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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

654 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 654
Hads: 3,208
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 1,416
Gots: 415 | FT: 18
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: 654 | Hads: 3,208
Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy straw colored pour with a big, loose white head that fades to lots of lacing. Resiny hop aroma with lots of grapefruit, some floral pine and a vinous white grape note. The malt component is dry, earthy and grainy with a moderate sweetness. The flavor is white grapes, citrus, and toffee with some minty pine on the finish and a hint of butterscotch. The body is creamy and full with lots of soft carbonation.

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

Acquired thanks to FreightTrain.

This one pours a nice golden color, vary clear, with a bit 2cm head, that's nice and sticky, leaving good lacing. A very nice looking IPA. The smell just reeks of pungent, floral, resinous hops. Almost skunky, but redeemed by a sweet fragrant, almost fruity, citrus peel smell. Really a lovely and complex hop these Nelsons are. I can get grapefruit and fresh grass clippings as well. It's like Centennial, but more pungent, I like this. The flavor continues with the smell, with grassy, piney, resinous hoppiness. The fruitiness is more apparent in the taste, with a kind of grassy mango taste, a tiny bit of sweet cantaloupe, and some bitter grapefruit as well. The malt is nice (as I've noticed with most of these Alpine beers), just to the right level to complement the hops, and very sticky, with nice yeast charcter. The beer finishes pretty dry with a slight leafy fruit taste. And the rye, well, you don't exactly taste it, as much as experience it. It add a huge, nice feeling to the body. The carbonation is lively, and makes the flavors burst very nicely as it sort of stings your mouth. And the alcohol lends a slight burn. This IPA strikes that perfect West Coast IPA balance (and I don't mean a 50-50 kind of balance, but a sort of established - in my mind - ratio of what to expect from a very hoppy IPA). My only complaint is that you can't drink as much of it as you would like, as the 7.1% starts to push it towards DIPA territory.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks Deuane for sharing this growler at akorsak's - poured chilled from the growler into a duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful sunny golden w/ mild haze big quick settling cream that creates streamers of lacing w/ a tight bead. This is what I picture in my mind when I think of spring/summer -beautiful IPA appearance

S - The nose has a grassy/sweet citrus and mild spiced fragrance. The hops give off a lemony and slight sour green grape aroma w/ hints of tropical fruit and floral odors. The nose has a nice mellow pineapple ester too.

M - A moderately bitter entry w/ mild astringency and moderate carbonation w/ resinous texture and building bitterness which lingers after the dry finish

T - This is exceptional in flavor - not just the hops, but the cohesion of yeast, malt hops all bring a jazzy, herbal and gently spiced flavor w/ a gental citrus peel essence. The rye malt gives a nice backdrop to the tropical fruit elements the Nelson Sauvin hops provide w/ mild white grapeskin and a light sweet grassy taste in the finish

D - A Great rye IPA, the hoppiness level is full and it is certainly high in its class for overall drinkability and is just an excellently crafted beer all around. The balance is very good and I would definitely consider this a great example of the style!

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Photo of ocmpoma
3.89/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip:

The brew is a rich, dark copper with a thin film and some good lacing. The nose is awesome: pepper, heavy citrus (especially lemon), spices (is that cinammon?), and more -- a very complex, delicious nose that carries the expected hops and even a whiff of chocolate at the tail end. One of the best-smelling beers I've encountered.

The taste doesn't quite keep up with the nose; it took some consideration to get over how underwhelmed I was by the flavor. It's a good, well-balanced and well-hopped beer. The citrus and some hints of the spices on the nose are there as well, but I found myself sniffing rather than drinking it. The mouthfeel is very thin, too. If drinkability were 'sniffability' I'd give it a higher mark, too. Overall, a solid effort and a good beer.

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Photo of akorsak
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler.

A: The IPA is a golden yellow color, radiant while retaining a hazy complexion. I don't have any notes on the head, so it wasn't that memorable. One of the palest rye beers I've seen.

S: Heaven in a glass. The Nelson Sauvin hops are lemony, sharp and and sweet. Surprisingly, they aren't overwhelming, allowing rye bread to share the stage. I can't spend enough time on the aroma, full and intoxicating. The hops are damn-near perfect.

T: The rye is most flavorful at the tail end of each sip, expressing a spicy bread flavor that is restrained. It's there but not in your face. Prior to the rye, the Nelson Sauvin hops run wild, all lemony citrus and herbal. Surprisingly, the hops aren't overdone in the ale. Rather than dominate, they create a moderate flavor burst that showcases then steps aside. That allows the nuance to be more fully enjoyed. Bitterness following the rye accentuates more herbal lemon. A great sipping ale.

M: Balance is the key to this IPA. The hops, while plenty flavorful, don't scorch the palate. The rye is a nice accompaniment.

D: A top notch IPA. The Nelson Sauvin hop should be used in more beers (wishful thinking). A stunning nose and solid body. More, many more, please.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

I love Hop Rod Rye and generally like any rye IPAs so I was very excited to try this. Appearance is a translucent golden copper with a massive dense white head that slowly fades but never completely disappears and leaves sporadic sheets and streaks of lacing. Grapefruit, mango and mild pine hops dominate the aroma with some light caramel malt and rye balance, nicely balanced but not overly impressive. I really enjoy the flavor and balance of this beer. The front of the palate picks up grapefruit, citrus resin, pine, and mango. Moving back the palate the mild malt body is present with some slightly spicy rye. Mouthfeel is medium thick and smooth with fine, sharp carbonation that slowly asserts itself. Overall a very nice Rye IPA, not quite as bold as Hop Rod Rye, but definitely one of my favorite Alpine beers so far.

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Photo of MichaelinFishers
3.21/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into two pint glasses for my wife and I to split. Thanks to Esther for the trade.

A: Pours with a very pale head, very light retention and just a little lacing. The color is a little odd. There's an unusual hue to it that I would describe as almost pink, but I'm slightly colorblind, so take that with a grain of salt.

S: Wow! The aroma is incredible! I'd heard that Nelson Sauvin smells almost wine-like, but this is amazing! (Looking on the label, it actually says that. How about that!) Delicate, fruity, floral, this is a beautiful aroma hop.

T: OK, this is where is starts to let down. Now that I've looked at the label, I'm reminded that this is a rye beer. And the rye just isn't working for me with such light malt accompanying it. I've had, and loved, other rye beers (Red's Rye, Cane & Ebel), but those pair the rye with bolder, fuller malts.

M: Nice, but nothing special. Pretty typical for a west coast IPA.

D: Having a hard time getting past the taste. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I dislike it -- I finished my pint with no problem -- but I don't think I'll be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of Lunch
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
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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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another lovely Cali bomber gathered from teh internets.

Appearance - Copper-hued brew with a fluffy mound of virgin white head. Lovely...

Smell - To me, this smells uncannily like an english muffin with butter and orange marmalade...

Taste - Much less of the sweet citrus, more bitter rind. Again with the buttered bread. Spicy rye toward the back end along with some grassy, vegetal taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a tasty beer! My experience with rye beers is limited, as is with the Nelson Sauvin hop varietal, and I have to say this beer has piqued my curiosity in both. The beer seemed to disappear as if by magic. So well rounded, with flavors that are completely foreign to me (The buttered bread, I'm telling you!).

I found this to be a very exciting and supremely drinkable brew. The fact that Alpine doesn't distribute in my state is unfortunate as this could have easily become one of my go-to beers...

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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

thanks smokepot23!

pours murky orange with hints of deep yellow. light inch high fluffy head. light lacing.

tons of citrus, mainly orange and tangerine with hints of grapefruit pineapple.

again, lots of orange citrus, mainly tangerine up front, hints of orange and grapefruit behind. the rye really gives this a little bitter kick that compliments the hops and brings out that tangerine flavor.

nice full body, light to moderate carbonation. a very slight hint of dryness and hop oil.

this was wonderful. i did not think Duet could be topped but i was wrong, this really shines.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale apricot with a thick, foamy white head that has good retention. Aroma is very unique. It is spicy, fruity, and herbal with some green onion, grass, and bread.

Initially you are hit with a lot of fruitiness (grapes perhaps?) from the hops, a very wine-like fruitiness. Grapefruit is noticeable. The spiciness from the rye is definitely present. That grass and onion like funk noticed in the aroma is in there too. Finish is a bit dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, with a nice creaminess and a pleasant carbonation level. This is probably the most unique IPA I have ever had. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to scribe594 for hooking me up with this brew! 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A-Body is a quite hazy medium to dark golden amber hue. Pours with an approximately 2 finger foamy white head that eventually fades to 1/2 finger and has perfect retention from there. Little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is VERY good. The emphasis and highlight is delightful juicy citrus and the rye comes through in the backbone very well. Another great smelling IPA.

T-Mild to moderate citrus is the highlight with a huge rye and herbal background. A small dose of pine comes through for the finish and adds to the increasing falvors of rye, herbal hops and citrus. A mild bitterness lingers-but the remaining citrus and mild pine flavors overshadow the rye bitterness. Interesting because the flavor is more bitter upfront and not really bitter at all at the end-the flavor progression is opposite of most brews.

M-Moderate tingly carbonation and a nice smooth, oily yet light to moderate weight hoppy body.

D-This is a good and quite interesting rye IPA. The mouthfeel and smell are great and the taste is above average. Its a little bit heavy on the rye for me without a big piny hop punch to counterbalance it. The citrus is a great touch-and I wish this were more present than the herbal punch. The herbal/rye combo overshadows the other hops trying to shine through. Still a great brew overall.

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Photo of neorunner
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden yellow color with fine carbonation and a solid white head that slowly diminished for a good minute. A small amount of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

S - Citrus and floral notes abound but little to no resiny smell.

T - This tastes like awesome. There is a very nice clean balance between the malt and hop flavors with a mild bitterness. Aftertaste is not overbearing but a reasonable medley of biscuit and lingering hops.

M - Smooth and wet with most of the taste at the front of my tongue and a refreshed feeling in the aftertaste.

D - If this came in six packs I would have a new go-to summer beer. Alas, this will be one to look forward to the next time I visit California.

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Photo of raoulduke37
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pretty golden pilsener color, with a steady stream of carbonation rising into an off-white 1/2 cm head. Nice lacing around the glass.

Smell - Wonderful citrusy hop aroma, full of grapefruit and pine. Very aromatic malt profile backing this up, blending all the great scents together.

Taste - Very well-balanced IPA, but I fail to pick up that "something special" from the rye. Hop flavor is restrained as the malt takes over from the start. Nice not to be punched in the face by hops, for a change, but the problem is nothing really stands out too well, here. The best that can be said about this is that it's balanced very well.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Average mouthfeel, not too carbonated. Finishes pretty dry, with a nice caress on the tongue. The flavor would probably be enhanced on-tap, but otherwise, there are many other IPA's that I'd seek out before this one. Nothing wrong with it at all, well balanced, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of mactrail
4.09/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fruity and drinkable IPA.

Really, really aromatic hops. It just reeks of hops that I wish other brewers would take note of. Waiting for the bitterness bomb to drop with so much hop aroma-- but it doesn't. Bitterness is quite pleasant and gives enough edge without overwhelming. Aroma reminds me of the Pittosporum trees that are blooming in the SoCal spring right now. I'm not so good at inventing fruit flavor metaphors but ithe unusual hop flavor does makes me think of overripe papaya, or really, canned peaches.

For me, being critical of silly-bitter IPAs, this one is very enjoyable while still indulging the hop receptors in the hippocampus or where ever beer scientists say they are.

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Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for the generous hookup!

Into a Duvel tulip, it's a murky greyish brown, but orange in the light. A sticky halo sits inside the glass, with a broken skim after a few minutes.

Grassy, herbaceous, and citrusy in the nose. Pungent hops and a hint of rye spiciness. Flavor is similar, intense yet balanced with plenty of malt and rye flavors lending sturdiness under all the hop greenery. A somewhat sweet cereal grain that reminds me of a local hop bomb, Daisy Cutter. Hop bitterness is firm and moderate, carrying long into the dry finish. Body is on the light side of medium with ample carbonation. Easy to drink, Nelson is another West Coast stunner from Alpine...

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

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod, topped by a one finger white head. Moderate lacing remains in the head's wake.

S: A melange of tropical aromas - pineapple, papaya, some mango, and grapefruit. Floral hops contribute quite a bit, along with hints of rye and white grapes.

T: The floral hops make themselves known right away, followed by a blend of the tropical and citrusy hop characters and the spiciness of the rye. The grapefruit and rye play off each other very well, leaving an aftertaste that's a blend of the two.

M: Extremely smooth with moderate carbonation. Could be a touch more carbonated.

D: Very easy drinking and the ABV doesn't make itself known at all. I've knocked back a few pints of this on a Friday afternoon on more than one occasion.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours an orangish golden color.

S: Lots of grapefruit.

T: An entirely unique IPA. The malt base is light but with a slight twinge of spicy rye. The hops are very interesting. Lots of grapefruit but not like any of the traditional American hops. There is also a very unique white wine flavor.

M: Medium bodied.

D: A great IPA. Not the standard that we are used to. Shows the range of the style and the creativeness of American brewers by slightly tweaking the ingredients.

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Photo of PPIBrian
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great IPA from the Alpine Beer Company. The unique character of Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand adds a wonderful grapefruit/citrus flavor that blends well with the malt. This beer is a light copper color, slightly hazy, with nice head with lots of lace that clings to the glass as you drink it. Light and slightly fruity aroma, with a touch of rye malt that goes very well with this interesting southern hemisphere hop. Overall impression -- this is an exceptionally smooth beer.

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Photo of Casey10
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of popery
4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle, home. Alpine night #2. Another day, another fantastic IPA from Alpine. Whereas Duet was a nearly perfect version of what I look for in an IPA, Nelson is unexpected but also world class. This isn't my first encounter with Nelson Sauvin hops, but it's definitely the best use of them that I've tried. The beer smells of orange rinds, wild lilacs, honeysuckle and sweet white grape juice. The flavor is dry, bitter and spicy with rye. The whole package works extremely well. I have no real qualms with this beer, but I wouldn't mind if the rye was a bit stronger. I'd love to try an imperial version of this beer, so get on that Alpine. The mouthfeel has a nice hop oiliness surrounding the duel between hop bite and rye spice. It's an incredibly drinkable beer despite its unusual flavor profile. Alpine has managed to make a combination of rye and Nelson Sauvin hops feel completely natural and I'd love to spend a night with nothing but glasses of Nelson.

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

Pours a light gold in color with a very nice inch of white head. Leaves plenty of webby, spotty lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell is floral hops with just a hint of rye there to compliment.
Taste is wonderful. Beautiful hops, wonderful balance with hops. Citrusy and piney.
Incredibly smooth and easy drinking. Absolutely refreshing and a pleasure to drink. This bottle is drinking well, I'd imagine it's even better on tap.
Great beer.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden hazy straw color with a thick bubbly head that dissipates quickly leaving a medium amount of lacing along the glass, pretty solid in appearance.

Smell is very strange, but in a great way. Some kind of weird fruit aroma, almost like an orange dreamsickle, I cannot wait to try this. Very fruity floral aroma, like no other IPA I have ever smelled.

Wow, this beer is different. It tastes a little like an orange dreamsickle. Very citrus, almost like a clementine with some cream as well. Light malt backbone comes through as well, maybe a little to sweet. Very unique IPA, you can taste the rye in the finish, I like it.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium body with light carbonation.

Very interesting beer, drinkability does suffer from the sweetness though.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.62/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this beverage came with a bit of reputation in the sd area, as many of the breweries visited informed us we'd be mistaken were we not to head over to alpine. when i arrived, they struggled to determine what order i should taste in, but were convinced i should finish with this unique beverage. the nelsons have an arrayed aroma and flavor, it was like having a bite of something colorful off of someone else's plate when they weren't watching and you didn't pay attention to what they ordered. playfully citrus with an angry spice contributed both by the hop and the rye. i'm not sure what to make of this beer, but i'd like more to try. it's kind've like a rhinocorn. i don't know if it's even real. a fun and spicy rye.p.a.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 654 ratings.