Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

643 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 3,120
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,414
Gots: 392 | 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
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 643 | Hads: 3,120
Photo of MLDucky
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Love the rye in this. Pours a golden hue, hazy, dissipating head. Get a very grainy, malty, rye nose with the predominant hop profile of nelson. Flavor follows suit. Malty, rye with great hop flavor. Not lingering, not overly bitter. Quintessential drinking ipa. Wish I could get this every day. (303 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%

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 (637 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle pour.......

A - Perfect orange color, nice sticky lace retention

S - White wine, delicious green apples, grapes, hint of grass on the end

T - Much of the same as the nose except you get a strong orange grapefruit flavor to start with a nice bitter bite on the finish

M - Medium feel medium carb, bitter on the palate

O - Nelson Sauvin hops are amazing. Super complex, as you get a lot of citrus, grapes and some grassy pine on the finish. This is excellent! (469 characters)

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Possibly the best single IPA I've had. Delicious, tropical flavors with a tiny bit of spice from the rye. The pale malt really allows the hops to shine. So smooth and drinkable. (178 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:
On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita CA 7/17/14.

A: Cloudy light golden body. A small creamy pearl white head on the initial pour recedes to a small ring around the rim of the glass. Glows when held up to the light, and would score higher if head retention was a little better.

S: MASSIVE juicy tropical fruit, and grapefruit. Potent white wine notes round out the aroma. Hints of pine. One of the best aromas I've ever encountered in an IPA. Not very many singular aroma profiles overall, but absolutely stunning in its simplicity.

T: Sweet white wine, zesty orange, and dank grapefruit. Crackery malt makes itself known as it warms. Minimal bitterness when compared to its peers. Again, very simple, but still absolutely beautiful.

M: Light/Medium bodied and effervescent. Long, drying finish accentuates the hop character.

O: After having this a few times, this is more than likely my favorite "single" IPA in the world. A wonderful exercise in balance flavor-wise when compared to most of its "West Coast" counterparts. Massive hop flavor and aroma without the hyper aggressive bitterness that characterizes the style. This is my "Desert Island" beer. Cheers Alpine! (1,210 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes I texted myself, on tap earlier today at Mellow Fellow in King's Beach

Pours a hazy yellow gold- a lot more on the yellow than gold side, almost blonde looking. No visibility, a finger of foam that receded pretty quickly, not bad lacing or anything, very mild carbonation

Smell has a lot of tropical and citrus. Strong grapefruit and pine apple backed up with a very catty pine scent, finishes with a mild bready malt tying it all together with a touch of alcohol

Taste is with the nose- a ton of fruit, a nice mix of grapefruit and other mild citrus notes meeting pineapple and other tropical notes. Same pine and litterbox scent from the smell translates in the best way, finishing with a mild bready malt and alcohol. Taste follows the smell a lot better than most beers

Feel falls on the lighter side. Dry finish, high bitterness, alcohol concealed well. Dangerously sippable

Overall a hands down incredible IPA. Well worth the hype, definitely a top tier beer. I can't get enough of it. Perfect after a day at the lake (1,048 characters)

Photo of DannyBigs
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alpine has just started distributing their kegs and I have been lucky enough to be in LA and a frequent customer to the bars where they get Alpine's stuff. This Rye IPA has a very unique hazy and golden color, not typical of other Rye IPAs I've had (Hop Rod, Ruthless). The smell is on point, I can't think of a better nose to a beer that I've ever had (Pliny is up there though). This sets you up for an unbelievable palate pleaser. Very very drinkable (got me into some fun last night) and not something you can burn out on. If you can get your hands on this, it's an unforgettable beer. A top 5 IPA for sure. (611 characters)

Photo of HopLover1
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A=deep orange, hazy, not a lot of light getting through

S=tropical, mango, papaya, slight citrus at colder temp

T=taste is right on pace with the aroma, all kinds of tropical flavors. real big.

M=the flavors and mouthfeel change drastically as beer warms, all kinds of flavors being released

O=outstanding brew, one of a kind flavor, great use of the nelson hops, did I mention outstanding? (394 characters)

Photo of KnowYourCraft
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours very yellow with a slight golden hue to it, was quite surprised with the color of this IPA, it looks more like a blonde ale, but it still looks good.

S: Tropical fruits, spice, pine, bitterness, and a hint of pineapple and sweet malts, absolutely amazing smell to this beer!

T: Blown away in this category! In the beginning you get a wonderful blend of spice and pine, which transitions to an amazing blend of spice and tropical fruits, and then finishes with spice, tropical fruits, pine, pineapple, and some bitterness. Every flavor in this beer is so perfectly balanced and you get so much of every flavor, and this beer tastes truly incredible!

M: Perfect execution here, crisp, light refreshing, leaves your mouth a little dry which leaves you craving it more and more!

O: This is an incredible beer, easily hits number 2 on my top IPA’s list! You have to try this beer! (894 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After drinking this beer for more than a decade, I have finally come around to rating this fine brew.

A - Orange/yellow body with a short white head. Appears creamy like a creamsicle.
S - Juicy, sweet, piney, and hoppy.
T - Amazingly delicious. This beer is brimming with flavor. Pine, hops, and tropical flavors.
M - Medium and dry.
O - This beer has always been something very, very unique to me. It is sunny, rich, and delicious. (433 characters)

Photo of RocketCityVol
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: a hazy golden yellow, with a thin white lace head.

S: Pineapple, mango, melon, and other tropical aromas.

T: Very piney, with a small spicy flavor. Ends with the mango and hop flavors.

M: medium bodied that lightly coats the tongue.

O: Very good IPA. I am glad I was able to try it. (313 characters)

Photo of zookerman182
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a hazy yellow color with a oneffinger white head.
aroma is pine and tropical fruit with some melon.
flavor is dominant pine and some spice.
mouthfeel is medium and crisp with a slight lingering bitterness.
Overall this is an incredible beer.
thankfully I got to try it. (284 characters)

Photo of hoppyhour
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What can I say that hasnt been said already, this brew is so well balanced and full of amazing grapefruit aroma and amazing clean citrus taste that it lives up to all the hype.
I enjoyed a bomber while we pulled off the road in De Luz Ca for a picnic about an hour away from where this is brewed.

Paired with deviled eggs and microgreens this beer blew us all away. Did I say well balanced? Amazing nose full of nelson grapefruit and nice carbonated bite with a very unique slightly diesely oily overtaste. Hops are the star of the show here with just enough malt to smooth it out. One of my new favorites. We hope to go to the brewery soon and try it off the tap. *** Highly recommended (689 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow with a durable white colored head that leaves a temporary coating on the glass.

Aroma: Hops, with hints of pineapple, grapefruit, starfruit and other tropical notes.

Flavor: Fruity, slightly tart, and only moderately bitter at its peak. Moderate complexity. The hop flavor builds over time but nevers becomes harsh or overbearing

Feel: Light-medium body with near medium carbonation.

O: a distinctive IPA. Recommended. (489 characters)

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bomber into a tulip glass.

A- Beautiful light orange golden color, slightly cloudy.

S- Wonderful fresh-grassy dry hop aroma, tons of citrus and a bit of pine. Spice from the rye is present as well.

T- Follows, subtle malt sweetness underlays the flavors present in the aroma. Tons of delicious orange/lemon/peach flavor. Nice bitterness with more zesty rye flavor on the back makes for a really crisp finish.

M- Smooth throughout with a crisp, dry finish.

O- One of my favorite IPAs, I prefer this to Heady having had both, though freshness might have had something to do with that. Regardless, get this if you're anywhere near SD or lucky in distribution. (675 characters)

Photo of djjacobsen
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased very fresh from alpine beer co. Pours a hazy orange color with some faint sediment. Looks like watered down orange juice. The smell is incredible. Beautiful representation of nelson and it's earthy, fruity, dank hop character. The taste is where the rye comes in subtly but enough and provides an incredible companion for the so stickiness of nelson hops. Such a balanced easy drinking but full flavored brew. One of my favorites. Top 3 (446 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big props to Raulazzer for making this happen. Been seeking this for a while, and I'm fresh off tasting Father Nelson from LCBC to compare.

A- Slightly hazy golden color with a 1 finger white head. Nice ring around edge. Fair lacing.

S- Fresh, acidic citrus fruits of pineapple, tangerine, and slight grapefruit. Hoppy as can be. Touch of vegitative aroma from the green onion Nelson character.

T- Even better. Enhanced qualities of the nose with big waves of sharp hop notes. Unbalanced as the hops still bring it in the finish with a tongue smacking-like dryness. Finish is interesting with slight harsh tones. Probably just the spice of the rye

M- Mid body with big flavor. Not slick, but not full or creamy. Very dry. Light carbonation.

O- Outstanding Nelson IPA. Quickly becoming my favorite hop. This one truly brings it to the forefront and puts it on a pedestal. Not as profound as Father Nelson due to the harsh finish, but true to the style. (958 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is a bright, but cloudy sun golden yellow that pours a lemon shaving colored head.

Smell is wonderful, immediate bombardment with grapefruit and tropical aromas.

Tastes just as wonderful as this smells, fresh grapefruit, slight malt on the backend, love me some Nelson Sauvin hops.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and tropical.

Overall an outstanding IPA, definitely in my top favs. (394 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A 4.25: Hazy, but a pretty orange golden color. Pours a largish off-white head.

S 4.25: Kind of mild, but it could be obscured by other aromas at the bar I'm drinking it at. Picking up lots of hops with dank and citrus. Also getting some spice (probably from the rye).

T: 4.5 : Lots of hops up front with a similar, unique spice as on the nose. Follows with some grapefruit and tropical fruit. I little bit of bitterness on the end. Orange lingers on the aftertaste.

M: 4.75: Really creamy and a bit dry at the end. Goes down so easy.

O: 4.5: Great IPA and really interesting characteristics from the rye. Definitely up there with some of the greats in terms of flavor but different enough to stand out on its own. As far as single IPAs, I think I slightly prefer Duet. (777 characters)

Photo of Tony49er
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type- On tap poured into a 13oz tulip glass

Appearance- Hazy peach and straw color, finger and a half of fluffy white head, lacing soft but strong

Smell- WOW....Tons of tropical fruits on the nose, papaya, mango, peach, mandarins, great white wine dryness and hop presence as well..just awesome

Taste- Yep another WOW....Tons of tropical fruits again, papaya, mango, peach and mandarins, awesome Nelson Sauvin hop dryness almost like a great white wine...just fantastic, tons of sweet tropical notes, but also great hop bitterness to counter the sweetness

Mouthfeel- Medium light body and soft carbonation

Overall- One of the BEST Beers I have ever had and easy one of the BEST IPA's I have ever had just a world class beer all around...if you have never had this beer and you are able to track it down on tap or in the bottle do yourself a favor and get some...CHEERS (883 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Toronado, San Francisco.
Rose tan, no head.
Mad gooseberry and papaya nose.
Almond croissant and rosewater then big grapefruit, spiced white grape, kiwi and kumquat hops.
Grapefruit juice end and powdery bitter linger.
Medium, chewy, some oil.

Hops redux. Tart, yet perfumed and delicate. So grapefruity it’s almost a sour. Maybe loses some of the more delicate NS notes, but also probably the fullest expression of the hop. (444 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from zrab11 (sweet freakin extra!). No dicernable bottling info. Served in a Cigar City teku.

Pours hazy straw yellow with a vague peach hue and a finger and a half of fluffy white head. Maintains a very thin layer of wispy froth that laces quite well.

Smells of tropical fruits. Mango, peach, mandarins and a little bready sweetness. Mouth wateringly good and both my wife and I can't get enough.

Taste is a fruity explosion. Mandarins, peaches, grapefruit zest, mild mango, floral honey, a hint of berries, some faint cracker and a slight tinge of rose wine. Virtually no alcohol presence. Very nice.

Slighy slick, medium light body with bubbly soft carbonation. Bittersweet, lingering floral and citrus finish.

A delicious and easy drinking showcase for the Nelson Sauvin hop. Fruity and hop forward with just enough malt to add a touch of sweetness and a little body. An excellent single hop IPA. (921 characters)

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

My first 5 beer-cannot imagine anything better

A: beautiful golden cloudy beer with a creamy thick head that put a dense lace down the pint glass.

S: I could smell this one from across the bar. Just pungent pine and a floral aroma that is so unique that it is hard to describe it. Bright.

T: Just magic. Explodes on the tip of the tongue. Juicy and robust. Very hop forward but such a different flavor than any IPA I have had.

M. Perfect carbonation.

O. My favorite IPA to date. Beats HT all day long. (509 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this side-by-side with Mother Earth's Boo Koo, and I think I actually liked that one a little better.

Lacking an Alpine glass, I poured this one into a Deschutes teku. A slightly hazy liquid, orange-copper in color, topped with a finger of foamy white head; nice retention and lacing. In the nose, floral notes, some dank citrus, slightly composted rind, wet grass, some hints of toasted rye malt. The flavor was similar, oily citrus, with a zesty bitterness, grassy and floral, somewhat herbal, sweaty, some toasted rye bread, with a residual malt sweetness. Medium body, maybe even medium-full, but still retained a nice IPA crispness, which made it an easy drinker. Almost came off more like a DIPA than a regular IPA. Nice brew overall. (745 characters)

Photo of DuckyD
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boldly spicy and hopped, just as it should be. It's a simple recipe w/ a fresh and small batch mentality, just as it should be. The rye is more of a perfect compliment but the Nelson is the star of the show, just as it should be. Stop by the small but mighty brewery when in SoCal, Scott is your man. I recommend tasting ALL the IPA's and and grabbing your favorite...OR ALL OF THEM! Great BBQ and music too. (408 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.