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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

2,004 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,004
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,175
Gots: 161 | FT: 11
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: 2,004 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciate the understated bitterness of this IPA and it was reminicent of the Mikkeller, anlthough yes I did not do a vertical at this time. Pleasant appearance and aroma, like a white wine and fruity. I believe I enjoyed this attribute more so in the Mikkeller. I liked the rye edge. Very drinkable.Bomber courtesy of AugustGarage.
Had it a second time and just as amazing.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 03:32:56 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 03:39:43 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -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 BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Par is whatever I say it is. I've got one hole that's a par 23 and yesterday I damn near birdied the sucker."

--Willie Nelson

Sun-splashed tangerine with bumblebee yellow trim. The pour produced two fingers of cue ball colored foam that has all sorts of interesting topography. The head is firm and bubbly and rocky and pitting and sticky. In addition, thick sheets and creamy chunks of lace are beginning to decorate the glass in wonderful fashion.

The nose is a big blast of Nelson Sauvin hoppiness that any lupulin lover should... well... love. NS smells citrusy and grassy-musky and Chardonnay grape-like. Sort of a cross between Columbus and Saaz... plus white grapes. Love it.

Love the flavor too. This is a fresh bomber and the hops are amazingly green and bright. In fact, this offering tastes like a recently bottled wet hop IPA. Nelson Sauvin is not as delicious as Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe and Amarillo, but it's distinctive and different and is doing a great job carrying this brew all by its lonesome.

The contributon from spicy rye malt isn't so prominent that it steals the hops' thunder and lightning. It succeeds in adding yet another dimension that any lover of rye-malted IPAs should... well... wait, I used that one already. Anyway, it's an amazing combination of flavors that I recommend highly.

The body/mouthfeel is merely good, something that was also true of Duet. A little more full creaminess would have put it right up there with the rest of the scores. This sucker is built for speed, though, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Alpine brews some hella good American IPAs. Duet was stunning and Nelson is as well. This is one of those times when I fantasize about living in Southern California and having access to beer like this on a daily basis.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 14:34:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a green tea tinged amber with modest head; some lace

Smell: Clear out the nostrils with these hops (pithy, grassy, pungent kaffir lime, basil); just lovin' the Nelson Sauvin

Taste: Opens crisp and clean with a quick dive in the hoppy direction; all of the complexities of the Nelson Sauvin (grapefruit, pineapple, vinous Sauvignon Blanc, basil, kaffir lime, tropical fruit) jump into the fray, along with the spicy rye elements as well; after the swallow, the beer finishes clean, fruity and bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: I have been looking forward to trying this one for a while - just a supurb beer

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 00:48:00 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

his is honestly one of the best I have come across hands down. I knew it would be good, but wow, blown away would be the appropriate term. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this growler was consumed on 05/06/2009.



The pour was phenomenal. Rich light amber in color with an amazing clarity to it. A huge towering head of white on the top that just would not fade at all, really amazing looking with tons of lace and foam just dripping down the sides of the glass. Intense to say the least as the tons of carbonation just rippled up through the glass. Rich, pungent, grapefruit aroma just screams off of this one. So big it could fill the room. Soo fresh, this thing rivals any of the IPA's I have ever had in terms of shear citrus smell. Light notes of pineapple as well, but even as it warmed it maintained the same rich and bright citrus notes throughout. Really just pushing right into the first sip, I honestly can say this had to be the most drinkable thing I have come across in months. It went down like water. Super clean taste with bright grapefruit and pineapple, hints of a subtle and sweet orange note as well. Incredible. I went through a glass without even knowing what was going on, it was just that good. Smooth, subtle and lightly dry in the finish, this was truly heaven on earth for me.



Overall one of the best I have had period, end of story. Go get this one.

Serving type: growler

05-07-2009 23:53:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-15-2011 17:05:25 | More by nmann08
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deliciously rounded and profoundly unique with malt flavors of caramel and butterscotch balanced with citrus and winy notes- Nelson delivers the familiar wash of IPA flavors, but with a unique twist here and there to create intrigue and identity.

Pouring a firm orange camel color, the beer carries the standard hoppy hazy that allows only a mild glow to penetrate. Very well headed with a creamy egg shell white foam cap, the beer's froth retains remarkably and laces the glass with left over traces of foam. It's a sturdy looking beer.

Rich and zesty aromas seem to alternate from malty caramel in one whiff, but orange marmalade the next. Notes of herbs, grapes, citrus, and tropical fruits continue to emphasize the fruity-hop dominance of the ale.

Flavors are full of caramel, butterscotch, honey, and crisp grain as the barley makes a moderate impact on flavor. But what makes it's mark is the hops. Starting citrusy with the taste of grapefruit, freshly zested oranges, and a light mango flavor; the beer also weaves in the slightly woody flavors of white wine, juniper-gin, and sassafras for a truly unique counterpart to the ordinary citrusy-resiny hops. But the resin quality comes into play in finish with a decidedly bitter finish of drying hops, alcohol warmth, and light mint.

Medium bodied, the beer's early creaminess is quickly sheds, in favor of fleeting caramel malts, high hop bitterness, mild grassy astringency, and sappy closure. Only a linger of grapefruit bitterness reminds me of how dry the beer is and encourages a quick visit to the glass, much sooner than it should.

Although the beer has a lot of classic and intelligent characteristics that set it apart, the mild buttery taste gives the hoppy ale a rounded and rich taste while the winy hops give extra acidity with a somewhat twiggy taste. Likely considered flaws to some, the moderate tones of these properties give the beer more intrigue and seduction than they do deterrents.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 06:24:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up at Walnut Liquorette yesterday, although the price tag was a bit of a turn-off, I've been wanting to try this one for awhile.

A: Nelson pours a clear, light golden color with a very thin layer of white foam and great lacing.

S: These Alpine IPAs (Nelson and Duet) have an amazingly sweet, fruity hop character that I rarely see in IPAs. Tons of tropical and citrus fruits and not much in the way of malt, but a hint of spice from the rye.

T: The initial flavor is piney and bitter, with a ton of grapefruit. The back-end of the sip features a bit of malt, rye, and that great tropical fruit on the finish.

M: There is low carbonation, and a medium body.

D: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. The excellent fruity hops make this so delicious and leave you wanting more. But at 7.1%, you need to watch out, as a bomber of this can do some damage.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 20:50:57 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -10.5%

01-15-2012 13:57:15 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-28-2012 14:54:34 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: I must admit, I enjoyed the aroma far more than I have enjoyed anything else that is, or has ever been, placed in front of my nose. Very aromatic aroma of juicy oranges and pinapples, freshly cut grass, and what reminds me of either minced garlic or shallots.

Taste: Light, fleeting malt flavor and sweetness upfront before a bright burst of juicy hop flavors, zesty orange rind and pineapple rings. Full notes of white grapes and garlic (or is it shallots). Hint of damp grass. All in all, there's only a very reasonable amount of bitterness. Finishes decidedly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's really great smelling stuff! I had to be restrained from pouring out the growler onto myself so I could continue to smell this beer for days and days to come.

Serving type: growler

10-21-2007 04:42:15 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -10.5%

02-18-2012 05:38:05 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

5/5  rDev +11.9%

03-28-2012 21:19:46 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-15-2011 05:42:23 | More by spycow
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -10.5%

12-08-2013 18:39:49 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.63/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An IPA with the addition of rye.

Pours a clear yellow tinted amber with a huge puffy pure white head.

Nose is fresh pineapple and a hint of lactobacillus that fades with some air. Nose gets nicely perfumy and floral.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely balanced.

Flavor profile is bitter burnt rye toast and bitter coffee with an undertone of lacto. Flavors are actually quite complex although not for everyone.

Finish has a tart bitter character to it, along with bitter black coffee and burnt toast and is long lasting. Nice rye character through and through.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 00:34:24 | More by GRG1313
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for the generous hookup!

Into a Duvel tulip, it's a murky greyish brown, but orange in the light. A sticky halo sits inside the glass, with a broken skim after a few minutes.

Grassy, herbaceous, and citrusy in the nose. Pungent hops and a hint of rye spiciness. Flavor is similar, intense yet balanced with plenty of malt and rye flavors lending sturdiness under all the hop greenery. A somewhat sweet cereal grain that reminds me of a local hop bomb, Daisy Cutter. Hop bitterness is firm and moderate, carrying long into the dry finish. Body is on the light side of medium with ample carbonation. Easy to drink, Nelson is another West Coast stunner from Alpine...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 22:44:25 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

08-31-2012 21:39:46 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A vigorous pour from the growler produces two fingers of head that clings to the glass impressively. Hazy, bright and golden, this could be mistaken for a hefeweizen.

Smell: Huge juicy tropical fruit and white grape with a kick of spicy, earthy rye. Nelson hops have a very perfumy, fruity, floral character that helps set this beer apart from Alpine's other heavily-hopped pales; combine that with a twang of rye and you've got a beer that's unlike anything else out there.

Taste & mouthfeel: Spicy, earthy and zesty, like rye bread with orange marmalade. Floral, fruity hops blends beautifully with the rye. Malty sweetness is minimal, but this is loaded with flavor. Finishes dry and earthy with mild bitterness. It's hard to break new ground with IPAs these days with it being such a saturated style, but Alpine has managed just that.

Overall: World class, probably my all-time favorite IPA.

Serving type: growler

03-13-2009 16:50:03 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

5/5  rDev +11.9%

03-29-2012 15:06:50 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

05-04-2012 21:49:52 | More by nickfl
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dave (d0b) for sharing this, and to JesseTheHutt for sending these growlers all the way to Chicago! Served in a pint glass.

A - Two fingers of off-white foam with solid retention and great rings of lacing. Hazed light golden orange color. I'd expect something a little darker from a 7% rye IPA, but otherwise it's pretty good looking stuff.

S - Dank, hoppy, with some tropical notes (but no citrus), and hint of cat pee. I'm glad they just fixed the listing, because this is not an APA. There is a decent amount of toffee malt presence and a very understated hint of rye.

T - More bready malt than toffee, with a rye flavor that slowly builds as the brew warms up. The hop notes are a little less complex with some nice floral and tropical flavors - however the added complexity from the rye balances this out. The aftertaste is pretty clean, with only mild bitterness.

M - This is my main sticking point with some of these Alpine brews - they're very thin. If this had really been an APA I wouldn't have minded so much (although, then the flavor would have been totally out of place), but for a 7% IPA to be a little watery is a little disappointing. Otherwise it's very smooth, soft, and refreshing, with mild carbonation and a fairly clean finish that has only a touch of residual hop resins.

D - The rye flavor builds up bit over a couple of pints, but otherwise this is nearly as drinkable as the incredible Duet. The light carbonation, terrific flavor, and lack of overwhelming bitterness makes this eminently session-worthy.

Alpine is slowly wresting away the IPA title from the other west coast breweries - it'll be interesting to see how Russian River, Ballast Point, and Alesmith respond.

Serving type: growler

05-03-2009 14:23:11 | More by MasterSki
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Errantnight for this one, cheers Derek!

Pours honey colored with 3 fingers of rocky ivory head. Sheets of lacing hug the glass & impressive head retention too

S: Pineyness, grapefruit & herbal hops

T: Piney & woody hops up front, then grapefruit a touch of biscuitty malt & some dryness. Juicy hops, grapefruit, apricot, & herbal hops all combine nicely as this warms, a long with a faint toffee sweetness/dryness, Finishes dry, spicy & citrussy, much lemons & grapefruit

MF: Creamy, semi-chewy & a touch juicy, superior balance

Great drinkability,, could stay on this all night, or until the well hidden ABV got me... Best beer by these guys I've had... Much to love here!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 01:49:42 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold, topped with a finger of bright-white foamy head. The retention has a nice creamy look to it (and great flare-up as well) leaving behind thick rings of sticky froth. The aroma is floral and spicy, with a ton of bitter grapefruit. This is quickly followed by some white-grape character and doughy grains. Just a great bouquet here.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit juice, citrus rind, and a deep dry spiciness. Once again, I'm also getting some softer bright-tasting fruit flavors, like peaches or grapes, which I'm assuming are coming from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Toasted bready sweetness creeps along the back, with this finishing with even more dryness and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big (yet still easy and mellow) creaminess that fills the mouth. Very silky feel here, that just seems to glide down the throat with no sign of alcohol in sight.

Lovers of grapefruit, spice, or just the Nelson hop in particular are going to really dig this. Personally, I felt that it naturally lacked some of the sizzle that this had fresh on draft in San Diego and had a strange "off" taste to it that I couldn't quite pinpoint. This is still damn tasty stuff though and is well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 17:13:39 | More by Kegatron
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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,004 ratings.