Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,998 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,998
Reviews: 660
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,408
Gots: 368 | 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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Ratings: 2,998 | Reviews: 660
Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Errantnight for this one, cheers Derek!

Pours honey colored with 3 fingers of rocky ivory head. Sheets of lacing hug the glass & impressive head retention too

S: Pineyness, grapefruit & herbal hops

T: Piney & woody hops up front, then grapefruit a touch of biscuitty malt & some dryness. Juicy hops, grapefruit, apricot, & herbal hops all combine nicely as this warms, a long with a faint toffee sweetness/dryness, Finishes dry, spicy & citrussy, much lemons & grapefruit

MF: Creamy, semi-chewy & a touch juicy, superior balance

Great drinkability,, could stay on this all night, or until the well hidden ABV got me... Best beer by these guys I've had... Much to love here!

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 22oz bottle: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a creamy white head. Tons of thick lacing coats the glass. I've had Nelson that looks as cloudy as orange juice and as clear as a macro lager. This one is quite hazy, but not quite as much as I've seen. Smell is truly unique. Grape, grass, weed, and some tropical fruit and citrus. Taste is just bursting with tropical fruit, grapefruit, earthiness, grass, weed, and grape. Very very little bitterness. Just a touch of spiciness from the rye. This beer is all about the hop aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is awesome. Like no other IPA. The rye lends so much smoothness to the body. It's like silk. I've even described this beer as Nelson Sauvin milk before. It's that smooth and creamy. Overall, in a class of its own. There are very very few IPAs like this. Only something like Noble Nelson Showers compares (which I thought was even better). If you can get a bottle, go for it. If you've never had it and it's on tap (Green Flash brewed), try it out too, but it's much better out of the bottle.

Photo of More_betterness
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:
On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita CA 7/17/14.

A: Cloudy light golden body. A small creamy pearl white head on the initial pour recedes to a small ring around the rim of the glass. Glows when held up to the light, and would score higher if head retention was a little better.

S: MASSIVE juicy tropical fruit, and grapefruit. Potent white wine notes round out the aroma. Hints of pine. One of the best aromas I've ever encountered in an IPA. Not very many singular aroma profiles overall, but absolutely stunning in its simplicity.

T: Sweet white wine, zesty orange, and dank grapefruit. Crackery malt makes itself known as it warms. Minimal bitterness when compared to its peers. Again, very simple, but still absolutely beautiful.

M: Light/Medium bodied and effervescent. Long, drying finish accentuates the hop character.

O: After having this a few times, this is more than likely my favorite "single" IPA in the world. A wonderful exercise in balance flavor-wise when compared to most of its "West Coast" counterparts. Massive hop flavor and aroma without the hyper aggressive bitterness that characterizes the style. This is my "Desert Island" beer. Cheers Alpine!

Photo of Trilogy31
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow what a great beer, pours two fingers of head and almost comes out with a mercury metallic hue when pouring, settles to a caramel orange in the glass. Nose is just full of citrus and tropical fruits and white wine with a touch of piney hops. Taste is a complex blend of candied citrus rind, bitter papaya, orange mango juice and some dark rye bread with a touch of sauv blanc notes at the end with the requisite ipa finish. Sculpin might have been dethroned in my book gorgeous beer.

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bomber into a tulip glass.

A- Beautiful light orange golden color, slightly cloudy.

S- Wonderful fresh-grassy dry hop aroma, tons of citrus and a bit of pine. Spice from the rye is present as well.

T- Follows, subtle malt sweetness underlays the flavors present in the aroma. Tons of delicious orange/lemon/peach flavor. Nice bitterness with more zesty rye flavor on the back makes for a really crisp finish.

M- Smooth throughout with a crisp, dry finish.

O- One of my favorite IPAs, I prefer this to Heady having had both, though freshness might have had something to do with that. Regardless, get this if you're anywhere near SD or lucky in distribution.

Photo of Dave_Carlson
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As far as single West Coast IPAs go, this one is hard to beat. Very unique and enjoyable flavor profile. If you can get it fresh (and this one does not sit on shelves long, so if you see it it's probably fresh!), it's definitely worth drinking.

Photo of mbudner
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

A- Very interesting how much the color varies from the thinner part of the glass to the part that bubbles out. Very light, apple juice-like, faint golden color to a darker orange (huge gradient variance.) The head is that white, frothy, yet bubbly head that looks like the most comfortable and delicious pillow in the world. The closest thing I can equate the head to is Pliny the elder.

S- Flowers, bubble gum, orange, sweet lemon, bitter spice from the rye. So much going on the in the aroma. It is really just perfect. Bready malts.

T- Mildly citrusy and heavily floral hop profile. I also get a little bit of the bubblegum from the aroma (the taste is of juicy fruit.) Slight piney-ness in the bitter finish. The finish is nice and bready. Ever so slight spicy flavor from the rye really differentiates this (among other things) from some of the other great IPAs out there, very unique.

M- Slightly (very slightly) under-carbonated. Nice slick, oily hop feel with a great amount of body.

D- Really amazing. I could drink this all day and all night. It smells like something I could only dream of an IPA smelling like Deceptively drinkable for 7.1%abv, but if it was 2% I would still want it all night (same if it was 20%.) This is simply a really phenomenal IPA.

Photo of seeswo
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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]

Photo of DovaliHops
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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...

Photo of dlello2
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of drink1121
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of sendsilk
4.74/5  rDev +6%
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!

Photo of onefalsemove711
4.74/5  rDev +6%
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!

Photo of SweetNessa34
4.74/5  rDev +6%
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)

Photo of jminsc76
4.74/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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!

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of 1jstafan
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Had this fresh for the first time yesterday, it is truly one of the best IPAs I've ever had the privilege to drink!!

Photo of kungpao
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of EveningCordial
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

Photo of hu5om
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,998 ratings.