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Keene Idea - Alpine Beer Company

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Keene Idea
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54 Reviews
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Reviews: 54
Hads: 408
Avg: 4.54
pDev: 24.23%
Wants: 520
Gots: 25 | 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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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 408
Photo of largadeer
5/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of hops_and_waves
4.99/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of Hendry
4.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honey colored and clear, half a finger of soft white head, plenty of tiny bubbles, minimal lacing in the tulip.

Aroma is that of juicy tropical fruit and stone fruit, slight whiff of alcohol, positively mouthwatering nose.

Everything enticing about the aroma plays center stage on your palate. Super bright and juicy flavors including mango, pineapple, and clementine mix with sort of a tart blackberry vibe. It is beyond me how Alpine is able to craft a Double IPA that is so juicy, yet hides the alcohol content so well. The bright, crisp flavors dance on your palate, and the finish is superbly dry.

Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is perfection, and the lingering bitterness goes on and on without being overbearing.

Huge thanks to Paul for this growler, Alpine has created another Grand Slam. The rarity of this beer is what makes it even more special than it already is. Hands down one of the greatest Double IPAs I've had the pleasure of enjoying. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on Keene Idea, you will have an ear to ear smile for a while!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had 3 pints of this at the 25th Anniversary event. This was one of the main attractions for me, along with Cable Car Kriek. Initially "Double Nelson"? At least I thought it was named that, if I'm wrong then at the very least it's romantically true.

Bright orange color with little head, at least on my pours. The aroma is outstanding, really among the best IPAs I've had. I was actually VERY impressed with the dank aromas in a growler of regular Nelson I tried the night before, but they managed to add more citrus in this incarnation (plus the resin).

Extremely resinous flavor and mouthfeel, oily textured with carbonation on the lower end. Intense citrus flavors with little-to-none of the extreme bitterness that can sometimes mar an overly hopped beer. Excellent balance with just enough sweetness. The malts were present in flavor but well constrained.

I'm still thinking fondly of this beer several days later. I would love to see this made again (and again).

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Photo of grandmeaulnes
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


On tap at Alpine Brewing Company

A: Straw and gold hue with exceptional clarity and a beautiful, pillowy white head. Fantastic retention.

S: Dank and floral with that somewhat intangible Alpine IPA quality. Strong notes of rye, banana, marijuana, and apricot.

T: Simply fantastic. It's like a fuller, smoother Nelson with barely a trace of alcohol. Citrus, white wine and subtle rye flavors mesh with grapefruit and orange rind, some pine and spruce. HUGE Nelson hops flavors. Smooth drinking, full on the tongue, and a pleasantly dry finish. Remarkably easy drinking for how complex it is.

M: Moderately dry mouthfeel and finish. Coats the palate with lovely resinous flavors.

O: This is the best beer I've had from Alpine and Alpine is my favorite brewery. 'Nuff said. I really hope they brew this again. Glad I got two growlers.

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Photo of dsgolovin
4.95/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of bignuke61
4.92/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of rand
4.91/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of DckBrns
4.91/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The one and only time I've made the pilgrimage to Alpine Beer, this was on tap. I had no idea what it was and in hindsight I consider myself a lucky man for being able to drink a pint of this my first time there. I will absolutely be on the lookout for when they tap it again. Absolutely incredible IPA.

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Photo of LegalBrew87
4.9/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awesome. Probably my favorite Alpine beer and just perhaps my favorite beer altogether. This beer has everything you could ever need. Killleeerrr fuckin beer. Word limit word limit word limit word limit word limit. ALPINE, if you're reading this: please make a beer using mosaic. thanks.

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Photo of jdhende
4.89/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler from ThaFATkid on Christmas Eve. Thanks Brandon you're the man.

A: A very nice crisp golden orange with a half finger to a finger white head.

S: Extremely dank on the nose with nice orange and grapefruit zests.

T: Probably too drinkable for it's own good. This went down like a breeze. Tons of fragrant tropical fruits & hops with a slight malt backbone. Just the right amount of bitterness to make this a truly well balanced beer.

M: Medium carbonation. Very crisp on the tongue.

O: What a special treat. Living in Chicago I have only had the chance to try Alpine on a few occasions. Having a chance to have this on draft was one of my better beer moments of the year. If you have a chance seek this out immediately. Up there as one of the better double IPA's I have ever had.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.81/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So freaking good! Not as good as Bad Boy but the dry hop on this beer is so amazing. Has that cloudy ipa look that I love and it so smooth and drinkable. I wish I could have a tap of this straight from Alpine in my house.

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Photo of Briesch
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is like Nelson on crack. So delicious. Barely noticeable ABV. One Alpine beer you know you're getting from their production and not Green Flash. Must try. Another winner from Alpine.

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Photo of UAhobbes
4.77/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had Keene Idea this past weekend at Alpine. One of the best beers I've had the opportunity to drink. So incredibly smooth...the drinkability was top notch.

S- Smell is of a mango, pineapple citrus.

T- Taste is super crisp, very refreshing

O- Overall it is one, if not the best, beer I've ever had.

Oh and the food to accompany the beers at Alpine were on par with the beers themselves. I highly recommend the onion rings, the BBQ of any kind and the beans...gotta get the beans!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.74/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Toronado - San Francisco. Numerous pint glasses consumed throughout the anniversary party.

A - Transparent golden body, with white foam that settles to a thin collar leaving minimal lacing. Servers filled the glass to the brim, so it's hard to read on head volume and retention.

S - Great mix of citrus, tropical fruits, dank weed, and a hint of onion. This year's Nelson Sauvin crop seems to be particularly marijuana-heavy. Malt character is fairly restrained for a DIPA - would have pegged this as a regular IPA. No alcohol either, just hoppy goodness.

T - Again, it's a ton of citrus flavor, tropical fruits, white grapes, with a touch of herb and chive. A touch of rye spice comes out mid-palate along with crackery malts to support the intense hop flavors. Alcohol is again entirely absent, and this drinks like a 6-7% IPA.

M - Pleasant carbonation, medium body, dry finish, and plenty of residual oily hop resins. Pretty much what you'd want from a West Coast DIPA.

D - A superb beer - I think I had 4-5 pints. Handily the best beer of the trip and one of the best DIPAs ever brewed. It will be criminal if Alpine doesn't make this semi-regularly.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.72/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.72/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours and orange hazy color with moderate head retention. Smells very citrusy with some mango notes. Tastes a lot of grapefruit with this beer with a moderate bitter finish. Moderate mouth feel with perfect carbonation for this beer. Another excellent Alpine offering.

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Photo of jegross2
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
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!!!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like liquid hop candy, yet with a basic enough malt base to never veer off into syrupy sweet territory. Arguably the best beer Alpine puts out, and that's saying something.

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Keene Idea from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.