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Keene Idea - Alpine Beer Company

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Keene Idea
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

344 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 10%
Wants: 492
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.88% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-11-2012

Formerly known as Toronado 25th.

Keene Idea is very different from Nelson. No rye, different grain bill, Citra and Rakau hops.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by azdback:
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine

A - Pours a bright orange/brown with very little head. Slightly hazy.

S - Large citrus aroma with a bit of weed thrown in. In addition to the citrus, quite a bit of mango in the aroma.

T - A little sweeter than I thought it would be from the aroma. Hops still predominate, and the sweetness is actually complimentary in this case, even for an IPA. Like the aroma, lots of citrus and mango in the taste. Just enough malt base to provide balance. Very smooth and tasty.

M - very smooth mouthfeel. Just a touch of alcohol burn, but very minor. Nice bitterness, though the finish is pretty clean.

O - Haven't had Nelson in a while, so I can't compare directly, but this is very nice. Would love to have again.

Photo of ehammond1
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Clear golden with a pillowy off-white head that never fully dies down completely, leaving regular lines of lace down the glass. Gorgeous IPA.

Incredibly strong, dank aroma: marijuana, some pine, orange flesh and zest, some grapefruit, along with distinct rye. I didn't think there was a better smelling IPA of this style than the single Nelson, but this one's even better.

The flavor is also exceptional: dank, sticky marijuana and pine, big notes of grapefruit and citrus zest, some cracker malt, moderate bitterness, and some rye and white fruit character as well. In the moment, this felt like a Bad Boy + Nelson mashup.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation--somewhat sticky.

Astonishingly good beer. I heard a number of hopheads proclaim this their "favorite IPA ever." It's most certainly in the ballpark.

Photo of dsgolovin
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours an amber color with small amount of head and little retention

S- Floral hops, weed

T- Deep resin flavor. Hits you in the back of your nose. So smooth and crushable for nearing 9% and just delicious. I have never had a better DIPA. Move aside Pliny, Heady Topper, Double Sunshine, and yes, even Citra.

M- This is the only knock I can give this beer. I would have liked a little more carbonation for the style. But, don't get me wrong, this is still the best I've had.

O- I don't normally review beers, but had to let Alpine know just how good this beer is so hopefully they'll make it again. Very hard to resist the urge to go to the Toronado and just drink this beer until I can't stand up to leave.

Photo of OTB
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to my notes on this taken from my lunch at Alpine right before the holiday's. The beer pours a beautiful light copper with a thin head of beady white foam. The nose is the tell tale Nelson Sauvin hop profile meshed with sweet malty bisquits and the funkiness from the hop bill. For me this is a different beer than the last effort that was either called T-25, Double Nelson or whatever you wanted to call it. This seems a bit hotter, the booze is evident here, its bitter as it should be but almost in an unfinished clunky way that isn't as seamless as the last time I had it. The mouth is fine if not a bit hot but its a joy to drink none the less. I still prefer the regular bottling of Nelson to the more amped up version.

Photo of jegross2
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the infamous Keene Idea from Alpine Beer Company out of Alpine, California. According to Alpine, this beer is not "Double Nelson." Rather, it is an entirely separate beast with a different grain bill (no rye) and Citra and Rakau hops. Regardless of what it is, it is delicious.

Score: 97

64 oz growler filled in early March and consumed 03/13/14. Served in a Peg's Barrel Aged Day snifter. Thank you Paul for the hook up.

Appearance: Pours a clean, somewhat translucent golden-orange color with a half finger of off-white head that quickly settles to a ring around the glass. Average lacing, but very good retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Huge, resinous and tropical fruit hops! Apricots, grapefruit, orange rinds, lime, sharp pine and wood. The nose is aggressively forest-esque with the hop character, with lots of tropical notes. I absolutely dig this aroma! 5/5

Taste: More juiciness and less dryness than anticipated given the nose. Has a little acidity and a touch of herbaceousness that was not in the nose. Juicy grapefruit, tangerine, and orange rinds. Mmm mmm! Has a bold and bitter midpalate bite, that lingers long. Finishes with a bitter, slightly wood-like pine flavor. Has a nice and subtle malt backbone, with complementary notes of caramel and a touch of earthiness and onion. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Not quite medium bodied, very low carbonation. Quite juicy and oily mouthfeel, with only a little dryness to the finish. Lingeringly bitter. 4.75/5

Overall: Blindly sampled this along side several other IPA/APA such as Notorious and Permanent Funeral, and this was my clear favorite. I love how aggressive the flavor profile on this one is; haters of IPA beware!

Cost: $20 for a 64 oz growler.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sometimes Raul just has to do it. Like your granmama when she goes to K-Mart for a new muumuu, sometimes Raul just has to splurge!

Did someone bottle a tropical rainforest, put it in a Magic Bullet, blend it, add some hops, and then put it in Raul's glass? I mean, bomb diggity! Ecstasy on all levels!

Like when your baby mama's mama's flight gets delayed - Raul can get used to this!

Photo of largadeer
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Too many pints consumed at Toronado SF during their anniversary.

Appearance: Pale clear gold with a thin but lasting head.

Smell: The nose on this stuff is massive, somehow even bigger than regular Nelson. An explosion of tropical fruit, gooseberry jam, white grape and orange. Floral, slightly oniony and catty. For a single hop beer, this has a lot of depth.

Palate: Floral and citrus hop flavors up front. Tropical fruit, gooseberry and orange, a touch of onion and white grape. Not much in the way of malt, and sweetness is very impressively reigned-in for such a big beer. Rye does come out a bit mid-palate, contributing an earthy twang that works nicely with the huge nelson hop flavor. The balance here is masterful, making this entirely too quaffable for how strong it is. There's no trace of alcohol, and bitterness is fairly mild in the finish.

Overall: This is every bit as good as I was expecting, and possibly Alpine's best beer to date, which is saying a lot.

Photo of bignuke61
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado SD...

Simply everything about Nelson that is fantastic and then doubled. Pours a hazy orange with a small head. It had none of the lasting bitterness of most DIPAs, it had all (and more) of the tropical citrusy aroma of Nelson and had an amazingly smooth drinkability with all of its fruity hop goodness. The rye lends a nice balance and the alcohol is completely hidden.

I could drink many many many of these but had to stop so I could get home at some point. I could not say the same about other DIPAs (even fantastic ones) that tend to really wear me down after one or two.

Photo of More_betterness
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine:

A: Hazy light orange with a small bright white head that recedes to a small ring around the glass. Small specks of lacing persist on the glass.

S: Big notes of orange zest, mango, and pineapple upfront. A hint of sweet malt and some grassy and floral hops.

T: Sweet orange and resinous pine upfront, followed by a gentle bitterness and crackery malt. Drying finish.

M: Light/medium bodied and moderate carbonation.

O: As usual, world class ipa from Alpine. Is anybody surprised at this point?

Photo of sendsilk
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this growler via Bdige, a true stellar trader, thanks Brandon!

Okay, it's no secret to anyone that I trade with, drink with, talk about IPA's with, Alpine Nelson is my favorite IPA out there, with Maine Brewing Lunch and Surly Furious coming in 2nd and 3rd (no particular order).

I received this growler on a Friday, 13 days after it was released(!!). Generally we have a tasting here in Tampa on Wed. or Thursday. I found out this weeks tasting was canceled yesterday (Wed.). Alright, time to go big balls and open it by myself.

I'm thinking "Man, that's a lot of beer to drink myself" than I think a little harder "WTF, pussy? It's like going to Cigar City for a tasting and having 4 pints total." I can ssure you a CCB tasting with our group is WELL over 4 pints total.

SO fuck it, I drink this beautiful golden IPA bitch all on my own. I did share a couple of sips with the wife so maybe I had 60 oz. of it. I WISH IT WAS 128 oz.!!!

Golden delicious, straw colored rye IPA. Nice bubbles and head. Freaking absolutely fantastic IPA, the best that I have ever tasted. I give it a 4.75. I could drink this all day long (theoretically) and am so glad to have been able to try it. FANTASTIC IPA!!!

Photo of rand
4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From cask to pint

A: cloudy yellow-orange in appearance; frothy, sudsy head that never fully recedes. Lacing everywhere.

S: Grassy, boozy, citrus-y, piny. The nose is less tropical than its little brother, but there's a buttery tone with a tropical edge. Nose is more subdued than expected.

T: Guava and orange flavors up-front - distinctively 'Nelson'. Flavor profile is a lot more layered than the nose, with sweet, bready malts bouncing off various citrus notes. Smooth and creamy throughout; by the short finish it's more sweet than bitter.

M: Probably the creamiest, most frothy IPA I've had on cask. I'm pretty shocked at how carbonated this is, might as well have been on tap.

One of the best brews I've had. Touches all of the hidden corners of the palate while still dropping huge hop character. And the amount of carbonation this has is incredible - puts to bed the notion that IPA's shouldn't be served from a cask.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mike T for sharing a growler of this at Dyan’s going away tasting. Served in a goblet. Pours a nice, clear orange color with a lasting white head. The nose has delicious resinous hops. A bit dank and heavy rind. A bit of malt and alcohol, but mostly all hops. Medium body. Quite bitter. Really an excellent double IPA and one I hope they make again...soon. At the same time, if you can’t get your hands on it, I honestly didn’t think it was THAT much different than super-fresh Nelson.

Photo of AgentZero
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stole the show at Toronado's 25th Anniversary Party.

A - Bright golden color with some orange in there. Not a ton of head on it, but it left some fairly substantial fine-web lacing.

S - Wow, this is a hop explosion. The initial sniff really just blows you away. It's like they crammed 5x the amount of hops into it that goes into a normal DIPA. Some tropical fruit, tons of resin. The hop oils are so strong and prevalent it almost smells buttery. Amazing.

T - Lots of floral and tropical fruit hops, with citrus, bitterness, cat piss, and a bit of onion. Just a touch of malt, but this is hops all the way. Unlike a lot of overly bitter, hop-bombs, this has very rich and distinct flavors, although they are unbelievably powerful. Great stuff.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation, very oily.

O - Fantastic beer, one of the best DIPAs I've had in a very long time.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O’Briens
12/20/12

*2nd release – stoked to catch this still on the day after.

A: Goldenrod body with some orange tones and a smidge of haze. Just enough to distort the appearance of your hand when peering through the glass. Thin lid of paper white foam with some slow rising bubbles. Sticky dots and ribbons of lace.

S: A fantastic floral nose bright with mango and peach notes. Big on the pineapple juice, with some passion fruit and just a suggestion of white wine in there. Smell is pretty killer. Not as heavy on the Nelsons it seems but all fruity and tropical hops.

T: Expressively hoppy flavors of melon, pineapple, and grapefruit. Lesser doses of white wine grape and green berries. There is real nice trailer of herbal weed stems as the pucker hits from an upper moderate bitterness on the palate. Has a perfect balance of sugars with minimal malt character and just a soft caramel kiss to it. Creeper alcohol warmth is well disguised at first. A fantastically hoppy DIPA. Not quite the Double Nelson I was hoping for but definitely tasty.

M: Medium to lighter body with an overall wetness to the beer. Although there is a bit of a crisp drying lift towards the finish. Sappy lingering hop oils with a slight bitter constricting feel.

D: Another hoppy homerun from Alpine. This did not make me think of a Double Nelson but it is delicious in its own right. Flavors are fruit forward with a more restrained white wine note. I do love the Nelson and wasn’t totally mind blown here but still very happy with the outcome. Profile of this batch comes together more like an uber fresh Sculpin or what the guys down at Societe are doing. Balance is superb however and I think I would even prefer this over Enjoy By.

Great beer hope to see this become a regular.

Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

Dark orange color with a white head. Enormous citrus aroma. Pineapple, pine, grapefruit, and tangerine. Tropical fruits galore! Flavor is slightly sweet with tons of fruit. Peach, pineapple, melon, mango, grapefruit, and tangerine, just to name a few. Pine bitterness with some floral hops and very minimal malt flavor.

Photo of beagle75
3.47/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Slightly hazy, orange-golden color with less than one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very intense at first, with a juicy combination of mixed citrus and tropical fruits. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with an early burst of acidic and fruity hop aromatics followed by refined pale malt. Sweetness picks up into the middle where malt loses all semblance of graininess, instead becoming doughy and comparable to a powdered sugar that is heavy on the cornstarch. Flavors are simplistic into the finish where bitterness is more intense than the typical Alpine pale ale. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly acidic yet a little lifeless on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: While this beer leaves little doubt that it was born in an Alpine fermentation vessel, with a smell that simply oozes nelson hops, it also seems unfinished. Malt qualities are not polished here; base malt is cloying instead of showing off influences from rye or other specialty grains. It may be overrated here due to its ephemeral existence, but it is not the best showcase of Alpine's majestic beers.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler popped on 3.13.14

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a small tan head that fades slowly.

S - Pine, orange, pineapple.

T - Lots of citrus, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, some bitter pine as well.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Citrus heavy - a touch of bitterness. Very nice.

Photo of kojevergas
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at Alpine's pub in Alpine. Expectations were extremely high; I love Alpine. Reviewed from notes. I don't recall the cost. Whatever it was, it was worth it.

A: Pours a half finger head of off-white colour, somewhat thin but of fair cream. Retention is average. Body colour is a vibrant understated copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Citrus, floral hops, a hint of hop bitterness, some pine, and pale malts. Evocative and inviting.

T: Heavy hop flavours. Very balanced; no hop bitterness comes through at all. Oily hops. Grapefruit. Hints of pine. Biscuity floral hops - amarillo? Crisp citrus. Floral notes. Pale malts. Very complex; has real depth of flavour. Dank. Clean and very enjoyable. The balance is masterful. Still, it's not as complex or subtle as I remember Exponential Hoppiness being.

Mf: Perfect dryness and smoothness for the style, coaxing out the flavours. Ideal carbonation and thickness. Not as luscious as some other great beers in the style. Buttery on the finish. Refreshing and custom-tailored to the flavour profile.

Dr: Extremely drinkable for the style and well hidden ABV. I could down this one all night. Really tasty, but perhaps not Alpine's best IPA. Slides down real easy. I love it. Another home run IPA from Alpine.

A-

Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Mike/Jacob. This one leaked a little bit in transit, but otherwise, seemed in excellent health (great carbonation etc.)

Mostly clear mild amber with a dense, white head with decent retention and some lacing, this smells nice. The nose is excellent. Beautiful hop expression with a big pine, lemon and spicy op character. Dank, resiny and weed-like, these notes whelm the fruity Nelson hop notes.

The palate opens super dank and resiny, with pine and a little bit of rye. The bitterness is big, but clean. Moderately fruity as well, with a mild grape character, but this is just so dank! A little bit of alcohol is present on the finish.Medium light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is fantastic on the palate. I really hope they rebrew this.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a glowing apricot color with a thin tan head.

S: Dear God. This smells amazing. A hyper fragrant mix of mango, grapefruit, marijuana, mint and hop resin. Incredible.

T: Somehow, the taste is just as good as the smell. An absolute atomic bomb of citrus hops that somehow has enough of a malt backbone to keep it somewhat balanced. Hints of tropical fruit, a touch of rye and a ton of resin. This may very well be the best IPA I've ever had.

Photo of HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

8/10/2012

On tap at O'Brien's. Many pints. This review is for the first batch (Double Nelson). While I enjoyed the second batch (Keene Idea) I didn't think it was all that similar to the first batch. I really liked the second batch, but it was no Double Nelson.

A: Yellow gold with great clarity and a mountainous white head. Excellent retention with rings of lacing clinging to the glass.

S: Incredible blend of rye, white grape, gooseberry, tangerine, and apricot. Insanely aromatic and pungent. Exceptional. Some floral notes.

T: The flavor is outrageous. The Nelson hop expression is glorious and there's not a trace of alcohol. Orange flesh blends with gooseberry, white grape, and tangerine. There's just enough sweetness to augment the drinkability and ward off palate fatigue. Pleasant rye presence. Smooth lower moderate bitterness with an absurd amount of hop flavor.

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation. Sticky and dry mouthfeel.

Overall: One of the best DIPAs I've had. Masterfully crafted.

Photo of hops_and_waves
4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best beer I've ever had. Great citrus aroma, great taste without being too sweet or being too bitter. Less sweet than most 9% alcohol double IPAs. No alcohol burn. Tastes like 7%. The only fault with this beer is that they don't make enough of it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.29/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great aromas and really tasty flavors.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the T25 anniversary party. I had several pints of this.

A: Pours a clear, golden-peach color capped with a finger of off-white head. Great retention with lace streaking down the sides of the glass during the drink.

S: Citrus -- a tropical smorgasbord of mango, pineapple, and papaya -- followed by weed and finishing with a spicy element. Initially, I assumed the spice was just the rye bill amped up, but during my second glass, an image of onions came to my mind, and I couldn't shake it thereafter. I don't like onions in beer; that being said, it is a mild presence here and not a deal-breaker.

T: As above, the predominant character is citrus (mango, white grapes, pineapple); the tropical element resonates very well with my taste buds. But that's arguably par for the course now with West Coast IPAs; even the weed presence is starting to become more commonplace. What sets this beer apart for me is a grassy, herbal undercurrent (Masterski claimed "chives," which I'm not totally sure I can place, but I can see why he said it). The rye spice is another nice touch, and it is amplified above standard Nelson. It works nicely with that onion character I noted in the aroma.

M: Medium-bodied. This hides the ABV very well for nearly 9%, and what's more impressive is that the body doesn't need to be syrupy to do it. I usually find that 10% beers and up have a bigger, maltier body than their lighter offerings, presumably to hide the alcohol better. This is at the point where the crossover from dry body to malty body must begin, yet it manages to stay relatively light and drinkable.

O: This was the hit of the day for me. It's pretty unusual for me to put down 3 pints of a 9% beer in a single sitting; this is one of the few beers that truly begged for it.

Photo of JGam115
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tinted straw, fluffy white foam. Burst of balanced malt, bright citrus and citrus zest. Amazing DIPA - one of the best.

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Keene Idea from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.