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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

886 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 886
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 27
Gots: 109 | 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: 886 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexasTowHead
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice copper color with a relatively thin beige head that leaves little lacing. The smell is an intriguing mix of tobacco smoke and grapefruit. Unfortunately the taste is less intriguing with malt and barely detectable citrus; there was little of the hoppiness I've come to expect from the style.

Medium carbonation, belying the somewhat thin head. As with all of Saint Arnold's offerings, Elissa is very drinkable and actually benefits a bit from being less upfront than others of this style.

Update: Had another of these and I feel that I shortchanged the taste in my earlier review--it isn't as hoppy as I initially expected but it is still quite tasty. Moving from 3.0 to 3.5.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 16oz American pint glass.

Appearance: Pale copper color with a fairly sized off-white head that dissipates very slowly and leaves thick lace.

Smell: Light, toasty smell backed up by earthy hoppiness and a bit of nuttiness.

Taste: Bready malt beginning, with a strong bitter finish and some slight nut flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full body with lighter carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Very good overall, though the hops are more subdued and the beer more balanced than the bottled version.

Photo of JMad
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a chilled pint glass.

Poured a deep copper/ amber color with a creamy 1 finger head that disappeared after a few sips. Left some nice lacing on glass.
Smells like roasted malt, kind of bread-like. Then the hops scent kicks in, not very piney or citrusy, they're just there.
Tastes nice and malty, finishes with nice hop taste, just a little alcoholic, not as bitter as I usually like, but still very delicious.
Feels soft and bubbly, very drinkable.
I'm glad I tried this beer, This is something I would drink on a regular basis

Photo of number1bum
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to krisandajt for this bottle.

Pours a hazed amber color with a soft orange quality to it. Generates about a finger and a half of light beige head. Keeps a thin but full lace, and does leave some webbing on the sides.

Smell is very malt forward, with bready, sweet caramel notes in particular. There is a subtle citrus hoppiness, and some pine as well, but the level of hoppiness here leaves something to be desired. Very average IPA nose.

There is a bit more hoppiness on the palate, thankfully, but it still doesn't pack nearly the punch that many American IPAs do. The hop qualities are the same as the nose - pine and citrus, grapefruit in particular, but they come out in somewhat greater quantity. I get a bit of a spicy note too. There's a substantial malt backbone as well, with a good amount of caramel sweetness and some bread. Decent amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not as slick and creamy as many IPAs, but pretty smooth.

This is decent, but really doesn't fit the bill for what I look for in an IPA. It's too malt forward, and at the end of the day is very mediocre in a crowded category.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big head and a deep amber almost overly carbonated appearance. Little aroma. Kinda citrusy, not compared to the big hopped ipas though.

Same in the taste profile, muted citrus along the lines of grapefruit feel. A little lighter malt body with it, matches nice. Rather easy to drink, no surprises, a solid effort. A decent, malty ipa.

Photo of krisandajt
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another treat courtesy of Adouble. Cheers!

Appearance: A standard pour into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass, I see before me a slightly cloudy, dull copper colored brew. The steady stream of bubbles seeping up from the laser-etched bottom of the glass rise to form a small, centimeter's worth of off-white head. This fine bubbled head doesn't hang around too long, fading almost completely away leaving nothing but a thin ring where the beer meets the glass and some sticky patches on the side.

Smell: Smell is fairly standard, although a bit subdued, for an IPA. I'm getting some citrusy hops with some malt to provide a bit of balance. So far there is nothing extra-ordinary about this brew, seems pretty simple and straightforward.

Taste: The subtlety of the hops in the smell are really kicked up in the taste to the point where it's almost surprising. The bitterness is fairly robust, and doesn't take on the singular, citrusy quality as the smell indicates. The hops take on more of an earthy kind of spice intermixed with not-quite-ripe grapefruit. I needed me a bit of a hop fix, and this beer is doing the trick.

Mouthfeel: As the thin head sort of indicated, the carbonation is a bit low. I do like my IPA's to have a bit of fizz to them. Other than that, the body is good and it's going down pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Overall, not a bad drinking IPA. It has some good flavor, and isn't so strong or overpowering as to not be sessionable. There are, in my opinion, better IPA's out there, however I could see myself having more than one of these in an evening.

Photo of nategp
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first review
12 oz bottle pored into a pint glass

A: Light amber color with a small head that dissipates quite quickly leaving minimal lacing.

S: Bready malts with some light grapefruit hop smell.

T: Quite a bit of malt coming through with a light hoppy grapefruit ending. Also a little funky aftertaste that is quite nice.

M: The beer has a nice mouthfeel

D: Drinkability of this beer is off the charts for me. I can easily drink a six pack of this beer without blinking

Very good IPA that doesnt rip my taste buds outta my head. Its also a local brewery so it feels good to support them.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Wine Glass
Attained through a trade (Thanks Neil)

Appearance: The pour is an amber and cadmium orange color with just a thin layer of foam forming on the top. I just got this bottle about 12 hours ago in a trade, so perhaps the yeast didn't have enough time to settle and form on the bottom, but the half bottle pour, and the rest inside the bottle looks quite cloudy. Inside the wine glass is a little bit of effervescence, but it's pretty calm.

Smell: The nose is a mixture of bread and biscuit malts with a little bit of caramel malt as well. On top of the malt sits a little bit of citrus from the hops, but not as strong as I was hoping from this IPA.

Taste: The bready and biscuity malts don't come through on the palate like they had on the nose, but the caramel and pale malts are there. A good amount of hops were used during the boil to add bitterness, but I think some more should have been used for a dry hop. The hop profile just isn't pulling through like I'd like to see. There is however a bit of orange peel and herbal notes at the end of the tasting.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly on on the full side, with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This has been on my list of bottles that I wanted to try, but it didn't impress me like I was hoping. This falls more in line with a pale ale except for the biterness.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Bright clear copperish amber, nice fluffy full looking head, white but not pure white

S: Pretty mild smell, could be too cold, but just some mild hops really, can't tell much

T: Starts with a nice malt base, but quickly turns into sticky almost amber like hops, a little earthy too, good deal of bitterness

M: Exactly medium body, tight feel but not real dry

D: Good, but a little intense to put it down fast

Notes: Couldn't really tell much about the smell, but I'll be sure to check next time. Other than that, the beer is a good IPA, it wouldn't let you down.

Photo of deereless
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium head that dropped quite quickly, light amber in color, minor to no lacing, very clear - 3.00, S: Very biscuity and with a strong earthy aroma, faint apricot and slight caramel, muffled pine and citrus in the depths of the nose, departs a bit from your traditional American IPA, ever so slight sourness - 3.25, T: Whereas malts seemed to play a larger role than the hops on the nose, the hops have the main role on the palate, nevertheless there are still significant caramel malts, hops provide a sharp pine taste, also somewhat resiny - 3.50, M: Medium bodied with a smooth mouth feel - 3.50, D: All in all a decent IPA though a little heavier on malts than I normally like in my IPAs - 3.25

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

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a huge white head that slowly fades leaving a ton of lacing on the glass. May have poured this a bit too fast...

S: The nose is floral/citrusy hops and a good malty backbone. Nothing overly exciting but definitely solid.

T: The taste is the same hops from the nose with a bit more malt than the nose revealed. I'm actually a fan of balanced IPAs and this one is one of the better ones. I've had this on cask at a bar but didn't want to worry about a review. I'll have to say I liked it better out of the bottle. Great stuff.

M: Good creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: The ABV and the balanced flavor makes this a great session IPA. I can see myself drinking a good amount of these in a night.

Can't believe I waited this long to buy this one and I only got a single. I will definitely be keeping this one in my IPA rotation this Spring/Summer.

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 Popkas
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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 myost88
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Bit of an aggressive pour yields a 2+ finger head. Deep amber-copper color. Head is off white ivory type color leaves some light patches of lace. Beautiful cascading effect that can be stirred up again at any time.

Smell: Grapefruit is the first thing that comes to mind. Citrus is dominent. Not as much of a pine scent that you find in other IPAs. Not very complex

Taste: Grapefruit/Citrus is dominant. Pine is a bit more noticeable than it was in the smell. Has a very tart bite but its also very sweet. I typically find all of SA's line to be on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a sharpness to it. Carbonated up front and very smooth going down. Really perfect for an IPA. Many of the top IPAs could stand to take note of this beer in this category.

Drinkability: Even at 6.6% this a great beer for drinking a few down. Very smooth.

Overall: A fair, although simple, example of the style. Not as bitter as a lot of American IPAs. It's good out of bottle, better on tap. If you get the chance try this on cask!

Photo of Zaccone
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being used to buying the beers I enjoy, this is underwhelming. But, in the grand scheme of things, it's really a decent beer.

Taste is somewhat hoppy, balanced by some malts. Mouthfeel is hard to describe, because despite the successes of this brew, it seems watery. When I take a sip of this I'm not reminded how glad I am that I picked up a sixer of it. It's merely decent. Sad, since I'd love to give the hometown guy a glowing review. But - sometimes 'decent' is just what the doctor ordered. I'll probably end up buying this again as part of the rotation - as the "I'm sweaty and need a beer" beer.

Photo of natelocc787
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is mediocre at best. Head builds good but no lacing is left upon it's death. The nose is even weaker, when I smelled it out of the bottle it was very inviting, the term "hoppy" comes to mind. Once poured though "malty hop water" comes to mind. Things pick back up in the taste category but not too much. Not much citrus in this one, lots of pine and spruce with a spicy caramel malt bite. The bitterness threatens to make your mouth pucker but ultimately fails. Mouthfeel, sadly is the highlight. Well done, tiny bubbles, medium thickness and a sparkling nectar quality.

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

Acquired this from gramatton so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!!

A: This beer pours a murky orange color with a one finger of white head that recedes rapidly. Some sticky lacing was left on the glass.

S: Nose is hefty on piney hops, some grassy notes and big floral hops also present.

T: Taste starts with a nice dose of pine hops, a malt backbone is present and balances and evens out the beer, some grassy notes with a big floral hop bite in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, a bit sticky feel in the middle with a dry finish.

D: This is a nice well blended IPA, hops are a bit more subdued but it makes for a very sessionable IPA.

Photo of Mora2000
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this beer for years, but realized I had never reviewed it.

Pours a hazy golden color with a minimal white head. Due to the beer being unfiltered, there is some yeast in the bottom of the glass after pouring.

There is not a lot of aroma (which is the only weakness in this beer as far as I am concerned) in the beer, but what is there is nicely balanced. The flavor is outstanding, progressing from malt, to hop bitterness and then finishing with a strong cascade hop flavor. Even at 6.6 percent ABV, this is a very drinkable IPA. The bitterness does not linger. This is a beer you can have multiple pints of over the course of an evening.

Photo of rfabian
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler it forms a small head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. The appearance is orange-amber and cloudy. The aroma is not pronounced, more of a citrus hoppiness perhaps. The taste is of citrus or spicy hops and pronounced malt sweetness with good bitterness. Saint Arnold's brews all seem a little on the sweet side. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. The the hops come through in the finish. It's a refreshing and drinkable ale.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, presented with absolutley minimal head. No lacing. I couldn't scent anything noticable. The taste was odd. There really wasn't any hop bite in the front of the palate. But the malted sweetness was really strong in this as opposed to in a bottle. Of course the mouthfeel had very little carbonation, yet was full bodied. This was my first Casked Ale, and I have to say it was really good. It made this IPA something completely different.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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!

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

A good IPA.

The thing about this IPA that I really enjoy, is that I could see myself drinking more than one.

Although I seriously enjoy the Imperial style IPA's, a god IPA that has a nice hoppy taste with a slight floral note, is a great addition.

With a dark golden color, and a nice large head it is what I could see myself enjoying as an IPA. Straight up hops, but not overly hopped and a simple taste, this is a wonderful IPA.

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

A - Cloudy orange with a light limited white head that dissipated fast

S - Some hops and malt, very straight forward. Little yeast esters

T - Pleasent toasty malt backdrop with a solid hop bitterness

M - Medium body, perfect to style

D - Very drinkable IPA. Nothing that will blow you away but I could drink this one for an afternoon session.

Photo of Tilley4
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at The Ginger Man in Fort Worth...

I've had this in the bottle and I think I like the bottled version better... Something about the sharpness of the hops that I like quite a bit more... Still a nice littlwe brew on cask though... Terrific local...

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

on cask at the Ginger Man in Dallas

cellphone notes

appearance: served from the cask into a standard pint glass, cloudy copper-orange body, light sticky lace

smell: tangerine, tea leaf, toasted malt, light grapefruit, light pine

taste: nice refreshing IPA - tangerine and other fresh citrus, light pine, the cask gives off some interesting flavors - light oak, a touch earthy. enjoyable

mouthfeel: medium-thin

drinkability: good

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 886 ratings.