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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

769 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 769
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 24
Gots: 52 | 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: 769 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear amber color with a nice white head and good lacing.

S-Very nice. Citrusy hops dominate with a sold malt backbone.

T-Delicious. Starts with a nice grapefruit hop bite, followed by a solid caramel malt sweetness which balances the hops throughout the finish.

M-Nice carbonation, a bit creamy.

D-I will gladly have another of these anytime. Very nicely balanced and drinkable.

A highly underrated IPA to my tastebuds. I liked this a lot.


Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 12:58:47 | More by sholland119
Photo of orcasteve

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

tates a bit to much of corn or grain and not enough hops, this one is more like a week pale insted of an ipa, still would have been week if you called this one a pale, but this one is better than most macro brews out there. i wish this one was thicker and a few shades darker. all and all i would drink this one agan if i saw it.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 19:51:56 | More by orcasteve
Photo of tpd975


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber hue with a small head that exhibits good retention.

S: Grassy hop aroma, very floral with some notes of citrus.

T: Nice balance between malt and hops. Nice blast of toasy biscuity malt up front. The hops power thru in the middle and dominate thru the finish. The hops are very floral with hints of grass. Touches of grapefruit peek thru in the finish. There is a slight bitterness that shows up in the finish as well.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation. A bit dry in the finish.

D: A nice drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 19:20:51 | More by tpd975
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mhewes hooked me up with this one.
Poured a deep orange color with a small dirty white head. Nose was plenty malty with some tart bitterness, citrus and bite. Taste was extremely heavy on malts for an IPA. I am used to most West Coast with lighter malts and huge hop body. This brew was thicker, meatier and had a fuller profile. As I wish there had been more hops I also have to remember not to judge all beers by West Cost IPAs. That is like comparing American and English bwines, its apples and oranges. Differnt styles. This was more the East Coast flavor. I dig it. Very good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 20:05:50 | More by barleywinefiend
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'.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 12:40:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Med


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thickerfreakness for this.

Pours a hazy orange with a very small white head.leaves very little lacing. Aroma is subdued, but holds nice floral and citus hops as well as a nice sweetness hinting at a nice malt profile. Taste is mostly grapefruit with nice bitterness, but the malts, while there, don't quit live up to the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium with nice, but not great carbonation. Overall a nice, drinkable IPA, but not exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 23:09:35 | More by Med
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - nice amber color with a nice offwhite head.

S - citric hops, grainy biscuit malts

T - similar to the nose, balanced but never lets up on the hops.

M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, light lingering citric bitter effect.

D - definitely in the american ipa side of things, nice overall ipa

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 01:11:05 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of woodychandler


5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Ginger Man had an all-female staff last night when TheChauffeur1 and I stopped in and it took every woman-jackie (manjack) one of them to change the cask. UKBrewing and Imbiber would have been in stitches. The flexing, bending and general ten basic ballet moves had me rolling in laughter.

Their machinations resulted in a thick, foamy, tawny head with not only excellent retention throughout, but also resulting in majestic lacing. The nose was soft and mildly hoppy. The color of mine was a cloudy amber as compared to the deep amber with NE-quality clarity in Greg's glass. Mine was partially from the bottom of the keg, which is one of the hazards of that pour. The mouthfeel was silky smooth with mild hop bite on the tongue. The finish was mildly bitter, which made it a good fit for both of us although I am a hophead and Greg prefers maltier beers. Love at first taste!

Serving type: cask

07-05-2008 00:43:04 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from BgThang, thanks!

Copper colored body with off-white head. Not a lot of retention, no lacing.

Smells like hops, lots of hops. Not bad.

Tasty, this is a hop bomb of an IPA, and I like it. Lots of hop bitterness. Citrus, grassy flavors. Just a slight malt backbone. A really nice hoppy ipa with an appropriatly oily, carbonated mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, very good.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 21:52:59 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of ckeegan04


3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark orange in color. This light brown head with decent retention and good lacing.

S - An aroma of tropical/citus fuit dominates. Nothing is very strong though.

T - Somewhat weak taste of pale malt up front followed by a soft citrusy hop bite. The flavors are all well balanced but they are not the strongest.

M/D - Medium bodied and somewhat creamy feel. Very drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 03:46:41 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of gford217


3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear amber with a thin dense head that shows very good retention with a constant stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. There was a small amount of delicate lacing around the glass as well. The aroma is balanced with the malts and hops both contributing. The hops are represented by pine scents and are balanced by the slight sweetness of caramel malts. The taste is slightly hoppier than the smell with both citrus and floral tastes coming through on top fo the caramel malt background. The finish is a little bitter with the hops coming back. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation and a slight pine resin stickiness. This is a quite drinkable and balanced IPA that doesn't wipe out the palate in the process. A nice offering from Saint Arnold.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 22:21:41 | More by gford217
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a fine, peak filled off-white head.

Floral nose with hints of roasted malts...not the most outstanding IPA nose, but far from bad.

A bit different from the norm, as far as IPAs...more malt presence hinting sweetness vs. huge hops. A very nice and enjoyable IPA, feels good on the tounge and carbonation seems well done. Alcohol is well hidden I'm thinkin'.

Drinkability is pretty high for an IPA, one of Saint Arnolds finest offerings.

Pretty cool that some of the proceeds go toward maintaining an 1800's ship like the ones that took IPAs from Britain to India.

Will buy again, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2008 21:06:57 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of rsawyer


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Elissa is a very palatable Texas IPA. After living in Galveston for over 8 years, I became very familiar with Texas' tall ship (The Elissa), and being an avid sailor, I MUST appreciate this brew.

I have had on-tap and on bottle, but my review comes from the tap at the nice coffee house next to Boondoggles.

Appearance- More transparent than translucent. Tan to dark blonde. White head. Adequate carbonation for the style.

Smell- I call this beer the gateway IPA, because both smell and taste are balanced perfectly between the hops and the malt. When smelling you get hints of floral-y hops, a small bit of bitter grapefruit, and a nice warm malt.

Taste- Like I said- gateway IPA. Just about anyone can fall in love with this brew. The hops compliment the malt perfectly for an IPA. While drinking, there is no doubt that this is an IPA, but at the same time, this is no West Coast hop aggressive IPA. While I am admittedly a hop-head, this brew is very nice and easy, making it a great beer to grab while grilling or enjoying an afternoon session of home-brewing and entertaining. The first sip lets you know that this is certainly not an amber ale, as the hops to step right up and proclaim their presence, but at no point in time do the hops take over.

Mouthfeel- highly carbonated, and just thick enough, this brew will stick to the tongue and tickle your mouth.

Drinkability- I find my self falling back on this as my go to IPA when I am entertaining or getting others into micros! Did I mention it goes GREAT with the grill?

Edit- 2-JUL-08: I re-read my review and I could not understand why I ranked Appearance @3.5. This IPA pours a beautiful amber with a very nice head. Strong lacing remains on the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2008 02:03:59 | More by rsawyer
Photo of errantnight


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ever drink a beer that, when it comes time to review, you wonder what the hell everyone is thinking? Where people seem to fall into line behind a prevailing opinion and you can't tell... are your taste buds shot, or are other people crazy? It's probably you (in this case, me), but man... I just thought this was a delightful little IPA.

A deep orangey copper colored IPA with a creamy, lasting head, and organic, splotchy lacing that I always enjoy.

Big citrus, juicy, creamy, grapefruit and tangerine. Sweet but silky and cleansingly bitter. All hop flavor with maybe a tinge of caramel malt sweetness.

Well-hidden alcohol, nice body, exceptionally drinkable.

Hey, maybe I'm in the minority... but I love me some IPAs, and every family reunion in Texas.... I'll be happy to revisit this!

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 06:22:04 | More by errantnight
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mhewes for this one.

This beer pours a clear copper amber with a sustained sandy head of off-white.

Smells of distant sour grains and a pungent hop that makes me think of produce that's on it's way out.

Tastes very thin of a sweet multi-grain bread that is subsumed by a sour and dry hop that reminds me of apples, cedar and sour grains. bleah! In the finish, there's a boozy sting.

feels light and clean with a swarm of carbonation that seems to get in the way.

Hmmm. Not as I remember this one at all. It seems that I should have drank this one when it was far more cold.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 03:37:59 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of DefenCorps


3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle received from PHawk at Dark Lord Day. Thanks!

A: Fairly clear orange with a thin beige head. There's some stuff floating in the beer but it still looks fairly nice. As i drink it, it leaves attractive lacework

S: Mild citrus hop aroma with a faint malt presence. Nothing to write home about

T: Very mild hop flavor up front with no real malt character either. Maybe this is just a little too old? It's tasting like a pale ale to me.

M: Fair body, pleasant carbonation

D: Doubt I'll finish this - there's other stuff I'd rather drink now

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 04:03:01 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Ballewblake for this one. Grazi! Grazi!

Pours a clouded brownish amber with a crème head that leaves a decent amount of lacing on the way down. Nose is earthen and leafy with a sharper tang to it. Flavor is fairly deep. A nice robust and earthy/leafy edge. Tangy, but not annoyingly so. It's a milder kind of thing. Overall the whole flavor profile is definitely leaning towards the more earthen side. Feel has a bit of a bite on carbonation and the liquid is about what you would expect. This is a nice IPA. Very easy to drink and carrying a good body of flavor. I'd love to try this on-tap and I bet it would be interesting on cask as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 03:45:18 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of jordoo


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is from mhewes thanks mike.

12oz bottle poored into a pilsner glass.

Tight off white phomey head. Bright hazey orange lots of carbination. Smlls of tropical fruits, pine, flowers and very grainy breaded malts. Very ballanced with bitter stingy hop flovors in a grainy malted venue. Strange for an IPA nit what I'm used to but thoroughly enjoiyable. Decent mouth feel but huge carbinatoin, and pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 19:31:44 | More by jordoo
Photo of maximum12


3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TexasStout for throwing this in as an extra on a trade.

Appearance is typical IPA, yellow with some red highlights. Smell is odd, heavier than an IPA, without the hop tickle that I've come to expect.

Tastes like something other than an IPA. Hold on, I have to adjust my expectations. <adjust> OK, I'm back. Overwhelming malt & the crust of a 12 grain bread that's been left in the sun. Not bad, just not IPAish. Makes me wonder what St. Arnold's was trying to accopmlish here. I'm a big fan of beers that take risks & stretch styles, but this doesn't seem close to an IPA.

Pretty decent beer nonetheless. But not an IPA in my book.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2008 03:02:39 | More by maximum12
Photo of ffejherb


3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into Hopback glass on 6/10/08. Thanks to Deuane for the hook-up!

A - Attractive clear amber/orange body with two-finger white frothy head that receded fairly quickly but left a thick coat of foam around the glass. Lots of tiny effervescing bubbles swam to the top of the glass.

S - Not a particularly aromatic nose for an IPA, but there is quite a bit of caramel malt sweetness paired with some mild citrus hops with a hint of orange and lemon, and just a tinge of alcohol.

T - Pretty malty flavor despite its IPA status, with a predominantly sweet caramel malt aspect with a hefty bready flavor as well. Hops are primarily citrus with orange peel and lemon zest. Finish is quite biscuity with a toasted maltiness that yields a more burnt hop aspect in the end.

M - Light to medium body with a slightly syrupy texture that turns a bit creamy inside the mouth. Moderate amount of carbonation results in a bit of prickle on the tongue. Finish is slightly bitter but balanced (almost overpowered) by a huge malt backbone.

D - This is certainly a malt-forward IPA with a fair amount of hop bitterness. Could perhaps use a bit more of an assertive hop character, but it's still quite drinkable and tasty. Despite that, it still falls somewhere in the middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2008 23:57:48 | More by ffejherb
Photo of naterock


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice copper-orange with a thin head that leaves nearly no lace
S: wonderful hop aroma that is followed by a hint of yeast
T: absolutely wonderful flavor of cascade hops, incredibly well balanced that leaves a lingering taste of malt.
M: carbonation is strong at first, then quickly dissapates to reveal the bitterness
D: superior drinkability, I'm glad I brought some home from texas.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2008 23:06:26 | More by naterock
Photo of brandoneast


3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours transparent copper-orange with a nominal, light ecru head that dissipates quickly and leaves a faint collar. Cascade hops dominate the aroma's foreground with some caramel to the back. The taste surprisingly balances with sweet malt caramel and biscuity flavors then finishes with a middling hop presence that is citrus and pine that fades quickly leaving a lingering bitterness. The malt is not sticky or overly sweet; it is simply the dominant flavor. Smooth bodied with medium carbonation lend a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 03:50:29 | More by brandoneast
Photo of hopsleeroy

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had many times as my go to local IPA.
A-Copper, reddish. metallic color
S-Citrus hops, piney aroma, slightly metllic occassionally
T-Astrigent citrus hops, sweet malt-good balance of the two, grapefruit, slightly drying, some metallic taste
M-Well carbonated, good scrubbing effect, dry finish.
D-Very easy to drink, can drink a few of these, especially on a hot day

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 18:09:33 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of TheBCrew

New York

4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. pint on cask at the Ginger Man in Austin. Pours a cloudy copper with nice white cascading head. The head settled down to one finger and stayed there. Lots of lacing. Some yeast floaties and hop floaties were present. Confirmed with the bartender that this is dryhopped in the cask. Piney citrus hop aroma comes on strong. Great taste with the different hop characteristics shining through - pine at first with a slight citrus tinge. Pale malt backbone holds strong. Nice creamy mouthfeel makes this a real treat with good drinkability.

Serving type: cask

05-29-2008 13:15:14 | More by TheBCrew
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, acquired through a trade.

"Brewed in Texas" under the cap

A- Elissa pours a very attractive, semi hazy amber color with a monster of a white head, some lacing. An assault of small, slow moving carbonation rises from the bottom of my Dogfish pint.

S- The beer smells of fresh hops, lemon/ other citrus fruits, some pepper and a slight bready/malt character.

T- It starts off very nice sending a blast of bright fruit notes along with a very sturdy malt profile. The hops make an aromatic, plant like character mid palate leaving a very bitter finish. I like that taste, some people may not. Some alcohol is present on the finish as well.

M/D- Medium mouth feel, and IMO the perfect amount/feel of carbonation makes this American IPA one damn drinkable beer!

im glad i have another bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 00:16:55 | More by ATPete
Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.