Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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653 Reviews
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Reviews: 653
Hads: 3,199
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 408 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 653 | Hads: 3,199
Photo of Gregaroo
3.19/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at City Tap House Logan in Philly. Served in your basic pint glass. Very little character from the servers, which reflected on my love of this beer. I've had other Alpine's and LOVED them! Again, environment has a lot to do with perceived taste. I hope to have another somewhere else so I can edit my review.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.17/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nelson pours a really nice golden color with a fluffy head. Head reduces quickly but holds on for dear life leaving an eighth of an inch of smallish bubbles on top.

Smell onions and dandelion. Oh no...

Taste is...onion and dandelion.

Mouthfeel is thin but a bit better than Duet.

I am utterly confused by my first experience with Alpine. Both Duet and Nelson have been, well...just ok. Maybe I was expecting too much but there are so many others I prefer it puzzles me. Really glad I got to try them but I wouldn't go out of my way to have then again.

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Photo of Dave_Carlson
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As far as single West Coast IPAs go, this one is hard to beat. Very unique and enjoyable flavor profile. If you can get it fresh (and this one does not sit on shelves long, so if you see it it's probably fresh!), it's definitely worth drinking.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a thin white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is orange, grapefruit, and floral hops.

T - The taste is strong piney hops and a white pepper spiciness. There are some good citrus flavors - grapefruit and orange peel. The finish has some light cattiness and more grapefruit.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - Another excellent IPA from Alpine. Definetly recommended for hop heads.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip a ways back, (from notes), I can't thank Rutager enough for the major want

A hazy golden yellow liquid with enough clarity to see a thick stream of bubbles floating up to a well sestained two finger foam that leaves a couple thick rings followed by big random patches

S massive tropical nose with pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit, mango, some purple candy, faintly catty, just a hint of bubblegum of all things, a tiny amount of soft caramel, spruce and pine round things out, just brilliant in this department

T heavy on the pine and spruce, a hint of spice but much of the tropical fruit flesh is replaced by rind, lemon mostly, still solid but a bit of a let down after the nose

M medium bodied, very gritty, has a sharp bitter bite, a little slick in the mouth, spice and lemon peel linger for ages

O one of the better smelling beers I can recall but it didn't follow through at that level in the mouth, I sound like I'm being hard on it though, I assure you its a great beer

I haven't had a beer in 3 months and needed a good welcome back and this one provided just that. Strange how much the nose and taste differ, this one came close to blowing me away but fell just a little short

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Photo of elNopalero
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yes to this! Nelson pours a golden-straw color with a sharp citrusy hop aroma. It’s bitter and drying at the end, and I couldn’t get enough of it. (Yes, it’s a highly hyped beer and yes, it lived up to that hype.) I want another.

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Photo of HereforBeer
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft in Chicago shortly after they entered the market. I thought it was OK, but very unbalanced. I was pretty dissapointed after seeing a really high BA score. I hope I just had a bad batch.

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Photo of Mikus
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say. As I sat and enjoyed my pint of Neslon I couldn't get the grin off of my face. Light, slightly peppery malt backbone with a dry finish (just a little bit of sweetness), allows for a perfect canvas for the Nelson Sauvin hops to come alive. Big tropical notes, and the expected 'white wine' notes in the background. This lived up to the Alpine hype that I have been hearing for so long. One of the highlight beers of my SD trip.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer nails it.

Simple and skillfully executed, every sip of this brew is good.

Certainly the best representation on Nelson hops out there.

Even the Green Flash version is good.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.79/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice, light, tasty, crisp and refreshing ipa. Pours a light golden yellow with earthy aromas and flavors. I'll have to give this another go around because I'm not too impressed with this highly regarded ipa. Happy to see these Alpine beers showing up in my area thanks to the Green Flash acquisition so hopefully I'll have another pint soon enough.

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Photo of Omnium
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at house of 1000 beers on 5-30-15
A. Golden yellow with a white fizzy head no lacing.
S. Big white grape lemon grapefruit fresh cut grassy dankness spice rye floral notes.
T. Bright floral notes clash with some of the spiciness of the rye, big grape and lemon flavors.
M. Bitter and medium body, crisp.
O. Great balance but the Nelson Sauvin really pops

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very grassy hoppy beer, this Nelson. Earthy bitterness. Consistent delivery. Easy to drink. Not sure how this compares to the original production (pre Green Flash). But what's happening now is pretty nice.

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Photo of mac31
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap

Hoppy, danky, tropical/pineapple on the nose.

This brew yields a bright, hoppy citrus burst. The hoppiness comes across as (soft) skunky, danky, moving in to earthy, slightly herbal notes. There is some added spiciness, not earthy in nature. I attribute this to the rye. The brightness is big notes of grapefruit. Very little in the way tropical notes. Refreshing melon at the half palate. Clean malt backbone that stays in the background. The beer dries out a bit as it rolls in to the finish. Clean bitterness in the finish, just shy of being bitey, overly bitter. Body is on the thin side. Brightness and dryness contribute to the perception that the beer is highly carbonated, but it's appropriate to style. West Coast IPA for sure. A hop head's delight. Nice beer. A highly regarded IPA that doesn't disappoint. Not quite Pliny, but good.

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Photo of HoppyVidal1
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just had this beer in a flight of 4 5oz IPA's and hands down the best of the bunch! Amazing balance from the nose to the mouth feel such a beautiful beer! Thanks Three Sheets in Dublin Ca.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a light straw body.
The aroma is lots of grapefruit.
The taste is moderate grapefruit bitterness, pine and more grapefruit.
The texture is crisp with soft edges.
It's good and bold.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden/yellow color ale with a large foamy head with excellent retention and some really good lacing. Aroma of floral hops of mango, Sauvignon and papaya is just ab out perfect. Taste is also dominated by loads of fresh floral hoppy notes of mango, papaya and Sauvignon. Light residual sugar notes can also be detected and bitterness is very minimal. Body is about average with good carbonation. Can’s say I really tasted the rye malt so much but the hops flavours are just about perfect.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour on-tap into a stemmed tulip.

Golden with 2 fingers of white head. Good clarity with light carbonation.

Rye, pine, white grape, pineapple, and caramel.

An assertive rye spice immediately comes through. Papaya, pineapple, white grape, and grapefruit zest. Exceedingly smooth malt backbone of caramel covered bread. Finishes piney with touches of onion.

Medium bodied, smooth, and juicy as Hell with a medium-low bitterness.

Exceptionally smooth, juicy, and spicy. The Nelson hops work great with the rye spice. Excellent IPA!

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Short Review. I've been wanting to try something from Alpine for a little while now and it seems like their beers just started showing up on tap. This is pretty nice, but it's not as good as I was expecting and it had some green onion hop aspects that held it back in the end, but i did like the fruity aspects in the hop profile and the mouthfeel was pretty good. I would like to try a super fresh bottle of this. It's pretty nice, but I don't think it's a stand out for the style.

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Photo of Moose90
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a really pale and clear yellow with a thin white head on it, very light and not very appealing. Minimal lacing.

S — Smells of fresh pine and citrus, very earthy and herbaceous, like a pine cone or pine needles. Rye spice.

T — Tastes like the forest in the best possible way, big fresh pine notes, like chewing on a pine needle, very crisp and clean.

M — LIght to medium bodied, adequate carbonation, very refreshing.

O — Very nice IPA from Alpine again, very unique piney hop note on this one.

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Photo of nhindian
3.23/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Contrary to everything I've read about this beer previously, my glass does not contain a hazy, orange-juice-esque beer. In fact, it is pretty clear and light, with slow trickles of carbonation filling the glass. This isn't to say that it isn't nice looking, but sort of unexpected since the appearance is usually one of the defining characteristics of Nelson. A bone white head sits atop the liquid and lasts throughout the glass.

Aroma - The nose is fresh with a hint of grape tartness, like green grapes or grape must. A big burst of grapefruit and papaya follow, but is balanced with a sharp bite of rye.

Taste - I'm taken aback by just how assertive the rye is on the palate, so much so that it starts to butt up against the hops. I was expecting this to be a hop bomb, but it is much more balanced, and at times, unfortunately so. Because of this, no one flavor rises to the top and the rest of the ingredients battle for supremacy, leading to a muddled, confusing drink. In parts, I enjoy each component, but together it doesn't really mesh for me.

Mouthfeel - If there's one aspect of this beer I dig, it's the mouthfeel. It is dry and crisp, with a mellow, creamy body that garners an excellent finish.

Closing Arguments - I came into this beer with really high expectations, and frankly it didn't meet them at all. I wanted the Nelson Sauvin hops to shine, but instead they were overshadowed by the rye. I'm not sure of the age of this - the tap takeover I got this growler at was pushed back from its original schedule - but I can't imagine it could be that old. Thankfully Alpine will be seen more in Pittsburgh, so I will give this a try at least once more to compare and contrast.

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Photo of ZachDow7
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at HopCat East Lansing....tapped 2 days prior for an Alpine Dinner, was very solid...not as fruity as I was expecting but enjoyed it none the less.....lived up to its expectation....other than the 9 dollar per 12oz pour lol

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into Speigelau glass

A: Soft light orange small soap head medium haziness

S: very melony, nice grapefruit rind this beer smells bitter

T: very nice melon very juicy beer with some nice underlying bitterness

M: medium body

O: This beer is delightful great juicy melon and grapefruit rind I am a huge fan of Nelson hops and this beer is great

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Photo of beertunes
3.22/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The Alpine hype train finally hit Bellingham. Been looking forward for trying these SoCal legends for a long time. This one didn't push my buttons. Just a solid, good, enjoyable IPA, nothing less, nothing more.

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Photo of chrisjws
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Burnt orange, cloudy, two fingers of white head.
S: Spicy, floral, citrus, orange peel, grapefruit, some funkiness
T: Some bitterness upfront, chased by orange, grapefruit and spice from the rye.
M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Goes down very smooth and finishes dry.
O: Probably my favorite rye IPA. I love Nelson hops, I love rye and this is perfection in both.

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Photo of ajramirez1
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pint Defiance in Tacoma WA. Impressed they got this stuff in the area.

Beer is damn tasty. A lighter color than I would imagine but with Rye IPA it fits. Solid taste. Not too happy but well balanced.

Stoked to have tried this locally. Attempted and failed at the brewery in San Diego. Small place that has awesome brews.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.