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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,272 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,272
Reviews: 570
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 1,238
Gots: 226 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,272 | Reviews: 570 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold, topped with a finger of bright-white foamy head. The retention has a nice creamy look to it (and great flare-up as well) leaving behind thick rings of sticky froth. The aroma is floral and spicy, with a ton of bitter grapefruit. This is quickly followed by some white-grape character and doughy grains. Just a great bouquet here.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit juice, citrus rind, and a deep dry spiciness. Once again, I'm also getting some softer bright-tasting fruit flavors, like peaches or grapes, which I'm assuming are coming from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Toasted bready sweetness creeps along the back, with this finishing with even more dryness and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big (yet still easy and mellow) creaminess that fills the mouth. Very silky feel here, that just seems to glide down the throat with no sign of alcohol in sight.

Lovers of grapefruit, spice, or just the Nelson hop in particular are going to really dig this. Personally, I felt that it naturally lacked some of the sizzle that this had fresh on draft in San Diego and had a strange "off" taste to it that I couldn't quite pinpoint. This is still damn tasty stuff though and is well worth seeking out.

Kegatron, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks Deuane for sharing this growler at akorsak's - poured chilled from the growler into a duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful sunny golden w/ mild haze big quick settling cream that creates streamers of lacing w/ a tight bead. This is what I picture in my mind when I think of spring/summer -beautiful IPA appearance

S - The nose has a grassy/sweet citrus and mild spiced fragrance. The hops give off a lemony and slight sour green grape aroma w/ hints of tropical fruit and floral odors. The nose has a nice mellow pineapple ester too.

M - A moderately bitter entry w/ mild astringency and moderate carbonation w/ resinous texture and building bitterness which lingers after the dry finish

T - This is exceptional in flavor - not just the hops, but the cohesion of yeast, malt hops all bring a jazzy, herbal and gently spiced flavor w/ a gental citrus peel essence. The rye malt gives a nice backdrop to the tropical fruit elements the Nelson Sauvin hops provide w/ mild white grapeskin and a light sweet grassy taste in the finish

D - A Great rye IPA, the hoppiness level is full and it is certainly high in its class for overall drinkability and is just an excellently crafted beer all around. The balance is very good and I would definitely consider this a great example of the style!

Slatetank, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of russpowell
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Errantnight for this one, cheers Derek!

Pours honey colored with 3 fingers of rocky ivory head. Sheets of lacing hug the glass & impressive head retention too

S: Pineyness, grapefruit & herbal hops

T: Piney & woody hops up front, then grapefruit a touch of biscuitty malt & some dryness. Juicy hops, grapefruit, apricot, & herbal hops all combine nicely as this warms, a long with a faint toffee sweetness/dryness, Finishes dry, spicy & citrussy, much lemons & grapefruit

MF: Creamy, semi-chewy & a touch juicy, superior balance

Great drinkability,, could stay on this all night, or until the well hidden ABV got me... Best beer by these guys I've had... Much to love here!

russpowell, May 01, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dave (d0b) for sharing this, and to JesseTheHutt for sending these growlers all the way to Chicago! Served in a pint glass.

A - Two fingers of off-white foam with solid retention and great rings of lacing. Hazed light golden orange color. I'd expect something a little darker from a 7% rye IPA, but otherwise it's pretty good looking stuff.

S - Dank, hoppy, with some tropical notes (but no citrus), and hint of cat pee. I'm glad they just fixed the listing, because this is not an APA. There is a decent amount of toffee malt presence and a very understated hint of rye.

T - More bready malt than toffee, with a rye flavor that slowly builds as the brew warms up. The hop notes are a little less complex with some nice floral and tropical flavors - however the added complexity from the rye balances this out. The aftertaste is pretty clean, with only mild bitterness.

M - This is my main sticking point with some of these Alpine brews - they're very thin. If this had really been an APA I wouldn't have minded so much (although, then the flavor would have been totally out of place), but for a 7% IPA to be a little watery is a little disappointing. Otherwise it's very smooth, soft, and refreshing, with mild carbonation and a fairly clean finish that has only a touch of residual hop resins.

D - The rye flavor builds up bit over a couple of pints, but otherwise this is nearly as drinkable as the incredible Duet. The light carbonation, terrific flavor, and lack of overwhelming bitterness makes this eminently session-worthy.

Alpine is slowly wresting away the IPA title from the other west coast breweries - it'll be interesting to see how Russian River, Ballast Point, and Alesmith respond.

MasterSki, May 03, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great Alpine thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: A nice fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and fades semi slowly over teh slightly heazy darker orange reddish brown and golden copper colored beer.

N: I could smell it literally from 3 feet away as I poured it, set it on the table next to me and sat back. Loaded with pine and citrus hops, tons of fresh musty wet hop resinous aromas. Lots of tropical fruit hops aromas, tangerine, some grapefruit, a slight aged hop sweet nougat aroma but still mostly fresh aroma. Almost no malt too.

T: Again bombards with hops. Very juicy hop flavors, citrus and pine dominate. Lots of fresh wet hop resinous piny flavors too. Lots more fruit too, tangerine again, little orange and grapefruit, juicy too. A slight fluffy sweet hop flavor too. A touch of a spicy hop addition too that accentuates the heavy bitterness. The musty wet hop is great. Very slight malt, and some sweetness too.

M: Medium body with decent but a little lower carbonation.

F: Still very bitter, with a slight sweet finish. Lots of juicy hops linger too, lots of musty resinous wet hops too, slightly astringent, looong bitterness, but tolerable. More citrus and pine, earthy and slightly chewy hops. Later burps bring back the tangerine and grapefruit flavors too. A slight grassy and even spicy hop comes through about a minute after the swallow. Very tasty beer., and you are right James, this was better than Pure Hoppiness.

jlindros, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a conic pint glass. Beer is yellow and has high haze. Thick white foamy head, tiny bubbles, high lacing, carbonation moderate. Not feeling the haze but otherwise it looks great.

Aroma is sweet sweet pine hops. Sweet.

Flavor is really complex. First impressions, pine, bitter, sweetness, like candy. There is so much going on. First, its really bitter, but there is no aftertaste. The beer is not dry at all, but its not overly wet. The hop flavor is dominated by a pine like flavor. There is some really nice sweetness at the front of the mouth, its really pleasing. There is an odd early flavor early right before the pine emerges. Its the only thing I can criticize about this beer. Its a little sulfury but its overwhelmed and masked quickly by the hop flavors.

Drinkability high. This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Its great. Lie cheat and steal to get this one, well don't do any of those things just go buy it (or trade for it like me).

drabmuh, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber with a finger of creamy off white head. Decent retention.

Smell: You can definitely tell they used Nelson hops. Juicy, citrus hop bitterness, hints of pineapple and grapefruit rind. There is some spice from the rye as well.

Taste: This is a really tasty IPA. So complex, but still really hoppy. The Nelson hops are so unique. Citrus peel and herbal notes with spice from the rye. Bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of light carbonation and a very slight dryness in the finish.

Overall: Super complex and very good. I would drink this all night long if I had more.

oline73, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Rifugium, May 09, 2014
Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fruity and drinkable IPA.

Really, really aromatic hops. It just reeks of hops that I wish other brewers would take note of. Waiting for the bitterness bomb to drop with so much hop aroma-- but it doesn't. Bitterness is quite pleasant and gives enough edge without overwhelming. Aroma reminds me of the Pittosporum trees that are blooming in the SoCal spring right now. I'm not so good at inventing fruit flavor metaphors but ithe unusual hop flavor does makes me think of overripe papaya, or really, canned peaches.

For me, being critical of silly-bitter IPAs, this one is very enjoyable while still indulging the hop receptors in the hippocampus or where ever beer scientists say they are.

mactrail, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -10.5%

mendvicdog, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

mdfb79, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

MarkyMOD, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

beernads, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours a yellow straw color with a white head. The main components of the aroma are rye and peaches with some other fruit as well, a very pleasant and different smelling beer. The flavor is rye, grapefruit and a little bit of bitterness. No real alcohol is detectable. A unique beer with a medium-thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Mora2000, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to sample a beer made with Nelson Savin since they first hit the market. Lightly hazy, it even has some floaties from the growler, the beer is a light, copper color and it is topped by a ring of wispy, light tan colored froth. The aroma is quite distinct, certainly hoppy, but not as I have ever smelled before. It is quite herbal, with a note reminiscent of garlic chives, some musky hemp notes, and an almost woody grass-like note that can be quite pronounced at times. There is a fruitiness from the hops too, and with all of the herbal focus, it is not too far of a stretch to say this is like Sauvignon Blanc. It even has a touch of cattiness to it as well as notes of unripe grapes, lime and even some grapefruit if you really dig for it.

Very weird flavors here; certainly quite distinct in its hop character. The hops contribute a definite catty note to the flavor that almost leans towards cat litter (though not nearly as bad as that sounds). Strongly herbal hop notes contribute flavors of pine tar, woody-rosemary, oil-laden hemp seed notes, basil and something that is quite, distinctly, reminiscent of a herbaceous flavor that I just can't quite put my finger on, but is so apparent that I can't figure out why I can't put a name to it. The beer is fairly light on the palate, and definitely is perceived as being quite dry. While the herbal notes seem to dominate, there are significant fruit-like flavors contributed by the hops as well; flavors of slightly acidic, under-ripe, green grapes, kefir lime leaf, star-fruit, and a tart citrus character mix in, and somewhat mitigate the herbal notes. As to the malt notes, well this is definitely an IPA, and they only play a supporting role here; just barely noticeable under all of the hop influence. The bitterness is not over the top here; it is at a nice, contributing level though and helps to clean up the finish.

This is certainly a fascinating hop, it is quite different from any other hop variety that I have direct experience with. Very interesting, and very tasty, I definitely could do with more of this beer. I have a feeling though that these flavors would get old if I encountered them at such levels on a more regular basis. The hop character (both the aroma & flavor) is so musky; it is makes me think of the essential oils of a mix of herbs. I am not sure if it quite works in the IPA format, but could definitely see using it in some of the lighter colored Belgian-styled beers. Definitely well worth it though, and I am still quite exited to use this hop in my own brewing.

Gueuzedude, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of kojevergas
3.81/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta Pilsner pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Alpine yesterday. Expectations are very high; I've had it before on-draft and loved it. I'm a huge Alpine fan.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I had this side by side with Alpine Duet for comparison.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, nice cream, pretty good hickness, okay lacing, and above average retention. Colour is a clear translucent vibrant pale yellow. It isn't much to look at, but I'm looking forward to trying it. No yeast particles are visible (not that they should be for the style). No bubble show.

Sm: Piney potent citrus ester hops. Some floral character. Hop oil. Very hop-laden, but the lack of bitterness in the aroma suggests good balance. Clean malts provide the foundation; I don't detect any rye. A rather strong aroma. I could smell it before I poured it (and my nose is broken). Much more piney and oily than the Duet.

T: Quite piney, with some citrusy and more minor floral impact. Light grapefruit citrus. Little bitterness - to its credit. The rye comes through a bit in the flavour, but the foundation still seems to be mainly pale malts. I suspect rye wasn't the primary grain used. It's well balanced in terms of both flavour and structure, but it's actually rather simple (at least in comparison to the Duet); the hop character is well layered but lacks true complexity. It has good depth of flavour, however. The finish is my favourite aspect due to its somewhat refreshing quality. It's a good IPA for what it is. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I'm impressed by the balance in particular.

Mf: More dry and coarse than I'd expect. I blame the rye, but it's nicely complemented by the refreshing feel of the pale malts. The roughness in the second act makes the smooth wet finish that much more refreshing. It could be more crisp, but it complements the flavour profile very well. Not as soft as Duet.

Dr: It's a very drinkable IPA and hides its above average ABV quite well. Would I get it again? Definitely, but preferably on-draught. This will please fans of the style and is more balanced than most IPAs. Rye was an interesting choice here. Another incredible IPA from Alpine.

Having had them side by side, I have to say the verdict is in: I prefer Duet.

A poor candidate for aging. Drink Fresh.

Drank fine out of a pilsner glass, but a conical pint glass is recommended.

Would pair well with spicey food or an aggressively dressed salad.

Probably best on-draught.

B+

kojevergas, May 07, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

oriolesfan4, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a vibrant yellow, with a full foamy white head which leaves generous lace.

S: Notes of rye, sweet malt, grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Rye is clearly evident with a spicy undercurrent which works well with almost herbal and at times and citrus notes of the hops. There's like a tropical fruit salad, orange, sweet wine, lemon, mango, very interesting.

M: Smooth, creamy, lots of carbonation, medium-bodied.

D: A nice beer from Alpine, a joy to drink, but I wasn't as blown away with it as I was with Duet, but a very good effort nonetheless.

Halcyondays, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -10.5%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

InspectorBob, May 20, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

drewone, May 27, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

I love Hop Rod Rye and generally like any rye IPAs so I was very excited to try this. Appearance is a translucent golden copper with a massive dense white head that slowly fades but never completely disappears and leaves sporadic sheets and streaks of lacing. Grapefruit, mango and mild pine hops dominate the aroma with some light caramel malt and rye balance, nicely balanced but not overly impressive. I really enjoy the flavor and balance of this beer. The front of the palate picks up grapefruit, citrus resin, pine, and mango. Moving back the palate the mild malt body is present with some slightly spicy rye. Mouthfeel is medium thick and smooth with fine, sharp carbonation that slowly asserts itself. Overall a very nice Rye IPA, not quite as bold as Hop Rod Rye, but definitely one of my favorite Alpine beers so far.

yourefragile, Apr 03, 2010
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,272 ratings.