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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,345 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,345
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 1,271
Gots: 231 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: rayjay on 08-14-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,345 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to pretzelcity for including this in my box for the Support Your Team BIF.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden tangerine color, with a foamy white head. Nice retention, with sticky lace all over the glass. Soft carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass, replenishing the head.

Smell: Soft white grape skin, honey sweetness, a touch of citrus, along with a touch of musk. Aroma is just slightly bitter.

Taste: The distinctive flavor of the Nelson Sauvin hops really carrry the flavor, with the rye providing a more complimentary dryness than an overwhelming flavor. White grape, orange rind, some grassiness give it a restrained juicy hop flavor. Other than the rye, the malt really takes a backseat, despite retaining a fragile delicateness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and tingly through most of the sip, which combined with the grape flavor gives it a sparkling wine feel. Strong dry character, and it has a little graininess.

Drinkability: This is a great change of pace from some of the other American IPAs I have been drinking. Still a strong hop presence, but the grape flavor really kicks this beer into a unique area of the palette. Very interesting, and one I would drink regularly if it was available here.

KickInTheChalice, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold, with lots of little sediment particles floating in the brew. A massive pillowy sudsy foam head lasts forever, leaving clouds of sticky chunky lacing on the glass as the brew is consumed.

Aromas of citrus, green grapes, green hops, and ocean saltspray. Although you can smell lots of hops were used, there is nothing overboard, just a smooth inviting aroma.

The taste is quite different from the usual IPA and is quite laid back. At first there is some sweet malt, then a slightly bitter citrus hop taste kicks in, but then a bit of a grapy taste that adds a sub-layer of subdued sweetness (somewhat like Sauvignon Blanc, whence the Nelson Sauvin monicker comes from). Citrus rind prevails in the long finish.

Body seems a little more viscous than is typical of the style, as the yeast and other sedimentary particles remain in suspension. Ample carbonation gives this a somewhat creamy, as opposed to crisp, mouthfeel. The hops approach tongue numbing levels.

This is a very drinkable IPA, a different IPA with a unique aroma and taste, due to the Nelson Sauvin hop variety. Might be good to compare with Mikkeller Nelson or another Alpine beer like Exponential Hoppiness.

Beerenauslese, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of LittleDon
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Golden and very cloudy. Decent head that fades into a filmy wisp. Great lacing, nonetheless. Slightly resinous aroma with a noticeable floral characteristic. Carbonation is a bit on the hard side up front. The middle brings out an interesting floral/spicy hoppiness with what seems to be a guava-like flavor in the upper palate. Finish is standard IPA bitterness. Medium mouthfeel.

LittleDon, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.95/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was great. Just had my first sculpin a little less than a week ago. Can't remember exactly what rating I gave it, but I think this was slightly better than sculpin imo.

Pours a slightly cloudy orangeish amber with a 2 finger off white head that takes a while to dissipate and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma is incredible. Starts with a HUGE wave of tropical fruit - pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and then rounds into a tiny bit if pine with a slight hop bitterness after that. Really amazing aroma.

Taste starts out with a bit of bready malts, then shows a tiny bit of caramel before giving way to big time tropical fruit flavors, the same flavors as in the aroma. Like the smell, those flavors round into a bit of pine, a wave of grapefruit, and finish with a slightly dry hop bitterness that lingers. Delicious.

Probably the best beer I've ever had. This beer makes me wish I lived in cali (even more than russian river does)

HURTemHIZZY, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Brian.

A: Pours a hazy, light golden color. Head is moderate; the pour unlocks a finger or less of foam, with short retention and little lacing down the glass. I don't know if it's an off bottle, but this and the lack of clarity are two dings. Too bad the appearance is weighted so heavily.

S: Fresh-cut grass, a touch of spice, mint, orange, grapefruit, grain. It's unique and lovely; its pungency is something to be admired. I think it nearly nails this category.

T: And it absolutely nails this one. Great flavor. The malt presence is higher than I typically prefer, but it does well to offset the spiciness of the beer. There's a white pepper presence near the finish that imparts a light kick. A touch of mint and herbal / grassy flavors reflect the uniqueness of the Nelson hops. I find a presence of grapefruit, but with an earthiness that distinguishes the hops from an American variety.

M: Not quite as dry as I prefer, but it works very well for the type of beer this is. The spiciness is unique for an IPA, and it needs that heft to offset the bite. Just the same, it does impede drinkability a bit in a bomber form.

D: Jesus Christ. Yes.

Arbitrator, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of mechamifune
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at brewpub.

Pours a hazy yellow, unlike any IPA i've had before in that sense. If it weren't for the smell you'd think it was a hefe.

And oh that smell. Pure hops and grapefruit.... if it weren't for the extensive description of the hops actually used, i'd assume this to be tons of amarillo hops... as it is though its a fantastic smell, probably the best i've had in an IPA.

Taste is in line with the smell. Lots of citrus fruits and an agressive bite to end each drink, presumably from the rye. A very "sharp" and crisp beer, with fruitiness permeating throughout. A lot of complexity to the taste which holds up through the entire glass.

Drinkability in turn is good. Because there is that bite to it, I couldn't say its overly easy to drink, but its far from harsh. 7% feels about right for it. As a whole a lot of fun to drink and very unique in the IPA world.

mechamifune, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of GradyS1
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a light golden color with a one finger head, the color is almost a light yellowish green
S-light hops, small malts, almost a smell of fresh cut grass, smells fresh
T- Very nice, an awsome balance of hops and rye the mix perfectly
M- Nice carbonation and a slight sweetness
D- Great beer, I could have glass after glass of these

GradyS1, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of theghost3
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Moderate layered lacing.

The smell is strong of grapefruit and oranges along with coriander and a little bready malt. The taste is grapefruit and herbal hops, peppery with some caramel and bready malts. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium-bodied, and slightly sticky.

This is a drinkable IPA. Don't expect a hop bomb; just a citrusy, smooth brew.

theghost3, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of gregshead
3.43/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light, light yellow color. Did a double take and almost asked the bartender if they handed me the correct beer.

S - Citrus and pine hops domintate the smell

T - Pine and Citrus/Orange hops dominate the taste. If their is malt/rye taste, it didn't show up for me.

M - Very light and carbonated mouthfeel. If I didn't have taste buds, I'd swear this beer was a wheat or hefeweizen by feel and appearance.

D - Overall, an ok IPA. I wasn't awed but I wasn't upset either. I would drink again but I would take other IPAs before it.

gregshead, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of gameface23
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, muddled orange color with excellent lacing.

S: Blackberries, black currants, a muted spiciness from the rye (cinnamon?), grapefruit.

T: The bready rye flavor really compliments the hops. It's spicy and has great hop flavor, but it isn't bruisingly bitter.

M: Fuller-bodied due to the rye, but still finishes clean. It's a great balance between substance and drinkability.

D: A very nice offering from Alpine.

gameface23, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a nice dark and hazy copper color with some slight muddy tints. There is a nice white .5 in head that recedes at a moderate pace and leaves a nice thin mat.

S - Aroma of nice sweet citrusy hops with some slight rye spices. Nice toasty and bread like aromas from he rye as well. Would probably be a good beer with a Ruben.

T & M - Pretty well balanced beer with nice rye from the spice that goes hand in hand and plays well with some nice grasy and piney hop flavor. Slight citrus dryness and sweetness as well. Grapefruit and slight orange sweetness battles with the more toasty and grainy malt and rye backbone. Grapefruit aroma and flavor is very present. Nice and warm sensation on a medium-full mouthfeel that is very delicious and crisp.Not as dry or bitter finish as other IPA's. Good Rye-IPA.

D - Refreshing and delicious. Another solid Alpine IPA. Not as good as Pure Hoppiness IMO but still solid brew.

D -

JoEBoBpr, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Again, a huge thanks to Patrick (Jctribe25) for providing this beer.

Pours with a very aggressive white head. Very creamy and enough structure to rise above the top of the glass by a good margin. Begins to collapse on itself almost immediately. The beer is a bright clear brass color with a scant amount of carbonation rising. Rings of lacing remain.

Aroma is bright, fresh, fruity, slightly spicy, slightly green (vegetal) like walking in the woods. At first some big grapefruit, but this mellows and is more balance as you drink it. Very fresh.

Another fantastic beer. There is some spiciness hear that I enjoy. Probably partially from the Rye and also from the hops. Balance is actually quite nice and this does not appear to be as bitter as the Duet in my book. Slight sweetness and light bready background flavor. The finish is fruity then spicy.

Medium/light body with just the slightest carbonation. Almost but not quite oily. More juicy from the fruit flavors.

A wonderful beer. The Nelson Sauvin hops are interesting and I am not sure I've ever had them before. This is a well balanced beer front to back. Each element builds on the previous and the final combination is fantastic.

I'll be back!

Reagan1984, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of alkchrios
2.98/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the "best damn beer shop" in san diego california on vacation with my girlfriend. she spend a semester in new zealand and since something about this bomber had to do with NZ I was pressured into getting it.. it wasnt that bad but I was not all that impressed. Its a golden ipa rendering it a bit less hoppy with a lower IBU than I would prefer.. still not a bad beer by any means. Poured a copper color with a minimal head..very basic almost bland appearance. Upon the first sip I got a lot of grapefruit and burnt sugar...a bit of coriander comes to the nose which is a pleasant suprise. This beer is very crisp and slightly complex..it seems as though a ton of flavor is rather non-existent but still has some of those citrus tones I previously mentioned...the flavor just kind of dissipates the more you drink it.

alkchrios, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from Megan, I thank you again. For some reason, whenever I go to San Diego, I always pass on the Alpine beers. I don't know why. Fortuneately, I got the chance to try this one the other night. Poured a nice clear golden color, with a little white head. Good fresh piney hops, spicy, peppery rye and a long bitter finish.

emmasdad, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of tjfinkle
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Straw yellow, lots of carbonation, several fingers of white fluffy head

Smell - The fruity nelson hops are the most obvious smell right away, some other subtle smells such as pine are also apparent

Taste - Very hoppy with some fruity notes, and lightly bitter aftertaste

Mouth- Bitter, very noticeable carbonation, but not too much for a beer of this style

Drink- Very good well balanced golden IPA, would definitely recommend

tjfinkle, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of GJ40
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at the Best Damn Beer Shop in downtown San Diego.

A - More yellow than golden with a have and a fluffy white head. The glass is just covered with lacing as it empties.

S - Loads of tropical fruit, citrus and floral notes. Every bit as complex as it was on tap.

T - As with the aroma, loads of tropical fruit and citrus. The rye is pretty mild and the malts definitely play a bit part but they're solid. It has a low bitterness with a delicate, balanced flavor to it. This is a damn fine beer and one of my new favorites.

M - Smooth and silky with a nice low carbonation.

D - This one goes down so easy. I really wish I could get it back east.

GJ40, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 2nd Alpine brew here... Pure Hoppiness was good so let's give this one a try...

Pours brilliantly into my SA glass... Light golden with a huge fluffy head and lots of carbonation... Lots of lacing as well..

Spicy piney aromas right up front and they are pungent... This is terrifically floral as well.. The rye used gives this a sharp peppery kick as well...a touch of booze as well... This is quite nice... Seems more aromatic than the Pure I had a few days ago...this smells world class to me...

Very vibrant feeling with each sip... I can definitely pick up the white wine aspects of the Nelson hop here... Very fruity and citrusy... This is delicious... Its hoppy as hell in an unconventional way, I guess... I'm loving the profile of this hop... Almost light and airy on the palate... No trace of the booze...excellent...
The rye kicks you in the teeth on the finish... Very well crafted...
I actually liked this one better than PH... I loved the profile of the hops and rye together here...a masterpiece...

Tilley4, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of uturn
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery pint glass.

A: This beer poured a nice rich golden amber with a 1 finger white head.

S: As soon as you open up this bottle you get a whiff of citrus which keeps improving as it is poured into the glass.

T: As you taste this IPA you get a nice mildly bitter grapefruit taste followed by some mild sweetness from the rye which really balances this brew.

M: The Mouthfeel is light with mild carbonation.

D: The drinkability was exceptional. This is a great everyday brew, especially on hot Florida days/nights and for pairing with spicy foods.

If you are looking for something with a bit more of a hop kick you should try out Alpines "other" hoppy brews, such as Double (Imperial) I.P.A Pure Hoppiness or if you dare their Triple IPA Exponential Hoppiness

uturn, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.8/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

tr4nc3d, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of ridglens
3.88/5  rDev -13.4%
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!

ridglens, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of hayesez
3.78/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Alpine brew received as an extra from Kaiser81. The Duet and the Pure Hoppiness have both been exceptional, and I can't wait to give the Nelson a shot. Split with Ridgley and K-Rho and poured into my Portsmouth snifter.

A light golden-yellow colored beer with a slightly gray dense foamy head. Quite a few tiny bubbles rise around the floaties suspended in this brew. The recession of the cap is leaving an impressive lace on the inside of my glass. This continues all the way down the top 2/3 of my snifter, as I slowly put this one away.

I had a bit of trouble placing all of the smells in this beer. It is a bit fruity and grassy as one might expect. But there is something else in there as well. This is going to be out there, but the aroma that comes to mind is new car tires. Kind of a rubberish smell. Mixed in there is a bit if grapefruit and a hint of pineapple. Weird. Can't say I've smelled anything quite like this one.

Fortunately, the Nelson doesn't taste like new car tires smell. The fruits are more pronounced - grapefruit, pineapple, and perhaps a bit of orange. Not sure I know exactly what the rye is supposed to taste like...this is definitely different than others I've had, but I can't necessarily attribute it to the rye. The taste is dulled down a bit from the nose, but definitely better. Again, a bit thinner than I would like, but still has a small element of creaminess.

I guess I'll place this as my least favorite of the three Alpine beers I've had (Duet, Nelson, and Pure Hoppiness). Still a fine brew, and one I would never pass up, but the smell just didn't quite do it.

Consumed: 8/5/2010

hayesez, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Round #1 of my journey into Alpine IPA goodness. Duet and Pure to follow. Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear golden yellow color. First pour yielded 4+ fingers of head, plenty of carbonation in this one. Final pour was what I wanted: two and a half fingers of fluffy white head with very good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Them hops sure are nice. Fruity bouquet of hops, citrusy grapefruit, white grapes, more white grapes, and a grassy muskiness that starts at white grapes. Hints of rye earthy spiciness also poke through. Very nice!

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of white wine hints with grapefruit and an earthy spiciness. If this wasn't carbonated and a bit stronger, I bet you could fool a wine drinker into thinking this was a bottle of Chardonnay. Nice flavors going on here, but needs a bit more kick.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation, as expected, is a bit too high. Other than that, pretty creamy and overall good.

4.0 D: This is my first time with the Nelson hop (as far as I know anyway). The hops are truly in their own category, but I think they could use some help from a mild citrus hop. A little more rye could do wonders for this as well. Still, a very good beer that I enjoyed drinking.

DavoleBomb, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Dajtai007 for the generous sample.

A: Pours a very cloudy golden/orange color. Lots of suspended yeast. A two finger, bubbly white head forms, but recedes in a second. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: This is awesome. At first a big resiny and piny hop aroma. Juicy mango and peach aromas. The bready and biscuit like rye come next for an excellent balance. Some citrus hops and a peppery spiciness lingers. Just excellent.
T: Big pine up front and center again. Like the nose an excellent bready/biscuit like rye with some spiciness. Not sure if the spice is form the rye or hops, but still good. Not as complex as the nose though.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Crisp dry, and smooth. Really easy to drink. I could drink this all day.

An exceptional beer. Maybe one of the biggest bready rye presents that I have come across. The Nelson Sauvin hops are also very apparent. I really enjoyed it. Something that is very unique, and would highly recommend.

champ103, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks: unimpressive, color-wise. Kind of a pale lager-yellow trending gradually toward a deeper orange. Almost no head; just a white film, though it does leave blobs of sticky lace.

Smells: bountiful. Sweet lemon, bright pine, fresh-cut grass and a subtle onion funk. Also earthy soil, dish soap, mint and green peppers. A smorgasbord of aromas!

Tastes: similar to the smell. Funky and grassy. That unique minty-soil flavor is there as well. Is that the Nelson Sauvin? A very light bitterness akin to green peppers alights on the tongue.

Feels: smooth and filling. Medium-low carbonation with a medium-full body. I likes it.

Drinks: like one of the better beers with rye I've had. The malt is used generously but kept in check; the enigmatic Nelson hops blend with it perfectly to create an intriguing beer experience.

Phelps, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Zated fluted glass. An interesting, more brown, color than most IPA's. Got about a finger and a half of white head. Smells amazing, very grapefruitastic. One of the best smelling IPA's I've had in some time. Nice citrusy, lemon and grapefruit flavors. The malt flavor is subdued and leads to a nice, looong bitter finish. Medium carbonation, and very satisfying. The 22oz is a perfect serving size.

WestValleyIPA, Jul 21, 2010
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,345 ratings.