Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA | Mikkeller ApS

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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: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 251
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker, light brown appearance for an india pale ale? Good head development, just under 1", off white. Good lace. Aroma was good, hit those funky earthy citrus Nelson hop notes, one of the more unique hops and it comes through here.

Taste wasn't as pungent, and the malt bill was too much to show off a single hop beer. I don't get that. Price is expensive, almost could get a Sierra Nevada 6 pack for the cost of one of these 12oz bottles.

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Photo of stevoj
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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 pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Floral spicy hop aromas blend with rich malts. Pours hazy amber under a 1” cream colored persistent foam collar that provides thick lace. The hops are assertive with big melon but are well balanced by rich malt flavors. Creamy, medium full body and very soft carbonation. A delightful, well hopped beer.

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Photo of BlazerT
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Teku glass. Bottle. Deep amber, little hazy with medium, densed white head. Fairly lasting. Medicore lacing. Fresh vinous aromas, with hints of citrus (orange), also light floral aromas. Taste is medium bitter (grapefruit like), earthy and little harsh. Good malty background. Tasty, refreshind and quite drinkable IPA.

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Photo of supermeniscus
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Since when is this one no longer brewed? I have one that was bottled on 26/02/2014. Anyway, apart from the aroma, I found this one a bit flat compared to the others in the single hop series. I like NS hops but this one did not shine. Still decent though

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Snagged a bottle from a Co-op liquor store in SW Calgary. Poured into an American pub glass, this single-hop IPA is a cloudy reddish-orange amber hue with a massive off-white head. Foamy indeed and the head maintained its shape like a snowball just sitting there on the brew itself. Features a very perfumed tropical fruit smell that includes lychee, mango, muscat grape, honeydew melon, and gooseberry notes. I could not smell much else beyond a vague tangy spice. Palate is also rank tropical fruit, spicy, and a little sour. A caramel candy malt backbone does become more robust and toasty as the palate adjusts to the tropical fruit flavors described earlier. Great flavor hop showcase with just enough sweet malt to prevent things from being cloyingly fruity. This unique hop starts tropical and stays that way but a wine-like green spiciness accumulates and the finish is green leaf, pineapple skin and minerals, pretty bitter. Goes down smooth and comes off as much lighter than the ABV would suggest despite the assertive flavors. I'd have another.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 330ml bottle with a BB of March 2015. Acquired a little while back from the Brewdog online shop. All I know is that Nelson Sauvin is supposed to have a flavour reminiscent of certain white wines - looking forward to this single hop IPA.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. Bottle conditioned. A deep reddish-amber hue with hazy sediment and good carbonation. Produces a massive head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a while before subsiding to a surface layer. Nice lacing. Aroma of fruity hops with hints of white grape, melon, apples, grass and faint tropical fruit. Underpinned by sweet caramel malt and earthy yeast. Possesses a green, 'leafy' character.

Tastes of fruity aromatic hops with a dry, mildly bitter finish. Notes of white grape, melon, apples, gooseberries, guava, grass/hay, faint tropical fruit, caramel malt, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A delicate acidity lurks in the background; reminiscent of unripe fruit. Leafy and slightly sweet, followed by a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tingly; hop oils stimulate the palate. Good body but unexciting carbonation. Mildly astringent, with an aftertaste of white grape, fruity hops, leaves and earthy yeast.

Pretty good, though surprisingly light for an IPA of this strength - perhaps due to the lack of perceived bitterness. It looks great in the glass, while the aroma and flavour are intensely fruity. The 'white wine' character certainly expresses itself. Decent body. A singular hop variety that sets itself apart from most others - intriguing, though not all of its flavour components are desirable. A decent brew from Mikkeller and a worthy showcase for Nelson Sauvin. Give it a whirl if you come across it.

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Photo of wl0307
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in a slim, long-neck 330ml brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; BB 20/03/2015, served mildly chilled in a short-stemmed wine goblet.

A: pours an elegant bright amber colour with a creamy beige frothy head and constant flows of mild carbonation.
S: a really nice mixture of NS’ sweet grapey and guava-ish high-pitched fruitiness and caramel&pale malts’ biscuity sweetness comes to the fore, underlined by an unusual alc. feel and also some unnatural metallic/rusty notes, hiding behind which is a flow of sharp passion fruit syrup. The metallic touches are a bit more than necessary, hence bringing down the performance somewhat. A good swirl would bring up the overripe fruit esters, but only just.
T: soft and effervescent, the NS’ crushed-seeds-like tannic bitterness and ripe guava-ish exotic fruitiness together presents a rather pronounced and rough hoppy palate, preceding a flow of mildly sweet caramel maltiness and overripe fruit esters, followed soon by an intensifying wave of warming alc. alongside a really deep and profound bitterness as well as guava’s aromatic touch, spicy and herbal hints, and truly chewy and tannic bitterness at the tail of each sip.
M&O: refreshing on the palate, the fizz remains very fine as well as being lively, medium-bodied, the alc. doesn’t hide terribly well; all in all, this is a delicious IPA showcasing NS with skills, although IMO complexity is not a main selling point here.

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Photo of TallSaint
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

May 11th, 2013.

Pours a slightly opaque, light autumnal brown with a healthy finger of head.

Juicy gooseberries, white grapes and citrus in the nose with a touch of pineapple. The malt body shows a bit here with a touch of caramel.

On the palate Nelson is fresh, juicy and clean upfront with lots of citrus, a touch of grapefruit and raspberry. However, gooseberry, fresh red fruits and citrus dominate. As it moves into the mid-palate, a piney-ness shows. In the back it finishes bitter with a bit of herbal-ness.

The malt body does not intrude that much until the mid-palate and back of the mouth. It was a bit more present than I would have thought but it doesn't detract at all, it adds a touch of balancing sweetness along with the bitterness in the back.

Mouthfeel is decent, solid carbonation for an IPA, maybe the slightest touch too effervescent.

A really great IPA (or should I just say hop?). Nelson Sauvin has layers and layers of flavors that are extremely impressive. It's a great American-esq hop with a nice berry and winey influence to it. It's also a very noticeable hop, the juicy berries really pop out and it is easy to pick out in certain brews; I think having had it on its own I will now be able to single it out in certain other brews with more frequency.

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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 kvgomps
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle of this recently. I noticed the 2011 bottlecap stamp at the check out counter and the vendor threw it in for free. Not sure how age might affect this but I've disclosed.

The pour is really nice with a good 1-2 inch head. Oddly, this beer looks and smells like a wheat beer. Really hope those are the only similarities. The nose is some kind of fruit and tart with a good bit of funk. This reads like a saison so far. I wonder if this hop variety can have that much of an impact.

Wow. IPA is not what comes to mind but there's a lot going on with this beer, mostly good. There's a mix of citrus (not sure what kind) and a faint cardboard flavor. The latter is pretty mild and really hard to distinguish from the funk on the nose. May or may not be related to the age. Either way it is mild and sort of complements the hop profile. Sort of like a pallete cleanser between the onset and finish. Kind of reminds me of the finish of the Stone VE 2010. Did not like that beer but I don't care for white wine either.

I have no idea what to summarize for this beer. I guess that I've never knowingly tried anything with Nelson Sauvin hops but that this beer is good and worth it. A lot going on with this hop variety that you don't often find in American IPAs. Would love to try this again fresh.

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Photo of mgironta
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured with a generous two finger tan head that dissipated very slowly and left lots of lacing on my pint glass. The body was a cloudy, burnt amber color with moderate carbonation. When I got to stick my nose in the glass, I really didn't know what to expect. I don't think I've had a beer that featured this hop before. The nose was very floral with some tropical fruits. Very interesting. The taste was much of the same. It started with a very intense floral hop note, then went to grapefruit and then tropical fruit, which I assume is the "passionfruit" that was mentioned in the trivia. After a few sips, I also picked up a bit of white grapefruit. This hop varietal was very unique and very well suited for a single hop IPA. The body was towards the thicker side with a little less than moderate carbonation. The finish was long and sticky and very floral. This was a very interesting IPA. It's not one that I think I could have a bunch of, but one that I was glad that I tried.

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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.

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Photo of dansmcd
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big fluffy white head caps the jarrah coloured body. Excellent lacing adorns the glass.

S - Grape, citrus and mango, not particularly bitter in the aroma. Nice depth.

T - Hop forward as you would expect, follows the nose with the particular fruity flavours. A little pine and wood.

M - Medium in body and moderately carbonated.

O - One of the better of single hop series. Loving the concept from Mikkeller.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml brown bottle. First came across this hop varietal while judging homebrew competitions several years ago which caught my attention at first, and soon turned me into a fan. Curious character to this hop, a sort of puckering gooseberry flavour, which makes sense if you are familiar with the white wines that New Zealand also produces. Something in the soil seems to be developing this characteristic.

Pours out a hazed, almost cloudy, amber hue, with a massive rocky off-white head at first, which slowly settles.

Major citrus on the nose: notes of lemon, red grapefruit, mandarin and tangerine. Very bright and fresh. Hints of gooseberry in the background. Lots of layers considering it is a single hop, and one that pushes all my right buttons at that.

Bready and biscuity malt backbone starts off the flavour, followed by mellow grapefruit rind, getting more acidic towards the finish, herbal and tart puckering character. Dry pith in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, grainy texture, with moderate carbonation.

Fairly decent as an IPA by its own merits, this one really is for those who appreciate this type of hop, although I think it has enough to offer even beyond that--but then again I'm biased towards it.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
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 trxxpaxxs
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know... It's old. But it's been in my fridge for over 2 years (first batch).

A: Pours a translucent amber with a slight haze to it. There are two fingers of white head that take quite awhile to settle. There is a good amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is malt, mango, pineapple, light citrus, and white grapes.

T: It starts out without much maltiness. It's crisp and flavorful. I get a touch of pineapple, light lemony citrus, and wine like grapes.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet at first, but it finishes clean. It's a bit drying but nothing over the top.

O: I'm enjoying it. These hops are wine like with a nice touch of light tropical fruits. I'd drink this one again.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. I like the use of hop country of origin flags on the otherwise consistent labels of these single varietal offerings.

This beer pours a hazy medium golden amber hue, with three solid fingers of firm, foamy pale beige head, which leaves some Roman columns of lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of sweet, tangy fruit - pineapple, kiwi, and papaya the prime notes, with a meaty graininess, and a wee (sorry) bit of dank, earthy uric acidity. The taste is nice and bitter - the nondescript citrus peel, a bit of forest floor pine needle - with more tropical fruit, and some musty herbal character, over a decent bready caramel malt, tinged with toffee. Cat pee evocations are mostly burnt off, I guess.

The carbonation is moderate, a bit airy, and generally clean, the body showing a challenged medium weight, the subtle prickliness more imagined than real, rendering it above all else, smooth. It finishes a fair bit off-dry, the exotic (sort of) zingy fruitiness dancing a slow jig with the lingering herbal notes, the supportive grainy malt remaining mostly unappreciated.

Another lovely example of what a tight focus can do for flavour determination - all those Marlborough Sauv Blancs I've enjoyed over the years reborn in this beer - terroir tying it all together - nice.

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Photo of mattsander
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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 wordemupg
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 9/3/12

A hazy orange/amber with a nice soapy two fingers of off white head retains fairly well leaving random patches of lace

S I'll stop short of saying "cat's pee on a gooseberry bush" but I can see the connection to grapes, slightly floral and quite tropical, just a little toffee, fairly unique

T not far from the smell, in fact I'm not picking up on any differences worth mentioning, slightly less grape perhaps

M mild bite to it, medium bodied, and creamy from the bubbles, a little lemon rind on the finish

O solid stuff for sure but not the best I've had from the series even though it was the one I was most looking forward to

for some reason I hate giving the same grade across the board but that's what this beer gets, a solid "good" in all areas but not enough to sway me either side of "good"

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Photo of bylerteck
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure if this was growler or bottle. It was brought to the bar side of Mountain Goat by one of the brewers to sample during the Gypsy and the Goat colab session. From notes.

A - Poured hazy dark golden with decent carbonation. Film of head left a film of retention and spotty lace.

S - Nice citrus, rich malt there too with juicy fruit and a little booze. Rich malty body with that good tropical Nelson Sauvin element. Really inviting and demands your nose right in it.

T - A little booze with tropical fruit and citrussy notes. Nice and juicy with the hop strength but the malt is definitely present and provides nice balance.

M - Not over bitter with good carbonation and a medium body.

O/D - Quite nice. A nice, well balanced, yet hop forward single hop IPA. I like Nelson alot so it's a great fit. Good stuff.

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Photo of Humulus85
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter. My first from Mikkeller.

Pours a slightly murky copper. Flufy, two finger head has excellent retention as well as lacing; very Belgian looking.

Smell is dank in every sense of the word. Deep hop notes. Some tropical some super earthy. Yet more proof Nelson Sauvin is my new favorite hop. Moderate malt sweetness comes through.

Wonderful hop profile; deep, earthy, some mango, and a touch of spice. The fact that this is the only hop used is a true testament to this variety. Perfectly balanced by a caramel malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is right on for the style. Medium in body, with a dry, but not too dry, finish.

Overall this is a solid if not excellent IPA. There is none of the typical Belgian yeast funk I expected. I love the complexity of the hop profile with only the Nelson used. A little pricy, but worth a try if you are a fan of the style. Cheers!

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Photo of plfahey
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Reddish copper color with slight chill haze. Robust beige/ivory head has good retention and awesome, sticky lacing.

Aroma-Intense Nelson Sauvin hops-grassy, catty, gooseberry, grapefruit, and sauvignon fruitiness. Underpinned by a toasty bready malt backbone and a touch of caramel. Awesome and wholly unique.

Flavor-The flavor is even more unique than the aroma. If you were to drink a glass in the dark, it could definitely be mistaken for a white wine, save for the carbonation. Fruity gooseberry and catty hop flavors appear first, with grassy and grapefruit undertones. The mid palate shows a hint of caramel before moderate hop bitterness sweeps through in the finish, crescendoing to moderately high as the flavor dries out. In the aftertaste, Catty, grassy, and gooseberry hop flavors remain. Delicious.

Mouthfeel-Medium body and moderately high carbonation. The bitterness is quite smooth on the palate, and while the finish is bone dry, it never becomes astringent.

This is an awesome beer, and a truly incredible expression of what the Nelson Sauvin hop can do. I love this beer, and I can't seem to stop drinking it.

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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.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 11.2 oz bottle into my hotel room glass.

A – Poured out a cloudy caramel brown color with a slightly off white head that receded quickly.

S – Has some quick floral smells with sweetness followed by a definite hop aroma. Grapes galore.

T - Strong malt off the top followed by an interesting citrusy fruit flavor. Grapes are there and they lend a bite of a white wine taste. Some bitterness and piney flavors. Spicy at the end with a nice heat down the throat.

M – Medium to full bodied. Dry. Solid carbonation.

O – Interesting brew all around. Has a nice mixture of flavors. I dig it.

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Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA from Mikkeller ApS
4.01 out of 5 based on 251 ratings.
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