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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,131
Reviews: 563
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 1,206
Gots: 197 | 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
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Ratings: 2,131 | Reviews: 563 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of auroracrisis
auroracrisis

Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%

22oz into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

Straw colored with some haze to the body. Decadent lacing and a head that sticks around for the duration of the session.

Biting grapefruit and orange zest on the nose, with some hop resin beefyness to it. Pale malt and a touch of rye brings in some of the malt, but there isn't much. Some mango, pineapple, and guava in there too.

Big grapefruit and other citrus zest open up the beer and linger with hints of pale malt and some of that rye spiciness again. Those nice tropical fruit flavors poke their head in again and offer some balance from the bitter zest and spicy rye. Fantastic stuff.

Soft on the tongue with a crisp thin-medium body.

Oustanding zesty citrus flavor with pale malt, some bold rye, and tropical fruit flavors. This is probably my favorite IPA of all time. If it were available here, I'd drink it nonstop.

11-13-2011 21:32:42 | More by auroracrisis
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

4.97/5  rDev +11.2%

Major props to Huhzubendah for sharing this- Thanks Matt!

Review from notes:

Pours a beautiful light, clear, gold color w/ a one finger white head. Very clean and clear in appearance. Some of the best lacing I've seen on any beer.. period... I got grapefruit, citrus, pine, hops and pineapple on this one. Very balanced all around, and one of the nicest IPA's I've had the pleasure of trying. Taste is out of this world, w/ rye, floral tastes, and malt being added to the nose profile. Super smooth and balanced. Feel is super smooth and satisfying- w/ a hops/rye aftertaste. Overall, this is one of the best IPA's I've ever tried. I'd drive hours to get this if I could- Highly recommended! Cheers.

11-12-2011 13:52:29 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of nc41
nc41

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +0.2%

All I drink is IPA's, and it's been a long time since I had a mind blowing one, and I've tried a lot of the great name CA brews. This one is beyond sensational, the nose is fruity, not quite as sharp as grapefruit, and the taste follows. Fruity, kinds peachy, a little sharp like sucking on the peach pit, is the best I can relate to. You think this would be a typical CA IPA, but it's not... it's so much better. Definitely not sweet, well balanced, but still very bold, a little xtra malt, drinks like a DIPA. . Must be the different hops is all I can add. As good an IPA as I've ever had, and I have tried most of the higher rated ones. You have to give this one a try, i can't believe it hasn't had it's own thread yet.

11-12-2011 05:05:57 | More by nc41
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

Bomber generously brought back from Cali and shared by cbutova. Been looking forward to this one.

Pours a pale yellow/light orange, white head retains pretty well, a little lacing left.

Awesome scent right off the bat and doesn't die down the whole time. Fresh grapefruit, orange, and lemon "greet" you, along with some dankiness to even it out.

Taste is of similar awesomeness, big mix of bright fruits (grapefruit, peach, orange) and earthiness, some rye and bready malts.

Light, well-carbonated, lots of fresh hop flavor without being close to overly bitter.

Great stuff, definitely my favorite from Alpine so far.

11-11-2011 14:32:51 | More by Chico1985
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured from the bottle into my Chicago Bears pint glass. Once again, huge thanks to Brett!

A - Pours a golden yellow, with just the slightest hint of orange, and also with two fingers worth of pale white head. Retention is very nice once again, with half a finger's worth of head lasting throughout the experience.

S - Smells of fresh grapefruit, mixed with citrusy hops. There is an almost cider like quality in the nose that reminds me of Half Acre's Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, which makes sense as the main hop used in both beers is from the same part of the world. Really a perfectly balanced nose.

T - Follows well from the nose, but with more funk emanating from the hop profile than the nose would suggest. Definitely an interesting beer, as the hop funk dominates the mouth, with the citrus proving to be more of a background element than the balancing force it seemed to be in the nose. The cider-like quality to this beer is in full effect in the mouth, a perfect companion for this cold fall evening. As I swish it around in my mouth, the grapefruit and citrus comes through more, providing the balance present in the nose. When I do this, the taste is simply astounding! It's strange that it requires me sloshing this around a bit for the flavors to come together, and for that I'm docking it half a point.

M - The beer is very pleasant on the tongue, with a perfect amount of carbonation and absolutely zero alcohol burn, despite the slightly higher alcohol content for the style.

O - Overall a very well done beer. One I would definitely drink regularly if I had access to it!

11-11-2011 02:41:48 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

4.7/5  rDev +5.1%

Went all the way to San Diego but the only Alpine IPA I could get my hands on was one bottle of Nelson, and it was a good one. I had it once before and I realized it must not have been so fresh, because this one was amazing.

Very clear appearance, more on the lighter/golden side for an IPA. The white foam is immense and lasts nicely. What an intense hop bouquet. It's very bright with clean pine notes and a heavenly floral pungence. Like I'm wandering through a fresh meadow bursting with spring aroma.

The smell leads me to believe I'm in for a shock, but actually the flavor is more subtle than expected. The malt is very clean with a Pilsner-esque crispness, allowing the bright hops to shine through. It's alot like Pure Hoppiness but with a different hop twist. So good, and not overdone. I can't believe how drinkable this is.

All I can say is I highly recommend this. Next time I travel to Alpine I hope all the stores won't be sold out again, but now I understand why...

11-09-2011 05:35:25 | More by bennetj17
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

11-08-2011 13:32:08 | More by ShanePB
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%

Picked up a bottle back in early Sept when visiting San Diego. Made a special trip out to Alpine simply because I was hearing such great things about them. Missed the brewery because it closed, so my wife and I hit the pub right next door. After a hearty meal with some tasty brews, the server was kind enough to sell me a bottle of Nelson.

A: Pours a clear gold color with light white head that fades rather quick. Label art on bottle original. No freshness date can be found.

S: Awesome hop character. Wish this stuff was a cologne cause I'd wear it all the time. Sticky hop sweetness of lemon, grapefruit, and citrus and some honey like aromas. Get a little of the white wine character as the label says.

T: Rye and hops. This one is a nicely done hop bomb, yet very eloquently done. A really great tasting IPA.

M: Bitter with some residual hop sweetness. Feels medium bodied yet refreshing.

O: Wish I could find this one all the time. This would be my go-to staple beer. Don't think I could ever tire of this one.

11-04-2011 21:46:34 | More by jwhancher
Photo of Shagtastic
Shagtastic

Indiana

4.38/5  rDev -2%

Thanks to Vissai for this new Cali brew

Poured from a bomber into my tulip glass.

A: Light golden color with a huge head, great retention and exceptional lacing.

S: I love the fruity aroma that i get out of this one. Really comes through strong on the initial pour.

T: Wow, this is an interesting beer to say the least. I love the rye in the IPA but this is a new experience for me. I can't say much bad about it because it really is a great tasting beer.

M: Good carbonation on this beer, really heavy on the tongue but enjoyable.

Overall: I do like this beer, while it might not be an every day beer for me, If I had access I'd return to it for sure.

11-02-2011 00:43:19 | More by Shagtastic
Photo of brian44556
brian44556

Kentucky

4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Bell's pint glass. Curiosity of Sixofsigmas. No dating on the bottle.

Pours a bright yellowish, orange, with an amazing thick, bright white 2 finger head. As the head pulls back into the beer a thick ring of lace is left all over the sides of the glass. Smell notes of piney hops, tropical fruits, and a slight hint of malt. A mellow bitterness from the hops jumps out with each drink and is well balanced with a crisp malt flavor profile. A great piney linger is left on the pallet with each drink that makes you want to hurry back for more. This beer is an easy drinker with a great finish. Carbonation is spot on. This is a great example of how an IPA should be brewed. Every Alpine offering I have had the pleasure of drinking has left me disappointed because I don't know when I'll be able to drink my next. Great brew Alpine!

10-30-2011 02:21:03 | More by brian44556
Photo of kinopio
kinopio

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

Very little head. The color of the beer reminds me of a an unripe tangerine.

The smell is the best part of this beer. Its amazing. I spend more time smelling the beer than tasting it. A nice balance of floral and citrus notes. A bit of hay and alcohol.

Taste almost rivals the smell. Tons of orange. The juicyness, lack of carbonation and drinkability make me wanna chug this beer despite the 7% abv.

An elite IPA that needs to be smelled to be believed. Duet and Pure Hoppiness are solid IPAs from Alpine; Nelson is a step above.

10-29-2011 00:01:15 | More by kinopio
Photo of donovanneb
donovanneb

California

4.97/5  rDev +11.2%

If you opened your eyes and saw the color of this beer, then closed your eyes and took a sip, for me it was the closest thing to Pliny the Elder that I have seen/tasted. Lighter in color, but full of flavor and almost sweet hops that linger in your mouth well after swallowing. Has the exact same flavor profile and elegance that Pliny has, but I think this one might be even tougher to find. Made with New Zealand hops it has all the flavor of a California IPA that all the “C” hops have.

Excellent beer, can’t wait to get a hold of another.

10-24-2011 15:24:59 | More by donovanneb
Photo of jrnyc
jrnyc

New York

4.93/5  rDev +10.3%

I had this in a pint glass poured from a 22oz bomber.

A -Looks nice, nice orange color, medium head.

S: As soon as the bottle opens, the smell comes flying through, WOW!

T: This beer tastes great. A lot going on here, very hoppy, not bitter
, great taste also. A bit sweet.

M: good carbonation, feels very fresh and creamy.

O:This is a great beer. Has all the characteristics of a great IPA and incredible smell and taste. This one moves into my top 5/10.

10-21-2011 00:15:39 | More by jrnyc
Photo of vande
vande

Illinois

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 oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber with a finger of creamy off white head. Decent retention.

Smell: You can definitely tell they used Nelson hops. Juicy, citrus hop bitterness, hints of pineapple and grapefruit rind. There is some spice from the rye as well.

Taste: This is a really tasty IPA. So complex, but still really hoppy. The Nelson hops are so unique. Citrus peel and herbal notes with spice from the rye. Bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of light carbonation and a very slight dryness in the finish.

Overall: Super complex and very good. I would drink this all night long if I had more.

10-12-2011 01:41:16 | More by oline73
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%

Clear golden-apricot color with a nice 1 finger bubbly white head. Good retention and excellent lacing.

Very nice nose with notes of grapefruit and other citrus hop notes along with tropical fruit like mango and papaya.

Flavor also is very nice with a very nice, different distinct rye flavor with a mild spiciness. Very nice balance with mild floral and citrus hops notes, malty rye and a sweet caramel apple-like aftertaste.

Mouth is very light and smooth with a pleasantly surprisingly low carb. for the style.

Overall a very nice rye that's very different than any other I've had. All around a very nice beer and extremely easy to drink. A must find.

10-11-2011 00:12:40 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of Drazzamatazz
Drazzamatazz

Maine

4.1/5  rDev -8.3%

Another share with Brez07, another borrowing of review.

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. [Grapefruit reminded me at first of fresh Finestkind, but then I got more of the juicy fruit character you get from Nelson Sauvin . Rye also added a little something extra to set it apart from most other IPA's.]

10-08-2011 19:53:10 | More by Drazzamatazz
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4/5  rDev -10.5%

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

10-05-2011 20:46:12 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of flannelman808
flannelman808

California

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

10-03-2011 09:15:53 | More by flannelman808
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

10-02-2011 16:10:23 | More by aasher
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Bomber courtesy of millerbuffoon into a tulip; shared with a couple friends at NEBCO. Thanks, Miller!

A: Lightly hazy pale orange body under two inches of delicate ecru head. Great retention and lacing. Very nice.

S: Bizarre. Fruit (both citrus + tropical) is there, but so is honey, floral olive oil, rye, bell pepper, and fruitcake. Weird and fascinating.

T: Spicy, fruity, vegetal, honeyed, malty, and smooth. Moderately bitter finish. Quite a bit sweeter than I expected, and truly strange. Also truly delicious.

M: Soft, smooth, and nicely carbonated.

O: I've never had an IPA, or any beer for that matter, that tasted remotely like Nelson. There are flavors going on here that took everyone who was sharing this bottle completely off guard. Complex doesn't even begin to describe how wacky this thing smelled and tasted, and I really couldn't get enough. Terrific beer, and one that would be in my fridge regularly if I could get it. Crazy good.

Cheers!

10-01-2011 21:19:12 | More by woosterbill
Photo of airfoil
airfoil

California

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%

Pour from a bottle gave a golden color with a nice white head. Earthy, fresh hops in the nose. Medium bodied with upfront clean natural bitter NZ hops.Refreshing beer with the alcohol pretty well hidden. Long finish really accentuates the unique flavor profile. Awesome.

09-26-2011 21:27:38 | More by airfoil
Photo of WeedKing4
WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Thanks again to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a golden orange colour into a snifter glass. I could really pick up grapefruit in the smell. The taste followed suit as a intense grapefruit like flavour followed with each sip. Good bitterness and a nice malty backbone. Very nice beer.

09-25-2011 13:42:33 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of BrewerB
BrewerB

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -19.9%

Alpine Beer Company has a favorable reputation amongst BA members and even sports a few beers in the top 100, including Nelson. Since they don't make their way up to the SF Bay Area, I used a recent trip to San Diego as a great excuse to visit them in person.

Pours a somewhat hazy, medium orange color with a thin off-white head.

Prevalent grapefruit hoppy nose backed up by floral notes. Touches of pineapple, too.

Herbal hops mingling with a light malt spiciness. Minor presence of tropical fruity hops. Moderate level of bitterness. Lingering, chardonnay-like long dry finish.

Medium-light bodied with moderate-low level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't quite living up to its top 100 status, in my opinion. I'd take a Union Jack, Torpedo, or Stone IPA over this, no-brainer. Hop flavor/bitterness lacks variety and pungency. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not as good as it could be.

09-20-2011 03:57:19 | More by BrewerB
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

4.05/5  rDev -9.4%

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

09-18-2011 22:20:26 | More by Brez07
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,131 ratings.