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

767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
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: 767 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPICAC


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark copper. A thickish, beige head thins to a film, leaving sheets of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel, toasty malts, light resiny hops.

Taste: Toasty malts, caramel sweetness. Moves into a grassy, resiny bitterness, which remains to the finish. There's an odd residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not that great.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2007 22:35:31 | More by EPICAC
Photo of goochpunch


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Houston Gingerman. Came in the pint glass a slightly hazed orange-amber with a one-finger head that stayed for the entire pint. Left some ornate lacing. Smell is really big on the cascades: tons of grapefruit and an underlying presence of pine. Underneath are some subdued fruity esters and some toasty malts. Grapefruit is pretty big in the flavor but with a soft bitterness all around. Malts are pretty chewy, but unlike a lot of Saint Arnold beers in the bottle or on-tap, this didn't suffer from dominating sugar and esters. As it warms up it started to get a little too toasty for my tastes. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Awesome. A really tasty beer, but as it becomes more toasty, the drinkability takes a hit.

Serving type: cask

07-31-2007 02:58:36 | More by goochpunch
Photo of HotterThanHell


4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another beer that TTU94 has sent me from the Lone Star State. This beer is brewed in good ol' Sam Houston's town and back in the day (early 90's I believe) I remember trying some St. Arnold brews and not being very impressed.

My how times have changed. Aptly named Elissa IPA (named after a ship which is where IPA's were needed for long journeys way back in the day) is a wonderfully balanced IPA.

I'm not the biggest fan of this style as I feel many brewers mask imperfections with extra hops, but this is truely one of the creme de la creme of IPA's.

Very Piney, woodsy hop character on the aroma and the taste. Follwed by a light malty character which is complimented by the hops and not devoured by them. Just a hint of alcohol on the aftertaste, but just a hint and fine by me. The beer pours nicely with a unfiltered orange, brown tone and a nice head with some long lastly lacing on my old Pete's Honey Wheat pint glass.

If your an IPA guy, I think you will find this to be moderate in the hop category but superior in the drinking category.


Serving type: bottle

07-04-2007 04:45:09 | More by HotterThanHell
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

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

Never heard of this before PHawk provided it as an extra in a trade. Let's see what this one has to offer...

Pour is a dark amber, very vibrant and beautiful. Nice amount of carbonation and a white head that starts large and ends in a thin layer.

Smell is mostly of piney hops with a fruity malt being picked up as well, possibly some light caramel in there as well.

Taste is rather unique. Piney hops again, also some of that grapefruit citrus in there. Same fruity, caramel malts as picked up in the smell. They don't take control over the hops, as it should be. Though they don't control, they do a fine job of balancing this brew to near perfection. Also noticed is a great spicy character that helps the balance and transition from hoppy bitternss to malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is also great. The smallest bite of alcohol is fine by me. Not as bitter as many IPA's but has a little tingle to it. Spicy and a little bitter.

Drinkability deserves a 5 in my book. At 6.6%, this drinks with the Two Hearted to me. I finished the first and moved on to the second and last with no problem other than regretting not having more.

A big thanks goes out to PHawk for the chance to try this one...

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 20:59:51 | More by ncvbc
Photo of ttu94


4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the Gingerman in Dallas.
This beer gets better every time I have it. From a cask it is unbelivable. Incredibly flavorful and incredably smooth. The hop flavor is fantastic. It seems to be much more complex and full flavored than from a bottle. If I could get one of these in my house this would be the only way I would drink beer.

Serving type: cask

06-23-2007 04:55:30 | More by ttu94
Photo of lonestar4lunch


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

I have had this MANY times and can't believe I haven't reviewed this one yet, one of my standby's. Aroma is of hops and a touch of sweetness. Taste is great. The hops really don't overpower but finish with a light but crisp, bitter bite. You really can taste this one for a while. Very drinkable and great on Cask down at Gingerman. I always grab one of these when I'm out and it's on tap. If you can get it, enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 00:57:22 | More by lonestar4lunch
Photo of gpcollen1


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

Pours a dark golden color with a ruby hue into my imperial pint. Head rises quickly up to one inch or so and settles back to 1/8 inch. Plenty of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Aromas are mildy sweet with a nice waft of slightly bitter hops - casual hints of citrus too.

Taste is very nice - lightly sweet up front and tinglessome hops along the tongue, getting nice and dry with a touch of lightly bittter hops. Body is a bit thin but still welcome for sure.

This one is a nice drinker for sure - none of that over the top BS in an everyday IPA. I could drink quite a few of these. Thanks chadspivey.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2007 21:57:17 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of Durge


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

A nice warm copper color, a solid head that thins pretty quickly. This was well carbonated, tingly to the tongue but quickly bitter in the overall feel. Hints of orange and clove in this hoppy brew. Very nice but not completely satisfying for my tastes. Kind of dry at the finish.

Update from the bottle (01-24-13) Poured into a tall glass from the bottle this shows a clear amber color with a substantial white head and good lacing. The aroma brings a considerable
malt dominated leafy hop. Nice and tasty. Speaking of taste, again a big malt
backbone with sweet evergreen pine and some more leafy ideas along with a nutty
edge. Very nice. The body is solidly medium bodied with a somewhat viscous feel
with decent carbonation. A solid IPA!

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2007 06:19:06 | More by Durge
Photo of TexIndy


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle with notch in side of label into my Saint Arnold pint glass. It was an orangish amber color and hazy. It had a good head that faded to a thin film. Good lacing. The smell was very hoppy with some malt in the back. Really had a good aroma. The taste was really good at first but it had a too bitter aftertaste for me. I don't have a problem with bitter but this one was just a bit too much. Overall, a good AIPA and recommend trying. (3.5, RB, This, O)

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2007 00:54:26 | More by TexIndy
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -9%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2007 23:59:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of russpowell


4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 04:38:27 | More by russpowell
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.8/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 02:07:26 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of irishtimepiece


4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paired with Kraft Mac and Cheese and Ride the Lightning by Metallica.

Pours a deep copper with a fluffy white head that quickly falls to a cap and leaves spotty lacing.
Smells is amazing. All the floral hops you could ever want. I may start giving these to women instead of flowers.
A balanced hop flavor and hop bitterness in the taste with a decent bready malt backbone. Not a bitter bomb like so many other IPAs. Very citrusy.
Carbonation is low but still tingly. Very smooth and slick.
A barely noticeable 6.6% ABV and balanced hop bitterness and flavor keeps this beer drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 00:26:23 | More by irishtimepiece
Photo of allengarvin


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

On cask at the Dallas Gingerman. This beer has a nice coppery gold color, a small head, and excellent lacing. Nice dominant citrus-grapefruit aroma, with a little faint malt as well. Flavor is very rich in hop flavor, with lots of grassy citrusiness. Bitterness is reasonably high but emphasis is on flavor. The malt is lightly toasty, perhaps just a tad nutty as well. Finish is dry. Carbonation is appropriately low, giving it a very soft, creamy mouthfeel.

This comes off very well on cask. The hop flavor shines through even better than in the bottle.

Serving type: cask

04-12-2007 01:14:26 | More by allengarvin
Photo of Redrover


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

Sampled at the Ginger man in Austin. Served in a standard pint, the beer is dark bronze with a midsized off-white head.

Nice citrus-pine nose backed with some grains.

The taste is slightly puckering with pine and tangerine. There is a bit of soft apple and some caramel like malts in the background. This is not a hop bomb by any means, but instead the brewery seems to have followed the more traditional recipe.

The mouth is sticky and pleasant. The beer coats your mouth. This is an easy drinker and is a mild enough IPA for me to session.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2007 18:10:19 | More by Redrover
Photo of Melchizedek


3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first reviewed IPA in a good long while...

Pours a nice medium coppery amber with a solid light beige head that subsides pretty quickly into a cap of foam. Slow carbonation supports.

Man, I love this kind of aroma in an IPA. Just fruity and tart and fresh, not too too piney, but with enough resin to make a perfect floral counterpoint to what's going on in the nose. In the mouth, all that lovely hop character shines through; plenty of citrus, maybe blueberry in there? Some mild grain serves as a moderating factor, but doesn't intrude with too much maltiness. Medium body, a nice somewhat drying mouthfeel all around.

It's tempting to really overrate this type of IPA. Not exactly for the "blaze your tastebuds off" school of IPA thought; this is approachable and extremely tasty, with a lovely bouquet. It reminds me of the things I love in BridgePort. Why didn't I try this sooner?

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 04:35:19 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks Csims for the brew.

Pours a nice clear golden amber/orange color, nice carbonation, nice medium two finger foamy head which lasted a little while then left some small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy and citrusy, there is also a touch of caramel. The taste is hoppy, but not that bitter for an IPA, nice touch of sweetness/citrusy. Medium body. Very drinkable, a nice IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 02:48:28 | More by Wasatch
Photo of AlesRTasty


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

A - came out deep amber with a thin layer of white/cream colored head, slight lacing
S - great hop aroma, quite inviting
T - nice hop bitterness to it with just the right amount of malt
M - crisp and clean
D - one of my favorite SA brews, quite a nice interpretation of the style and very refreshing

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2007 05:35:24 | More by AlesRTasty
Photo of beeragent


3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the brews that I got from my brother-in-laws fridge, when they had to move. This one is at least three years old. Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a hazy amber, forming a slight head, and leaving very little lacing. Lots of sediment settling to the bottom of the glass. The aroma is all hops, creating a very nice citrusy smell. The taste again, is all hops, with a nice citrus flavor, but with a little malt. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, this is an intersting IPA. Enjoyable, but I'm not sure I could drink too many of these at a time.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 08:55:02 | More by beeragent
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This came recommended from a beer-savvy drinker and Austin resident ("Eric") I met at Ginger Man in Austin. Ginger Man had previously had this beer on cask, which I'm a bit sorry I missed. This beer out of a normal tap was OK, but not very much like other IPAs I've had recently (from Texas or elsewhere). I'd recommend either the Pale Moon Rye or Live Oak LIberation, based on my limited exposure to Texas-brewed beers.

Appearance was a sparkling dark amber, and a bit dark for an IPA. The beer had a solid finger of head on it. Aroma was assertively malty, particularly for an IPA. Taste was also very malty up front, with some light hop character (Cascade?) at the finish. A rather fruity ale, but not really in the same conversation as other IPAs I drank that night. Mouthfeel was a bit on the heavy/sticky side, which seemed inconsistent with the beers very light hop taste.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2007 01:42:04 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Shiredave

New York

4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My annual St. Arnolds Christmas gift this year was again Elissa.

Bright orange / amber color with a sparse but persistant film of white foam and specks of lace.

Aromas of freshly squeezed blood oranges and doughy malt. Sugar and citrus with grassy notes - more sweet than sharp.

Flavors of the same blood oranges and some grapfruit tang mingle w/ a tasty nutty grain character. Malt is in blance with the high alpha hop bite in a firm, medium bodied IPA.

A very nice session IPA with excellent balance.
* Yeast trub in bottle leads me to wonder if these are bottle conditioned - nothing says either way on the botle. In this age of over filtered micros that have thier complexity screened out, its nice to see a little sedement in a relatively fresh, true craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 02:45:02 | More by Shiredave
Photo of dungaree


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

Served from a 12 ounce bottle. Pours a auburn, nice color. Not much head and dissipates quickly. Smells of a lot of caramel and some spice. Very smooth taste. Nice quantity of hops but not overpowering. Tastes of caramel, spicy hopiness. Nice mouthfeel with more bubbly in the mouth than most St. Arnold's beers. Definitely my favorite from St A.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 00:17:55 | More by dungaree
Photo of jordanmills


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

Pours a nice reddish amber with a good fluffy head. Very floral scent. Tastes pretty sweet, not as better as the average IPA, but good hop flavor. Feels light and crisp on the tongue. It's a tad bitter for me to spend a whole night on, but that's just my personal dislike of IPAs. Very good overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 01:26:30 | More by jordanmills
Photo of BlackAngus


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

A - Ruby color, hazy, fluffy white head.

S - Floral and fruity hops aromas, hint of maltiness, caramel.

T - Sweet flavor, not very bitter, butterscotch notes. Nice hop flavor, without overwhelming bitterness.

M - Light body, very nice and clean, very well carbonated.

D - I really enjoy this. Not as hoppy as most IPA's, but extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 00:26:36 | More by BlackAngus
Photo of tbone53


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

this didnt taste like the othere ipa styles i have tried.not bad though just a minor adjustment.nice creamy head and moderate lacing.you can taste the hops i think this is a good thing.not a bad beer but they have better products.i think their amber ale taste more like a ipa.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 17:30:19 | More by tbone53
Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.