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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 825
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 26
Gots: 79 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TXHops on 05-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slatetupelo
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange/copper color with a thin off white head that quickly disappears.

S - I couldn't smell much due to my sinuses but I could detect some citrus hops.

T - I guess you could say the flavors are well balanced, nothing stands out in particular. But there are hints of piney flavors, citrus, a malt backbone to even it all out. There is a bit of a mild bitterness on the aftertaste.

M- Medium

D - These would be easy to consume one after another but with no distinct flavor I'd probably choose another IPA if it were available, still a good beer though.

slatetupelo, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of PEBKAC
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Screw cap bottle. Square notch on the top left of the label... but nothing for it to correspond with. Poured into my Sly Fox tumbler.

A dusty/dulled amber, minimal amount of eggshell froth. Sticky cobweb lace.

Smell is mild, but there are likenesses of tangerine & itchy wheat in there. Swirling it a bit gives a nice sweet nectar-ish hit of hops.

Taste is quite yeasty/cracker-y as far as the upfront malt goes. A little sweet citrus juice, & then thick orange rind & leafy green bitterness takes control. Paired with the enthusiastic carbonation, it comes off with a good bit of refreshing acidity. Maybe there's some pepper in there too. Finish is yeasty, with a trail of lingering metallic bitterness.

Feel is thicker then it even looks, but stretches out as it goes down. I would of liked either a little less alcohol(which is still tolerable), or less body for a more efficient drinker.

PEBKAC, May 28, 2009
Photo of kkipple
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well well, whut do we have here? St. Arnold generally makes decent, if light for the style, brews, but this is pushing me to write a different sort of review.

Here's da deal: Elissa IPA is a fine beer. It's got a nice tight, fat head with some staying power atop a hazy, deep yellow-orange fizzy brew. We got some hop in the nose, citrus and sweet malt nothings. Flavor is a big boring, but you got biscuity malt, you got some dry hop bitterness, a nice sweetness, great full mouthfeel, you know... easy to drink. Doesn't seem like 6.6%, either.

All this is well and good, but the trouble is: this is an American Pale Ale! While it might have been a good IPA 15 years ago, we've moved on. This is a malt-centric brew, and cries out for more hop assertiveness. Call me spoiled, but this is either a recipe mistake or a labeling one. I'm not knocking this brew, it is fine beer, but to call it an IPA is a stretch. Elissa IPA is a prime example of a brew that needs a new identity.

St. Arnold folk: If you're reading this, I like your beer! But something has got to give!

kkipple, May 21, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly clear golden color with a finger of white head and some lacing. A touch lighter than I like to see my IPAs.

S: Really nice mix of citrus hops and malt. Both are crystal clear. A little bit of sweetness in the back as well.

T: Just a clean tasting DIPA. A little on the malty side but enough bitterness to round things out. Not nearly as much citrus as the nose lead me to believe.

M: A touch sticky. Very fresh tasting.

D: A really nice beer. Drank a ton of this while in Texas. The best local IPA that was available for sure.

aerozeppl, May 19, 2009
Photo of craytonic
2.48/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice honey-sun hazy orange-tangerine. Soda fountain head that quickly disappears.

Smell: There are hops in this beer?

Taste: Once again, there are hops in this beer?

Mouthfeel: Thin, but at least I don't have to complain about the lack of hops again. This is the better part of the beer, although it could still use a bit more malt. Very dry.

Drinkability: Not impressed at all, in a blind test I would have guessed this was a BMC, needs more of everything.

craytonic, May 15, 2009
Photo of natasharai
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with some bubbly foamy off white head that dissipated to a thin layer leaving very little lacing. The beer is a clear orangish copper color.

Smell: Nutty, spicy, orange citrus, some piney hops, and sweet roasted malt.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt, a bit nutty, citrus hops, bitter piney hops, small metallic flavor, ends with a roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, small tingle on the tongue, good light carbonation, leaves mouth a little dry.

Overall: Pretty good drinkability, nice sweet roasted quality balanced with the hops. The hops are a little mild for an IPA, but I don't know when this was bottled so they may have begun to fade.

natasharai, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: An ever-so-slightly hazy, bright golden-amber body with a mass of bubbles working their way up. On top, a finger of dimpled and fluffy off-white head with brilliant retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy, floral, and piney Cascade hops over a solid biscuity caramel malt base. Inviting.

Taste: In the flavor profile, the hop character is made up of mild bitterness and leafy notes with a good bit of the citrus stripped out. I'd like to see more of the perfumey citrus flavors you usually get from Cascade hops, but what is left is nice. The malt backbone is biscuity and mildly roasted. This is a very balanced IPA, but I'd be happy to see a bit more focus hop character. The aftertaste is bitter and biscuity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Mildly dry.

Drinkability: Well above average for the style. One of the most sessionable IPAs I've tried.

Verdict: Elissa is just an easily drinkable, moderately hoppy beer. It's certainly not the hoppiest IPA out there, and I'd like to see more of the traditional Cascade character, but it makes for a brilliant session beer for hop fans. A Houston institution in the making.

BeanBone, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of stumac
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this brew is the same color as the sun with a peculiar white head. decent lacing... the nose is grapefruit, floral hops, a very sweet aroma. the taste is tons of grapefruit, white grapes, green raisins, piney hops, sweet malts, medium bodied, medium carbo. Always a Houston classic...

stumac, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Strelnikov - thanks!! Poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a bright, vibrant orange, crystal clear, full of streams and rivulets of tiny, fast, continuous effervescence, constantly streaming upwards. The head is rocky and has surprisingly good retention, retaining its one-plus-finger, lightly tan, rocky glory for quite some time. The lacing is quite nice, actually, sort of like sheet-like and sticky in certain places, runny in others, like the way the wind forms patterns in the sand.

Aroma: Dry and slightly piney, with a few mineral-like qualities thrown in there against a slightly roasted, light backdrop. It's both pungent and subtle, in that it's not too descript, but it's easy to smell how it's not too descript, if that makes sense.

Taste: A little more standard than I would have imagined from the appearance and the aroma, though still solid. A lightly biscuity, graham cracker-like, relatively dry, and slightly minerally backbone, accompanied by some relatively mild hop bitterness and a few overtones - pine, a slightly leafy, herbal note, only the faintest hint of fruit. This one's very leafy and dry.

Mouthfeel: Big carbonation in a relatively not-too-thick body lends an explosive, slightly gritty, and a little uneven mouth to the proceedings. It works decently well with the flavor profile though, as it's overall a very subtle beer - nothing gets shoved in your face.

Drinkability: This is a drinkable beer, if only in that it's solid, not too high in alcohol, and not too over the top flavorful in any category. The hop profile is a little simplistic, in my opinion, and the malt backbone/water a little too cracker-like and dry, but overall it's a straightforward, enjoyable IPA.

CrellMoset, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went 4.0 across the board here because 4.0 is "good" and this beer is "good".
This offering from Saint Arnold is much better than their Amber, Brown, or Lawnmower.
Nice copper appearance with a head that descends into a thin film that still manages to coat the pint glass. Smells of malts right away surprisingly, I got bread and cinnamon first before I got the typical cirtusy bitter smells.
The taste is slightly astringent, but it is enjoyable for some reason. Very typical IPA taste, but that taste is something I like, so I like this beer as well. Plenty of hoppy bitterness and citrusy evergreen notes.
Smooth and silky in the mouth and doesn't seem like it could be approaching the 7% mark, which it is.

Good beer from Saint Arnold. I'm glad I tried it after being turned off by the other three beers I mentioned earlier. If you are planning on trying this brewery, I'd recommend the Elissa first.

joshuadlight, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of LittleDon
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly darker than golden in my pint glass with a dense off-white head which quickly subsides in to a healthy amount of lace. It is a tad hazy with a medium amount of carbonation. A fair amount of hops is present in the aroma. A nice amount of bitterness in the first to last sip. The hops are dialed back relative to the doubles I'm accustom to drinking, which is a refreshing change. Medium body and nice finish.

LittleDon, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

jwc215, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of roadhouse
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

roadhouse, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of abents
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JDV for sending this in a trade. He's a mighty generous trader.
Pours out a golden orange with a fingers worth of bright white head that laces occasionally. Smells slightly floral with a hint of citrus, not much to the nose, wonder if they dry hopped it enough or not. Taste is pretty nice, straight up cascades for the win, big citrus bang of bitterness. Nice bite to it, slight green apple tang in there, really classic style of IPA. Biscuit malts add a nice balance too it, round it out a bit. Very drinkable overall, nicely done ipa.

abents, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at the Gingerman in Houston. The beer was copper-orange and clear with a thin but dense "casky" foam. The aromas were mild pine needle hops and a little biscuit. I don't know if it's just me but I tend to get biscuit out of a lot of cask ales (even different styles). The taste is nice, slightly resiny but not over the top, and matches well with the smooth light carbonated body from the cask. Very drinkable in this form, the glass was empty before I knew it.

Anytime I can get beer from a cask, and especially when it's an IPA, that's my choice for the night. Elissa was a good choice and I was happy with it.

TurdFurgison, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Frosthazard
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Nice cloudy orange-gold color. A small amount of white head when poured aggressively and no lacing throughout drinking.

S - Citrus and grapefruit, a little lemoney hops and what I will describe as "wheat".

T - Nice and smooth, a little dry, but overall well balanced. The citrus comes back with the taste that hints of light hoppiness.

M - Lightly carbonated, without tasting flat, a little alcohol hint with the dryness. Refreshing without being too light.

D - One of IMO St. Arnold's best brews, this could be a session beer. It's not overly different and doesn't stand out as a favorite, but I would drink this again.

Frosthazard, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of aeminter
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

While at the AHA rally this weekend we had a rare treat; Cask conditioned Elissa IPA.

The beer was drawn behind their service bar, so the lack of head I will blame on the barkeep. The beer was honey gold in color and a little cloudy. I assume the cloudiness was do to being cask conditioned, and there by mostly unfiltered.

The smell was a little funky, but in a good way. Well, for a farm boy it's a good smell. It reminded me of wet feed mix... the more I think of it this may be what I've seen others refer to as cereal. The hops were not as pronounced as I expect with an IPA, but they were there.

The flavor is mellow in the front, citrus/pine hoppy in the middle, and clean in the finish. Very balanced.

Very drinkable. This is probably the most sessiony IPA I've ever seen.

This would even be a good way to get people who are not IPA drinkers into the style.

aeminter, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a murky rust orange with just a bit of foam

S - citrus and piney hops aromas

T - a nice sweet malt and bitey hop balance, some nice orange and grapefruit hop flavor

M/D - nice carbonation and flavor and very easy to drink. Just a nice tasting beer

mikereaser, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.85/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/27/2007 (Tap @ brewery):

Huge head, good lacing, big bubbles. Bitter aroma, hoppy, just hops, not tempered by malts. Hoppy bitter taste, somewhat tempeped by the malts. Malty, somewhat bitter taste. But bitter as it warms up. Just okay, I like IPAs, but this one is in the lower half for me.

jujubeast6000, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks got to armock for this in the Local Beer & Glass BIF.

Pours a hazy medium amber, with a bunch of unappetizing looking floating yeasty bits, and 2 fingers of foamy yet smooth looking off-white head. Good retention, with a thin layer that stays creamy and firm, leaving some nice full lacing back. The aroma is is grainy smelling and citric with a hop profile that is more on the spicy and earthy side.

The taste is similar, being a moderate feeling hop profile with an equal feeling backbone of toasted grainy malts and tangy citrus character. Finishes tangy and lightly bitter with some lingering spicy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation and easy feel to it. Pretty nice overall.

I liked this for the most part and thought that it was a pretty decent IPA that I definitely warmed up to the more I drank it. My only complaint was with the floaties in the pour and considering that this was the 2nd bottle of this that I've had (from 2 different TX BAs) that appeared this way, I'm going to have to assume that this is part of it's normal look. Besides this, this was overall pretty solid.

Kegatron, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of diamondc
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer disappeared from the local store shelfs for more than a year but now its back thanks to a new distributor. Yeah!

Appearance: Nothing to write home about. There is a nice cap of foam that sticks around for maybe a minute and leaves some thin, scattered lacing. Nice orange, copper color to the beer with a lot of haze due to the beer being unfiltered (or partially, at least).

Smell: There is a very sweet smell to this beer. Reminds me of German pilsner Noble hops in fact. Not that much grapefruit or pineiness to it either. Unusual, yet kind of inticing for an IPA.

Taste: Okay, this one is very malty! I get some orange and grapefruit hint, but there is big 'malt backbone' here that reminds me of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. The malt is big on the toffee and caramel. Not exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA personally, but I can see this one going for a more "English IPA" catagory. The aftertaste is pure biting into a grapefruit skin type bitterness, though, I'm diggin it.

Mouthefeel/Drinkability: The alcohol is hidden pretty well in this beer. I like drinking this beer with spicy foods or chili. My only wish is that there should be a bit more complexity with the hops though.

diamondc, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to hopsleeroy for throwing one of these into a recent trade. Used my usual Surly glass for this one.

A - Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Solid retention and lacing. Murky golden apricot color, with some gritty looking suspended solids. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - This has a bit of a pilsener smell to it - spicy Saaz hop aroma, with a hint of lemon zest. Not much in the way of tropical or sweet citrus at all. Some sweet malts and spice to it as well. Reminds me a little of Dogfish 60.

T - There's a lot of bitterness in this one, as well as some bready qualities. Again, the strongest fruit taste is lemon. There's a touch of sweetness mid-palate but it's gone pretty quick. Feels like more of an English IPA to me.

M - Creamy, but with a little grit to it. A little more carbonation than I like, although there's a nice tingle to it.

D - It's solid, but not what I generally look for from an American IPA. This review is looking very similar to my Dogfish 60 review. Alcohol is not noticeable, but carbonation gets a little bloaty after a while.

My least favorite Saint Arnold, although it's a solid and drinkable brew.

MasterSki, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color. Clean & clear. Finger's worth of white foam adorns this pretty looking beer.

Smell is at once a floral hop bouquet. Strong, sweet citrus notes. Wow, this stuff smells awesome. Pineapple, grapefruit and fresh PNW hops galore.

Tastes very balanced despite the strong hop nose. Bitterness is there but its very well backed up by the malt sweetness. Grapefruit, pineapple and hop reappear in the mouth. Delicious stuff.

Extremely drinkable! Thanks to htomsirveaux for this one.

indiapaleale, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is pleasant but also somewhat reminiscent of a bunch of other IPA I have had before. Taste is very refreshing with nice notes of citrus and bitter hops and a medium malt base. Good carbonation with average body. Well done with no discernable flaws but nothing extraordinary either.

Phyl21ca, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness on bottle.

Pours a small amount of head, but leaves some splattered lace spots. Color is a very clear orange bronze.

The aroma is of floral hops, however not as strong as a typical ipa. There are also hints of lemon zest. Taste is strong on the floral hops. Now, there are some bready malts present.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but not like a typical ipa. It seems to me that this beer is in the middle of a pale ale and an ipa (an EPA maybe?). This beer is also very crisp and goes down with a dry aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I maybe would change the style, because it does seem a slight weak for an ipa. I did enjoy this and would definitely recommend it.

mothman, Jan 16, 2009
Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.