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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

837 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 837
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 26
Gots: 87 | 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: 837 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy light orange with white head. Full C resiney hop bitterness with significant maltiness. In your face strong bitterness yet English ingrediants, a Ratatouille receipe of English and American IPA. Drinkable and refreshing though not what you expect

Sammy, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

t0rin0, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +6.4%

spycow, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

zestar, May 31, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Texasfan549, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a two finger head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Some caramel malt and a touch of piney hop

Taste: Starts with a caramel flavor that has a nice fruity character; after the swallow, the piney bitterness kicks in to join the malt; the finish has a grainy aspect that is rather astringent

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just OK out of the bottle; I liked it a lot better when I had it on cask

brentk56, May 26, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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'.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a bit bigger than the crisper versions of Blondes that appeal to me. The extra sweetness and fruitiness proves too much in the end.

The golden-orange colored ale gives a nice creamy stark white head that holds firm through the entire session, leaving good amounts of lacing all the while. A good haze keeps the beer glowing, but not bright.

Both aroma and taste deliver a consistent progression of character. Orange zest (from hops) lead the way and settle into a light caramel, cracker-like flavor/aroma that provides the foundation for the body. Light on esters, the beer relies on more hop flavor to deliver grapefruits, pineapple, and tangerines. The graham cracker malts give a modest sweetness but firm taste to balance the hops without competing with them. A bit of pint thinner alcohols is the only deterrent to the very clean taste.

Though the body is light, the crispness, cleanliness, and dryness makes up for it. Quite warming and a bit numbing, the alcohols further emphasize the dryness and bitterness that was started by the hops. The beer finishes with a long and bitter linger. Orange zest and grapefruit return in the modest aftertaste.

This is a very nice IPA. It takes a lot of discipline and craft to make an IPA taste sessionable. This is what Saint Arnolds has done here. Thanks Exiled!

BEERchitect, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +6.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
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 GRG1313
3/5  rDev -20.2%

GRG1313, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Just got this one in the mail on Saturday and wasted no time at all. A nice one liter swing top growler straight out of Texas. I have really like everything from them in the past and had not had a chance to try this one yet. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/22/2009.
 
Appearance 3 - Poured very flat, no real carbonation at all here. This is quite odd I have to say as when it was in the growler there was at least an inch and a half of head on top. Hmm.
 
Aroma 4 - Pungent aroma of sticky hops permeates the air around the glass. Rich notes of pine and dark citrus are very rich and leaping out of the glass. Not much in here as far as balance, but the hops are really showing off their stuff quite nicely I have to admit.
 
Taste 4 - Suffers from being flat, but I will not let that get in the way of the flavor. Nicely done here, sharp pungent hops again lead the way fairly quickly here and the rich bold notes of pine and orange plan off each other quite nicely. Slight buttery flavor mid palate but it is quickly washed with bitter hops quickly leaving a dry finish.
 
Feel 2.5 - Flat. A bit oily as well, definitely fresh, but the main problem here was the complete and utter lack of any carbonation, which again I found odd considering it was well carbonated in the growler.
 
Drinkability 4 - I am going to give this a good score here as I really did enjoy the flavor of it overall. And to have a flat IPA and still manage to finish it has to say something.
 
Overall - I would love to try this one on tap or a well carbonated growler. Again not really sure what happened between the pop when I opened the growler and the pour into the bottle, but if it had a little more to it that would have made it excellent in my book.

mikesgroove, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

womencantsail, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This poure out as a copper color with a small white head on top. The retention is minimal with virtually no lacing at all. The smell of the beer is mostly malt, not sure how old the bottle might be but I have trouble detecting much of the hops on the nose here. The taste is also pretty malt forward as well, decent caramel flavors but not enough hops to give it the punch it needs. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's got a solid body to it, good carbonation and it's pretty easy to put down. Overall it's more of an English IPA to me than an American one. Either way it's a pretty decent beer.

Knapp85, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a small, but lasting, white head.

Smell: Definitely a hoppy aroma, here. Chopped grapefruit rinds and flowers soaked in pine resin. Some malted grains in the background, but it's mostly hops.

Taste: Brief caramel maltiness before the burst of citric, pithy grapefruit, pine needles, and discarded Mother's Day flowers. Medium but substantial hop bitterness that lasts until the finish. Small taste of lemon juice right at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, above average IPA from the great state of Texas.

ChainGangGuy, May 12, 2008
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber in color with quite a bit of haze to it. The head never rises very high, but it retains nicely.

Smell: Not a ton of hop aroma (or aroma in general) from this one, oddly enough. Some mild fruit and grass are all I could pick up.

Taste/mouthfeel: Semi-dry bready malts, a bit of fruit and mild bitterness. Are there hops in this? It's kinda hard to tell. Seriously though, this is rather good stuff, but it drinks more like a nice pale ale. Those used to palate-raping West Coast style IPAs will probably find this overly mild, but it does have a nice flavor to it. The finish is pleasantly dry and reveals a touch more bitterness, but I still have a hard time calling this an IPA.

largadeer, May 24, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the "patron saint of brewers", comes the Elissa IPA. No pressure there. This beer appears a light clear copper hue, with voluminous off-white thick foamy head, and lacing left all around. I smell pine hops, and not much else. The taste leads with a toasty, bready malt, and moves to show some moderate pine hops in the middle. There is a fair bit of carbonation, and a dry, hoppy finish. Although slightly underwhelming for an American IPA, I could still have a few of these, at least.

biboergosum, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Gingerman in Austin TX.

Appearance: Hazy deep amber. Long lasting creamy ivory head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Grassy, leafy, and gently citrusy/piney over a mild, biscuit-like and caramelish malt.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma. There's more hops than malt, but it's soft and smooth and not bitter (well, yes, but not harsh). Mild fruitiness of apple and pear from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Supple. Smooth. As cask should be. Simply disappears down the hatch.

Drinkability: Well balanced. Well rounded. Remarkably drinkable. With the exception of its strength this could be a great session ale. Worth trying!!!

NeroFiddled, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a very very average ipa. nothing special here at all, and I have a fairly fresh bottle. nice orangey gold glow on the pour, and my globe gives it a good looking inch of white head with solid retention. nose of grassy hops, but everything is really in the background, almost stale. understated in smell and taste to the point of boring. this is an ipa man, assert yourself! balanced again, to the point of not being interesting, and the hops just don't pop for me. medium bodied and sort of creamy and expansive, but this has very little happening for me. I took four days off from drinking beer, a periodic reset for the guts, and all I wanted was a good ipa. this failed me on so many levels, and honestly, a 3 overall is generous. its just missed the mark in every facet. good feel though for a session ipa. saint Arnold has some work to do on their basic lineup...

StonedTrippin, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.8/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from hojuwestlake, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavy with a nice floral hops smell, with an excellent compliment of citrus and caramel sweetness.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a heavy burst of grassy hops bitterness, fruity citrus sweetness and caramelized malt. Each of the flavors accent each other rather than battle for dominance, however, the hops flavor is what win out in the end as you would expect. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, good kick to it, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer quite a bit and could see myself drinking quite a few of these in an evening.

TheManiacalOne, May 03, 2007
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 RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

RblWthACoz, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily the best beer I had in Tx in late April!

Poured bronze with 1.5 fingers of eggshell colored head. Super lacing & really good head retention

S: Fruitty with grassy & piney hop notes

T: Bready, piney hop notes plus fruittyness up front. Citrussy hops show up as this warms. Finishes dry with dates, breadyness & earthy hops

MF: Medium bodied,moderate carbonation with great balance & a pleasing quenching juicyness

Drinks too easy, a super quaffable IPA, that is worthy of higher praise!

russpowell, May 18, 2007
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 jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dirtygrind (Reddit) for another Saint Arnold I've never had before.

Bah, another screw cap?! Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, light lacing, over a hazy copper honey orange colored beer.

Nose isn't bad, nice light floral hops, some citrus with a light candied orange peel, a bit of pine, and a bit of earthy bittering style hop and some sweet crystal malts.

Taste starts with some sweeter malts, a light syrupy caramel like sweet malt with a hint of a toasty reddish malt, and a light candy flavor. That leads into the hops with again the candied orange peel, a mild bitterness with light earthy bittering hop, and just touches of citrus and faint hint of tropical fruit like tangerine.Finish is a bit malty sweet and syrupy but a bit drier, a ramping grassy earthy hop taste that reminds me that it actually is an IPA despite the light hop flavors and malty sweetness.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, bit sticky.

Overall eh, not great, it started OK, but the taste dropped off with little hop flavor and even lighter bitterness overall. The malts take a lot more of the show, making this more of a hoppy red ale.

jlindros, Aug 08, 2012
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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.