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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

712 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 712
Hads: 3,456
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 1,392
Gots: 483 | 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 (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 712 | Hads: 3,456
Photo of HopHead84
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up by my buddy ArthurPendragon. Consumed on 10/11/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is transparent straw golden with a creamy one inch head. Retention is good and a little lacing is scattered.

The nose is floral with prominent bitter grapefruit and a little orange pith. Pine notes are evident, as well as grassiness and a touch of mint. Malt imparts a low level of sweetness and the rye contributes a decided spiciness. When it warms up this beer smells so damn good and light tropical notes are apparent.

The taste opens up with bitter grapefruit and strong rye character which lends spicy notes. Other citrus notes are of orange and a little pineapple. I get just a little pine in the flavor. The beer has a bit more sweetness than Alpine's other IPAs but it's fitting. Bitterness is at an upper medium level and alcohol is faint.

The beer is upper light bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. To be honest the bottle could have used a bit more carbonation, but maybe it's just me as I typically prefer higher carbonation on IPAs. This is a fantastic beer. As of now I prefer this beer on tap.

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

Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Murky looking yellow colour with some brown. Looks kinda like swamp water. Opaque. A lot of visible sediment. Half a finger of bubbly white head. Very strange colour for an IPA.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front with a caramel malt sweetness noticeable in the background. Some spiciness is present as well.

T - Grapefruit, spiciness, caramel. A good amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish. A good malt backbone adds some sweetness and becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink the beer.

M - Medium body, oily, chewy. Lightly carbonated.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice slighlty hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, HUGE thick creamy/foamy white head, with lots of thick creamy/foamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, citrusy, with some slight pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, malty, with some citrus/pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty IPA. Glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'brien's the other night.

The beer pours a light peach color with OK head retention, but very good sticky lacing. On the nose the beer is very citrusy and spicey. In fact, there's almost a speeramint aspect to the aroma that is intriguing. The flavors on the palate generaly replicate the nose, though there's not as much spice. In fact, the beer has a fairly light mouthfeel and is almost a bit watery. On the other hand, this beer is very drinkable, and it's really difficult for me to believe the abv. is over 7%.

I thought this a nice beer, but really nothing all that special. If I lived in the San Diego area, I doubt I would ever order this again, as there are just too many other delectable options to choose from around here.

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Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thins white head on a clear dark golden. Spotty lacing, good head retention.

Fresh bright hops. Tad of the rye.

Citrus noticed on nose isnt as prevalent on tongue. Rye spice on the back end but not overpowering in the least. Pretty easy drinkin, would guess around 6.5%abv

Good carbonation point, medium to medium thin mouthfeel.

Just a tinge different from most IPAs to set it apart. The rye aspect had me craving another sip repeatedly. Thanks kawilliams82!

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Photo of AlexFields
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy light golden apricot color with a big clean white head, very attractive.

Smells of big juicy tangerine/orange, spicy rye, some floral notes. Smells awesome.

Taste is similar, lots of rye spice, big juicy sweet citrus, has that unique spicy floral kick New Zealand hops seem to have. Great beer.

Super drinkable, partly because it just tastes awesome, also great carb level and great mouthfeel.

Love it!


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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a slightly hazy golden orange with good carbonation with a promising creamy like white cap, bubbles and moderate lacing. I did spot a little bit of hop oil sticking to the glass

S: Very nice and aromatic. A hefty dose of orchard citrus and tropical fruits; mainly pineapple, mango and orange zest with a light bread, slight pepper and even a touch of honey??

T: Flavorful indeed. The immediate thing I notice is balance. There is a nice breadiness to balance the truckload of hops poured into this. Initially my taste buds get a big passion and tropical fruit blend (kiwi, light pineapple, mango, white grape) with a little green characteristic. Like I would expect a liquid jungle to taste like. The finish is sweet, pretty dry and lighly bitter. Did I say pretty balanced?

M: Medium bodied, sweet, fruity and bready. The rye presents a bigger beer than what you would expect.

O: I can see why this beer is coveted. Also, rye is a love/hate and I seem to find it a difficult task to find one I routinely enjoy so I think mixing rye and Nelson hops together takes balls. Alpine has big balls. Well done but a tad but overrated and hyped. Yeah, i said it.

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

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler.

A: The IPA is a golden yellow color, radiant while retaining a hazy complexion. I don't have any notes on the head, so it wasn't that memorable. One of the palest rye beers I've seen.

S: Heaven in a glass. The Nelson Sauvin hops are lemony, sharp and and sweet. Surprisingly, they aren't overwhelming, allowing rye bread to share the stage. I can't spend enough time on the aroma, full and intoxicating. The hops are damn-near perfect.

T: The rye is most flavorful at the tail end of each sip, expressing a spicy bread flavor that is restrained. It's there but not in your face. Prior to the rye, the Nelson Sauvin hops run wild, all lemony citrus and herbal. Surprisingly, the hops aren't overdone in the ale. Rather than dominate, they create a moderate flavor burst that showcases then steps aside. That allows the nuance to be more fully enjoyed. Bitterness following the rye accentuates more herbal lemon. A great sipping ale.

M: Balance is the key to this IPA. The hops, while plenty flavorful, don't scorch the palate. The rye is a nice accompaniment.

D: A top notch IPA. The Nelson Sauvin hop should be used in more beers (wishful thinking). A stunning nose and solid body. More, many more, please.

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Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a recent box from BrewerB, thanks for hitting this Want Brian!

It pours a light tinged gold in color, light in body, with a one finger frothy white head. It smells of clean grapefruit, pineapple, light soap, with a light citrus finish. It's really nice. The flavors are a combination of clean piny hops, soap, light citrus, and it has a light yet bitter finish. Still very solid. It drinks very light and smooth and has nice flavors that're both appealing and easy to come back to. This is a very approachable IPA. I'd put this in the Blind Pig ballpark. It's a nice IPA and I'm glad I could try it.

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

App: Dark orange-gold and hazy, with a smallish, quickly settling head and lots of sticky lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Big, fresh aroma of grapefruit and grass with a subtle, spicy rye note underneath.

Taste: Follows the nose, vivid citrus hoppiness, fresh-cut grass and pine, the rye is buried in there, just peaking its head out in the finish. Booze is nowhere to be found. Subdued bitterness underneath it all carries into the aftertaste a bit. Modest sweetness with a very reserved underlying malt character.

Mf: Medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean, yet smooth and just a wee bit creamy. Long finish is spicy and bitter.

Overall: A truly phenomenal beer. Preferred it slightly on tap, with its lower carbonation and fuller mouthfeel, but you can’t lose with this one. As good as anything made in this style without a doubt. Had a hard time not guzzling this one down like a racehorse.

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Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber received in a recent trade courtesy of mbudner. Thanks again man!

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy white head with good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Dank oily hop aroma with lots of dry earthy pine needle along with some sweet citrus notes, rye and subtle malt character. It smells like there is some incredibly fresh hops with a good bit of sweet citrus peel and grapefruit but the dry piny scent dominates.

Very well balanced dry, sweet and bitter medium body that is slightly earthy with a lot of uber fresh juicy hops. Lots of dry earthy pine up front that is quickly balanced by a nice citrusy lemon peel/grapefruit character, sweet rye malt and graham crackery malt presence. I was hoping that the rye would be more pronounced but it was a bit subtle providing nice balance. The ABV is excellently masked resulting in a complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable IPA.

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Photo of beertunes
3.22/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The Alpine hype train finally hit Bellingham. Been looking forward for trying these SoCal legends for a long time. This one didn't push my buttons. Just a solid, good, enjoyable IPA, nothing less, nothing more.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pt 6 oz bottle on November 13, 2015. Best by 21 Mar 16 printed on bottle. Look is golden, two finger head and lingering lacing. Smell is grapefruit. Taste is white wine and fruit. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold in colour with a slight haze. It had a fine, bright white cap that stuck around until my pint was gone and there was lots of lace stuck to my glass. The aroma was intense with grapefruit and resin, nice for a West Coast IPA. It had a soft, citrus bitterness and grapefruit flavour throughout. There was some malt backbone that showed through towards the finish and a bit of rye spiciness as well. Quite refreshing. Just under medium bodied with smooth, fine carbonation. Light dryness, good texture. I liked the balance on this beer - solid IPA with a bit of rye that added depth to the hoppiness.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip a ways back, (from notes), I can't thank Rutager enough for the major want

A hazy golden yellow liquid with enough clarity to see a thick stream of bubbles floating up to a well sestained two finger foam that leaves a couple thick rings followed by big random patches

S massive tropical nose with pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit, mango, some purple candy, faintly catty, just a hint of bubblegum of all things, a tiny amount of soft caramel, spruce and pine round things out, just brilliant in this department

T heavy on the pine and spruce, a hint of spice but much of the tropical fruit flesh is replaced by rind, lemon mostly, still solid but a bit of a let down after the nose

M medium bodied, very gritty, has a sharp bitter bite, a little slick in the mouth, spice and lemon peel linger for ages

O one of the better smelling beers I can recall but it didn't follow through at that level in the mouth, I sound like I'm being hard on it though, I assure you its a great beer

I haven't had a beer in 3 months and needed a good welcome back and this one provided just that. Strange how much the nose and taste differ, this one came close to blowing me away but fell just a little short

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Photo of rudzud
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Received this extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy light orange hue with a thin half finger head that faded to leave a thin cloud and light halo. Do wish this had a bigger head/lacing.

S - Smell is incredible. Tangerine, pineapple, lightly floral. This is an incredible nose. Really top notch and exceptional on the nose. I want this as a candle.

T - Not quite as good as the nose, but still mighty tasty. Tropical notes of that tangerine and pineapple are still there just fainter. Some spicy notes too. Someone said rye so okay, I can see that. Lightly floral too with some well rounded malts. No bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, or at least thinner than what I was expecting. Very, very light on the carbonation.

O - Overall, this is a crazy aromatic with solid taste. Would like a better head and mouthfeel though. Bad bottle perhaps, dunno, but still amped to have tried it.

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

22 oz bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for sharing this one!

Pours a cloudy orange, some amber highlights, huge and fluffy white head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, nice layer, looks good.

Smell is neat, white wine/riesling grapes, some floral, pine, grapefruit, bread and wheat in the middle, a bit of caramel sweetness, rye spice, orange zest, really cool hop profile.

Taste is similar, grapefruit up front, riesling again, pine, light citrus, orange peel, some biscuity malt and honey, a touch of rye with a spicy bitter finish, well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Carbonation detracts from it a bit but still a pretty swell beer. I need to get me some of those Nelson Sauvins. Thanks Eric!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, hazy golden body. Thin and bubbly cap of ivory white froth. Lacing comes in sporadic thin rings. Aroma brings bright layers of pink grapefruit, lemon zest, MJ, apricot, tangerine, etc... This is one great smelling beer. This IPA has nice balance between bitter and flavor in regards to the hops. Neither overpowers the other. Bitterness is fairly clean and refreshing. Flavor brings a lot of citrus and a little pine too. Not quite as bright and juicy as the aroma led me to believe, but rather, a little rough around the edges, which isn't all bad in an IPA. All of the original suspects are still around to varying degrees....grapefruit, orange, lemon, etc.... This is an interesting IPA and an interesting hop for sure.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some more of these at the Provisions shop a few weeks ago. Glad I did, still had the amazing orange appearance and 1" head. Aroma was the funkiest Nelson aroma experience I've ever come across. A unique hop to say the least.

Taste, ever so drinkable, big funky hop almost tropical citrus thing going for it. Alcohol on the lips in nonexistant. Rye doesn't come out, must be a low % of the malt bill, which they keep low, allowing the hops to shine. Tons of Nelsons here, imparting an almost white wine like fee to the beer, very light, but heavy handed with the Nelson hop. You'll be tasting this one for awhile, and should be happy about it. Almost perfectly unbalanced.

EDIT: Scored more of this, damn, this beer is so funky fresh. Excellent, maybe my favorite IPA.

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

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Thanks to anacrime for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a hazed golden yellow color. Produced a great cap of white froth. Solid retention and plenty of lace left behind.

(S)- A nice burst of citrus up front: lemon, lime, grapefruit, and pineapple. Subtle pine behind the awesome citrus. Even has a light spicy zest in the far background.

(T)- Very nice. Similar to the smell. The same great burst of citrus, smooth and subtle caramel malt, and that same subtle zesty spice in the background.

(M)- A smooth/nice carbonation level. A great balance to it as well. Great citrus with a subtle balanced pine. Great malt balance too to make this quite harmonious.

(D)- Its been awhile since the IPA style has surprised or impressed me since the market is just flooded with them, but this one is quite excellent. A refreshing beer for a style that I have been bored with for awhile.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from mikey711, very much appreciated. The beer is lightly hazy, light orange color, dense foamy head. The smell isn't as unique as I expected from the Nelson Sauvins, but I guess the longer it lingered I noticed some nuances. Light citrus and pine, a little orange peel, and a very light touch of rye. These all came through in the taste, maybe not so much from the rye but still delicious. Very drinkable, the body was just right for an American IPA, perfect carbonation.

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

Aromas are initially citrus (grapefruit) and light pineapple and earthy hops, with an underlying bit of bready, spicy rye and a touch of caramel malt. There is also a nice white vinous characteristic on the nose; must be those special Nelson Sauvin hops.

The tastes initially begin full and malty with bready and caramel flavors, but quickly shifts to the pleasantly bitter grapefruit and light pine hops with lesser notes of earthy hops. The flavors round out with a spicy and drying rye malt which adds another layer of complexity. The Nelson Sauvin hops add that nice light white wine flavors with a nice gooseberry spice in there as well.

Mouthfeel is sticky and coating but not overly so, the perfect amount for the style. Great carbonation and glorious sticky white hops lacing as I examine my half empty glass.

Overall this is freakin' awesome, my favorite Rye IPA and top 2 overall Rye beers I have ever had (The Bruery Rugbrod being the other). Some breweries totally botch rye and add too much where it is unpleasant or too little, but this is spot on. Highly recommended; I'm going to have to ship more of this from the West Coast. Wow top notch indeed.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orange body with one finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma that is both citric and grapefruit hop infused along with some spices and possible touch of citric acidity and sourness (I assume the Nelson). Medium bodied, rather a more grape/tropical fruit like sweetness but balanced with both dry hoppiness and dry, bold malts (I assume this is the rye). A really enjoyable IPA that doesn't fit the norm and has a little bit of everything.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.