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.
NelsonNelson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,427 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,427
Reviews: 581
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,290
Gots: 251 | 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:
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)
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,427 | Reviews: 581 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very proper looking IPA. Nice white puffy head which leaves a trail of tight belgian lace behind it. Hazy and opaque but a nice golden orange color. Such a fruity aroma, big grapefruit and citrus fruit. Sticky and hoppy, could pop a bit more. The flavor is clean and pure west coast IPA. Big fruit notes, grapefruit, melon, citrus, really great. I'm missing a little complexity from multiple strains of hops, I think? The rye is a nice touch, faintly spicy. But where the rye shines is helping create a dry clean finish. Nice, alot of IPAs have a bit of a cloying finish from the hops, but not this one! An IPA of the highest order.

Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade ,now getting to drink and to the review, being poured in to a surly imperial pint glass

A-pours a hazy light golden orange and a wonderful creamy white head.tons of lace down the side of the glass

S- tropical fruit, notes of a musk rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, tons of nice tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops were done right in this one .

M- syrupy than the duet i just had recently with the same high carbonation feel to it and awesome crisp clean finish to it.

O-Amazing IPA one of my favorites , the tangerines and tropical fruit are super enjoyable. the bitterness is light and the flavors go together very well.

Photo of turfy
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the trusty Duvel tulip

A - A golden orange color with a fluffy, off - white one finger head. Admirable lacing throughout

S - Top notch. Sweet grapefruit aroma that lasted throughout the drink. Touch of honey. No fading on this one!

T - Smooth, sweet grapefruit taste with a great balance of bitterness. Perhaps a trace of apricot . A true winner.

M - Just about perfect. Enough body to separate it from the pretenders but not cloying or heavy in any way.

O - Another winner from Alpine, which I believe is now my fave brewery. If you are looking to enjoy high quality IPA's and DIPA's, this is the brewery to try.

Photo of t420o
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to schmoopsbeer for this one

A- Pour produces a half finger head that is white/near off white in color. Though you can see the active bubbles in the beer, it did not produce much of a head with a semi-aggresive pour. The beer is light golden/ Burnt orange in color.

S- Well just like the description on the bottle says I smell a lot of grapefruit. That is accompanied by orange, and like I've seen on some other reviews a garlicky/musty type scent. Its not garlic but something similar to it I am smelling just cannot put my finger on it. Strangely enough this is not off putting at all and seems to fir right in.

T- Grapefruit, dry white wine taste, herbal flavor, and some tangerine. Some tropical fruit hints also. It is really hard toput a finger on just what I am tasting in this one but its somewhat similar to a white wine but with a richer, buttery-herbacious flavor that accompanies it. The Nelson Sauvin hops are very interesting and I enjoy them a lot. Slightly dry on the backend. Cannot feel a hint of alcohol. Excellent

M- Nice carbonation level. Nice density. Goes down super smooth.

O- An excellent and interesting beer that I highly recommend. Very drinkable

Photo of beagle75
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of persistent white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense and hop-forward with fleshy grapefruit and green vinous notes.

T: Begins off-dry, with focused and pungent hop aromatics that are reminiscent of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Acidity is mild, very clean. Flavors turn more herbaceous, floral, and slightly toasty in the middle. Some bitterness develops in the short finish, showing a little more of an herbaceous quality than peel of grapefruit.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate with a slight acidic burn, and with moderate carbonation.

D/O: At the first glance, Alpine's beer line-up may seem needlessly crowded with IPAs. A careful exploration of each will allow the taster to appreciate just how much variability is possible within the style: O'Brien's delivers the greatest balance, fulfilling the role of general-purpose IPA that does not disappoint; Duet is a showcase of Simcoe qualities (and a great substitute for Sculpin); and Nelson is the grapefruit bomb of the three. As advertised, it delivers grapefruit that is laser-focused and juicy, with an intensity that even challenges grapefruit-focused DIPAs such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder. If any criticism is required, its qualities have an obsessive simplicity about them--but after all, Nelson is a specialist whose companion brews pick up the slack nicely.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Metallitone1, this was super fresh! I split this with a friend and it was entertaining. Orange color, not quite perfectly clear but maybe it was hazed from being too cold at first. I could barely taste the rye but the hops were certainly quite pungent and tasty and bitter! It had a real full feel to it, robust hoppiness. We drank a Duet right after and Nelson was much more interesting. Overall this was a good IPA but I'm not surprised given the source.

Photo of CrookedStill
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have to say thanks to mschofield for this one.

Pours a clear golden/straw with a thin white head that falls quickly.

Lots of lemon/grassy notes upfront. There's a sweetness in the background along with hints of grapefruit and pine.

Big citrus/lemon hits first followed by just enough sweetness to keep the bitterness in check. Finishes slightly dry with no noticeable trace alcohol. A really solid IPA with a wonderful balance. Very easy to enjoy.

Pretty standard carbonation and mouth-feel for the style.

This is my first experience with Nelson Sauvin hops and all-in-all I'm fairly impressed. There's really a lot going on with this beer and although the appearance is the same as any number of other IPAs the taste and aroma is where this beer really shines. It's also interesting to see how the flavors change as it warms. I'm really glad I got the chance to try this and would definitely love to have again.

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

A- Pours a very light orange with a fluffy white head that lingers for quite a while. Slight haze.

S- Heavy on the grapefruit. Very pleasing citrus aroma.

T- Similar to smell. Big grapefruity flavors. Finish is not dry or too bitter. Great balance. The rye adds a great dimension to the overall flavor.

M- Not too thin or too thick. Just right. Carbonation is perfect.

O- Another winner from Alpine. This brewery has a masterful handle on any hoppy style of beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to CAbeerCAbeerCA for this little surprise in my box today!

a - popped the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. poured a murky straw yellow, but settled a bit darker in the glass, more of a honey color. there was a nice frothy head and lacing was pretty thick and sticky.

s - very nice and balanced hops. great sweetness with a touch of sweatiness. a bit grassy, a bit earthy, but overall just smells great! i really dig the way this one smells.

t - again, quite good, but not as great as the nose suggests. much more bitter and sweaty, but not overly bitter. i wish the sweetness in the smell was a bit stronger in the flavor, but all-in-all a solid beer. bit of grapefuruit juice.

m - nice carbonation, easy drinker. leaves a subtle bitterness in the aftervibe. at times seemed a bit watery.

o - overall very good. all about the nose on this one...really smells fantastic. beyond that, a solid IPA.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky yellowish orange. Lots of white frothy head. Smells incredibly hoppy. Tons of grapefruit and a touch of pine on the nose. Smells great! Tastes great. Bitter hops and grapefruit on the tongue as well. The malts are very subtle in the background. Nicely carbonated. Overall a very tasty beer. Probably my favorite alpine beer!

Photo of fox227
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy golden color with a small head and nice lacing.

S: Lots of goodness going on here. Lemon and stone fruit are present. I smelled the rye before I even poured this into my glass. You know that you're in for something good when you can get the aroma before you even pour!

T: A very complex IPA. The taste follows the nose very much as I get lemon, peach, rye, a bit of yeast, and the nelson hops come in at the end and lends a bitter balance.

M: Good carbonation, but not too much. The hops linger on the tongue, but not for long. This beer goes down very easy.

Overall I must say that beers wins out massively in every category that matters to me. Nelson is not a hop-bomb IPA, but a delicately complex and deliciously balanced one. Seek this one out.

Photo of aval89
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beverages4Less in Santee, CA.

A: pours a beautiful golden color with a clear body.. 2 fingers of white head with lots of tiny bubbles.. lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom..

S: lemony-pine freshness!! Pretty danky smell! Also getting a doughy bread smell with a mild funk.. touch of peach is also in there..

T: doughy breadiness upfront with that mild funk again.. lemony pines come through with some citrus & overall fruitiness.. spice does come through on the finish with a mild hop bitterness.. the rye does linger a bit on the palate.

Mf: its actually quite creamy & soft. Pairs excellent with the medium body..

O: I love this brew. Drinks very good & is a great change of pace for west coast IPAs.

Photo of phingdong
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebowski for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden hue with a nice sticky white 2 finger head. Leaves nice sticky lacing as it recedes.

Familiar tropical hop aroma with some pine and some funk in there as well. Smell of rye also comes through.

Nice thick and creamy mouthfeel that coats the entire palate. Taste mirrors the smell. Nice tropical hoppy fruit with a dank funk coming through nicely in the background. Very tasty beer. Maybe just a touch muted in aroma/taste compared to the best in this class.

My first beer from Alpine. I look forward to trying the rest of their lineup.

Photo of Neffbeer
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: It pours a beautiful golden color with pretty good clarity for such a hop monster. Rocky two finger white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some spotted lacing behind.

S: Big time aroma from all of the hops, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and funky pine. The malt is very light with a hint of toast and spicy rye.

T: This one is super fresh, the citrus and tropical hop flavors dominate the palate with some funky pine cones on the backside. The malt is very light and understated, a hint of the rye. This is a perfect vehicle for a the lupulin fireworks. Nice dry, slightly salty finish.

M: Medium bodied and lush carbonation.

O: This is up there as one of the best IPA's I have had to date. An excellent example of the American style with a slight twist, seek this one out.

Photo of cetherid
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip

A.

beer is a pale straw color that is fairly clear. A HUGE amount of thick foamy head that dissipates slowly, leaving some killer lacing on the glass.

S.

An awesome hop aroma is coming out of the glass (even just out of the bottle). Aromas of citrus fruit, dank weed, and cat pee are present (and amazingly those 3 things smell great together!)

T.

Similar to nose, lots of fresh hops and great bitterness. Mainly citrus rinds and earthy/piney flavors. Almost a slightly sweet, slightly toasted malt taste (has to be the rye) as well that mellows out the bitterness. Such as solid tasting IPA.

M.

Almost medium bodied with great carbonation. Pretty dry finish..bitter and dry..normally I like a little sweeter, smoother IPA but this one is stellar. California knows how to make great IPAs.

O.

This and Sculpin might be my favorite IPAs. Awesome aroma and flavor. Very fresh/pungent, hops. just like an IPA should be. I'll need to try another Sculpin here very soon as my palate have definitely changed since getting into beer hardcore recently. Unfortunately this is a west coast beer but luckily I have connections to grab it.

Photo of deapokid
3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 3/14. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy golden color with a full finger of creamy white head. Carbonation is lively and the lacing is dense and sticky. This one was getting me excited from first glance.

The aroma of pineapple and orange is quite heavy. The rye malt acts as a backbone, which makes for a fresh, floral scent with just a dash of black pepper.

Taste is fruity and refreshing up front with a hint of rye saltiness and dry malt on the back end. There's a really nice differentiation between flavors and the hop bite is not strikingly aggressive, which makes for a balanced and unique IPA.

The mouth is like an exhibition of two distinct flavor types (sweet and savory) while the liquid itself is creamy and dry. It manages to be complex and easy to drink at the same time.

It's certainly serendipitous that I drank this the day after I had Oskar Blues GUBNA. This IPA is exactly what that beer isn't. It's a successful display of how well a strong malt and bitter hop pair with the sweet pucker of citrus fruit.

Photo of dmsohyea
2.35/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the brewpub in Alpine. Taster glass.

A - standard IPA coloring, maybe a bit lighter yellow. Some lacing and good retention.

S - Smells floral and a bit uninviting. Not sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't know the horrors to come.

T - Tastes just off. The rye flavor and yeast selection just makes for a blah taste. I didn't enjoy it one bit and couldn't finish the 4 oz taster. Not super bitter, but it did taste a little like i was eating a flower.

M - Mouthfeel was above average. Not that I could really notice through the flavor that I hated.

O - Didn't like it. Sorry guys, I feel like this one is WAY over rated.

Photo of peacebone116
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from my buddy MrTopher... thanks for sharing!

Poured from a bomber into a festival tasting flute.

A: Pale cloudy honey color with a nice finger of thick white foam.

N: Hoppy, floral, tropical fruit notes with a musty bready note.

T/M: Thick, almost "chewy" body. Spicy (like rye bread). Hops really compliment the rye flavor. It has a light taste but it is very rich...almost contradictory.

This is a great beer. If I could find this beer more locally, it would be a regular for me!

Photo of jsanford
4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Browns in San Diego. Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Poured a clear orange with a fluffy white head that recedes to a nice haze and thick ring.
S - Incredibly pungent hop aromas that basically smells like the dankest weed you've ever had (sorry, it's all that comes to mind, and I don't even smoke). Quite vegetal, green, and slightly "catty". Very unique aromas, but I'm loving it!
T - Close to the nose, tons of vegetal, dank hop flavors. Very musky and green, but again, quite delicious. This was a challenging beer for me to review since coming up with descriptors was so difficult.
M - Medium-bodied, with a slightly sticky mouth-feel and moderate carbonation.
O - Again, a very unique beer, the Nelson hops bring so much to the party. I'd love to try this again, and will actively seek it out.

Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/21/11, no bottle date. Tulip glass.

A- Light very pale tangerine, almost yellow beer poured with about 2" of fine bubbled head. Eventually the head settled to a thin pad that stayed around until the end providing a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Strong tropical fruit and definitely some white winey grape notes like the bottle suggests. A lighter hint of grapefruit citrus in the background. After it warmed up a I noticed a burnt plastic smell that I eventually realized was probably the rye.

T- Tropical fruit notes again upfront followed by that nice hop bitterness. A touch of the malt backbone is present as well. Kind of watery, but has a nice finish. The burnt plastic/rye note showed up faintly here as well when it warmed up a bit.

M- Light body, lightly carbonated. Sort of watery again.

O- The first time I noticed the funky plastic smell and taste it was so faint I wasn't even put off enough to stop drinking. After a few more sips I did realize it was rye, but I still couldn't shake the association. Even so this was a really nice IPA even if it was a tad light in body.

Photo of zrab11
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a wonderful burnt orange color with frothy 2 finger head. Great Lacing

S- Citrus noes hit you right away folloed by a orange peel and some white grapes, Also catch alittle hop scent

T-Citrus and honey hit your tastebuds right away. With a nice balanced hop flavor in the middle and then finish's with a lovely grassy zesty taste

M-Medium body with Great carbonation.Has a thick but crisp feel in your mouth

D-Overall this is a great ipa. I have found alot of ipas to just be hoppy and not have much flavor or other things going on in them But this one has a well balanced citrus and honey flavor. Thats not too sweet or citrusy that its almost not an IPA but gives just enough to the hops to make this beer memorable. Will get this again.

Photo of Wadsey
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium tulip. 

A: The beer's color is situated between straw and pale gold. A constant stream of bubbles feeds a fluffy white head. Good lacing and great clarity. 

S: Pungent hops present themselves as cat pee, eucalyptus, white grape and gooseberries. Maybe yellow grapefruit peel and grape skins.   Smell challenges my "expertise" and vocabulary. 

T: Taste mirrors smell very nicely. Pale malt bill is not hardy enough to offer much resistance to hop onslaught. Perfect level of bitterness. Resin shows up in taste. Finishes long and green. 

M: Heftier than your typical 7 abv beer. Above-medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation. Extreme hops add a gritty quality to mouthfeel and seemingly cling and rip at tooth enamel. Dry/astringent. 

D: Alpine crafted this beer to be the perfect vessel for the Nelson Sauvin hop, not necessarily the perfect IPA. An intriguing hop makes for an intriguing beer, and I really enjoyed thinking my way through this bomber.

Thanks to hurfer for the assist!

Photo of Trilogy31
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow what a great beer, pours two fingers of head and almost comes out with a mercury metallic hue when pouring, settles to a caramel orange in the glass. Nose is just full of citrus and tropical fruits and white wine with a touch of piney hops. Taste is a complex blend of candied citrus rind, bitter papaya, orange mango juice and some dark rye bread with a touch of sauv blanc notes at the end with the requisite ipa finish. Sculpin might have been dethroned in my book gorgeous beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light orange color with a nice 2 inch stark white head that fades to a small cap. The head is very cloudy and puffy on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace around the glass on the drink down. Smells of citrus zest hops, pine tree, and some spiciness from the rye. Tastes of spicy rye, malt, and citrus zest/pine hops, but overall the beer has a muted taste in my opinion. Beer is slightly carbonated and seems a bit flat. Smooth but creamy in the mouth. I would have liked to have more carbonation for the style. Overall, this is a good beer from Alpine but I prefer a few of their other beers over this.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,427 ratings.