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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA | Mikkeller ApS

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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPANelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA
255 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 255 |  Reviews: 181
Photo of kojevergas
2.72/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with no-frills purple label and standard white pressure cap acquired in a trade with Duff27 (thanks, buddy!) and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; Mikkel is my favourite brewer but this series is mostly an experimental educational type of thing, not an attempt to brew great beer. The cap reads "5561010." Not sure what that means. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. 6.9% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours an impressive head; the glass is 80% foam. The head is beige in colour with nice thickness, decent cream, and very good retention (~9 minutes). Body colour is a hazy translucent nontransparent caramel-copper. No yeast particles are visible. Fairly vibrant. No bubble show. Light thin even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Sm: Heavy caramel. Biscuit malts. Floral hop notes; lightly soapy. Caramel is dominant. It's more malty than hoppy. Some bubblegum. Candylike. Not nectary or citrusy; I expected more from Nelson Sauvin. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Not great for an IPA, but passable and different. The hop character could definitely be better.

T: Heavy caramel malts. Floral hops. Noticeable hop bitterness - the cardinal sin of an IPA. Light hints of bubblegum. Vague tropical hop notes. It's not all that well balanced, but it's decent for what it is. If this is showcasing the nelson sauvin hop, I guess I'm none too impressed. Built badly for an IPA, but as an educational experiment it accomplishes its aims.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Decent thickness. Undercarbonated. Suits the flavour profile decently. It's passable.

Dr: Drinkable but underwhelming. I appreciate what Mikkel's doing, but this isn't great. I wouldn't get it again. Apparently Nelson Sauvin isn't my favourite hop. Hides its ABV well. Forgettable and pricey (thanks to the Shelton Bastards).

High C-

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Photo of hophead247
2.74/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a rather cloudy orange with two finger's of head which dissipated down to a nice thin lacing. Aroma has some strong citrus, but also that apple scent a beer gets when It's past it's prime. Taste has a strong upfront taste of citrus, grapefruit, and apple. After tasting it for a bit the sweet malts come through along with a vinegar flavor in the aftertaste. Bottle cap said 10/03/11, so I take it that's the best by date...meaning this beer is well past it's prime...

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Photo of KCHopHead
2.91/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Some good things, some bad things about this beer. This beer seemed very skunky. Do they sell Belgian beers made in America to people in Belgium? At first I thought, should I really review a skunky beer? Maybe I should give it another shot, but it is hard to get and I've got to assume that by now anywhere I get it could have the chance of being skunky.

Appearance was great with a huge bubbly head, great color, active carbonation. Smell was very spicy with grapefruit. Taste had a skunk that worked it's way up the back of the nose. Had some grapefruit taste with a decent balance. It was well overcarbonated for the style.

Sorry to disagree with the majority but I thought it was a poor attempt at an American IPA.

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Photo of thecarster1
2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a tulip, three plus fingers that are very slow to fade, hazy chesnut coloring.

s- winy, lots of white wine, sweet malts, estery. i knew the nelson sauvin hop was supposed to be vinous, but damn.

t- very interesting, so much like wine, the hops are nicely bittered. very much like a glass of beered up white wine.

m- medium body, prickly.

d- not what i was expecting at all, hops are amazing in what they can make a beer taste like. when i want an ipa though, i don't reach for this, i want piny, citric hops.

 534 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.99/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Very nice pour. It's a nice red/brown with a huge head, great lacing. The smell is a little off, more malts than hops. Actually smells a little old (in the bad way).
The place I bought it is well known for their correct storage of beer, so I will have to say that this isn't that great taste wise. I taste sweet malts but the hop bitterness is way lost in the background. It isn't past it's freshness date either.
Mouth is good, like most of Mikkeller's single hop series.
I loved their Simco and Warrior single hop IPA but this one is a miss for me. Just doesn't make the cut. I do want to thank Mikkeller for rocking out this series of single hop brews. It's a great way to learn more about hops.

 698 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of ZacharyJ
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of 1koolspud
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.21/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a very cloudy orangeish amber with an INSANE four finger white head that is super puffy and actually pops above the glass...and stays there. Wow, insane. Lacing is OK, a little spotty at places. But man, the size of that head...

S- smells just like the simcoe one...a lot of grassy citrus. It's not a bad smell, but it's really weak

T- very grassy, with a slightly citric finish. The taste is pretty weak, I'd assume from the age of the bottle. It says it was bottled in March, but has been refrigerated since May

M- like all of the Mikkeller single hops I've tried, it's real thick. Almost to the point of being syrupy

O- not a huge fan. I've now tried all ten of the original single hop series, and this one falls somewhere in the middle...it did nothing to stand out from the pack

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: nice burnished copper. Pours a full three fingers of head in my duvel tulip.

S: very sauvignon blanc like. Citrus, mineral, hints of gooseberry and elderflower.

T: Would have preferred a little less caramel so the hops could shine through. A bit muted in taste due to the sweetness but picked up some lychee and citrus notes.

M: pleasant with a nice finish - the hops leave a lingering bitterness. Though i perceived a decent amount of sweetness, i did not find it to be cloying.

D: nice to try but not a favorite and not at its price.

 542 characters

Photo of Kiniey01
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of david18
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had many of these beers, both in bottles and on draft, and in general i'm very impressed with them. I was at Rattle n Hum this weekend and had a twelve ounce draft of this. It was not my favorite among the single hop selections but quite good none the less. Very good color, ok aroma. A little light on the flavor buy a very good beer none the less.

I liked it and will have again.

 388 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy caramel amber color with a huge, very dense, light tan oily head that took its sweet time slowly receding into a thick film with a raised column of dense head in the middle of the beer. Epic lacing was left as well. This is one good looking beer.
S: Smell falls pretty flat. Not picking up much of anything. I'm no expert on nelson hops, but they smell pretty mild. Hints of citrus hop and a subtle sweetness.
T: Notes of mild citrus flavors including lemon, with white wine like qualities. Mild flavors overall. Maybe a hint of toffee from the malt. Aftertaste is tingly and lightly bitter. Good flavors overall.
M: Medium body, light and refreshing mouthfeel with even carbonation.
D: My knowledge of nelson hops begins and ends with Alpine's Nelson, but this beer tastes nothing like that west coast hop bomb. I like this beer though. It's light and very drinkable, and the hops and wine-like flavors work very well. I definitely respect Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and his brewing abilities.

 1,037 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 10/14/11
*12oz bottle to pint glass

A: Pours a darkened hazy amber color with a two finger khaki foam whip and some intermittent lacing. Light carbonation evident.

S: Smells of sweet bready malts with a little spice and fruit. Not really anything indicative to the use of Nelson hops that I would expect. No signature wine grape aromas or simply they are too muted by the malt forwardness here.

T: Pretty pungent and slightly catty with hops. A big caramelized malt base. Bready cracker influence. Some nice tropical fruit notes like passion fruit and I can pick out hints of grapevine through all the sugars. Finish is slightly sweet.

M: Nice light creamy texture overall with decent carbonation. Lower to mid body range. Sticky sleek mouthcoat.

D: Overall a decent brew but not really a showcase of Nelson Hops. Didn’t pick up much at all in the aromas and taste seems a bit muddled with way too much caramels going on to really display those signature hop flavors.

 985 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.42/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Mikkeller - will it live up to the hype?

Pours a gold / copper colour with a pillowy two finger head. Looks wonderful. So good so far...

Sensational powerful aromas of pineapple and citrus - a sign of greatness to come?


Standard hop-driven one-dimensional taste. No pineapple, nothing from the nose in the taste. Some other citrus, some hops, quite dry..

Full bodied in the mouth and carbonation is right.

Begs the question, tho - at $11 a bottle in Aus, is it worth 2-3 other beers???

In a word - !

 519 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass.

A - Pours a rustic brown, very cloudy and opaque. A huge, 3-fingered head explodes quickly, filling every inch of the glass where the liquid doesn't cover. The retention lasts for a long time, and the head itself is rocky and thick. The lacing is pretty nice as well, with foam clinging all around the glass.

S - The aroma is full of tropical fruits in the form of pineapple and mango, which a healthy dose of grape too. There is much more malt than I was anticipating, as the caramel comes in to complement the fruits. In addition, I am getting some hop herbs and spice as well.

T - I am a little disappointed with the flavor from the initial taste. I am not really getting the wonderful fruits that were so present in the nose, but rather I am left with a lot of malt sweetness coupled with hop bitterness. As it sits on the mouth, the flavors do develop a bit, but it's too little too late as they are only fleeting traces of what they could be. Grassy, with remnants of tropical fruits.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate carbonation. This doesn't leave much of an impression on the palate as it is somewhat thin and unassuming. A dry, resinous finish leaves a clean feeling, however, which makes drinking this easy.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I think this is a great concept to really pick apart the nuances of different hops, but when the malt presence is as high as it is without a stronger hop flavor, it just seems like an opportunity gone by the way-side. It'd be interesting to try these all side-by-side, but I have only seen a select few of these.

 1,629 characters

Photo of danieelol
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a nice orange with great head and lacing.

Smell is grape and citrus, big English IPA-style malt character though. Remind me a bit of old-ish Lucky 13.alt. Baked bread, doughiness.

Taste is more grape and leaves, Ribena-esque. More English malt-funk.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbed but not too bitter.

Overall hard to judge this beer. It's enjoyable but not too IPA-like. I suspect it's quite old but the BB is 28/09/13 so it's hard to be sympathetic. Still enjoyable and interesting.

 497 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cadmium orange color with a foamy buff colored head that occupied the general majority of the glass upon the pour similar to their tomahawk style. Head retention was very good leaving a shellacking on the glass for a lacing that stuck well.

S: Strange hop aroma meets you upfront, a mixture of wet onion grass, oranges and a touch of minced garlic. Leafy green tomato leafs with hints of musky sage rounds things out in an otherwise strange experience that is hard to put your finger, or nose on. Props for a different approach and hop usage.

T: Thin at the start, toasted watery grains with a bitterness of lemon juice and warm piney flavors. Stalky stems with some sweet maple syrup and French toast breadiness arrives in the middle. On the swallow finds some lemon juice with some herbaceous notes and a moderate bitterness on the fade.

M: Light bodied, feels a bit watery at times, no wheres near the malt support of their tomahawk. Some toasted memories and warmth with a fading flowery bitterness on the trail.

D: Woundn't invest in a six pack here. A quite strange aromatic appeal worthy of sniffing for ones self, but the flavor is slightly better then average and seems best suited left at a single serving.

 1,226 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml. can. Hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma has some fermented grapes, old hops and light cardboard. Taste follows with the fermented fruit, some toasted malts, light earthy bitterness at first but intensifies towards the finish and lingers with grapefruit peel flavor on the aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation. As with the other beers from the new, canned Single Hop series, it's quite disappointing.

 415 characters

Photo of MarkJBurch
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of TasteTester
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of janubio
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Pale golden colour, medium two fingers head and medium retention. Good lace.
Aroma is citric, with tropical fruits, caramel and peaches.
Full creamy palate, lively carbonation.
Taste of oranges, tropail fruits, caramel.

 227 characters

Photo of Brewsed
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 255 ratings
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