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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

717 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 717
Hads: 3,489
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,387
Gots: 494 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% 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 (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 717 | Hads: 3,489
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle. Pours golden with finger head, good retention. Taste is classic west coast grapefruit hops with outstanding light malt sweetness balance. Finishes with a touch of peppery rye. Medium to thick mouthfeel, way soft and slippery. This brew is friggin delish, hoping bottles show up here eventually now that Alpine is under Green Flash.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
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...


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Photo of oregonskibum
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a bright, light golden yellow. Pours with compact, bright white one-inch head. Substantial lacing as the head slowly disippates.

S: Hops smells are apparent even when pouring into the glass. Floral and tropical (mango) hops really dominate the smell. Smells clean and refreshing.

T: Like the smell, the hops really show up nicely. Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, maybe apricot) with some floral and citrus notes. Mid taste, the rye flavors starts to show itself, although it's fairly mild. Just some slight spiciness and grain biscuity flavors. Finish is just a little bitter, but not in a bad way. The fruity hops help pull this beer through to the finish.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Finish is dry.

D: Excellent. This is a very nice, easy drinking beer. The hops are big, but not aggressive or in your face. The rye is perfectly balanced and gives the beer a little body and spiciness without making it too big. Will definitely track this one down again.

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Photo of snpub540
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Delicate lacing is left on the glass. Pale copper hue, slightly cloudy.

Aroma is grapefruit and citrus mostly with a nice hint of the rye in the back. Smells very clean.

Taste is a nice bitter, citrus symphony of hop deliciousness. Super smooth with a nice malt backbone and a crisp hop profile. No complaints whatsoever here on flavor.

Drinkability is great. No alcohol harshness or extreme tongue buckling bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that is enhanced by the incredibly smooth taste. An almost perfect double IPA.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by Pehlman...thanks! Poured from a growler into an Alpine Pint glass.

A: Golden in color with a formidable head that dissipated slightly with each gulp. Tried reviving it a few times, but to avail. On the other hand, the lacing...as Tyler put so gently...was "bitchin!".

S: A lot of that musky and wheaty rye smell backed up with a very robust hop backing. Hard to describe, especially since this was my first RPA. I almost pick up some sort of citrus or apricot flavor, but I'm not sure. Basically...incredible!

T: An extremely complex flavor profile that includes a very distinct grain-like taste with leafy and piney hop character. These flavors jell together very well, making this dangerously drinkable beer with a mild bitter finish. Words can't describe the harmony this beer exhibits between being a session beer and an in your face flavor fest. Maybe not the flavor, but the complexity reminds me a lot of Sculpin.

M: Highly carbonated with a nice medium to full body feel.

D: One of the most drinkable beers I've had to date. Extremely flavorful and mild at the same time. Even my dad liked it...and he never likes beer.

Overall: A must try. Perhaps Alpine's finest beer and something that should be treasured by all beer lovers. Cheers!

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Photo of Klym
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had had Nelson and Duet back when I was first getting into craft beer. I remembered liking both but thinking I liked duet a little more, and since that time that was about all I could remember about Nelson: that I liked duet slightly more. Having Nelson again has been a real treat, and I realize that you might not be able to compare the two as both are wonderful beers with quite distinct characters.

A: Such a crisp clear gold, only a little darker and hazier than your beer-commercial lager. A few bubbles spritzing up out of the body of the beer with a medium head sitting on top.

S: I sometimes forget to close my eyes when I smell a beer but this one really makes me close them. Something about the smell is enchanting in the way that say trees or fresh grass is. Like two vines of piney hoppiness and citrus juice and rhine are braided together. Smell is very uniform but brings to mind many things. Tons of forest and tons of orchard in this one.

T: The taste starts off a little dull when it hits the tongue, intensifies, peaks, then backs down into a simmering tingle. Basically the taste is the same character as the tongue with a touch of grain and bread, and with maybe more pine in the peaking bite and more juicy citrus as the taste backs down, breaking apart the alliance of the tastes more than one would suspect in the nose. The taste is so crisp and fresh while simultaneously being relaxed and smooth. Like a classic alpine IPA, this beer is refreshing and invigorating in such a natural and inspired way. Both Duet and Nelson make me actually *feel* good in a way that I haven't really encountered in other beers.

M: Almost all of the truly great IPAs I've had always confounded me when it came time to speak of their mouthfeel and taste separately, as they're always in so much harmony. The carbonation is lively and does its thing without reminding you that its there, and the body of this beer is a bizarrely light feeling upper medium. Runs in the mouth with an oily slickness and the bite hits all parts of the mouth but peaks and lingers on the roof of the mouth. Such a fascinating mouthfeel that one could spend many bottles dissecting.

O: There's just no excuse for not trying this beer if you like IPAs. I've been somewhat spoiled and had the chance to try quite a few at this point, and some of the hailed greats, but Nelson easily takes its position among the best of the best. Every time I try to criticize this beer I feel the heaviness of contriving faults. Get it, try it, and then get some more.

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Photo of t420o
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of oggg
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Liars Club

This brew is a terribly hazy deep yellow hue with a white wispy head. The aroma of peaches, lychee, flowers is unmistakable. On the tongue it is juicy, with loads of hop flavor -- the intensity of which almost rivals a spicy saison! The bitterness level is mild to moderate -- it won't twist your tongue like Wipeout IPA for example. The rye is barely spicy, very mild, but contributes a lot to the middle. Smooth and ridiculously thirst quenching. The abv tastes like 3%! Light to medium bodied.

Overall: oh gawd, I must learn to brew this... a brilliant (rye) APA, and another brilliant beer for Alpine

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Photo of hu5om
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thanks again to enelson for the nelson. perfect.
split with newk340
a- orange golden amber, white fluffy foam subsides to a white ring that leaves excellent lacing
s- orange citrus, bitter, white grapes, tropical fruit, nectarine?, very strong, with a rye spiciness
t- crazy, rye spicy, whie wine smoothness, very bready rye spice, light citrus. fairly piney also. mind=blown
m-amazingly smooth. i'm so overcome by the taste, that mouthfeel is a bit under the radar. very dry finish, champagne like.
d-i'm blown away. these hops need to be utilized more often. this was friggin great. up there with pte as a close second best ipa i've ever had. excellent. screw high life, this is the champagne of beers.

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Photo of IKR
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light Amber color with a modest-sized white head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Primarily Piney hop aromas with some citrus fruits thrown in.

Taste:The pine aromas carry over to the taste, but I also get some grape-like and citrus notes. The rye adds a bit of spicy notes. I can't really pick up the malts in the taste. The finish ends with the grape notes, a bit of rye spiciness and mild citrus notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: IPAs aren't really my thing but this is a good beer.

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Photo of hawks10
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into my Southern Tier tulip...

Pours a golden straw yellow, lighter hue than expected, somewhat hazy. Two fingers of fluffy bright white head forms and leaves some nice chunks of lacing at the top of the glass...

Beautiful floral hop aroma, piny and resinous. Sweet and citric, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple with some sour green apple as well. Little to no malt presence, just a wonderfully sweet and earthy hop presence...

Earthy bitterness at first gives way to a load of sweet and fruity hops. Citrus peel and even some grape? A sweeter malty presence shows up adding some nice balance and depth...uniquely sweet IPA, very tasty and complex...

Medium bodied and somewhat chewy, sticky hop resin, oily and somewhat slick. Good carbonation gives a nice tingle with a bit of alcohol warmth...

Really enjoyed this beer, tasted it along with Pliny and Sculpin, and this one was my top of the three. Definitely would like to have this one again in the future...

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great foamage/lacing. Light yellow.

Outstanding smell, peaches, bitter light hops.

PEACHES, orange, bread, hops are mellow and smooth.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Never had an IPA like this. Light carbonation. Bitter/dry.

Great little IPA, taste is very fruit forward. My first beer from Alpine, I can see why they're so highly regarded.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hair6a11 hooked it up. Huge score, really appreciate this one. Bomber poured into snifter.

Appearance: Copper/burnt orange. Frothy stubborn finger n a half head. Lacing is noteworthy. Very impressive.

Nose: Dry, citric, and sweet. Reminds me of an Jimmy Russell Old Fashion. Wet hop notes.

Taste: The rye is fantastic. It gives great support to the bitter hop.
Mouth: Chalk rye dryness. Really great. Carbonation was spot on and as the beer warmed up brought some great chew.

Drink and overall: Great beer. It really is. Can't argue there. Good hop character, complex body. Awesome.

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Photo of gregshead
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

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Photo of mookihouse
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light golden hazy yellow with a thin head that lasts till the last sip.

Smell is incredible.  I can't recall another IPA with such alluring floral and tropical fruit smells.

Taste of pineapple, citrus, a little fresh cut grass.  Hop is there but no lasting bitter after taste.

Had this many times both on-tap and from bottles.  Bottle in this review is about 30-days old but pretty much as good as fresh.

I prefer Nelson over Pliny most days.

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Photo of mschantz
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Craft and Commerce in SD. Pours a bright, yet hazy, straw color with 1/2 inch of fine bubbled head that stood up well into the beer. Nose is dominated by slightly tart citrus notes and pine with biscuity malt backing. The taste is more malt than the nose would lead one to believe but the balance was beautiful as the tart citrus flavor was wonderful. Creamy mouth feel. Love this beer - the hype is well deserved.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bomber poured into a snifter. Thanks to LieutenantSour for hooking me up with this one.

(A) Pours a clean, golden, almost light copper color. Some burnt orange hues around the edges of the glass. Not much of a head as it diminishes extremely quickly. Leaves lacing.

(S) Pine, grapefruit, hops, and honey all greet the nose immediately. Light malts, sugars, and some other citrus notes such as orange and lemon peel follow.

(T) Different. It's a great mix of a golden ale and an IPA. The hops aren't as in your face as they are in the nose. There is a lot more of the sweet, light caramel malts at first, followed by some honey, and then you get the hops more in the middle of the taste.

(M) Kind of has a bit of a grain to it, but finishes smooth and crisp. The bittering lingers for a bit. A solid medium body.

(O) Solid golden IPA. Has a good amount of flavor that is well balanced in sweetness and bitterness. Has a cooling crispness about it that is quite refreshing. It's not like a lot of IPAs that I've had in the past few months.

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Photo of berkey
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Very hazy orange amber in color topped by a fairly sturdy slighty off white head.

Aroma has a nice spicy character to it but I'm not sure if it's coming from the malted rye or from the hop profile since I'm not familiar with the Nelson Sauvin hops. Also some great floral and pine notes here along with a dry pungent bitterness.

Still spicy on the palate, I'm sure now it's coming from the rye more than from the hops. Quite a bit fruitier in flavor than what I got from the aroma with citrus and a healthy dose of tropical fruit which is rounded out with a mouth drying bitter hop aftertaste.

Delicate but active carbonation and pleasant dry finish contribute to an excellent feel.

Another great hoppy ale from Alpine. The rye adds a nice element to it as does the unique choice in hops. Not a mouth blistering hop bomb but definitely complex and very enjoyable.

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Photo of MikeM417
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nelson Sauvin is one of my favorite hops, as you can tel by my avatar. I was looking forward to trying Alpine Nelson for quite some time. I finally got a couple of fresh bottles in a trade and I have to say, I was a bit let down. It must be that I am spoiled living here in New England, but it does not stack up to the heavy hitters over here. 5 years ago this was considered world class. Today, not so much.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - One of the most beautiful IPA's I've ever had the pleasure of pouring... Glowing golden in color with a medium amount of white head and lacing that sticks as you drink.
Smell - Pine, rye, and bitter hops, citrus.
Taste - Amazing. The rye is not overwhelming and is in pretty even balance with the hops... they combine to deliver a delicious, citrusy flavor with plenty of bite. Pretty intense for 7%abv
Feel - Smooth and bubbly
Overall - One of the best IPA's around

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Photo of natelocc787
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2 of these scores where close to achieving a half point increase but I couldn't quite do it. While I loved this beer it was lacking that "I deserve to be considered with the greats" factor. The rye is a great addition to this and really shows itself adding another dimension to an already good example. A well crafted IPA with rye, done just right-what's not to like? Bright, vibrant orange citrus fruits with a bitter backing in the nose and more in the taste blended with rye. I like this nelson hop variety. Mouthfeel was not crisp or creamy but somewhere in between. Search out all Alpine IPA's there's a reason 3 of them (including this one) are ranked in the top 100.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy copper gold. Attractive beer, but minimal head and lacing.

Smell is unlike any other beer I've had, likely the Nelson hops. Somewhat floral, a bit spicy, and something else I can't put my finger on.

Tastes follows the nose closely but slightly muted.

Mouthfeel is slick with tight carbonation.

Overall a fantastic beer I hope to get to enjoy again in the future.

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Photo of gameface23
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 717 ratings.