1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,145 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,145
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 1,211
Gots: 199 | FT: 14
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,145 | Reviews: 566 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-18-2013 20:18:24 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of mjtiernan

New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-15-2011 05:32:06 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of DeanMoriarty


4.88/5  rDev +9.2%

Picked up a growler of this at Alpine Brewery in Alpine, CA. and poured it into a pint glass.

A: Classic West Coast IPA appearance - clean and golden with a solid head that lasts, leaving lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Big Nelson hop smell that is strong and unique - sweet and floral, very herbal and earthy with hints of carmel and vanilla.

T: Big time hop up front - pink grapefruit, resinous pine, fresh cut grass, herbal, earthy with a sweet malt finish that balances the overall flavor perfectly.

M: Good bitter bight up front, milky viscosity with a mellow carbonation that lends to the overall creaminess perfetly. Extremely smooth and damn near perfect.

D: Too easy - we split 3 growlers between four of us and finished them all, wishing we had just one more to cap our night.

I'm born and raised in San Diego and grew up drinking IPA's - this is hands down my favorite IPA from the area. There'a a few others that give it a run for its money, but Nelson is consistently victorious (even in the bottle).

05-10-2010 06:12:43 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of plumcrazyfx


4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

11-15-2011 02:52:28 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%

I was blown away by this one, big surprise.

Appearance: Translucent, honey drenched straw hay yellow. Great head and lacing. I perk up a bit and look forward to the bouquet.

Smell: Big juicy grapefruit, pine, orange, and pineapple.

Taste: Just enough malt for an IPA, along with pineapple, grapefruit, pine, pine resin, orange zest, apricot, tangerine, and white grapes. This stuff is delicious. Please put it in six packs.

Mouthfeel: Perfect light body and carbonation, tickles the tongue without any annoyance.

Drinkability: Disappeared way too fast, I wish this was a growler, not a bomber. Every time I reach for an IPA I will wish it was a Nelson.

12-31-2009 03:22:17 | More by craytonic
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a cloudy light golden color with a nice loose foamy white head that fades slowly leaving a good amount of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is off the charts!!! Really enjoyable aggressive fruity grapefruit orange resin character. Full flavored, the grapefruit taste bursts out and pretty much hides the rye-factor. However, I do sense that the rye is adding to the mouth feel and seems to extend the impact of the resin aftertaste. This is one heck of a nice drinker. Very enjoyable; reminds me some of Pliny. Huge thanks to radshoesbro for the opportunity.

10-22-2009 21:31:35 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of dfillius


4.55/5  rDev +1.8%

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

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


4.83/5  rDev +8.1%

My original review was definitely from a bad bottle. I've since had it a few times and this might be the best IPA out there. The Nelson hops are fucking outstanding and Alpine definitely knows how to make an IPA.

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a hazy grapefruit skin color. Large hiss when opened... infection? Still get about 2 fingers on an easy pour(infection... maybe, maybe not), pearl white with good retention. Pretty good lacing.

S: Lots of citrus and pine. There's a sharpness that could be either infection or a sharp spiciness from the rye. A bit of malts in the back but not much sweetness. Hmm...

T/M: Mild bitterness. Still plenty of citrus and pine. There is that sharpness that could definitely be an infection, but it could also be a spiciness from the rye.... really not sure. Not much sweetness from the malts which could be an infection fermenting what the regular yeast can't... and the carbonation is high which leans in that direction as well. I still don't know, though. It's definitely odd to say the least.

D: ABV is reasonable. Kinda of a chore to drink from the high carbonation and what might be an infection.

Alpine should send me another bottle so I know if it's an infection or not :)

01-29-2010 05:09:54 | More by pwoods
Photo of Wowcoolman


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

08-07-2014 01:49:04 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot


5/5  rDev +11.9%

08-08-2013 00:42:41 | More by SoCalBeerIdiot
Photo of vande


3.85/5  rDev -13.9%

A: a hearty, somewhat hazy golden pour with slight lacing that clings to the glass as if its life depends on it...

S: Not quite what I was expecting... Interesting mix of citrus, pineapple, hints of the rye...

T: the pineapple - citrus hoppy presence melded together with the proof of rye nelson hoppy uniqueness makes this an interesting ipa...

M: medium bodied creamy textured...

O: Interesting, tasty... Glad I had one!

10-16-2011 04:05:01 | More by vande
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

Picked up a bomber of this from Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego, around $6 if I remember correct.

A: Light amber in color with a smallish stark white head, approximately 1/4" worth, might be the fault of the glass though. Recedes to practically nothing. Excellent clarity. Some very nice lacing.

S: Really resinous pine, big time pine bomb on this beer, holy shit, I guess crushed spruce needles would be the best descriptor. The white wine, as described on the bottle is also a nice note. Below that is a nice blend of caramel and also a bit of a grainy rye bite to it as well. Absolutely in love with the smell, not a 5, but definitely a solid 4.75.

T: Smell follows the nose to an uncanny level, the smell is so thick that smelling it is like drinking it. Definitely have some white wine characteristics, pine, grapefruit rind is very prevalent. Grainy bite of rye and some caramel malts, this one is growing on me, didn't like the first sip but its interesting. Pretty hard to decide if I love or hate this beer, in all honesty each sip is a different experience. There's something somewhat off in the flavor. Still though, incredibly tasty, all the flavors are there, just picking up something weird here.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on with this beer, excellent thickness, just a hint at some alcohol heat, they got this one right on the nose here.

D: Still not totally sure about this one, its in the range of beers that I would probably drink again but it is incredibly odd. Rye and the nelson sauvin hops are a very unique flavor for me for some reason, for tonight this 22oz sample will be more than enough. Hands down the most unique IPA I've had in some time. I wish I could figure out what the one funky flavor is, its something familiar to me, but I can't place it. Definitely interesting, and very glad to try this beer.

07-16-2010 06:27:29 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of CityofBals


4/5  rDev -10.5%

01-31-2013 23:29:10 | More by CityofBals
Photo of sideshowe


5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-14-2011 14:53:36 | More by sideshowe
Photo of kevgod


4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

10-10-2012 03:43:01 | More by kevgod
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-07-2012 11:10:19 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
Photo of VonZipper

New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-17-2014 03:03:45 | More by VonZipper
Photo of ocelot2500


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a clear golden color tinged with orange and a tight white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of big hops characterized by pine and grapefruit.

Tastes of a good dose of malt cut by hops. Malt has mostly caramel notes and a bit of spice from the rye. Hops have grapefruit, pine, and pineapple notes. Plenty of fruit notes add to the sweetness. A solid amount of bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and has a creamy amount of carbonation.

06-11-2010 03:23:22 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

22oz, thanks augustgarage! Been waiting to try this one for a while. Into chouffe tulip.

A- Pale gold with mild orangey qualities, the background of the label looks like the beer color, actually. Thick head that is snowy, good if thin lacing, nice first ring and it follows all the way down.

S- Floral, fruity, hoppy. Tropical fruit and a bit of a citrus note. Slight peppery quality, but faint.

T- Whoa. Hoppy, fruity indeed- tangerines or clementines. What am I tasting? ... Ah, the rye. Didn't know this was brewed with rye but I can def. taste it. My tongue is going back and forth from the fruity hops, the slightly spicy malt... Tasty and a bit of a head-scratcher. Not exactly the most harmonious blend but very good.

M- ABV is well-hidden and this is a balanced beer- strong enough malt to counter the potent hops.

D- Fairly high. Very tasty, the rye threw me for a bit of a loop and I can say I still prefer Alpine's Duet IPA over this one.. that being said this is a great beer and I'm even more impressed with the skills of the Alpine brewers. This one disappeared from my glass faster than I expected- very very drinkable.

05-03-2010 00:22:29 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of spark3148857


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

05-01-2014 05:18:43 | More by spark3148857
Photo of BeerThursdays


4.43/5  rDev -0.9%

A - Poured from the bottle into a Smuttynose snifter, this is burnt orange with a two finger white head. Very nice, clean looking beer.

S - Piney hops, some sweetness. Lemon and grapefruit.

T - Out of this world. One of the best. Sweet and juicy hops, decent malty backbone, but not over powering. Bitterness on the tongue.

M - Good feel, just what you would expect. Not over carbed, no alcohol. Excellent.

O - Great beer. Pretty easy to get in a trade, so it ranks very highly. Love the taste, look and smell of this beer.

08-05-2011 23:19:41 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of FrankHammer


4/5  rDev -10.5%

10-21-2013 13:40:34 | More by FrankHammer
Photo of SPRichard

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

05-27-2012 15:50:57 | More by SPRichard
Photo of IndyDad

New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

12-01-2013 14:56:57 | More by IndyDad
Photo of Bendurgin


3.53/5  rDev -21%

A truely exciting bottle from Randy in the Loko4locals Bif! Thanks homey! Poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden color with a little bit of an orange hue. A nice cap of white head sits on top.

A little bit of sweet carmael in the aroma. Just a little bit of citrus hops in the background. A big orange aroma though. Big orange juice aroma. A little bit of a rye flavor. A big bitter hop flavor is a lot more noticable on the pallet than the aroma. Lots of juicy orange on the aroma.

Nice light body with good carbonation. A little bit sticky somehow. Overall pretty tasty here. Pretty malty for an IPA but ths is darn good.

07-26-2011 04:14:04 | More by Bendurgin
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,145 ratings.