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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

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

642 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 642
Hads: 3,112
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 3.89%
Wants: 1,415
Gots: 391 | 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: 642 | Hads: 3,112
Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a orange yellow color, cloudy, finger worth of head
S: lots of grapefruit, hoppy, sweet smelling
T: grapefuit, sweet malty backbone but balanced, can tell this is super hoppy
M: great
O: pretty awesome, goes down very easy and very balanced (251 characters)

Photo of RachelZ
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Overall this beer was awesome small hints of alcohol but not overpowering! It pours a cloudy golden orange with a white head. Lots of hops and pines in the aroma. The taste is fruity with hints of pineapple, peaches and citrus. The aftertaste is strong and dry. (261 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy yellow, good lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: White wine, tropical and stone fruit with floral notes. Touch of rye spice on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Easy to drink, very little aparent bitterness, bone dry rye finish. (224 characters)

Photo of caskstrength
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours cloudy yellow with hazy flavor particles.

smells like earthy gapefriuit rinds

tastes like dirt mixed with citrus rinds, mandarins, and pine needles. If that doesnt sound delicious, look elsewhere for opinions on hoppy beer.

an awesome nelson sauvin beer, best i've had actually. Just so well constructed. (313 characters)

Photo of beergrrrl2
3.41/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this new Alpine Nelson that was contract brewed at Greenflash on tap. Nelson was probably my favorite beer and I've written beergasm reviews of it but this new collaboration needs to be tweaked. The beer was exceptionally cloudy with a chewy mouthfeel. It lost it 'brightness' and extraordinary deliciousness. While the Nelson hops were there, if I had this beer for the first time, I wouldn't order it again :( I hope they fix it. (437 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Alpine on 4/2/14

A-Pours a light tangerine hue with a nice, 1.5 finger frothy white head that leaves decent lacing on the way down.

S-Grassy, Citrus, tons of grapefruit, mixed with light sweet fruits.

T-Bready and a tad spicy that leads into lots of citrus, blood orange, tangerine, grapefruit and has a nice bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O-This was wonderfully complex and balanced and one of the best IPAs i’ve ever tasted, bar none. (488 characters)

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured 22oz bottle into snifter.

A - Hazy burnt orange with a 1.5 finger of white head. Good retention that leaves a thick collar and large spotty lacing.

S - Musty hops that are tropical and citrus. Malt comes through as sweet honey and there is a large rye aroma at the end.

T - Plenty of musty tropical hops with some bitter grapefruit and pine. Malt is clean and light with some honey sweetness. The finish is notes of rye and biter pine hops.

M - Medium bodied and dry. Good carbonation.

O - A terrific take on the IPA and one that I recommend. (556 characters)

Photo of CapnTrav
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from 22 oz bottle purchased a week ago from alpine brewery to a ballast point tulip

A: pours a great light gold, very clear and with very minimal head. dissipated almost fully within 5 minutes of pouring

S: SUPER PINE. heavy dank. very fresh and almost a cheddar cheese cracker after-smell.

T: very fresh hop taste directly up front. fades into an almost baked parmasean cheese flavor. i dont know if its just me since i know this is a high rated beer yet i havent even read any other official descriptive reviews for it. almost like liquid goldfish crackers. which in my book is A-OK!

M: minimal. its very smooth and potent but not very viscous or thick. goes down very easy and doesnt linger too too much.

O: great beer. really enjoyed it after hearing how good it was! (784 characters)

Photo of koutkid41
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L: Light pale and straw in color. Strong and this pillow like foamy head, lingers quite a bit as well. Slight haze.

S: Citrus and tropical upfront then the rye hits you with some faint black licorice and rubber notes. When it's warmer pine comes out and appears

T: Again citrus upfront with rye blending in nicely fading into a real nice pine.

M: Light and easy to drink. Really nice mouth-feel to his one.

O: Really nice beer, would love to have this all the time. One thing I notice about Alpine is its kinda like my homebrew, at the bottom has some hop bits in it lol. (575 characters)

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing and unique rye ipa. cloudy orange /yellow look and a crisp and clean taste. This is my favorite easy to get ipa and I woul d make any drive to get it (157 characters)

Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my second Alpine beer, Pure Hopiness being the first. PH was very good. Let's see if Nelson lives up to the hype. Thanks to Sebowski for the trade.

A: Surprisingly very light looking. Yellow, slightly hazy. Lacing covers the glass. Good head retention. Almost looks like Hop Ranch.

S: Big grapefruit, citrus and guava. Very nice caramel malt base. Quite amazing.

T: Taste follows the aroma. Very big hop profile but it does not overpower the beer. Very balanced beer. This satisfied my hop thirst on every single level.

M: Light to medium bodied. Perfect carbonation and bitterness.

O: After having the pleasure of trying so many delicious, wonderful IPA's in the past few weeks (Gandhi-Bot, PtE, PH, Jai Alai, Schlafly Tasmanian IPA, Sea Hag, Hopslam, etc, etc, etc.), Nelson definitely got my attention. Wonderful beer by Alpine. Glad to have acquired this since I failed at making it to the brewery when I was out in SD. Thanks again to Sebowski. (962 characters)

Photo of JohnParadee
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Surprisingly light yellow/orange color (thought it might be more cloudy & orange, based on smell). Relatively thin fluffy white head, which dissipated somewhat quickly. Lots of tiny bubbles, and good/sticky/even lacing throughout the quaff. On the nose, strong pine dominates over grapefruit/orange citrus notes. There is a distinct dankiness to the nose, which becomes all the more prominent upon first sip. As the beer settles and warms, the beer becomes more hoppy/piney/dank and less floral/citrusy on the palette, which is fine by me (that's how I like them, although a little more balance would be preferred here). Mouthfeel is full and coating. Alcohol burn is subdued until final points of the finish. All in all, I liked this very much. A very good example of West Coast style (reminds me a little of Sucks in that regard). Duet is better, but Nelson is a close second. Nice work, Alpine! (941 characters)

Photo of UAhobbes
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nelson, to me, is easily one of the best IPA's I've ever had. I'm a big hop head who loves hop-forward beers. Not only is this beer incredibly well balanced, its fruity characteristics give it that respectable nudge into the elites.

If something terribly wrong occurred where one could only choose one brewery to drink from... Alpine would be the one. (353 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer looks stunning, like liquid sunshine in the glass. The nose is sumptuous with Sticky citrus notes of tangerine and grapefruit. The rye adds a dry backbone that is perfect complement to the juicy, tropical sweetness of the hops. This beer is perfectly integrated and balanced. As good as IPAs get. This is a treat. (323 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #400... and man a good one to review...

A- Beautiful . Hazy golden color. Nice head... great soapy lacing..

S- Simply put- the best hoppy beer I ever smelt... maybee it just tickled "my" fancy more than others..candied orange and mango, pineapple and guava. .. I can't even describe how damn good this beer smelled... there was something else in the smell that's hard to describe but simply when you smell it you smile... outstanding...

T-now my expectations are high and it did not disappoint....everything described In the smell is in the taste with a beautiful balancing showcase and nothing is too overwhelming but meshed together perfectly... bitterness and hops were present but again, nothing singled out another..

M-smooth and medium to light bodied with a great juicy aftertaste that begged you to keep sipping...

O- Best IPA out!...I swear by lunch (which is still world class imo):but damn you grze for getting me hooked on this beer...I drank it in a matter of 10 min. And that's pretty rare for me by myself.. but all I wanted was more... there is nothing left to say... you have to try this beer....

Edit: I have had this beer another two times since my review and all it did was prove how damn good this brew was and that my review is spot on. I've shared this beer with a few buddies and they agree that its a world class brew and in the top hoppy beers they have ever had. The general consensus was that it was too smooth and easy drinking (in a good way) and one could polish off 2 bottles before they knew it was done. (1,550 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw color, with about 1/2" of white head that has decent retention and lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but it does not have quite the clarity that I have seen in other Alpine IPAs.

Smell: Light pale malt scents are evident, but that is quickly overshadowed by pungent tropical fruit dankness. Very nice.

Taste: Mirrors the smell. Nice, light malt backbone which adds a bit of sweetness but not too much. Then comes the hop flavors. Tropical fruit flavors shine, namely pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness, almost exclusively tropical fruit and dankness.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer has a light body with moderate carbonation, which is about right. Overall, the Nelson hops really shine in this beer. I love tropical fruit notes and limited bitterness in my IPAs, so I was a fan. (826 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color comes in a surprisingly bright hazy lemon yellow with a 2 finger white fluffy head. Almost looks like a wheat ale because of the haziness and yellow, almost like yellow Gatorade color.

The aroma has pungent juicy sweet grapefruit, orange, tangerine. A nice bready malt in there as well. Some mango and pineapple.

One could write paragraphs and paragraphs about this beer because of the complexity of flavors. The flavor follow with some bright floral, sweet melon, honey dew, sweet grapefruit. Then moves onto a hint of spicy rye, white pepper. Then a honey sweetness and lightly toasted bready malt. The finish has grassiness, astringent grapefruit pith, a bit of pine and resin. Mostly drying and some bitterness. There's a theme of white wine character with the sweetness.

The general theme of this beer is a hoppy grapefruit bomb with a gentle bready malt, light body, and fresh flavors throughout. Certainly one of the best IPAs I've had. (956 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: Draft
Glass: Pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $4.50
Purchased: Jan. 5, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 5, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a golden, straw, hazy color with one finger of off-white head. Good amount of sporadic spiderweb lacing on the sides of the glass. Average-to-above average retention.

Smelled grapefruit, pine, orange rind, citrus hops, floral hops, spices and resin hops.

Tasted grapefruit and initially it reminded me of a toned down Pliny the Elder. Pine, resin, citrus, orange rind, tangerine and light caramel malts, all in a pretty bitter form.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Long, bitter, citrusy finish.

This beer lived up to the hype. Just fantastic. (724 characters)

Photo of evanforbeer
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
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 (565 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Doopie brought out a Nelson, Duet and a Pure Hoppiness a while back. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, white head with good retention. Slightly cloudy amber yellow with some carbonation evident. Slowly fades to a healthy wisp and clings to the sides. Slight wisp and ring remain, leaving some very nice lacing down the glass. Similar to Duet but definitely lighter in color.

SMELL: Similar nose as well. Pale malts, light butterscotch, with honeydew melon and lots of grapefruits instead of the apricots in Duet. Piles of pine as well. Very piney. Bold and very enticing.

TASTE: Pale malts and honeydew melon up front, with some citrus, lots of grapefruit and piles of pine flavors at the swallow. Some buttery notes, butterscotch through the middle, into a piney and bitter finish. Bold and lingering finish of grassy pine, grapefruit bitterness and some sweet melon notes. Great stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy enough, though a touch less than Duet, goes down nice and finishes very dry on the palate. Full and creamy enough, but a little too dry of a finish perhaps.

Really enjoyed this one, as I did all the Alpine hop bombs we had that afternoon. Perhaps my favorite all-around IPA brewer in the USA. Compared to Duet, this one was lighter in color and had more pine and grapefruit as opposed to apricot. Both are world class, however. Thanks again Doopie. Recommended. (1,468 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Received with about half a finger's worth of head. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a pale amber which appears as a dull straw when held up to the light. Head dissipates rather quickly. Lacing is minimal.

Nose- Lots of citrus, mostly orange and lemon. Some tropical fruits, mainly mangoes. Some peach. Not much else in the way of other IPA aromatics. No real pine or resin. Swirling reveals some caramel and matchstick.

Taste- Starts off with the fruit of the nose and runs with it. There is definite peach and other stone fruits which taste a little green. Some orange and lemon followed by a nice bit of spice from the rye. Definitely a welcome change from the typical pine and resin back of most IPAs. Light melon, light pine and resin on the finish. Seems like it will be a very tasty beer once it warms up a little bit. Some mustiness, even a little bit of musk that pairs with the melon aspects. Pepper, some pumpernickel or rye bread. Grain notes. A tiny bit of earwax on the finish. Definitely a really good beer but I don't know if it deserves its high ranking. It is growing on me as I continue to drink it. Some notes of caramel and honey. Some floral qualities as well. Some tendency to savory notes. Really good to great at this points. Some grapefruit, tropical fruits (papaya and mango). Alpine really has IPAs on lockdown.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a healthy dose of carbonation. At the moment it's a bit much for me but maybe it will mellow out.

Drinkability- Very subtle but has tons of complexity. Seems to more of a Pliny the Elder type of IPA. Six bucks for a pint of a beer that doesn't come to Oregon seems reasonable.

Overall- Really good to great beer that owes a lot to its mix of subtlety and complexity. Lovely use of rye to create a malt bill which not only contrasts the fruitness of the hops but interacts with it. Pretty much a great beer. Definitely worth a try. Very accessible IPA. (1,976 characters)

Photo of ozzman54
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Happy to have tried this beer. Pour was nice and clean with a golden orange color. Smell was hop forward with some citrus orange and grapefruit. Taste was like the smell but lacking a little on the citrus flavors, nice and bitter with good carbonation. Mouthfeel was smooth but not something that left me craving more with each swig. After drinking this side by side with Duet, I felt like this was a bit lacking. All in all, great beer from Alpine and will likely try it again if I get the chance. (498 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a delicate and brilliant gold with a faint orange hue when held to the light in the room. When held to natural light it is all golden yellow and with a faint greenish presence. Head is cottony, white, and fell slowly leaving spectacular and decorative lace.

The nose on this is delicate and floral. Bright citrus zest. It's grassy and has a bit of spicy rye. The malt is almost invisible on the nose except for a light clover honey. It has the scent of grape must on it. A sweet white grape with an earthy musk. As it warms it has a wine like nose that is deep and rich without any real heaviness or sugar on it. There's a bit of pineapple but it's very light. Sunny orange is lightly throughout but nothing you can pinpoint. It's ethereal this nose.

The taste is stellar. Impeccable clarity in the palate. It has the sweet presence of the white wine grape, with it's earth and instead of any acidity this beer offers a hop pungency and a tad bitter. The body of the beer is fantastically light. It is as light as water. The malt is but a breath underneath and you don't smell it or taste it but it has to be there. The rye gives it a bit of spice and a bit of an edge. Then that spice tickles the back of the throat as much as the delicate carbonation and that's how smooth it is. The light orange juicy quality of the fruit gives it a sweetness that's not overplayed to sugar. There is grapefruit but it's so delicate as to simply be a mouthwatering pleasure.

This beer is stellar. It's approach to the palate is lightness and grace. it dares you to taste it it's so light and then it hits you with an epic hop character that has every taste and aspect of hops. From grass, to a light herbal spice, juicy fruits, to a dry white wine like finesse. This finishes lightly dry and with much aplomb. Sublime.

Thanks Jay O'Rear. (1,847 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle in trade from a generous dude. Thanks! Pours a beautifully clear light golden color with big fluffy white two finger head. Massive aromatics coming from this, with grapefruits, sweet honey, flowers, more citrus, some creamy sweet wine like aroma as well. Not like anything I have smelled. Flavor begins with a light sweetness on the tongue, and explodes into raw hops, grassy, grapefruit, honey, melons. A nice bitter pine on the way down. The flavor has a pleasant creamy mouthfeel, with sweet honey and big juicy hops. So light on the palate, with medium high carbonation. Up there with the best of them, especially in the single IPA category. (652 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.