Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "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.

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

780 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 780
Hads: 3,767
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 1,379
Gots: 572 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

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 (48) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 780 | Hads: 3,767
Photo of Wadsey
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

 1,024 characters

Photo of Trilogy31
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 486 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 620 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to Sixofsigmas for sending me this one as an extra in a trade a long time back. I just found it sitting in the back of the fridge! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a hazy golden yellow-orange with a massively fluffy four finger off-white head that subside to one finger stupidly slow. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, orange, citrus hop, and pot. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, pine resin, citrus, orange zest, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew completely wowed me. There is really a lot going right for this one overall. One thing to note is the head on this one. HOLY CRAP! It basically formed a pillow over the beer and was borderline solid. You could actually take a bite of it and chew it. It remained this way throughout the entire glass which was awesome. If you noticed that I mentioned getting pot in the aroma, well usually this is out of place, but it seemed to work great with the other aromas going on in this one. The flavor itself was very complex and extremely well balanced. Very nice feel on the palate as well. I would honestly have to say that this might be the best American IPA I have yet to have. Really nice job on this one Alpine!

 1,328 characters

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for the trade on this one. I had a sample of this brew for the first time on Saturday care of Deuane and figured I better pop my bottle open soon to take this in and throw down a proper review.

Poured from a bomber into a shaped pint glass, this brew appears a clear light copper color with slightly more than a finger of white froth for a head. Bubbles rise through suspension supporting the uneven pillow-like cap. Very solid retention on this brews cap and a wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is a unique mixture of tangerine meets canned clementines... (I can't take credit for the canned clementine comment thats my wifes and she has to be right because she is pregnant and supposedly preggers have a higher awareness of the senses. Rrrrright...) But ok, she is on to something, this brew smells pretty much like a tangerine went on a weekend long bender with a bunch of wine giving it quite a vinous aspect. Little bit of grass, little bit of herbs, whole lot of goodness going on in this brew's nose.

The taste includes a flavor of oranges meets mango with a seemingly persistent residual sweetness that fades into lasting herbal bitterness. The balanace of sweetness verse bitterness is spot on for my taste, I really like this brew. A flavor of herbs, somewhat catty lasts inside the mouth after each sip and brings forth the first indication of the 7% abv.

The body on this ipa is pushing full, it is a little on the heavier side of medium bodied and is met with a modest amount of carbonation that keeps the bubbles lively inside the mouth and prickly on the tongue. The abv is present with a light fruited aspect but really brings in a solid amount of warmth down the back of the throat for 7%. All in all a very solid, enjoyable brew. Certainly worth checking out. Thanks again Brett for the trade!

 1,864 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hair6a11 hooked it up. Huge score, really appreciate this one. Bomber poured into snifter.

Appearance: Copper/burnt orange. Frothy stubborn finger n a half head. Lacing is noteworthy. Very impressive.

Nose: Dry, citric, and sweet. Reminds me of an Jimmy Russell Old Fashion. Wet hop notes.

Taste: The rye is fantastic. It gives great support to the bitter hop.
Mouth: Chalk rye dryness. Really great. Carbonation was spot on and as the beer warmed up brought some great chew.

Drink and overall: Great beer. It really is. Can't argue there. Good hop character, complex body. Awesome.

 590 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some more of these at the Provisions shop a few weeks ago. Glad I did, still had the amazing orange appearance and 1" head. Aroma was the funkiest Nelson aroma experience I've ever come across. A unique hop to say the least.

Taste, ever so drinkable, big funky hop almost tropical citrus thing going for it. Alcohol on the lips in nonexistant. Rye doesn't come out, must be a low % of the malt bill, which they keep low, allowing the hops to shine. Tons of Nelsons here, imparting an almost white wine like fee to the beer, very light, but heavy handed with the Nelson hop. You'll be tasting this one for awhile, and should be happy about it. Almost perfectly unbalanced.

EDIT: Scored more of this, damn, this beer is so funky fresh. Excellent, maybe my favorite IPA.

 779 characters

Photo of dubinsky
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

A - Pours a mostly clear dark yellow, light orange color. The color really took me by surprise because most of the rye beers i have had have all had a much darker tint. The one finger creamy white head looks great. It sticks around for a while and as i roll the beer around the glass, its leaving some great lacing behind.

S - From the moment i popped the cap, this beer took me away. The aromas are ultra crisp, clean and delicious. Tons of grapefruit and citrus. Im getting a slight hint of rye, but really the grapefruit aromas are stealing the show here.

T - Grapefruit, citrus, honey/honeydew....you get the idea. This is a wonderful tasting beer. This is one well balanced IPA. The more i drink it the more i enjoy it, and the more i get the fruity notes that the label mention.

M - Pretty standard for the style. Its fairly light in body with medium carbonation. The finish is not as dry as other IPA's i am relating it to.

O - Overall this is a great beer that i would love to enjoy on a frequent basis. This is the second beer i have tried from Alpine, and i im glad i did, cause i really didn't understand Duet. Great job Alpine.

 1,183 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a hazy light golden orange with some sediment floating about and a creamy white head.

S-the nose is so tropical fruity, rather awesome. notes of a musky almost garlic like rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges taking over and dominating.

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, hops take over. tons of bright tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops galore with an interesting twang from the rye.

M-slightly more syrupy than the duet with the same highly carbonated active feel to it and crisp clean finish.

D-excellent IPA, the tangerines and tropical fruit flavors are so bright and enjoyable. the bitterness is rather light and the flavors go together pretty well.

 687 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden color with not much of a head but some great lacing down the glass.

S: A lot of grapefruit here. The citrus hops smell fresh and absolutely amazing. A bit of tangerine in there as well and some bubblegum.

T: Some fresh grapefruit hop flavor upfront. Before the hops can get too bitter, the malts come in and smooth it out. The malts don't have a ton of flavor on their own, but they allow the hop flavor to ride over them without letting any bitterness over them. There's no "pop" to the hops, but this beer just works. Another great one from Alpine.

 568 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey color. Some chill haze. A fat finger of head. A quarter inch of steadfast froth hangs around for the festivities. Heaps of lace spattered about and plastered in sheets.

The nose is a lively basket of hop character. Some grapefruit and light pine as well as the predominant and much ballyhooed sweet nelson hop white wine grapey quality are noticeable. It is true to the tales of uniqueness.

The flavor is delicious. The wine like qualities show again in a bit of dry sourness, but be not mistaken this is every bit an ale and a very enjoyable one at that. A sassafrass twang and some citrus pings mingle together to create a unique flavor profile atop the light bready base. The finish is more sweet than crisp with a nice hop dryness. A pleasure.

The mouthfeel tips in at or around medium. The sweet finish is an indication that this selection is a bit heavier in body than many of the other fine west coast varieties that have danced across this palate.

Overall, this bottle did not disappoint. It is quite unique and thoroughly enjoyable. This selection is one that makes a man reconsider the thought that he has run the spectrum of india pale ales and cannot be shocked and awed by something from this style. Bravo.

Thanks, Martin for the diligence.

 1,267 characters

Photo of snpub540
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Delicate lacing is left on the glass. Pale copper hue, slightly cloudy.

Aroma is grapefruit and citrus mostly with a nice hint of the rye in the back. Smells very clean.

Taste is a nice bitter, citrus symphony of hop deliciousness. Super smooth with a nice malt backbone and a crisp hop profile. No complaints whatsoever here on flavor.

Drinkability is great. No alcohol harshness or extreme tongue buckling bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that is enhanced by the incredibly smooth taste. An almost perfect double IPA.

 558 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden yellow, with a finger of foamy bubbly, off-white head. Head leaves a thick lacing as it slides back into the glass, with many large bubbles staying at the surface of the beer. Some light carbonation is visible.

Nose is really interesting. Sweet fruitiness, but unlike any of the other fruity hops I've ever smelled before. Sweet white grapes, white peaches, then a bit of spiciness from the rye and light biscuit malts. Really nice and complex aroma.

Taking a sip, a bit of the white wine characteristics comes through, fruity but slightly astringent, earthy bitterness, some lemon peel, then a wash of spicy malts. Finishing fairly clean and crisp, with just a slight hint of lingering spiciness from the rye on the back of the tongue.

Light bodied, well carbonated with enough small bubbles to scrub your tongue clean without too much irritation. Very easy to drink beer, and a very unique flavor.

 965 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Grapehops for the extra! Poured from bomber (no date stamp) into a pint glass. Pours hazy gold, medium to thin off-white head, pretty lacing. Nose is soft, fleshy stonefruit and papaya, lush and fruity, with both fresh and dried pineapple here as well. Flavors are soft and fruity, but deceptively bitter. Pineapple and guava in the mouth, as well as a pervasive nutty earthiness from the rye. Mostly upfront palate, but some "white wine" acidity on the finish with caraway again on the long finish. Quite a complex beer but was not my style among my favorite IPAs. Overhyped IMO, so I am going against the tide on this one.

 634 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 3/11/11. Thanks to BeerThursdays for sending me this bottle.

A: Golden in color with a slight haziness. Fluffy 1.5 finger head with great retention, lasting the duration. Sticky lacing.

S: Very nice aroma, extremely inviting. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, orange. Very floral and grassy.

T: Tons of grapefruit as well as some orange, lemon, grass, and a little bit of pine. Has a little bit of spice. Very smooth, slightly bitter on the finish.

M/D: Medium bodied, very smooth and creamy. Spot on for an IPA, pretty much what I am looking for. Alpine continues to impress.

 596 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 3/11/2011

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, floral, hops, malts

taste: citrus hops, malts, very well balanced

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, creamy texture

drinkability: insanely drinkable. I'll be happy with any Alpine beers anybody is willing to send me.

Cheers,

the CPJ

 348 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a semi-cloudy with an orange/grapefruit color, moderate carbonation, and a course white and large bubbly ring around the top.

S - Fantastic! A spiced fruity cornucopia tropical fruit basket with spices. Very acidic, pungent grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, guava, onion, and garlic. Malt is pretty much "not there" in the nose.

T - Doesn't mimick the nose. Has a slight phenolic/pvc character and the taste is mild compared to the nose. Pineapple and orange blend, and sweet malt flavors all mix very well with the onion and garlic, vegetable profile. Has a tangy, mild zing to it.

M - Smooth on the tongue with a slight watery finish. Is on the lighter side of medium body with very mild carbonation on the tongue.

D - High and very enjoyable!

Interesting IPA that's lighter in body.

 798 characters

Photo of KevinBrewer
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Clear dark gold with a billowy white head that lasts, leaving thick lacing down the glass.

N- The bouquet of hop aromas is pretty amazing: pungent, resinous, piny, floral, and vinous. There is also sweet grapefruit and a spiciness which I assume is from the rye.

T- Creamy malt sweetness glides over the tongue supported by clean, pungent, piny hops. A luscious spiciness bursts forth in the middle, surrounded by the lingering pungent resins of the hop. Citrus rind and piny bitterness lingers into the aftertaste, accompanied by spicy rye.

M- Smooth creamy mouthfeel with delicate carbonation and a clean bittersweet finish.

D- Insanely drinkable, especially for 7% ABV. This is probably my favorite beer ever. I honestly cannot even imagine how this could be improved upon in any way.

 794 characters

Photo of claspada
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aromas are initially citrus (grapefruit) and light pineapple and earthy hops, with an underlying bit of bready, spicy rye and a touch of caramel malt. There is also a nice white vinous characteristic on the nose; must be those special Nelson Sauvin hops.

The tastes initially begin full and malty with bready and caramel flavors, but quickly shifts to the pleasantly bitter grapefruit and light pine hops with lesser notes of earthy hops. The flavors round out with a spicy and drying rye malt which adds another layer of complexity. The Nelson Sauvin hops add that nice light white wine flavors with a nice gooseberry spice in there as well.

Mouthfeel is sticky and coating but not overly so, the perfect amount for the style. Great carbonation and glorious sticky white hops lacing as I examine my half empty glass.

Overall this is freakin' awesome, my favorite Rye IPA and top 2 overall Rye beers I have ever had (The Bruery Rugbrod being the other). Some breweries totally botch rye and add too much where it is unpleasant or too little, but this is spot on. Highly recommended; I'm going to have to ship more of this from the West Coast. Wow top notch indeed.

 1,168 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275th review on BA
bottle to mug

App- A clear golden color with some streaks of Orange and Yellow. One finger head that was quick to recede and had some nice lacing.

Smell- Big floral hops on this one. Not too much citrus. A faint grapefruit/tangerine. A bit of a wheat smell in there as well.

Taste- A very good IPA. It's tasty and crisp and clean. Slightly spicy with a balanced citrus back. Not overpowering and a nice drinker.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level. Coats the tounge well with spicy flavor. Leaves a pleasant sweet grapefruit aftertaste.

Drink- I like me some Alpine. All of them have been very good. I could sip on this one for a long time. I swear I need to learn to buy more than 1 bottle of something.

 738 characters

Photo of HipHop5
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A creamy one finger and half head that dissipate fairly quickly.

Golden topaz tones and a medium to full body here. Thin and stringy lacing on a tulip glass.

Absolutely amazing peach,grapefruit and mandarin aromas/taste.

Medium to full body. Very sweet with few hop bitterness up front. Maybe a little in after taste as it warms up in glass and warms up your head. After all it's a well disguised 7% ABV. Extremely balanced and winey Nelson Hop back bone. The floral hops are stronger in the back.

Silky and smooth in the mouth as the fragrance is consistent through out the session. A mysterious potency of aromas and perfect consistency make this beer probably one of the most unique and drinkable IPA I ever tasted.

I literally could drink 2 or 4 of the 22 oz bottles I have in my fridge.

A master piece of warmth and refreshing all combined.

Enjoy it with no moderation.

 881 characters

Photo of Soonami
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpine Nelso was provided to me via trade courtesy of tbase. This is a really interesting IPA! The Nelson Sauvin hops used in the brewing of this beer really adds a fresh vinous, fruity aspect to this otherwise solid IPA. Without the interesting hops I think this a pretty typical IPA, in fact it reminds a lot of hill farmstead citra which I thought was pretty good but Nelson really has it going on. The bitterness in this beer is slightly subdued but i like that because it helps you really taste and smell the Nelson Sauvin. The rye also contributes a nice earthy spiciness helps keep the beer grounded. If possible get a hold of this beer, even if you have to pay ridiculous shipping for it. It's worth it!

 711 characters

Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. A hazy orange pour with about a finger of white head. Sticks to the glass very well.

Floral and piney hop aroma. Also a very apparent presence of rye spice.

Taste has the hoppy tones, but the rye spice is very present. Malt backbone keeps it together well. There is kind of a leathery/tea element that is the only drawback. The finish is a little brief, but the resin does remain on the breath.

Creamier than most, from the rye I'd guess. Goes down smooth and very easy.

Definetely unique and worth seeking out.
Not a straight up 1 dimensional hop head brew, which is probably why I like it.

 602 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Murky looking yellow colour with some brown. Looks kinda like swamp water. Opaque. A lot of visible sediment. Half a finger of bubbly white head. Very strange colour for an IPA.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front with a caramel malt sweetness noticeable in the background. Some spiciness is present as well.

T - Grapefruit, spiciness, caramel. A good amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish. A good malt backbone adds some sweetness and becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink the beer.

M - Medium body, oily, chewy. Lightly carbonated.

 634 characters

Photo of HopMasterFlex
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer popes a hazy light orange/yellow. It smells amazing. The blend of hops and grapefruit is captivating. I dig it big time. It tastes similar to the aroma. Big hops with sweet fruit flavors and a bitter aftertaste. Verk drinkable and considerably better on tap vs bottle. Out of the bottle it has a lot of malt flavor and less citrus and hops. Very enjoyable either way.

 377 characters

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.