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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

715 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 715
Hads: 3,472
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 19.59%
Wants: 1,391
Gots: 492 | 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: 715 | Hads: 3,472
Photo of amphion1065
3.72/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the shot at this one Brian - I've been making quick work of that box! 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Pour is pale, straw yellow. It reminds me of hay, with some orange highlights. The head is a touch small even with a vigorous pour, but there's some nice lacing around the glass.

I can detect tangerines immediately in the nose. There's a very classic citrus-forward hop profile in the aroma. I swear I can swell hay as well, though that may just be psychomatic. I'm picking up on a little bit of grass as well. This just smells fresh.

Taste follows closely on the aroma. I get lemons and mangoes up front, with a slight citric burn in the back end. Actually, it really reminds me of lemon or orange juice. There's a bitter, astringent finish, with a touch of fruity sweetness for balance.

It's a tad overcarbonated, which only serves to amplify that bubbly, citric burn in the taste. Quite drinkable, but if the carbonation were toned down the mouthfeel would really benefit.

More than fine, just not exceptional. Ultimately, I'd call it a little dull.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.81/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap
L: Vibrant neon yellow to orange. Finger of head with some lacing
S: Citrus (tangerine, lemon, orange) along with sweet bready malt
T: Malt flavor comes right away. That is followed by citrus (tangerine, lemon, orange) and some herbal notes
F: Medium, creamy mouth feel
Overall this a good IPA, which surprisingly had a lot of malt character to it

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Photo of arfenhouse
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light gold with white head. Retention is good with decent lacing.

S:Big on tangerine and pine. Good amount of spicy hop, mango, and peach. Some orange peel.

T: Tangerine, pine, and peach. Slightly sweet. Spicy hop and pine finish it off. Very small bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry.

O: Great IPA. Smells and tastes great.

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Photo of Humulus85
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tjkinate for this one, I always love me a Rye IPA, and I always love me some Alpine. Served from a 22oz bomber into my Darkness snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy honey gold. One finger of dense white foam has great retention and left behind some super sticky lacing. Hoping it tastes as good as it looks!

Smell is just wonderful. Pine, grapefruits, and rye, in that order. Been drinking a lot of Citra bombs lately so this is a nice change up.

And I just died and went to IPA heaven. This hits all the right notes for me. Earthy, piney, hop notes blend with fruity, citrusy hop notes. This is all backed up that wonderfully distinct biscuity rye flavor. It reminds me of a less malty Surly Furious. Everything is so damn clean and balanced.

Again, I can't find anything bad to say. Super smooth, nice and crisp without being too dry. Leaves a minimal aftertaste. Light in body but not in flavor, and some perfect carbonation.

Overall this is easily one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever had (and I've had many), and now one of my personal favorite beers in general. If I had to choose only one beer to drink for the rest of my life, Alpine Nelson would be seriously considered. There is just simply not much negative to say about this beer (except I can't easily get it). I love the delicate, yet complex hop profile, that plays so beautifully with the Rye addition. Recommended to all, every BA should try this beer. Cheers!

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

Another San Diego gem....

A- Cloudy golden yellow color with a little head retention. Good sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of citrus hop aroma with a spicy backbone from the rye. Smells like fresh tennis balls..in a good way. i had to put that because a friend mentioned it and now i cant get that out of my head.

T-- Great citrus hop flavors, spicy rye in the background. Really nice flavors, balanced nicely. Slightly dry on the back end.

M light -med body, drys out mildly on the backend.

O- Amazing beer, one of the best IPA's out there.

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sid and Best Damn Beer Shop.

A- Color is a nice light gold/yellow color around one finger of light head that receeds to some decent lacing on the glass.

S- Nice floral hoppy smells with tons of grapefruit and mango hops, smells very crisp and inviting.

T- Floral hops with tons of tropical flavors slight lemon/grapefruit flavors, finish is nice with a slight dry spiciness from the rye.

M- Nice light to medium body with good carbonation, really good mouthfeel and taste for a 7% IPA nice dry spicy finish.

D- Very easy to drink this beer, session beer as Sid stated. Tons of flavors and smells with the New Zealand hops and the rye lends a nice mild spiciness to the finish. Recommneded.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from dmsohyea, thanks Ian! This one was picked up at the time of the Expo release and enjoyed on 08/11/11.

A - Lighter color than expected. Pale straw yellow color. Clear with a one finger white head that leaves great looking lacing.

S - That signature fruity hop aroma that seems to come from all Alpine beers which I love. Big grapefruit and mango aromas with some sugary sweet malt behind it.

T - Similar to the nose, great stuff. Grapefruit up front and then comes some sweet malts and some rye spiciness. Finishes with a great fruity hop presence that lingers for a while.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Pretty light bodied with lively carbonation.

O - Overall, this is another great one from Alpine. Consistently making some of the best IPAs around.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Big grape, white wine aroma from the Nelson Sauvin hops.

A: Yellow, super hazy with a super thin-ish head. Honestly, looks more like juice than a beer.

T: Big white wine, grape, grapefruit hoppy taste. With a bit of rye spicy malt character. Moderately bitter and dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Big danky IPA with plenty of grapefruit, white wine characteristics in the aroma and flavor. Quite delicious!

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

Poured into New Belgium tulip. 

A: The beer's color is situated between straw and pale gold. A constant stream of bubbles feeds a fluffy white head. Good lacing and great clarity. 

S: Pungent hops present themselves as cat pee, eucalyptus, white grape and gooseberries. Maybe yellow grapefruit peel and grape skins.   Smell challenges my "expertise" and vocabulary. 

T: Taste mirrors smell very nicely. Pale malt bill is not hardy enough to offer much resistance to hop onslaught. Perfect level of bitterness. Resin shows up in taste. Finishes long and green. 

M: Heftier than your typical 7 abv beer. Above-medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation. Extreme hops add a gritty quality to mouthfeel and seemingly cling and rip at tooth enamel. Dry/astringent. 

D: Alpine crafted this beer to be the perfect vessel for the Nelson Sauvin hop, not necessarily the perfect IPA. An intriguing hop makes for an intriguing beer, and I really enjoyed thinking my way through this bomber.

Thanks to hurfer for the assist!

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Photo of jhavs
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle poured into a snifter tasting glass.
A= Golden, slight haze, head is white and soapy, visible carbonation rising in the beer, lacing and ring with thin head remains during entire tasting.
S= White grapes, some citrus, pine.
T= Pine, bitter, some citrus rind, bit of a white wine flavor. Melon in the aftertaste with bitter grapefruit.
M= Fairly effervescent, medium body.
O= Crisp and bitter IPA made with rye, unique Nelson hops flavors are abundant.

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

A - Pale straw in color. Thick head when poured. Falls quickly but leaves a half inch head and great lacing.

S - Tropical fruit mingles with alcohol heat and a good deal of the grape-ness I always get from Nelson Sauvin hops. Plenty of pine here and some dankness, as well.

T - Palate is hit first with complexity of hops. Tropical fruits--mango is jumping out at me--and a dry, grape-like vinous quality. Alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming. Finish is quite crisp. Possibly a bit of spiciness from the rye.

M - Light and crisp, although a bit heavier than Duet for me.

D - Wish I had another bomber. I could drink this all night.

Overall - I love me some Alpine and am a huge fan of Nelson Sauvin hops. Can't think of a better combination. Had a pour on draft last year that had much more rye spiciness, but I'm certainly not complaining. This is absolutely fantastic. Thanks to Tieman for the bottle.

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Photo of bret27
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Cloudy yellow, thick white head.

S: Outstanding. Fresh explosion. Peaches, pine, multiple citrus fruits, take your pick.

T; Same as smell just not as amazing. Not too strong or bitter good balance. Maybe a little breadiness on the back of the tongue from the rye.

M: fairly med/thin

D: No real alcohol presence, just bitterness. Light, hoppy, refreshing= excellent.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy straw colored pour with a big, loose white head that fades to lots of lacing. Resiny hop aroma with lots of grapefruit, some floral pine and a vinous white grape note. The malt component is dry, earthy and grainy with a moderate sweetness. The flavor is white grapes, citrus, and toffee with some minty pine on the finish and a hint of butterscotch. The body is creamy and full with lots of soft carbonation.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was great. Just had my first sculpin a little less than a week ago. Can't remember exactly what rating I gave it, but I think this was slightly better than sculpin imo.

Pours a slightly cloudy orangeish amber with a 2 finger off white head that takes a while to dissipate and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma is incredible. Starts with a HUGE wave of tropical fruit - pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and then rounds into a tiny bit if pine with a slight hop bitterness after that. Really amazing aroma.

Taste starts out with a bit of bready malts, then shows a tiny bit of caramel before giving way to big time tropical fruit flavors, the same flavors as in the aroma. Like the smell, those flavors round into a bit of pine, a wave of grapefruit, and finish with a slightly dry hop bitterness that lingers. Delicious.

Probably the best beer I've ever had. This beer makes me wish I lived in cali (even more than russian river does)

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super murky! Honey in color. Big thick, foamy head. The head lasted forever.

S: Yellow Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice. Unripened green grapes. Honey. Pineapple. Tangerine. Ginger.

T: Pretty malty considering the smell. Damn this is balanced. Grapefruit rind. Grassy.

M: Thick, fluffy and chewy. Yum!!!

O: This went down like butta. Crazy delicious!!!

Crazy props to aekoops for the gift!!!

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Photo of afausser
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a fizzy golden peach toned orange with huge carbonation--a couple inches. Huge mid sized carbonation bubbles and swirl around the glass to the top. The head on this one's going nowhere. The head retention is amazing given that the bubbles are so big--they look like the type that are going to disappear at any moment, but they stick around impressively--I'm not sure at this rate I'll be able to get through to the beer. A beautiful pattern of sticky lacing.

Smell: A sweet bouquet of sugary, floral hops. There's a slight honey note, but it really does come across more as sugar and flowers. And of course, it's quite hoppy, but not really particularly bitter. There's a slight mowed grass smell to it--and even a bit of chives, as well as a slight rye element. Simple, light, hoppy, and nice, as it should be.

Taste: There's a mild sweetness here, but it's very slight, as is any bitterness from the hops. The taste is really largely predominated by a light floral and grass taste, and even a bit of green onion. There's a sweet citrus present as well, particularly as it warms up a bit. Very light, refreshing, and interesting. A bit more hoppy bitterness emerges as it warms, as does a very mild strawberry note.

Mouthfeel: Very large carbonation bubbles in the mouthfeel at first, which force the beer down quickly and leave behind a very dry aftertaste. The bubbles settle down quite nicely and what remains is tiny, crisp, and smooth. Turns out to be very well balanced.

Drinkability: goes down incredibly easily--not too harsh, bitter, or in your face, and done quite nicely. Could drink this one all night and not think twice about it. At the same time, it's quite unique and nicely done--I've never had a beer quite like this.

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Photo of mcintire78
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pale gold to straw in color with a large, two finger head, but only a small bit of carbonation. Head dissipates very slowly leaving significant lacing.

s: Strong smell of citrus up front, followed by an almost flowery hop smell. Was expecting more rye, but the citrus is overpowering.

t: A very gentle start up, that ends strong with rye. All in all, a very mellow beer.

m: Gentle is the only word for it. Very light carbonation and a lack of bittering hops makes for very easy drinking.

d: High drinkability, much higher than I would have thought from a West Coast IPA. You could down these one after another.

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Photo of jtingue
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Very hazy golden orange in color. Pours with 3 fingers of tight white head, which descends beautifully forming meringue like peaks and tons of thick lacing.

Smell. A split between tropical fruit and hearty rye bread aromas.

Taste. Starts out with the bite of a bitter, bready rye malt flavor. Lots of citrus hops follow, with tangerine being predominant. A garlic like flavor develops, and is accompanied by the bitterness of the hops, but not the citrus flavor. The finish is slightly herbal and sees the return of those citrus hops. Herbal bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel. Medium to heavy body and tight carbonation give this one a very creamy mouthfeel. Reminds me more of a double IPA than a single.

This one is very interesting, and different than what I expect out of california IPAs. The addition of rye seems to make this a completely different beast. Not sure how I feel about the metallic flavor in the beginning.

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

Thanks johndoe8 for trading this one to me.

Golden hue, hazy bodied IPA with a one finger frothy white head. No real retention, spotted lacing drapes around the glass.

Smell has Pineapple mango and rye seed, a general skunky hop character as well as a notable pine and citrus rind presence.

Taste has pineapple, and grapefruit with a rye twang. Some other underlying fruity notes as well as a notable pine character as well.

Mouthfeel has moderate carbonation, slightly prickly and syrupy as well. As an IPA should, but its smack dab in between IIPA and IPA in the mouthfeel category.

Drinkable although a little odd, I would much rather have pure hoppiness or sculpin but I'm glad I had the oppurtunity to try this one. Thanks again Rich.

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Photo of newk340
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

split bomber with hu5om (who received it in a trade) in new belgium goblets.

A: bronze amber in color with a light fluffy head that quickly dissipates and leaves phenomenal lacing.

S: very front heavy with white grapes, smelling similar to a white zinfidel wine, but with additional citrusy (grapefruit?) hops.

T: a BLAST of flavor, white wine extremely evident with continuous overshadowing of rye. leaves a very yeasty aftertaste.

MF/D: very smooth, carbonation evident but not overwhelming. flavors coat the mouth and throat leaving a champagne/beer feeling following each sip.

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

Very excited to try this. Poured from bottle into my Sierra Nevada pint glass. Smell is amazing. Strong, piney, grapefruity hop notes. In the background there is a lot of malt sweetness. Color is pale straw. Head quickly dissipates to a thin head. The taste is really interesting and unique. There's the sweetness but also a bit of grassiness in the hop notes. The rye really contributes to the unique flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall it's very delightful. I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer. Surprised by the contrast between the aroma, which is all pine needles and pakalolo, and the pour which isn't cloudy or murky at all but rather golden with a light head. Taste is dank (but not sticky) and citrusy, but there's also a slightly smokey and herbal taste. Beautiful dry finish compliments the NZ hops very well. A real gem. At one point I would imagine this was considered very hoppy but in today's world of ever more hop-forward profiles Nelson actually feels more nuanced and subtle. Go figure.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from my buddy MrTopher... thanks for sharing!

Poured from a bomber into a festival tasting flute.

A: Pale cloudy honey color with a nice finger of thick white foam.

N: Hoppy, floral, tropical fruit notes with a musty bready note.

T/M: Thick, almost "chewy" body. Spicy (like rye bread). Hops really compliment the rye flavor. It has a light taste but it is very rich...almost contradictory.

This is a great beer. If I could find this beer more locally, it would be a regular for me!

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

Had at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego. Pours a crystal gold with a half finger head that dissipates, but leaves some lacing. Nice is very clear with just the hops present, very nice pine as the main aroma. Taste is also very clean, with pine and grassy hops up front. Mouthfeel is pretty light and crisp, perfect level of carbonation. Finishes very dry. A really nice IPA, with the memorable quality the clean taste and crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of brydeen
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly murky, golden color, with a creamy thin white head. Dissipates slowly, but clings to the glass the whole way.

S: A tropical yet earthy aroma. Not a punch you in the face aroma like many of my favorite IPAs, but very pleasant. Grapefruit and mango up front, with a dank spiciness behind it.

T: A light sweetness right off the bat, but finishes with a spicy bite of the rye. Really quite smooth and subtle. Not overly bitter with hops.

M: Very light carbonation and a surprisingly creamy texture.

O: Really solidly balanced beer. The flavor and aroma are subtle but delicious. Always a favorite of mine.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.