Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

635 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 635
Hads: 3,069
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 3.89%
Wants: 1,413
Gots: 380 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OStrungT on 08-11-2006

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
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Reviews: 635 | Hads: 3,069
Photo of facundoCNB
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

an opaque orangy yellow pour with a full 2 fingers of white fluffy head which dissipated slowly and left some great amount of sticky lacing behind. smells of fruity hops, slight pine, herbal garlic-like scent, grapefruit, mint leaves.

this is my first experience with these nelson sauvin hops, and i am really liking it. there is a minty/fruity/grape-like flavor to it. add a nice malty sweet backbone (but dry enough almost like wine) and you have a delicious ipa.

this is a very easy drinking, refreshing ipa medium in body with highr carbonation (for the style) and a nice dryness in the finish.

this is an excellent ipa, with a nice semi bitter lingering flavor mixed in with what feels like white wine. reading the label on the bottle, i now see that this comes from the hops. what a wonderful experience. (815 characters)

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to one of California's many BAs. From notes.

Pours hazy orange with a huge foamy white head. Great looking beer.

Smells of intense floral and citrus with a little malty sweetness on the back end.

The taste follows the smell almost to the letter with a little extra sweetness. Lots of floral and citrus hoppy gootness with a bit of sweet malt on the end to balance things.

Creamy with a nice bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

Very drinkable. I wish I had more. (474 characters)

Photo of Dynobolt
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had it for the first time on draft at my buddies place (Strangers in El Centro) did indeed taste different from the Nelson 's of Alpine. Still an easy citrusy drink to have very good. Hopefully green flash can close the gap and make it a world class beer. (258 characters)

Photo of brydeen
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly murky, golden color, with a creamy thin white head. Dissipates slowly, but clings to the glass the whole way.

S: A tropical yet earthy aroma. Not a punch you in the face aroma like many of my favorite IPAs, but very pleasant. Grapefruit and mango up front, with a dank spiciness behind it.

T: A light sweetness right off the bat, but finishes with a spicy bite of the rye. Really quite smooth and subtle. Not overly bitter with hops.

M: Very light carbonation and a surprisingly creamy texture.

O: Really solidly balanced beer. The flavor and aroma are subtle but delicious. Always a favorite of mine. (670 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw color, with about 1/2" of white head that has decent retention and lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but it does not have quite the clarity that I have seen in other Alpine IPAs.

Smell: Light pale malt scents are evident, but that is quickly overshadowed by pungent tropical fruit dankness. Very nice.

Taste: Mirrors the smell. Nice, light malt backbone which adds a bit of sweetness but not too much. Then comes the hop flavors. Tropical fruit flavors shine, namely pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness, almost exclusively tropical fruit and dankness.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer has a light body with moderate carbonation, which is about right. Overall, the Nelson hops really shine in this beer. I love tropical fruit notes and limited bitterness in my IPAs, so I was a fan. (826 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy grapefruit and earthy hop aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture with soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy bitter flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration. Very good brew. (328 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: I must admit, I enjoyed the aroma far more than I have enjoyed anything else that is, or has ever been, placed in front of my nose. Very aromatic aroma of juicy oranges and pinapples, freshly cut grass, and what reminds me of either minced garlic or shallots.

Taste: Light, fleeting malt flavor and sweetness upfront before a bright burst of juicy hop flavors, zesty orange rind and pineapple rings. Full notes of white grapes and garlic (or is it shallots). Hint of damp grass. All in all, there's only a very reasonable amount of bitterness. Finishes decidedly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's really great smelling stuff! I had to be restrained from pouring out the growler onto myself so I could continue to smell this beer for days and days to come. (875 characters)

Photo of theghost3
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Moderate layered lacing.

The smell is strong of grapefruit and oranges along with coriander and a little bready malt. The taste is grapefruit and herbal hops, peppery with some caramel and bready malts. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium-bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is a drinkable IPA. Don't expect a hop bomb; just a citrusy, smooth brew. (421 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a recent box from BrewerB, thanks for hitting this Want Brian!

It pours a light tinged gold in color, light in body, with a one finger frothy white head. It smells of clean grapefruit, pineapple, light soap, with a light citrus finish. It's really nice. The flavors are a combination of clean piny hops, soap, light citrus, and it has a light yet bitter finish. Still very solid. It drinks very light and smooth and has nice flavors that're both appealing and easy to come back to. This is a very approachable IPA. I'd put this in the Blind Pig ballpark. It's a nice IPA and I'm glad I could try it. (626 characters)

Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

ritzkiss shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled jan 1/2010.

pours hazy dark yellow with a huge fluffy white head. drops fairly fast with lots of chunky lace.

aroma is great. big hoppy blast. a bit resiny. grapefruit, but more a juicy pink grapefruit than a super sour one. touch of lemon. lots of white grape. grapefruit juice. light alcohol. white bread. bit of cracker.

taste is good. just over medium bitterness level. light alcohol. grapefruit juice. bit of white grape. bit of orange. slightly powdery. white bread and cracker. really neat hop character. bit of rye spice.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium-high carbonation level, but it manages to level out to a more reasonable level fairly fast.

drinkability is great. love the hop character and bit of extra depth you get from the light rye spice. good balance. this is one tasty brew! (877 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (1,188 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this from Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego, around $6 if I remember correct.

A: Light amber in color with a smallish stark white head, approximately 1/4" worth, might be the fault of the glass though. Recedes to practically nothing. Excellent clarity. Some very nice lacing.

S: Really resinous pine, big time pine bomb on this beer, holy shit, I guess crushed spruce needles would be the best descriptor. The white wine, as described on the bottle is also a nice note. Below that is a nice blend of caramel and also a bit of a grainy rye bite to it as well. Absolutely in love with the smell, not a 5, but definitely a solid 4.75.

T: Smell follows the nose to an uncanny level, the smell is so thick that smelling it is like drinking it. Definitely have some white wine characteristics, pine, grapefruit rind is very prevalent. Grainy bite of rye and some caramel malts, this one is growing on me, didn't like the first sip but its interesting. Pretty hard to decide if I love or hate this beer, in all honesty each sip is a different experience. There's something somewhat off in the flavor. Still though, incredibly tasty, all the flavors are there, just picking up something weird here.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on with this beer, excellent thickness, just a hint at some alcohol heat, they got this one right on the nose here.

D: Still not totally sure about this one, its in the range of beers that I would probably drink again but it is incredibly odd. Rye and the nelson sauvin hops are a very unique flavor for me for some reason, for tonight this 22oz sample will be more than enough. Hands down the most unique IPA I've had in some time. I wish I could figure out what the one funky flavor is, its something familiar to me, but I can't place it. Definitely interesting, and very glad to try this beer. (1,839 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: Clear gold with minimal effervescence and a thin cap of white head. Scattered lacing.

S: Wet, piney hops. A touch of peach. Aggressively hoppy.

T/M: Tasty! Hm. Initially, I found it one-dimensional, but now I'm not sure. Perhaps the most impressive thing is just *how long* the taste lasts. The initial carbonation and piney-astringent hop burst dominant for several seconds, longer than some full tastes in other beers. This is what led to the initial impression of one-dimensionality. But then something interesting happens. The hops soften and sweeten into a fruit-like character that still reminds me mostly of peach, maybe pineapple. Though fruit is there, a vegetal/earthy character is even more dominant when the hops fade. This gently spicy sort of expansive, chewy beer lingers for a while on the aftertaste, and remains after both bitterness and fruit have faded. Mildly dry.

O: This is a delicious beer. One of my favourite hops. A little English-esque for my liking, but perhaps it's an older bottle? At any rate, highly recommended. Would have again. I've tasted better IPAs, but nothing quite like Nelson. (1,189 characters)

Photo of Keyportnick
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear golden. Minimal head

S- peachy, grassy, guava , lemon grass

T-malty bread. Peach,earthy grass, guava.

M- medium-full body really smooth

O- delicious ipa, wish it was more widely distro'd. Hope they don't go to coldspring though...this was a quick drinking review. (276 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to CAbeerCAbeerCA for this little surprise in my box today!

a - popped the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. poured a murky straw yellow, but settled a bit darker in the glass, more of a honey color. there was a nice frothy head and lacing was pretty thick and sticky.

s - very nice and balanced hops. great sweetness with a touch of sweatiness. a bit grassy, a bit earthy, but overall just smells great! i really dig the way this one smells.

t - again, quite good, but not as great as the nose suggests. much more bitter and sweaty, but not overly bitter. i wish the sweetness in the smell was a bit stronger in the flavor, but all-in-all a solid beer. bit of grapefuruit juice.

m - nice carbonation, easy drinker. leaves a subtle bitterness in the aftervibe. at times seemed a bit watery.

o - overall very good. all about the nose on this one...really smells fantastic. beyond that, a solid IPA. (928 characters)

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours slightly cloudy, pale orange/yellow (tangerine) with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly leaving bubbly white lacing.
S: Some citrus/grapefruit with bright tangy/floral hop notes and big elements of white grapes. Slightly musty, some resin, tang.
T: Lots of white grape, some must, florals and subtle citrus notes, vinous tannin and tree fruits - nectarine/tangelo. Definitively hopped without any lingering bitterness or vegetal notes. Caramel backbone with slight hints of spice/rye; medium body that finishes slightly dry but well rounded.
O: Great showcase of Nelson Sauvin hops, bright and full of flavor. (631 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My favorite TG IPA is Zeelander, and was really looking forward to this. Nose was awesome, but taste and finish were an abrupt Malty/Rye insult, and not as I had hoped. Still a decent beer. (191 characters)

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

Thanks to jyoungsbcp for this in trade!

Served at about 40 degrees into a tulip glass.

It has an unusally pale (for an IPA) golden yellow color and good clarity. The thick white head settles slowly and really sticks to the glass.

Aroma is classic west coast IPA with up-front citrus, especially grapefruit. Nice and pungent like a dry-hopped beer should be.

Flavor is very good, which is a relief after the frankly disappointing Alpine Duet. This beer is crisp and well-bittered with pine and citrusy hops. As the label suggests, there is a bit of a white wine character to it, which initially strikes me as oxidation, but I warm to it eventually. It finishes with a slightly spicy-dry kick. It's definately unusual in that respect and unlike any other IPA.

Mouthfeel is good but the winey/piney thing gets a little tiresome on the tongue.

Overall a very good, certainly unusal, IPA. One worth having and definately makes me want to visit Alpine next time I'm in California. (981 characters)

Photo of Casey10
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great "extra" from NewGeneric thank you again. Smooth pours clear slight head is defanitely hops forward vs malt but not aggressive. slight pine I know there is citrus but its not your typical grapefruit taste its more of tangerine or perhaps dare I say appricots? Not entirely certain but its is nice and fresh.

Would have again it is very nice was so glad to try this one. (384 characters)

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

22oz bottle from the brewery served in a pint glass.

A- Lighter in color than the duet with a thicker head thats bright white. The beer is a light straw color with some haze.

S- I dont get the tropical nose I expected but rather a spicy nose. I immeditaly thought of a nice winter ipa where this would would well. I think this might be the rye coming through.

T- To me this IPA is fairly dry, i dont get the oily IPA that I would expect, it works well though creating a balanced beer with a calm spice in the background.

M- Very balanced carbonation with body of this beer.

Overall I think the duet is a easier drinking ipa but this should be in the roation to experience all the variety of hops out there, get out there and try some of these nelson sauvin. Again I tip my pint to Alpine, and im not going to bed! (823 characters)

Photo of zipper8650
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good beer Sunday. First IPA review. Exponential is my all time favorite IPA so I have high hopes here. I love Duet as well but Hopiness didnt do it for me...snifter poured right down the middle
A - huge white head, murky yellow/orange.
S - a lot of citrus but I also get lychee out of it
T - grapefuit times 10. I have never had an IPA this heavy on the grapefruit before, not overly bitter
M - its fine, nothing mind blowing or poor, right where it should be
O - i am NOT a fan of grapefruits BUT i think this is a super well made, quality solid beer and I am glad I had it and I am enjoying it!!
Skol (603 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a pale gold with hints of orange. A slight haze - not perfectly clear - kinda glows in the light. A huge, fluffy, whipped cream like head sits atop this beer and doesn't give any hint of going away. Lots of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. Very good looking IPA.

S - Lots of citrusy, fruity aromas here. Lots of grapefruit, and I'm getting a big hit of pineapple and some mango. A bit of spicyness, maybe some cloves in the background from the rye.

T - Citrus backed up with the distinctive rye spicy zing mixed in. Pineapple, some grapefruit. Sharply bitter, and somewhat alcoholic (a touch phenolic) in character, which is enhanced some by the rye.

M - Light to medium in body...rather high on the carbonation scale. Very tingly in the mouth. The rye leaves an impression in the mouth - spicy, clovely, cool feeling left behind.

D - Pretty nice IPA overall. Really enjoying this beer, but not as much as the other Alpines I've had (Exp Hoppiness, Pure Hoppiness, and Duet). Really great beer though. Definitely would go for this one again. (1,107 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -5%
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 squaremile
4.15/5  rDev -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. (442 characters)

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

Thanks johndoe8 for trading this one to me.

Golden hue, hazy bodied IPA with a one finger frothy white head. No real retention, spotted lacing drapes around the glass.

Smell has Pineapple mango and rye seed, a general skunky hop character as well as a notable pine and citrus rind presence.

Taste has pineapple, and grapefruit with a rye twang. Some other underlying fruity notes as well as a notable pine character as well.

Mouthfeel has moderate carbonation, slightly prickly and syrupy as well. As an IPA should, but its smack dab in between IIPA and IPA in the mouthfeel category.

Drinkable although a little odd, I would much rather have pure hoppiness or sculpin but I'm glad I had the oppurtunity to try this one. Thanks again Rich. (746 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.