resinous notes. A hint of rye spiciness, citrus rind, and a touch of bready malts.

T: Follows the nose in thats its full of sweet white grape notes. There is a big rye spice component, along with piney bitterness, some citrus rind and tropical fruit sweetness. Better than the nose, as flavors as a whole are stronger than the aroma. Very tasty, I really like the combination of sweet vinous and rye spiciness notes.

M/D: Smooth for the style, with an appropriate carbonation, medium bodied with a rather wet mouthfeel. Drinkability is excellent.

O: Overall, an excellent beer. Dont let the somewhat nasty look of it scare you off cause its delicious. Not one of my favorite IPAs, and not as good at Duet (which I had yesterday so my memory is fresh), but certainly unique and very good in its own right. I would drink this again in a heartbeat, and if it was local Id definitely buy it on a consistent basis, but its not something I will aggressively seek out via trade.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 15:09:58 | More by zac16125
Photo of dfillius


4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1.5 fingers of thick creamy head with tremendous retention. Hazy golden-orange is the perfect IPA color. Perfect.
S: Intense tropical fruit with some catty Sauvignon Blanc after-aroma. Sauvignon Blanc aroma is interesting but slightly less than desirable.
T: Oddly "flat", maybe old? (edit: or maybe it came from those flat batches coming out of Alpine?). No date on bottle, but store employees say there is a 2-week turnover on these guys. Bought at Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA. Earthy with some tropical fruit bitterness following and then maybe banana and cream. Kind of yeasty, funky aftertaste, and maybe some cardboard as the only negative. Different than other IPAs and good.
M: Interesting creamy, then intensely bitter for a moment. A small bit astringent.
O: Very good. I had no problem drinking 22oz. I'd buy again and order another.

Edited on 12/27/13 after trying on draft at brewery. Increased rating from 4.15

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 00:10:51 | More by dfillius
Photo of LegalBrew87


4.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Super gold and pale for an IPA...Almost neon yellow.

S: I definitely get some citrus-fruit flavors, some sauvingon fruit flavor, and the smallest bit of spicy malt. This is just in-your-face Nelson hops.

T: Taste follows the nose in the best way possible. Juicy citrus, some tropical flavors, savignon blanc, and even slightly oaky/spicy on the back end. Starts off almost candy sweet and ends with sharp, lingering bitterness.

M: Really dry and crisp. Slightly thin for an IPA.

O: A fantastic IPA that is almost like nothing else available.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 19:12:25 | More by LegalBrew87
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While Raul was sippin' hard on a Blind Pig, he became acquaintances with tha homie sittin' next to him at da bar. It wuz tight like - homeboy is in to da syrup (like Raul), and because he was so nice (and into karma n shit) he ended up giving Raul a bottle of this out of the back of his truck. (Ima get you back, dawg!)

Anyway, dis thing done blow Raul's mind! It got some hype, but unlike Halle Berry's nudie scene in dat dumb dumb movie, Nelson at least lives up to it! It wasn't like any other IPA Raul has ever had before; when I drank tha thang, I knew it was an IPA, but at the same time, holy hell was it different! The finish was all silky like; kinda like this Persian girl that Raul dated in high school.

Anyway, get dis thang. It dat good.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 05:20:37 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of tarheels86


4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Toronado SD. Poured a clear straw/light yellow with excellent sheety white lace. Aroma is unreal, beautiful NZ hops shining forth: lots of rose wine, fresh grapefruit, fresh strawberries, peach, even fresh mint leaves. Taste is earthy hops, lots of butternut squash, grapefruit rind. Would love to try this again. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

22oz bomber. Pours a clear yellow with a dense bright white head. Excellent lacing. Unreal aroma of fresh nectarines, raw mango flesh, Thai mango and sticky rice. Taste is rich, earthy mango flesh, dank Columbus hops, earthy/chewy hops. Very earthy, squashy, rich mango throughout. Un-f*cken real. So good. 9/4/8/4/15=4.0

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 17:53:08 | More by tarheels86
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,697 ratings.