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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,702 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,702
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,375
Gots: 318 | FT: 15
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,702 | Reviews: 613
Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but was traded fresh. Pours moderately hazy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big mango, passion-fruit, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of tropical/citrus hop notes with a fair amount of malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible balance and complexity of bright tropical/citrus hop notes with light-moderate malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible IPA! Fantastic balance and complexity of tropical and bright citrus hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and extremely smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with some very light visible carbonation. This beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a condensed thick cap over the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: What a great hop aroma - lots of citrus/grapefruit and tropical/pineapple. This is a heck of a wonderful smelling beer.

T: This has a really nice flavor, there is a bit of hop bitterness bite but it is not overpowering. I love the flavors from the hops, the tropical/pineapple and the citrus/grapefruit. There is a very light rye spice as well.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy.

O: This is a really great beer and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would like to have more than one of these at a sitting though I am not sure this is really sessionable. Definitely one I would like to have another time.

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for the trade on this one. I had a sample of this brew for the first time on Saturday care of Deuane and figured I better pop my bottle open soon to take this in and throw down a proper review.

Poured from a bomber into a shaped pint glass, this brew appears a clear light copper color with slightly more than a finger of white froth for a head. Bubbles rise through suspension supporting the uneven pillow-like cap. Very solid retention on this brews cap and a wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is a unique mixture of tangerine meets canned clementines... (I can't take credit for the canned clementine comment thats my wifes and she has to be right because she is pregnant and supposedly preggers have a higher awareness of the senses. Rrrrright...) But ok, she is on to something, this brew smells pretty much like a tangerine went on a weekend long bender with a bunch of wine giving it quite a vinous aspect. Little bit of grass, little bit of herbs, whole lot of goodness going on in this brew's nose.

The taste includes a flavor of oranges meets mango with a seemingly persistent residual sweetness that fades into lasting herbal bitterness. The balanace of sweetness verse bitterness is spot on for my taste, I really like this brew. A flavor of herbs, somewhat catty lasts inside the mouth after each sip and brings forth the first indication of the 7% abv.

The body on this ipa is pushing full, it is a little on the heavier side of medium bodied and is met with a modest amount of carbonation that keeps the bubbles lively inside the mouth and prickly on the tongue. The abv is present with a light fruited aspect but really brings in a solid amount of warmth down the back of the throat for 7%. All in all a very solid, enjoyable brew. Certainly worth checking out. Thanks again Brett for the trade!

Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a vibrant yellow, with a full foamy white head which leaves generous lace.

S: Notes of rye, sweet malt, grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Rye is clearly evident with a spicy undercurrent which works well with almost herbal and at times and citrus notes of the hops. There's like a tropical fruit salad, orange, sweet wine, lemon, mango, very interesting.

M: Smooth, creamy, lots of carbonation, medium-bodied.

D: A nice beer from Alpine, a joy to drink, but I wasn't as blown away with it as I was with Duet, but a very good effort nonetheless.

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to czoch75

Poured into rare vos glass.

Poured about 2 fingers of slightly off white head. Nice retention with some very nice lace walls. Color is a pale yellow with an light orange hue to it. I really am not a big fan of the color here.

Aroma: Mainly a bunch of citrus and floral notes up front. Has a lot of lemon and pine notes with a very subtle background of rye. I get some orange notes in the mix as well. A very fresh beer.

Taste: A very interesting IPA. A lot of unique flavors here. The rye sticks out a lot more here and gives it a bready feel, but complements the citrus flavors in a nice way. I get some lemon, orange, grapefruit, and mango for the citrus flavors. A nice big floral and pine hop profile is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, a little crisp, but overall quite refreshing. Medium bodied with a tad high of carbonation, but I don't mind it. Ends with a rye/citrus flavored sticky aftertaste.

Overall, another great IPA from Alpine. I love the rye in this beer, as it is subtle, but still present. I will have no problem with this bomber. A well done beer.

Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

I love Hop Rod Rye and generally like any rye IPAs so I was very excited to try this. Appearance is a translucent golden copper with a massive dense white head that slowly fades but never completely disappears and leaves sporadic sheets and streaks of lacing. Grapefruit, mango and mild pine hops dominate the aroma with some light caramel malt and rye balance, nicely balanced but not overly impressive. I really enjoy the flavor and balance of this beer. The front of the palate picks up grapefruit, citrus resin, pine, and mango. Moving back the palate the mild malt body is present with some slightly spicy rye. Mouthfeel is medium thick and smooth with fine, sharp carbonation that slowly asserts itself. Overall a very nice Rye IPA, not quite as bold as Hop Rod Rye, but definitely one of my favorite Alpine beers so far.

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow with a durable white colored head that leaves a temporary coating on the glass.

Aroma: Hops, with hints of pineapple, grapefruit, starfruit and other tropical notes.

Flavor: Fruity, slightly tart, and only moderately bitter at its peak. Moderate complexity. The hop flavor builds over time but nevers becomes harsh or overbearing

Feel: Light-medium body with near medium carbonation.

O: a distinctive IPA. Recommended.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 3/11/11. Thanks to BeerThursdays for sending me this bottle.

A: Golden in color with a slight haziness. Fluffy 1.5 finger head with great retention, lasting the duration. Sticky lacing.

S: Very nice aroma, extremely inviting. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, orange. Very floral and grassy.

T: Tons of grapefruit as well as some orange, lemon, grass, and a little bit of pine. Has a little bit of spice. Very smooth, slightly bitter on the finish.

M/D: Medium bodied, very smooth and creamy. Spot on for an IPA, pretty much what I am looking for. Alpine continues to impress.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer appears hazy and straw yellow with a nice white head and good lace. The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of hops, grapefruit, and citrus. This beer tastes fabulous. It is very smooth and creamy with minimal bitterness. In the finish lurks a subtle hint of warming alcohol. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. World class.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fresh bottle received in a recent trade. A truly special beer. Alpine makes several of the best IPAs on the planet.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber received in a recent trade courtesy of mbudner. Thanks again man!

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy white head with good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Dank oily hop aroma with lots of dry earthy pine needle along with some sweet citrus notes, rye and subtle malt character. It smells like there is some incredibly fresh hops with a good bit of sweet citrus peel and grapefruit but the dry piny scent dominates.

Very well balanced dry, sweet and bitter medium body that is slightly earthy with a lot of uber fresh juicy hops. Lots of dry earthy pine up front that is quickly balanced by a nice citrusy lemon peel/grapefruit character, sweet rye malt and graham crackery malt presence. I was hoping that the rye would be more pronounced but it was a bit subtle providing nice balance. The ABV is excellently masked resulting in a complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable IPA.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Alpine Beer on draft, now I know I'm not in Orange County anymore. On-tap at Hamilton's Tavern, on to the beer.

Poured with almost no head on top, color is a lighter shade of orange. But this beer is not about the look, it's about the taste. But first, the aroma. It's like a juicy passionfruit hit you in the nose, along with assorted melons. And it tastes even better. It's not an "in your face" type of IPA. In fact, it's rather relaxed as it grabs the senses of your palate. Genereous amounts of passionfruit, mangoes, and melons play together to create a beer doesn't go bitter, weigh you down, or smack your face with boooze. A little spice from the rye keeps things rolling.

Alpine has done a 180 on me. I didn't have fun with Duet IPA, but Nelson could be my new favorite "single" IPA. In fact, I liked it so much, I did two pints of it, something I rarely do with the same beer at a place with so many great options. Even my friend who doesn't like hoppy beer wanted a pint of his own. Get this without hesitation.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Toronado San Francisco anniversary fest. I really, really liked this beer. I've been an Alpine fan for a while, and I think they do a great job with their hoppy beers. I love the zingy, bitter hop onslaught on this one coupled with the spicy rye, it just really works for me. Poured golden with a wispy head, but very nice continuous lacing. Very fresh tasting herbal hops in the nose, quite a bit of dill aroma that I get from the Nelson Sauvin hops sometime, and a bit spicy in the finish as well. I just love the taste of this beer. Lots of herbal hops followed by lots of pine, pretty much my favorite hop situation. Long, tangy, spicy, piney, and herbal. Beautiful interplay between the spicy, slightly sour rye and the hops. Very bitter and long in the mouth with quite an austere malt profile. This is a delicious beer, but its a mouthful.

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle sent to me courtesy of smarcoly, thanks Scott! Poured into a tulip glass over the course of the evening.

A: Clear golden yellow body with some slight orange tones throughout. A bubbly, creamy two finger white head sits atop that leaves behind amazing lacing, and a thick bubbly retention cap. As I got to the end of the bottle, the beer became very hazy and had evident yeast sediment floating throughout. Judging upon initial impressions though, it's a gorgeous looking beer.

S: Orange peel, lemon juice, pineapple, pine needles and a well-rounded bitterness to the nose. All is balanced well by a slight pale malt and rye character sneaking into the back end of the aroma.

T: Citrusy bitter hops are evident up-front along with orange and lemon oils. Sweet tangerine and pineapple elements are on the back of the palate. Finishes slightly sticky with some residual hop bitterness and rye notes lingering.

M: Lively carbonation, super creamy and cleansing on the palate. Somewhat dry and sticky in the finish, but an extremely exceptional mouth feel.

This is probably the best IPA I've sampled so far from Alpine. I really enjoyed the citrus aspects of the beer coupled with some pine elements. The rye was a unique addition that didn't overwhelm the flavor profile but gave a nice balance in the malts. Nicely done.

Photo of atrocity
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid IPA, using the Nelson hop (only?) and some rye.
Nice pour, golden perhaps a bit of haze, but it was darn cold

Aroma is tropical and fruity, some stickiness is in there. Hoppy. A hint of pine, but mostly tropical and citrus with touch of apricot or persimmon

A bit of an odd taste, but that's not a slam. It's smooth in feel, but the flavors pop. Again, tropical fruit and citrus zest. Tangy. Somewhat sweet, a bit of spicy bread. It has a bit of pungency which gives the beer that 'oddness'

A nice beer. Good to see the Nelson and rye together; interesting

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No noticeable bottling date.

A real interesting body color, a very dark brass and polished brown, but slightly hazy. Head forms very nicely with some good lacing and retention, lots of clumpy circular rings, a very nice white color. These nice white bubbles come from the bottom to make the head.

Nose is interesting, mild grapefruit, extremely deep. Dank, mushy and floral with some strong grass. I'll admit this is quite unique but I am not exactly a fan of this nose, it's a little confusing if I could say much going on.

Taste brings some decent pleasure. A real wonderful great vinous texture, more like white wine, certainly as it says, very JUICY feel. The nose gets much larger, bolder, bigger as the tasting commences. Obvious hop angle, but scents and tastes seem to go all over. Almost kind of earthy and dirty after awhile, malts don't seem to become noticeable either.

Overall it's impressive but I don't think I am a big fan of this one. It's very good but I would probably choose something else, this seems a little excessive and all over.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,702 ratings.