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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

780 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 780
Hads: 3,767
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 1,379
Gots: 571 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 780 | Hads: 3,767
Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Short Review. I've been wanting to try something from Alpine for a little while now and it seems like their beers just started showing up on tap. This is pretty nice, but it's not as good as I was expecting and it had some green onion hop aspects that held it back in the end, but i did like the fruity aspects in the hop profile and the mouthfeel was pretty good. I would like to try a super fresh bottle of this. It's pretty nice, but I don't think it's a stand out for the style.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta Pilsner pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Alpine yesterday. Expectations are very high; I've had it before on-draft and loved it. I'm a huge Alpine fan.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I had this side by side with Alpine Duet for comparison.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, nice cream, pretty good hickness, okay lacing, and above average retention. Colour is a clear translucent vibrant pale yellow. It isn't much to look at, but I'm looking forward to trying it. No yeast particles are visible (not that they should be for the style). No bubble show.

Sm: Piney potent citrus ester hops. Some floral character. Hop oil. Very hop-laden, but the lack of bitterness in the aroma suggests good balance. Clean malts provide the foundation; I don't detect any rye. A rather strong aroma. I could smell it before I poured it (and my nose is broken). Much more piney and oily than the Duet.

T: Quite piney, with some citrusy and more minor floral impact. Light grapefruit citrus. Little bitterness - to its credit. The rye comes through a bit in the flavour, but the foundation still seems to be mainly pale malts. I suspect rye wasn't the primary grain used. It's well balanced in terms of both flavour and structure, but it's actually rather simple (at least in comparison to the Duet); the hop character is well layered but lacks true complexity. It has good depth of flavour, however. The finish is my favourite aspect due to its somewhat refreshing quality. It's a good IPA for what it is. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I'm impressed by the balance in particular.

Mf: More dry and coarse than I'd expect. I blame the rye, but it's nicely complemented by the refreshing feel of the pale malts. The roughness in the second act makes the smooth wet finish that much more refreshing. It could be more crisp, but it complements the flavour profile very well. Not as soft as Duet.

Dr: It's a very drinkable IPA and hides its above average ABV quite well. Would I get it again? Definitely, but preferably on-draught. This will please fans of the style and is more balanced than most IPAs. Rye was an interesting choice here. Another incredible IPA from Alpine.

Having had them side by side, I have to say the verdict is in: I prefer Duet.

A poor candidate for aging. Drink Fresh.

Drank fine out of a pilsner glass, but a conical pint glass is recommended.

Would pair well with spicey food or an aggressively dressed salad.

Probably best on-draught.

B+

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
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 MyThoughtsExactly
3.81/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap
L: Vibrant neon yellow to orange. Finger of head with some lacing
S: Citrus (tangerine, lemon, orange) along with sweet bready malt
T: Malt flavor comes right away. That is followed by citrus (tangerine, lemon, orange) and some herbal notes
F: Medium, creamy mouth feel
Overall this a good IPA, which surprisingly had a lot of malt character to it

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Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 04/20/16, Kudos for putting an easy to find date on the label.

Pale golden color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing coats the glass. Dank aroma with notes of tropical fruit and grapes. No sign of the malt. Very much one dimensional in flavor. Dank and tropical with notes of stone fruit. Malt serves no purpose other than being a hop delivery device and no sign of rye and no attempt has been made to add any sweetness. Deceptively light body with somewhat lively carbonation gives the impression of a smaller beer.

A hophead's type of beer. It features the Nelson Sauvin hop in an excellent fashion. An old school type of West Coast IPA that perhaps has been surpassed by more complex style of IPA.

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Photo of vande
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a hearty, somewhat hazy golden pour with slight lacing that clings to the glass as if its life depends on it...

S: Not quite what I was expecting... Interesting mix of citrus, pineapple, hints of the rye...

T: the pineapple - citrus hoppy presence melded together with the proof of rye nelson hoppy uniqueness makes this an interesting ipa...

M: medium bodied creamy textured...

O: Interesting, tasty... Glad I had one!

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Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/21/11, no bottle date. Tulip glass.

A- Light very pale tangerine, almost yellow beer poured with about 2" of fine bubbled head. Eventually the head settled to a thin pad that stayed around until the end providing a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Strong tropical fruit and definitely some white winey grape notes like the bottle suggests. A lighter hint of grapefruit citrus in the background. After it warmed up a I noticed a burnt plastic smell that I eventually realized was probably the rye.

T- Tropical fruit notes again upfront followed by that nice hop bitterness. A touch of the malt backbone is present as well. Kind of watery, but has a nice finish. The burnt plastic/rye note showed up faintly here as well when it warmed up a bit.

M- Light body, lightly carbonated. Sort of watery again.

O- The first time I noticed the funky plastic smell and taste it was so faint I wasn't even put off enough to stop drinking. After a few more sips I did realize it was rye, but I still couldn't shake the association. Even so this was a really nice IPA even if it was a tad light in body.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into an IPA glass

A - Pours a yellow, hazy, hefeweizen-like color with a white 2 finger head. It looks like pilsner malt to me.

S - Faint dankness and some grapefruit. No malt presence that I can detect. Maybe some tropical fruit notes as well.

T - Mildly piney. I was not expecting that from the nose. Again, some subtle citrus and tropical fruit notes. No dankness like I was expecting from the nose. White wine?

M - Very prickly and dry on the finish. A little bitterness lingers on the tongue.

O - Pretty mundane. Not offensive but not outstanding in any way.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a light straw body.
The aroma is lots of grapefruit.
The taste is moderate grapefruit bitterness, pine and more grapefruit.
The texture is crisp with soft edges.
It's good and bold.

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Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the (Green Flash) bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is clear golden yellow with a half-finger white head on top. Good lacing.

S: Odd nose. I get cat pee and white wine, with a touch of rye. It doesn't really seem to all come together, however, and frankly, it's not all that pleasant.

T: Lots of tropical fruity hops, along with that cat pee and white wine sensation again. Spicy rye noted towards the back end. Lingering lemony bitterness competing with the white wine taste and a touch of pine finishes it off. Heat from the 7% ABV is felt in the belly but not noted on the palate.

M: Medium in heft, with a slight oiliness to the feel. Carbonation is muted.

O: Not really impressed with this one - I think the hop profile just isn't in my "wheelhouse" (I tend towards the C-hops and what I guess are now the "traditional" American Pale Ales' and IPAs' flavor profiles.) Disappointed given the reputation of this one - and my excitement over finally getting to try it now that Green Flash is distributing the Alpine beers. Ah well, so it goes.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the blind bif 7, paired beers

Well after a cold from hell and then a pesky storm that we were lucky to skirt for the most part, I am ready to dip into my very generous box from quirkzoo that I received awhile ago. Inside were 12 hobo wrapped bottles and one very nice Crooked Stave shirt. The wait has been killing me but I wanted to hold off until this cold was gone so I could enjoy these beers.

1.a
Pours a golden orange with an inch of white foam that leaves some good lacing down the glass. Right off the bat the aroma of this one is very juicy. Lots of citrus hops and boy is it smelling divine! I don't want to stop smelling it. Its just too damn good.
Nice amount of bitterness but nothing that overtakes the flavor. Very resiny with a hint of soapiness. This is very drinkable. The flavor doesn't knock you over like the aroma does, but its very enjoyable. Very dry finish, sort of reminds me of plink the elder but I don't think its the right bottle for it.

1.b
Pours the same as 1A but a little darker and with just a little less amount of foam. The lacing is not as pronounced and sticky as 1A. In comparison to 1A this has a lot of the same citrusy notes but way more subtle. A little bit more of the malt comes through. Now this one seems a bit more ramped up in the flavor. There is a bigger malty backbone to it which helps bring the flavor of the hops forward. Less bitterness as well. Its thicker bodied than 1A as well.

So these seem to be two different beers, one seems like an IPA and the other a DIPA. Its neat to see how the higher the maltiness really seems to bring out the hops in the flavor while the other one is all aroma. Both of these beers are really good and I was in need of some good hops so these hit the spot. So lets see what I was drinking…

1A is Alpine Nelson
1B is Alpine Pure Hoppiness

I really wanted to guess Alpine on a hunch but never had, and both were wants in my book. Hell of a good start thanks to quirkzoo for a great start to this bif for me.

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Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden orange with a white head. Good retention with considerable lacing.

S- Smells like an IPA... sort of.... The white-wine styled New Zealand hops are quite pronounced... and intriguing....

T- IPA-like, but quite funky at the same time....

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Intriguing. Daring.... Not your typical IPA.

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Photo of Centennial
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into pint glass

A. hazy honey yellow, 2 finger head with excellent retention. A lot of sandy-like sediment floating around leads to a opaque appearance.

S. Bready Rye, lemon zest, pine and tangerine

T. Bitter pine hits first and then followed by rye and a spicy finish.

M. Crisp and clean but with a nice body, slightly grittiness come intermittently as you drink this, but still smooth.

O. I really enjoy this, I feel as if this bottle is slightly off from normal though and missing some of its "pop" will re-review shortly.

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Photo of ocmpoma
3.89/5  rDev -11.2%
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 Reaper16
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served into a globe glass

Pours a frankly not-pretty yellow-brown color. It looks murky and muddy. It looks like it is _actually_ muddy. When held to light you can make out an orange core though the haze. I got one finger of white head from this pour with some sticky lacing that salvages the score a bit.

Lots of grapefruit on the nose in addition to white grape. The fruit is lively and light; the smells dance around before quickly yielding to the malt backbone. The unique spicy quality of the rye is immediately discernible. I have to consider the possibility of this bomber being old. As is, the aromas are not as hoppy and dank as other rye IPAs like Founders Red's Rye or Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.

The beer doesn't taste old (though it clearly isn't fresh either). The hops are immediate and strong. Lots of citrus zest and overripe grapefruit come from the Nelson Sauvin hops. There is a woodsy, vinous quality that splashes the middle of the tongue for a brief moment on each sip. The rye flavor appropriately dominates the barley sweetness. Rye's kinda sour, kinda savory, kinda spicy flavor has been proven time and again to be a great match for hoppy beers, and this brew is no exception. The rye and hops blend seamlessly from the beginning of the drink til long after you've swallowed. The bitterness on the aftertaste is tempered by rye taste, creating a dryness more than anything that invites a new sip.

All that rye means that Alpine Nelson is medium bodied, which I suppose is for the best. The carbonation level is remarkably on-point. It doesn't look like it would be very active, but on the tongue this is one prickly beer, which facilitates the flavors nicely. And at 7% ABV this is a bomber that one drinker will have zero difficulty finishing.

I'd bet that this beer is incredible when fresh. In the state that I had it, it has to settle for really, really good. I wish this were in six-packs and more importantly I wish I could buy it in Missouri. This beer is a great companion for a evening of drinking, the body is nice for a chilly evening that happens to coincide with a hop craving.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.91/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rye IPA is a pale gold, effervescent beer that straddles the no-man's-land between hazy and cloudy; a brief-lived, medium pebbly off-white head leaves good, somewhat complex bands of lacing. The nose is moderate in intensity: pineapple juice, pine, sweet florals and more subdued citrus notes with slight alcohol overtones and a hint of body odor. Up front, the palate presents as bitter pineapple, pine/floral soapiness and a nutty bittersweetness. By mid-palate, the citrus character shows a bit, as does the body odor from the nose; the bitterness builds to a medium-strong level, offset a bit by a modest bready malt presence (I don't really pick up any rye character). The finish is balanced and closes out with a decent carbonation bite, followed by the onset of a nice strong resinous hop bitterness that lingers quite awhile. Mouthfeel is big for the medium body, and the texture is slightly creamy and moderately peppery from the fizzy-yet-restrained carbonation. (22 oz bottle, 98 days before best-by)

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark straw with a white creamy head. Lots of lacing the whole way down the glass.

Smells strongly of tropical fruits mostly pineapple, same as most beers with Nelson hops I've had.

Taste is about like the smell with loads of tropical fruits hitting you at first. Finishes with a slightly spicy finish due to the rye with medium hop bitterness throughout. Good flavor but seemed to be lacking something I can't quite put my finger on.

Carbonation and body are both about average for the style.

By far the best of the (albeit limited) beers I've had with this hop. Everything from Alpine is solid.

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Photo of ridglens
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
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 HosP
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got from a very generous Scottfrie. Poured 22oz into snifter.

A- Pours almost a golden orange. Slight haze to it. Thin white head.

S- Lots of citrus, grapefruit in the nose. Grapefruit all the way from beginning to end. Some bready notes from the rye.

T- Grapefruit hoppy flavor up front, but not to strong. Some citrus hops blend well to the middle. Bready, rye flavor comes through in the middle to the end. Starts out with mild bitterness, but the rye cuts it down pretty fast. A little thin though but still good flavors.

M- Not quite a medium body. Lower carbonation.

O- Good beer here. Nice juicy, hop flavors with a nice rye mix to it. Smooth drink, something you could drink a few of these pretty easily. Would love to have another one. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of harrymel
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled last week.

Light golden with a 3/4 moon of white foam atop and nice clarity. Smells like pineapple, sweet mangos, pine and a gobs of sweet malts. I like the nose, as I do with most Sauvin beers. Flavor is sweet and bitter with good bits of the character from the olfactory. I like the slight oxidation I get in Alpine's beers - nice woodiness. If this was in any other kind of beer, I'd be upset, but it is well played here. Medium bodied with sharp, tight carb and a semi dry finish. Nice beer.

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Photo of raoulduke37
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
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 Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks like cheap airplane orange juice...cloudy, sort of yellowish. The head even looks a bit like pulp, chunky and webby.

S: Over the top smells of rye. Also some orange and grapefruit

T: Packs punches of specific flavors. Begins with massive grapefrut notes then moves towards some sour crab apple mixed with rye. From there the flavors meld towards dried hay. Finishes with lemon rind bitterness.

M: Medium body, mouthfeel is sort of hard.

D: Interesting brew. Definately original and worth checking out.

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Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazed golden with a lasting thin head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of citrus (grapefruit) with a mild minty spicing.

The taste is of grapefruit, lemon, leafy with a soft cracker-like malt balance. Minty, dry finish.

It is smooth. Alcohol well-covered.

This showcases the Nelson Sauvin hops wiell with a nice minty touch.

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Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy golden-orange in color with a good-sized off-white and fluffy head that doesn't want to go away. When it does, a craggy lace is left behind. Nose involves a nice big hit of citrusy hops and a slightly sour earthiness in the background. Smooth and malty going down and wrapped in more citrusy hoppiness with a few sour candy notes in the middle. Well-balanced and quite tasty brew, and there's not much more you can ask for than that.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.94/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on draft.

Appearance: cloudy. This beer could pass for a wit or an unfiltered wheat. Nice 1-finger white head, which fades to a thin veil that last indefinitely.

Flavor: this beer if hoppy no doubt. There is an off-flavor I can't place - almost like a cross between green onions and dirt - wait, a very mild burnt rubber flavor. The hop flavor doesn't have a long lasting finish.

Aroma: a nice balance of hops and malt. Hops are dominant but the malt has its voice.

Mouthfeel: body is right where it should be. Not so heavy as to prevent you from drinking several.

Overall: I made an effort to try this beer when I saw it on tap at Freshcraft due to its BA score. I don't feel it lived up to its score. It was good but not great.

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