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Nelson Imperial IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nelson Imperial IPANelson Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

543 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 543
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 23
Gots: 26 | 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
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 543 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGordo
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a snifter. Body is a deep golden color with a wisp of creamy white head. Aroma is huge on grapefruit and pine resin, with a light sweetness that holds a hint of dark fruit. A decent amount of booze is evident as well.
Palate is big on piny hops, with huge notes of grapefruit. A syrupy sweetness from the malt is accompanied by some mild dark fruit flavor. Finish has some lingering citrusy hops and some sweet bready notes. Body is full but not sticky or syrupy. great aroma and flavor really showcase the Nelson hops, but the body is a bit flat and the palate is a bit one-dimensional.

ElGordo, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored beer with a small off-white colored head. There is a slight chill haze but it really isn't much.

Smells sweet and strongly hoppy with a mainly cedar wood aroma. A little bit of eucalyptus and pine scent, needless to say this is a hop bomb.

Starts out sweet and hoppy with a slight sting to it. Tasty pineapple and papaya are the first two flavor that popup. Moderately bitter but the sweetness prevents it from being harsh at all. Tropical fruit flavor, but the papaya is really strong. This gets both sweeter and more bitter as you drink it. The flavor doesn't change all that much and it lacks the complexity of a Pliny or Dreadnaught, but it is close.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is DAMN tasty but not quite to the level of the best Double IPAs. BUT this only cost $10 for the 4 pack and that is a hell of a good price for a beer this good. Two thumbs up. The only thing that I would change is dial back on the sweetness a bit.

Zorro, Aug 14, 2011
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...

biboergosum, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Mdog
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, particles, big head.

Smell: Citrus and a little malt too.

Taste: Nice sweetness, lots of pink grapefruit flavor. Could use a touch more bitterness.

Drinkability: Another easy drinker, similar to their deadlift DIPA.

I assume this is a different beer than Deadlift from last year. To me it has a little different flavor profile than Deadlift, but a step in the positive direction. Nice price for a 4 pack and a quality beer. Give it a try.

Mdog, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Nerudamann
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - light amber in color, a little murky with good carbonation, and about two fingers worth of slightly off-white colored frothy foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - quite hoppy smelling, but not overwhelming. Zesty smelling.

Taste and Mouthfeel - hoppy taste in general, but not terribly bitter, but the bitterness is present in the aftertaste. Can't quite place the type of hops, maybe Saaz. The texture is a bit on the creamy side.

Overall - Not a bad brew at all. Decent and interesting taste.

Nerudamann, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of popery
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes. Rated to style.

Appearance is fine. Mildly cloudy, bright orange. A dissipating head that stuck around for awhile as a thin film of bubbles. The aroma is grassy with tropical fruits - more kiwi/papaya than pineapple, like some hops. A bit grapey, too. Not quite strong enough for my taste but pretty good. On the palate, it starts out with some hop resin flavor with an alright crystal malt backbone, but the finish mars things with a big booze note that goes particularly poorly with the grassy bitterness. Mouthfeel is, well, hot. Plus, the beer is a bit sticky. Didn't much like this one, despite the hop choice.

popery, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted July 1rst 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip

A - translucent amber or deep copper, three finger off white head and some lacing

S - lots of sweet malt and yeast. Booze, pineapple, orange, some fresh cut grass, sugary and lots of mellow but great smelling hop bitterness

T - sweet, a bit boozey, nice big toasted/sweet malt, citrus and passion fruits, mellow but nice bitter hop, slightly yeasty, grapefruit finish and a tad sour

M - chewy/sticky, long finish, low acidity, well balanced and full bodied

D - silky, smooth, tons of flavor, hoppy, malty and sweet. If you like IPA with a nice malty backbone, this is a great beer

Final thought - not a huge fan of Widmer, but this beer is a great beer. Nice 8.6% ABV and $8 a 4 pack

whatthehull, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear gold with a small head that lingers throughout

S - Pineapple is the main nose with some biscuit and some other tropical fruits

T - Spicier and less tropical fruit than the nose portends. Hops dominate with a little bit of malt.

M - Highly carbonated and goes down smooth.

D - Honestly a bit disappointed in this as it's the first with the Nelson hop I've had and I was expecting big things. Not a bad beer, but there are many more IPA's out there that I prefer including the Widmer X114

jmarsh123, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of BeerBoss
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served out of a bottle into a chalice glass.

A: nice rich amber color with intricate lacing

S: Quite a nose! Grassy/hoppy notes with a hint of grapefruit.

T: Ok here we go...hmmm nice! Very smooth distinct sweet grapefruit front with a clean hoppy finish. A little bitter.

M: Butter and smooth.

O: Very drinkable! Either it should be a bit colder or Im just very hot right now!

BeerBoss, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of OlieIPA
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by my good buddy Pehlman on a glourious brew day! Poured into an Imperial Pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A: The beer exhibits a various array of orange and copper hues with a 1-finger off-white head. The lacing was mediocre, but overall...a decent looking brew.

S: Suprisingly, the malt body comes through a bit more than anticipated. Nice and a little sweet, which goes well with New Zealand hop character.

T: A very well balance DIPA; malt backing is nice and the hop flavor is easily detectable. The only criticism is the slight metallic flavor I get towards the backend of each sip.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Widmer did a very good job with this beer! I've been spoiled with Alpine's version of this beer, but again...I would recommend this beer to my fellow advocates. A try it beer! Cheers!

OlieIPA, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Almost copper with big tan foamy/frothy head with good retention and nice lacing. Sweet floral and pine aroma. Sweet floral citrus flavors with unique pine counterbalance. Sweetness dominates and finishes with a moderate hop linger. Very tacky and foamy feel.

This one hop seems to have all the hop flavors rolled into one (if they really only used the one hop). However, the label states that it also has what I took to be a lighter, non-resinous feel. What your left with is a mouthcoating, very tacky feel that lingers on and on and becomes a huge distraction. Very nice flavor and aroma, unique even but not one I look forward to having again because of the feel.

Bfarr, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of obrike
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4 pack at HEB in Round Rock for $8.49.

Very nice looking DIPA...copper/orange...fairly light head, disappates slowly...a ring of light suds surrounds the top of the drink for the duration...spotty lacing throughout.

Crisp, fruity scent...picking up orange, tangerine, a bit of pine as well...not nearly as noxious as the Deadlift strawberry assault.

Very smooth, sweet fruity hops...some subduded carmel malt on the backside...just not as pronounced as I was looking for. Almost a non-descript taste...

A nice improvement over Deadlift for sure...but the move to a 4-pack, and the multitude of much better DIPAs out there leaves me not exactly salivating to pick up another 4 pack any time soon. If we see a price drop down to 6.99, let me know.

obrike, Jun 22, 2011
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.

BEERchitect, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of rdilauro
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A perfect golden tan pour with a nice but not over the top creamy head. No question about the hops in this beer. A perfect blend. The hops are fresh and alive.
The bouquet was just about as perfect as I could imagine.
The first sip and I was totally convince, this was one serious IPA, good amount of HOPS, not over malty, a perfect balance.
Loved it now and will drink it many times in the future

rdilauro, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. poured a fairly typical, but still attractive, medium golden amber with about a quarter-inch of white head that quickly settled into a ring and had very light lacing.

The aroma was mostly piney hops, with just a bit of grain in the background. The flavors were similar, mostly hops with just traces of malts, and a slight citrusy, dry finish.

The body was typical for the the style, perhaps just a bit on the thin side. Drinkability was OK, my 12oz bottle disappeared fairly quickly, and if I saw it on tap I'd give it another shot. Overall, a solid, decent brew. Try it when you see it.

beertunes, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been seeing alot of the Widmer line in my area since they started brewing the beers @ Redhook in Portsmouth, NH so decided to give this a try. $9.49 per 4-pack.

Pours and looks like a good DIPA should. Bright orange with a little head that disappears quickly. Sure smells like a DIPA too, it's got a nice nose.

Strong hop presence in the taste. A bit of hot alcohol too. Both these characters become more evident as it warms up, not in a good way. Last few sips to finish the glass are tough.

An OK, not bad DIPA, but the bar has been set pretty high with this style and this beer doesn't quite measure up.

SunDevilBeer, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a ruby-tinged amber into a tulip with a finger of off-white head. Strong aroma of grapefruit, apricot, honey, and a hint of booze.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Floral up front with apricot and tangerine followed by strong honey caramel and some gentle grapefruit bitterness on the finish.

Not overly puckering but not too sweet either; full flavors with good balance and very-easy drinking for a double IPA.

grittybrews, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle (dated 3/3/11) into Ommegang chalice.

Aroma: Spicy, piney, and apricot hop notes. Honey graham cracker sweetness.

Appearance: Off-white two finger head sticks around for a while. Decent lacing. Slightly hazy golden amber body.

Flavor: Very prominent honey-like malty sweetness up front. Pleasant (but a bit subdued for an IIPA) bitterness in the middle. And grapefruit-like flavor/bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-low carbonation. Sweetness coats the sides, and hop tannins are slightly drying on the middle of the tongue.

Overall: I have a feeling the hop aroma and flavor have faded significantly since the 3/3 bottled-on date. This beer was pretty drinkable at first, but after a few sips, the sweetness was lacking in depth, and a bit cloying. I recommend trying this, but it will surely be better if consumed within 30 days of bottling.

mdvatab, May 31, 2011
Photo of Glibber
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rusty red amber color, not cloudy but not opaque, with a foamy white head that thinned out quickly but still left some nice lacing. Faint citrus, orange smell, smooth drinking, not overly hoppy, but some hop carryover. You don' taste the alcohol that much and a good offering from Widmere. Glad to see Widmer offer some higher octane beers in 12 oz bottles with the 11' and now this.

Glibber, May 30, 2011
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.

Halcyondays, May 29, 2011
Photo of Jwaks
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Translucent light copper with thin off-white head, little to no lacing, several columns of small bubbles make their way to the top of the beer.

A - I had to strain with this one, muted with sweetish caramel malt, some white grape, grapefruit with winey notes, peppery spice, hints of tropical fruit like kiwi and mango and perfumy alcohol notes.

T - mirrors the aroma with sweet carmelly, bready malt dominating, winey, fruity and spicy hop flavor throughout with pronounced, slightly hot alcohol in the finish. A light green vegital flavor comes through late in the finish. Pleasant hop bitterness lingers well after the finish.

M - moderate to full bodied with slightly overbearing alcohol, overdone malt with moderate bitterness make it dificult to drink.

O - Malt and hop flavor is awesome, just lacking intensity and follow-through. The reticent nose, distractingly hot alcohol and overdone malt are a dissapoinment. I think this would be better as an IPA with lower alcohol and malt presence than a DIPA.

Jwaks, May 23, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cooper seafood in Scranton.

The beer pours a copper amber with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light citrus, sweet malt and graham cracker. On the palate, what sticks out immediately is how sweet and malty this beer is. There's not nearly enough hoppy bitterness to counter it, with the beer coming off as an amber ale that happens to a bit more hop than usual, as well as alcohol. The beer isn't too boozy, thankfully, but otherwise there was little about this beer that I found particularly enjoyable. Mouthfeel was medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, lightly bitter, malty finish.

There weren't a whole lot of interesting options at Cooper's, otherwise I probably wouldn't have taken a chance with this beer to begin with. Mehhh...

John_M, May 21, 2011
Photo of Takahiro
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

sampled in a tulip glass

A: deep golden - light amber, clear, thick lingering head

S: caramel and juicy hop aroma upfront. reminds me of brew-day. hop aroma is grape fruit / almost grassy

T: grape fruit bitterness, lots of (burnt?) caramel. balance is leaning towards the malty side. very sweet & overwhelming maltiness. feel alcohol warmth afterwards. simple formulation.

M: full body, thick, and cloying.

D: not so well with this one.

little bit too sweet and cloying on mouth. this may be a good winter sipper, but not interesting enough.

Takahiro, May 19, 2011
Photo of shand
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This one pours a very transparent (obviously filtered) orange-amber color crested with a nice three wingers of head that retains and laces very well. The aroma is a very nice banquet of tropical fruits, oranges and hops. The taste is also quite good. It honestly reminds me a lot of Hopslam with the tropical fruits and honey sweetness. It's a bit dryer and hoppier on the finish though, with less of an alcohol slam and less complexity. Overall, it's a good replacement for Hopslam though.

The mouthfeel is nice, although it might be a bit too smooth. Some more abrasion on the carbonation would be welcome. The drinkability is quite good, this is a DIPA that goes down easily. Overall, a very good DIPA that's just a touch away from greatness. Hopslam's younger brother, if you will.

shand, May 19, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It pours a light copper hue, and is capped with a modest white head. Lacing is minimal.

S - The nose is quite fruity-dank. It is hard to pinpoint the specifics, but there seems to be a pungent ripe tropical fruit suggestion, as well as perhaps a bit of amaretto in the aroma. The malt is mild, mineral-y, and pale.

T - The flavor is big and tropically fruit-juicy, and has that almond twang that I found in the nose. Cannabis notes are strongly tangible. The malt is, again, mild, mineral-y, and pale; I tend to like that over the big caramel malt base that is quite common to the DIPA style.

M - IPA. Good. Not gonna be confused with ABW either.

O - Nice beer here. Widmer seems to do a good job with hoppy ales (Drifter, Pitch Black, this...)

ktrillionaire, May 16, 2011
Nelson Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.