Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA | Mikkeller ApS

very good
254 Ratings
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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPANelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malts (pilsner, cara-crystal and munich), hops (nelson sauvin) and yeast.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 03-14-2009

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Ratings: 254 |  Reviews: 181
Photo of stevoj
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cindy's Spirits. This comes off more as an English IPA, dark and very mild bitterness. Hazy dark amber with a skin of a head, but leaving sheets of lacing down the glass. Brown bread, ginger snaps and caramel. Not outstanding in any one aspect, but the whole package is pretty good.

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Photo of cwps48
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of mattsander
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy copper with a big puffy head. Gobs of sticky lacing, very nice.

S: Juicy kiwis and pears, fruity Munich malt and a certain pleasant herbal quality.

T: Very approachable with fruity notes that mimic the aroma. The bitterness creeps in slowly and sticks to the back of my throat, very nice.

M: Starts off juicy and slick, then finishes quite dry. Very drinkable.

O: Nelson Sauvin is a really unique hop and this is one of the better beers I've had from Mikkeller, definitely the best IPA.

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Photo of Morningside
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Mattias
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jondavidsson
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of eawolff99
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of dgherm
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of JCDenver
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 5561010, no idea what that means. Pours cloudy with a lingering head, dark goldish orange and very cloudy. Smells great, I got a floral, grassy aroma with some notes of citrus, and a lot of grape. Also got some mineraly notes. Nice lingering hoppy taste with a bit of malt backing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation is good. This was my first experience with the nelson sauvin hop varietal, and I plan to seek it out in the future. I also wonder how fresh this is; I'd love to try it fresh from the tap. Another solid offering from Mikkeller.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought I messed up when the giant white head foamed immediately up and over my pint glass, judging by other people, it was not my fault. I blame Sally Fields.

When the head settles down, you get a darker than normal burnt amber body with orange highlights with lots of microwaved marshmellow shrapnel sticking to the pint glass.

Great Smell, Floral and fruity at the same time with lots of citrus notes wrapped up in one, like a giant hoppy fruit roll up.

A bit mild taste with tingling sweet hop character. This is a designer hop not made in the labs of BALCO, but in New Zealand designed to impart a green grape like quality. It's like drinking a beer/wine or Welsch white grape juice with a frothy head and alcohol bite to it. Kinda like a liger, bred for it's skills with magic.

Interesting taste as it has both a good thick taste and thin body with lots of carbonation. As complicated as Sally Fields and Burt Reynolds relationship in Smokey and the Bandit, i'd take off my hat for this beer.

Wish it had more body, but you know, let's not place blame where it shouldnt be. Sally Fields is as Sally Fields does.

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Photo of dfillius
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 4 fingers of light tan head with stellar retention, too much retention actually. Cloudy dark amber.light brown liquid.
S: So, I read that the hop has grapey/wine qualities? Yeah, I can see that, almost like a riesling or sauvignon blanc. Some bleu cheese. Some alcohol. Pleasant, definitely hoppy.
T: Fruity, very bitter. A little sherry or wet cardboard? :-( Tasty, but maybe just a tad turned.
M: Puckeringly bitter.
D: Okay but not great. Expensive, not my favorite hop aroma or character. No problem finishing one, but I won't have it again.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange color, nothing terribly special about the appearance once its been served. There's a fair amount of rockiness and stick to the head that inclines me to tip the score up just a hair. Hoppy nose alludes to the idea of the hop focus behind this beer. I can imagine some grape-like vinous character into this aroma without too much trouble. There's also a little citrus and a bit of funkiness in there.

Aggressive hopping does a number on the generally modest malts. Backbone of toast and maybe some peanut meat alongside the requisite caramel and toffee notes. The Sauvin Nelson hops are slightly bitter, bringing a little pine resin along with grapefruit pith and an odd twist of maybe pineapple.

Not my favorite beer overall. There's a good reason that most beers blend different hop strains. Kind of a one-trick pony, and I found this one to be a flat, syrupy drinking experience on draft. Not terrible and overbearing, but far from elite.

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Photo of dzni
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy dark golden, nice head
S - Citrus, hop, strawberry??, a spicy-sweet note
T - Slight citrus, good amount of hops but not overly bitter. I didn't get many other discernible flavors
M - Medium-bodied, almost creamy texture, low carbonation
D - Certainly a nice beer that I'd drink again, but I didn't get all the flavors that would presumably make this an amazing beer.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz to tulip.

I'd never heard of this and saw no freshness date in the store. Brought it home and found what looks like a 2009 date under the price tag on the cap. Almost 3 years old. Womp womp.

A - Medium gold. Big white head of large bubbles

S - Honey sweet with a hint of fruit, that overall comes across as almost a concord grape smell. A restrained hoppy note mixed in.

T - A little bitterness overlapping with a hint of tartness. I really can't pull out any specific flavors.

M - A little tongue tingle. A swallow quickly turns dry and leads to a little abrasion.

O - Well a three year old beer is not what you want to drink when you want to figure out what Nelson Sauvin hops taste like. It was still a nice beer despite its inadvertent aging, just not what either Mikkeller or I hoped.

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Photo of jsh420
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

cap dated 23/12/11

pours hazy copper orange with a big chunky 2+ finger head that left lacing all over the glass

smells of very fruity hops - dont pick up any malt but this is an ipa brewed to showcase the hop used

taste is nice - reminds me of many fresh hopped harvest brews (SN and founders) the hops shine very juicy but there is just enough malt to cut the bitterness

mouthfeel - medium body with way too much carbonation

drinkability is so so - while i enjoy the single hop series the price kills any repeat buys

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Photo of loren01
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bubbly copper color, nice head with good lace down the glass
S: Tangerine, orange scents very evident
T: Caramelly flavors up front with a spicy/citrus hop burst
M: Medium bodied beer, crisp mouthfeel
D: Tasty brew, not my favorite in the series but very good.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly unfiltered, deep orange. Huge foamy dirty white head that leaves lots of lacing all the way down the glass.

S - A little light on the hop aroma but the malt and starchy sugar does come through quite well. Hops are spicy/herbal.

T - At first there is a very nice balance between the hops and the malty backbone. Hops taste of sap and citric acid and quite bittering. Never had a nelson sauvin hopped beer before but they seem to be very versatile.

M/D - Body is a little watery for my liking but the carbonation is spot on. Moderately sticky on the plate after each swig and the pine flavor lasts in the aftetaste. Drinkability is good with this one since the hops have a nice flavor to them.

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Photo of brdc
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting idea, with the same base beer and a single, different hop which allows you to "study" the differences between each hop variety. I just wish they had added some information about the "base beer".

We are trying four on the same night, now moving to Nelson Sauvin and Nuggett.
I cannot say I understand why chosing Nelson Sauvin, which I had to make some research to find out it is a particular variety from New Zealand I had never heard of before.
Both pour a nice, dark golden, Nelson Sauvin hazier.
Very nice, fluffy and long lasting off white head, with very good and long lasting chunky lacing. Very nice presentation.
Toasted, caramel malts form the base for an aroma that is grossly and overpoweringly dominated by grapefruits, along with an unusual bale field smell. It is at times unidimensional.
The aroma on the Nuggett is much more delicate, complex and actually more pleasant, but I do not like grapefruits.
The flavor follows suit; light caramel cookie base, still with a predominantly hoppy taste,
heavily bitter and grapefruity here.
Both are medium bodied.

A very interesting experiment, in a very good beer. I would say I prefer Nuggett very close to Warrior, then Cascade and Sauvin. As far as hops goes in my particular palate, Cascade and Sauvin go a bit too bitter and citrusy, with way too mucvh grapefruit on the Sauvin. Still a fun experiment that I recommend to all beer lovers.

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Photo of ZAP
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Big snowcone like frothy off white head...excessive for my liking.

S-I get a lot of pine along with a strong tobacco/weed element. Very pungent

T-Hops exude a similar impression on the taste....a lot of cannibus and tobacco along with the piney notes...malt seems sweeter with a slight caramel flavor.

M-Pretty hop forward....body is a solid medium..I don't like the charged up texture.

D-This is interesting to try but it doesn't really do a whole lot for me. I'd reach for a lot of IPA's before this one but it is unique.
Thanks to BigHuge for acquiring this hard to find IPA for me.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one pours a medium yellow with a one inch white head. Smells lightly of citrus. Tastes mildly of citrus, but no flavor in particular stands out. Unremarkable is the word that keeps coming to mind. No oxidation flavor, but other than that it tastes like an IPA that's been sitting around for awhile. Carbonation is a bit light. Nothing special about this one.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle, best by 02/23/2011, served into a tulip glass

Pours a murky, hazy, copper sort of brown. Eggshell white foam crests up to two and a half fingers. Soapy lacing spindles down the sides of glass. The head makes the appearance work.

The Nelson Sauvin hops lend a vinous, dry sort of fruit character. Red grapes with a spritz of California grapefruit. There is some sourness coming from somewhere, like some sour grain mixed with perfume.

The lupulin character presents itself on the tongue as grapefruit and distant pineapple. It isn't as drying as the nose suggests it will be. The malt is biscuity and increasingly doughy as the beer warms. This beer, while solid, is not as vibrant as I would like.

The mouthfeel is hard to gauge at first. It seems like it is on the lighter end of medium bodied but the carbonation is pretty overactive for the first ten minutes after pouring. Once the prickly sensation dies down the carbonation level is pretty darn low. Weird. The drinkability is OK. This doesn't taste good enough to drink a lot of and it doesn't hold up to sipping for a longer than a half hour but aside from that it is solid.

This is the second beer that I've had (along with Alpine's Nelson) that has featured the Nelson Sauvin hop and I have been blown away by neither one. It is a hop that seems to bring good flavors to the table but not at the levels of intensity or clarity to really let the beer shine. This is a pretty solid IPA; one that, like the other Mikkeller Single Hop IPAs, is valuable more for its educational properties than anything else.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bright introduction to the fairly unknown Nelson Sauvin hops. Fruity and tawny, the beer takes a distinct wine-like or boozy turn.

Like all other Mikkeller Single Hop Series beer, the beer takes on a deep copper color with greater than normal haze. Great formation and retainage of off white foam and good lacing. A good but hazy look even for an IPA.

Fruity/citrus aromas emmit from the hops, but with a quick and sturdy rebuttal from the biscuity and caramelized malts. The beer takes a distinct wine-like tawny aroma, similar to gin or other fruit-forward alcohols.

Flavors of the malt hit first but with the white grape, juniper, under-rippended berry notion following closely behind. Bitterness seems sharp and seems to amplify the bitterness of the alcohol is quite a boozy fashion. Interestingly, the beer seems to have a more estery fruitiness because of the hops used. Finishes with a cool/minty tawny-tanic flavor.

Creamy and medium fullness early but the alcohols and hop bitterness seems to thin the beer without the classic dry-maltiness and smooth hop bitterness that I've seen in previous Single Hop Mikkellers.

This may be my least favorite beer in the series. Not saying that this hop doesn't work but I think it would pair well with Amarillo or Saaz hops for more roundness in flavor/aroma and for smoother bitterness.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a golden orange color with a generous amount of head. The lacing is pretty sticky so it holds pretty well to the glass. The smell of the beer is hoppy, it's also got a good aroma of malts in there too. The taste of the beer reminded me of a Belgian IPA, it's was earthy but still had a very lively taste. Interesting flavor for sure. The mouthfeel was pretty good. Overall I thought that this one was interesting. All of these are worth trying.

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Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with the Cascade version, I find this to be an interesting exercise in brewing, but it isn't a particularly great IPA in its own right. I appreciate the opportunity to taste the Nelson Sauvin hop in its own right. This beer looks just fine. It's a darkened amber with an off-white head. It appears essentially the same as the Cascade version. I imagine Mikkeller uses very similar grain bills for the Single Hop IPA series. The malt imparts a simple caramel sweetness. The hops smell and taste like a combination of grapefruit and sweet, pungent floral tones. It's not a variety that I've ever tried alone before, so it's an enjoyable learning experience. That said, it also doesn't work terribly well entirely on its own. Something is missing without a more varied hop flavor.

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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA from Mikkeller ApS
4 out of 5 based on 254 ratings.
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