Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
192 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Full Nelson Virginia Pale AleFull Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 degrees Plato
60 IBUs

Added by Todd on 11-02-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 192 | Ratings: 598
Photo of StonewallSipper
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark amber, aroma is pine-heavy, a bit of hoppiness. Taste is pine-hops-and a slight malt. It is good, but not up there with alot of tastier IPA's.

 160 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tight bubbled, cream color head over standard orange/auburn cloudy body. Nose is fresh citrus and herbal hops against a mellow malt base. Spotty lace now decorates my rim.

Taste is still balanced but a little more hop forward. The flavor is high but the bitterness is still mild. A quaffable, easy going brew. Given the name, I expected something more aggressive, but that's okay.

 388 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Part of a flight of 10 at the brewery. Pours a nice gold color, with a thin white head. Initial impression is floral, grapefruit, and resinous hops, with a noticeable but subdued malt presence. Mouthfeel is medium and quite smooth - about right. Medium carbonation. Finish is not as clean as I'd like in an APA.

 316 characters

Photo of stucat
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My wonderful daughter brought this back to Illinois from a recent trip to Richmond VA. This is a very well done classic Pale Ale. No surprises here but no disappointment either. It pours a beautiful golden hue, a bit cloudy but pretty. Soft but ample head with some nice lacing. The fragrance is a bit sour . Very nice flavor with a grapefruit hop taste up front and a mellow malty back end. This would be a go to Pale Ale for me if it was available here in Northern Illinois.

 476 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear, deep gold in color, with one inch head. Taste is straw, pale malt, and grapefruity hops. Sweet start with bitter aftertaste. Above average pale ale. I might get this one again.

 193 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from can into a glass, best by date on can bottom 19 Sept 16, so I got this one in time (20 May 16). Amber beer, ample carbonation with a cream head, a finger or more formed easily. Nice floral and resiny hops nose, maybe a bit of citrus fruit as well. Nicely balanced hops emerge from the firm malt background, a rather pure tasting pale ale profile, and quite enjoyable. Not too bitter or unbalanced, as it should not be. Malt tastes emerge more as beer is consumed (and presumably with a little warming), but hops continue to dominate. Mouthfeel also balanced, a little creamy and sudsy in the middle, fades gently in the finish. A great go-to pale ale.

 663 characters

Photo of sjones5045
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

3/21/16 Capital Ale VA

Pours copper with nice head and retention.

Smell is ok. Nothing really pops out too much. Sort of a small floral hop think going.

Taste is good. Just hopped enough and maybe a little bolder than most standard pale ales. It's fairly smooth but tends to build with a bit of a resin taste

Overall pretty decent and easy to drink.

 356 characters

Photo of 88caprice
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Overall: Another win for the APA. I'm not a hop head or an IPA fanatic, but I enjoyed this. Fairly high hop bitterness at 60 IBUs, but pleasant and enjoyable.

Look: Hazy honey amber color with a one finger head. Good bubble retention across the top.
Smell: Wonderful floral, piney, grapefruity aroma. Very uplifting and fresh.
Taste: Hop bitterness, grapefruit, some floral notes. The hop bitterness is moderately high, but never unpleasant or harsh. Finishes with a hint of a malty backbone, but some piney bitterness lingers.
Feel: Medium body. Sparkly and biting.

 604 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, best by date on bottom, can't read full date, March something (it's February)

dark golden color, clear, white head that fades. earthy, grassy, slightly pine hop aroma. taste is well balanced with some biscuit malt flavor. medium bodied.

 252 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I Like the Full Nelson.....its a nice slightly bitter pale ale.....very easy to drink. It pours a clear copper with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is slightly bitter with hints of pine and citrus. The taste is decently balanced but leans toward bitter. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall....very good.

 358 characters

Photo of MinnBrewer
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great flavor...I love the choice of hops. Could be just a little more crisp. A little heavy on caramel (I prefer the use of a malty rather than sweet grain...like Vienna).

 173 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cask offering at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont. Sharp, grapefruit hops, creamy, slick copper body. Soft hoppy nose, big Centennial hops in the taste. Lingering citrus finish.

 169 characters

Photo of vabeerguy
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a nonic pint glass. Color is a cloudy orange. Head fades quickly. Taste is a mildly hoppy which lingers between tastes. This is another fine beer produced by the Blue Mountain Brewery.

 220 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Grille District inside Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities that are slightly better in the taste to me.

Serving type: on tap.

 682 characters

Photo of DuffDaddy
1.75/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Twelve ounce bottle at Uncle Ronnie's house while there for Donna's funeral. Not such a great pale ale - tried it just because it was a local beer in the fridge.

 162 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Highline RxR, on to the beer:

Half an inch of head forms top this light glowing orange liquid. Good spotty lacing adds a little texture to the appearance of the beer. The beer has a clean, crisp aroma. Sweet grapefruit and cantaloupe come to mind, and they make me want to take a drink right away. My curiosity was rewarded; I get a powerful hit of hops, a light maltiness which makes a small, but meaningful difference in this beer. The beer has a pleasing bitterness. Piney, honeydew, kiss of honey all makes marks here. Although this pale ale is light/medium bodied, Full Nelson is not afraid to show its strength in flavor.

 638 characters

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle a nice IPA pour is yellow in color with a white head smell of pine and hops taste is the same but slight enough flavor to be tastey but still drinkable a solid ipa

 175 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don’t recall having tried anything from this brewery, but I was glad to give their Pale Ale a try. It has 5.9% ABV.

Look-It poured a slightly hazy golden amber with a honey tinge characteristic. The head was diminished even after a vigorous pour. I anticipated a noticeable sugar content in this one, but was hoping that it wasn’t going to be syrupy.

Smell-It smelled of leafy hops with citrus. I also get caramel and vanilla.

Taste-It tastes more bitter than one would expect from a wimpy ass pale ale with hardly any alcohol in it. It was a pleasant surprise that went well with the ample malts that were honey, caramel, and toasted grain. The hops had a citrus taste like lemon and orange peel. I also get a note of fresh autumn leaves which is appropriate, because those light orange hues were reflected in the appearance of this beer.

Mouthfeel-It is medium-bodied and crisp. It is sweet and only slightly differentiated as if the malts and hops aren’t integrated properly together. At least it isn’t syrupy, however, but it tasted more like a weak IPA than a true pale ale. See my review on Flying Dog’s Pale Ale to see why I consistently have yet to taste a pale ale worthy of the name.

Overall-It is a nice beer and is tasty, but isn’t stellar. It didn’t fully own the pale ale variety name, but I would try this one again maybe once or twice.

 1,373 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, caramel gold color with a fluffy, low profile, white head that settles out into a thin surface coat with decent cling along the glass. Aromas of resinous pine pitch, tangy and tart grapefruit, subtle caramel sweetness, grassy notes, and subtle lemon zest. Flavors are roasted and richly sweet forward, with caramel out in front, followed closely by more vegetal and bitter notes of grass and pine tassel. Citrus highlights of grapefruit and orange, with subtle pepper spice and floral notes, too. Very balanced and dynamic palate on a full, smooth body with a dry undertone. The aftertaste is grassy and piney, lingering on through the smooth, dry, crisp finish. This is a really good, solid, balanced beer.

 768 characters

Photo of willic
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great Virginia hoppy ale! Very nice in every aspect, this beer can hold it's own in the world of aggressive hops. Very well balanced, at first you notice the cascade, then other hop characters, then again in the finish, you taste taste the cascade. I really like this beer!

 275 characters

Photo of tillmac62
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD 5/15. Pours a hazy medium amber (copper). Outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

Quite nice nose of citrus hops with a subtle pine hop background over a subtle caramel.

Almost light medium body with a texture that is somewhat smooth. Superbly carbonated with a nice effervescence from the middle on.

The outstanding flavor profile is intense, a bit complex and very well balanced. It begins with cascade hops (a blended citrus and pine flavor with a hint of spice). In the middle a balancing sweetness emerges against a mild bitterness with a slant towards grapefruit. The finish is a lingering rind like mild bitterness.

 654 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange almost amber in color. Somewhat clear in appearance. A touch malty, but flavors of grapefruit, melon and orange rind stand out. Not that bad, not that good. Middle of the road leaning towards good.

 212 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Pours a deep orange. Lacing is left behind on the glass. Solid looking pale ale.
SMELL: Hoppy, leafy aroma with some citrus notes.
TASTE: Citrusy hops , honey, bread, fair bitterness. Just a touch of melon.
FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Fairly crisp and refreshing with lingering hop notes.
OVERALL: A nice sessionable pale ale. Easy drinking. Had it in the can and poured into a glass.

 412 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a murky golden amber with a giant white head. The aroma is caramel malt, citrus and some floral notes. The taste is sweet floral hops and some grapefruit.

 214 characters

Photo of BuccoFan
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while in central VA over the weekend, at a restaurant with a poor draft menu, so I thought I'd give it a try. Pretty pleasantly surprised. Color was a sort of golden-ish copper. Quarter inch head that laced very well. Tasty flavor with a solid body feel that didn't lose anything in the finish. As I said, pleasantly surprised. Would definitely order again.

 373 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 598 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.