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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

888 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 27
Gots: 111 | 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: 888 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of suspect
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle on 1/17/11

A: Clear copper-tinged gold color aggressively poured to an average head that disappeared rather quickly with little lacing.

S: Not an overpowering smell but hops are most obviously presented first with a slight hint of citrus that I had to look for to find.

T: Surprisingly good given the weaker smell. Balanced, not too bitter, really even-keeled nice tasting IPA.

M: Highly carbonated, light and frothy.

D: This was a very drinkable beer. This one isn't gonna punch you in the face with its characteristics but it doesn't have to given how nicely it's rounded out. For those lucky enough to have this on a regular basis (IE, not those of us in NY), you are getting a really nice treat.

Photo of salvo
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
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 albertjr21
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass consumed on 1.13.11.

A hazy and dull gold color with a sparse head opens up with a decent nose of grapefruit rind. At its opening there's a bright and significantlty "sour" bitter citrus feel that moves into a refreshing and easy going well balanced feel and moderately resonating finish. Everything seems very nicely distributed here and this is one of the best finishes to an IPA I've ever experienced. Not too much and not too little hops here...Great drinkability! Bravo, Saint Arnold! Cheers!

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike for sending this my way!

A- Body is a completely transparent light golden hue. Pours with a nice 1-2 finger foamy white head. Fades to and retains at a nice 1/2 finger. Traces of lacing are left all the way down the glass.

S- Nose offers tropical fruit, pale malt, aznd a touch of pine.

T- The flavor overall is pretty mild but the pine and hops come through a lot more in the flavor than in the nose. A mild resiny hop bitterness lingers.

M- High carbonation and a light weight body.

D- This is a nice, light, classic drinkable IPA. There seems to be a little bit of funk in there too.

Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as a great extra in a trade with mattisloco. Thanks! Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a very clear coppery orange color. A thin cap of white foam fizzles to the surface quickly leving a loose skim coat and a small collar. No lacing.

S - A bit bready in nature at the base with a thick citrus covering, orange blossums with hints of alcohol, a bit fruity, a little metallic and a barely noticeable sugary sweetness too. A very well balanced smelling IPA.

T - More bitter than the nose would indicate. Full hoppy bitterness with a mostly floral flavor character that fades to an earthiness and metallic taste on the swallow. Finishes pretty dry and crisp. Some breadiness and bisuity flavors from the malt.

M - Lightish medium body with a rich and creamy feel from the carbonation. Smooth and well balanced IPA with a lingering bitterness. Dry and crisp - refreshing.

T - A good session IPA. Very well balanced - not at all over the top on the hops or the malt. Everything works together well and nothing overpowers. Carbonation is on the lower side for an IPA and seems to enhance the drinkability of this one. Not gonna blow you away, but this is a very solid and well brewed IPA.

Photo of anotherpg
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wide glass, nice head straight from the pour. A good smell, mostly of bread and pine. The taste to me was grapefruit, without being overly bitter -- tastes like a blend of hops that are balanced out. This is *not* a massive hophead beer. At 60ibu, it's clearly an ipa but won't make you wince (for those of us that like that.) A nice, solid AIPA that is highly drinkable. Not a beer that's odd enough to seek out, but one worth having with dinner if it's on the menu. As others have said, a possible gateway beer for newbies just getting into hop-heavy brews.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours cloudy gold in color into my tulip glass with about a finger of head, moderate retention and lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, some bread tones, mild citrus and pine hops, just not enough for me.

T - Somewhat sweet and fruity, caramel malts, and much more grapefruit citrus hop than the aroma, has a pretty bitter linger to it, but overall pretty well balanced.

M - Crisp, bright and clean, very nice.

D - This is a very nice IPA, one that might help non IPA drinkers bridge the gap.

Photo of wray7276
5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Clear Amberish color,Frothy light tan head,3 finger head that did seam to stay but did disolve to about 1 finger,Very low carbonation not too many bubbles.

Smell: Sweet nose with hint of citrus,the cascade hops really hit the nose.

Taste: Starts off like biting into an orange,then ends with a citrusy explosion...like if you licked an orange peel.There is light sweetness there as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: At 6.6 abv and over 60 ibu's its a really easy brew to drink.

Notes: Very interesting American IPA.I love styles like this that make my mind wonder and keeps me guessing.Overall a very drinkable beer,i look forward to trying this again.With that said Saint Arnolds Elissa IPA gets 2 THUMBS WAY UP!!!!Great job guys keep up the good work.Also would like to note the LACING....WOW!!!! Also would like to add under the caps there is a message...mine says You've got ale....lol know thats funny!!!

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 nitro0292
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, part of a mixed six purchased @ Kroger's over Thanksgiving weekend.

A - Good stable head, poured a clean, mostly clear orange.

S - Piney and Citrusy hops - Mmmm.

T - Not as citrusy as I would have hoped, more piney, floral, grassy hops than expected, but still a good, well balanced brew. Strong piney hops create a nice flavor profile.

M - Good. Nice balance of carbonation and body, could have preferred a touch more body, but still very enjoyable.

D - I would have liked more citrus to really make the mouth water for another.

When all is said and done, I would buy again. Good job.

Photo of JonathanCrites
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Kroger on W Gray in Houston.

A - Poured a clear gold color into a pint glass. White head with some lasting along the edges of my glass.

S - I love the hop aroma of this beer. Smells crisp and fresh and ready to drink.

T - Hops all the way through but enough of the malt balances it out so you are not overpowered. Hops are clarifying as you drink, definitely getting some citrus as I continue on.

M - I would say this has a medium mouthfeel. There also feels like a good amount of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable and smooth, I like that the hops are not so strong as to wear your taste buds out. I could have had several more.

Photo of GJ40
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Received as an extra from SSW117; thanks Sam!

a - Pours a nice transparent amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate
carbonation evident. Little bit of retention and lacing.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, honey, and caramel malts. Nothing is overpowering, but it is very pleasant.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, citrus hops, floral hops, bready malts, and light pine. Lot more malts in the taste than the smell, and no really bitterness at all. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

d - I found this to be a very enjoyable, easy to drink IPA. It is not overally hoppy in the smell or taste, and the malts definitely come through more in the taste than the smell, but it is very pleasant. If I was looking for an IPA that was balanced between malts and hops and this was on my shelves I would definitely buy it again sometime.

Photo of climax
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 jrallen34
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served into my Narke tulip...Pours a bright and attractive medium orange with an off white head. The head only rises about two finger and falls fast to a small soapy head, ok lacing...A sweet aroma of caramel and alcohol, reminds me of a light dipa, just not as strong. Caramel, bread and pineapple on the front with a nice grass hop finish. Balanced and alluring...The taste carries over the sweetness of the aroma too much. A super sweet ipa, malty caramel and bread, there is no hops in this at all. Flavor wise a tad disappointing, I want a bite.

This is an easy to drink beer, not an ipa at all, but its tasty. Don't bother getting this if you want an ipa or you will be disappointed.

Photo of burnerfinger
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet.

A Clear, and honey colored brew pours but generated just a moderate head and not much in the way of lacing

S malty backbone and a lite (LITE) touch of hops to the nose

T the taste itself is GREAT!!! hoppy IPA flavor to be savored.

M: nice enough....a bit nondescript

D: to hoppy for a session, but then go ahead and do it anyway.

Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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 BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

A bit of a hybrid here with English malts and Cascade hops. Authenticity aside, the word "hybrid" is overused to begin with, and look at the facts: 6.6 percent ABV and roughly 60 IBUs--yeah ... that sounds like a modern day American IPA to us.

Good head retention with a sea foam-like lacing on the glass similar to when a tide pulls back. Orangey hop aroma with some juice and rind, a tad minty and earthy as well. There's a pleasant toasted biscuit malt nose right below the surface of the hops. A nice burst of smoothness opens up this beer. Hop bitterness is there with a slick resiny/oily orange flavor that puckers with rind and zest. More of a citric oil and wildflower flavor in the middle. The malt steps up and is able to balance without a problem--it's very biscuity with a toasted husk note in the finish. End is semi-bitter and dry.

This reminds us of those old school "microbrews" of days long gone which we love. Great to see this flavor is still around. Thumbs up!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes from 9/10/10

Enjoyed on cask at Gingerman in Austin, TX.

Poured in to a pint glass with a medium amber colour and 1 finger of thick creamy cream-coloured head.

The nose had some bitterness from the hops with light citrus and floral notes.

The palate is predominantly bitter hops with floral and citrus notes and some caramel malt sweetness in the background.

Creamy; Lightly carbonated.

Photo of Duttonic
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at the Gingerman in Houston on 8/18/10.

A- Amber in color, cloudy/bubbly at first until settled, two fingers thick whipped foamy head.

S- Hoppy, floral, caramel, sweet, bready.

T/M- Creamy, hoppy, a surprising malt backbone, medium to light medium body.

D- Good drinkability. It was the last of what they had on cask, so I definitely want to try it again when they have it fresh. Try it. It's a good way to sample a non-overpowering IPA and it benefits the Elissa tall ship in Galveston.

Photo of yourefragile
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby 12 oz bottle with a twist off cap poured into a nonic.

Appearance is a clear light copper color with a moderately thick and creamy head that fades to a thin cap and film with streaky lacing. Aroma is disappointingly mild, with caramel and biscuity malt, and extremely faint citric hops. Flavor and mouthfeel seem more like an APA, with a strong caramel malt body and smooth Cascade hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is pleasantly full, with moderate carbonation and leaves a soft, full coating on the palate. Not the worst IPA, but largely forgettable.

Photo of crossovert
2.39/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

It pours an amberish/copperish color with a big foamy white head that sticks for a while before receding with some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit of a letdown. It is very malty, almost earthy as well, there are hops in the piney and tomatoey variety.

Maybe this one didn't survive the journey from Texas, it is devoid of any hops. Just some dough like malt and some spice.

Maybe i got a bad bottle? It isn't very potent.

Photo of Kaiser81
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Mora2000

Poured a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A - Pours a clear amber color with about a finger width of head. There are noticeable floaties in the glass too. There is some nice lacing on the glass.

S - I get some raisins, some sweet bready malt, a touch of chardonnay mixed with hints of tropical fruit.

T - All malt with a touch of pine, and some overripened grapefruit. There is a noticeable lingering bitter taste too. Nothing that can be figured out, just bitter.

M - Light bodied with a bit excess of carbonation

D - I think I'd pass on this if offered again, though I was happy to try it.

Photo of Beasticles
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours golden amber with a 1 and 1/2 finger cream colored head. Nada in the way of residual lacing.

S: Smell is very mild with a malty-hop scent.

T: The taste is also rather mild for an IPA. Hops are picked up first and malt finishes it off. Flavor lingers for 20 seconds or so.

M: I liked the mouthfeel. Got the carbonation level right for the flavor intensity. Gives it a cleaner feel than many heavier brews.

D: All-in-all, it's a very decent IPA. Nothing special, but I would buy it again.

Photo of Xul
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for Dajtai007 for the extra!

A: Pours a translucent golden with some orange highlights, capped by a thin white head. Retention is poor although some lacing is left behind.

S: Earthy hops with just a bit of orange/grapefruit citrus character, backed by a strong malt base that's a mixture of bread and caramel. Some faint pine notes hangs in the background. Overall a pretty subdued nose.

T: Hops come alive on the tongue better than they did in the aroma, with a juicier citrus character and much stronger pine, moving the earthy hops to the background. Malt base takes on more caramel than bread. Well balanced.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, feels a bit on the heavy side.

D: Goes down easy but doesn't have an entirely refreshing finish. Good, solid IPA.

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.