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Keene Idea - Alpine Beer Company

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Keene Idea
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 397
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 2.83%
Wants: 515
Gots: 23 | 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: 51 | Hads: 397
Photo of pmarlowe
3.2/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at O'Brien's. Apparently the last of batch 1. Tall, thin 10oz glass.

A: Pours a murky straw color, with a thin ring of off white head. Poor retention and no lacing.

S: Some pale malt and a honey-like aroma, a little fruit (tropical and citrus) and spice, but overall very tame. I had to struggle to catch a whiff of anything.

T: Some fruity hop characteristics and rye malt. Ugh, the flatness is destroying the taste for me.

M: Flat, medium body. If I were an optimist I would point out that this hides the high ABV exceptionally well. But I'm not particularly.

O: A flat, less hoppy version of Nelson. Just not very enjoyable. A big disappointment, esp. since Nelson is one of my favorites. The cask did not do this beer any favors, unfortunately, but my fingers are crossed that they'll brew this again. (818 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.47/5  rDev -24.4%
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. (1,209 characters)

Photo of OTB
4/5  rDev -12.9%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the pub in Alpine, I was bummed the brewery was closed but this made up for it. More yellow than orange, looks like Nelson. Aroma was super hoppy, fruity and the flavor followed suit but to be honest I prefer Nelson. Nelson just seems to have this peach like quality right down to the fuzziness in the mouthfeel. Still, this is great IPA which is no surprise. (369 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.06/5  rDev -11.5%
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- (1,328 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden body. Nice white head. Some lacing and decent retention.

Smell - Strong Nelson hops. Orange and a hint of herbal character. Sweet pale malts.

Taste - Grapefruit, orange, a little tropical. That standard Nelson flavor. Pretty sweet. Mild bitterness, if any.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Maybe medium low. Medium heavy body.

Overall - I'd probably take regular Nelson over this, but it's really good. (478 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -7%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.29/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to nugganooch for sending me a growler of this out; thanks Dane! Drank about 30 oz's of the growler, poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat clear amber-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks very nice.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, pineapples, mango, bread, and light grapefruit. Nose is great, super hoppy and fruity, smells very fresh.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, light pine hops and resin, tropical fruits, pine apples, floral hops, earthy notes, yeast, bread, graham crackers, and lemon. More grapefruit in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. No bitterness and easy to drink.

o - Overall I have a little bit of mixed feeling on this one, but ultimately liked it quite a bit. At first I thought something seemed a little off in the taste from the growler...I had just drank Hill Farmstead's Citra pale ale, which I liked a lot and was very different, so that might be why. The more I drank it the more I liked it though, and we ended up finishing the growler off and liking it a lot...not sure if it grew on me because of my palate or what. Smells great the whole time and was easy to drink. I drank a very fresh bottle of Duet 2 days prior and think I liked Duet better, but this was still very good. Personally I find I like whatever Alpiine beer I can get freshest the most. Worth getting for sure and another hoppy winner for Alpine. (1,470 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.31/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tasting glass the Firestone Walker Beer Fest. From notes. Reviewed 1 June 2013.

The beer smells so strongly of resinous hops as to smell like weed. The main taste is fruity and delicious, and remarkably drinkable for the ABV. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would love to have again. (297 characters)

Photo of jrnyc
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one in a growler.

I am a huge fan of Nelson. Was thrilled to get to try some of this.

This is an excellent beer, cant stop drinking it.

I have to compare it to regular Nelson. Regular Nelson is more flavor full, given the choice would take regular Nelson.

But this is a great beer for sure. Not the best, but excellent. (333 characters)

Photo of kayalla
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one the day after the 25th Anniversary party. Poured into the glass an orange color with a thin head of white. Aroma was big juicy hops, fresh crystalline cannabis buds, orange and lemon peel. Taste was super balanced and a pleasant small explosion of weed like hops and orange. This was so juicy and fresh, dry in the mouth. Better than Elder in my opinion. (371 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado for T25...I drank several of these.

Pours an hazy orange color, white head, spotty lace. An explosion of citrus with some light resin and rye. Really bold with a ton of bitter hops but still remaining smooth. Taste is big on the hops, yet smooth...tons of citrus and light onion with some rye in there as well.

Really smooth and super-drinkable for approaching 9%...this walks all over Pliny (had them side-by-side) and is basically a upper-echelon DIPA. What else would I expect from Alpine? Way to hit a homer while celebrating the legacy of Toronado. Exceptional. (587 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.49/5  rDev -2.2%
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? (515 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.5/5  rDev -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. (1,788 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with about 1/4" of eggshell white head with decent lacing. A bit of carbonation is apparent, but not much. Nice clarity on this beer, but head characteristics could be a bit better.

Smell: A hint of pale and biscuit malts initially, followed by intense citrus, pine and dankness. Excellent hop balance.

Taste: In a word, clean. A hint of pale malt sweetness up front, followed by waves of citrus rind, pine and hop dankness. Definitely one of the most well rounded and cleanest IPAs I have had in some time.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer is light to medium in body, with just enough carbonation. Extremely drinkable and does not even come close to drinking to its ABV. Overall, an awesome beer. Was fortunate to be able to sample several of Alpine's hoppy beers during my visit, and this one was leagues ahead of the rest. Excellent. (872 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Mad Mike for sharing a growler of this. I've had good luck with Alpine growlers in the past (shhhh, don't tell them), but fear this sample lost it's edge in transit.

Appearance looks like a beer. Clear, mild amber in color. Sufficient white head with adequate retention and lacing is as expected for style. Bright hoppy nose of resin, lemon, and floral... hops. Soft, medium light body, well carbonated, bitter and juicy finish. Flavor has a light spiciness throughout but is dominated oily, resiny hops; grapefruit, orange and pine. I expected this beer to be a transcendental experience that brought me to tears. Instead, this was a tweaked, optimized version of one of my favorite IPAs, but not quite as good as HF Ann. What a waste. (747 characters)

Photo of ThaFATkid
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was Fortunate enough to be in town for this release. Had it on tap at there pub on and got a growler for a lucky trader. So this review is from my notes that I took while.

A- Nice orangish white somewhat cloudy body with a little bit of a white head.

S- Hoppy sweet citrus, some honey, mango, pineapple, hoppy weed mixed with a little bit of malty sweetness.

T- Double Nelson fits this perfect this needs to be bottled! With that said first off theres a fruity hoppy honey citrus sweetness that first comes to mind and as the beer warms up the better it tastes. Not too hoppy not to sweet and not bitter a well balanced beer.

M- Smooth Medium and pleasant.

Overall- Like I mentioned earlier this was from my notes and thats what I wrote while drinking it and even now I wish that they would bottle it or have it on tap more. I hope to be able to try this again to compare my notes. Drink Alpine or Go to Bed! (916 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev 0%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpine's litmus test to me involved having Keene Idea (originally Toronado's 25th Anniversary beer) on a beer list already with outstanding beers. I prefer not to use tasters because I like to soak up a greater experience with a given beer, so after a round a Nelson, Keene Idea had a high mark to hit. On to the beer:

This beer is light orange colored and topped with a short head with solid retention on top. I took a smell of the beer, and at that moment I was assured by the USDA that I had consumed my daily requirement of fruit, as this beer is big on fruit! A smash to the head with passionfruit, followed closely by succulent guava, cantaloupe and mango.

There's no way that a stablemate of Nelson can be better tasting, could it? At times, I thought that Keene Idea had climbed Mount Everest to be with Nelson. While overall it doesn't quite hit that stratospheric peak, Keene Idea is undoubtedly outstanding beer. The beer is not bitter, yet full of hoppiness and more. The tastes of orange, passionfruit, and guava are unashamedly fantastic, and that alcohol level does not cross the palate immediately, further making my pint dangerously drinkable. It's full bodied and very smooth, and already being such a great beer, felt that this beer was not playing fair.

Keene Idea is a beer that I'm sure made Dave Keene smile from ear to ear. This is a fantastic beer!! (1,380 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite as good as Bad Boy, but different and special in its own way. Another example of the great SoCal IPAs that have a lot of hops but still make them drinkable and enjoyable. (181 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
4.62/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of these on draft at the Toronado anniversary party. Pours a clear golden amber with a small white head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. Aroma is quite dank with grapefruit, pineapple, mango and some floral notes present. Just a bit of rye on the nose and no alcohol. The initial taste has a bit of sweetness with pineapple, rye, and mango. There is also a bit of white grape and some dankness. The finish has a decent bitterness and is dry. No alcohol at all. Medium body. Medium carbonation. This was probably the best IPA that I've had. It was easily the best beer at the Toronado anniversary party. Hopefully, they start making it regularly. (691 characters)

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Keene Idea from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.