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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

890 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 890
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
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: 890 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Spineypanda
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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

Photo of mrkrispy
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy dark orange, quickly dissolving head.

Interesting dark caramel aroma, smells a bit sweet. Minimal hop aroma, some resin.

Nice full bodied mouthfeel, big caramel and crystal malt sweetness. Moderate bitterness, not overwhelming. Quite bubbly. I get an oily taste and feel, a few points off for that. Well balanced malt and bitterness.

A nice moderate IPA, good balance but not much of a good IPA aroma.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of chickencoop
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A&S - deep amber color with a thin head (beer may be a little old), but inviting. Nice hoppy citrusy smell.
T & M - taste is a nice hoppy but balanced beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a clean dry finish.
Drinkability - a very drinkable beer, not what I expected from a Texas micro. I like their other beers a little better but this was good eneough to re-purchase.

Photo of rgrholmes168
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Beer had a decent one finger head that quickly disappeared into a skim of foam on top of the beers body. The color is orange and slightly hazy.

I like the aroma of this beer, but was a little bit surprised, I didn't get a ton of hops. I did get some citrus and caramel malt.

This beer has a great tangy taste...however, the taste was more like a American Ale and not an IPA. The hops were fairly week, but they did begin to come out as the beer became warmer. I do like how the beer taste, but it just doesn't reflect the style of beer.

Incredibly drinkable beer that I would recommend. Very light on the mouth.

Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy orange color. A one finger white head forms. Rings of sticky spiderweb lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Citrus, piney, and light grapefruit aromas. Lots of sweet caramel malt to balance everything out nicely.
T: A citrus, piney, and grapefruit hop flavor that follows the nose. There is a wonderful malt balance though. Some sweet caramel flavors. Bread and biscuit as well. Much more like an English IPA or Bitter.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation end. Very creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink. A great beer to quaff at any pub around town that serves this on cask.

A great beer on cask. There are a lot more subtle flavors here than in bottle or on tap. I think only two places carry this on cask. The Gingerman and The Stags Head. Hit either one up for a great cask pub session beer.

Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy orange brassy look to it.

S: Mild hop aroma that almost has a faint lemon zest smell to it.

T: To give a food analogy here, imagine a club cracker topped with a spoonful of hops and a little pine and bitter grass. The selling point to this beer is not the punch but rather the balance that it contains. A very good beer.

M: Super clean and fresh. Slightly on the thick side, but a geed feel to it.

D: Bar-keep, I'll have another!

Update: After much deliberation, I have to knock a few points off of this one for the following reason: category. This is a spectacular British IPA where balance and malt bill are even with, if not more important than hop profile. As an American IPA, it fails to be as assertive as its' peers. Still, a damn fine brew, especially on cask.

Photo of dwpiercetx
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOWSERS! I really liked this beer. It was very much a typical IPA. Plenty of hops. Slight hint of malt. I couldn't really beat the price too. $6.59 for a sixer and it still had some time left on the "good til" date. I've come to really enjoy the selection from St. Arnold Brewing and their master Brock Wagner. This is tops in my list and makes me long for their stout coming out in the winter. If you see this in the store, BUY it...or I will.

Photo of Squelch
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly Hazy. Thick billowy head that lasts. Amberish hue

Smell: Slight hop aroma, over the malt.

Taste: Sweet. Caramel flavor. Moderate hop flavor. Earthy hops?? Can't tell...

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Could benefit from more carbination. Cask ale made this one smooth

Drinkability: Drinkable IPA. Tastes more like an APA.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amberish yellow. Medium white head turns to thin lace in a few minutes. Smells of American hops with not much malt (or anything else) behind it. Piney, biting hops come though when I taste it. The hops have enough bitterness to satisfy but I don't much like the metallic finish or the total lack of balance from the malt base. The somewhat substantial amount of alcohol is hidden well though. Overall I think its ok, but its not my favorite Saint Arnold's beer.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Glowing amber with very nice finger frothy head. Heavy lacing, head stuck around. Nice looking brew.

S: Slight hoppiness apparent but nothing overwhelming. Very crisp, clean tones from the nose.

T & M: This is a relatively mild IPA but it still has great taste and mouthfeel. One of the better balanced IPAs that I have encountered. More of an East Coast style but not quite so mild to in line with English IPA.

D: Very drinkable, Saint Arnold continues to impress.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not much head came on this pint of IPA. Slightly cloudy, Amber/Orange color. And no real visible carbonation. Fairly nice lacing remains. Not tons, but a decent amount.

Aroma is very mild and of slight citrus. Our first hint this is not a West Coast IPA.

The flavor confirms we are not dealing with a hop bomb here. Rather balanced and clean. A hop head could be disappointed, but hopefully more will enjoy the balance provided here. Bread, cracker notes, light hop bitterness. Some floral notes. Finishes with a mild bitterness that lingers. Certainly nothing that grabs your throat. Probably a nice gateway IPA.

Medium body with mild carbonation. Fairly smooth..

Very drinkable and certainly among the sessionable IPAs.

A decent representation of the style, but not one of the greats.

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

A - Pours a cloudy orange/copper color with a thin off white head that quickly disappears.

S - I couldn't smell much due to my sinuses but I could detect some citrus hops.

T - I guess you could say the flavors are well balanced, nothing stands out in particular. But there are hints of piney flavors, citrus, a malt backbone to even it all out. There is a bit of a mild bitterness on the aftertaste.

M- Medium

D - These would be easy to consume one after another but with no distinct flavor I'd probably choose another IPA if it were available, still a good beer though.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Screw cap bottle. Square notch on the top left of the label... but nothing for it to correspond with. Poured into my Sly Fox tumbler.

A dusty/dulled amber, minimal amount of eggshell froth. Sticky cobweb lace.

Smell is mild, but there are likenesses of tangerine & itchy wheat in there. Swirling it a bit gives a nice sweet nectar-ish hit of hops.

Taste is quite yeasty/cracker-y as far as the upfront malt goes. A little sweet citrus juice, & then thick orange rind & leafy green bitterness takes control. Paired with the enthusiastic carbonation, it comes off with a good bit of refreshing acidity. Maybe there's some pepper in there too. Finish is yeasty, with a trail of lingering metallic bitterness.

Feel is thicker then it even looks, but stretches out as it goes down. I would of liked either a little less alcohol(which is still tolerable), or less body for a more efficient drinker.

Photo of kkipple
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well well, whut do we have here? St. Arnold generally makes decent, if light for the style, brews, but this is pushing me to write a different sort of review.

Here's da deal: Elissa IPA is a fine beer. It's got a nice tight, fat head with some staying power atop a hazy, deep yellow-orange fizzy brew. We got some hop in the nose, citrus and sweet malt nothings. Flavor is a big boring, but you got biscuity malt, you got some dry hop bitterness, a nice sweetness, great full mouthfeel, you know... easy to drink. Doesn't seem like 6.6%, either.

All this is well and good, but the trouble is: this is an American Pale Ale! While it might have been a good IPA 15 years ago, we've moved on. This is a malt-centric brew, and cries out for more hop assertiveness. Call me spoiled, but this is either a recipe mistake or a labeling one. I'm not knocking this brew, it is fine beer, but to call it an IPA is a stretch. Elissa IPA is a prime example of a brew that needs a new identity.

St. Arnold folk: If you're reading this, I like your beer! But something has got to give!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly clear golden color with a finger of white head and some lacing. A touch lighter than I like to see my IPAs.

S: Really nice mix of citrus hops and malt. Both are crystal clear. A little bit of sweetness in the back as well.

T: Just a clean tasting DIPA. A little on the malty side but enough bitterness to round things out. Not nearly as much citrus as the nose lead me to believe.

M: A touch sticky. Very fresh tasting.

D: A really nice beer. Drank a ton of this while in Texas. The best local IPA that was available for sure.

Photo of craytonic
2.48/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice honey-sun hazy orange-tangerine. Soda fountain head that quickly disappears.

Smell: There are hops in this beer?

Taste: Once again, there are hops in this beer?

Mouthfeel: Thin, but at least I don't have to complain about the lack of hops again. This is the better part of the beer, although it could still use a bit more malt. Very dry.

Drinkability: Not impressed at all, in a blind test I would have guessed this was a BMC, needs more of everything.

Photo of natasharai
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with some bubbly foamy off white head that dissipated to a thin layer leaving very little lacing. The beer is a clear orangish copper color.

Smell: Nutty, spicy, orange citrus, some piney hops, and sweet roasted malt.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt, a bit nutty, citrus hops, bitter piney hops, small metallic flavor, ends with a roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, small tingle on the tongue, good light carbonation, leaves mouth a little dry.

Overall: Pretty good drinkability, nice sweet roasted quality balanced with the hops. The hops are a little mild for an IPA, but I don't know when this was bottled so they may have begun to fade.

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

Appearance: An ever-so-slightly hazy, bright golden-amber body with a mass of bubbles working their way up. On top, a finger of dimpled and fluffy off-white head with brilliant retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy, floral, and piney Cascade hops over a solid biscuity caramel malt base. Inviting.

Taste: In the flavor profile, the hop character is made up of mild bitterness and leafy notes with a good bit of the citrus stripped out. I'd like to see more of the perfumey citrus flavors you usually get from Cascade hops, but what is left is nice. The malt backbone is biscuity and mildly roasted. This is a very balanced IPA, but I'd be happy to see a bit more focus hop character. The aftertaste is bitter and biscuity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Mildly dry.

Drinkability: Well above average for the style. One of the most sessionable IPAs I've tried.

Verdict: Elissa is just an easily drinkable, moderately hoppy beer. It's certainly not the hoppiest IPA out there, and I'd like to see more of the traditional Cascade character, but it makes for a brilliant session beer for hop fans. A Houston institution in the making.

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

this brew is the same color as the sun with a peculiar white head. decent lacing... the nose is grapefruit, floral hops, a very sweet aroma. the taste is tons of grapefruit, white grapes, green raisins, piney hops, sweet malts, medium bodied, medium carbo. Always a Houston classic...

Photo of CrellMoset
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Strelnikov - thanks!! Poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a bright, vibrant orange, crystal clear, full of streams and rivulets of tiny, fast, continuous effervescence, constantly streaming upwards. The head is rocky and has surprisingly good retention, retaining its one-plus-finger, lightly tan, rocky glory for quite some time. The lacing is quite nice, actually, sort of like sheet-like and sticky in certain places, runny in others, like the way the wind forms patterns in the sand.

Aroma: Dry and slightly piney, with a few mineral-like qualities thrown in there against a slightly roasted, light backdrop. It's both pungent and subtle, in that it's not too descript, but it's easy to smell how it's not too descript, if that makes sense.

Taste: A little more standard than I would have imagined from the appearance and the aroma, though still solid. A lightly biscuity, graham cracker-like, relatively dry, and slightly minerally backbone, accompanied by some relatively mild hop bitterness and a few overtones - pine, a slightly leafy, herbal note, only the faintest hint of fruit. This one's very leafy and dry.

Mouthfeel: Big carbonation in a relatively not-too-thick body lends an explosive, slightly gritty, and a little uneven mouth to the proceedings. It works decently well with the flavor profile though, as it's overall a very subtle beer - nothing gets shoved in your face.

Drinkability: This is a drinkable beer, if only in that it's solid, not too high in alcohol, and not too over the top flavorful in any category. The hop profile is a little simplistic, in my opinion, and the malt backbone/water a little too cracker-like and dry, but overall it's a straightforward, enjoyable IPA.

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

I went 4.0 across the board here because 4.0 is "good" and this beer is "good".
This offering from Saint Arnold is much better than their Amber, Brown, or Lawnmower.
Nice copper appearance with a head that descends into a thin film that still manages to coat the pint glass. Smells of malts right away surprisingly, I got bread and cinnamon first before I got the typical cirtusy bitter smells.
The taste is slightly astringent, but it is enjoyable for some reason. Very typical IPA taste, but that taste is something I like, so I like this beer as well. Plenty of hoppy bitterness and citrusy evergreen notes.
Smooth and silky in the mouth and doesn't seem like it could be approaching the 7% mark, which it is.

Good beer from Saint Arnold. I'm glad I tried it after being turned off by the other three beers I mentioned earlier. If you are planning on trying this brewery, I'd recommend the Elissa first.

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.