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Keene Idea - Alpine Beer Company

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Keene Idea
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99
world-class

51 Reviews
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 sendsilk
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
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!!! (1,211 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 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 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 dsgolovin
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (714 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 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)

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 LegalBrew87
4.9/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (287 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 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 bignuke61
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (597 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 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 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 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 grandmeaulnes
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

8/11/12

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. (850 characters)

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