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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
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 397
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 2.83%
Wants: 514
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 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 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 largadeer
5/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (978 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 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 MasterSki
4.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,169 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 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 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 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 HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (1,017 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 TurdFurgison
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
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). (972 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 AgentZero
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of lupercmda
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (268 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 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 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 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 notchucknorris
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (451 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 ehammond1
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (861 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,782 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (1,713 characters)

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