Nelson Imperial IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nelson Imperial IPANelson Imperial IPA

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BA SCORE
89
very good

555 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 26
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
70 IBU
8.6%
Original Gravity : 21 Plato
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Carapils, Caramel 10-L
Hops: Alchemy, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Willamette

(Beer added by: olmatty on 04-06-2011)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Schooners Patio Grille in Santa Clarita, CA.

Pours a murky iced tea color with a 1 inch puffy white head that settles to an island on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of tropical fruits, herbal hops, and malt. Taste is of grapefruit and tropical fruits, herbal hops, and a nice malt presence on the finish. Mild bitterness sticks around on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good DIPA with some nice fruity flavors going on from the hops used in this beer.

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy golden orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Nelson Sauvin hops impart light to moderate aromas of gooseberries and tropical fruits to the nose; hints of grapefruit from the Cascade hops are also noticeable.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and is dominated by flavors of gooseberries along with notes of passionfruit and grapefruit. While only a light amount of bitterness is perceptible, only hints of the underlying malts are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable because the taste masks any traces of alcohol. There's a very good balance between the malts and bitterness, but there's hardly much of any of them in the taste to make you believe that this beer is an Imperial IPA. The variety of different hops used in this beer result in an interesting flavor profile.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid hop character spreads across zesty citrus, fruity tropical, and resiny bitterness for a lupilin dominant beer with supporting caramel sweetness and alcoholic strength to match.

Deep golden in color, the beer's ample carbonation fuels a fluffy white head and allows for moderate lacing. A general look for IPA's.

Red grapefuit, orange zest, tangerine, pineapple, and mango give a glimpse into the hop and ester blend that leave impressions on the nose. Supporting malt character seems lighly malt-rich but moreso caramel sweet. Alcohol and peppery phenols resinate with the olfactory sense, promising strength.

Flavors of caramel sweetness set the early tone, but with the rise of citrus and tropical fruit zest, the beer turns decidedly fruity. The fruity tone persists through the increased hop bitterness and spicy alcoholic finish. Hop intensity remains slighly subdued, allowing for the malt sweetness and alcohol to play a bit more of a role in the balance than they need to.

Full bodied, but sweetly rich with caramel sweetnes plays on the palate, never developing the malty dry-character that's needed. Caramel lingers on the tongue and accompany the alcoholic evaporation and hoppy dryness that help to clean the finish to some degree. Still, the beer has a grainy feel that causes mild grassy astringency that could be avoided.

A rewarding imperial IPA that misses a few marks on creating something special. Still, a welcome beer anytime a hop-fix is needed.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with decent retention and lacing on a clear golden copper body. Mustiness of Nelson hops are well represented in the aroma with candied fruit and caramel malts. Flavor is similar and is fairly malt forward with more candied citrus and typical earthy and musty Nelson hops. Medium body and moderate carbonation, oily on the palate. Booze are well hidden, the hops are as good as Nelson hops can be but are in a good degree.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking golden color with a strong white head on top. The lacing looked good on the glass and the retention was decent too. The smell of the beer had a really nice floral sweetness to it, perhaps some honey on the nose also. The taste of the beer kinda fell short a little on my expectations, just didn't have the flavors I was hoping for. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth and crisp, good carbonation to it and pretty refreshing too. Overall it's a god IPA, I just wasn't too thrill over some of the flavors that were coming through.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a lovely, informative trip to Portland earlier this month.

This beer pours a glassy pale amber hue, with a multitude of dense foamy off-white head, which leaves some nice ropy, layered lace around the glass as things sink away. It smells of grapefruit and otherwise restrained citrus hops, caramel/toffee malt, and a soft booze edginess. The taste is fairly intrusive bitter pine hops, with a minor in citrus and leafiness, all rather obtrusive over the steadfast caramel and bready malt that seems to arise out of the ether, accompanied by a mildly invasive alcohol edge. The carbonation is moderate, aided by a still vigorous sweetness, the body a heavy medium weight, and sugary smooth. It finishes more sedate, the malt sweetness still prevalent, facing a decent citrus, earthy hop offset.

An appreciably intense DIPA, from one of those microbreweries that seem to somehow beg for big boy analysis, and yet still come off all the better. Large, and in charge, this has all the right moves - big malt, big hops, and an agreeably levelled upscale ABV - wow, A-Fucking-OK by me. The only issue I have, is my oversight in not visiting this brewhouse amongst all else during that fateful afternoon in downtown PDX, after the lunch pods...

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i very much enjoy the nelson sauvin hop, so this was a treat for me. pours a red/orange color with a 2 inch white head. smells very fruity and pungent, a little sweet, with a bready malt body that stays out of the way enough to let the hops shine. same is true with the taste. the nelson hops are very unique, and they stand out clearly. the alcohol is well hidden and almost not detectable at all. the feel is fairly full on the body, with good carbonation and a very unique bittersweet hoppy aftertaste. this is one of widmer's better beers, and does excellent justice to the complexities of the nelson sauvin hop variety.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of tropical fruit with some grapefruit notes. It smelled of burnt toast maltiness.

T - It tasted of tropical fruit, grapefruit, mango and some sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very good Imperial IPA. One of the best beers I've had from Widmer Brothers.

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

Shiny pale brass color with a great clarity, the suds do their job to keep the beer appearance up. Minty, mango, peppery, lime zest and mandarin orange come from the hops and light biscuity grain and alcohol round out the hoppy nose. Smooth and slick with a moderate sized creamy body. Bitterness might not be massive which is fine, the hop flavor is the real showcase here. Peppery, mint and exotic fruit hop flavor though I am sure some of that fruitiness is coming from the alcohol. Star fruit, ripe pineapple and papaya comes to mind. Faint caramel and cake malt flavors, alcohol is very noticeable but does not distract from any other flavor.

Looks like the complete re-vamp of Deadlift ends up being a win now.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, caramelized malts and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid 2IPA to drink for a long time.

Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2-3 fingers of eggshell-white head. This settles down into a frothy ¾ finger, which throws up a big foamy cascade of lacing that descends down into sticky swathes that dot the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and a little dank, with some pine and spice thrown in for good measure. Green citrus, some much lighter tropical fruit, and sweet malt sit underneath, imparting a zesty twang in the back of the nostrils.

The taste has a lot of sweetness going on with it, both from the sugary graininess of the malts and the juicy tropical fruit character of the hops as well. This is cut through by a mix of zesty grapefruit bitterness and resins that is surrounded on the sides by a good bit of a herbal feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little bit fuller, with some crispness to the carbonation on top but the overall feel here has a rather nice feeling smooth oily creaminess to it that glides along easily in the mouth. There is some light warmth here but the ABV is helped along immensely by the silkiness of the feel.

This was a pretty darn decent DIPA. I just wish that the sweetness and bitterness of the flavor profile could have been reversed (with the more aggressive aspects of the hops being compliment by the sweetness instead of the other way around) but there is still enough here to keep most hop heads happy and you can’t beat the smooth feel on this. This is really nice for an off the shelf take on the style. I could get down with more of it!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer. Good spicy hop tone to it but with a large amount of malts on the base that really do show. I will say that as a double or impy ipa, it doesn't really hold all that much sway. If you had told me it was an ipa, plain and simple, I wouldn't have argued against it. But I guess the higher abv qualifies it for its present status.

Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bold and sweet, a great sipping beer. Very aromatic with a long nose of resin and flowers. Amazing aroma is both spicy and reminds me of fragrant orchids. Malt is very forward but after the explosion of hops there is a pleasant bitter aftertaste. Hard to find fault anywhere as it is totally drinkable, unlike so many zombie mega-IPAs.

While this is very rich, it is an interesting example of using big hops with a strong beer. Cheers to Widmer for yet another user-friendly but intriguing beer.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large bubbled head but it settles tightly to a thin layer of tiny bubbles. It leaves an extensive blanket of lace. The broth is light amber and mildly hazy.

Creamy pale malt smell with a strong pineapple hop aroma. Well balanced for a DIPA.

Strongly flavorful, but well balanced. Despite the style, this is not extreme. The initial taste is oily from the alcohol level. The floral hop bitterness is slow to intensify but it dominates the swallow and aftertaste. Full bodied with an elevated level of carbonation.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4 pack of this for $8.99 at the local beer store.

Pours a nice golden color, decent sized head. Strong floral Aroma. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, pretty good mouthfeel. Quite an interesting tasting double IPA, it's extremely well balanced. Get some definite honey and caramel notes, and isn't a straight up hop bomb like most other DIPA's. The ABV is well hidden and it's a surprisingly smooth beer. One of the more unique beers I've had in a while and I was big fan of it.. definitely worth checking out, especially for the price tag.

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquried at a local Ralph's market. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. I'm not horribly fond of the style, which I find tends to be brewed incorrectly.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm up over the course of consumption. I like to drink my IPAs cold, though.

Sidepoured with standard vigor; I didn't anticipate carbonation issues.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair thickness, slight cream, and bad retention (~30 seconds). Colour is a clear yellow-copper. Generally appealing. Nothing unique or special catches my eye.

Sm: A hoppy aroma - more floral than bittering, and not at all overwhelming. Clean malts. No yeast or alcohol. Pleasant. A touch of vinegar perhaps. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Hoppy, with floral notes ending in a vinegar-esque near cider note. Almost a bit piney on the climax. No alcohol or yeast comes through. Some light red apple. No layering of flavours; maybe a bit with the hops. It's fresh but I'd refrain from calling it refreshing. A simple example of the style, but a fairly enjoyable one. The balance isn't perfect, but it's decent. Very clean.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequately carbonated. Not too thick or too thin in any broad way, but not perfect by any means. It complements the flavours in a general sense, but isn't remarkable. Too slick on the finish.

Dr: It hides its ABV well. The flavours are usual for the style, and will likely satisfy fans of the style, but there's nothing unique or special about the beer that would make me buy it again. "Hopped to perfection" me arse. A very average imperial IPA. There are far more enjoyable beers in the style.

C

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear light orange with a minimal fizzy head. Good head retention, real light lacing, not good to style.

S: Grass, kiwi fruit (New Zealand influence perhaps?), cantaloupe. Big amount of malt as well.

T: Grassy and piney hop character with a clear malt presence. Just is too boozy; the underlying character is nice, but is covered up by the heat.

M: Full-bodied, oily, resiny, fairly smooth.

O: Pretty much an average East Coast style DIPA. Worth a shot at its inexpensive price.

Photo of woodychandler
4.78/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More bottles from my latest Philly run. I am feeling adventurous today and may try to eradicate the bottle backlog that has been an albatross since school started back.

From the bottle: "Series 924"; "'Prost! Or if you prefer, Haka.'"; "Hopped to Perfection".

Before I begin to describe the head coming off of the pour, let me tell you about the nose. It was astounding! I have been a self-avowed hophead for some time, but this acted like air freshener in the room. It was pungently floral and my mouth was watering in anticipation as a result. The two dense, rocky fingers of eggnog-colored head sat there and defied me to disturb them. No problem! I was quite content to sit there and let the aroma fill my sinus cavity. Notes of orange zest, lemon peel, fresh mown grass and caramel malt satiated me nicely. Color was a golden-amber, the color some people tan to or like a chicken's skin when you know that it is ready to come off of the rotisserie, along with NE-quality clarity. As the head slowly fell, sticky lacing remained in its wake. My first sip and I heard the singing of angels as the hops went to work on my tongue, scrubbing away dead and unused taste buds to enhance my enjoyment. Mouthfeel was medium and the citrus fruit flavors were just wonderful. This simply reaffirmed my decision to be a hophead. It was not too bitter, nor too malty, either. This was Goldilocks beer - just right. Finish was dry, but not gaspingly dry, allowing me to savor the taste that much longer.

S**t, I forgot! I am no longer a hophead but a hops junkie and I haven't fixed for a while! Now, the singing has changed to the screeching of a monkey on my back. I gotta go score, man.

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Nelson Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.