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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

890 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 890
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 27
Gots: 112 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TXHops on 05-14-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 890 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer plenty times when I started drinking IPAs, it's been about a year since I had one, DR11s baby brother?

Appearance-Light brown with yellow hues. 2 finger off white head thats down to about 1/2 finger, nice soapy lacing. Lots of little bubbles.

Smell-Sweet malts, slighty hoppy. Pine and grass. Some citrus, fair amount of grapefruits.

Taste-Sweet malts up front, then immediately hit with bitter hops that linger for a while. Alcohol is noticable upfront until the carbonation takes over. Pretty average.

Mouthfeel-Pretty light bodied, watery. Average amount of carbonation.

Overall-Bought a 6 pack and it certainly won't be going to waste. Kind of all over the place, but still a nice, interesting IPA

Photo of salvo
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St Arnold Elissa IPA is a tasty if simple bitter hopped pale ale that tends toward dry astringency rather than bold citrus or pine hops. Classic and consistent with the St Arnold of Austin TX brand. A great everyday beer; tasty without becoming a chore but lacking complexity and subtlety. I wish it were on tap at my local with 2 or 3 dollar pint night specials: a gateway beer with the potential to move folks who try it to further experimentation. Lighter brown/straw with nicely laced bone white head.

Photo of Popkas
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to my brother in law for this one (and several other Saint Arnolds...)

A: Pours a golden bronze with thick head leaving bubbles matted to the glass. Upon closer review it is very hazy almost unfiltered look.

S: Grassy with some floral hops but just a touch underwhelming.

T: Wow, significantly more going on here than was expected from the smell. Wallop of piney hops to start and more hops (floral?) at the end with a nice bit of malt balancing things out. Not perfect but again much better than anticipated after the nose.

M: Medium body that hangs around for a while.

D: Not my favorite, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of Squelch
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly Hazy. Thick billowy head that lasts. Amberish hue

Smell: Slight hop aroma, over the malt.

Taste: Sweet. Caramel flavor. Moderate hop flavor. Earthy hops?? Can't tell...

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Could benefit from more carbination. Cask ale made this one smooth

Drinkability: Drinkable IPA. Tastes more like an APA.

Photo of climax
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Elissa does the part on the visual side of things. A murky amber body sits below a big foamy bubbly head, recession is slow.

The nose is on the sweet side, well-balanced but the nod goes to the hops. Tropical citrus and more bitter pine lead the charge, with sweet caramel and clove trailing behind.

The flavor is on the sweet side, still well-balanced, but by no means a hop showcase. It is very soft, the initial bitterness is interrupted by tinny phenols and an over-buttery character. Aftertaste is fresh citrus fruit and a floral dryness.

The mouthfeel is soft, but full. Carbonation is mild, but I have no complaints as it makes this brutally easy to drink. It's a bit on the sweeter side for me, but a well done beer for sure.

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Robert for sending me this one as an extra in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a clear amber/copper color with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S: The nose is primarily of orange notes from the hops with some sweet caramel malts.

T: The flavors are sweet and malty with plenty of caramel and bread. The finish is mildly piney and bitter, the only main traces of hops on the flavor.

M: The flavor is medium bodied with a moderate level of tingly carbonation.

D: Not a bad IPA, and one of the better ones from the good ol' state of Texas.

Photo of GJ40
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at the Ginger Man in Dallas.

A - Golden with good clarity.

S - Citrusy hops with some yeast.

T - A balance between hoppy flavor / bitterness and toasted malt. The flavors were OK but not great. It seemed a bit stale and muted. I wondered if it was the beer or if it had been on cask too long.

M - A bit creamy with a great low, cask carbonation.

D - Nice but not as good as the 512 IPA my friends went with.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade with mattisloco. Thanks Matt! Bottle dated 09-13-2010. It's been kept chilled for (at least) the majority of its life.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Poured crystal clear into the glass, producing a short, eggshell-colored, sudsy cap. The body is a copper in color (crystal clear) and displays a turbulent column of carbonation within. Impressive head retention and good-looking lace.

Smell: Toasted bread crust, mild pine, lemon zest, caramel, and a metallic undertone make up the aroma profile early on. Nuts and a hint of alcohol come through as the beer warms, but otherwise the nose remains the same. Pretty balanced overall; not like the west coast hop-bombs I'm used to. I'm cool with that.

Taste: Starts out bready and nutty; certainly malt-centered. Pine and earthy bitterness then enter the mix, followed by grapefruit, honey, and a touch of lemon grass. As with the nose, I'm detecting a metallic flavor. That flavor gets magnified a bit in the bitter finish, but never becomes obstructive.

Mouthfeel: Active carbonation stimulates the palate without stinging it. Medium in body, moderate in bitterness - well balanced in terms of hops and malt (given the style). Taste clings to the palate and lingers deep into the aftertaste. Nicely put together.

Drinkability: Balanced and mellow, in terms of taste. The metallic accent and higher-than-normal carbonation hurt the drinkability just a bit. All in all, this is a solid IPA though. I'd happily go through two or three of 'em on game day.

Photo of srandycarter
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Orange amber, murky, head leaves to ring quickly. Sticky lacing persists.

S - Bitter, some light wood, grass and mild malt.

T - Small malt center, bittered fiercely to a tangy end.

M - Light bodied, pretty present carbonation, medium coating.

D - Very easy to drink!

Photo of Durge
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice warm copper color, a solid head that thins pretty quickly. This was well carbonated, tingly to the tongue but quickly bitter in the overall feel. Hints of orange and clove in this hoppy brew. Very nice but not completely satisfying for my tastes. Kind of dry at the finish.

Update from the bottle (01-24-13) Poured into a tall glass from the bottle this shows a clear amber color with a substantial white head and good lacing. The aroma brings a considerable
malt dominated leafy hop. Nice and tasty. Speaking of taste, again a big malt
backbone with sweet evergreen pine and some more leafy ideas along with a nutty
edge. Very nice. The body is solidly medium bodied with a somewhat viscous feel
with decent carbonation. A solid IPA!

Photo of mizzoueng
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Spot on, a beautiful copper/orange with a slight haze when poured vigorusly from the bottle into my SA glass. Head was pure white and was about 3/8" thick, it reduced to a nice skim on top and provided sticky lacing throughout.

S - Hops. Possibly Cascade and Summit, maybe a dash of Simcoe. Smelled of citrus and floral, mixed with some slight pine and earth.

T - Pugnant hop taste (LOVED IT!) but seemed very bitter for a regular IPA, possibly right near the edge of the IBU limit for style. Caramel and biscuit malts mix with the grapfruit and piney flavors of the hops to give a complex taste that was good from hitting the lips to the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied. The combination of malts gives this beer a thick full body that stuck to my tounge and the sides of my mouth. The alcohol ws there and made the beer warm, but not so warm that it became "hot".

D - I liked this beer, thanks to a trade with BA RickSawyer I was able to get two bottles of this lovely beer. I will be drinking the second soon or possibly sharing with friends to show them the extent of the IPA style.

Photo of Travis1221
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of hwwty4
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to assurbanipaul for this one.

This beer pours a coppery orange with just a little bit of a Sienna tinge when held up to the light. The aroma is mildly hoppy, with no distinct hop varietals coming through in the nose. Also a bit of brown sugar and a bit of biscuit come through. The taste is really mild. The bitterness is subdued and the hop is really indistinct. Not really any pine, grass or citrus fruits, just a bit of bitterness, and malty sweetness. The mouthfeel is creamy and with just a hint of boozy heat. While not the best IPA I have ever had, it is a really accessible IPA for people who may not really like the bitterness of overly hoped beers or just trying to get into IPA as a general style.

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to armock for this one!

Pours clouded amber with a fluffy off-white head. Trailing lace slides down the glass with some stickage.

The smell is very piney and resiny with caramel backing.

The taste is resiny and perfumy/herbal. It is somewhat medicinal with a touch of booze. It has a sharp, leafy finish.

It is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. The taste lingers for a while.

It's a nice IPA if you are going for the piney/herbal with a firm caramel-backing type. It is harsh/raw.

Photo of azdback
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Lager glass. Bright orange, clear and filtered look. Lots of carbonation bubbles. Head is barely off white and creamy looking.

Smell is more yeasty than anything. But does have a citrus hop smell. Caramel sweet.

This has an initial citrus hop punch that quickly fades to an overpowering malt bill. It is not terrible but so unbalanced that we lose the hops all together.

Mouth is very good for the style. Full to the end.

Overall this was a decent offering in the IPA category. Thanks to turfy for the extra.

Photo of rajendra82
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one came to me from mhewes, just like a couple of other Saint Arnold beers, The pour looked like a typical IPA, but slightly paler than the typical orange-amber, and displayed a good deal of chill haze. The smell was clean citric hops and a note of honey. The taste was a little less typical, as it was sweeter than I was anticipating. The hops were more or less in balance with the malts, so this tasted more like a slightly amped up APA, than a hop driven IPA. Nice and sticky in the mouth due to the residual sugars, and aftertaste was chalky. This was a very drinkable beer, but not a very memorable one.

Photo of BrewerB
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jackie for sending this out!

A- Slight hazy, medium orange with yellow highlights. Formed a thin off-white head with good retention. Some pleasant lacing stays on the glass when swirled. Perhaps a bit more clarity (not required of style) would improve appearance.

S- Moderately intense citrus hops with orange being the most detectable. Malt backbone is clearly evident, clean with a touch of toast. Malt seems a bit too powerful for the style.

T- Moderate-high level of bitterness, very malty. Malt flavor is rather intense for the style and less emphasis on the hop character. Medium to medium-low flavor from citrusy hops. Medium-dry finish is appropriate.

M- Medium bodied, moderate to mid-high level of carbonation. Smooth, no astringency.

D- It's a drinkable beer, don't get me wrong. But for an American IPA, it doesn't quite fit the bill. Balance is too far towards the malt. Appropriate level of bitterness but without the American hop character I've come to expect in an IPA.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5-1-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Golden copper color, poured not even a finger of foam, ok lacing ring with carbonation present

S – Hops with a slight malt nose. Faint smelling brew

T/M – Malty brew with a little hop bitterness, lighter bodied brew. Malty caramel taste, too much malt for an IPA in my opinion

D – Decent beer with more malt then hop flavor. Light IPA in book so I wouldn’t see this brew out again, glad I had tried it though

Photo of YonderWanderer
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light orange with a finger of foam. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: Aroma is of light citrus hops - not as much as I was expecting from the smell. Definitely milder than I was hoping for. Remained fairly mild throughout the drinking.

T: Taste was solid. Some citrus hops with a hint of floral hops form a nice flavor.The hops are balanced by a somewhat sweet maltiness that's fairly pleasing. Good, but not great.

M: Smooth and viscous, with a slightly crisp finish.

D: This would make a solid session IPA - easy to drink, not overpowering in flavor, and pretty good overall.

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from gawnphishin. Thanks!

No freshness dating, poured into goblet.

A - Light fluffy head, crystal clear orange. Pretty thick lacing.
S - Fairly delicate florals and fruits. Not much pine. Touches of citrus.
T - Not what I expected, begins floral and citrus followed by a kick of pine and a fairly bitter and astringent aftertaste. Wasn't expecting this much pine from the smell; but a nice surprise.
MF - Creamy and surprisingly light bodied- a bit too light for my tastes.
D- Elevated drinkability due to water-like mouthfeel, also lower aby helps.

A solid IPA; would have again. Not something to actively seek out but a nice beer.

Photo of roadhouse
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a semi hazy orange color with a frothy one and a half inch off-white head. Tons of lacing left behind.

Aroma is quite piney, some citrus like grapefruit, orange, and a touch of biscuity maltiness.

Taste is basically just like the aroma. Some piney and citrusy hops mixed with a bit of biscuit malt that comes in towards the middle. Strong bitter dry hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, nice level of carbonation, slightly harsh.

I'm not impressed but I don't not like it. It's just pretty average and nothing that I would ever buy a six pack of, especially since the release of SN Torpedo.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice yellow reddish rust color with a small head, and below average lacing. Average carbonation with a fairly strong hoppy smell. Tastes of slightly hoppy bitterness backed with a light malt backbone. Tastes more like a pale ale than an IPA.

Photo of Treebs
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a trade, Thanks Brad! Poured from 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

A: Pours a very nice clear amber with some yellowed hues around the edges. Very nice 1.5 finger frothy white head that is showing some nice retention. Nice thin blanket of lace on the way down.

S: I'm picking up some piny and resin-like notes at the front and a smidgen of doughy malts through out the rest.

T: Definitely a slight bitter resin hop on the front and then it really smooths out to a light caramel malt. The taste sort of falls off after that though.

M: Medium bodied with a decent mouth to it, a little oily. There is a light bitterness that lingers for a brief second, but as I previously mentioned it falls off rather quickly.

O: This a solid IPA, although it is a little on the malty side and slightly one dimensional in the taste.

Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to OakedCanuck for sending me this one in a recent trade. I used to live in Texas and have had many St. Arnold beers, but I haven't had this one in a while.

A: Pours almost clear, but not quite - more of a hazy, brownish-red liquid with a very generous 1.5 inch head.

S: Candy sugar, malts, a little bit of hops but not much citrus.

T: Not bitter at all. This IPA is more on the malty end of the spectrum and I'm a bit surprised by this since this is a single hopped beer and that single one is cascade. I thought for sure there would be some grapefruit in there. However, this is not bad by any means.

M: A bit syrupy, but I appreciate the gesture of not doing, yet again, another West Coast hop explosion IPA.

D: I had no problems slamming this one down. I may be headed back to visit Texas soon, so I will look for more of this stuff for sure. I'd love to try this on tap!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished tangerine with a warm copper-like glow. Thanks to a vigorous pour and a healthy amount of carbonation, the pastel orange-ecru crown is three fingers in height. The foam resembles a melted mesa as it descends, leaving abstract squiggles of lace in the process.

The nose isn't hoppy enough. Given the boasting on the SABC website, the expectation was for something a lot more impressive than this. Each sniff delivers a whiff of caramel malt and a minor accenting citric hoppiness. A Cascade-only IPA from a well-regarded brewery should be more tropical fruity. An estimated 60 IBUs? We'll see about that.

Elissa IPA is named for a Texas tall ship. Given the style, that's a pretty appropriate name. Unfortunately, this beer might not have made it all the way to India in optimal shape. It's reasonably bitter, it just isn't very hop flavorful.

Maris Otter and crystal malt lay down a reasonably solid foundation. The latter provides an English toffee vibe that's good if you like that sort of thing in your IPAs. The Cascade hops, on the other hand, are still struggling to fight though and fully engage the taste buds. Warming helps to some degree (pun intended), just not enough.

The mouthfeel is close to good. It could use a little more bulk, a little more creaminess and a little less carbonation. A few minor changes here could pay big dividends.

All things considered, I have been moderately impressed with Saint Arnold beer so far. Since IPA is my favorite style, a home run here would have been nice. Instead, Elissa is more like a weak single to short right field. Under the cap... 'Worts 2 live by'.

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.