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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

643 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 3,131
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,419
Gots: 393 | FT: 16
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: 643 | Hads: 3,131
Photo of seeswo
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a yellowish-golden color with a nice whitish head. The nose is intoxicating. A light pine is lifted by a delightful citrus array of grapefruit and orange. Wow. Delicious (I rarely give 5's for any category). The taste is really good as well. A light spicy bitterness, grassy with just a touch of pine and citrus. It brings the wood like the nose. Yum. The mouthfeel is medium with a medium light carbonation. I always have felt that I like Duet better, but this fresh batch of Nelson is fantastic. [EDIT: Had this beer like a million times since and this is one of my favorite all time beers] (598 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Snow white head with a caramel-orangish color. The nose on this beer is GREAT! Smells like an amazing west coast ipa, with maybe a hint more maltiness than usual. Sweet malts and florally citrus hops.Taste time! Wow, this is one smooth ipa. The hops are very well balanced making this beer not overwhelmingly bitter. Somewhat of a melon-honey like taste to it. Amazing taste! I would definitely drink this beer again. Unfortunately for me it's not available to buy here. Sad face. (480 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Went all the way to San Diego but the only Alpine IPA I could get my hands on was one bottle of Nelson, and it was a good one. I had it once before and I realized it must not have been so fresh, because this one was amazing.

Very clear appearance, more on the lighter/golden side for an IPA. The white foam is immense and lasts nicely. What an intense hop bouquet. It's very bright with clean pine notes and a heavenly floral pungence. Like I'm wandering through a fresh meadow bursting with spring aroma.

The smell leads me to believe I'm in for a shock, but actually the flavor is more subtle than expected. The malt is very clean with a Pilsner-esque crispness, allowing the bright hops to shine through. It's alot like Pure Hoppiness but with a different hop twist. So good, and not overdone. I can't believe how drinkable this is.

All I can say is I highly recommend this. Next time I travel to Alpine I hope all the stores won't be sold out again, but now I understand why... (987 characters)

Photo of dlello2
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle sent by ScottO. Reportedly less than a week old!

This was a fantastic beer. Perfect shimmering orange appearance with a nice couple of fingers of head. The smell erupted from the glass with tons of tropical fruit deliciousness. Mango, pineapple, citrus. Truly fantastic aroma. The taste followed the nose almost perfectly, perhaps I've found my new favorite hop. The balance was near perfect with just the right amount of lingering bitterness. Part of me wants to say that I'd have liked a bit less sweetness, but another part of me thinks this beer needs it! Overall the aroma was the winner for me with this one--will definitely seek it out again. (662 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark golden color with a finger of very dense head with a vigorous pour. Amazing retention and tons of lacing.

S: Lots of Nelson Sauvin hops upfront - I mostly get peach and musty grapey barn farm-like aroma. tough to describe, but very typical Nelson Sauvin. Maybe a touch of caramel sweetness, but the sweetness is mostly fruity.

T: Very interesting. The Nelson Sauvin hops again are very prominent. I get grapes and must first and foremost with some mango and citrus in the background. The hop/malt combination also allows for some great mango and vanilla sweetness. I typically dont like much sweetness in my IPAs, but this is certainly welcome. The bitterness is balanced and on the lower end. Complex and very well executed.

M: On the thick side with low, creamy carbonation. I've never really seen carbonation like this in an IPA - very soft. I very much enjoy it. It really helps the flavors come out of the beer.

O: I love this IPA. Complex, interesting, well put together, and balanced. One of the best I've ever had. (1,082 characters)

Photo of drink1121
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mauerhan for this as an extra in a trade.

A- Hazy straw color with a huge head, too big - however, great retention.

S- Very hoppy... pineapple, grapefruit, everything a west-coast IPA should be plus.

T- Similiar to the smell, however a little more spicy. Not too balanced, but this is how I like it.

M - Slight bitterness at the end. Not too watery, not too thick.

D - A lot of hops to drink too too many, but the one I am having is going down just fine. (470 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass, approx 4 weeks old

A- pours a hazy golden color with a small creamy thick white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind

S- hoppy bouquet of tropical and citrus aromas with notes of tangerine, passionfruit & grapefruit. Some vinous white wine aroma mixes with grassy & herb notes & a hint of onion. Soft underlying caramel malt

T- bold citrusy & tropical hop flavors up front gives notes of orange marmalade, tangerine peel & mango. Spicy rye, along with some herbal and grassy notes kick in mid-palate, along with some white grape & a hint of wood. Light mint on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues all the way to the finish, thanks to the retaining head. Crisp dry finish, highly drinkable

O- One of the best IPA's Ive had that showcases the Nelson Sauvin hop brilliantly, while retaining high drinkability, superb! (948 characters)

Photo of sendsilk
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the third time I have been fortunate enough to have this beer. Thanks EHammond and Airfoil for this OUTSTANDING and one of my top 3 favorite IPA's.

A- Light straw, kind of cloudy, effervescent clarity on... the....

Oh the hell with this. This beer is amazing. Such a wonderful citrus hop aroma and flavor, so clean, so non-piney, so refreshing. Seriously, it's taking me about 6 minutes to almost nail this whole bomber on a 95 degree day. I have to force myself to slow down to appreciate it because it tastes SOOOO good but is so amazingly easy to drink.

Find it, trade for it, try it, you won't be sorry. Excellence in a bottle. Thanks Alpine! (657 characters)

Photo of onefalsemove711
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass.

This beer is quite a specimen. Good 1/2 inch head with nice lacing. Right from the pour the smell of grapefruit and tropical fruit wafts through the air. I can already tell this one is going to be good. Tropical fruits, grapefruit, orange peel, spicy hops and caramel. Wow! Nicely carbonated, slightly viscous, but nevertheless smooth and really easy drinking.

A fantastic beer that I have a hard time passing up whenever I happen to see it on the shelves. Fortunately, that's quite a bit! Delicious and highly recommended! (575 characters)

Photo of SweetNessa34
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[SOURCE]: On-Tap at BluePalmsBrewHouse. Served on the day of arrival (4/9/09) shortly after tapping

[SERVING TYPE]: Pint Glass

[SMELL]: Amazing "nose" - packed full with a potent bouquet of fresh, lightly fruity hops combined with a crisp Rye aroma- jumps out at you from this super pale white/gold ale.

[APPEARANCE]: Super pale white/gold ale + light white, fluffy head

[TASTE]: Bold, dynamic combination of assertive flavors is almost startling in comparison to the super pale, light appearance. Clean, crisp Rye intermingles with a heavy dose of super fresh, slightly fruity hops and is balanced by a very minimal malt back - for an incredibly light, fresh and flavorful overall

[DRINKABILITY]: Intense combination of hops and rye flavors are very well balanced with minimal malt back. Thus, the overall result is a very drinkable beer that is light, fresh and jam packed with flavor + aroma.

[OVERALL]: very drinkable, extremely fresh-flavored RIPA (especially when poured shortly after tapping) (1,008 characters)

Photo of jminsc76
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a white head atop a kind of golden, yellow-ish body. Some floaties in there, with slight lacing around the rim.

The aromas are fruity and pleasant, with oranges as primary but also some of that rustic rye in there as well. Wow, it smells really good. Less about hanging out in a pine forest and more about hanging out in an orange and lemon grove with pine hanging out every third or fourth tree.

The flavors are an outstanding balance of hops, fruit, and malts. It's so fresh and complex, every sip is an absolute delight. Tons of oranges, some grapefruit, and the European maltiness adding a nice balance. It just teems up and down the palate spectrum so well, it's like my palate is being tickled by flavor fairy's. Oh, even tastes of creamy vanilla make their way on the palate.

The mouthfeel is light and slightly velvety, with just the right touch of thickness.

Overall, this, next to Ballast Point's Sculpin, is what it's all about with a West-Coast IPA. The fruity complexity with the right amount of rye and malts creates a balance unlike any of the IPAs I have had recently. Alpine, you have created a masterpiece. (1,137 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle pour.......

A - Perfect orange color, nice sticky lace retention

S - White wine, delicious green apples, grapes, hint of grass on the end

T - Much of the same as the nose except you get a strong orange grapefruit flavor to start with a nice bitter bite on the finish

M - Medium feel medium carb, bitter on the palate

O - Nelson Sauvin hops are amazing. Super complex, as you get a lot of citrus, grapes and some grassy pine on the finish. This is excellent! (469 characters)

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Possibly the best single IPA I've had. Delicious, tropical flavors with a tiny bit of spice from the rye. The pale malt really allows the hops to shine. So smooth and drinkable. (178 characters)

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pours a beautiful yellow orange. White fluffy head and tons of lacing.
Smell: the aroma is bursting with grapefruit and tropical fruits. A sweet bready malt is present on the nose.
Taste: follows the nose. Bursting with layers upon layers of tropical fruits, grapefruit, lemongrass, lemon pith, grapefruit rind, and the rye malt balances it all out. Sweet bready character. A spiciness is present too, leaving a lingering bitter character that is more crisp and dry. Maybe the juiciest and most flavorful ipa I've had. Comparable to fresh Pliny (which is a DIPA but the depth of flavor is second to none).
Feel: juicy, creamy, delicious mouthfeel. Slightly dry.
Overall: I was skeptical of the hype. I was convinced it was just hype. But the beer is actually stellar. (780 characters)

Photo of Mauerhan
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my last bottles.

Pours a crystal clear golden straw color into my glass with an abundant one and a half finger head that leaves sheets of lacing down the sides of the glass. constant stream of bubbles stick in there as I continue the beer.

Smell is fantastic. Very fruity hop aroma. Grapefruit rind, tangerine and lemon. I also get a kick out of the rye in there. It seems to balance out the sweetness from the fruity Nelson hops.

Taste is great. I have to give it to the folks down at alpine. They know how to make a killer IPA. Big assault of hops on my palate to start it off. They follow suit with the smell. Big and fruity. Great malt backbone and a nice bite from the rye.

Leaves a touch of a drying quality in the mouth. otherwise this beer is gone in a matter of minutes.

I love me some Alpine. I would love them more if it was shorter than two hours to drive there for some more. (903 characters)

Photo of kungpao
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a world class American made beer.

A- A nice dirty dark blonde and very clear beer, very unusual considering the style. This thing is alive, obviously bottle conditioned, yeast floaties aplenty. Poured semi aggressively into a pint glass. Pours an impressive eggshell color 3 finger pillowy head with tons of retention. The head is reminiscent of Duvel... I'm impressed.

S- Citrusy, fruity, piny dank hops. This beer smells great. Definitely up there with some of the best IPAs available in terms of fragrance. Earthy rye and clean yeast are hidden somewhere amongst the dank hops.

T- Awesome. Slight bittering hops up front, followed by a TON of piney/ fruity hop flavor. I'm surprised that the rye didn't get lost amongst the hops but it shines threw at the end to help add to complexity and balance the lack of malts.

M- Amongst the best I've ever had. Chewy, thick, simply luxurious. A little bit more carbonation than I was expecting but it works well. This is probably the most memorable and unique quality of the beer, which is saying alot.

O- Excellent beer. (1,081 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle poured into snifter.

A- golden orange, small white half finger of head, a little little lacing, medium carbonation

S- Circus of citrus fruits. Orange, grapefruit, and a cider-like smell were up front. Definitely a little funk present that gives it a scent like a wine. Some grasses in the back.

T- Very juicy and dank. Fruity hop character from the Nelson and a touch of pine give way to sweet potato, rye, and an almost sour white wine character. Little spice in there too. Great depth of flavor for a single hop beer.

M- Medium bodied and wholesome, being a rye IPA. Decent amount of carbonation. Smooth drinker.

O- Outstanding beer. One of my favorite single hopped beers. Dig the dankness that mixes with a sweet and tangy smooth finish. Nelson should be a must on any beer advocates wish list. I just wish it was easier to obtain. (863 characters)

Photo of hu5om
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to breaks808 for the bottle. Cheers!

Light orange color with light haze. Awesome rocky white head, long-lasting and leaving a dense curtain of lace.

Grapefruit aroma nicely balanced and supported by bready malts and a bit of a rustic, spicy character that must be due to the rye.

Citrus and tropical hops - papaya and orange, grapefruit - all blend beautifully and with the smooth mouthfeel contribute to a very juicy character. Bready malts add some body to the mix but the emphasis is on the fruity hop characters. Spicy, lightly bitter finish.

Big flavors but well balanced and light on its feet. Nelson proves that a big American IPA doesn't have to be clunky. A pretty beer through and through.

Highly recommended. (734 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
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... (971 characters)

Photo of marquinoftroy
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This feels like a refined and mature IPA. There is a solid malt foundation supporting the hops, and adding rye to an IPA is a brilliant idea. It smells similar to a double IPA, a lot of malt and some spiciness. This beer does not smell as hoppy as I initially assumed, the bitterness is there but not overdone. Once it hits your tongue, youre not bombarded with bitterness. It's a big beer and balanced well. Plenty of carbonation and a nice finish. Also, if you live in San Diego, it's not that expensive. (506 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bistro's IPA fest last saturday. All New Zealand hops, not sure of the variety used.

Very unqiue. Bright yellow and hazy, almost like a hefe; reminds me of sunsine in a glass. Unfiltered with a capitol "U." I love it because it's a totally different color than any other of the 50 IPA's here today.

Taste/smell is awesome. The hoppiest beer I had that day, but let me explain: not bitter hoppy, rather they captured the essence of the hops more than any other beer I've had. Really really citrusy, with lots of grapefruit, but also lemon zest and kiwis (sorry!) with some pine (more like fir) and white pepper too. 65 IBU's and really smooth, with a relaxing, enjoyable bitterness that shares the aftertaste with the pungent fruits which hit you in the sinuses. Not british tasting hops, not over-the-top bitter US hops, but a totally different vibe that I'm having trouble describing.

Body is almost like a wit beer. Very pale rye must have been used for this to turn out so bright colored and smooth. For contrast, BR's Hop Rod Rye is dark red/brown and has a heavy malt body.

A great drink that really stands out, both for the grains and the hops used. Good luck finding this one, but do not pass it up! (1,232 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up! (1,513 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yes to this! Nelson pours a golden-straw color with a sharp citrusy hop aroma. It’s bitter and drying at the end, and I couldn’t get enough of it. (Yes, it’s a highly hyped beer and yes, it lived up to that hype.) I want another. (235 characters)

Photo of awalk1227
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/25/10 Sent by Rock4sc96 thanks Chris!

Poured into an Alchemist Brewery pint glass.
I've been extremely excited to try this beer; not only have I heard good things about the Nelson Sauvin hops, but I have sought out Alpine's highly regarded IPAs for some time.

A: Pours a hazy sunshine yellow with a thick white head. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a white collar.

S: Perfect, perfect, perfect! Oh lord, I could smell this beer as I was pouring it. I can smell it right now, as it sits to my left while I type this. HUGE aromatic hops, citrus, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, delicious.

T: Oh lord, this has RYE in it too? One of my favorite beers is Terrapin's Rye Pale ale, along with Founders Red Rye and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. I love hoppy Rye IPAs, and this is now up in the big leagues with them. Delicious creamy malt starts it off, then a blend of spice from the rye and citrus blast from fresh hops finishes.

F: If you've read my other reviews, you know how I like my IPA mouthfeel. This is perfect. Prickle from the carbonation, but a smooth creaminess that denotes a fine balance.

D: No alcohol detected, and such a complex IPA you want more. A lot more. I love it.

Alpine, you've wowed me once again. I will seek you out soon. (1,269 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.