Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,436 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,436
Reviews: 582
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1,298
Gots: 253 | 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:
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)
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Ratings: 2,436 | Reviews: 582 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/11/11 notes. Big big thanks to Nugganooch
for sending me two fresh bombers of this one; thanks Dane! This has been a Want of mine for years that I just never got around to trading for. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent golden color with a slight orange tint, one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for three minutes of so and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks great.

s - Smells of fresh citrus hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, light pine hops, oranges. Smells very fresh and fruity; I'm loving the smell.

t - Tastes of citrus hops with a light bit of bitterness, oranges and tangerines, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Very nice taste, but not quite as great as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a fantastic IPA; another winner from Alpine. Really liking this one, and very glad I have another bottle of it. Well worth the wait.

Photo of AndyGz
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, do I have a new favorite IPA?

Very light in appearance, it almost glows.
Clear Citrus and Mango notes predominate the nose.
Hop notes sweeter than I've ever experienced in anything this light. Delicate, frothy, small bubble carbonation.
Light, crisp, refreshing.

I LOVE this IPA.

Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear light copper color with a coastered white head. Nice fruit aroma mostly dominated by grapefruit. Medium mouhfeel. Nice malty backbone with a hoppy forward grapefruit rind notes. Bittenrss lingers. Nicely drinking. No alcohol notes found.

Photo of LSUPT
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DeathVader, 22oz bomber to Stone IPA glass.
Pours a deep straw yellow with a great 3-inch white head. Leaves tons of thick lacing that dissipates gradually over the course of the drink but I prefer a bit darker IPA with better clarity.

Smell is amazing, not strong, but the grapefruit, pineapple and orange scents are divine.

White wine characteristics are noticeable, juicy, juicy hops, some pine, lots of grapefruit, similar to Sculpin but with, in my opinion, a greater complexity of flavor and Nelson Sauvin hop bitterness is really great.

Carbonation is pretty low, and the almost creamy mouthfeel is a bit weird for me for an IPA.

Overall, this is a very good IPA with the mouthfeel the only drawback for me, but I would love to be able to drink this beer more often.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

Snoogens!

Photo of tewaris
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

45 IBUs
OG 1.065
22 oz. with no dates into a Bell's tulip. Thanks BulbMan!

Lighter and brighter looking than I expected, Nelson poured without any "redness" I typically, and erroneously, associate with rye beers. A clear hay golden hue, with a beautiful cream white head; excellent retention and lacing. Tropical fruit (esp. pineapple) is jumping out as I pour and I know that this is going to be a hoppy delight even before a sip. However, strong notes of sourdough bread make it clear that it's more than your regular IPA. Off to taste!

Fruity, spicy, mellow and bitter --- almost a contradiction, but very successful. And firmly bitter, no joke! Like other Alpine IPA's (have had Pure & Exponential till now), but with a twist. Creamier but still plenty crisp, Nelson smells and tastes of awesomeness. Eventually, rye seems to dominate this beer and not in an unpleasant manner. The mouthfeel is creamier, but still a little thin. Overall though, Nelson delivers exactly what it promises and is a major success!

Scores: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 4/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 4/5

Photo of Azurescens
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 6/6/11.

A: Pours a fairly clear golden color with light orange hues, fluffy off-white head with great retention that leaves plenty of lacing around glass.

S: The aroma is dominated by fruity citrus hops, grapefruit in particular with spicy rye and some sweet malt hiding behind all the hops.

T: Some hop bitterness up front which fades into spicyness from the rye and citrus hops that aren't as powerful as in the aroma, letting more of the sweet malt flavors come through.

M: Really smooth and clean feel, sticky hop resins and a slightly thinner body than I was expecting.

O: Delicious IPA, not world class but great none the less, quite refreshing and drinkability is high. Well balanced, plenty of hops but not so hoppy that the malt flavors are completely hidden.

Photo of soze47
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on my trip to Alpine in late May, 2011. 4.5 oz. pour as part of a flight.

One of the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. The rye and NZ hops lend some really cool flavors to this brew. Not a standard IPA by any stretch. The golden body is well carbonated and it dances in your mouth, which is great since the flavors are so complex.

The NZ hops give a white wine quality to the flavor and nose, with the rye giving a nice tangy bitterness. These flavors blend and melt well into the more traditional flowery notes from the other hops. Combined, I get some great spice notes. Clove?

Photo of rmalinowski4
3.08/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Mikasa tulip from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a clear straw color with two fingers of fluffy white head that sticks around for awhile and leaves tons of lacing. Very aggressive pour. You can see lots of tiny bubbles dancing up the glass to the nice crown that seems to be sticking around.

Smell is citrus, tangerine and pineapple, with some earthy pine in the background. The smell is somewhat faint and you really have to work to pick up the different components. Smells nice but should be stronger.

The smell is the opposite of the taste, lots of earthy pine upfront with some faint citrus grapefruit and pineapple in the background. The finish is of more bitter pine and earthiness. Was hoping for more citrus, but still not bad. I just expected a different flavor from the nose.

The mouthfeel is thin but not watery, and the carbonation is lively. It is easy to drink and pretty refreshing.

Overall this is not a bad beer, but it not great either. Expected more citrus than what was delivered. I would drink it again and reccommend that others try it as well. Slightly above average.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very proper looking IPA. Nice white puffy head which leaves a trail of tight belgian lace behind it. Hazy and opaque but a nice golden orange color. Such a fruity aroma, big grapefruit and citrus fruit. Sticky and hoppy, could pop a bit more. The flavor is clean and pure west coast IPA. Big fruit notes, grapefruit, melon, citrus, really great. I'm missing a little complexity from multiple strains of hops, I think? The rye is a nice touch, faintly spicy. But where the rye shines is helping create a dry clean finish. Nice, alot of IPAs have a bit of a cloying finish from the hops, but not this one! An IPA of the highest order.

Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade ,now getting to drink and to the review, being poured in to a surly imperial pint glass

A-pours a hazy light golden orange and a wonderful creamy white head.tons of lace down the side of the glass

S- tropical fruit, notes of a musk rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, tons of nice tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops were done right in this one .

M- syrupy than the duet i just had recently with the same high carbonation feel to it and awesome crisp clean finish to it.

O-Amazing IPA one of my favorites , the tangerines and tropical fruit are super enjoyable. the bitterness is light and the flavors go together very well.

Photo of turfy
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the trusty Duvel tulip

A - A golden orange color with a fluffy, off - white one finger head. Admirable lacing throughout

S - Top notch. Sweet grapefruit aroma that lasted throughout the drink. Touch of honey. No fading on this one!

T - Smooth, sweet grapefruit taste with a great balance of bitterness. Perhaps a trace of apricot . A true winner.

M - Just about perfect. Enough body to separate it from the pretenders but not cloying or heavy in any way.

O - Another winner from Alpine, which I believe is now my fave brewery. If you are looking to enjoy high quality IPA's and DIPA's, this is the brewery to try.

Photo of t420o
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to schmoopsbeer for this one

A- Pour produces a half finger head that is white/near off white in color. Though you can see the active bubbles in the beer, it did not produce much of a head with a semi-aggresive pour. The beer is light golden/ Burnt orange in color.

S- Well just like the description on the bottle says I smell a lot of grapefruit. That is accompanied by orange, and like I've seen on some other reviews a garlicky/musty type scent. Its not garlic but something similar to it I am smelling just cannot put my finger on it. Strangely enough this is not off putting at all and seems to fir right in.

T- Grapefruit, dry white wine taste, herbal flavor, and some tangerine. Some tropical fruit hints also. It is really hard toput a finger on just what I am tasting in this one but its somewhat similar to a white wine but with a richer, buttery-herbacious flavor that accompanies it. The Nelson Sauvin hops are very interesting and I enjoy them a lot. Slightly dry on the backend. Cannot feel a hint of alcohol. Excellent

M- Nice carbonation level. Nice density. Goes down super smooth.

O- An excellent and interesting beer that I highly recommend. Very drinkable

Photo of beagle75
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of persistent white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense and hop-forward with fleshy grapefruit and green vinous notes.

T: Begins off-dry, with focused and pungent hop aromatics that are reminiscent of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Acidity is mild, very clean. Flavors turn more herbaceous, floral, and slightly toasty in the middle. Some bitterness develops in the short finish, showing a little more of an herbaceous quality than peel of grapefruit.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate with a slight acidic burn, and with moderate carbonation.

D/O: At the first glance, Alpine's beer line-up may seem needlessly crowded with IPAs. A careful exploration of each will allow the taster to appreciate just how much variability is possible within the style: O'Brien's delivers the greatest balance, fulfilling the role of general-purpose IPA that does not disappoint; Duet is a showcase of Simcoe qualities (and a great substitute for Sculpin); and Nelson is the grapefruit bomb of the three. As advertised, it delivers grapefruit that is laser-focused and juicy, with an intensity that even challenges grapefruit-focused DIPAs such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder. If any criticism is required, its qualities have an obsessive simplicity about them--but after all, Nelson is a specialist whose companion brews pick up the slack nicely.

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

Big thanks to Metallitone1, this was super fresh! I split this with a friend and it was entertaining. Orange color, not quite perfectly clear but maybe it was hazed from being too cold at first. I could barely taste the rye but the hops were certainly quite pungent and tasty and bitter! It had a real full feel to it, robust hoppiness. We drank a Duet right after and Nelson was much more interesting. Overall this was a good IPA but I'm not surprised given the source.

Photo of CrookedStill
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have to say thanks to mschofield for this one.

Pours a clear golden/straw with a thin white head that falls quickly.

Lots of lemon/grassy notes upfront. There's a sweetness in the background along with hints of grapefruit and pine.

Big citrus/lemon hits first followed by just enough sweetness to keep the bitterness in check. Finishes slightly dry with no noticeable trace alcohol. A really solid IPA with a wonderful balance. Very easy to enjoy.

Pretty standard carbonation and mouth-feel for the style.

This is my first experience with Nelson Sauvin hops and all-in-all I'm fairly impressed. There's really a lot going on with this beer and although the appearance is the same as any number of other IPAs the taste and aroma is where this beer really shines. It's also interesting to see how the flavors change as it warms. I'm really glad I got the chance to try this and would definitely love to have again.

Photo of MCorrea
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to CAbeerCAbeerCA for this little surprise in my box today!

a - popped the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. poured a murky straw yellow, but settled a bit darker in the glass, more of a honey color. there was a nice frothy head and lacing was pretty thick and sticky.

s - very nice and balanced hops. great sweetness with a touch of sweatiness. a bit grassy, a bit earthy, but overall just smells great! i really dig the way this one smells.

t - again, quite good, but not as great as the nose suggests. much more bitter and sweaty, but not overly bitter. i wish the sweetness in the smell was a bit stronger in the flavor, but all-in-all a solid beer. bit of grapefuruit juice.

m - nice carbonation, easy drinker. leaves a subtle bitterness in the aftervibe. at times seemed a bit watery.

o - overall very good. all about the nose on this one...really smells fantastic. beyond that, a solid IPA.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4.13.11

A- Pours a bright, fizzy orange with a white bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Pine and a slight sweetness.

T- Bitter hops, lemon, and honey.

D- Creamy feel in the mouth, has a bitter start and finish, with a sweeter middle.

O- Good, but not as good as Pure Hoppiness.

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

Pours a murky yellowish orange. Lots of white frothy head. Smells incredibly hoppy. Tons of grapefruit and a touch of pine on the nose. Smells great! Tastes great. Bitter hops and grapefruit on the tongue as well. The malts are very subtle in the background. Nicely carbonated. Overall a very tasty beer. Probably my favorite alpine beer!

Photo of fox227
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy golden color with a small head and nice lacing.

S: Lots of goodness going on here. Lemon and stone fruit are present. I smelled the rye before I even poured this into my glass. You know that you're in for something good when you can get the aroma before you even pour!

T: A very complex IPA. The taste follows the nose very much as I get lemon, peach, rye, a bit of yeast, and the nelson hops come in at the end and lends a bitter balance.

M: Good carbonation, but not too much. The hops linger on the tongue, but not for long. This beer goes down very easy.

Overall I must say that beers wins out massively in every category that matters to me. Nelson is not a hop-bomb IPA, but a delicately complex and deliciously balanced one. Seek this one out.

Photo of aval89
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beverages4Less in Santee, CA.

A: pours a beautiful golden color with a clear body.. 2 fingers of white head with lots of tiny bubbles.. lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom..

S: lemony-pine freshness!! Pretty danky smell! Also getting a doughy bread smell with a mild funk.. touch of peach is also in there..

T: doughy breadiness upfront with that mild funk again.. lemony pines come through with some citrus & overall fruitiness.. spice does come through on the finish with a mild hop bitterness.. the rye does linger a bit on the palate.

Mf: its actually quite creamy & soft. Pairs excellent with the medium body..

O: I love this brew. Drinks very good & is a great change of pace for west coast IPAs.

Photo of phingdong
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebowski for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden hue with a nice sticky white 2 finger head. Leaves nice sticky lacing as it recedes.

Familiar tropical hop aroma with some pine and some funk in there as well. Smell of rye also comes through.

Nice thick and creamy mouthfeel that coats the entire palate. Taste mirrors the smell. Nice tropical hoppy fruit with a dank funk coming through nicely in the background. Very tasty beer. Maybe just a touch muted in aroma/taste compared to the best in this class.

My first beer from Alpine. I look forward to trying the rest of their lineup.

Photo of Neffbeer
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: It pours a beautiful golden color with pretty good clarity for such a hop monster. Rocky two finger white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some spotted lacing behind.

S: Big time aroma from all of the hops, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and funky pine. The malt is very light with a hint of toast and spicy rye.

T: This one is super fresh, the citrus and tropical hop flavors dominate the palate with some funky pine cones on the backside. The malt is very light and understated, a hint of the rye. This is a perfect vehicle for a the lupulin fireworks. Nice dry, slightly salty finish.

M: Medium bodied and lush carbonation.

O: This is up there as one of the best IPA's I have had to date. An excellent example of the American style with a slight twist, seek this one out.

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

poured into a tulip

A.

beer is a pale straw color that is fairly clear. A HUGE amount of thick foamy head that dissipates slowly, leaving some killer lacing on the glass.

S.

An awesome hop aroma is coming out of the glass (even just out of the bottle). Aromas of citrus fruit, dank weed, and cat pee are present (and amazingly those 3 things smell great together!)

T.

Similar to nose, lots of fresh hops and great bitterness. Mainly citrus rinds and earthy/piney flavors. Almost a slightly sweet, slightly toasted malt taste (has to be the rye) as well that mellows out the bitterness. Such as solid tasting IPA.

M.

Almost medium bodied with great carbonation. Pretty dry finish..bitter and dry..normally I like a little sweeter, smoother IPA but this one is stellar. California knows how to make great IPAs.

O.

This and Sculpin might be my favorite IPAs. Awesome aroma and flavor. Very fresh/pungent, hops. just like an IPA should be. I'll need to try another Sculpin here very soon as my palate have definitely changed since getting into beer hardcore recently. Unfortunately this is a west coast beer but luckily I have connections to grab it.

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,436 ratings.