Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

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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:
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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 594
Photo of BZero007
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle in to my DFH Tulip/Pint Glass.

Pours a amber color with the outlines fading to a gold color. Head forms a easily with a great off white color aswell. Aroma was of a hoppy citrus powering threw with sweet floral background. The taste was exceptional and I was extremly happy to have this beer from VA. The taste is not like other IPA's which I give it allot of credit for. The Hopps are up front with a citrus flavor with a slight sweet malt background. It is a very hoppy beer but the bitterness is not over board like some IPA's. The beer is also surprisingly light and not filling. I feel this is a great beer to have during a hot day and for sessions. Will be keeping this beer in stock for sure.

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Photo of asabreed
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best by 10/2009 stamped on the bottom into the designated white space for such a thing.

Appearance: A lighter copper-colored body and a decent bubbly head that unfortunately doesn't stick around for long. Hardly any carbonation at all floats to the top, letting the body stand as a kind of lighter ice tea-looking thing.

Smell: Big grassy herbal hops stand out, along with some pungent and bitter grapefruit notes. I get a lot more hops than I do malt here, along with some toasted grains and bread dough.

Taste: This is a lot hoppier than I was expecting, and I like that a lot. The malt backbone, however, doesn't seem to be holding up to the hops. That said, almost like Stone's Levitation, it has such a crispness from the hops, which is something new to me that I've been discovering lately in APAs. The malt backbone is there, don't get me wrong, with some lighter caramel sweetness and toasted grain flavors, but the hops take center stage. Finish is leafy herbal hops and some lemon juice type of bitterness and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied, with good carbonation and fullness all around.

Drinkability: A very solid APA, and one I could easily session. I've been impressed with Blue Mountain so far, minus the Evil 8, and am looking forward to trying more. If you're a pale ale fan and haven't tried this, it's worth seeking out.

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Photo of joepais
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Bboyshatter for sending this one along in the under 100 BIF

Bottle poured into a pint glass produced a finger worth of white hear that settled to a thick lace. The body of the brew was a clear copper in color.
The aroma coming from this is quite hoppy for a pale. I really like it in all its piney, citric goodness. The flavor is the same as the nose hop forward grassy and bitter. It had a light feel in my mouth and crisp on my tongue.
Truly an easy drinking APA sessionable and refreshing I would drink it again

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Photo of dirtylou
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, thanks bort

appearance: poured into a great dane pint...nice amber body with a huge fluffy white cap and pretty strong retenion. very nice

smell: grassy herbal hops, lemon peel, splash of citrus, lightly toasted malt

taste: pretty strong APA that is definitely worth of a purchase - well balanced attack of green grassy hops and toasted grain. light hoppy bitterness lingers

mouthfeel: medium body, spot-on

drinkability: high

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Photo of mikedashg
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra in a trade.

A - Poors a light amber/carmel color with a nice moderate head and pretty good lacing. A little too dark and not as clear for the style. But still, nothing bad here.

S - Pine, a little malt. Not too much here.

T - Wow, really hoppy. Great bitterness. Really pushing that envelope for a pale ale. Hops definitely dominate. Could have called this one an IPA almost. Even more IBUs then Stone Pale Ale. But the high IBU of this is clearly marked on the bottle. Citrus, pine, lemon and malt will follow. The smell is very deceiving when it comes to taste time.

M - Very nice clean crisp and refreshing. Moderate carbonation. Fairly light body.

D - Lots of drinkability in this one! It's very good, and refreshing, and I don't usually drink pale ales. Maybe it was the great hops then won more over. Really tasty. I liked it a lot. Wish I could rate it higher, but for a pale ale, I had to lower the score a bit on the marks it missed.

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

Beer pours a light caramel/orange color that is perfect for a pale ale. Nice 1 finger head that stays and excellent lacing is left in glass. Smell is almost of all hops with very little malt. Taste is of earthy hops with a decent mouth feel, finishes with a citrus hop flavor. Carbonation is spot on. However, there is not much other flavor here than hops and this is why I could not rate it higher.

It is a very well made beer and I still buy it when I get the chance. I do wish that the beer offered a slight malty sweetness to help round out the 70 IBUs this beer packs in.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Whole Foods in Charlottesville; BBD 8/2009. Poured into a Coronado pint glass.

It has that meaty, full-finger latte-colored head that typifies the style. A little clearer than the average bear, a clean, dark copper-colored body shows off ample carbonation. Head retention and lacing are quite decent.

There is faint citrus on the nose from the hops; a little floral and a tinge of earthy grass. A sweetness emerges with slight caramel butterscotch tones...almost even a little warm cotton candy if you can believe that. If nothing else this is quite balanced.

The first taste yields a stronger hop profile - the citrus morphs into more of a grapefruit rind flavor and more pine is detected. The solid crystal malt backbone keeps a fair amount of balance in the mix, with the sweetness much more muted than on the nose...this one is pretty dry overall and quite pleasant. The carbonation in the mix actually gives it an even drier feel than would be expected.

There's definitely a solid hop bite to this as expected. Maybe even a miniscule alcohol burn, though not sweet. Citrus waxes and wanes in and out throughout the pint; an extremely austere malt backbone persists. Finish has a deep, bright, hoppy texture. This is what hop burps are made of.

In one word: Solid. An extremely well-constructed, balanced, even-keeled APA. A bigger hop bite than most with the malt backbone tethering it a bit to ensure solid drinkability. Not necessarity straightforward but maybe not ridiculously complex, either. A gateway hop bomb? Maybe. Either way, it's damn good.

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Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. The Cascade hops used in this beer are grown on the Brewery's own hop farm. Freshness date 06/09.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark copper color with ¾" off white head that recedes and leaves behind a film of lacing on the glass and a thin layer of foam. Sipping leaves behind spotty lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of lots of caramel malt with floral and citrus hops (Cascade) in the background.

Taste: The initial taste is rich and malty with a strong grapefruit hop bitterness entering next. The interplay of malt and hop is balanced and well proportioned.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light carbonation that provides a soft, silky mouth feel. The finish begins in malt sweetness with undertones of hop bitterness. The finish then tapers off to a long dry grapefruit conclusion.

Drinkability: This is very drinkable. I could drink a few this evening and I will be returning to this beer in the future. In some ways this strongly flavored APA resembles an IPA.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear, orange tinted liquid with large bone white head that resolves down into layer of foam covering the surface and medium lacing left on the glass.

S = Very well balanced smells, I can detect some fresh pine but there is a large amount of cinnamon or other spices together with fresh biscuits.

T = Light malt flavors of biscuit and seven grain bread are well balanced with light pine and grapefruit rind flavors from the hops.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating.

D = A very nice approachable easily quaffed beer.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear amber hue, looks like the beer dripped straight off a honeycomb. The head is a little under two fingers thick, dense, frothy, with large bubbles sprinkled around the top. Slowly settles to a thick cap leaving a solid wall in its place.

Crisp and smooth malts with a bit of toastiness and caramel. The hops are aromatic and herbal. A bit of buttery diacetyl is in the background.

A good amount of hops that have a little bite. Once again somewhat of an herbal flavor, like tea. The citrus flavors are on the low end. The malts add a biscuity background. Somewhat of a clean finish, with a little bit of the hops lingering. Full bodied.

A well rounded pale ale. Less of the citrus flavors and more of the grassy ones. Recommended.

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Photo of blackie
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my first of this particular commonwealth brewery

a: into a tyranena pint, a frothy khaki head nearly fills the glass, exhibits excellent retention throughout, and a heavy layer of lace marks my progress, the beer itself is a clear-filtered medium-dark amber in color

s: fresh (and locally grown) tropical fruit hops meld seamlessly with a clean pale and toasty toffee malt body, pretty generous hop aroma minus any sharp acidity, great start

m: very delicate carbonation around medium level

t: generously but far from absurdly hopped (though this could certainly pass for an ipa), mostly tropical fruit with light strokes of pine placed upon a great pale and toasty malt structure, dries quickly with a proportionately strong bitterness

d: sessionable, and probably the the first "i would buy a six-pack of this" local I've had since moving up...and i'll have the opportunity as they've recently expanded into this market

single from norm's, vienna, va with a best by date of 06/2009

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Photo of beer2day
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bold copper with a 1-finger head. Nose is a little weak for a pale ale, with peaty overtones. Bit of fizziness in the hit, with a thicker mouthfeel than expected. Only a slight hoppiness in the finish and a little buttery. I call this a Scotch Pale.

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Photo of mpyle
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

App - rich copper color, great clarity. Largish white head, creamy and with good retention. A very attractive beer.

Smell - Nice malt aroma (caramel) that melds with a nice but not overpowering aroma of west coast, citrusy hops. Balanced aroma.

Flav - Hop bitterness dominates from the start. Lacks the balance of the aroma. Malt flavor is there, but very secondary and buried beneath the hops. Finishes bitter. Flavor profile more in line with an IPA.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. Hop bitterness toys with astringency, but doesn't quite hit the threshold.

D'ability - Highly drinkable if a hophead. Bitterness is through the roof, but a clean, well made (I?) Pale Ale.

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Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i was absolutely taken aback by this beer. astonished. i have to owe it to the freshness, quality hops (i heard they were grown by the brewery??), and va mountain spring water. next to alpha king, this is my favorite pale ale i think. taste and smell well balanced with caramel and hop notes. smooth medium body. wonderfully drinkable. renews my faith in va...

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Photo of wcudwight
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks perfect for a pale ale. I honestly don't see how the appearance could be improved on. Mixture of golden, amber, ruby and burnt orange color. Think of a sunset from the western facing slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Huge off white head with the texture of wet snow drifts. Head last for the entire duration of the beer.
Smells grainy and of pine cones.
Wonderful flavors of caramel malts and it's quite hoppy for an APA. The hops are more citrus in character with a strong pineapple juice finish. Nice sharp hop taste.
Good thick mouthfeel for an APA. Fuller in body than most. Nice tingle on the tongue from the hops.
Great APA. One of the best I've had. While I wouldn't session this one because of the intense hoppiness I do love drinking it.
I wanna try more from this brewery.

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Photo of hopdog
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle stamped BB 04 2008.

Poured a medium and clear orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of earthiness, light citrus, and some toasted caramel. The earthiness dominates. Tastes of earthiness, citrus, pine, and caramel. Decent balance in the tastes. Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 2/5/08

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Photo of mikereaser
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber color with light, fluffy foam with plenty of sticky lacing throughout the glass

S - Piney earthy aroma with a malty background

T - similar to the aroma, it has a nice piney hop bite to it with malts in the background

M/D - Very drinkable and quite enjoyable with a nice hope bite

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a clear golden color with copper hues, a whopping two inch head of off-white foam, leaving tons of fluffy lacing. The aroma contains nice grains, grassy and citrus hops, pretty solid. Taste is similar, a nice amount of bitterness, good hop profile, hop centric but still rounded. The body is solid, good carbonation and crisp. In all, quite a nice local. Thanks to CrellMoset for this extra.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy golden color with a nice white head

S - nice piney hop with a background grainy malt.

T - similar to the nose, this one is a piney bitter hopped brew, a grainy malt note underlines.

M - light bodied, nicely carbonated, slight resiny note with a bit of hop harshness.

D - flavorful, just a little bit over the smoothness edge for me to do as a session beer.

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

Many thanks to csmiley for this one.

Appearance: It pours a nice, clear copper color. The head is off-white in color and a huge, frothy three fingers deep. Retention was excellent. It might outlast the beer beneath. Thick waves of lace lined the glass.

Smell: The nose is primarily biscuity and malty. There is a bit sweet caramel in there, as well. A bit of light lemon and grapefruit scents are present, but are clearly a secondary component. Hops are light in character, though do present some citric and floral qualities. It's my hope that some of these characteristics are more prominent in flavor. The malts seem to overshadow the other scents here. Ultimately, it's a decent smelling beer, but a little too one dimensional.

Taste: As I suspected, the flavor profile is more diverse than the nose and ultimately takes this beer up a notch. Caramel and biscuity malts are the primary feature and kick it off pretty well. Citrus grapefruit, lemon and pineapple flavors follow it up. They add some sweetness, but are again a secondary feature. Hops really shine much more here. There are some citric and floral qualities. But it adds a nice, sharp bitter bite that livens it up a lot. There's a slight spicy quality that emerges late. I can't quite pinpoint what it is. Finishes sweet and a little bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied and features a pretty smooth feel. Carbonation is active and prevents it from being creamy. But, it's smooth enough. Drinkability is good. It definitely goes down easy, but there's a number of other APAs I'd prefer for sessioning. Far from a bad choice though.

Full Nelson's a nice APA. Frankly, the nose could use a little work. A little less malts and more hops wouldn't hurt either. With the number of quality APAs out there, it's tough to craft one that's unique and reaches the upper echelon of the pack. Blue Mountain did a pretty decent job with this one though it doesn't quite measure up to the top releases. Definitely worth checking out in any event.

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

Bottle courtesy of CrellMoset, thanks again!

Pours a cloudy gold color with a huge off white head.

Aromas are pretty nice, and hop dominant. Some nice pine like notes, some hard candies, and a bit dusty.

Taste is hoppy, with some slightly sweet grainy malts. Beer then becomes a bit creamy with a mineral like bitter hop bite on the finish. This has some nice flavors, but seems a bit scattered and unfocused. Pretty good taste, but needs some refinement. Kind of raw tasting.

Mouthfeel seems kind of thin, but not too bad.

Drinkability is good. This beer has flaws, but it tasty enough, and quite easy to drink. But all in all, it just comes across as an average beer that needs some tweaking in order to be a good one.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD stamped on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange-copper color, some carbonation can be seen rising between the sediment. The head formed 1 finger thick and had decent retention.

Aroma: Citrus and spicy hops.

Taste: Very hoppy throughout, mainly citrus, spicy, and piney hops. The citrus and pine combine in the finish, with the citrus lingering nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp and refreshing. The carbonation balanced well.

Overall: Almost hoppy enough to be classified as an IPA. I enjoyed this one, pick one up if you get the chance.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for the trade.

This beer could pass as a weaker IPA, but instead is a full-flavored and very sessionable. While many APA's just hold a citrus and spice character, Full Nelson also also a sweet, juicy Pineapple note in the finish. The aroma also hints at the smooth, creamy malt with a big hops presence. Definitely worth trying if you can find it.

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Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of CrellMoset poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with a short-lived off-white head that faded to a collar quickly leaving a bit of lacing. Aroma is heavy on roasted malts compared to most pales and has some earthy hop tones as well. The taste has a much bigger hop profile than the aroma and starts off with a pine hop bitterness that lingers throughout. There is a strong caramel malt presence in the middle before the hops hit the palate again in the finish. The bitterness holds the drinkability back a bit, but I enjoyed this one and look forward to other brews from Blue Mountain.

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Photo of argock
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date, but the bartender at Blue Mountain reports that it was bottled 2 days prior.

A: Deep mahogany-amber color with thick, tan head with lots of sticky lace.

S: Delicious with herbal and grassy hops with some dark fruit maltiness poking through to give this beer a real earthy attitude.

T: The flavor bill matches well with the aromas. The hops are most prominent with mainly herbal and grassy notes with a little pine there too. There must be a lot of malt that goes into this beer as some date and caramel flavors come through as well.

M: I wish this was a bit slicker but it still goes down very smoothly and pleasantly. The aftertaste is a bit faint.

D: An excellent beer and a very welcome addition to our local repetoire. Available widely, but head out to BM for the freshest beer you could ever want.

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Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 594 ratings.
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