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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

910 Ratings

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Ratings: 910
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 29
Gots: 131 | 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: 910 | Reviews: 392
Photo of ckeegan04
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark orange in color. This light brown head with decent retention and good lacing.

S - An aroma of tropical/citus fuit dominates. Nothing is very strong though.

T - Somewhat weak taste of pale malt up front followed by a soft citrusy hop bite. The flavors are all well balanced but they are not the strongest.

M/D - Medium bodied and somewhat creamy feel. Very drinkable IPA.

Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear amber with a thin dense head that shows very good retention with a constant stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. There was a small amount of delicate lacing around the glass as well. The aroma is balanced with the malts and hops both contributing. The hops are represented by pine scents and are balanced by the slight sweetness of caramel malts. The taste is slightly hoppier than the smell with both citrus and floral tastes coming through on top fo the caramel malt background. The finish is a little bitter with the hops coming back. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation and a slight pine resin stickiness. This is a quite drinkable and balanced IPA that doesn't wipe out the palate in the process. A nice offering from Saint Arnold.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a fine, peak filled off-white head.

Floral nose with hints of roasted malts...not the most outstanding IPA nose, but far from bad.

A bit different from the norm, as far as IPAs...more malt presence hinting sweetness vs. huge hops. A very nice and enjoyable IPA, feels good on the tounge and carbonation seems well done. Alcohol is well hidden I'm thinkin'.

Drinkability is pretty high for an IPA, one of Saint Arnolds finest offerings.

Pretty cool that some of the proceeds go toward maintaining an 1800's ship like the ones that took IPAs from Britain to India.

Will buy again, no doubt.

Photo of rsawyer
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Elissa is a very palatable Texas IPA. After living in Galveston for over 8 years, I became very familiar with Texas' tall ship (The Elissa), and being an avid sailor, I MUST appreciate this brew.

I have had on-tap and on bottle, but my review comes from the tap at the nice coffee house next to Boondoggles.

Appearance- More transparent than translucent. Tan to dark blonde. White head. Adequate carbonation for the style.

Smell- I call this beer the gateway IPA, because both smell and taste are balanced perfectly between the hops and the malt. When smelling you get hints of floral-y hops, a small bit of bitter grapefruit, and a nice warm malt.

Taste- Like I said- gateway IPA. Just about anyone can fall in love with this brew. The hops compliment the malt perfectly for an IPA. While drinking, there is no doubt that this is an IPA, but at the same time, this is no West Coast hop aggressive IPA. While I am admittedly a hop-head, this brew is very nice and easy, making it a great beer to grab while grilling or enjoying an afternoon session of home-brewing and entertaining. The first sip lets you know that this is certainly not an amber ale, as the hops to step right up and proclaim their presence, but at no point in time do the hops take over.

Mouthfeel- highly carbonated, and just thick enough, this brew will stick to the tongue and tickle your mouth.

Drinkability- I find my self falling back on this as my go to IPA when I am entertaining or getting others into micros! Did I mention it goes GREAT with the grill?

Edit- 2-JUL-08: I re-read my review and I could not understand why I ranked Appearance @3.5. This IPA pours a beautiful amber with a very nice head. Strong lacing remains on the glass.

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

Ever drink a beer that, when it comes time to review, you wonder what the hell everyone is thinking? Where people seem to fall into line behind a prevailing opinion and you can't tell... are your taste buds shot, or are other people crazy? It's probably you (in this case, me), but man... I just thought this was a delightful little IPA.

A deep orangey copper colored IPA with a creamy, lasting head, and organic, splotchy lacing that I always enjoy.

Big citrus, juicy, creamy, grapefruit and tangerine. Sweet but silky and cleansingly bitter. All hop flavor with maybe a tinge of caramel malt sweetness.

Well-hidden alcohol, nice body, exceptionally drinkable.

Hey, maybe I'm in the minority... but I love me some IPAs, and every family reunion in Texas.... I'll be happy to revisit this!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mhewes for this one.

This beer pours a clear copper amber with a sustained sandy head of off-white.

Smells of distant sour grains and a pungent hop that makes me think of produce that's on it's way out.

Tastes very thin of a sweet multi-grain bread that is subsumed by a sour and dry hop that reminds me of apples, cedar and sour grains. bleah! In the finish, there's a boozy sting.

feels light and clean with a swarm of carbonation that seems to get in the way.

Hmmm. Not as I remember this one at all. It seems that I should have drank this one when it was far more cold.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle received from PHawk at Dark Lord Day. Thanks!

A: Fairly clear orange with a thin beige head. There's some stuff floating in the beer but it still looks fairly nice. As i drink it, it leaves attractive lacework

S: Mild citrus hop aroma with a faint malt presence. Nothing to write home about

T: Very mild hop flavor up front with no real malt character either. Maybe this is just a little too old? It's tasting like a pale ale to me.

M: Fair body, pleasant carbonation

D: Doubt I'll finish this - there's other stuff I'd rather drink now

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

Thanks go out to Ballewblake for this one. Grazi! Grazi!

Pours a clouded brownish amber with a crème head that leaves a decent amount of lacing on the way down. Nose is earthen and leafy with a sharper tang to it. Flavor is fairly deep. A nice robust and earthy/leafy edge. Tangy, but not annoyingly so. It's a milder kind of thing. Overall the whole flavor profile is definitely leaning towards the more earthen side. Feel has a bit of a bite on carbonation and the liquid is about what you would expect. This is a nice IPA. Very easy to drink and carrying a good body of flavor. I'd love to try this on-tap and I bet it would be interesting on cask as well.

Photo of jordoo
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is from mhewes thanks mike.

12oz bottle poored into a pilsner glass.

Tight off white phomey head. Bright hazey orange lots of carbination. Smlls of tropical fruits, pine, flowers and very grainy breaded malts. Very ballanced with bitter stingy hop flovors in a grainy malted venue. Strange for an IPA nit what I'm used to but thoroughly enjoiyable. Decent mouth feel but huge carbinatoin, and pretty drinkable.

Photo of maximum12
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TexasStout for throwing this in as an extra on a trade.

Appearance is typical IPA, yellow with some red highlights. Smell is odd, heavier than an IPA, without the hop tickle that I've come to expect.

Tastes like something other than an IPA. Hold on, I have to adjust my expectations. <adjust> OK, I'm back. Overwhelming malt & the crust of a 12 grain bread that's been left in the sun. Not bad, just not IPAish. Makes me wonder what St. Arnold's was trying to accopmlish here. I'm a big fan of beers that take risks & stretch styles, but this doesn't seem close to an IPA.

Pretty decent beer nonetheless. But not an IPA in my book.

Photo of ffejherb
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into Hopback glass on 6/10/08. Thanks to Deuane for the hook-up!

A - Attractive clear amber/orange body with two-finger white frothy head that receded fairly quickly but left a thick coat of foam around the glass. Lots of tiny effervescing bubbles swam to the top of the glass.

S - Not a particularly aromatic nose for an IPA, but there is quite a bit of caramel malt sweetness paired with some mild citrus hops with a hint of orange and lemon, and just a tinge of alcohol.

T - Pretty malty flavor despite its IPA status, with a predominantly sweet caramel malt aspect with a hefty bready flavor as well. Hops are primarily citrus with orange peel and lemon zest. Finish is quite biscuity with a toasted maltiness that yields a more burnt hop aspect in the end.

M - Light to medium body with a slightly syrupy texture that turns a bit creamy inside the mouth. Moderate amount of carbonation results in a bit of prickle on the tongue. Finish is slightly bitter but balanced (almost overpowered) by a huge malt backbone.

D - This is certainly a malt-forward IPA with a fair amount of hop bitterness. Could perhaps use a bit more of an assertive hop character, but it's still quite drinkable and tasty. Despite that, it still falls somewhere in the middle of the road.

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

pours a nice copper-orange with a thin head that leaves nearly no lace
S: wonderful hop aroma that is followed by a hint of yeast
T: absolutely wonderful flavor of cascade hops, incredibly well balanced that leaves a lingering taste of malt.
M: carbonation is strong at first, then quickly dissapates to reveal the bitterness
D: superior drinkability, I'm glad I brought some home from texas.

Photo of brandoneast
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours transparent copper-orange with a nominal, light ecru head that dissipates quickly and leaves a faint collar. Cascade hops dominate the aroma's foreground with some caramel to the back. The taste surprisingly balances with sweet malt caramel and biscuity flavors then finishes with a middling hop presence that is citrus and pine that fades quickly leaving a lingering bitterness. The malt is not sticky or overly sweet; it is simply the dominant flavor. Smooth bodied with medium carbonation lend a dry finish.

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

Had many times as my go to local IPA.
A-Copper, reddish. metallic color
S-Citrus hops, piney aroma, slightly metllic occassionally
T-Astrigent citrus hops, sweet malt-good balance of the two, grapefruit, slightly drying, some metallic taste
M-Well carbonated, good scrubbing effect, dry finish.
D-Very easy to drink, can drink a few of these, especially on a hot day

Photo of TheBCrew
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. pint on cask at the Ginger Man in Austin. Pours a cloudy copper with nice white cascading head. The head settled down to one finger and stayed there. Lots of lacing. Some yeast floaties and hop floaties were present. Confirmed with the bartender that this is dryhopped in the cask. Piney citrus hop aroma comes on strong. Great taste with the different hop characteristics shining through - pine at first with a slight citrus tinge. Pale malt backbone holds strong. Nice creamy mouthfeel makes this a real treat with good drinkability.

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

12 oz bottle, acquired through a trade.

"Brewed in Texas" under the cap

A- Elissa pours a very attractive, semi hazy amber color with a monster of a white head, some lacing. An assault of small, slow moving carbonation rises from the bottom of my Dogfish pint.

S- The beer smells of fresh hops, lemon/ other citrus fruits, some pepper and a slight bready/malt character.

T- It starts off very nice sending a blast of bright fruit notes along with a very sturdy malt profile. The hops make an aromatic, plant like character mid palate leaving a very bitter finish. I like that taste, some people may not. Some alcohol is present on the finish as well.

M/D- Medium mouth feel, and IMO the perfect amount/feel of carbonation makes this American IPA one damn drinkable beer!

im glad i have another bottle of this.

Photo of joe1510
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

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.

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.

Photo of mizzoueng
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of armock
2.48/5  rDev -34.2%
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

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 910 ratings.