Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

716 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 716
Hads: 3,477
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,390
Gots: 494 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% 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
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 716 | Hads: 3,477
Photo of emyers
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 6 fl oz bottle poured into Founders snifter. Best by date March 21, 2016

Pours cloudy pale gold color with a half-inch white head. Slight lacing.

Smell is bursting with pungent, juicy grapefruit hops. One of the best pure grapefruit hop aromas I've experienced. A touch of the rye spiciness comes through in the nose.

Taste is practically identical to the nose - huge grapefruit citrus flavors along with some pine and a nice peppery character from the rye, which balances the hops perfectly without getting in their way at all.

Mouthfeel is bone dry, medium-high carbonation with an extra lingering bite from the rye malt.

Everything you want in a classic west coast IPA grapefruit-bomb with an added dimension of rye. One of the best IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking.

 789 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle. Pours golden with finger head, good retention. Taste is classic west coast grapefruit hops with outstanding light malt sweetness balance. Finishes with a touch of peppery rye. Medium to thick mouthfeel, way soft and slippery. This brew is friggin delish, hoping bottles show up here eventually now that Alpine is under Green Flash.

 345 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - One of the most beautiful IPA's I've ever had the pleasure of pouring... Glowing golden in color with a medium amount of white head and lacing that sticks as you drink.
Smell - Pine, rye, and bitter hops, citrus.
Taste - Amazing. The rye is not overwhelming and is in pretty even balance with the hops... they combine to deliver a delicious, citrusy flavor with plenty of bite. Pretty intense for 7%abv
Feel - Smooth and bubbly
Overall - One of the best IPA's around

 475 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: very hazy pale, almost a cross between a wit and IPA in appearance. Thick fluffy head

S: classic super dank Nelson, bit of rubber, mild spice note from the rye

T: bitter bite up front, lingering Nelson characteristic taste, medium spice notes

F: good IPA level bitterness across the tongue, only a bit sits from sip to sip.

O: very good super dank IPA, semi one dimensional due to the single hop, but would have again!

 426 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy golden orange color. Has a huge aroma bitter and sweet citrus peel with a hoppy backbone. Flavor is citrusy, bitter hops and pretty smooth. Leaves a nice aftertaste. Just a great delicious IPA

 207 characters

Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed very light golden with a full one finger white head atop.Big tropical fruits in the nose along with a bit of sweet onion wich is more prevalent on the pale,very fruit forward.That sweet onion I talked about comes into play upfront on the palate along with a bit of grass,some sweet caramel/biscuit malts as well.A very good beer but the sweet onion flavors seem to really take over the beer after awhile,again it's very good.

 439 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, a hazy IPA - I always love that. The haze has an attractive consistency to it, too. But that's not what matters. What matters is how it smells and tastes. There are absolutely no problems with the former, as it brings a combination of grapefruit, lemon, pine, and white grapes. Malts serve to balance the nose almost perfectly, with just the right touches of sugar cookie and rye spice. Tasting it is a letdown...no, it's damn near on the same level of the incredible nose. It starts off with some touches of rye spice and dank pine, before evolving into pure. Friggen. Grapefruit. Malty touches serve to balance the beer while injecting a bit of welcome complexity. After a while, I even start picking up some white grape. The feel is strange (for an IPA), yet fantastic - thick and creamy at first, yet bone dry and even a touch sharp post-swallow. Drinkability is stunning. Alpine has become readily available in the DMV area, pinch me.

4.37/5: Okay Green Flash, I've forgiven you for Silva Stout now

 1,013 characters

Photo of sentimetal
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recommended to me even though I've never taken a particular liking to rye IPAs, I was assured this one is a must try. This is my second time having it and I must agree - fantastic beer! I'm not sure if Green Flash has altered the taste, as I have only tried the post-GF Nelson. That is what I'll be reviewing tonight

Look [5] - Beautiful. It doesn't look like an IPA at all, it looks more like a hefeweizen or a Belgian pale ale. A creamy, hazy golden - almost straw colored beer.

Smell [4] - Spicy, slightly hoppy with lemon and onion. The smell of this beer is a good preview of what comes after.

Taste [4.75] - Burst of bitter hops followed by a combined lemon peel, onion, and bitter hop after taste. The bitterness level is on level with a DIPA. The complexity of the taste is outstanding. I almost wonder if there's some cilantro was thrown in there (not coriander). It's a very complex flavor and I could go on about it for quite a while, but we'll just stick with a lemon / onion taste followed by hops and a bitter hop after taste. it is kind of citrus-y but only if you consider eating lime peels citrus. Huge fan of the taste, though.

Feel [4.5] As the beer hits your tongue the carbonation makes its presence very well known and persists - though to a lesser degree as it settles into a surprisingly sharp but creamy feel. The mouth feel is quite complex. I don't get the same murky feel I get with other rye IPAs, but then again, this is by far the best rye IPA I've tried.

Overall [5] A surprising delight of an IPA. I wish this beer was more readily available, as I would instantly add it to my rotation of IPAs. It's such a complex beer - something that feels lacking in a market full of west coast IPAs hopped to hell and back with little malt back bone or complexity. The citrus is there, but the flavor is so ever changing as is the mouth feel. I held onto this bottle just for the sake of reviewing it and I loved every minute of it. I would recommend this to all hop heads - whether your favorite IPA is Sculpine, Ruination, or Two Hearted. This is an IPA all IPA lovers can enjoy.

 2,108 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What can I say, this beer defies gravity or something equally impressive. First off, it looks remarkable with this great Hefeweizen colored body under text book quality stark white lacing and calm, persistent, dense head.

Nose punches immediately with grapefruit, grass, touches of onion and fresh leaves.

Taste follows suit as the grapefruit and grass are taking on a considerably dank crescendo.

Finished slightly dry with nearly nothing other than bitter left behind.


 487 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpine Nelson

On draft at Lost Dog in North Arlington. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

I’m almost 1500 beers into this journey and this brew made a major impression! Probably the fruitiest beer I have ever had. Hoppy but not totally out of balance. A quaffable and thirst quenching beer. This might be the best American IPA I have ever had. - 4.75

A – Pours a pale cloudy orange. A relatively ugly beer when one considers other American IPAs, but maybe that’s what gives this beer its other great qualities. Great Belgian-like lacing. 4.25

S – Fruity and similar to its taste but not as intense. - 4

T - Pineapple, passion fruit, some citrus and faint white wine, with herbal bitterness as well. Not necessarily sweet, but balanced for an AIPA. I like fruity IPAs so this is the bomb for me. - 5

MF - Medium body, dry finish. 4.75

 848 characters

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

I'm enjoying a bomber of this bought here in the Bay Area. Haters be damned, GF has expanded access to something I would not have been able to try unless I made a trip to San Diego. L: Cloudy yellowish -amber. Huge creamy head. S: amazing. Earthy hops, slight rye, lemon spice. T: incomprehensible balance of bitter and earthy hops, rye spice, lemon and grassy flavors. F: super rich for a single IPA. Very impressive. O: Fcking great. I can't imagine the source beer improving on this bottle, but hey if it's even more fantastic than this...whatever I'm not visiting Alpine. I'll certainly buy more of these bottles though. Even at $8.99.

 656 characters

Photo of MHurley
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is by far one of the best IPAs ive ever had. Pours a beautiful thick and creamy yellow into a sniffer with 1/2 in of white cloudy head. The lacing is soild and stays around. The smell of Pine and citrus fills the nose as if i stepped outta a cabin in the woods. This beer puts me in a whole other world when i drink it. And the taste... hoppy, citra, earthy and woodie. Overall amazing taste! This beer has you feeling as if your in the cabins walking out to take on the day, with the smell of pines everywhere and last nights camp fire still on your closes. This is one i will definitely be picking up again when i make it down to Alpine Beer co again.

 658 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yellow straw in color. Massively hazy with a fingernail of eggshell around the rim. The aroma is tropical fruit with notes of mango and passion fruit. I love the taste in that the earthy rye blends seamlessly with the tropical hops. The mouth is slightly sticky, chewy, and crisp.

 284 characters

Photo of VikingBeer
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Beer Trappe. 12 oz., served in a tulip. Gorgeous golden, hazy tellow, like some tropical fruit juice. Smell is laden with surprisingly defined hop flavors of passion fruit, mango, lemon, grapefruit, and kumwuats, plus notes of grass and herbs on the back. Taste is very assertively hoppy: almost astringent kumquat- and grapefruit-rind up front, followed by lemon, passionfruit, mango, pine, tarragon, grass, all underpinned by a lightly-spicy, slightly sweet flavor from the golden-rye malt. Finish is dry, heavy on citrus-rind and mango. Mouthful is a bit light, perhaps the only criticism I have of this beer, but overall it's still a fantastic brew.

 667 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A kind and generous coworker brought this back from their beercation in San Diego

A - A standard pour yields two plus fingers worth of active light khaki colored froth with a rich and creamy whipped top which is comprised of big and bigger chunky bubbles... Rock star retention... Once the head finally fades away there is an uneven splotchy lacing and moderate collar... A few stray carbonation bubbles streak rapidly throughout... Some carbonation bubbles just cling to the sides of the glass... The color is a muted copper... There is a slight haziness throughout... A wee bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The nose can be detected without bring one's nose anywhere remotely near the glass... An intoxicating blend of hoppy goodness... First a sweet citrus and tropical fruit... This ebb and flows with a dank piney hop presence... The two fight for supremacy before the sweet tropical fruit notes prove dominate... Sweet orange... Pineapple... Grapefruit... Mango... The end result is a unique and world class aroma... Some light malt undertones of bread crust and caramel...

T - Starts with sweet citrus... Next comes the dank piney notes... There is a robust earthiness throughout the palate... A sturdy biscuity malt base emerges next with some faint toffee and caramel notes mixed in... The grapefruit reemerges on the finish and lingers in a very pleasant way...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lightly carbonated... Starts with a touch of lushness, but proves to be mostly dry throughout... A bit chalky on the finish...

D - A world class American IPA... The aroma is rock star and all other facets far exceed better than average and flirt with best on class... I've long wanted to try this brew and I wasn't dissappointed... I only wish it was available in my area on a consistent basis...

 1,871 characters

Photo of Alequine
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw color with a puffy head which settles into the beer. Light hoppy flavor with citrus. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel with a citrusy and light bitter finish.

 169 characters

Photo of LisaMessy
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A — Pours a coppery orange hue into the glass. Very nicely pours with a puffy khaki colored head. Though it doesn't stick around long, the head settles and leaves some nice lacing behind it and is quite consistent.

S — Smells of lots of fresh hops and is quite bitter, lots of piney, citrusy aromas, lots of character.

T — Nice layers of flavors, quite bright, lots of piney character, some bright bitter citrus, and is overall bitter and resinous without being overly sweet or sticky and cloying.

M — Medium bodied, long and lasting finish, bitter and dry.

O — Quite nice overall, really well done, delicious and balanced.

 638 characters

Photo of Briesch
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a 22oz bomber purchased from brewery and bottled one week prior to drinking. If you want to know what Nelson is supposed to taste like, this is the only clear cut way to do so at this point and time.

This is the only beer in which I cannot find a flaw. Beautiful hazy orange color. Smell of pineapple, citrus and passion fruit bursts out of the glass. It contains a slight smell which you can often sense emanating from the Alpine brewery. Sometimes I like to just stand in the brewery to get a whiff of this intoxicating smell. It's hard to describe but it's great.

The taste follows into the nose perfectly and this has become the best IPA I have ever drank. Tons of fruity hop character but also a slight white wine taste which I have never picked up in any other beer. A few other Alpine beers have this quality and I'm sure it would make the wine drinker happy. At times I feel like I'm drinking a fresh squeezed glass of OJ. The mouth feel on this and all Alpine beers is spot on and in my opinion is what sets these beers apart from the field. Just a touch of hop bitterness and the beer finishes in a way where you immediately want another sip.

I can't say enough about this beer. It disappoints me to often find sub-par versions of Nelson on tap and reviews by those who have not tasted the real deal. Do yourself a favor and pick up a fresh bomber of this beer to see what all the hype is about. Either that or Go To Bed!

 1,458 characters

Photo of MikeM417
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nelson Sauvin is one of my favorite hops, as you can tel by my avatar. I was looking forward to trying Alpine Nelson for quite some time. I finally got a couple of fresh bottles in a trade and I have to say, I was a bit let down. It must be that I am spoiled living here in New England, but it does not stack up to the heavy hitters over here. 5 years ago this was considered world class. Today, not so much.

 415 characters

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap and apparently a keg from Alpine, not Green Flash.

Gorgeous straw colored ale with fluffy head. Nelson Sauvin hops are interesting and it's nice to have a showcase for the hop in a world-class beer like this. Rye malt provides good balance, bu t this one is all about the hops baby. I liked this one more than Duet, which I wasn't expecting at all.

 360 characters

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

Poured on-tap in a tulip, the beer is a hazy, bright, golden orange color with a fluffy, clingy, off white head. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, apricot, and melon, all blending and balancing with a grassy and piney hops character. Very balanced. The flavors are tart and sweet forward, with a blend of grapefruit, melon, and passion fruit. Hops notes come in midpalate, providing notes of bitterness, subtle herbal and floral notes, and some dank, vegetal highlights. Smooth, robust bodied, with a dry edge and an aftertaste heavy on resinous hops profiles, bitter and green.The finish has a decent resinous linger, over a smooth, dry feel. Good beer.

 650 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have to say that if the stories are true about Nelson beeing not quite what it used to be since the Green Flash aquistion, I need myself a time machine to get back a year or so and try the original, because this was still pretty good. Yellowish staw color, just a tinge murky, with a finger of foam that stuck around a bit. The aroma is a nice blend of tropical and stone fruit; pear, mango, nectarine, grape, rounded out with an incredible floral quality. The taste is incredibly piney along with more of the aforementioned fruit flavors. Very rich mouthfeel for an IPA. Glad Alpine found its way out east!

 609 characters

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on draft.

Appearance: cloudy. This beer could pass for a wit or an unfiltered wheat. Nice 1-finger white head, which fades to a thin veil that last indefinitely.

Flavor: this beer if hoppy no doubt. There is an off-flavor I can't place - almost like a cross between green onions and dirt - wait, a very mild burnt rubber flavor. The hop flavor doesn't have a long lasting finish.

Aroma: a nice balance of hops and malt. Hops are dominant but the malt has its voice.

Mouthfeel: body is right where it should be. Not so heavy as to prevent you from drinking several.

Overall: I made an effort to try this beer when I saw it on tap at Freshcraft due to its BA score. I don't feel it lived up to its score. It was good but not great.

 743 characters

Photo of 57md
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark straw color with well over a finger of head. As the head dissipated, it left rings behind on the mug. The hoppiness on the nose is potent, the malt backbone is solid and the hop bitter finish rivals some of the best DIPAs. There is also a sweet citrus fruit note on the finish that complements the hop bitterness.

In short, one of the best single IPAs available.

 384 characters

Photo of Zonk
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden in color with just a bit of haze. Nice crisp floral notes to nose, maybe some grapefruit. Has a bit of spice to it, someone mentioned white pepper which I think is spot on. Mouthfee is crisp and so dry it feels almost powdery on the tounge.

 255 characters

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 716 ratings.