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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,492 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,492
Reviews: 592
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,337
Gots: 275 | FT: 17
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: rayjay on 08-14-2006

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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Ratings: 2,492 | Reviews: 592 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.]

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 flannelman808
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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

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!

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

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.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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

Photo of seeswo
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a yellowish-golden color with a nice whitish head. The nose is intoxicating. A light pine is lifted by a delightful citrus array of grapefruit and orange. Wow. Delicious (I rarely give 5's for any category). The taste is really good as well. A light spicy bitterness, grassy with just a touch of pine and citrus. It brings the wood like the nose. Yum. The mouthfeel is medium with a medium light carbonation. I always have felt that I like Duet better, but this fresh batch of Nelson is fantastic. [EDIT: Had this beer like a million times since and this is one of my favorite all time beers]

Photo of azdback
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. A golden orange color. A bit cloudy and full of tiny carbonation bubbles. Head isn't that big (not a very aggressive pour, my fault) under one finger and bright white in color. Lace is pretty sticky and leaves a beautiful spotted pattern.

Smell is of amazing sweet and citrus hops. Pink grapefruit and pineapple. Some orange flavors also and a bit of pine resin.

Taste is a bit different then the nose. The hop bitterness is still there and has the flavors of sweet citrus, but there are earthy notes that taste of fresh cut grass. Quite nice.

Mouth is bright and refreshing. Not a bit thin but on the medium side. Not out of place for an IPA though.

Overall I must say how much I enjoyed this. Another Alpine brew that is hit out of the ball park. Thanks to Jeff for picking this one up for me on his last trip to San Diego.

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

Very excited to try this. Poured from bottle into my Sierra Nevada pint glass. Smell is amazing. Strong, piney, grapefruity hop notes. In the background there is a lot of malt sweetness. Color is pale straw. Head quickly dissipates to a thin head. The taste is really interesting and unique. There's the sweetness but also a bit of grassiness in the hop notes. The rye really contributes to the unique flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall it's very delightful. I would definitely buy it again.

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

Another San Diego gem....

A- Cloudy golden yellow color with a little head retention. Good sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of citrus hop aroma with a spicy backbone from the rye. Smells like fresh tennis balls..in a good way. i had to put that because a friend mentioned it and now i cant get that out of my head.

T-- Great citrus hop flavors, spicy rye in the background. Really nice flavors, balanced nicely. Slightly dry on the back end.

M light -med body, drys out mildly on the backend.

O- Amazing beer, one of the best IPA's out there.

Photo of Nashvillain
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this once before (thanks to Gregshead) and got to try one that I had time to review again (thanks to Thegordianknot).

Yes. Just yes. Everything about this. Reading my review is pointless if it doesn't in some way aid you in getting this beer. Your new life mission is to get as much of this stuff as possible and drink it immediately. Job, kids, life? They pale in comparison to this brew. That being said, actual review below.

Pours a dark straw into the glass. Big, pillowy head sits atop, making escaping without a beerstache an impossible feat. This thing has a ton of floaties. I'm sure they're good for you.

Oh yeah, there's extensive lacing too. As for the smell, it's cranberries, potpurri (not the crappy WalMart version, imagine a collaboration between Martha Stewart and Yankee Candle Co), and pungent awesomeness characteristic of Nelson Sauvin

Taste is dank. Just filthy, but in the best way possible. Like a messy dog kiss, nasty but bright and friendly at the same time. Almost resin-like, but not over the top. Finish is a light alcohol warmth that wraps everything up. Mouthfeel is smooth as it ought to be.

Has great potential for a desert island beer.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Hazy orange with a good white head. Aroma is floral hops with a lot of citrus fruits especially orange and grape fruit. The flavor is an explosion of hops but in great balance, not as sweet as the aroma seemed. Orange and grape fruit, maybe apple, peach. So nicely balanced, this is a stellar IPA and I always seek this out when they put out a new batch.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lnashsig for this gem! Poured into globe tulip glass, no bottle dating...

A- Hazy orange color with yellow tints and a two finger off white head. Creamy and sticky. Coats the glass.

S- Oh my, oh my... Where to begin? Hops literally jump out of the glass and rape your nostrils. Crazy fruity aroma- citrus, apples, grapes, cranberries. This smell blew my mind... High expectations for taste now.

T/M- Much more reserved bitterness than I thought. Very smooth and balanced, but not an extremely high IBU. Flavor is great. Again, fruity and complex. Definitely has a biscuity, doughy support for the hops. Great medium body, accentuating carbonation; refreshing and awesome in or around my mouth...

O- Just wow. Much better than Pure Hoppiness. I want more nelson sauvin hops in my beers...

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lucky enough to have this beer a few occasions, so I felt that it was time to review.

Pours out with a nice honey color, with the aroma of hops and citrus being noticed immediately. Gives a nice two finger head that sticks around for while before an appearance of descending. Hops are at the forefront, quickly followed by citrus, giving it a very satisfying grapefruit taste. Nelson leaves a nice extended stay tingle in the mouth, a very welcome guest.

Overall, this is a most excellent example of a double IPA done right. Unfortunately for me, its not readily available in my area, so feel blessed if it sits on your beer station's shelves.

Photo of kungpao
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a world class American made beer.

A- A nice dirty dark blonde and very clear beer, very unusual considering the style. This thing is alive, obviously bottle conditioned, yeast floaties aplenty. Poured semi aggressively into a pint glass. Pours an impressive eggshell color 3 finger pillowy head with tons of retention. The head is reminiscent of Duvel... I'm impressed.

S- Citrusy, fruity, piny dank hops. This beer smells great. Definitely up there with some of the best IPAs available in terms of fragrance. Earthy rye and clean yeast are hidden somewhere amongst the dank hops.

T- Awesome. Slight bittering hops up front, followed by a TON of piney/ fruity hop flavor. I'm surprised that the rye didn't get lost amongst the hops but it shines threw at the end to help add to complexity and balance the lack of malts.

M- Amongst the best I've ever had. Chewy, thick, simply luxurious. A little bit more carbonation than I was expecting but it works well. This is probably the most memorable and unique quality of the beer, which is saying alot.

O- Excellent beer.

Photo of charliedvrs
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden amber with two fingers of fluffy white head, sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma and taste are both full to the brim of white grapes, giving it a flavor similar to white wine. Sharp hop blasts of grapefruit, musky wet grass and herbal notes, backed by a slight spiciness I assume is from the rye, which complements the hop profile perfectly. Also getting a bit of that catty, onion flavor I'd normally associate with simcoe, though in a much more subtle way. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low to medium carbonation and slightly dry, finish. Fresh, slightly acidic citrus notes linger on your tongue for longer than you can wait to take another sip.

Really a beautiful beer. Sometimes I feel I've reached a point where even the best Double IPAs taste repetitious. This one was refreshing - in more ways than one.

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

Big thanks to Jesse for this great beer.

A: Pours a cloudy light apricot with a huge white head. Lacing lasts quite a while.

S: Wonderful citrus aroma with just a hint of malt.

T: Great smooth citrus hops upfront moving into mild malt. Finish is a fantastic grapefruit hoppy bitterness.

M: Lighter side of medium body with great carbonation.

O: What can I say. Some of my favorite IPAs come from Alpine. I could drink this all day.

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

Bomber into a pint glass

A - A golden burnt orange body that is clear and slightly bubbly with a medium sized white head.

S - Tons of awesome citrus and tropic notes that are big and bold but an unmistakable spice and rye and grassy earthen aroma as well. This not only brings in a nice complexity but gives the beer a natural rustic feel.

T & M & D - Just what you would expect from Alpine in terms of IPA and Rye. The beer opens with a citrus juicy hop bomb and then the spice and chew of the rye comes in on the back end without completely overwhelming the front end. Fantastic. The beer is medium bodied and is bold on the palate with the good intensity of the hops and rye spices.

O - Another great offering from Alpine. Rye makes an interesting addition to the IPA as it fully embrasses a spicy flavor profile and does not try to ease up on the palate at all.

-Cheers

Photo of arukasa
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light amber, golden color with a thick, persistent head that leaves significant lace. Quite floral nose with light hops. Grapefruit nose becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

There is a rye bite and bitterness that is amplified by the grapefruit nose. Light hop bitterness. This combination gives an almost salty "zing" that clears the palate. Good carbonation, smooth mouthfeel with a bitter salt/rye kick.

Overall, this is a great second or third beer that will cleanse your palate for what's next.

Photo of sendsilk
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the third time I have been fortunate enough to have this beer. Thanks EHammond and Airfoil for this OUTSTANDING and one of my top 3 favorite IPA's.

A- Light straw, kind of cloudy, effervescent clarity on... the....

Oh the hell with this. This beer is amazing. Such a wonderful citrus hop aroma and flavor, so clean, so non-piney, so refreshing. Seriously, it's taking me about 6 minutes to almost nail this whole bomber on a 95 degree day. I have to force myself to slow down to appreciate it because it tastes SOOOO good but is so amazingly easy to drink.

Find it, trade for it, try it, you won't be sorry. Excellence in a bottle. Thanks Alpine!

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.