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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

658 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 658
Hads: 3,224
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 1,416
Gots: 416 | FT: 18
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: 658 | Hads: 3,224
Photo of GradyS1
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a light golden color with a one finger head, the color is almost a light yellowish green
S-light hops, small malts, almost a smell of fresh cut grass, smells fresh
T- Very nice, an awsome balance of hops and rye the mix perfectly
M- Nice carbonation and a slight sweetness
D- Great beer, I could have glass after glass of these

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Photo of T100Mark
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Local Peasant, in Woodland Hills, CA. Poured into a smaller than usual Nonic glass.

Appearance - Bright yellowish orange color (odd for an IPA). Cloudy. Big, fine head that settles down but never entirely goes away. Good stickage. A very handsome ale.

Smell - Fresh cut grass. Citrus rind.

Taste - A hop forward beer to be sure. The initial flavor is that of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (the beer almost tastes like a Greyhound). The ale also has a very herbal taste. The hops are prominent but only slightly bitter. A touch spicy. There is just enough malt to keeps things in check. Tasty.

Mouth - Slightly slick. A little oily. Good.

Overall - This beer reminded me, a little, of Deschutes Fresh Squeezed (similar citrus hop flavor). The Deschutes beer is superior, however, because it possesses more of a toasty malt flavor to balance out the hops. Also, I assumed that this beer would have a sweet malty English taste due to the name (Lord Nelson?). The beer has neither the color nor the malt foundation of an English bitter/pale ale. For these reasons, this is a good beer but not a great beer.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THIS is probably my favorite beer right now. Just absolutely perfect, and a DIPAs aren't my cup of tea these days...

A-Looks just like an old school unfiltered Hefe from Germany....brilliant hazed gold with plump, sticky white head that never goes way....

S-Pear, mango, spice, zest, citrus this, citrus that, all sorts of sweet amazing malt and hop bukakki all over the place man! Such an awesome nose.

T- As if smelling it wasn't enough, what a great mass of fruit and sauvignon blanc with a nice dabble of bitterness in the end. I wanted to give this aspect a 5.0 but it seems like it drops off pretty sharpish after taking a swig.

M- Creamy and elegant....this CAN'T be a double IPA, right? too smooth and refind. Such a concentration of tropic madness going down. Their choice of rye definitely does it justice and gives it just a tinge of amber in the deepest realms of the appearance.

D-Wish this beer had a little longer finish. Crazy smooth for 7%, and has a lush sexy body to it....MMMM..

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours a pretty somewhat murky gold with silky/silvery white head

nose- what a nose. fresh grapefruit, earthy rye spice/ white pepper, buttery bread

taste- starts with floral and sweet grapefruit and tangerine and a dash of tropical fruit, turns crisp and deliciously dry as with rye- like white-peppery buttered rye toast, with a dash of lemon lingering throughout it. finish is fruity and a bit biscuity

feel- crisp, clean, hoppy, light-medium bodied, buttery, spicy

i love this beer! A fantastic IPA, and probably the best rye beer I've had. Darn near perfect

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Photo of hayesez
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Alpine brew received as an extra from Kaiser81. The Duet and the Pure Hoppiness have both been exceptional, and I can't wait to give the Nelson a shot. Split with Ridgley and K-Rho and poured into my Portsmouth snifter.

A light golden-yellow colored beer with a slightly gray dense foamy head. Quite a few tiny bubbles rise around the floaties suspended in this brew. The recession of the cap is leaving an impressive lace on the inside of my glass. This continues all the way down the top 2/3 of my snifter, as I slowly put this one away.

I had a bit of trouble placing all of the smells in this beer. It is a bit fruity and grassy as one might expect. But there is something else in there as well. This is going to be out there, but the aroma that comes to mind is new car tires. Kind of a rubberish smell. Mixed in there is a bit if grapefruit and a hint of pineapple. Weird. Can't say I've smelled anything quite like this one.

Fortunately, the Nelson doesn't taste like new car tires smell. The fruits are more pronounced - grapefruit, pineapple, and perhaps a bit of orange. Not sure I know exactly what the rye is supposed to taste like...this is definitely different than others I've had, but I can't necessarily attribute it to the rye. The taste is dulled down a bit from the nose, but definitely better. Again, a bit thinner than I would like, but still has a small element of creaminess.

I guess I'll place this as my least favorite of the three Alpine beers I've had (Duet, Nelson, and Pure Hoppiness). Still a fine brew, and one I would never pass up, but the smell just didn't quite do it.

Consumed: 8/5/2010

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Photo of kinopio
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

Very little head. The color of the beer reminds me of a an unripe tangerine.

The smell is the best part of this beer. Its amazing. I spend more time smelling the beer than tasting it. A nice balance of floral and citrus notes. A bit of hay and alcohol.

Taste almost rivals the smell. Tons of orange. The juicyness, lack of carbonation and drinkability make me wanna chug this beer despite the 7% abv.

An elite IPA that needs to be smelled to be believed. Duet and Pure Hoppiness are solid IPAs from Alpine; Nelson is a step above.

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Photo of tjfinkle
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Straw yellow, lots of carbonation, several fingers of white fluffy head

Smell - The fruity nelson hops are the most obvious smell right away, some other subtle smells such as pine are also apparent

Taste - Very hoppy with some fruity notes, and lightly bitter aftertaste

Mouth- Bitter, very noticeable carbonation, but not too much for a beer of this style

Drink- Very good well balanced golden IPA, would definitely recommend

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Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of awalk1227
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/25/10 Sent by Rock4sc96 thanks Chris!

Poured into an Alchemist Brewery pint glass.
I've been extremely excited to try this beer; not only have I heard good things about the Nelson Sauvin hops, but I have sought out Alpine's highly regarded IPAs for some time.

A: Pours a hazy sunshine yellow with a thick white head. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a white collar.

S: Perfect, perfect, perfect! Oh lord, I could smell this beer as I was pouring it. I can smell it right now, as it sits to my left while I type this. HUGE aromatic hops, citrus, tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, delicious.

T: Oh lord, this has RYE in it too? One of my favorite beers is Terrapin's Rye Pale ale, along with Founders Red Rye and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. I love hoppy Rye IPAs, and this is now up in the big leagues with them. Delicious creamy malt starts it off, then a blend of spice from the rye and citrus blast from fresh hops finishes.

F: If you've read my other reviews, you know how I like my IPA mouthfeel. This is perfect. Prickle from the carbonation, but a smooth creaminess that denotes a fine balance.

D: No alcohol detected, and such a complex IPA you want more. A lot more. I love it.

Alpine, you've wowed me once again. I will seek you out soon.

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Photo of nc41
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm enjoying a bomber of this bought here in the Bay Area. Haters be damned, GF has expanded access to something I would not have been able to try unless I made a trip to San Diego. L: Cloudy yellowish -amber. Huge creamy head. S: amazing. Earthy hops, slight rye, lemon spice. T: incomprehensible balance of bitter and earthy hops, rye spice, lemon and grassy flavors. F: super rich for a single IPA. Very impressive. O: Fcking great. I can't imagine the source beer improving on this bottle, but hey if it's even more fantastic than this...whatever I'm not visiting Alpine. I'll certainly buy more of these bottles though. Even at $8.99.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
3.09/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of Zonk
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of brian44556
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

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Photo of raoulduke37
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of airohead2001
2.42/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Popkas
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

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Photo of imagese
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
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...

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Photo of vitALEity
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of aglose45
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

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Photo of drink1121
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of mbudner
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of FUNKPhD
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.