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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

715 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 715
Hads: 3,473
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,391
Gots: 492 | 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 (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 715 | Hads: 3,473
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a nice dark and hazy copper color with some slight muddy tints. There is a nice white .5 in head that recedes at a moderate pace and leaves a nice thin mat.

S - Aroma of nice sweet citrusy hops with some slight rye spices. Nice toasty and bread like aromas from he rye as well. Would probably be a good beer with a Ruben.

T & M - Pretty well balanced beer with nice rye from the spice that goes hand in hand and plays well with some nice grasy and piney hop flavor. Slight citrus dryness and sweetness as well. Grapefruit and slight orange sweetness battles with the more toasty and grainy malt and rye backbone. Grapefruit aroma and flavor is very present. Nice and warm sensation on a medium-full mouthfeel that is very delicious and crisp.Not as dry or bitter finish as other IPA's. Good Rye-IPA.

D - Refreshing and delicious. Another solid Alpine IPA. Not as good as Pure Hoppiness IMO but still solid brew.

D -

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Again, a huge thanks to Patrick (Jctribe25) for providing this beer.

Pours with a very aggressive white head. Very creamy and enough structure to rise above the top of the glass by a good margin. Begins to collapse on itself almost immediately. The beer is a bright clear brass color with a scant amount of carbonation rising. Rings of lacing remain.

Aroma is bright, fresh, fruity, slightly spicy, slightly green (vegetal) like walking in the woods. At first some big grapefruit, but this mellows and is more balance as you drink it. Very fresh.

Another fantastic beer. There is some spiciness hear that I enjoy. Probably partially from the Rye and also from the hops. Balance is actually quite nice and this does not appear to be as bitter as the Duet in my book. Slight sweetness and light bready background flavor. The finish is fruity then spicy.

Medium/light body with just the slightest carbonation. Almost but not quite oily. More juicy from the fruit flavors.

A wonderful beer. The Nelson Sauvin hops are interesting and I am not sure I've ever had them before. This is a well balanced beer front to back. Each element builds on the previous and the final combination is fantastic.

I'll be back!

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Photo of alkchrios
2.98/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the "best damn beer shop" in san diego california on vacation with my girlfriend. she spend a semester in new zealand and since something about this bomber had to do with NZ I was pressured into getting it.. it wasnt that bad but I was not all that impressed. Its a golden ipa rendering it a bit less hoppy with a lower IBU than I would prefer.. still not a bad beer by any means. Poured a copper color with a minimal head..very basic almost bland appearance. Upon the first sip I got a lot of grapefruit and burnt sugar...a bit of coriander comes to the nose which is a pleasant suprise. This beer is very crisp and slightly complex..it seems as though a ton of flavor is rather non-existent but still has some of those citrus tones I previously mentioned...the flavor just kind of dissipates the more you drink it.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from Megan, I thank you again. For some reason, whenever I go to San Diego, I always pass on the Alpine beers. I don't know why. Fortuneately, I got the chance to try this one the other night. Poured a nice clear golden color, with a little white head. Good fresh piney hops, spicy, peppery rye and a long bitter finish.

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

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Straw yellow, lots of carbonation, several fingers of white fluffy head

Smell - The fruity nelson hops are the most obvious smell right away, some other subtle smells such as pine are also apparent

Taste - Very hoppy with some fruity notes, and lightly bitter aftertaste

Mouth- Bitter, very noticeable carbonation, but not too much for a beer of this style

Drink- Very good well balanced golden IPA, would definitely recommend

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Photo of GJ40
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at the Best Damn Beer Shop in downtown San Diego.

A - More yellow than golden with a have and a fluffy white head. The glass is just covered with lacing as it empties.

S - Loads of tropical fruit, citrus and floral notes. Every bit as complex as it was on tap.

T - As with the aroma, loads of tropical fruit and citrus. The rye is pretty mild and the malts definitely play a bit part but they're solid. It has a low bitterness with a delicate, balanced flavor to it. This is a damn fine beer and one of my new favorites.

M - Smooth and silky with a nice low carbonation.

D - This one goes down so easy. I really wish I could get it back east.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 2nd Alpine brew here... Pure Hoppiness was good so let's give this one a try...

Pours brilliantly into my SA glass... Light golden with a huge fluffy head and lots of carbonation... Lots of lacing as well..

Spicy piney aromas right up front and they are pungent... This is terrifically floral as well.. The rye used gives this a sharp peppery kick as well...a touch of booze as well... This is quite nice... Seems more aromatic than the Pure I had a few days ago...this smells world class to me...

Very vibrant feeling with each sip... I can definitely pick up the white wine aspects of the Nelson hop here... Very fruity and citrusy... This is delicious... Its hoppy as hell in an unconventional way, I guess... I'm loving the profile of this hop... Almost light and airy on the palate... No trace of the booze...excellent...
The rye kicks you in the teeth on the finish... Very well crafted...
I actually liked this one better than PH... I loved the profile of the hops and rye together here...a masterpiece...

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Photo of uturn
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery pint glass.

A: This beer poured a nice rich golden amber with a 1 finger white head.

S: As soon as you open up this bottle you get a whiff of citrus which keeps improving as it is poured into the glass.

T: As you taste this IPA you get a nice mildly bitter grapefruit taste followed by some mild sweetness from the rye which really balances this brew.

M: The Mouthfeel is light with mild carbonation.

D: The drinkability was exceptional. This is a great everyday brew, especially on hot Florida days/nights and for pairing with spicy foods.

If you are looking for something with a bit more of a hop kick you should try out Alpines "other" hoppy brews, such as Double (Imperial) I.P.A Pure Hoppiness or if you dare their Triple IPA Exponential Hoppiness

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into my pint glass. Taken from notes

The appearance was that of a slight golden/light orange color with a slightly off-white two inch head. Average head retention that when subsides leaves small spots of lacing.

The aroma was a mix of citrus aromas with earthy herbal smells. I got pine and floral aromatics with grapefruit and tangerines.

The taste upfront was of citrus flavors with grapefruit and then following is some pine and herbal flavors. Slight spicy undertone of rye in the finish with biscuit and cracker like malts.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a little less than average carbonation.

Overall good beer, but nothing spectacular. I liked Duet better then this one and pure hoppiness.

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

Again Thanks to Hayesez for the pour! into a Portsmouth snifter from the fridge temp to room temperature. Looks a pretty dark orange. smell is awesome, with a huge presence of typical fresh hops, citrus smell of orange and grapefruit, and as i smell it, a building presence of mango (hayes says rubber...weird!). This is great! there is also some spiciness that i can't place (not our first beer haha), but adds a nice complexity. Taste follows the smell, but just a hint disappointing. it's decently bitter, and fresh grapefruit is there for sure (comes out a lot more as it warms). the mango and spiciness in the smell, however, didn't come out in the taste. it ended up being just a little odd, but not a terrible one. This one feels pretty good in the mouth, again not incredible. The taste is odd/different enough (to me) that i probably wouldn't want a ton of this one, but definitely worth a try!

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Photo of hayesez
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Alpine brew received as an extra from Kaiser81. The Duet and the Pure Hoppiness have both been exceptional, and I can't wait to give the Nelson a shot. Split with Ridgley and K-Rho and poured into my Portsmouth snifter.

A light golden-yellow colored beer with a slightly gray dense foamy head. Quite a few tiny bubbles rise around the floaties suspended in this brew. The recession of the cap is leaving an impressive lace on the inside of my glass. This continues all the way down the top 2/3 of my snifter, as I slowly put this one away.

I had a bit of trouble placing all of the smells in this beer. It is a bit fruity and grassy as one might expect. But there is something else in there as well. This is going to be out there, but the aroma that comes to mind is new car tires. Kind of a rubberish smell. Mixed in there is a bit if grapefruit and a hint of pineapple. Weird. Can't say I've smelled anything quite like this one.

Fortunately, the Nelson doesn't taste like new car tires smell. The fruits are more pronounced - grapefruit, pineapple, and perhaps a bit of orange. Not sure I know exactly what the rye is supposed to taste like...this is definitely different than others I've had, but I can't necessarily attribute it to the rye. The taste is dulled down a bit from the nose, but definitely better. Again, a bit thinner than I would like, but still has a small element of creaminess.

I guess I'll place this as my least favorite of the three Alpine beers I've had (Duet, Nelson, and Pure Hoppiness). Still a fine brew, and one I would never pass up, but the smell just didn't quite do it.

Consumed: 8/5/2010

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

Round #1 of my journey into Alpine IPA goodness. Duet and Pure to follow. Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear golden yellow color. First pour yielded 4+ fingers of head, plenty of carbonation in this one. Final pour was what I wanted: two and a half fingers of fluffy white head with very good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Them hops sure are nice. Fruity bouquet of hops, citrusy grapefruit, white grapes, more white grapes, and a grassy muskiness that starts at white grapes. Hints of rye earthy spiciness also poke through. Very nice!

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of white wine hints with grapefruit and an earthy spiciness. If this wasn't carbonated and a bit stronger, I bet you could fool a wine drinker into thinking this was a bottle of Chardonnay. Nice flavors going on here, but needs a bit more kick.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation, as expected, is a bit too high. Other than that, pretty creamy and overall good.

4.0 D: This is my first time with the Nelson hop (as far as I know anyway). The hops are truly in their own category, but I think they could use some help from a mild citrus hop. A little more rye could do wonders for this as well. Still, a very good beer that I enjoyed drinking.

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Photo of champ103
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Phelps
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks: unimpressive, color-wise. Kind of a pale lager-yellow trending gradually toward a deeper orange. Almost no head; just a white film, though it does leave blobs of sticky lace.

Smells: bountiful. Sweet lemon, bright pine, fresh-cut grass and a subtle onion funk. Also earthy soil, dish soap, mint and green peppers. A smorgasbord of aromas!

Tastes: similar to the smell. Funky and grassy. That unique minty-soil flavor is there as well. Is that the Nelson Sauvin? A very light bitterness akin to green peppers alights on the tongue.

Feels: smooth and filling. Medium-low carbonation with a medium-full body. I likes it.

Drinks: like one of the better beers with rye I've had. The malt is used generously but kept in check; the enigmatic Nelson hops blend with it perfectly to create an intriguing beer experience.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Zated fluted glass. An interesting, more brown, color than most IPA's. Got about a finger and a half of white head. Smells amazing, very grapefruitastic. One of the best smelling IPA's I've had in some time. Nice citrusy, lemon and grapefruit flavors. The malt flavor is subdued and leads to a nice, looong bitter finish. Medium carbonation, and very satisfying. The 22oz is a perfect serving size.

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Photo of newk340
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

split bomber with hu5om (who received it in a trade) in new belgium goblets.

A: bronze amber in color with a light fluffy head that quickly dissipates and leaves phenomenal lacing.

S: very front heavy with white grapes, smelling similar to a white zinfidel wine, but with additional citrusy (grapefruit?) hops.

T: a BLAST of flavor, white wine extremely evident with continuous overshadowing of rye. leaves a very yeasty aftertaste.

MF/D: very smooth, carbonation evident but not overwhelming. flavors coat the mouth and throat leaving a champagne/beer feeling following each sip.

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Photo of hu5om
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thanks again to enelson for the nelson. perfect.
split with newk340
a- orange golden amber, white fluffy foam subsides to a white ring that leaves excellent lacing
s- orange citrus, bitter, white grapes, tropical fruit, nectarine?, very strong, with a rye spiciness
t- crazy, rye spicy, whie wine smoothness, very bready rye spice, light citrus. fairly piney also. mind=blown
m-amazingly smooth. i'm so overcome by the taste, that mouthfeel is a bit under the radar. very dry finish, champagne like.
d-i'm blown away. these hops need to be utilized more often. this was friggin great. up there with pte as a close second best ipa i've ever had. excellent. screw high life, this is the champagne of beers.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.17/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.