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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

717 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 717
Hads: 3,485
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,389
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
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Reviews: 717 | Hads: 3,485
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got in the NOOb BIF from psiweaver...thanks again!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my tall Allagash snifter/chalice glass. Pours a pale golden color with a massive frothy head, and excelent retention! Huge white froth leaves loads of sticky and full lacing.

Aroma is good, but not my favorite IPA. Full of hops and mild light fruit.

Flavor is fruity...along with the hop bite. Big grapefruit taste, and lasting dryness in the finish. Slightly creamy mouth, but crisp none-the-less in the sence of refreshing! Big carbonation, and low booze in the flavor. A very good IPA!

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Photo of bump8628
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing gold with a nice inch-thick cap of dense white foam.

Mmm...what's this? Something different, for sure. Melon, white grape, juicy citrus, apricot. An excellent change of pace from the pine/citrus/grassy herb bombs that most American IPAs are (don't get me wrong I love those too). Malt is there I guess, but I'm not getting much in the way of rye, though that's fine by me. All I ask of the malt in my West Coast IPAs is that it gets the hell out of the way. Geez, this a damn good IPA.

I still think if I could only drink one IPA my whole life it would fit the classic American hop profile. But this one is lovely and it's great for feeling out the Nelson Sauvin hop.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.12/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for another Alpine beer procured on his trip out west.

Bottle split and poured into my tulip the beer is golden yellow with a slight orange tint. Two fingers of off white head settle leaving spotty lace.

The aroma is mostly citrus hops. However there are a few components that perplex me. I pick out an off putting burnt rubber smell and a bit of onion. It also seems a touch skunky.

The flavor is much better than the nose. Citrus like hops are the main thing I pick up. A slight grassiness and a bit of the burnt rubber is there again.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall a bit of a dissapointment. Expo and duet were quite good. Their brother nelson not so much. Maybe another bottle someday will change my mind.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White grapes, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, honeydew melon, apples, and perfume scents bellow from a clear, golden amber body. A fruity and vibrant aroma if I do say so myself with faint peppery bread notes.

Starts grape-like and heads to lemon and grapefruit citrus with melon, finally fading to grass. Hop flavors truly shine. Bitterness builds early but remains in balance. Finishes a medium in length melon sweet giving way to dryness with a distinctive bitter finish that is more pepper and earth than wood; alcohol heat is noticeable.

Mouthfeel is just great with high carbonation, pleasant creaminess from the medium body, and some faint tongue drying. Very sippable and the flavors just all work well together giving a refreshingly crisp, fruity quality with a pinch of mineral flavor and salt.

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Photo of wedgie9
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 22oz bottle. Pours pale orange with a thick and frothy white head that slowly recedes to heavy lace. Nose of lemon, pineapple and other tropical fruits, hemp, and I think that the rye is adding a dimension that I am not used to smelling. The pineapple flavor really comes through on the palate with lemon and even some red fruits. The rye is also a flavor that I recognize on the palate as hard as it was for me to discern on the nose. This is full bodied, as there is something almost creamy with average carbonation and a long, beautiful finish dominated by pineapple and rye. This beer is ridiculously drinkable with no alcohol burn.

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Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a blind tasting involving Pure Hoppiness, Nelson, and Duet. Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a snifter.

A: I like the color of this better than Duet, as it is a little bit more golden in color. It poured a

S: A pleasant smell, but not very intense. Mostly pine, with a bit of oranges. More malty than the other two Alpine IPAs at this tasting.

T: I liked that this was a fairly balanced taste, with definite hops up front, but some noticeable malt character as well. The rye comes through at the end, which is nice, but overall everything tasted just a bit watered down.

M: Pretty good, but a tad thin for my liking as I look for a bit more stickiness and aftertaste such as I found with Pure Hoppiness. Nice level of carbonation.

D: Better than Duet in my opinon, but not nearly as good as Pure Hoppiness. If this was available at a bar nearby, I'd give it a try again, but would not actively seek out another bottle. Too many better options that are easier to get in the Midwest.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.2/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. 7% ABV, no date.

A - Clear golden yellow beer pours from the bottle. The tall pour creates a nice bone-colored head that rises to two fingers and lowers without haste leaving thick, patchy lace all over the glass.

S - It's got a surprisingly low nose for an IPA. Nelson finally starts to open up but it may have well stayed low. The first thing I smell is an off-putting burnt rubber aroma that continues to decline the more I smell it. A tiny hint of skunkiness appears in the back but it's definitely not an aroma I'm font of in the least. Beer smell is pretty absent here.

T - Burnt rubber still pulls through into the flavor but is mostly hidden (thank God) by citrusy, floral hops. A light and unintrusive caramel malt backing provides a sweet balance to the pine, grapefruit, and floral "green" hops. It still doesn't amount to much in my book though.

M - Nelson is medium-bodied and smooth with a mellow bitterness to the finish. There is a twang of astringency from the burnt rubber on the finish that continues to be a little off.

D - Meh. A very weak IPA this one is. Rubber all over the place is a big turn-off. It's still drinkable but I won't be looking to get it ever again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a peach color with a finger head that left good frothy lacing on the glass.

S: nice floral sweet piney hops are more noticable at first whiff with cirtus grapefruit, caramel, and good malt character. I also got some tangerine notes.

T: the piney hop are not as potent as the nose but still dominate the taste which also had a decent balance between the malts. The citrus grapefruit helps intensify the bitterness that had caramel accents.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet bitter and crisp finish.

D: probably one of the most drinkable IPA offerings from alpine. I always enjoy their brews especially their IPA's. I'm definitely glad I have acceess to them on a daily.

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Photo of airohead2001
2.42/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a blind tasting that included Nelson, Duet, and Pure Hoppiness. Nelson was my least favorite and Pure Hoppiness was my favorite.

A - Nelson is a nice looking IPA - hazy brown, one finger head with excellent retention, and some nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot of smell here. Just some mellow pine. No citrus or malts. Not as painfully piney as Duet, but also a whole lot less exciting.

T - Similar to the smell. In my opinion, this one is pretty weak and bland. The hop profile is very mild. Some malts show up in the finish, but without a piney or citrus hop kick, this one is clearly lacking.

M - Similar to Duet, the mouthfeel is so-so. Pretty thin.

D - I guess this beer is drinkable because it is so thin. But really, it just lacks so much flavor that I can't see myself wanting much more.

After having such high expectations for Alpine, I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed by this beer and Duet. Luckily, Pure Hoppiness was outstanding.

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Photo of Damian
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 22 fl. oz bottle
Served in a pint glass
Acquired in a trade with stawn

The crystal clear, light amber body was topped by a frothy, bright white, two-finger head which faded to a lasting film. Thick streaks of lacing stuck along the sides of the glass.

Tons of hops in the aroma. Fruity and citrusy with strong notes of sweet ruby red grapefruit and tropical fruits. Some earthiness came through as well. A bit of spicy rye appeared as the beer warmed. Overall, rather intriguing.

The taste was impressive. Hoppy right off the bat. Crisp and citrusy. Tart and spicy rye notes appeared up front and intensified in the center. At this point, the hops became more earthy and herbal. The finish was piney, pithy and dry yet surprisingly balanced.

The mouthfeel was silky smooth and creamy. However, likes it's brethren Duet, this IPA could have a bit more heft.

Drinkability was notable. While super hoppy, this beer was surprisingly balanced. Furthermore, the alcohol was well buried.

I was skeptical as to how the addition of rye would work in a West Coast-style IPA but I was very satisfied with the results. The folks at Alpine really know how to make their hops sing.

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Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pwoods for sharing with me!

Pours the color of light caramel-honey with a muddy consistency and a 2-finger sticky white head that fades to a thick, bubbly, well-retained skim leaving sticky rings of lacing behind.

Aroma is full of dry, earthy and citrusy hops. Alcohol is lightly noted, along with dry, crisp malts.

Taste is full of juicy and bittersweet citrusy flavors. Very wet and full-feeling. Good malt foundation provides a satisfying profile that is kept light and bright by the hops. Great tongue-coating stickiness promotes a long-standing aftertaste.

Drinkability is really high. While the alcohol was notable in the nose, it barely reaches the taste. It is an IPA that could please anyone - juicy yet sticky, sweet yet earthy, bitter yet bready.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber with a rising white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves a nice ring of lace with each sip.
Smells of some nice citrusy, grassy hops. There's a nice, sweet malt backbone to support the hops. Nothing is overpowering or overwhelming, just a nice sipping IPA.
Feels rich and creamy and leaves a lingering sweet residue. Well done for an American IPA.

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Photo of ryno09
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with an egg shell white head that leaves nice lacing. The Kiwi hops give a huge grapefruit and peach aroma with a bit of biscuity malt in the background.

The hops hit you first with a pleasant peach and grapefruit bitterness. Then the malt really takes over mid tongue and dominates the rest of the way leaving a dry finish. The rye malt gets you towards the back of tongue giving a bit of cracker like taste.

It's a very drinkable beer with the hops up front and then the malts coming in and taking over. None of the 7% is tasted. The rye malt adds a different dimension to the beer that you don't get in a regular IPA.

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Photo of urwithdave
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to beersinner for trading me this fresh growler! Poured into a solo cup on a fishing trip! I know it's not ideal, but it worked!!!

A- Dark copper in color. two fingers worth of a off white head. Obviously I cant advise on lacing in my solo cup, but everything else about this brew was spot on.

A- Piney hops up front with loads of citrus.

T- Bitter hops start the show. There is a lot of tangerine flavor. Some grapefruit but it's not as vibrant as the tangerine. The spice from the rye is distinct in flavor. There is a tad bit of sweetness that emerges towards the end, however the bitterness and the spice from the rye are in control.

M- Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Im guessing the growler was counter pressure filled because this thing didn't seem to lose a bit of fizz while in transit. It finishes dry with a lingering bitterness and spice from the rye.

D- A really crisp refreshing beer. Like I mentioned above, I drank this while on a fishing trip in 95 degree weather. The heat index was 110. It really hit the spot! I was a little disappointed that the 2 other peeps I was splitting it with enjoyed it as much as I did LOL!!!

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Photo of squaremile
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego. Pours a crystal gold with a half finger head that dissipates, but leaves some lacing. Nice is very clear with just the hops present, very nice pine as the main aroma. Taste is also very clean, with pine and grassy hops up front. Mouthfeel is pretty light and crisp, perfect level of carbonation. Finishes very dry. A really nice IPA, with the memorable quality the clean taste and crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great Alpine thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: A nice fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and fades semi slowly over teh slightly heazy darker orange reddish brown and golden copper colored beer.

N: I could smell it literally from 3 feet away as I poured it, set it on the table next to me and sat back. Loaded with pine and citrus hops, tons of fresh musty wet hop resinous aromas. Lots of tropical fruit hops aromas, tangerine, some grapefruit, a slight aged hop sweet nougat aroma but still mostly fresh aroma. Almost no malt too.

T: Again bombards with hops. Very juicy hop flavors, citrus and pine dominate. Lots of fresh wet hop resinous piny flavors too. Lots more fruit too, tangerine again, little orange and grapefruit, juicy too. A slight fluffy sweet hop flavor too. A touch of a spicy hop addition too that accentuates the heavy bitterness. The musty wet hop is great. Very slight malt, and some sweetness too.

M: Medium body with decent but a little lower carbonation.

F: Still very bitter, with a slight sweet finish. Lots of juicy hops linger too, lots of musty resinous wet hops too, slightly astringent, looong bitterness, but tolerable. More citrus and pine, earthy and slightly chewy hops. Later burps bring back the tangerine and grapefruit flavors too. A slight grassy and even spicy hop comes through about a minute after the swallow. Very tasty beer., and you are right James, this was better than Pure Hoppiness.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color tinged with orange and a tight white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of big hops characterized by pine and grapefruit.

Tastes of a good dose of malt cut by hops. Malt has mostly caramel notes and a bit of spice from the rye. Hops have grapefruit, pine, and pineapple notes. Plenty of fruit notes add to the sweetness. A solid amount of bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and has a creamy amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Stigs
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

split 22oz bomber, served in pint glasses

A - light gold in color, hazy. light and fluff yet ample head...spotty lacing.

S - insanely citrus. almost like Tang. freshly squeezed oranges, grapefruit, lemon rind, pineapple. a little bitter but very sweet and floral. great sniffer.

T - huge rush of grapefruity sweetness and bitterness, quite juicy. grassy in the middle with some floral notes, light buttery caramel malt throughout. lightly soapy at the finish.

M - medium bodied, very oily and slick. carbonation is ample and lively.

D - very nice, and unique, IPA. easily the strongest citrus notes (especially in the nose) I've ever come across, great aromatics.

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

One excellent IPA. Tons of tropical fruit juiciness on the nose followed by the same tropical fruit and grapefruit hops in the taste. Very juicy and very clean with minimal malt presence to showcase the hops.

Bitterness is crisp at the end and the carbonation is just right in enhancing the crispness.

Beautiful. I'd love to see some more IPAs made with Nelson hops.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I sit in this 90 degree apartment, I'm thankful for traders like womencantsail who send me boxes of hoppy goodness. Thank you, Andy.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is _perfect_. Light orange with a dense white head with excellent retention, there's also a ton of lace. This is what an IPA is supposed to look like. It smells absolutely off the chain as well. Clearly Alpine, this has plenty of pine and citrus hop character, but the underlying rye spiciness is a wonderful twist. Ripe tangerines, oranges, a little grapefruit, pine needles and a little grape are all present. I've heard comparisons of the Nelson Sauvin hop to a grape and that is one that works, and beautifully with the rye character. Malt character is non-existent.

The palate opens with a beautiful, suffuse hop character with light bitterness and massive flavor. A veritable fruit basket, there's plenty of citrus and some tropical fruit (pineapple) with a light to moderate grape-character. While there is no sweetness, a light rye character is present, and works very well with the hop character. Drying on the finish, there's a lingering moderate, clean bitterness with a palate coaxing fruit character. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is perfect for an IPA. Beautiful stuff.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a white head atop a kind of golden, yellow-ish body. Some floaties in there, with slight lacing around the rim.

The aromas are fruity and pleasant, with oranges as primary but also some of that rustic rye in there as well. Wow, it smells really good. Less about hanging out in a pine forest and more about hanging out in an orange and lemon grove with pine hanging out every third or fourth tree.

The flavors are an outstanding balance of hops, fruit, and malts. It's so fresh and complex, every sip is an absolute delight. Tons of oranges, some grapefruit, and the European maltiness adding a nice balance. It just teems up and down the palate spectrum so well, it's like my palate is being tickled by flavor fairy's. Oh, even tastes of creamy vanilla make their way on the palate.

The mouthfeel is light and slightly velvety, with just the right touch of thickness.

Overall, this, next to Ballast Point's Sculpin, is what it's all about with a West-Coast IPA. The fruity complexity with the right amount of rye and malts creates a balance unlike any of the IPAs I have had recently. Alpine, you have created a masterpiece.

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Photo of brentk56
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a green tea tinged amber with modest head; some lace

Smell: Clear out the nostrils with these hops (pithy, grassy, pungent kaffir lime, basil); just lovin' the Nelson Sauvin

Taste: Opens crisp and clean with a quick dive in the hoppy direction; all of the complexities of the Nelson Sauvin (grapefruit, pineapple, vinous Sauvignon Blanc, basil, kaffir lime, tropical fruit) jump into the fray, along with the spicy rye elements as well; after the swallow, the beer finishes clean, fruity and bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: I have been looking forward to trying this one for a while - just a supurb beer

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up!

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is pure yellow-gold, lacking the orange hues of other IPAs. Head is bone-white and not huge but looks healthy.

If you've ever visited California and taken in the many local IPAs while there, this nose will take you right back there. Nelson is west coast IPA incarnate, and I'm just talking about the aroma: fresh pine needles and citrus rind pair up to wallop the nostrils something fierce. With the freshness of a dryer sheet and the hops sizzling off this thing in waves, there's nothing not to like about the aroma here.

There's a spiciness to the flavor that points to the rye used; it's an earthy and very bright graininess, electrified by the Nelson Sauvin hops that give it even more vividness. This thing just explodes with flavor, neither too astringent nor too salty as some jacked-up IPAs can be. Bitter, vinous, earthy, bright, spicy and fruity, all in equal measure.

Texturally Nelson is on the lighter side of the style, buoyant and airy, yet having that kind of roundness that's also just shy of creamy. The dryness helps bring the bitterness in sharper focus.

A pretty intense flavor...maybe not as comforting as a chewier, more candy-like double IPA, and even somehow lacking that "daily IPA" utility of other, less demanding IPAs, the drinkability is maybe only a mere "4," but that's not to say this isn't excellent...because it is.

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sid and Best Damn Beer Shop.

A- Color is a nice light gold/yellow color around one finger of light head that receeds to some decent lacing on the glass.

S- Nice floral hoppy smells with tons of grapefruit and mango hops, smells very crisp and inviting.

T- Floral hops with tons of tropical flavors slight lemon/grapefruit flavors, finish is nice with a slight dry spiciness from the rye.

M- Nice light to medium body with good carbonation, really good mouthfeel and taste for a 7% IPA nice dry spicy finish.

D- Very easy to drink this beer, session beer as Sid stated. Tons of flavors and smells with the New Zealand hops and the rye lends a nice mild spiciness to the finish. Recommneded.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 717 ratings.