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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

713 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 713
Hads: 3,463
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,391
Gots: 484 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% 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 (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 713 | Hads: 3,463
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very proper looking IPA. Nice white puffy head which leaves a trail of tight belgian lace behind it. Hazy and opaque but a nice golden orange color. Such a fruity aroma, big grapefruit and citrus fruit. Sticky and hoppy, could pop a bit more. The flavor is clean and pure west coast IPA. Big fruit notes, grapefruit, melon, citrus, really great. I'm missing a little complexity from multiple strains of hops, I think? The rye is a nice touch, faintly spicy. But where the rye shines is helping create a dry clean finish. Nice, alot of IPAs have a bit of a cloying finish from the hops, but not this one! An IPA of the highest order.

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Photo of dlello2
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale apricot with a thick, foamy white head that has good retention. Aroma is very unique. It is spicy, fruity, and herbal with some green onion, grass, and bread.

Initially you are hit with a lot of fruitiness (grapes perhaps?) from the hops, a very wine-like fruitiness. Grapefruit is noticeable. The spiciness from the rye is definitely present. That grass and onion like funk noticed in the aroma is in there too. Finish is a bit dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, with a nice creaminess and a pleasant carbonation level. This is probably the most unique IPA I have ever had. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Bought in Oct 2010 from K&L Wines.

A - Hazy yellow-orange, with a nice two fingers of pillowy head that settles down to a thick cap. Heavy rings of lace on the glass. Very inviting.

S - Very nice -- lots of hops, with both pine and grapefruit notes. A bit of a sweet-ish malt, and a spiciness that I'm guessing is from the rye.

T - More of what was in the nose, with a huge hop bitterness, and more of that spiciness. The rye is subtle, which is good for me since I'm not a huge fan of it. There's almost a touch of vanilla in the malty sweetness, but it's fleeting. Long dry finish, but very little alcohol burn.

M - It's almost a bit thin, with lighter carbonation than I would expect. But the stickiness is good. Somewhat drying.

D - The flavors are good, the aroma great, and the alcohol isn't too high. I'd go for another for sure; good thing I have one.

O - Price-wise, it's less expensive than Sculpin (which is overpriced) but more than Pliny (which is not) so I'll happily pay for it. The beer is definitely worth it. Solid buy.

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

Poured from a bottle into a 3FFF glass
golden color and thin head
hops smell is overpowering and can smell the nice bitter hops
taste is smooth that kind of bitter is unreal good
this was bottle about 8 days ago and is so amazing fresh
could drink this all day/night
it is to compare but this one is up there on my tops when done right and fresh

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey color. Some chill haze. A fat finger of head. A quarter inch of steadfast froth hangs around for the festivities. Heaps of lace spattered about and plastered in sheets.

The nose is a lively basket of hop character. Some grapefruit and light pine as well as the predominant and much ballyhooed sweet nelson hop white wine grapey quality are noticeable. It is true to the tales of uniqueness.

The flavor is delicious. The wine like qualities show again in a bit of dry sourness, but be not mistaken this is every bit an ale and a very enjoyable one at that. A sassafrass twang and some citrus pings mingle together to create a unique flavor profile atop the light bready base. The finish is more sweet than crisp with a nice hop dryness. A pleasure.

The mouthfeel tips in at or around medium. The sweet finish is an indication that this selection is a bit heavier in body than many of the other fine west coast varieties that have danced across this palate.

Overall, this bottle did not disappoint. It is quite unique and thoroughly enjoyable. This selection is one that makes a man reconsider the thought that he has run the spectrum of india pale ales and cannot be shocked and awed by something from this style. Bravo.

Thanks, Martin for the diligence.

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Photo of NorthSideSean
4.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Worth the hype. Happened across this while on a trip to San Francisco - on tap at Hogwash. This is a stand out among IPAs. Beautifully cloudy orange color, dank fruity smell and a mouthful of citrusy hops with a hint of rye. Very drinkable... just wish I could get this in Chicago!

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Photo of alaimoa
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks @tauroe for sharing this gem with me.
Pours hazy golden with huge white head and spectacular lacing. Smell and taste of citrus grapefruit orange lemon. Great full and creamy mouthfeel
Overall solid Nelson, would love to have again. Hill Farm Nelson a bit better

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Im not much of a hop guy but I found this beer extremely enjoyable. The hop aroma and flavor were very crisp and fresh and the taste was good without being over the top bitter.

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Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with Drazzamatazz and Heater

A: Slightly cloudy brownish orange. 1 finger fluffy white head upon initial pour. Decent lined lacing

S: Grapefruit. Pure, unadulterated grapefruit. A little bit of bready rye comes out as well. After allowing it to open, the grapefruit begins to fade and you get more rye

T: Grapefruit, but not as prevalent as the nose. Other citrus flavors, including orange and mango. Weird, but it almost tastes a little watered down. Just a little bit of hop bitterness

M: Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation, so overall a smooth beer. Light pine bitter aftertaste

D: When first cracked open, it smelled amazing. While it didn't live up to my lofty initial expectations, it was definitely a solid IPA. I would drink this beer often if it was available in my area

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Photo of RocketCityVol
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: a hazy golden yellow, with a thin white lace head.

S: Pineapple, mango, melon, and other tropical aromas.

T: Very piney, with a small spicy flavor. Ends with the mango and hop flavors.

M: medium bodied that lightly coats the tongue.

O: Very good IPA. I am glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most recent batch of nelson though I'm not sure of it's actual release date.

A: An ever so slightly hazy amber (think Jurassic Park mosquito petrified amber sap) with an off-white head. The retention isn't so good but it does leave some decent lacing along the glass (dogfish shaped pint).

S: I can smell this thing from across the room and I'm already positive that I've never had this so fresh. Juicy tangerine and tart dried apricot bounce out of my glass from a half foot away. Up close more of the same... with the addition of a complex rye aroma albeit a subtle one. I have to note while this is a great smelling beer there does seem to be a very slight hint of the "catty" aroma which is usually synonymous with Simcoe hopping (just a hint but I bet people sensitive to this would react somewhat negatively)

T: Dried apricot comes to work and make sweet love to a flavor which I tend to identify with good California apple brandy (heirlooms of a spicy nature... Gravenstein?). The rye flavors of this beer are as the nose suggests subdued, nonetheless tricky woody grainy suggestions are present toward the finish. Spicy earthy flavors creep into the long finish (notably when it warms up a bit). Drink this at a warmer than usual temp.

M: Prickly yet sticky.

O: This is a great beer and far better than I remember it being (and I love Alpines products for the most part). It's one of the more complex IPA's ever produced however it needs love and care in order to be fully appreciated. The subtle, yet highly complex flavors of Nelson take time to develop, and do work together harmoniously. Props. Nelson is rad. Grab it Fresh as hell and drink the mother warm.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.55/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at O'Brien's
A- Clear golden orange hue, minimal head that congregates to a cluster of foam in the center, sticky lacing
S- HUGE rye malts and bread malts, subtle citrus and grass hops
T- Taste is dominated by rye malts to an overwhelming extent (almost like eating a jewish deli sandwich), opens up to some grass and pine hops, finishes with a rye bread aftertaste
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture, highly carbonated
D- This is the most rye-heavy beer I've ever tasted, definitely an acquired taste that loses points for me personally (not a big fan of rye bread), the dominating rye appears off-balance and limits overall drinkability

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Photo of Auracom
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to John (pmarlowe) for sending this one a couple of thousand miles to me.

A - This is a homely old brew. Bizarre, dirty, murky golden coloring. Great looking head though - very much the same as Exponential Hoppiness. White and fluffy with solid retention and lacing.

S - Such a unique nose. Herbs, grass, rye, peppercorn, and other spices combine with a lightly fruity, juicy white wine hop profile.

T - Intriguing balance across light hop notes, more rye, soft bread, butter, white grapeskins, melon, more herbs, and honey-coated malts.

M - Medium-high carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Light-medium body. Dry finish.

D - Wonderfully creative. The balance the rye imparts with the distinct New Zealand hops makes this an easy standout for me. Reflecting on this brew a bit further, I realize that this is a pinnacle of differentiation in a style chock-full of generalized aromas and flavors. I've been drinking a ton of APA/IPA/DIPA's lately, and nothing has stood out as much as this one.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to billshmeinke for sending this to me in a LIF

Pours a big one inch white head. Body is a clear golden orange color. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is a mix of spicy rye , citrus, and pineapple. Pine and some sweet honey are also in the background.

First taste is a ton of hops. Starts off with citrus, mango, and pineapple. Bitter pine hops come in next and its all balanced by the rye which added some black peppercorns and clove. Alcohol is slightly present but not overpowing and blends nicely with the hops.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Head contributed little to the beer.

Drinkability is really good. Finished the bomber rather easy, really unique beer. Never heard of this beer or brewery up until acouple months ago but its easily one of the best Ipa's I've had.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from the brewery on release day. Gold with a lasting white head. Super green, dank, spicy, grape, and mango hop aroma. Awesome. Smells like no other IPA that I've had, yet is unquestionably one of the best hop aromas that I've ever come across. The flavor has a similar light toasty malt to their other IPAs, but with just a touch of rye spice. The hop flavor is all there, but is not too bitter at all, just very dank, fruity, and juicy. The body is on the light some with smooth carbonation. I know that this is at the peak of freshness, but damn this is amazing. Unique and just awesome all around.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden hazy straw color with a thick bubbly head that dissipates quickly leaving a medium amount of lacing along the glass, pretty solid in appearance.

Smell is very strange, but in a great way. Some kind of weird fruit aroma, almost like an orange dreamsickle, I cannot wait to try this. Very fruity floral aroma, like no other IPA I have ever smelled.

Wow, this beer is different. It tastes a little like an orange dreamsickle. Very citrus, almost like a clementine with some cream as well. Light malt backbone comes through as well, maybe a little to sweet. Very unique IPA, you can taste the rye in the finish, I like it.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium body with light carbonation.

Very interesting beer, drinkability does suffer from the sweetness though.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Alpine Nelson

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 20/20

Overall 95/100

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Photo of abrand
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second of the west coast IPA's. Another bottle from JesseTheHut.

22 ounce bomber poured into the SN tumbler. Label explains the use of New Zealand hops that are used in this.

The Nelson pours a hazy amber orange color. A nice frothy pure white head sits atop with very good lacing and retention. The color is much darker than other IPA's. Aromas are nice and sweet with citrus fruits popping out of a nice hop backbone. Also some hints of grains and caramel. Quaff is much different from other hoppy IPA's. Plenty of hops make up the taste but there is also some piny notes. Not much citrus in the mouth. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Plenty of hops bounce around on the tongue. Drinkability is obviously high, ABV allows you to sip a couple and taste is right there. I am very excited to move onto the other IPA's from Alpine.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pop of the bomber, recent release picked up by a really swell local BA. Slight chill haze, white grapefruit juice without the pulp. Pretty darn clear golden orange, on the golden side. Fluffy white head in my Moonlight nonic. Lace immediately sticking to the sides while milky way bubbling settles in.

Stong aroma of passion fruit, young pine sap, tart citrus, dash of honey. Somewhat earthy yet very dynamic. Distinct rye smell...so nice.

Crostini cracker pop until the onslaught of hop power. Huge wave of piney grapefruit rind. Tart hop flavor, with a solid block of maltiness allowing the hop flavor to shine brightly. Slight chalky hop bite, and I like it. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel with a twinge of citrus in the back. Lingering dryness.

Quite hearty & complex which continues to remind me, never judge a book by it's cover.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous orange-golden color that is impenetrable to light. Showcases an antique whit head that dissipates quickly. The nose is glorious. Juicy grapefruit to the hilt! Mouthfeel is wet and a little cottony toward the finish. A lot of grapefruit up front. The rye expresses itself in the middle, followed by distinct pine flavor. This is a magnificent beer. I can't believe how good this is. I'm not a rye fan, but this is phenomenal.

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Photo of dmsohyea
2.36/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the brewpub in Alpine. Taster glass.

A - standard IPA coloring, maybe a bit lighter yellow. Some lacing and good retention.

S - Smells floral and a bit uninviting. Not sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't know the horrors to come.

T - Tastes just off. The rye flavor and yeast selection just makes for a blah taste. I didn't enjoy it one bit and couldn't finish the 4 oz taster. Not super bitter, but it did taste a little like i was eating a flower.

M - Mouthfeel was above average. Not that I could really notice through the flavor that I hated.

O - Didn't like it. Sorry guys, I feel like this one is WAY over rated.

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Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of jjdc
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer looks stunning, like liquid sunshine in the glass. The nose is sumptuous with Sticky citrus notes of tangerine and grapefruit. The rye adds a dry backbone that is perfect complement to the juicy, tropical sweetness of the hops. This beer is perfectly integrated and balanced. As good as IPAs get. This is a treat.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 713 ratings.