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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: 3,472
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: 3,472
Photo of jeff1973
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Marin Brewing pint glass. Bought at the brewery last week, so no more than 2 weeks old.

A - Hazy light gold. Eggshell head w/ really good lacing.

S - White wine, catpiss, cantaloupe.

T - Same hops as the smell comes thru, but w/ great intensity. Also get some peach, pineapple, loquat, really fruity and intense. Ends with a nice, but subtle grapefruit bitterness and drys out nicely. Not a lot of malt here, mostly tropical fruits.

M - Medium w/ medium carbonation. Gives a silky, creamy body.

O - This is my favorite beer right now. Just an intense tropical fruit explosion in beer form.

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours a pretty somewhat murky gold with silky/silvery white head

nose- what a nose. fresh grapefruit, earthy rye spice/ white pepper, buttery bread

taste- starts with floral and sweet grapefruit and tangerine and a dash of tropical fruit, turns crisp and deliciously dry as with rye- like white-peppery buttered rye toast, with a dash of lemon lingering throughout it. finish is fruity and a bit biscuity

feel- crisp, clean, hoppy, light-medium bodied, buttery, spicy

i love this beer! A fantastic IPA, and probably the best rye beer I've had. Darn near perfect

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Photo of PerHops
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Gorgeous light golden orange with a nice bright white head. A little bit soapy, but full bodied enough to stick all over the glass.

S- Now that's an IPA! Super fruity, a faint hint of pine, some herbacious goodness.

T- Pineapple, mango, orange, with a sweetness that asserts itself without overwhelming. Super hoppy, super fruity, clean semi dry finish. Outstanding.

M- No complaints here in the least. Just enough carbonation to hold up to the intensely fruity flavors.

O- Great IPA in every way imaginable. Really happy I got to try one of these a day removed from the brewery.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Gulden Draak tulip. Big thanks to sleepyhead for this one!

A: Pours a hazy dark iced-tea amber with a large, frothy, off-white head that slowly faded into a thick foamy film that left incredibly thick sheets of lacing down the glass.
S: Huge juicy grapefruit smell. Very citrusy and juicy smelling with tropical fruit notes and a hint of lemon zest as well. Amazing.
T: Super fruity-sweet sherbet flavors. This tastes like tangerine sherbet. It has an amazing and complex hop flavor. At first the beer is very citrusy with a big grapefruit punch, but then it becomes creamy and tropical with a buttery pineapple flavor. The rye is present in the very finish with a touch of spiciness. Aftertaste is creamy yet bitter and juicy all around.
M: Silky smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation over the medium body. Not viscous, syrupy or overly sticky, with a pleasant bitterness in the finish.
D: I had a very hard time describing the flavors in this beer. I don't think I've had an IPA or DIPA quite like this one. I could drink this forever. Thanks again Jeff for this amazing beer!

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Photo of MCorrea
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very light orange with a fluffy white head that lingers for quite a while. Slight haze.

S- Heavy on the grapefruit. Very pleasing citrus aroma.

T- Similar to smell. Big grapefruity flavors. Finish is not dry or too bitter. Great balance. The rye adds a great dimension to the overall flavor.

M- Not too thin or too thick. Just right. Carbonation is perfect.

O- Another winner from Alpine. This brewery has a masterful handle on any hoppy style of beer.

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Photo of Jayli
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from mthomas84 via SS '11 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him
poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a rich hazy copper color with a 1/4 inch of bone white sudsy head. Head recedes immediately and leaves sudsy sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is big fruity notes - mango and pineapple, as the beer warms more pine and grapefruit notes come in. There's a hearty caramel backbone too.

T: Taste starts with a heaping dose of pine and earthy bitterness. Caramel underlays the entire beer but begins to blend extremely well with the juicy mango and pineapple flavoring. Perhaps even a touch of apple. Light tangerine citrus bite in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first and the beer almost thickens and becomes oily and slick.

O: Goes down easily, extremely tasty, not too filling, ridiculously well hidden kick, excellent representation of style. This is by and far one of the best IPA's that I've had!

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Photo of charliedvrs
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden amber with two fingers of fluffy white head, sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma and taste are both full to the brim of white grapes, giving it a flavor similar to white wine. Sharp hop blasts of grapefruit, musky wet grass and herbal notes, backed by a slight spiciness I assume is from the rye, which complements the hop profile perfectly. Also getting a bit of that catty, onion flavor I'd normally associate with simcoe, though in a much more subtle way. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low to medium carbonation and slightly dry, finish. Fresh, slightly acidic citrus notes linger on your tongue for longer than you can wait to take another sip.

Really a beautiful beer. Sometimes I feel I've reached a point where even the best Double IPAs taste repetitious. This one was refreshing - in more ways than one.

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Photo of regspeir
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a HUGE head that settled to a thinner but long lasting one. Lacing is apparent, although certainly not heavy. Good carbonation. Color is a cloudy orange/copper. Wow, this smells perfect for the warm day it is. Nose is lemon and orange and some spice. Taste is first lemon, orange/mango but with a great spicey bready malt and that rye backbone. Bitterness is very mild in the finish. So refreshing...it does NOT deteriorate as it warms. This is a pretty perfect balance for me. Sessionable? You bet. This is an amazing beer - great nose, so flavorful, and leaves you wanting more (and I DO)! How can you left-coasters sleep at night keeping this to yourselves!?

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my trusty pint glass.

A: Pale gold with hints of amber in color. One finger pillowy white head that doesn't quit. Big chunks of lacing left behind.

S: In your face grapefruit, light malt sweetness, a bit of pine as well.

T: Tangy grapefruit, light sweet caramel, dank, pine and resin hops.

M: Very smooth. Light to medium bodied. Clean crisp finish.

D: Great for 7% abv. Very happy I tried this beer, definitely gonna purchase again.

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Photo of slentz
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brett for this bottle in our recent trade. Served at 50 degrees. Split into two tulips.

A: Easy pour leads to about a fingers worth of nice white head. Really nice lacing here with a couple floaties but seems like that is just the yeast. Nice golden straw color...looks really nice. 4.5

S: Smell is awesome. Really nice hops and fresh fruit, little bit of grass but lots and lots of grapefruit and citrus. This beer smells super delicious. 5.0

T: Really enjoying this beer, tastes awesome. Lots of super fresh hops with really nice bitterness. Just the perfect amount of sweetness. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is very nice carbonation is spot on and this beer leaves a really nice hop resin throughout. 4.5

O: Overall I really really like this beer. Tons of super fresh hops and great smell. Alpine hit a home run with this beer. Really glad I got to try this one and will be looking for more at any chance. 4.5

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Photo of bjacobsen
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale golden and clear with a tight two finger head.

the aroma is delightful. The label says the grapefruit scent will get you every time you put the glass to your lips and they weren't lying. The spice from the rye is definitely there and sets this apart from other well crafted ipas. Pine noted in there as well.

Taste is remarkably balanced. Citrus and piney up front with rye spice but a strong malt backbone. Dry finish with lingering spice.

Well carbonated with Medium mouthfeel.

Extremely drinkable. Tasty. Balanced. Unique. I really like this offering. Alpine just might have the best overall hop lineup around.

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Photo of Roguer
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bright, pale yellow - lemon-colored. Despite the bright appearance, it's thick and pulpy, almost completely opaque. One finger of perfectly white head, quickly fading, leaving nice lacing.

Aroma of grapefruit and sweet lemon. Hint of rye or spice, barest sign of clover honey or flower. Slightly delicate.

Immediately sweet, followed by a noticeable hoppy dryness, and then you're hit with a ton of fruit: ultra-sweet grapefruit, lemon, a hint of rind. The rye comes through in the finish, if at all. Very little malt balance, but still comes across as very smooth.

Alive and bubbly, but still a medium-light feel. You can toss it around with no foaming and no sting, although the carbonation makes you feel its presence. Lovely hop oil residue.

This should be up there with other single-IPA stalwarts such as Jai Alai and Flower Power. It is absurdly juicy, bright, and hoppy, alive, and yet eminently drinkable.

Thanks to JayORear for the trade!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ah, Nelson, you fickle temptress, at times a very good beer, at times a stellar beer. When on, the tropical Nelson notes marry with the rye and a surprising lightness of body to create something truly special.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Nelson how I've longed for thee. Last time we met was not soon enough.

A: Pours a hazy and sort of dull golden straw pale hue that clears up around the edges. Its incredibly light in body visually...almost like a 2nd runnings brew. First pour just had a fizzy little head but the next produced a much more pronounced fluffy white foam with just grips of lace down the glass.

S: Grapefruit nose with some soft pines. A sort of tart and fruity yeast ester and a definite champagnesque aroma. Like that of white wine grapes. Very perfumey and floral aromatics.

T: Taste follows suit to the aroma. Big grapefruit and pine hop bursts up front with that signature Nelson white wine grape nuance. Slightly sweet with some caramel malts and the rye is there but it's very subtle for me. Really seems to give a nice dry component that catapults the hop flavors. So light a brew and insanely hopped. Subtle notes of passion fruit even. Finishes dry, crisp and so refreshing. More please!

M: Very light in body with a slight sticky sleekness to the tongue and a definite hop bitterness that puckers out the cheeks.

D: Amazingliy light in body with a refreshingly dry crisp hoppy punch. If you seek that hop zing that just hits you in the mouth Nelson will deliver.

Definitely one of my fav IPA's at the moment. I find myself just wanting more and more Nelson and apparently I am not alone. Different from all the rest and a great high water marker for what this hop can do. Had some Nelson on cask at the PP Real Ale Fest and it was hands down one of the top selections of the day!


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Photo of berebrando
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this beer at The Bruery's new bottle shop in Old Town Orange. It's sold in a 22 oz bottle and I've poured it into a mug.

The color is hazy, light orange and yellow. The head dissipates quickly and there is not any significant lacing.

It smells amazing. I'd say it smells like the rind from a grapefruit - tart and sour with strong citrus notes. It feels very full and lightly carbonated when you drink it. My girlfriend seems to think "it's weird tasting now..." but I like it. I L-O-V-E the flowery and bold grapefruit flavors - that's it, it's like eating a rose petal and grapefruit rind. But in a good way, a wonderfully good way. The aftertaste is the same tart grapefruit tartitartness, and maybe some snozzberries. Mouthfeel - yes, it feels good in my mouth.

Drinkable? I'd say it's drinkable, but I probably wouldn't want to overdo it.

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Photo of breals
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a beautiful beer in all aspects. I love the color, probably the lightest IPA you can find. It has about 7% ABV which gives the body but it's still a "light" IPA. The one aspect that sets this beer apart otherwest coast IPAs is that it doesn't have a harsh bitter finish, this might be due to the New Zealand hops.

This is my new favorite beer. I'm lucky enought to live 15 miles from the brewery and I go there bi-weekly to fill my cache of growlers.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle back in early Sept when visiting San Diego. Made a special trip out to Alpine simply because I was hearing such great things about them. Missed the brewery because it closed, so my wife and I hit the pub right next door. After a hearty meal with some tasty brews, the server was kind enough to sell me a bottle of Nelson.

A: Pours a clear gold color with light white head that fades rather quick. Label art on bottle original. No freshness date can be found.

S: Awesome hop character. Wish this stuff was a cologne cause I'd wear it all the time. Sticky hop sweetness of lemon, grapefruit, and citrus and some honey like aromas. Get a little of the white wine character as the label says.

T: Rye and hops. This one is a nicely done hop bomb, yet very eloquently done. A really great tasting IPA.

M: Bitter with some residual hop sweetness. Feels medium bodied yet refreshing.

O: Wish I could find this one all the time. This would be my go-to staple beer. Don't think I could ever tire of this one.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpine Nelson

On draft at Lost Dog in North Arlington. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

I’m almost 1500 beers into this journey and this brew made a major impression! Probably the fruitiest beer I have ever had. Hoppy but not totally out of balance. A quaffable and thirst quenching beer. This might be the best American IPA I have ever had. - 4.75

A – Pours a pale cloudy orange. A relatively ugly beer when one considers other American IPAs, but maybe that’s what gives this beer its other great qualities. Great Belgian-like lacing. 4.25

S – Fruity and similar to its taste but not as intense. - 4

T - Pineapple, passion fruit, some citrus and faint white wine, with herbal bitterness as well. Not necessarily sweet, but balanced for an AIPA. I like fruity IPAs so this is the bomb for me. - 5

MF - Medium body, dry finish. 4.75

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Mauerhan for the trade! 22oz bomber into a Foothills pint glass.

Nelson Rye pours a straw-golden hue with a hefty dose of particulates that jumped in with the last few ounces. Good carbonation level fuels a bone-white head that retains quite well and leaves behind some seriously impressive lacing. Tangerine and grapefruit zest absolutely dominate the aroma, with a subtle hint of rye, pale, and caramel malts in the background. Some spicy, earthy yeast notes if you dig deep enough. Amazing nose.

Wow. Wow-freaking-OW that's good! Huge blast of spicy rye and bitter hops lay the smack down on the front of the palate, dropping notes of citrus peel, white pepper, and tons of hoppy goodness. The slightest hint of band-aid esters is all that keeps Nelson from a perfect "5". However, the mouthfeel is flawless, with a crisp, well-carbonated medium body that finishes smooth and dry, but still manages to come off as refreshing. Solid, solid beer. A+

(Edit: Re-tried thanks to weibull. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I remember, and the beer was bordering on under-carbonated, knocking the mouthfeel from a 5.0 to a 4.0. Still, a wonderful IPA.)

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded apricot hue with a bright white head formin thick and billowing above the head of my new DFH chalice. Lacing is intricate scattered pattern awesome looking clouded murkiness. Aroma is full of punget grapefruit scented hops and wine like aromatics crazy intense experience. Flavor finesses the palate with hop flavors full of fruity earthy honey malt wrapped with a touch of diacetyl, excellent interesting warming honey pine completed expressive and original brew. Mouthfeel is creamy slightly oily with hops, medium to full bodied never heavy or cloying. Carbonation is perfect and natural, with an insane level of drinkability. Solid well made beer from the beginning to the end.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

On draft at City Beer Store in San Francisco

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow with a creamy white head that laces beautifully

S: Big pine and citrus hops, some lime and orange, nice malt sweetness behind it as well

T: Citrus hop glory, orange grapefruit lime lemon all in there, some tropical fruity notes as well, all nicely countered with malt sweetness, a little grapefruit bitterness on the finish but not overwhelming. A little alcohol comes out as it warms

M: medium body, almost creamy smooth, perfect amount of carbonation

O: Couldn't believe my luck when I saw this available. Lives up to it's reputation as an excellent brew

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ahhh the hazy color I love (just say no to clear beers!).... crisp hoppy goodness, a little pine and citrus, just enough malt to balance, mild bitter finish... love it... toss up between double citra and this for my left coast favorite!

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Photo of jacewg
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Light hazy orange color with some yellow as well. Good lacing. Small head hangs around.

Aroma: Just wonderful. Lots of citrus with some spicy rye character. Grassy notes as well with hints of white wine fruitiness and grapefruit. Very big aroma and everything works together perfectly.

Taste: The rye spice manifests itself quickly along with some of that same grassy character. Hints of tropical fruit and lots of grapefruit/citric peel flavors. The malt is light but the rye spice seems to tie everything together. Bitterness is assertive, but the beer remains super drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation seems slightly lower than most IPAs, though the beer is still well-carbed. Finishes dry with a lingering citrus peel bitterness and hints of stonefruit. This slightly diminished carbonation and medium body leads to a mouthfeel that borders on creamy at times.

Overall: More or less a toss-up between this and Hill Farmstead Susan as my favorite American IPA. The aroma almost keeps me from drinking this beer so I can just keep smelling it. Almost.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super murky! Honey in color. Big thick, foamy head. The head lasted forever.

S: Yellow Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice. Unripened green grapes. Honey. Pineapple. Tangerine. Ginger.

T: Pretty malty considering the smell. Damn this is balanced. Grapefruit rind. Grassy.

M: Thick, fluffy and chewy. Yum!!!

O: This went down like butta. Crazy delicious!!!

Crazy props to aekoops for the gift!!!

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Photo of ajramirez1
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pint Defiance in Tacoma WA. Impressed they got this stuff in the area.

Beer is damn tasty. A lighter color than I would imagine but with Rye IPA it fits. Solid taste. Not too happy but well balanced.

Stoked to have tried this locally. Attempted and failed at the brewery in San Diego. Small place that has awesome brews.

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