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Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

815 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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

Added by OStrungT on 08-11-2006

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Reviews: 815 | Ratings: 3,951
Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing

s: Strong pine resin with petroleum notes

t: Follows the nose with considerable hop bite over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers on the dry finish

m: Medium plus, very good body and smooth oily texture. Good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully flavorful IPA in the definite West Coast vein. Can see why it's rated higher than Hoppy Birthday or Duet on BA.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Green Flash bottle. BB April 2016.

A - Bright. Golden or light golden. Two finger white head. Some particulate in the body. Minimal carbonation. Rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Spice, fruit, rye note is there in a spicy malt note, lot's of nice zippy hop. Huge Nelson Sauvin note.

T - The rye and fruity note balance so nicely. Nelson character comes in so well and shines. Big hop and malt blows.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body and a spicy, fruity finish with a good but not overpowering bitterness.

O/D - Lovely stuff. So subtle but so complex as well. The spice and fruit work so well together. Excellent and drinkable for the ABV. I wasn't expecting a ton from this, but this was very impressive. Awesome.

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Photo of trevorpost
3.39/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like the syrupy mess than many west coast ipas are in Massachusetts. Really disappointing. Looks like a great modern ipa, byt tastes like sweet oxidized ipa. And this is on draft. I'm sure it's great fresh but I have no faith that I order is fresh now. Ugh.

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Photo of Horbar
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The rye overpowers the Nelson, this is unfortunate.
Very dry.
Faint hoppy aroma with a pilsner type smell.
A very good beer, but somehow a disappointment.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The look is definitely on the lighter side for an ipa. Smell was amazing floral aroma. Taste was just about perfect for an ipa. Can not say enough about how much I enjoyed this beer. Can't wait to try there other ipas. Seek this out.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer. Surprised by the contrast between the aroma, which is all pine needles and pakalolo, and the pour which isn't cloudy or murky at all but rather golden with a light head. Taste is dank (but not sticky) and citrusy, but there's also a slightly smokey and herbal taste. Beautiful dry finish compliments the NZ hops very well. A real gem. At one point I would imagine this was considered very hoppy but in today's world of ever more hop-forward profiles Nelson actually feels more nuanced and subtle. Go figure.

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Photo of trygelski1
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into tulip glass:

Look: Pours an amazing hazy golden color. By looking at the color this could be mistaken for a wheat beer. Small amount of head present with some lacing.

Smell: Citrus, pine, hops galore, rye

Taste: Grapefruit tasting with pine and citrus then finishes with some rye coming thru.

Feel: Medium bodied

Overall: This one is a step below Duet in my opinion. You can definitely taste the rye on the back end after big hits of hops and citrus up front. Not a huge fan of the Rye IPAs also which may be skewing my ranking slightly.

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Photo of anonymoose
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a clear orange color. The aroma is spicy rye and citrus. The taste is rye and tropical fruits with medium bitterness. The rye character is very accurate. Definitely the most rye tasting IPA I've had. Goes well with the tropical fruit taste. Very good shelf beer in NC now that Green Flash is distributing it.

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is in regards to Alpine's original gangster version and not the GF brewed bottles and or draft editions.

Appearance: opaque, hazy, kind of turbid but a vibrant yellowish gold color with slight orange hues. normal level pour creates a nice medium-ish white soapy, fluffy frothy head. This beer sort of looks like some Heffs.

Aroma: sweet orange juice, white grape notes. Pretty intense smelling tropical fruit blend rounded out with the rye component. Rye is not very detectable but compliments the other strong aromas very well.

Taste: Citrus fruit juice, sweet papaya notes, sweet oranges, the slight slight bitterness is akin to grapefruit rind and pith as opposed to aggressive pine dank super hoppy bitterness. sometimes I get a little bit of awesome lemon flavor too but not in a sour or weird manner. oh, and drinkable as hell. like just simply delicious.

Mouthfeel: very smooth, medium hearty body. very suave and amazing mouthfeel.

Overall: This is not only a SD classic. This beer is a top west coast beer for the ages. Lives up to it's highly coveted reputation.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention is very good. Lacing is excellent. Has a nice, fresh, juicy citrus aroma with some piney resin at the end. I wish there was cologne that smells like this! Taste is a big, juicy citrus bomb. Nice piney resin at the end. Moderate astringency. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. So glad this beer came to Texas and hope we get it in a 6 pack soon. This is great!!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Finally. Perhaps my longest standing want. I've heard its not as good as it was before Green Flash but I don't know if I ever would have had the chance to try it without them. It pours clearer than I was expecting. Probably more filtered. Well structured, white head. Lacing is thick. The aroma brings my favorite hop right to my receptors. Tropical fruit, earth and flora. Some Sauv Blanc notes. Some dankness. A bit of sweetness too. Smells very nice. Love Nelson hops! The flavor starts off with a pronounced, coercive citrus flavor. A combination of several high-acid citrus fruits. Then the more terroir-driven hop flavors come out. Really vibrant hoppiness. Pot and earth and herb as well. Really damn tasty. Rye malt acts as a unique prop for the Nelson deliciousness. Rye tang combines with the unique hop zest. Its medium bodied and quite bitter. Still very drinkable. A morning juice substitute in a perfect world. Whether its different than it used to be or not, this is still an excellent beer. Finally got to scratch this one off the list; grateful.

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Photo of Zorro
3.46/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed yellow with a tall white head.

Smell is a mountain of hops. Smells primarily of grapefruit and pith. Smell of medicine, lots of Phenol.

Starts out strongly hopped with a melon after taste. Very strong Hops.Tastes of wood and strong tea.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Tastes OK, Don't see the charm of this one.

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

This one is DANK. Tons and tons of fruitiness on the nose and the perfect balance of fruitiness and hoppiness on the drink with a nice white, clean head and good lacing.

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Photo of 98green
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wowsers. Yeah this one is great. Pours a cloudy light orange. Smell is all juicy citrus. Taste follows through and more. All citrus and bright clean bitter. Almost no malt to get in the way. This is my kinda IPA. Probably shoulda given this a 5, maybe I will update if I catch this again another time. Updated to add that the rye is also a plus. Joseph James Citra rye similarly kills it, so maybe ima sucker for rye malt

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Photo of Roland7792
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle with bb date of March 2016 poured into a Teku. Look is a hazy light orange with lots of lacing. Smell is fantastic with dank earthy onion/garlic, grapefruit and tangerine. Taste follows suit with the nose and has a great earthy white wine flavor after the initial citrus. Can definetaly taste the rye too as a slight peppery malt finish. Feel is a tad thin but not bad for an IPA with medium carbonation and slick oily resin. If Green Flash brews aren't as good as the original Alpine, as I've read, the original Nelson must be killer cause this is pretty fantastic as is.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pt 6 oz bottle on November 13, 2015. Best by 21 Mar 16 printed on bottle. Look is golden, two finger head and lingering lacing. Smell is grapefruit. Taste is white wine and fruit. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Photo of Kennethzelljr
4.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A bright gold that is color and foamy white head poured.smells of dank,mango,honey,crisp bell pepper....so much going on on the taste profile due to the rye and unique hops.honey,mango,bell pepper,black pepper a little bit of lime,a touch almost garlic funk. I'm giving the taste a 5 doesn't get too much better for a rye ipa,I'm definitely not one to just hand 5's out but lord it's a tasty,spicy,zesty ipa.mouthfeel isn't light,drinks like a big double ipa.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

delicious, but im not sure if im drinking the nelson of alpine lore, or the green flash version. either way, its pretty good. hazy orange in color. huge citrus nose. great flavor, nice backbone. mouthfeel really stands out for me. medium bodied with great carb. very nice.

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Photo of NorthSideSean
4.76/5  rDev +8.7%
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 Pencible
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque gold with fluffy white head.
S: It smelled like super dank and citrus, with some wild honey and apricot.
T: It tasted like dank herbal hops, with some citrus and wild honey and apricot. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a fantastic IPA. The scent and taste were so fresh and full of hops, without being too bitter or catty. The body was ok, and the finish was super smooth, so it was easy to drink. Not much rye noticeable, but this was still a top tier brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass from a 22 oz bomber provided by snaotheus.

Color is hazy pale gold, almost straw, with a large fluffy head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing traces every sip. Smell is mango, citrus and fresh cut grass. Very juicy. It hits the palate with a strong blast of bitterness that matches the nose, gives way to delicious juiciness and finishes with lingering grapefruit rind. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, really good!

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Photo of TooGood
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very unique beer in all areas. Looks very hazy orange in the glass with excellent lacing. Smell is citrusy and unlike anything I've had. Very creamy mouth feel.

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Photo of nj111579
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'll skip the standard format and leave it at this.... this west coast ipa succeeds where every session ipa fails and you
get and extra couple of abv points to boot. Prett much proves session ipas are useless. Nearly perfect. Fantastic stuff. Could drink this all day every day even when it's 108 outside. Lives up to the hype. My mom even liked it.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a very bright light golden color with a slight haze and a huge white head. Retention is good with nice lacing. The smell is amazing! Dankness and tropical fruits dominate with a slight sweetness and spicy notes. Taste is much the same with some grassiness and a decent amount of bitterness on the back end. Feel is very light, almost too light for my liking. Overall this is a great tasting beer though. Would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale gold, very bright. Mild haze. Head is off-white and voluminous. Head lasts forever and leaves a large amount of sticky lacing.

Aroma is peppery rye, wine grapes, mango, and lemon.

Big hops in the taste. Citrus-y and tropical. Pine on the back end. Lemon, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, wine grapes, and orange. Pepper and rye spiciness. Not really getting any malt notes beyond the rye but despite that, doesn't seem overly unbalanced.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness from the pine.

A solid west coast IPA with big flavors. The pine didn't really agree with me but everything else was great.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.