1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saint Arnold Elissa IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 769 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510


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

12oz Stubby

Received in a recent trade with TPoling, thanks again Travis! Elissa's body appears a faded copper with a touch of haze from miniscule particles suspended throughout that you only notice when taking a very close look. The clean white head grew to a healthy two fingers on the pour and slowly receded to a solid, ruddy cap. The head left patchy lacing here and there, some bigger then others.

This smells like a very well balanced IPA. The hops come along as a rather unique. This is an all Cascade IPA but they don't come across in the traditional sense. Orange oils up front are quickly matched by a very floral, perfume like hoppiness. A touch of alcohol comes along very ghost-like but the malts come across a little doughy with some light toffee notes. Elissa smells appetizing although usually not my style of IPA.

Flavor is softer then the aroma but the floral and perfumy hops still abound with a hint of the orange oils. Slightly doughy malts combine with the toffee from the aroma. A touch of caramel on the finish meets up with candied orange peel. Again, this isn't my style of IPA but it is very well balanced and tasty none the less. The orange oil gets left behind to linger for awhile after each drink.

The mouthfeel fits this beer very nicely. The carbonation is on the lower side but what's there creates a silky smoothness. I didn't get the bitterness upfront but about halfway through the glass I can feel it on my lips. It grows the more I drink.

The balance of this beer makes for easy drinkability. The mouthfeel and balance combine to create an easy quaffer that I would have no trouble drinking more then a couple.

I believe this is my first from St. Arnold and it's a tasty treat. I enjoy the West Coast style IPAs but this is a good, nicely balanced, drinkable version of the style. I'd be happy to drink more Elissa.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 00:47:25 | More by joe1510
Photo of msubulldog25


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle with a twist-cap, toted to Oregon by new friend/BA LarryKemp. Poured to a pint glass; no freshness dating on the bottle, just some illegible laser-printed coding on the neck.

This beer's name honors the Elissa (1877) - "Texas' Tall Ship".

A: Very impressive display of 2-finger high solid white foam resting atop a clear yellow-amber. Plenty of rising carbonation meeting that head, which drops slowly and leaves behind outstanding-looking sheets of spiderwebbed lace.

S: This one is much more malt-forward than expected. Aroma of sticky caramel and a mild tangerine meet the nose.

T: An IPA that's got a nice balance between grassy/herbal hopping and toasted malts. This alternates between tasting 'green' (earthy/leafy) and tasting of doughy bread. It's a nice balance - flavorful and somewhat different than the 'West Coast' hop-bombs I've grown accustomed to.

M: An even-keeled mouthfeel, light-medium, with modest carbonation - actually it's one of the smoothest, cleanest and most well-balnced mouthfeels I can recall in an IPA. Finish holds most of the hop bittering, but is so creamy and smooth that its hard to notice.

D: Drinkability is quite high on this one; it's one of the more perfectly balanced IPAs I've tried. Flavors aren't too big & forceful but are harmonious and invite me back for another. Definitely worthy of a try and deserving of its accolades.

Thanks again, Larry!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2008 08:20:26 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of largadeer


3/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2008 00:19:06 | More by largadeer
Photo of KarlHungus


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thickerfreakness for this one. It pours a hazy orange color. The head is large, billowy and recedes very slowly into a thick sheet of lacing. The aroma is rather balanced for an IPA. There is a lot of hops, but there is also quite a bit of malt. Citrus, grapefruit, caramel, and pine. The taste is a bit hoppier than the aroma. It starts off fairly balanced, but the hops kick in during the finish leaving a long dry, bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a fine IPA. If it were available in my area I would certainly drink it regularly.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 19:15:27 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of mizzoueng


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Spot on, a beautiful copper/orange with a slight haze when poured vigorusly from the bottle into my SA glass. Head was pure white and was about 3/8" thick, it reduced to a nice skim on top and provided sticky lacing throughout.

S - Hops. Possibly Cascade and Summit, maybe a dash of Simcoe. Smelled of citrus and floral, mixed with some slight pine and earth.

T - Pugnant hop taste (LOVED IT!) but seemed very bitter for a regular IPA, possibly right near the edge of the IBU limit for style. Caramel and biscuit malts mix with the grapfruit and piney flavors of the hops to give a complex taste that was good from hitting the lips to the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied. The combination of malts gives this beer a thick full body that stuck to my tounge and the sides of my mouth. The alcohol ws there and made the beer warm, but not so warm that it became "hot".

D - I liked this beer, thanks to a trade with BA RickSawyer I was able to get two bottles of this lovely beer. I will be drinking the second soon or possibly sharing with friends to show them the extent of the IPA style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 02:04:01 | More by mizzoueng
Photo of armock

New York

2.4/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this on cask at the Ginger Man in Houston its a lot different than on tap.

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of pine scented hops

T - Very disappointing it was like a mouth full of dirty hops

M - On cask theres no carbonation and makes it feel very thin

D - I like Elissa on tap but on cask its just not drinkable to me when I saw it I was excited to try it but after the first taste I was disappointed with this beer I wouldn't run out to try this again

Serving type: cask

05-18-2008 20:27:55 | More by armock
Photo of akorsak


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

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of DarkerTheBetter.

A: The IPA is a beautiful amber color, brilliant orange and brown hues mixed with a good bit of sediment. Lots and lots of floaties on close inspection. Decent head that has laced all around the glass.

S: The nose is a well-balance blend of citrusy hops and grainy cereal malts. The hops are strong but reigned in by those malts.

T: The ale has significant hop profile upfront, lots of citrusy bitterness emerges and tries to numb the tastebuds. Luckily those hops are immediately followed by a strong dose of grainy cereals, biscuit and caramel, that keep the hops in check relatively. As the hops sit on the palate, citrus is replaced by medicinal aspirin qualities. The finish keeps the hops at the forefront.

M: Lots of hops and bitterness throughout. The nice mix of hops and grains make this an excellent IPA.

D: Quite nice. As the IPA warms, the hops go all over the place flavor-wise. Let this one warm up a tad and I could enjoy a six pack without blinking an eye.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 00:52:46 | More by akorsak
Photo of JonathanL7890


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big rocky head into my pint glass. Foam hangs out for a couple of minutes before dissipating to 1 finger.
Color is a clear light amber.
Smell: floral, citrusy, Cascade hops, I think.
Taste: Hops are noticeable on the back of the tongue. Pretty much what I expect for an AIPA. Good malt profile and good balance.
Mouthfeel: pretty much as expected for the style.
Drinkability: I drink a lot of these. This is the beer I drink when I want a local IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 00:44:24 | More by JonathanL7890
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a shallow foamy off white head that fades fairly quickly. A reasonable amount of lacing generated. The smell has a little maltiness to it and a toasted character that is throwing it off some. May be oxidized. Medium bodied and well carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied with a tangy hop note. The flavor of this one is following the nose, which in this case isn't desirable. Too bad because I've heard some good things about this beer. I've also heard about some inconsistency which is the case tonight.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 23:40:24 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of lightindarkness


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk for sharing this one.

Pours a golden orange color with a nice foamy off white head that sits slowly. Some lace. Smells of cereal grains and whiffs of mild hop piny bitterness. Taste is definitely grainy, but better than the nose suggests, with a nice hop bitterness filling in with mild resin and pine over the light malt middle. NIce roasted nutty notes linger, finishing extremely smooth with very mild medium light bodied feel and unobtrusive carbonation. Remarkably drinkable. Taste is not outstanding, but it certainly could be an every day drinker if I lived where I could get more of it. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 23:23:20 | More by lightindarkness
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 00:14:57 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jeonseh


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

Thanks to JDV for letting me try this as an extra

A - A reflective copper color with golden hues thoughout it. Can see a ton of carbonation floating through this on and it has a nice one finger head that sticks throughout the beer.

S - Smells of orange, caramel malt, grapefruit. Really out of the three the caramel malt seems to dominate while the grapefruit hops smell just sits under the caramel malt waiting to attack your nose.

T - Actually this is a sweeter IPA especially on the first taste. I get a big hit of caramel malt that makes this beer sweet. After that sits in the mouth for awhile, a hint of grapefruit comes in and cuts through the sweeter flavors. Despite this being an IPA, there is really only a small hint of bitter hops that comes in on the end and reminds you that this is indeed an IPA. Was a bit surprised to find out that the caramel malt indeed dominated this one since I am used to having American IPAs really be dominated by a piney hops flavor.

MF - LIght carbonation and a medium body. The feeling is a bit sticky which is expected given that the beer seems to be so dominated by the caramel malt. The beer also gives you a nice full and chewy mouthfeel.

D - Overall this is a good IPA that has flavor and is easy to drink. My main qualm is that IPAs are usually hops dominated and this one really seems to not have that hops aspect that I like in my IPA. If I could find it in the area, I might buy it again and I would never say no if someone offered me one but It would not be an everyday beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 23:33:52 | More by jeonseh
Photo of ATLbeerDog


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice yellow reddish rust color with a small head, and below average lacing. Average carbonation with a fairly strong hoppy smell. Tastes of slightly hoppy bitterness backed with a light malt backbone. Tastes more like a pale ale than an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 20:59:11 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of Overlord


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

Thanks to Mhewes!

Nice welcoming orange/amber color. Bright and brassy. About a two inch white foam head. Some lacing on sides of glass. Mouthfeel is on the thick side.

An interesting aroma: more malt than hops. The taste is the same. Big malt background, pine (moreso than grapefruit) hops in the forefront. There's a bit of orange/citrus adding some variety.

A good, solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 07:15:36 | More by Overlord
Photo of HopDerek


4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thickerfreakness for the hookup on this one.

Pours a clear orangish amber with 1/2 inch of foamy off-white head with good retention and very nice lacing. Smells of caramel, pineapple, oranges, pine, and biscuits. Tastes of orange rind, caramel, biscuit, grain, earthy hops, and a dry grassy finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Malty with a semi-dry bitter finish. Easy to drink with a good balance of flavors, hides the alcohol well. More like an English style IPA with lots of malt character and less potent hop punch like some American IPAs. Reminds me a lot of HopDevil.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2008 22:45:34 | More by HopDerek
Photo of mhewes


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

A : Pours a nice amber color with a good white head that hangs around for a little

S : Piney hops with a little bit of the malt breaking through

T : Good hoppy bitterness that is well balanced with a nice malt flavor. It reaches the balance that a good IPA needs

M : Medium body with a medium level of carbonation

D : This has become one of my favorite IPAs and one I definitely plan on having again.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 18:35:13 | More by mhewes
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JDV for this extra.

a - pours a rust/burnt orange color with a two-finger white head, good retention and lacing, pretty clear

s - piney hops with a significant grainy malt backbone, hints of orange as well, not much alcohol

t - piney hop bitterness up front with lots of biscuity malt on the mid-palate, finish is lingering graininess with more pine and some orange, hints of alcohol on the breath

m - medium-bodied with mild carbonation, somewhat dry on the finish

d - moderately drinkable, dryness on the palate wears after awhile, but I could drink a few

Decent IPA overall...nothing great but solid. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 00:48:02 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

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

Thanks to wolfman17.
Amber colored with a 1/2" off-white head. It quickly fades to a tight sticky lace on the glass. Lace sticks around to the finish.
Mild citrus piney aroma. I also smell some pear and caramel malts.
This IPA leans on the balanced side with a nice mixture of biscuty, toasted, and caramel malts. And piney, citrus and grassy hops. The typical grapefruit flavor is there but I also taste pear just like the aroma. This is kind of unique.
Medium bodied mouthfeel that is not too sharp or bitter.
Not in the class of the top IPA's but a good one to pick up if you see it and worth a trade if you haven't tried it yet.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 03:46:36 | More by wcudwight
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

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

Thanks to Rick Sawyer from Team sinister BIF race 2008 for this bottle.

A nice bright amber color, moderate crown in size, slightly off-white that dissipates slowly and proves to be sticky with some decent lacing. Carbonation is just right.

The aroma is very well balanced with big fresh herbal and earthy whiffs ,clean, fresh grains, wheat field on a hot summer day. But there is also a sweet, fruity smell underneath that's much like the Stone Ruination and it's pineapple and strawberries hop scent.

The flavor is also very well rounded with the fruity hop flavors popping out most, very much lke pineapple and raspberries. There is a clean, wheatie malt balance that is nice, but it finishes slightly herbal and earthy but more wheatie and fruity overall.
Light to medium feel, plenty of crisp bite and a smooth finish.

This is a very nice example of one of the most popular styles known.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 16:09:24 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of GregMcQ


4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had this beer numerous times, but have never taken the time to review it... and that's long overdue.

For the style, this is probably one of my favorite beers on the market; it is exceptionally well balanced for an IPA... nicely hopped for us hop-heads, but not overdone so as to take away from the taste of the malt. A solid beer and a very solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 22:44:21 | More by GregMcQ
Photo of BigJTrucker


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA "Turbine2475" for this tasty brew.

Pours a very slightly hazy honey color, thin white head settles fairly quickly. Aroma is initially somewhat bready, with some faint grapefruit aroma. Taste is likewise fairly mild, with what seems to be a blend of English and American hop flavor. Mouthfeel is a little over carbonated, and finishes very moist. Fairly drinkable as far as American IPA's are concerned. It wouldn't be my first choice for an ipa, but I wouldn't refuse it if offered as it is a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 02:57:22 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of BgThang


4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having this on cask is the way to do it.
The head and carbonation suffers somewhat due to it being a cask, but the taste is by far awesome.

the nose is that of cascade hops floral, piney sweetness

the color is a tad dark amber golden.

the hops in this merry well with the overall flavor and has to be one of the best texas IPA's out there.

Serving type: cask

04-09-2008 16:29:07 | More by BgThang
Photo of Atlas1


3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first St. Arnold beer since moving back to TX last week. I've had the Elissa before, but it's been over a year.

Poured into a barrel pint glass, the Elissa is a bright copper color, with a big, porous two-finger head that recedes slowly and leaves some lace in its wake. A good looking beer. The nose is light and fruity, not unlike many English IPAs I've had before. But there is also a distinct hop scent rising up. Subtle, yet distinguished. Taste is nice. Not overly hoppy, as many American IPAs can be, but not quite as hoppy as I'd hoped for either. Malty and rich, with a lighter, fruitier quality than most American IPAs too. Bitter aftertaste is a strange mix with the strong fruits here, in my opinion. Notes of caramel and vanilla are detected as well. Good flavor, but not great. Mouthfeel is okay, but a bit thin and watery.

I like this beer, and can see it becoming a part of my regular kegerator rotation here in San Antonio. There are better IPAs on the shelf, but seeing as though I like to support my local craft breweries, I will probably make this IPA welcome in my home.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2008 22:31:12 | More by Atlas1
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -5%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 04:33:59 | More by Sammy
Photo of orbitalr0x


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

12oz bottle pours into my glass a solid amber orange color with great clarity. A half inch of creamy white head rises up and leaves some lacing on the way down. Aromas begin with toasted and caramel malt accents alongside a nice helping of floral, herbal hop notes. I get a little bit of spiciness in there as well. Good balance between hop and malt aromas.

First sip brings a toasty, slightly bready caramel malt upfront that segues into a quite floral, herbal hop flavor with some notes of citrus and fruit as well. It moves down with a light spicy aspect and finishes off with a nice shot of bitterness. On the maltier side for an IPA, but in the end still quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and a good strudy carbonation that brings it all together. A solid, easy drinking IPA. Overall, this has good drinkability and I could easily have a few. It's a nice change of pace from the big west coast IPA's I've had recently. Thanks to JDV for my first sampling of Saint Arnold's beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 22:18:40 | More by orbitalr0x
Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.