1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,485 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,485
Reviews: 592
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,334
Gots: 272 | 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:
Beer added by: rayjay on 08-14-2006

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 (45) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,485 | Reviews: 592 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of airfoil
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle gave a golden color with a nice white head. Earthy, fresh hops in the nose. Medium bodied with upfront clean natural bitter NZ hops.Refreshing beer with the alcohol pretty well hidden. Long finish really accentuates the unique flavor profile. Awesome.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a golden orange colour into a snifter glass. I could really pick up grapefruit in the smell. The taste followed suit as a intense grapefruit like flavour followed with each sip. Good bitterness and a nice malty backbone. Very nice beer.

Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Beer Company has a favorable reputation amongst BA members and even sports a few beers in the top 100, including Nelson. Since they don't make their way up to the SF Bay Area, I used a recent trip to San Diego as a great excuse to visit them in person.

Pours a somewhat hazy, medium orange color with a thin off-white head.

Prevalent grapefruit hoppy nose backed up by floral notes. Touches of pineapple, too.

Herbal hops mingling with a light malt spiciness. Minor presence of tropical fruity hops. Moderate level of bitterness. Lingering, chardonnay-like long dry finish.

Medium-light bodied with moderate-low level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't quite living up to its top 100 status, in my opinion. I'd take a Union Jack, Torpedo, or Stone IPA over this, no-brainer. Hop flavor/bitterness lacks variety and pungency. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not as good as it could be.

Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with Drazzamatazz and Heater

A: Slightly cloudy brownish orange. 1 finger fluffy white head upon initial pour. Decent lined lacing

S: Grapefruit. Pure, unadulterated grapefruit. A little bit of bready rye comes out as well. After allowing it to open, the grapefruit begins to fade and you get more rye

T: Grapefruit, but not as prevalent as the nose. Other citrus flavors, including orange and mango. Weird, but it almost tastes a little watered down. Just a little bit of hop bitterness

M: Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation, so overall a smooth beer. Light pine bitter aftertaste

D: When first cracked open, it smelled amazing. While it didn't live up to my lofty initial expectations, it was definitely a solid IPA. I would drink this beer often if it was available in my area

Photo of seeswo
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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 azdback
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. A golden orange color. A bit cloudy and full of tiny carbonation bubbles. Head isn't that big (not a very aggressive pour, my fault) under one finger and bright white in color. Lace is pretty sticky and leaves a beautiful spotted pattern.

Smell is of amazing sweet and citrus hops. Pink grapefruit and pineapple. Some orange flavors also and a bit of pine resin.

Taste is a bit different then the nose. The hop bitterness is still there and has the flavors of sweet citrus, but there are earthy notes that taste of fresh cut grass. Quite nice.

Mouth is bright and refreshing. Not a bit thin but on the medium side. Not out of place for an IPA though.

Overall I must say how much I enjoyed this. Another Alpine brew that is hit out of the ball park. Thanks to Jeff for picking this one up for me on his last trip to San Diego.

Photo of UnknownKoger
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try this. Poured from bottle into my Sierra Nevada pint glass. Smell is amazing. Strong, piney, grapefruity hop notes. In the background there is a lot of malt sweetness. Color is pale straw. Head quickly dissipates to a thin head. The taste is really interesting and unique. There's the sweetness but also a bit of grassiness in the hop notes. The rye really contributes to the unique flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall it's very delightful. I would definitely buy it again.

Photo of Kshock
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another San Diego gem....

A- Cloudy golden yellow color with a little head retention. Good sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of citrus hop aroma with a spicy backbone from the rye. Smells like fresh tennis balls..in a good way. i had to put that because a friend mentioned it and now i cant get that out of my head.

T-- Great citrus hop flavors, spicy rye in the background. Really nice flavors, balanced nicely. Slightly dry on the back end.

M light -med body, drys out mildly on the backend.

O- Amazing beer, one of the best IPA's out there.

Photo of Nashvillain
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this once before (thanks to Gregshead) and got to try one that I had time to review again (thanks to Thegordianknot).

Yes. Just yes. Everything about this. Reading my review is pointless if it doesn't in some way aid you in getting this beer. Your new life mission is to get as much of this stuff as possible and drink it immediately. Job, kids, life? They pale in comparison to this brew. That being said, actual review below.

Pours a dark straw into the glass. Big, pillowy head sits atop, making escaping without a beerstache an impossible feat. This thing has a ton of floaties. I'm sure they're good for you.

Oh yeah, there's extensive lacing too. As for the smell, it's cranberries, potpurri (not the crappy WalMart version, imagine a collaboration between Martha Stewart and Yankee Candle Co), and pungent awesomeness characteristic of Nelson Sauvin

Taste is dank. Just filthy, but in the best way possible. Like a messy dog kiss, nasty but bright and friendly at the same time. Almost resin-like, but not over the top. Finish is a light alcohol warmth that wraps everything up. Mouthfeel is smooth as it ought to be.

Has great potential for a desert island beer.

Photo of kayalla
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Hazy orange with a good white head. Aroma is floral hops with a lot of citrus fruits especially orange and grape fruit. The flavor is an explosion of hops but in great balance, not as sweet as the aroma seemed. Orange and grape fruit, maybe apple, peach. So nicely balanced, this is a stellar IPA and I always seek this out when they put out a new batch.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lnashsig for this gem! Poured into globe tulip glass, no bottle dating...

A- Hazy orange color with yellow tints and a two finger off white head. Creamy and sticky. Coats the glass.

S- Oh my, oh my... Where to begin? Hops literally jump out of the glass and rape your nostrils. Crazy fruity aroma- citrus, apples, grapes, cranberries. This smell blew my mind... High expectations for taste now.

T/M- Much more reserved bitterness than I thought. Very smooth and balanced, but not an extremely high IBU. Flavor is great. Again, fruity and complex. Definitely has a biscuity, doughy support for the hops. Great medium body, accentuating carbonation; refreshing and awesome in or around my mouth...

O- Just wow. Much better than Pure Hoppiness. I want more nelson sauvin hops in my beers...

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lucky enough to have this beer a few occasions, so I felt that it was time to review.

Pours out with a nice honey color, with the aroma of hops and citrus being noticed immediately. Gives a nice two finger head that sticks around for while before an appearance of descending. Hops are at the forefront, quickly followed by citrus, giving it a very satisfying grapefruit taste. Nelson leaves a nice extended stay tingle in the mouth, a very welcome guest.

Overall, this is a most excellent example of a double IPA done right. Unfortunately for me, its not readily available in my area, so feel blessed if it sits on your beer station's shelves.

Photo of kungpao
4.75/5  rDev +6%
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 charliedvrs
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of jale
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jesse for this great beer.

A: Pours a cloudy light apricot with a huge white head. Lacing lasts quite a while.

S: Wonderful citrus aroma with just a hint of malt.

T: Great smooth citrus hops upfront moving into mild malt. Finish is a fantastic grapefruit hoppy bitterness.

M: Lighter side of medium body with great carbonation.

O: What can I say. Some of my favorite IPAs come from Alpine. I could drink this all day.

Photo of CuttDeez
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass

A - A golden burnt orange body that is clear and slightly bubbly with a medium sized white head.

S - Tons of awesome citrus and tropic notes that are big and bold but an unmistakable spice and rye and grassy earthen aroma as well. This not only brings in a nice complexity but gives the beer a natural rustic feel.

T & M & D - Just what you would expect from Alpine in terms of IPA and Rye. The beer opens with a citrus juicy hop bomb and then the spice and chew of the rye comes in on the back end without completely overwhelming the front end. Fantastic. The beer is medium bodied and is bold on the palate with the good intensity of the hops and rye spices.

O - Another great offering from Alpine. Rye makes an interesting addition to the IPA as it fully embrasses a spicy flavor profile and does not try to ease up on the palate at all.

-Cheers

Photo of arukasa
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light amber, golden color with a thick, persistent head that leaves significant lace. Quite floral nose with light hops. Grapefruit nose becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

There is a rye bite and bitterness that is amplified by the grapefruit nose. Light hop bitterness. This combination gives an almost salty "zing" that clears the palate. Good carbonation, smooth mouthfeel with a bitter salt/rye kick.

Overall, this is a great second or third beer that will cleanse your palate for what's next.

Photo of sendsilk
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
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 Janderson91
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from dmsohyea, thanks Ian! This one was picked up at the time of the Expo release and enjoyed on 08/11/11.

A - Lighter color than expected. Pale straw yellow color. Clear with a one finger white head that leaves great looking lacing.

S - That signature fruity hop aroma that seems to come from all Alpine beers which I love. Big grapefruit and mango aromas with some sugary sweet malt behind it.

T - Similar to the nose, great stuff. Grapefruit up front and then comes some sweet malts and some rye spiciness. Finishes with a great fruity hop presence that lingers for a while.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Pretty light bodied with lively carbonation.

O - Overall, this is another great one from Alpine. Consistently making some of the best IPAs around.

Photo of jm1229
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served on 8/6/11 into my Alpine pint glass. Picked this up from the brewery about a week ago.

A- Clear, golden orange with pale white head. Slowly dissipates into sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Looks really refreshing.

S- It's not even necessary to bring the glass up to my nose; I can smell this beer from a mile away and it smells absolutely amazing. So much fruit in this, it's like a Hawaiian buffet. Pineapple. Mango. Pine. Perhaps my favorite smelling single IPA of all time.

T- Follows the nose. Pineapple, mango, and pine. It's so juicy and delicious. Great bitter aftertaste. If it was socially acceptable (and perhaps a little cheaper), I would drink this with every breakfast. It's like juice! Crazy...

M- Maybe the one downfall of the beer is how drinkable it is. Since it's just a little thin, you want to constantly pour this down without one hesitation. Then again, carbonation is great, but if this was just a little stronger (tastes like there's NO alcohol in this), it could be perfection.

O- Alpine is one of my favorite breweries and Nelson is probably my favorite offering from them. This is a superb IPA and if you can find it, buy it. You will not be disappointed.

Photo of draheim
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (thanks sleepyhead!) poured into a tulip. Hazy straw color with a 1-finger white head, nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is a burst of bright grapefruit and juicy, mouth-watering orange. I could smell this all day long.

Taste follows nose: grapefruit, pineapple. This is a citrus bomb if I've ever had one. Simply delicious. And deliciously simple. Great, succulent mouthfeel too with a nice crisp finish.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance - Pale orange body that is crystal clear. All Alpine IPAs seem to be ridiculously clear. Great white head with beautiful pillowy lace. All Alpine beers look sexy, too.

Smell - Grapefruit hops, but they're not all that dominant. The rye makes it smell piney and a little grassy. I like it, even though I'm neither a fan of pine hops nor rye.

Taste - It has a great hop flavor up front with a nice rye taste as a backbone. It's super clean. Distinct crisp flavors. Again, rye isn't my favorite, but this is done so well I have to give credit. Nice bitterness in the end that I don't really get from other Alpine IPAs.

Mouthfeel - Perfect drinking IPA. Goes down so well. Light bodied, but enough to keep the flavors around.

Overall - It's just such a perfectly executed beer without the flavors I'm looking for. It's tough to rate, because it manages to make me enjoy flavors I don't normally enjoy. Well done, Alpine.

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from the bottle into a Smuttynose snifter, this is burnt orange with a two finger white head. Very nice, clean looking beer.

S - Piney hops, some sweetness. Lemon and grapefruit.

T - Out of this world. One of the best. Sweet and juicy hops, decent malty backbone, but not over powering. Bitterness on the tongue.

M - Good feel, just what you would expect. Not over carbed, no alcohol. Excellent.

O - Great beer. Pretty easy to get in a trade, so it ranks very highly. Love the taste, look and smell of this beer.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My last brew from a trip to Alpine a week or so ago. Wish I had more, but it's been a good ride!

A - Pours a golden yellow with a two finger off white head. Head retention is not the best, but there is some lacing that sticks to the glass...

S - Smells very inticing. Grapefruit, oranges, peach, and various other citrus fruits. Scent comes through like a bowl of sweet fruit...

T - Sweet malts, grapefruit, lemon, peach, oranges, and a little pine. Ends on a smooth hop bittereness with some lingering grapefruit. Rye makes a slight appearance in the finish, but it is very subdued. Nothing is over the top or out of place here. Delicious. Abv is very well hidden

M - Very smooth. On the lighter side of medium bodied with a below average amount of carbonation for the style. This is one of those beers that taste so good, and go down so easy; you can easily get yourself in trouble drinking. Ends crisp...

O - One of my favorites beers at the moment. Alpine strikes again with another exceptional brew. Now I just have to conjure up a way to talk the wife into heading back to Alpine...

Cheers...

Photo of amphion1065
3.72/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the shot at this one Brian - I've been making quick work of that box! 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Pour is pale, straw yellow. It reminds me of hay, with some orange highlights. The head is a touch small even with a vigorous pour, but there's some nice lacing around the glass.

I can detect tangerines immediately in the nose. There's a very classic citrus-forward hop profile in the aroma. I swear I can swell hay as well, though that may just be psychomatic. I'm picking up on a little bit of grass as well. This just smells fresh.

Taste follows closely on the aroma. I get lemons and mangoes up front, with a slight citric burn in the back end. Actually, it really reminds me of lemon or orange juice. There's a bitter, astringent finish, with a touch of fruity sweetness for balance.

It's a tad overcarbonated, which only serves to amplify that bubbly, citric burn in the taste. Quite drinkable, but if the carbonation were toned down the mouthfeel would really benefit.

More than fine, just not exceptional. Ultimately, I'd call it a little dull.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,485 ratings.