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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

780 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 780
Hads: 3,767
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 1,379
Gots: 571 | 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
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Reviews: 780 | Hads: 3,767
Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a vibrant yellow, with a full foamy white head which leaves generous lace.

S: Notes of rye, sweet malt, grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Rye is clearly evident with a spicy undercurrent which works well with almost herbal and at times and citrus notes of the hops. There's like a tropical fruit salad, orange, sweet wine, lemon, mango, very interesting.

M: Smooth, creamy, lots of carbonation, medium-bodied.

D: A nice beer from Alpine, a joy to drink, but I wasn't as blown away with it as I was with Duet, but a very good effort nonetheless.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle purchased from Beverages 4 Less, poured in to a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly bleached golden peach in to my stemmed cervoise, and I should have eased back on the pour as soon as I noticed the frothy foam quickly forming, but alas - my failure to do so resulted in an explosive three finger white head erupting forth from this massively carbonated brew. The pillow of white marshmallow foam that sits atop a body teeming with large, sprightly effervescence is impressively rocky, sports some impressive retention, and leaves large patches of coagulated lace.

Aroma: Most of the reviews I've read of this brew - and, indeed, the side of the bottle itself - comment on the extensive use of Nelson Sauvin hops in this one. I presume this is what I'm smelling when I'm greeted by the massively floral, herbal bouquet that erupts from this glass. A nice amount of golden, honey sweetness provides an excellent backdrop for spicy, freshly-mowed grass, chives, basil, white grapefruit, and oranges. Very subtle, inviting, and approachable.

Taste: "Surprisingly dry" is my first thought, and "truly unique" is my second. The malts here are - though perhaps faintly roasted in places - mostly incredibly well-attenuated, biscuity, like water crackers or Wildflower honey that's, well, not sweet. Much dryer than in the smell, really. The rye is definitely present, and its earthy, almost dirty, spicy dryness - as well as the bonecrunching dryness (perhaps an overstatement) - really opens things up for a very herbal, floral, leafy hop profile. It's difficult at times to describe what I'm tasting: definite chives (which have been mentioned several times below) emerge from an allium-influenced though also decidedly herbal note; a large amount of white pepper-ish spice; basil; spearmint; some faint pine or rosemary; lavender; and the juicy but still dry citrus presences, orange, grapefruit, subtle tropical fruits. It's phenomenally complex and unique, and though that enhances the drinkability (insofar as drinkability is a factor of that "what on earth am I tasting, let me take another sip!" mentality), I'm a little mixed on the impact it has on the flavor itself.

Mouthfeel: The explosive carbonation continues to present itself, though it's a little more offputting here. The body is dry enough that the carbonation wreaks havoc a little, and though this helps in places - it doesn't come across as too cloying or too soda-like, as many sweet and highly-carbonated beers do, and the zip from the bubbles compliments the spicy zip of the hop profile - it also makes the body a little too rocky and uneven at times. Not a huge critique, and it does improve as it warms, but one worth noting.

Drinkability: A startlingly drinkable brew. The rye pairs masterfully with the unique elements of the Nelson Sauvin hop, making for a full-bodied, flavorful and aromatic brew that's drinkable not only by virtue of its reasonable abv% but also because of the aforementioned "what am I tasting?" effect. I keep getting new things out of this one, and that's really one of my favorite aspects of drinking and reviewing beer - that with four simple ingredients, a masterful brewer can evoke ten, fifteen, twenty, sometimes more identifiable flavors. Nelson - despite not being a perfect brew - is a perfect example of why I love reviewing beer, and in my mind, that makes it as drinkable as any beer I've ever had.

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Photo of smanson56
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another great beer from Alpine. Poured a lighter golden yellow color into my tulip glass. The nose more floral than citrus with a lingering pine nose. The taste is slightly bitter but lacking in tropical fruits or much of this nature. The taste complex to me more so than most IPA's are but I am enjoying it. A good beer I'll look forward to enjoying again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of champ103
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Dajtai007 for the generous sample.

A: Pours a very cloudy golden/orange color. Lots of suspended yeast. A two finger, bubbly white head forms, but recedes in a second. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: This is awesome. At first a big resiny and piny hop aroma. Juicy mango and peach aromas. The bready and biscuit like rye come next for an excellent balance. Some citrus hops and a peppery spiciness lingers. Just excellent.
T: Big pine up front and center again. Like the nose an excellent bready/biscuit like rye with some spiciness. Not sure if the spice is form the rye or hops, but still good. Not as complex as the nose though.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Crisp dry, and smooth. Really easy to drink. I could drink this all day.

An exceptional beer. Maybe one of the biggest bready rye presents that I have come across. The Nelson Sauvin hops are also very apparent. I really enjoyed it. Something that is very unique, and would highly recommend.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

***Green Flash Version***

Pours a hazy peach color with 1 finger of white pillowy head.

Aroma is of bright citrusy hops, tons of hop floralness, pure grapefruit essence, and a touch of grape must.

Taste is a pretty immediate punch of bitterness. This is closely followed by floral, earthy hops. Clearly tons of hops go into this beer; it’s a hop explosion. While I get the white wine characteristics, they are melded well with the other flavors. Nice bit of carbonation. I will say that the earthy hops and bitterness are the predominant flavors. The finish is extremely dry with bitterness lingering for a bit after consumption.

Overall, this is a good beer. I would love to compare it to a beer actually brewed by Alpine for comparison. I unfortunately found it to be a bit too much in terms of the floral hops. I would love for more of the white wine character to shine through and a bit more citrus as well. Still very good regardless! This is a special occasion beer for my nursing pinning. I see this pairing well clams and chorizo in a spicy white wine broth. It gets a 87/100. I hope to try the real version soon!

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Photo of bret27
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.

A: Cloudy yellow, thick white head.

S: Outstanding. Fresh explosion. Peaches, pine, multiple citrus fruits, take your pick.

T; Same as smell just not as amazing. Not too strong or bitter good balance. Maybe a little breadiness on the back of the tongue from the rye.

M: fairly med/thin

D: No real alcohol presence, just bitterness. Light, hoppy, refreshing= excellent.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Bought in Oct 2010 from K&L Wines.

A - Hazy yellow-orange, with a nice two fingers of pillowy head that settles down to a thick cap. Heavy rings of lace on the glass. Very inviting.

S - Very nice -- lots of hops, with both pine and grapefruit notes. A bit of a sweet-ish malt, and a spiciness that I'm guessing is from the rye.

T - More of what was in the nose, with a huge hop bitterness, and more of that spiciness. The rye is subtle, which is good for me since I'm not a huge fan of it. There's almost a touch of vanilla in the malty sweetness, but it's fleeting. Long dry finish, but very little alcohol burn.

M - It's almost a bit thin, with lighter carbonation than I would expect. But the stickiness is good. Somewhat drying.

D - The flavors are good, the aroma great, and the alcohol isn't too high. I'd go for another for sure; good thing I have one.

O - Price-wise, it's less expensive than Sculpin (which is overpriced) but more than Pliny (which is not) so I'll happily pay for it. The beer is definitely worth it. Solid buy.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass from a 22 oz bomber provided by snaotheus.

Color is hazy pale gold, almost straw, with a large fluffy head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing traces every sip. Smell is mango, citrus and fresh cut grass. Very juicy. It hits the palate with a strong blast of bitterness that matches the nose, gives way to delicious juiciness and finishes with lingering grapefruit rind. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, really good!

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Photo of chrisjws
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
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 rudzud
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Received this extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy light orange hue with a thin half finger head that faded to leave a thin cloud and light halo. Do wish this had a bigger head/lacing.

S - Smell is incredible. Tangerine, pineapple, lightly floral. This is an incredible nose. Really top notch and exceptional on the nose. I want this as a candle.

T - Not quite as good as the nose, but still mighty tasty. Tropical notes of that tangerine and pineapple are still there just fainter. Some spicy notes too. Someone said rye so okay, I can see that. Lightly floral too with some well rounded malts. No bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, or at least thinner than what I was expecting. Very, very light on the carbonation.

O - Overall, this is a crazy aromatic with solid taste. Would like a better head and mouthfeel though. Bad bottle perhaps, dunno, but still amped to have tried it.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

delicious, but im not sure if im drinking the nelson of alpine lore, or the green flash version. either way, its pretty good. hazy orange in color. huge citrus nose. great flavor, nice backbone. mouthfeel really stands out for me. medium bodied with great carb. very nice.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

AP: Deep straw, fairly lively carbonation, big bubbled, continuous 1/8" white head. Sticky lace, very slight haze.

Ar: Light funk. Papaya? fruity, citrusy, pithy. The label tells of grapefruit aromas, I do not get that.

T: Dry wine? more citrus fruit. Hops are the star of the show. Malt is almost nonexistent. There's a touch of fleshy fruit also. I have no clue what gooseberries are supposed to taste like, but nelson hops are supposed to taste like them. This may be the flavor I'm getting

M: Dry, bitter, resinous. This is how I want my IPAs to feel.

O: A touch lighter in color than I expected. I finally got to try this sober, by myself, and not during a bottle share. I feel like my expectations of this were higher because every time I've had it, it has been in 2-4oz increments, after already wrecking my palate. I can't wait to get out to California and visit the brewery.

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Photo of Alequine
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Smokepot23 for this in a trade.

A - Golden color with a nice two finger fluffy head that had nice retention and left some sheets throughout the course of the drink with some chunks on it.

S - Pretty mild, floral hops with a touch of citrus. Somewhat grassy with slight lemon. Slight rye notes.

T - This is really good. Rye and light malts with a sweet hop profile. Slighty piney, and more orange than grapefruit citrus with some bitterness. Very pleasant.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Very easy drinker, polished off the bomber with no problems and could have gone for another.

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Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold, with lots of little sediment particles floating in the brew. A massive pillowy sudsy foam head lasts forever, leaving clouds of sticky chunky lacing on the glass as the brew is consumed.

Aromas of citrus, green grapes, green hops, and ocean saltspray. Although you can smell lots of hops were used, there is nothing overboard, just a smooth inviting aroma.

The taste is quite different from the usual IPA and is quite laid back. At first there is some sweet malt, then a slightly bitter citrus hop taste kicks in, but then a bit of a grapy taste that adds a sub-layer of subdued sweetness (somewhat like Sauvignon Blanc, whence the Nelson Sauvin monicker comes from). Citrus rind prevails in the long finish.

Body seems a little more viscous than is typical of the style, as the yeast and other sedimentary particles remain in suspension. Ample carbonation gives this a somewhat creamy, as opposed to crisp, mouthfeel. The hops approach tongue numbing levels.

This is a very drinkable IPA, a different IPA with a unique aroma and taste, due to the Nelson Sauvin hop variety. Might be good to compare with Mikkeller Nelson or another Alpine beer like Exponential Hoppiness.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a light gold with mild haze, lots of visible carbonation, and 1 1/2 finger's worth of white fluffy head. Very pretty.

S: Tropical fruits, grapefruit, melon, lemon, grassy and a bit of dank and resin. I do feel like there's some white vinous character as well, but I don't know if that's just the power of suggestion from the label.

T: Tropical fruits, melon, a bit of spicy character; then citrus (lemon and some grapefruit). The resinous pine that I got in the nose doesn't appear in the palate. A light cracker malt lurks underneath the cacophony of hop flavors. Only mildly bitter on the hang for style.

M: Light body, good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is well-hidden.

O: Nelson's not always my favorite hop, but this is really quite enjoyable. Wonderfully crafted IPA. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of match1112
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to ehammond1 for sending this!

a: murky dark orange body with a slow and steady rise of bubbles from the botton. head is dirty white and stands a half inch tall leaving a nice spider web of lacing as this beer goes down all too quick.

s: nice and mello nose to this one. aromas of grapefruit, spice, rye and a little caramel blend nicely.

t: wowza! this is incredibly good. burst of grapefruit up front is nicely smoothed over by the rye.

m: nice carbonation level. the rye gives this a med-full body. little dry and bitter on the finish but is amazingly well balanced.

o: awesome! i grew up stealing sips of rye whiskey from granddad and have had a love for rye ever since. this beer fills that need very well. so smooth and drinkable! can't get over how awesome this beer is. if you havent had it, you need to.

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Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade ,now getting to drink and to the review, being poured in to a surly imperial pint glass

A-pours a hazy light golden orange and a wonderful creamy white head.tons of lace down the side of the glass

S- tropical fruit, notes of a musk rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, tons of nice tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops were done right in this one .

M- syrupy than the duet i just had recently with the same high carbonation feel to it and awesome crisp clean finish to it.

O-Amazing IPA one of my favorites , the tangerines and tropical fruit are super enjoyable. the bitterness is light and the flavors go together very well.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a Green Flash bottle.

Pours bright light orange with a fizzy head that rises, but subsides. Smell is peppery, grassy, dry grapefruit. Big Nelson Sauvin nose. Taste is spicy rye with zesty dry grapefruit. Finishes smooth. Fizzy texture, but dense enough to be pretty slick in the mouth. Great spicy IPA, great use of NS hops.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 22 ounce bomber bottle and into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed bright golden yellow with at least an inch of fluffy sticky bone white foam. The head leaves a nice lace in its wake. Nose and flavors consist of both white and ruby red grapefruit peel, pith, and juice, tangerines, oranges, lemon oil, fruity, white wine-like notes characteristic of this hop variety. Body is about medium could be a bit fuller, with adequate carbonation and quite dry throughout. Pretty tasty stuff and very easy to drink. Certainly worth checking out. Thanks a bunch Chris!

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Photo of eyncognito
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade from HopHead84, thanks Shane. I've been wanting some Alpine for some time now.

Pours a bright gold, hazy with a white head and good retention. Spotty lacing. An incredibly attractive pour. Aroma is a strange mixture of rye and hops. Citrus-orange and grapefruit dominates with notes of spicy rye, along with a strange piss smell that toes the line, not offensive, but it mingles with a dank weedyness.

Taste improves upon the nose. Citrus-orange and lime, tropical fruits-mostly unripe pineapple, along with some floral notes, the rye seems more subdued here, malt is toasty. Incredibly clean and dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty high. Worth seeking out. Alpine's reputation seems deserved as a first rate brewery of hop-forward beers.

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Photo of Lunch
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz. bomber courtesy of the very generous volatilesther into my 22oz. HopDevil nonic pint glass at the appropriate temperature (03/24/10).

A: Pours a very odd shade of light brown that looks like no other beer I have seen, but I like it. Capped by 2+ finger of a white foam with excellent retention and some nice ringed lace.

S: Aroma was very pleasant and filled with a great variety of pine and citrus hops and a faint malt backbone. The rye in this one is certainly there, but not nearly as overpowering as some.

T: The rye and pine hops hit first and leave a pleasant bitterness. Citrus comes next with some orange and grapefruit. I'm really enjoying the integrating of the rye in this one.

M: Medium-bodied with appropriate carbonation and just a bit of lingering bitterness and rye.

D: Extremely easy to drink and 7.1% is nowhere to be found.

Overall this was nice American IPA with rye, which was expertly balanced. If you are looking into trying a great IPA with hint of rye, this is your beer. Thanks again Esther! Recommended.

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