1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

827 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 827
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 26
Gots: 79 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saint Arnold Elissa IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 827 | Reviews: 377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Melchizedek
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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?

Melchizedek, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Wasatch, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of AlesRTasty
4.1/5  rDev +9%
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

AlesRTasty, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of beeragent
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

beeragent, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

BeerBelcher, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of Shiredave
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Shiredave, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of dungaree
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

dungaree, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of jordanmills
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

jordanmills, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of BlackAngus
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

BlackAngus, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of tbone53
3/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

tbone53, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber/yellow color, about half translucent. Large 2 inch head, fluffy and light yellow. Moderate carbonation.

American hop aromas, nice and floral. Citrus and pine undertones. Then there’s a sweet malt base, light caramel and maybe some butterscotch vibes.

First there are pronounced hop flavors: floral and citrus/pine as in smell. Nice bitterness too. Second there is that sweet malt base. That’s about it.

Mildly thick, nice mouth-foam. Mild carbo-sting.

Bad news – Hop dominates taste; it would be a better beer if it were balanced.

Good news – It is a nice & tasty over-the-top-hop IPA. Bold flavor, very refreshing. Floral tones and understated sweetness give Elissa a nectar taste.

Overall I like it. I drank it with some sautéed catfish, onions, and celery for lunch and it was quite nice. Now that I have finished it I want more: this is the signature of a good one. (I am upgrading D to 4.5)

MrHungryMonkey, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to assurbanipaul for this and other TX brews in trade.
Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange with a nice half finger of white foam on top that melts to a ring of white.
Aroma is slightly toasted malt with citrus hops.
Taste is light amber malt with orange peel hops that follow to grapefruit peel bitter.
Smooth mouthfeel with grapefruit drying aftertaste.
Very drinkable solid IPA

IntriqKen, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper colored fluid, sporting a medium, off-white head.

Aroma was bubblegum, fruits and floral elements. Malt was present as a honey like aroma.

Taste was quite similar to aroma. Very "sweet" at first, malt balanced with some caramel and bread notes and hop bitterness came in a secondary position, but balanced things nicely overall.

Light in body, with medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Quite good, overall. I usually prefer a brutal hop bitter blast, which this beer doesn't have. But the flavor was very enjoyable and it was so very easy to drink.

, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: nice head and retention. nice pale/amber color.

Smell: citrusy, I believe this beer is brewed with cascade hops.

Taste: very balanced. Gave me a hop fix without being overbearing.

Mouthfeel: crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: I could knock a few of these back. Not too overbearing, not too bitter. A very sessionable IPA.

jasonjlewis, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of ecooper
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear, copper hue with a two finger head. Head retention is decent but lacing is minimal.

S - Smell is full of grapefuit and other citrus fruits with a strong floral hop aroma as well.

T - Taste consists of a strong, piney/woody hop bitterness followed by a mininal, biscuity malt backbone. The hops really dominate throughout and linger until the beer finishes crisply.

M - Medium body with an overall smooth mouthfeel.

D - Pretty drinkable considering how unbalanced it is. The mix of citrusy aromas and woody hop bitterness makes for an inviting American IPA.

Good job, Saint Arnold. One of their best brews, IMO.

ecooper, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of briman
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy light-to-medium amber color. Nice half-inch off white head. Great retention, with decent lacing.

Aroma is hoppy with pine, & orange citrus notes. Hint of toasted malt in there as well.

Flavor starts out with a bready, toasty malt character, following up with the distinctive cascade hop flavors. Moderate grapefruit rind bitterness in the finish lingers nicely.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. This IPA has a little more of a toasted malt presence than I'm used to in an IPA. Great balance, as everything melds together well without anything being overpowering. I would call the hop presence in this one moderate at best...certainly not as intense as some others. Nice moderate example of the style.

briman, Oct 18, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into mug.

Barely cloudy medium amber color. Somewhat dark for an IPA, looks more like a Märzen than an IPA. Not much head which settles to a very thin rim. Spotty lacing.

Strong hops were nicely balanced by the sweet malts. Citrusy grapefruit scents in the background.

Bitter hops are the focus, with little malt coming through. Citrus like finish.

Light bodied and medium carbonation with a very dry finish from the hops.

Not bad overball, but middle of the pack for an IPA. Hoppy and refreshing, it's worth a try.

BeerSox, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to hoppedup for the trade!

Bottle pour into a ghetto pint glass. Pours darker than most IPA, a very hazy rust amber with a good, retentive head and great lacing.

In the nose, fantastic hops and fantastic malt. Wonderful balance! Chewy, doughy hops, big tasty bread malt.

Alas, the balance of malt and hop is deadened in the mouth. The hop takes center stage. TAKES it, it don't ask, it don't pay heed to the malt saying "no, I'm waiting until marriage," it just slides off those jeans and goes to town.

And I like hops, don't get me wrong, and I like this. But I just can't keep from thinking how much more beautiful it would have been if they had waited.

mynie, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of hero27
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Opaque, glowing orange. Thin, off-white head..a little too oily to leave much behind for lacing.
Pine hop aroma that goes along well with a light dusting of earthy malts. Caramel sweetness nudges in..Plenty of malt along for the ride, but a nice ending bitterness leads to a well-rounded IPA.
Slick-ish mouthfeel and hefty body for the style.
Thanks to Quaffer for the brews!

hero27, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of teg8612
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark orange, almost amber color. Low head.

S- Citrus with spicy hops. Tingles the nose.

T- Sweat with citrusy fruit notes. Hop bitterness is pronounced and tends to build as you drink it.

M- Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Light enough to session. Has a little mineral taste from the awesome hard water in Texas resevoirs.

D- A very standard IPA. Not hopped out liked crazy. Would not fall into what some have come to expect of IPA since the definition has been blurred by the one-upmanship of brewers but this hits right were it supposed to be. Very good and should be tried at least once and very refreshing for the hot summer months.

teg8612, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Dark amber color, excellent head on pour, and decent retention. Lacing is all over the place and carbonation is superb.

S - Earthy malts, and fresh hops.

T - Upfront has a nice earthy malt rush - which is infused with a citrusy hop bitterness. The earthy tones do not stay long and soon fade to a nice bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and semi-dry. Drinkability is excellent for the style.

A lovely IPA, and one I will be revisiting in the near future.

HoustonTX, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Solid orangish amber body with a minor head. Foam is a greyish white...just a wisp remains with a small ring around the glass.

S: Nice citrusy syrup, malty and sweet. Touch of skunk lurking in the background.

T: Begins with good sweet, fruity notes on the tip of the tongue...mostly strawberry, melon and a bit of red grapes. Continues with a solid malt backbone with just a hint of bitterness. After the swallow, bitterness begins to well up and become more pronounced. Finishes a bit dry with lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium body with an ok carbonation. Water seems a bit hard like the last Texas beer I had.

D: This beer wasn't bad. Not really much of an IPA but I won't hold that against it. Probably more of a pale ale or even an amber. Regardless it was well balanced...malty enough to satisfy a bigger beer cravy yet light enough to be refreshing.

Westsidethreat, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a rust toned amber with a lush, 2 finger white head of fluff that slowly fades out. Solid rings of lace are left around the glass.
There is some particles just held in suspension near the bottom of the glass with a few large CO2 bubbles slowly rising to the top.
Smell is biscuity, with caramel, with some pine notes and grapefruit.
Taste is equal to the aromas with caramel, biscuit, and hops coming together with a sweetness and bitterness that are toned to the right mix with no overkill from either.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet up front, fluffy, and slightly airy along the palate with just a hint of marshmellowy smoothness that turns a bit grainy as it gets to the back of the tongue. As it warms and gets towards the bottom of the glass, it becomes more candy-esque and a little less bitter.
Not a bad brew.

weeare138, Jul 27, 2006
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 3/4" barely off-white head (one of the few St. Arnolds to pour with a head. Retains at about 1/4" for awhile and then falls off to a cap. Hazy orange / amber color. Nice lacing.

S - Mild citrus, seems to be more af an earthy hop (I was surprised to learn from their website that this is hopped with Cascade only, I never would have guessed that.) Pronounced caramel malt aroma.

T - Very balanced IPA. Leans a only a little towards the malt side. Definite crystal malt. Some spiciness. Vanilla note? Good bitter finish.

M - Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Mid-range carbonation.

D - Very good drinkability. Excellent "Gulf Coast" IPA!! My favorite Saint Arnolds brew.

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Ginger Man in Austin.

Clear brown tinted copper with a healthy tight bubbled egg-shell colored head.

Sharp pine and citrus notes in the nose with a touch of cereal-like malts.

Medium light body with a mellow carbonation. Melon, cantaloupe, citrus, and conifer tinged hops are vibrant and assertive. Smooth and juicy malt center fades into hop bitterness in the finish.

The most impressive beer I sampled while in Texas.

Shultzerdugen, Jun 07, 2006
Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 827 ratings.