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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

1,942 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,942
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 1,155
Gots: 155 | 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: 1,942 | Reviews: 555 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -7%
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 kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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

Illinois

5/5  rDev +12.1%

11-15-2011 05:42:23 | More by spycow
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

5/5  rDev +12.1%

03-28-2012 21:19:46 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -10.3%

02-18-2012 05:38:05 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -10.3%

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

California

3.63/5  rDev -18.6%
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 -5.8%
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 -21.5%

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

California

5/5  rDev +12.1%
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 +12.1%

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

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
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 drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a conic pint glass. Beer is yellow and has high haze. Thick white foamy head, tiny bubbles, high lacing, carbonation moderate. Not feeling the haze but otherwise it looks great.

Aroma is sweet sweet pine hops. Sweet.

Flavor is really complex. First impressions, pine, bitter, sweetness, like candy. There is so much going on. First, its really bitter, but there is no aftertaste. The beer is not dry at all, but its not overly wet. The hop flavor is dominated by a pine like flavor. There is some really nice sweetness at the front of the mouth, its really pleasing. There is an odd early flavor early right before the pine emerges. Its the only thing I can criticize about this beer. Its a little sulfury but its overwhelmed and masked quickly by the hop flavors.

Drinkability high. This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Its great. Lie cheat and steal to get this one, well don't do any of those things just go buy it (or trade for it like me).

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 23:47:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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 WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded apricot hue with a bright white head formin thick and billowing above the head of my new DFH chalice. Lacing is intricate scattered pattern awesome looking clouded murkiness. Aroma is full of punget grapefruit scented hops and wine like aromatics crazy intense experience. Flavor finesses the palate with hop flavors full of fruity earthy honey malt wrapped with a touch of diacetyl, excellent interesting warming honey pine completed expressive and original brew. Mouthfeel is creamy slightly oily with hops, medium to full bodied never heavy or cloying. Carbonation is perfect and natural, with an insane level of drinkability. Solid well made beer from the beginning to the end.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 04:25:47 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
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
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks Deuane for sharing this growler at akorsak's - poured chilled from the growler into a duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful sunny golden w/ mild haze big quick settling cream that creates streamers of lacing w/ a tight bead. This is what I picture in my mind when I think of spring/summer -beautiful IPA appearance

S - The nose has a grassy/sweet citrus and mild spiced fragrance. The hops give off a lemony and slight sour green grape aroma w/ hints of tropical fruit and floral odors. The nose has a nice mellow pineapple ester too.

M - A moderately bitter entry w/ mild astringency and moderate carbonation w/ resinous texture and building bitterness which lingers after the dry finish

T - This is exceptional in flavor - not just the hops, but the cohesion of yeast, malt hops all bring a jazzy, herbal and gently spiced flavor w/ a gental citrus peel essence. The rye malt gives a nice backdrop to the tropical fruit elements the Nelson Sauvin hops provide w/ mild white grapeskin and a light sweet grassy taste in the finish

D - A Great rye IPA, the hoppiness level is full and it is certainly high in its class for overall drinkability and is just an excellently crafted beer all around. The balance is very good and I would definitely consider this a great example of the style!

Serving type: growler

04-05-2010 17:03:44 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great Alpine thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: A nice fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and fades semi slowly over teh slightly heazy darker orange reddish brown and golden copper colored beer.

N: I could smell it literally from 3 feet away as I poured it, set it on the table next to me and sat back. Loaded with pine and citrus hops, tons of fresh musty wet hop resinous aromas. Lots of tropical fruit hops aromas, tangerine, some grapefruit, a slight aged hop sweet nougat aroma but still mostly fresh aroma. Almost no malt too.

T: Again bombards with hops. Very juicy hop flavors, citrus and pine dominate. Lots of fresh wet hop resinous piny flavors too. Lots more fruit too, tangerine again, little orange and grapefruit, juicy too. A slight fluffy sweet hop flavor too. A touch of a spicy hop addition too that accentuates the heavy bitterness. The musty wet hop is great. Very slight malt, and some sweetness too.

M: Medium body with decent but a little lower carbonation.

F: Still very bitter, with a slight sweet finish. Lots of juicy hops linger too, lots of musty resinous wet hops too, slightly astringent, looong bitterness, but tolerable. More citrus and pine, earthy and slightly chewy hops. Later burps bring back the tangerine and grapefruit flavors too. A slight grassy and even spicy hop comes through about a minute after the swallow. Very tasty beer., and you are right James, this was better than Pure Hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 19:40:08 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours a yellow straw color with a white head. The main components of the aroma are rye and peaches with some other fruit as well, a very pleasant and different smelling beer. The flavor is rye, grapefruit and a little bit of bitterness. No real alcohol is detectable. A unique beer with a medium-thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 19:02:51 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this side-by-side with Mother Earth's Boo Koo, and I think I actually liked that one a little better.

Lacking an Alpine glass, I poured this one into a Deschutes teku. A slightly hazy liquid, orange-copper in color, topped with a finger of foamy white head; nice retention and lacing. In the nose, floral notes, some dank citrus, slightly composted rind, wet grass, some hints of toasted rye malt. The flavor was similar, oily citrus, with a zesty bitterness, grassy and floral, somewhat herbal, sweaty, some toasted rye bread, with a residual malt sweetness. Medium body, maybe even medium-full, but still retained a nice IPA crispness, which made it an easy drinker. Almost came off more like a DIPA than a regular IPA. Nice brew overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2014 23:32:44 | More by Rifugium
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

10-14-2012 04:29:20 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/11/11 notes. Big big thanks to Nugganooch
for sending me two fresh bombers of this one; thanks Dane! This has been a Want of mine for years that I just never got around to trading for. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent golden color with a slight orange tint, one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for three minutes of so and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks great.

s - Smells of fresh citrus hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, light pine hops, oranges. Smells very fresh and fruity; I'm loving the smell.

t - Tastes of citrus hops with a light bit of bitterness, oranges and tangerines, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Very nice taste, but not quite as great as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a fantastic IPA; another winner from Alpine. Really liking this one, and very glad I have another bottle of it. Well worth the wait.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:18:39 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber with a finger of creamy off white head. Decent retention.

Smell: You can definitely tell they used Nelson hops. Juicy, citrus hop bitterness, hints of pineapple and grapefruit rind. There is some spice from the rye as well.

Taste: This is a really tasty IPA. So complex, but still really hoppy. The Nelson hops are so unique. Citrus peel and herbal notes with spice from the rye. Bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of light carbonation and a very slight dryness in the finish.

Overall: Super complex and very good. I would drink this all night long if I had more.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 01:41:16 | More by oline73
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to sample a beer made with Nelson Savin since they first hit the market. Lightly hazy, it even has some floaties from the growler, the beer is a light, copper color and it is topped by a ring of wispy, light tan colored froth. The aroma is quite distinct, certainly hoppy, but not as I have ever smelled before. It is quite herbal, with a note reminiscent of garlic chives, some musky hemp notes, and an almost woody grass-like note that can be quite pronounced at times. There is a fruitiness from the hops too, and with all of the herbal focus, it is not too far of a stretch to say this is like Sauvignon Blanc. It even has a touch of cattiness to it as well as notes of unripe grapes, lime and even some grapefruit if you really dig for it.

Very weird flavors here; certainly quite distinct in its hop character. The hops contribute a definite catty note to the flavor that almost leans towards cat litter (though not nearly as bad as that sounds). Strongly herbal hop notes contribute flavors of pine tar, woody-rosemary, oil-laden hemp seed notes, basil and something that is quite, distinctly, reminiscent of a herbaceous flavor that I just can't quite put my finger on, but is so apparent that I can't figure out why I can't put a name to it. The beer is fairly light on the palate, and definitely is perceived as being quite dry. While the herbal notes seem to dominate, there are significant fruit-like flavors contributed by the hops as well; flavors of slightly acidic, under-ripe, green grapes, kefir lime leaf, star-fruit, and a tart citrus character mix in, and somewhat mitigate the herbal notes. As to the malt notes, well this is definitely an IPA, and they only play a supporting role here; just barely noticeable under all of the hop influence. The bitterness is not over the top here; it is at a nice, contributing level though and helps to clean up the finish.

This is certainly a fascinating hop, it is quite different from any other hop variety that I have direct experience with. Very interesting, and very tasty, I definitely could do with more of this beer. I have a feeling though that these flavors would get old if I encountered them at such levels on a more regular basis. The hop character (both the aroma & flavor) is so musky; it is makes me think of the essential oils of a mix of herbs. I am not sure if it quite works in the IPA format, but could definitely see using it in some of the lighter colored Belgian-styled beers. Definitely well worth it though, and I am still quite exited to use this hop in my own brewing.

Serving type: growler

10-10-2007 02:06:58 | More by Gueuzedude
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.