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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

716 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 716
Hads: 3,479
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,390
Gots: 494 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 716 | Hads: 3,479
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet

A- pours a slightly hazy orange with a half finger white head that fades pretty quickly. Would like more head, but I really like the color of it

S- I have the glass sitting a foot away fro me, and the aroma just comes and attacks my nose with a huge burst of grapefruit and orange. It smells absolutely divine

T- starts off slightly bitter, and the finish is slightly sweet, with grapefruit prominent throughout. Taste is actually a little bit more subdued than I'd expect

M- it's actually perfect. Not syrupy, not watery...about standard for the course, but that's a good thing

O- this is a good one. Real easy drinking for my first Alpine beer

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Photo of zac16125
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
no born on date but picked up from the brewery approximately 1 week ago

Thanks to harink for sending this over in a trade.

A: Pours a very murky, kind of urine yellow with just under 1 fingers width of sea foam white colored head. Honestly, this is pretty ugly in the glass. It does leave tons of really cool honey comb lacing, which is its redeeming factor.

S: Aroma is very vinous, white grapes and sweet white wine - like a moscato. Accompanied by mild dank, resinous notes. A hint of rye spiciness, citrus rind, and a touch of bready malts.

T: Follows the nose in thats its full of sweet white grape notes. There is a big rye spice component, along with piney bitterness, some citrus rind and tropical fruit sweetness. Better than the nose, as flavors as a whole are stronger than the aroma. Very tasty, I really like the combination of sweet vinous and rye spiciness notes.

M/D: Smooth for the style, with an appropriate carbonation, medium bodied with a rather wet mouthfeel. Drinkability is excellent.

O: Overall, an excellent beer. Dont let the somewhat nasty look of it scare you off cause its delicious. Not one of my favorite IPAs, and not as good at Duet (which I had yesterday so my memory is fresh), but certainly unique and very good in its own right. I would drink this again in a heartbeat, and if it was local Id definitely buy it on a consistent basis, but its not something I will aggressively seek out via trade.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour on-tap into a stemmed tulip.

Golden with 2 fingers of white head. Good clarity with light carbonation.

Rye, pine, white grape, pineapple, and caramel.

An assertive rye spice immediately comes through. Papaya, pineapple, white grape, and grapefruit zest. Exceedingly smooth malt backbone of caramel covered bread. Finishes piney with touches of onion.

Medium bodied, smooth, and juicy as Hell with a medium-low bitterness.

Exceptionally smooth, juicy, and spicy. The Nelson hops work great with the rye spice. Excellent IPA!

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Photo of mac31
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap

Hoppy, danky, tropical/pineapple on the nose.

This brew yields a bright, hoppy citrus burst. The hoppiness comes across as (soft) skunky, danky, moving in to earthy, slightly herbal notes. There is some added spiciness, not earthy in nature. I attribute this to the rye. The brightness is big notes of grapefruit. Very little in the way tropical notes. Refreshing melon at the half palate. Clean malt backbone that stays in the background. The beer dries out a bit as it rolls in to the finish. Clean bitterness in the finish, just shy of being bitey, overly bitter. Body is on the thin side. Brightness and dryness contribute to the perception that the beer is highly carbonated, but it's appropriate to style. West Coast IPA for sure. A hop head's delight. Nice beer. A highly regarded IPA that doesn't disappoint. Not quite Pliny, but good.

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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 scotorum
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing

s: Strong pine resin with petroleum notes

t: Follows the nose with considerable hop bite over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers on the dry finish

m: Medium plus, very good body and smooth oily texture. Good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully flavorful IPA in the definite West Coast vein. Can see why it's rated higher than Hoppy Birthday or Duet on BA.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love me some Nelson! And it's cool to see it with rye, in this instance mellow, but an often rather harsh malt. So much hype, rad to finally have one at back country in boulder. Pour is a really light pale golden color with an opaque orange lowlight and a lasting inch of airy white bubbles. Smells like Nelson alright, although somewhat less pungent and fresh than anticipated, and especially mellow for a top 250 IPA. The flavor is more dynamic than the nose, but also underwhelming. As good as it is, and it is real good, I wanted more from the hops. The rye is a real nice twist and can be both tasted and felt, but this lends credence to my theory that it's near impossible to make a bad beer with this hop. It just doesn't pip pineapple like others, and with such a no bull name, I thought this would be the loudest Nelson statement of all time, and it's not. It's freakishly dry though, so hops and rye do stand out, and there isn't much of a yeast profile happening at all. Carbonation is really lively, and I don't mean to belittle this because it is amazing, and a real nice use of one of my favorite hops, but it just doesn't stand out far enough from the heard to be labeled one if the best IPAs ever, at least in my opinion.

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Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a less than one finger head with good retention and some lacing. The appearance is the weakest area of this beer. The aroma is wonderfully hoppy. Grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and tangerines with some pineapple.

The taste is very unique, and good. Grapefruit, zest, tangerines, pineapple, malt, grass, rye, some earthiness, and some spices, although I am having trouble identifying them. It must be the New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops that give this a unique flavor. Very nice.

Sweet, with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Decent carbonation, medium bodied, and recommended. I would drink this again with no problems.

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Photo of beagle75
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of persistent white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense and hop-forward with fleshy grapefruit and green vinous notes.

T: Begins off-dry, with focused and pungent hop aromatics that are reminiscent of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Acidity is mild, very clean. Flavors turn more herbaceous, floral, and slightly toasty in the middle. Some bitterness develops in the short finish, showing a little more of an herbaceous quality than peel of grapefruit.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate with a slight acidic burn, and with moderate carbonation.

D/O: At the first glance, Alpine's beer line-up may seem needlessly crowded with IPAs. A careful exploration of each will allow the taster to appreciate just how much variability is possible within the style: O'Brien's delivers the greatest balance, fulfilling the role of general-purpose IPA that does not disappoint; Duet is a showcase of Simcoe qualities (and a great substitute for Sculpin); and Nelson is the grapefruit bomb of the three. As advertised, it delivers grapefruit that is laser-focused and juicy, with an intensity that even challenges grapefruit-focused DIPAs such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder. If any criticism is required, its qualities have an obsessive simplicity about them--but after all, Nelson is a specialist whose companion brews pick up the slack nicely.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at south bay drugs.

A - Poured copper golden with 2 fingers of white head. Dissiaptes moderately and left little lacing.

S/T - Rye, roast toffee, grapefruit, citrus and resiny pine. Lots of resinousness.

M - Moderate in body, hop-dominated and finishes smooth. Something is a little off in this beer. The combination of hops give the finish a somewhat chalky mouthfeel.

D - Good overall. Definitely worth trying.

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

Poured from bomber to perfect pint glass

A- hazy light gold with the slightest billowy head that hangs around the edges and laces the whole glass nicely

S- huge sweet grapefruit slam with a slight pepper back end. Not much malt profile at all

T- super spicy grapefruit awesomeness!!! Very earthy and sweet. Pepper lingers with hop bitterness

M- very full and pleasant. The carbonation is close to being too much, but the thickness of the beer works with it

D- this is a big IPA. Bigger than a lot of DIPA's out there. If you like super hop forward beers, than this is an awesome beer to sit down and enjoy!!!

This is the first time I've had this from a bottle. Have had on tap several times, and don't remember being this impressed...

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Photo of Viggo
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for sharing this one!

Pours a cloudy orange, some amber highlights, huge and fluffy white head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, nice layer, looks good.

Smell is neat, white wine/riesling grapes, some floral, pine, grapefruit, bread and wheat in the middle, a bit of caramel sweetness, rye spice, orange zest, really cool hop profile.

Taste is similar, grapefruit up front, riesling again, pine, light citrus, orange peel, some biscuity malt and honey, a touch of rye with a spicy bitter finish, well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Carbonation detracts from it a bit but still a pretty swell beer. I need to get me some of those Nelson Sauvins. Thanks Eric!

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a golden orange colour into a snifter glass. I could really pick up grapefruit in the smell. The taste followed suit as a intense grapefruit like flavour followed with each sip. Good bitterness and a nice malty backbone. Very nice beer.

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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 ptykozoon
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great foamage/lacing. Light yellow.

Outstanding smell, peaches, bitter light hops.

PEACHES, orange, bread, hops are mellow and smooth.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Never had an IPA like this. Light carbonation. Bitter/dry.

Great little IPA, taste is very fruit forward. My first beer from Alpine, I can see why they're so highly regarded.

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

22oz, thanks augustgarage! Been waiting to try this one for a while. Into chouffe tulip.

A- Pale gold with mild orangey qualities, the background of the label looks like the beer color, actually. Thick head that is snowy, good if thin lacing, nice first ring and it follows all the way down.

S- Floral, fruity, hoppy. Tropical fruit and a bit of a citrus note. Slight peppery quality, but faint.

T- Whoa. Hoppy, fruity indeed- tangerines or clementines. What am I tasting? ... Ah, the rye. Didn't know this was brewed with rye but I can def. taste it. My tongue is going back and forth from the fruity hops, the slightly spicy malt... Tasty and a bit of a head-scratcher. Not exactly the most harmonious blend but very good.

M- ABV is well-hidden and this is a balanced beer- strong enough malt to counter the potent hops.

D- Fairly high. Very tasty, the rye threw me for a bit of a loop and I can say I still prefer Alpine's Duet IPA over this one.. that being said this is a great beer and I'm even more impressed with the skills of the Alpine brewers. This one disappeared from my glass faster than I expected- very very drinkable.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Im not much of a hop guy but I found this beer extremely enjoyable. The hop aroma and flavor were very crisp and fresh and the taste was good without being over the top bitter.

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Photo of vacax
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nelson pours out a unique shade or dark golden that has an almost green look to it. The light tannish head is not enormous, but there is good retention and a gorgeous ring of microbubbles that clings along the edges of the glass. The aroma is a mix of grassy and floral hops that combines with the spicy rye to form an almost funky paper mill scent. I find the nose a bit peculiar, and actually not completely appetizing.

Whie I find the nose a bit esoteric, the flavor is what matters and it is flat out tasty. The front end of the brew has loads of flora, followed up by some grapefruit balanced by a spicy finish. Alpine has the knack to showcase hops in an enormous way without the bitterness that I typically expect. Not that there is anything wrong with bitter beer, but this is an exceptionally crafted brew. The feel is medium with spot on carbonation, well carbonated, but not prickly and bordering on smooth. Sticky with a pleasant floral, grassy quality.

Very tasty beer from one of the top pale ale producers in the country.

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Photo of jtingue
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Very hazy golden orange in color. Pours with 3 fingers of tight white head, which descends beautifully forming meringue like peaks and tons of thick lacing.

Smell. A split between tropical fruit and hearty rye bread aromas.

Taste. Starts out with the bite of a bitter, bready rye malt flavor. Lots of citrus hops follow, with tangerine being predominant. A garlic like flavor develops, and is accompanied by the bitterness of the hops, but not the citrus flavor. The finish is slightly herbal and sees the return of those citrus hops. Herbal bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel. Medium to heavy body and tight carbonation give this one a very creamy mouthfeel. Reminds me more of a double IPA than a single.

This one is very interesting, and different than what I expect out of california IPAs. The addition of rye seems to make this a completely different beast. Not sure how I feel about the metallic flavor in the beginning.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale gold, very bright. Mild haze. Head is off-white and voluminous. Head lasts forever and leaves a large amount of sticky lacing.

Aroma is peppery rye, wine grapes, mango, and lemon.

Big hops in the taste. Citrus-y and tropical. Pine on the back end. Lemon, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, wine grapes, and orange. Pepper and rye spiciness. Not really getting any malt notes beyond the rye but despite that, doesn't seem overly unbalanced.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness from the pine.

A solid west coast IPA with big flavors. The pine didn't really agree with me but everything else was great.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle thanks to Airfoil (picked up from brewery exactly 2 weeks ago). Poured into Lawson's snifter.

A- Pours a little bit hazy dark orange slightly amber. About a half finger of white head that quickly recedes. Not too much carbonation. Some light layered lacing.

S- Citrus hops, grapefruit, balanced with Bready/caramel malts. A little bit above average aroma strength and very pleasant smelling.

T- Citrus, grapefruit hops that blend with lightly sweet bready caramel malts with a hint of honey and a sweet citrusy finish that lingers for a little bit. Very nice balance and quite tasty.

M- Medium bodied, maybe slightly thicker then your average IPA, smooth, goes down easily.

O- This was a very nice IPA, that is typical to the other Alpine's that I've had. Alpine definitely nails the balance between hops and malts in their IPAs and I love the malts that they use. I liked Duet a little bit more, but Nelson is very good too. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap; poured into a pint glass.
Appearance - hazy, straw yellow with flakes of floating sediment. Medium white head that leaves little lacing.
Smell - bright citrus and tropical fruit dominate the nose!
Taste - grapefruit, pineapple, mango, lemon flavors power a hop forward masterpiece!
Feel - medium to light body with a zesty carbonation tickle.
Overall - not sure how much a 6 pack or a bomber of this typically runs, but $8/pint is a bit of a flick to the nuts.

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Photo of Soonami
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received from hophead84 - thanks for the hook-up!

Pours a lighter than average golden straw color, a bit of haze. Tons of head builds up in the tulip - whoah! Leaves a sticky, rocky head in the glass and chunks of lacing down the glass. Pretty.

Loads of citrus in the nose - candied grapefruit, lemons, a hint of spicy rye in there - very juicy and a hint on the tropical side.

The rye comes out way more in the flavor, giving a nice earthy spicy balance to the citrus hops. Loads of juicy grapefruit, hints of pine and floral hops, lemons, a medium bitterness that kicks in mid sip and has a medium lasting finish, light caramel malt tries to hold its own and without the rye it would lose - as it is, it's tasty!

The drawback on this beer is the carbonation - it's too heavy. Spritzy and gives it an edge that detracts on the drinkability. Sparkly but with a nice dryness in the finish.

Dial down the carb and you've got one of the tastiest IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking - very complex and layered with enough hops to please everyone. Love the rye - Yum.

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