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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

642 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 642
Hads: 3,115
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,413
Gots: 391 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% 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
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Reviews: 642 | Hads: 3,115
Photo of liamt07
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Adam, 650ml into a snifter.

Clear golden orange with minimal head and almost no lacing. Nose has a really bright citrus quality, Nelson Sauvin is obviously prominent, tangerine, mango and perhaps a bit of white wine character I've always heard to be characteristic of the hop. A kiss of rye spice. Taste has more vibrant citrus qualities, mango, white wine, and again only a wee bit of rye, but just enough to be identifiable. Light body, lower medium carbonation and dries out super quick once the hops have made their appearance. An awesome Rye IPA - had this next to a FFF Rye'd the Lightning - two completely different rye beers, but each awesome in their own regard. (689 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler.

A: The IPA is a golden yellow color, radiant while retaining a hazy complexion. I don't have any notes on the head, so it wasn't that memorable. One of the palest rye beers I've seen.

S: Heaven in a glass. The Nelson Sauvin hops are lemony, sharp and and sweet. Surprisingly, they aren't overwhelming, allowing rye bread to share the stage. I can't spend enough time on the aroma, full and intoxicating. The hops are damn-near perfect.

T: The rye is most flavorful at the tail end of each sip, expressing a spicy bread flavor that is restrained. It's there but not in your face. Prior to the rye, the Nelson Sauvin hops run wild, all lemony citrus and herbal. Surprisingly, the hops aren't overdone in the ale. Rather than dominate, they create a moderate flavor burst that showcases then steps aside. That allows the nuance to be more fully enjoyed. Bitterness following the rye accentuates more herbal lemon. A great sipping ale.

M: Balance is the key to this IPA. The hops, while plenty flavorful, don't scorch the palate. The rye is a nice accompaniment.

D: A top notch IPA. The Nelson Sauvin hop should be used in more beers (wishful thinking). A stunning nose and solid body. More, many more, please. (1,251 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice slighlty hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, HUGE thick creamy/foamy white head, with lots of thick creamy/foamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, citrusy, with some slight pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, malty, with some citrus/pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty IPA. Glad to have had a chance to try it. (452 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Murky looking yellow colour with some brown. Looks kinda like swamp water. Opaque. A lot of visible sediment. Half a finger of bubbly white head. Very strange colour for an IPA.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front with a caramel malt sweetness noticeable in the background. Some spiciness is present as well.

T - Grapefruit, spiciness, caramel. A good amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish. A good malt backbone adds some sweetness and becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink the beer.

M - Medium body, oily, chewy. Lightly carbonated. (634 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thins white head on a clear dark golden. Spotty lacing, good head retention.

Fresh bright hops. Tad of the rye.

Citrus noticed on nose isnt as prevalent on tongue. Rye spice on the back end but not overpowering in the least. Pretty easy drinkin, would guess around 6.5%abv

Good carbonation point, medium to medium thin mouthfeel.

Just a tinge different from most IPAs to set it apart. The rye aspect had me craving another sip repeatedly. Thanks kawilliams82! (463 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Dark orange-gold and hazy, with a smallish, quickly settling head and lots of sticky lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Big, fresh aroma of grapefruit and grass with a subtle, spicy rye note underneath.

Taste: Follows the nose, vivid citrus hoppiness, fresh-cut grass and pine, the rye is buried in there, just peaking its head out in the finish. Booze is nowhere to be found. Subdued bitterness underneath it all carries into the aftertaste a bit. Modest sweetness with a very reserved underlying malt character.

Mf: Medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean, yet smooth and just a wee bit creamy. Long finish is spicy and bitter.

Overall: A truly phenomenal beer. Preferred it slightly on tap, with its lower carbonation and fuller mouthfeel, but you can’t lose with this one. As good as anything made in this style without a doubt. Had a hard time not guzzling this one down like a racehorse. (920 characters)

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!

8.8/10 (427 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a recent box from BrewerB, thanks for hitting this Want Brian!

It pours a light tinged gold in color, light in body, with a one finger frothy white head. It smells of clean grapefruit, pineapple, light soap, with a light citrus finish. It's really nice. The flavors are a combination of clean piny hops, soap, light citrus, and it has a light yet bitter finish. Still very solid. It drinks very light and smooth and has nice flavors that're both appealing and easy to come back to. This is a very approachable IPA. I'd put this in the Blind Pig ballpark. It's a nice IPA and I'm glad I could try it. (626 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.22/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The Alpine hype train finally hit Bellingham. Been looking forward for trying these SoCal legends for a long time. This one didn't push my buttons. Just a solid, good, enjoyable IPA, nothing less, nothing more. (210 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a peach color with a finger head that left good frothy lacing on the glass.

S: nice floral sweet piney hops are more noticable at first whiff with cirtus grapefruit, caramel, and good malt character. I also got some tangerine notes.

T: the piney hop are not as potent as the nose but still dominate the taste which also had a decent balance between the malts. The citrus grapefruit helps intensify the bitterness that had caramel accents.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet bitter and crisp finish.

D: probably one of the most drinkable IPA offerings from alpine. I always enjoy their brews especially their IPA's. I'm definitely glad I have acceess to them on a daily. (714 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold in colour with a slight haze. It had a fine, bright white cap that stuck around until my pint was gone and there was lots of lace stuck to my glass. The aroma was intense with grapefruit and resin, nice for a West Coast IPA. It had a soft, citrus bitterness and grapefruit flavour throughout. There was some malt backbone that showed through towards the finish and a bit of rye spiciness as well. Quite refreshing. Just under medium bodied with smooth, fine carbonation. Light dryness, good texture. I liked the balance on this beer - solid IPA with a bit of rye that added depth to the hoppiness. (608 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for sharing this one!

Pours a cloudy orange, some amber highlights, huge and fluffy white head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, nice layer, looks good.

Smell is neat, white wine/riesling grapes, some floral, pine, grapefruit, bread and wheat in the middle, a bit of caramel sweetness, rye spice, orange zest, really cool hop profile.

Taste is similar, grapefruit up front, riesling again, pine, light citrus, orange peel, some biscuity malt and honey, a touch of rye with a spicy bitter finish, well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Carbonation detracts from it a bit but still a pretty swell beer. I need to get me some of those Nelson Sauvins. Thanks Eric! (742 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up! (1,513 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, hazy golden body. Thin and bubbly cap of ivory white froth. Lacing comes in sporadic thin rings. Aroma brings bright layers of pink grapefruit, lemon zest, MJ, apricot, tangerine, etc... This is one great smelling beer. This IPA has nice balance between bitter and flavor in regards to the hops. Neither overpowers the other. Bitterness is fairly clean and refreshing. Flavor brings a lot of citrus and a little pine too. Not quite as bright and juicy as the aroma led me to believe, but rather, a little rough around the edges, which isn't all bad in an IPA. All of the original suspects are still around to varying degrees....grapefruit, orange, lemon, etc.... This is an interesting IPA and an interesting hop for sure. (728 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4.13.11

A- Pours a bright, fizzy orange with a white bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Pine and a slight sweetness.

T- Bitter hops, lemon, and honey.

D- Creamy feel in the mouth, has a bitter start and finish, with a sweeter middle.

O- Good, but not as good as Pure Hoppiness. (302 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some more of these at the Provisions shop a few weeks ago. Glad I did, still had the amazing orange appearance and 1" head. Aroma was the funkiest Nelson aroma experience I've ever come across. A unique hop to say the least.

Taste, ever so drinkable, big funky hop almost tropical citrus thing going for it. Alcohol on the lips in nonexistant. Rye doesn't come out, must be a low % of the malt bill, which they keep low, allowing the hops to shine. Tons of Nelsons here, imparting an almost white wine like fee to the beer, very light, but heavy handed with the Nelson hop. You'll be tasting this one for awhile, and should be happy about it. Almost perfectly unbalanced.

EDIT: Scored more of this, damn, this beer is so funky fresh. Excellent, maybe my favorite IPA. (779 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip a ways back, (from notes), I can't thank Rutager enough for the major want

A hazy golden yellow liquid with enough clarity to see a thick stream of bubbles floating up to a well sestained two finger foam that leaves a couple thick rings followed by big random patches

S massive tropical nose with pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit, mango, some purple candy, faintly catty, just a hint of bubblegum of all things, a tiny amount of soft caramel, spruce and pine round things out, just brilliant in this department

T heavy on the pine and spruce, a hint of spice but much of the tropical fruit flesh is replaced by rind, lemon mostly, still solid but a bit of a let down after the nose

M medium bodied, very gritty, has a sharp bitter bite, a little slick in the mouth, spice and lemon peel linger for ages

O one of the better smelling beers I can recall but it didn't follow through at that level in the mouth, I sound like I'm being hard on it though, I assure you its a great beer

I haven't had a beer in 3 months and needed a good welcome back and this one provided just that. Strange how much the nose and taste differ, this one came close to blowing me away but fell just a little short (1,255 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from mikey711, very much appreciated. The beer is lightly hazy, light orange color, dense foamy head. The smell isn't as unique as I expected from the Nelson Sauvins, but I guess the longer it lingered I noticed some nuances. Light citrus and pine, a little orange peel, and a very light touch of rye. These all came through in the taste, maybe not so much from the rye but still delicious. Very drinkable, the body was just right for an American IPA, perfect carbonation. (484 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of a mild combination of pale and caramel malts with loads of hops. The hops are slightly leafy with good amounts of citrus and hints of scuppernongs.

Tastes good. Malt flavors that lean more toward pale than caramel kick things off and are overtaken shortly by citrus and leafy hops. Midway through the sip the hop flavors mellow out a bit and turn more toward pine and American grape flavors. Very light hints of spicy rye flavors make a brief appearance before yielding to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could easily have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and the way it showcases the unique Nelson Sauvin hop however it's in the middle of the pack of superb Alpine IPA/DIPA's. Still, very well worth a shot, even more so if you specifically like the hop. (1,083 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aromas are initially citrus (grapefruit) and light pineapple and earthy hops, with an underlying bit of bready, spicy rye and a touch of caramel malt. There is also a nice white vinous characteristic on the nose; must be those special Nelson Sauvin hops.

The tastes initially begin full and malty with bready and caramel flavors, but quickly shifts to the pleasantly bitter grapefruit and light pine hops with lesser notes of earthy hops. The flavors round out with a spicy and drying rye malt which adds another layer of complexity. The Nelson Sauvin hops add that nice light white wine flavors with a nice gooseberry spice in there as well.

Mouthfeel is sticky and coating but not overly so, the perfect amount for the style. Great carbonation and glorious sticky white hops lacing as I examine my half empty glass.

Overall this is freakin' awesome, my favorite Rye IPA and top 2 overall Rye beers I have ever had (The Bruery Rugbrod being the other). Some breweries totally botch rye and add too much where it is unpleasant or too little, but this is spot on. Highly recommended; I'm going to have to ship more of this from the West Coast. Wow top notch indeed. (1,168 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a cloudy honey gold with a huge 3-4 finger high white head. The head is beautiful as it is chunky, pillowy, cloud like and falls in sections. In addition to its great size it has incredible lacing. The head stays at least 5-7 minutes and as it falls it falls in chunks and clings to the sides.

The aroma is nice but a little on the light side, need a tad more of the citrus coming through to be great. What does come through is some sour citrus grapefruit and lemon with only the slightest touch of hops at the end. The hops are almost totally hidden but they come across with a slight soap smell.

The taste is OK, not as great as I was hoping. The start is light, only taste a very little of grapefruit then it fades to the hops which are nice not very bitter. The finish is kinda of soapy, I think that's the rye, that to me almost ruins it.

The feel is nice and viscous, really coasts your mouth.

Overall, this beer has some really nice attributes, needs a little tweaking on the taste and it would be perfect. (1,095 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 3/11/2011

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, floral, hops, malts

taste: citrus hops, malts, very well balanced

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, creamy texture

drinkability: insanely drinkable. I'll be happy with any Alpine beers anybody is willing to send me.

Cheers,

the CPJ (348 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler provided by @suncrust, Thx Kyle

Relatively light bodied - great aromas of citrus, sugared grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical fruit. Not overly bitter, not heavy, and extremely fresh. One could conceivably drink this elixir in mass quantities in the hot sun. Peach, guava, papaya, lemon, tangerine - mucho tasty (317 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I sit in this 90 degree apartment, I'm thankful for traders like womencantsail who send me boxes of hoppy goodness. Thank you, Andy.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is _perfect_. Light orange with a dense white head with excellent retention, there's also a ton of lace. This is what an IPA is supposed to look like. It smells absolutely off the chain as well. Clearly Alpine, this has plenty of pine and citrus hop character, but the underlying rye spiciness is a wonderful twist. Ripe tangerines, oranges, a little grapefruit, pine needles and a little grape are all present. I've heard comparisons of the Nelson Sauvin hop to a grape and that is one that works, and beautifully with the rye character. Malt character is non-existent.

The palate opens with a beautiful, suffuse hop character with light bitterness and massive flavor. A veritable fruit basket, there's plenty of citrus and some tropical fruit (pineapple) with a light to moderate grape-character. While there is no sweetness, a light rye character is present, and works very well with the hop character. Drying on the finish, there's a lingering moderate, clean bitterness with a palate coaxing fruit character. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is perfect for an IPA. Beautiful stuff. (1,266 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.