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Nelson Imperial IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nelson Imperial IPANelson Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

558 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 27
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:
Beer added by: olmatty on 04-06-2011

70 IBU
Original Gravity : 21 Plato
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Carapils, Caramel 10-L
Hops: Alchemy, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Willamette
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 558 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light amber with modest head and a very slight haze. Nose could be more aromatic for a double India pale ale, but nonetheless has some light citrus and herbs. Palate offers a whollop of fruity flavors, good bitterness from hops, and decent malt to round it out nicely. Actually quite easy to drink and masks alcohol well.

Photo of Jesse13713
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at rays place in Kent.

Appearance - A dark and silky sunset amber orange. A pleasant eighth inch of head remains at the top after quite some time. An extraordinary lacing to the glass.

Smell - Full of citrus and living hops. A bit of an orange peel scent. The hops smell fresh and pungent.

Taste - A lot smoother than the smell implies. A bit of sweet orange and light lemon. The hops here are very fresh and taste almost as if they were just picked. This is a delicious and extraordinary well balanced imperial ipa.

Mouthfeel and drinkability - very drinkable and enjoyable until he last drop. Very well balanced and medium bodied. This one surprised me.

Photo of stickynotes
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Pours a light copper, clear, a white head soon disappears leaving only a film. Citrus and earthy hops in the nose, sweet malt, smells like the style. Taste is hoppy and bright from beginning to end, slightly bitter up front, citrus, ends with some sweetness, piney bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, feels nicely carbonated. Overall I like this in the style. Hops take front stage throughout and the sweet maltiness is more subdued than other DIPAs.

Photo of doughanson78
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Won in jmarsh123's Music LIF.

A: Clear copper in color. Two finger off white head, with great retention and sticky lacing.

S: Big grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, and mango. Pretty decent caramel backbone.

T: Sweet caramel upfront. The citrus hops have a floral component to them but not like typical floral hop bitterness. Has a bit of sourness to it. Kind of off putting. A whole lot of alcohol coming through.

M: Medium to light bodied. Medium carbonation. Pretty dry finish.

O: It's decent. Just the slightly off bitterness and to much alcohol. I'm generally not a fan of Widmer beers and this is no exception. I wouldn't buy it.

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A true DIPA, as advertised, particularly in the tasting where a strong, hoppy flavor hits mid-taste and then lasts a long time.

Aroma is excellent if a bit subdued for style.

Hops are mainly piney, but also have a notable citrus component.
The malts are definitely present, but the balance favors the hops. Nicely strong, bitter, and hoppy without being challenging (at least for a fan of IPAs).

Photo of jzeilinger
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep, clear, copper color with a fat lacing ring around the top of the tulip glass. Carbonation is light.

A - Aroma is very light for a beer this big. Light caramel malt that's ALL I' m getting.

T - Much better than the aroma and makes up for the aromatic shortfall. Grapefruit rind and pine bitterness dominates throughout the entire sip, with some spicy citric resins mixed in on the back side. The caramel malt base is almost non- existent.

M - Medium to heavy medium body, gentle prickly carbonation swirls on the tongue and finishes with a slightly creamy finish. The alcohol warming on the way down is noticeable and expected, but not overbearing in any way.

O - This is a bold beer that's assertive from start to finish and will definitely deliver the goods for those hop heads out there. (we know who we are) Each sip leaves me craving the next one and leaves a good it smile on my face. A seriously hoppy beer and the boldest one to date from Widmer. I like the taste of this beer and brought a growler home, but the nose is really lacking. Lacking in the sense that it's either the beer or allergies (being that time of year)and I'm not getting all of its goodness.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  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 harrymel
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 17AUG11

A: Copper ale with a single finger of white foam which falls quickly to a sheet of the same with a bulging central cap. Excellent clarity. Ring lace. Looks warm and somewhat inviting.

S: ruby red grapefruits, seriously like ruby red grapefruit juice. A hint of B.O. as well. Underlying dry and sweet malts.

T: Sweet and bitter with a spicy flavor. That yummy grapefruit is here, but more bitter and less intense. The flavor lacks a bit of the complexity of the nose, but is decent.

M: Middle of the road for body weight, a little aggressive on the carbonation. Semi dry finish.

O: Above average. Pretty decent stuff. Interestingly assertive as the grapefruit goes.

Photo of joesmithrealname
4.61/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best beer I've EVER tasted.

Just did a 6oz tasting with a pull from a log I just put on @ HOOPS-N-HOPS. !@#$% so sweet.

Lemme just get this outta the way...it's been about 45 minutres since I drank it, and I'm a bit light headed from it...!
Powerful stuff, here.

Sticky stringy white foam, the smell of grapefruits and warm pineapples, which smell much different from the cold ones.

The taste was so different from what I'd imagined.
Nat King Cole on a beach in the early Summer wearing sandals and a linen shirt next to a girl who is not as beautiful as she is amazing when the sun goes down and the star to your left drops a few feet in the sky to remind you that magic is not a dream, but what you wish it to be...

Betcha wanna try some now!

(Sure, it's expensive, but, I only needed one to get lyrical.)

Photo of cindiwindi1025
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- really bangin on the orange hue, its clear orange and very pretty. sticky white lacing that lingers. nice.

s- found the smell kind of off-putting. smells like watered down skunk.

t- sweet, sugary hop bomb. malt undertone, ends with a prickly burning hop flavor. slight grapefruit, not much. nicely done, different for a DIPA. bubblegum aftertaste.

m- very sticky! light carbonation, prickly hop heat on the tongue that lingers.

o- good buy for the price, decent flavor, very drinkable...i would get this again if i came across it.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a clear golden amber wit ha fine-bubbled pale amber head. Rich and hoppy aroma is strongly evergreen. Strongly hoppy flavor fills the mouth with evergreen so it is like drinking a pine tree. There is a subtle hint of citrus. Thick, full-bodied, fizzy, edgy texture leaves behind a strongly hoppy tingle. This beer is a must for hops lovers!

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange/copper with pretty much no head.

The smell is tropical fruit (pineapple) and just overall extremely sweet.

The taste is different than what I expected. Very cloying bitterness and dry. Lots of citrus on the front but soon followed but a huge amount of malt and then comes the dry alcohol finished.

Probably the least example of this hop I've had. Tried looking for about .2 seconds and couldn't find if it's a single hop IPA or not.

Photo of sweett3k
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a huge foamy massive head, great lace, and light copper orange color. Pine, grapefruit, and tea like aroma. Citrus grapefruit, honey and alcohol taste. The strong alcohol hits you at first than the warming of hops and honey with a malty biscuit after taste. Pretty good.

Photo of tbeckett
2.66/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of biboergosum. Thanks. Bottled April 12 2011.

A - Pours a slightly dark orange sorta colour. Originally a one finger white head but gone to a film pretty quick. Slightly hazy with mild to medium carbonation. No retention or lacing.

S - Not your typical aroma for a IIPA. Bubblegum, bread, mint, grass, and alot of tropical fruit. Not the typical grapefruit tropical stuff but it's pushed towards more exotic stuff with a bit of mango and papaya I think, definately alot of orange.

T - Hmmm. Eggs? Tropical fruit is there again but it's got a harsh note to it I can't quite pin down. Orange is there again. Detergent comes to mind with rotten fruits. Maybe sugar as well. It's really harsh and unpleasant.

M - Good carbonation, light to mediumt body with a gross finish and very little bitterness.

O/D - Wow. I wasn't expecting this to be this bad. I'm hoping it's not the age b/c I've had older, but yikes, something happened here. There is something wrong here or I just really don't like the hop profile here. It's been really harsh and has a rotten compost, garage floor taste. Too bad.

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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 ElGordo
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Mdog
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of popery
2.87/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Photo of whatthehull
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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

Photo of jmarsh123
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
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

Photo of BeerBoss
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

Photo of OlieIPA
3.57/5  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!

Nelson Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.