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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
NelsonNelson

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

642 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 642
Hads: 3,114
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 1,413
Gots: 391 | 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
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Reviews: 642 | Hads: 3,114
Photo of nc41
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I drink is IPA's, and it's been a long time since I had a mind blowing one, and I've tried a lot of the great name CA brews. This one is beyond sensational, the nose is fruity, not quite as sharp as grapefruit, and the taste follows. Fruity, kinds peachy, a little sharp like sucking on the peach pit, is the best I can relate to. You think this would be a typical CA IPA, but it's not... it's so much better. Definitely not sweet, well balanced, but still very bold, a little xtra malt, drinks like a DIPA. . Must be the different hops is all I can add. As good an IPA as I've ever had, and I have tried most of the higher rated ones. You have to give this one a try, i can't believe it hasn't had it's own thread yet. (723 characters)

Photo of rmalinowski4
3.09/5  rDev -29.3%
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. (1,099 characters)

Photo of brian44556
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Bell's pint glass. Curiosity of Sixofsigmas. No dating on the bottle.

Pours a bright yellowish, orange, with an amazing thick, bright white 2 finger head. As the head pulls back into the beer a thick ring of lace is left all over the sides of the glass. Smell notes of piney hops, tropical fruits, and a slight hint of malt. A mellow bitterness from the hops jumps out with each drink and is well balanced with a crisp malt flavor profile. A great piney linger is left on the pallet with each drink that makes you want to hurry back for more. This beer is an easy drinker with a great finish. Carbonation is spot on. This is a great example of how an IPA should be brewed. Every Alpine offering I have had the pleasure of drinking has left me disappointed because I don't know when I'll be able to drink my next. Great brew Alpine! (861 characters)

Photo of raoulduke37
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pretty golden pilsener color, with a steady stream of carbonation rising into an off-white 1/2 cm head. Nice lacing around the glass.

Smell - Wonderful citrusy hop aroma, full of grapefruit and pine. Very aromatic malt profile backing this up, blending all the great scents together.

Taste - Very well-balanced IPA, but I fail to pick up that "something special" from the rye. Hop flavor is restrained as the malt takes over from the start. Nice not to be punched in the face by hops, for a change, but the problem is nothing really stands out too well, here. The best that can be said about this is that it's balanced very well.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Average mouthfeel, not too carbonated. Finishes pretty dry, with a nice caress on the tongue. The flavor would probably be enhanced on-tap, but otherwise, there are many other IPA's that I'd seek out before this one. Nothing wrong with it at all, well balanced, but nothing spectacular. (961 characters)

Photo of Zonk
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden in color with just a bit of haze. Nice crisp floral notes to nose, maybe some grapefruit. Has a bit of spice to it, someone mentioned white pepper which I think is spot on. Mouthfee is crisp and so dry it feels almost powdery on the tounge. (255 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
2.42/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a blind tasting that included Nelson, Duet, and Pure Hoppiness. Nelson was my least favorite and Pure Hoppiness was my favorite.

A - Nelson is a nice looking IPA - hazy brown, one finger head with excellent retention, and some nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot of smell here. Just some mellow pine. No citrus or malts. Not as painfully piney as Duet, but also a whole lot less exciting.

T - Similar to the smell. In my opinion, this one is pretty weak and bland. The hop profile is very mild. Some malts show up in the finish, but without a piney or citrus hop kick, this one is clearly lacking.

M - Similar to Duet, the mouthfeel is so-so. Pretty thin.

D - I guess this beer is drinkable because it is so thin. But really, it just lacks so much flavor that I can't see myself wanting much more.

After having such high expectations for Alpine, I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed by this beer and Duet. Luckily, Pure Hoppiness was outstanding. (972 characters)

Photo of surfer4life
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Toronado SD

A - Pours a light copper with a decent white fluffy head, much lacing.

S - Smells like I'm walking through rows of hops, not pungnet though. Delightful. I can tell this has amazing balance because the malt is complimenting the hops so well. In for a treat here.

T - WOW! What an amazing beer, this is unlike any IPA I have ever had. Nice malty sweetness complimenting the very unique hop flavor. I get a lot of citrus, but not as much of the lemon/grapefruit zest I am used to, this is way less aggresive.

M - Medium bodied with perfect carbonation level. The creaminess is heaven to the pallet.

D - This is extremely drinkable, so smooth and well rounded and at 7%, it's ok to have more than one. Great beer. (747 characters)

Photo of Popkas
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another round of thanks goes out to tpd975 for this one!

A: Nice cloudy gold with a mountain of head - talking 2.5-3 fingers. Took some time for this one to settle.

S: Rush of citrus (pineapple and a little grapefruit?) up front with a hint of hoppiness at the end.

T: Tame upfront but follows through with a taste much the same as the smell.

M: Nice feel with plenty of carbonation.

D: I could see drinking several of these! (430 characters)

Photo of imagese
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to perfect pint glass

A- hazy light gold with the slightest billowy head that hangs around the edges and laces the whole glass nicely

S- huge sweet grapefruit slam with a slight pepper back end. Not much malt profile at all

T- super spicy grapefruit awesomeness!!! Very earthy and sweet. Pepper lingers with hop bitterness

M- very full and pleasant. The carbonation is close to being too much, but the thickness of the beer works with it

D- this is a big IPA. Bigger than a lot of DIPA's out there. If you like super hop forward beers, than this is an awesome beer to sit down and enjoy!!!

This is the first time I've had this from a bottle. Have had on tap several times, and don't remember being this impressed... (740 characters)

Photo of aglose45
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stawn for this one! This is my first experience with Nelson Sauvin hops!

A: Pours a darker colored straw that is nice and hazy. The head is white, frothy and delicious looking, and just sits there on top of the beer, not wanting to recede one bit. There is a thick layer of lacing left all over the walls of my nonic pint glass.

S: The nose is full of sweet tropical fruit. The first fruit that comes to mind is passionfruit. There is also a strong pineapple smell to this beer. Once you see through the hops there is a minimal sour scent from the rye grain used in this beer. This beer smells phenominal, and is easily one of the best smelling IPAs that I have ever had!

T: The taste is almost as pungent as the nose; tropical fruit city! Just like in the nose I get passionfruit and pineapple flavors from the hops. As the beer warms I detect a bit of grapefruit. There is a pleasant level of bitterness in this beer; moderate to high. Next, I detect the rye grain used in this beer. The rye seems to balance out the tropical hop assault and adds a pleasant spicyness to the beer. The hops and rye live in perfect harmony in this beer.

M: More of a medium bodied beer, with decent carbonation and a great amount of hop resin left behind.

D: This is a truely delightful beer, and I wish it made it's way to me more often. I guess I'll have to get to some more trading! (1,384 characters)

Photo of drink1121
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mauerhan for this as an extra in a trade.

A- Hazy straw color with a huge head, too big - however, great retention.

S- Very hoppy... pineapple, grapefruit, everything a west-coast IPA should be plus.

T- Similiar to the smell, however a little more spicy. Not too balanced, but this is how I like it.

M - Slight bitterness at the end. Not too watery, not too thick.

D - A lot of hops to drink too too many, but the one I am having is going down just fine. (470 characters)

Photo of mbudner
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

A- Very interesting how much the color varies from the thinner part of the glass to the part that bubbles out. Very light, apple juice-like, faint golden color to a darker orange (huge gradient variance.) The head is that white, frothy, yet bubbly head that looks like the most comfortable and delicious pillow in the world. The closest thing I can equate the head to is Pliny the elder.

S- Flowers, bubble gum, orange, sweet lemon, bitter spice from the rye. So much going on the in the aroma. It is really just perfect. Bready malts.

T- Mildly citrusy and heavily floral hop profile. I also get a little bit of the bubblegum from the aroma (the taste is of juicy fruit.) Slight piney-ness in the bitter finish. The finish is nice and bready. Ever so slight spicy flavor from the rye really differentiates this (among other things) from some of the other great IPAs out there, very unique.

M- Slightly (very slightly) under-carbonated. Nice slick, oily hop feel with a great amount of body.

D- Really amazing. I could drink this all day and all night. It smells like something I could only dream of an IPA smelling like Deceptively drinkable for 7.1%abv, but if it was 2% I would still want it all night (same if it was 20%.) This is simply a really phenomenal IPA. (1,332 characters)

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

I've been lucky enough to have this beer a few occasions, so I felt that it was time to review.

Pours out with a nice honey color, with the aroma of hops and citrus being noticed immediately. Gives a nice two finger head that sticks around for while before an appearance of descending. Hops are at the forefront, quickly followed by citrus, giving it a very satisfying grapefruit taste. Nelson leaves a nice extended stay tingle in the mouth, a very welcome guest.

Overall, this is a most excellent example of a double IPA done right. Unfortunately for me, its not readily available in my area, so feel blessed if it sits on your beer station's shelves. (655 characters)

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

A - Hazy, light pale/straw with 2" of white head. Great retention (like a half inch of fluffy white snow) and great lacing.

S - Incredible. A fruit punch of gooseberry, lemon, sweet orange, pineapple, mango, guava, white grapes.

T - Tropical fruits, lemon, sauvignon blanc, wildflower honey.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, layers of flavor hit you all over your tongue. Dry but never bitter in the finish.

O - So different then the typical "west coast IPA" and so welcomed. I could drink this all day. (511 characters)

Photo of ALBuff
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't floored at first look (depth of color underwhelming), but this beer had a great nose and nice silky texture. I marked it down for having a bitterness that lingered slightly too long on my tongue, but otherwise this was my favorite IPA tasted at Alpine (Nelson, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, 1910). (298 characters)

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours slightly cloudy, pale orange/yellow (tangerine) with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly leaving bubbly white lacing.
S: Some citrus/grapefruit with bright tangy/floral hop notes and big elements of white grapes. Slightly musty, some resin, tang.
T: Lots of white grape, some must, florals and subtle citrus notes, vinous tannin and tree fruits - nectarine/tangelo. Definitively hopped without any lingering bitterness or vegetal notes. Caramel backbone with slight hints of spice/rye; medium body that finishes slightly dry but well rounded.
O: Great showcase of Nelson Sauvin hops, bright and full of flavor. (631 characters)

Photo of turfy
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (631 characters)

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

Thanks to Brandon for this one.

A: Clear golden orange appearance

S: Great hop character. Grapefruit, lemon and orange aromas all hit my nose.

T: This IPA is just fantastic. The Rye is a really nice touch. After drinking this I'm a full on believer in Nelson Sauvin hops. Great Grapefruit notes just like in the nose.

M: Medium bodied with a cream texture.

O: Really complex and really drinkable. This is a really unique beer that I am really grateful for having the chance to try. (486 characters)

Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So often these over hyped beers end up being a let down...not this one. This may very well be the best single IPA I've ever had. Nelson is at the forefront of this brew. It is incredibly smooth and balanced. Very easy drinking with its light body. Smell is fantastic. Color is a nice golden hue. Fantastic beer. (311 characters)

Photo of StrongAleSkeptic
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle fresh from brewery.
A - Pours a slightly unfiltered pale yellow with a thick foaming head with great retention. Decent pair of legs to stand on.
S - Rich, pungent, piny hops with an intense floral bouquet permeate the nose. Grain is represented by a nice biscuit overtone. Dry-hopping success! The New Zealand hop schedule is represented very well.
T - Delicious hop-forward presence that seems to be balanced by a nice, simple grain bill. Some citrus notes with contributions of grapefruit and lemon.
M - Textured, medium-bodied standard that is extremely quaffable. Bold but sessionable.
O - Alpine brewing is definitely one of the gems of San Diego county that unfortunately live in the shadows of the larger scale operations. This is a phenomenal IPA that I believe easily contends with the bigger So-Cal IPA's. Wonderful stuff. (853 characters)

Photo of slentz
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brett for this bottle in our recent trade. Served at 50 degrees. Split into two tulips.

A: Easy pour leads to about a fingers worth of nice white head. Really nice lacing here with a couple floaties but seems like that is just the yeast. Nice golden straw color...looks really nice. 4.5

S: Smell is awesome. Really nice hops and fresh fruit, little bit of grass but lots and lots of grapefruit and citrus. This beer smells super delicious. 5.0

T: Really enjoying this beer, tastes awesome. Lots of super fresh hops with really nice bitterness. Just the perfect amount of sweetness. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is very nice carbonation is spot on and this beer leaves a really nice hop resin throughout. 4.5

O: Overall I really really like this beer. Tons of super fresh hops and great smell. Alpine hit a home run with this beer. Really glad I got to try this one and will be looking for more at any chance. 4.5 (915 characters)

Photo of Keyportnick
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear golden. Minimal head

S- peachy, grassy, guava , lemon grass

T-malty bread. Peach,earthy grass, guava.

M- medium-full body really smooth

O- delicious ipa, wish it was more widely distro'd. Hope they don't go to coldspring though...this was a quick drinking review. (276 characters)

Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/21/11, no bottle date. Tulip glass.

A- Light very pale tangerine, almost yellow beer poured with about 2" of fine bubbled head. Eventually the head settled to a thin pad that stayed around until the end providing a bit of blobby lacing.

S- Strong tropical fruit and definitely some white winey grape notes like the bottle suggests. A lighter hint of grapefruit citrus in the background. After it warmed up a I noticed a burnt plastic smell that I eventually realized was probably the rye.

T- Tropical fruit notes again upfront followed by that nice hop bitterness. A touch of the malt backbone is present as well. Kind of watery, but has a nice finish. The burnt plastic/rye note showed up faintly here as well when it warmed up a bit.

M- Light body, lightly carbonated. Sort of watery again.

O- The first time I noticed the funky plastic smell and taste it was so faint I wasn't even put off enough to stop drinking. After a few more sips I did realize it was rye, but I still couldn't shake the association. Even so this was a really nice IPA even if it was a tad light in body. (1,096 characters)

Photo of CrookedStill
4.59/5  rDev +5%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another share with Brez07, another borrowing of review.

A: Slightly cloudy brownish orange. 1 finger fluffy white head upon initial pour. Decent lined lacing

S: Grapefruit. Pure, unadulterated grapefruit. A little bit of bready rye comes out as well. After allowing it to open, the grapefruit begins to fade and you get more rye

T: Grapefruit, but not as prevalent as the nose. Other citrus flavors, including orange and mango. Weird, but it almost tastes a little watered down. Just a little bit of hop bitterness

M: Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation, so overall a smooth beer. Light pine bitter aftertaste

D: When first cracked open, it smelled amazing. While it didn't live up to my lofty initial expectations, it was definitely a solid IPA. I would drink this beer often if it was available in my area. [Grapefruit reminded me at first of fresh Finestkind, but then I got more of the juicy fruit character you get from Nelson Sauvin . Rye also added a little something extra to set it apart from most other IPA's.] (1,024 characters)

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.