ZeeLander | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

125 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Zelicious single-hop showcase using the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand. Delightfully confusing aromas of citrus and mandarin oranges give way to an incredibly complex body of earth tones and marigolds. This is truly unlike any hop you’ve ever tasted.

80 IBU

Added by FreshHawk on 09-16-2011

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 974
Photo of MickeyTheHead
3.06/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not very failure with Nelson Savina hop variety but it's definitely worth trying if you want to know what this hop is all about. The aroma and taste are unique. Can't say I'm a big fan of the hop but I think this beer was put together very well.

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Photo of robear
3.16/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Hazy orange. Sediment abounds in this beer. It almost passes for orange juice but does have a brown hue that is keeps it from looking world class. Nice white head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Great for a quick quaff. But there is a hint of some vegetal hoppiness, which I get from straight Nelson hops. Again, just barely held back from being world class.

Taste: Whew. Onion and a bit of green garlic up front. Not at all what I was expecting. I'll be the first to admit that I am sensitive to the onion/garlic flavors prevalent in some hops. But having read through many ZeeLander reviews, I'm surprised that this hasn't popped up more often. It's a huge detractor for me, even though the finish has a nice slip of bitterness.

Feel: Chewy, thick, but not sticky. Good carbonation helps some of the orange julius effect wash down.

Overall: I'm not going to say this was a let down, but it helped me understand how Nelson hops taste on my palate. I can see why Alpine Nelson has a hint of rye in the grain bill, as it cuts through some of the huge, dominating vegetal flavors that hide under the orange aroma of Nelson hops.

I recommend picking one up, as many folks obviously taste this beer differently from me. But I probably won't be buying it for myself, which will leave more bottles for the rest of you.

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Photo of maximum12
3.35/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber of Zeelander, booty from a pillage-and-loot raid over the border. Maybe next time I'll bring back a quarterback. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Pour is very light golden, light carbonation, light penetrating. The nose comes out swinging with scents that aren't my favorite in an IPA: dankness, earthy, sweet. Really earthy. I half expect to see an earthworm in the bottom of the bottle.

Zeelander's flavor profile just doesn't hit my joy buzzer. The dirt in the nose translates right into the palate, & it's hard to get past all of potting soil. Laying that aside, there are some nice notes. Vaguely tropical, decent bitterness, slightly acidic (acid rain?), ending with an almost rye-like spicey note. The feel is the high point of the beer, with a lovely Slip-n-Slide feel going down. Easy enough to drink mindlessly.

Tried this in the tap room & thought it was a bit off, but I'm just not digging the beer. Pretty good, but give me Sue...which is evidently the Alpha King of Toppling Goliath.

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Photo of kkleu357
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

From notes on 2/8/14

Orange reddish color. Mild hop aroma. Odd earthy hop flavor. Not bad, just different them what I’m used to. Not very bitter. I’d order a pint of it in a bar, but I probably wouldn't pay for another bomber of it. Slightly costly at $7 a bottle.

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Photo of joe1510
3.56/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle
Coffee Grounds - Eau Claire, Wi

Zeelander glugs from the bottle shiny bronze. It tarnishes up a bit when the glass is full, glowing at the base and darkening as the glass flares. The foam is pure white and stiff the second it's poured, barely fading at all and leaving behind sticky lace that will have to be scrubbed from the glass. She's purty!

Uh oh, I've run across this last time I purchased Toppling Goliath, PseudoSue actually back in May or June, but thought the problem was solved. There are a lot of, to put it nicely, savory notes coming from this beer. Onion and oregano jump immediately to mind. This is not all bad, it has notes of dank earthiness I rather enjoy but it's just not how it's supposed to be. Deep pulls suggest some of the tropical notes usually present with Nelson but this batch has become onion-y.

The flavor, luckily, is less onion-y than the nose but that's still front and center. Doughy onion and oregano start it off and while they fade they do run through the finish. Apricot is the most vibrant aspect of Nelson while other soft tropicals, like peppery mango and papaya, flash here and there. Some of that character blows off as it warms to near room temp.

The mouthfeel is right. Medium bodied with ample carbonation to keep things moving. A moderate plus bitterness is welcomed. Drinkability is high. Mouthfeel is spot on. Bitterness is ever growing.

I'm a fan of this beer, I really am. The off character doesn't fit and there's a problem there but as is it is still a good beer. It's a shame that the last two Toppling Goliath beers I've purchased, using different hops, have both had that onion/oregano characteristic. I hope this gets figured out.

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Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy orange, good head.

Smell: Bit of citrus, danky, marigold flowers.

Taste: Mildly sweet, moderate grapefruit, earthy danky finish. Light body.

Overall: Picked up another bomber in Wiscoland of Toppling Goliath. Zeelander IPA doesn't quite hit the mark for me. I suppose I'm not digging the "danky" hops, I prefer sweeter, brighter, fruitier hop flavors.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded pry-off pressure cap and attractive label art acquired in a trade with the very generous Duff27 and served cold into a snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given this brewery's reputation.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Nice thickness. Okay frothiness. Decent creaminess. Retention is average - about 2 minutes.

BODY: Dull orange-copper. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special, but good looking for an IPA.

AROMA: Grapefruit and accompanying bitterness. Pale malts. Citrusy zest. Floral hop notes. Hints of tropical fruit - mango and tangerine. Papaya. It's not too tropical, and doesn't veer into pineapple territory, thankfully. Melon.

A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

TASTE: Juicy, with some not-too-in-your-face grapefruity bitterness. Pale malts. Floral hop character. Citrusy zest. Plenty of pleasant tropical hop notes - papaya, mango, and hints of tangerine. Nice zest. A kiss of mandarin orange. Melon. I love the juiciness.

Very well balanced; the hop bitterness is well disguised but it's not too sweet. Very well built, with a good tropical hop profile. Good depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity.

Cohesive; not quite gestalt. It's a biteen too bitter for my tastes - not quite perfectly balanced.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, juicy, light-bodied, refreshing, and perfectly thick.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, scratchy, or rough.

This delightfully juicy texture complements the taste quite well, helping to elevate the beer beyond the limits of the taste.

OVERALL: Extremely drinkable for an IPA, but then it's got more of a session IPA ABV. I'd definitely buy it again if I saw it, but it's not the best IPA I've had. Damn good, definitely. Well worth trying. Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle. I'll inhale this bottle.


02/11/17 impressions from a bottle:

Fruity, with a yogurty flavour I'd attribute to simcoe having experienced it in Hill Farmstead's simcoe-hopped ales (but I'm probably wrong). Has an ideal coating mouthfeel. Refreshing yet tropical fruit-forward, with an interesting hop profile redolent of new world berries (gooseberry, I suppose Nelson Sauvin is known for), fresh flowers, grass, and melon.

Not piney, grapefruit-emphatic, citrusy, juicy, or overtly resinous. No off-flavours. No booze. Pale malt sweetness balances out any hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel harmonizes nicely with the fruity flavours to good effect. Carbonation is a bit high, but it's still highly drinkable and refreshing. Smooth, wet, slightly oily.

A lovely IPA showcasing Nelson Savin's Kiwi new world fruit hop profile nicely. Probably exceeded in quality by Alpine brewed Alpine Nelson, but absolutely worth seeking out and probably in the top 100 IPAs I've tried. A spirited effort from Toppling Goliath, a brewery I wish I could try more beers from on the strength of this one.


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Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No bottle on date and pretty hazy... too bad, because there is some really good flavors/smells coming out around the slight off flavors. Will update score if I'm able to get a fresh bottle. Prost!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.77/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had at the source, received in a pint glass.

3.5 A: Well hazed orange with a touch of brown. Came nearly full but it did leave a short ring of lacing.

4.0 S: Dank resiny hops foremost with a strong orange and nondescript citrus. Neutral maltiness. Secondarily grassy with just a touch of spice.

3.75 T: This has the most IBUs of any of their current offerings and it shows, though it's still only a heavy moderate bitterness. Clean neutral malts with strong grassy and resiny hop flavor. Underneath there is citrus and earthiness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Like most of their brews, this is somewhat bity but super smooth overall.

3.75 D: Another solid beer, but so many hoppy pales and IPAs that I'm thinking I need a break!

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Photo of hardysf
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little disappointed in this one. Shared by a good friend 22 oz bomber. Also consumed directly after sip of sunshine, so may be an unfair rating.

Pours a super cloudy orangish yellow like a whiskey sour mix. Good hop aroma. Taste was a little malty to me, but my pallate may be destroyed as I came back from vermont and have been drinking heady, bissel brothers, foundation, and sip.

I did appreciate the creamy mouthfeel of this one.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a golden orange color. forms a finger or so of a white head with decent retention and leaves some strong legs along the side of the glass. Fairly hazy and almost opaque but lets quite a bit of light through.

Smell: sweet bread and crystal malts. grapefruit juice, lime, earthiness, melon, citrus, and some earthy pine.

Taste: opens with a bittersweet grapefruit juice. some malts come through as bready and slightly sweet. hop flavors with a wide variety of flavors such as melon, lime, citrus, earthy pine. some lemon to lemon bread flavor comes through. hops range from bitter to earthy.

Mouthfeel: medium to full body. a bit too heavy for the strength and low on drinkability. Good bitterness and a little dry.

Overall: a good showcase of a very interesting hop. Unfortunately I think that this hop isn't quite an IPA hop. lots of good hop aroma and flavor but the drinkability suffers too much and thats a major factor in IPA's

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was had on tap at Sanctuary, brought to the table in a pint glass.

Appearance- There's just something about a bottle conditioned, cloudy body that gets me excited to try a beer, and this Zee Lander is no exception. It generates a golden-straw color with only a slight, filmy cap. The white lid is barely able to cover the beer, but there is a very decent amount of lace where the head I never saw used to be.

Smell- No surprise that the folks at TG have a very hop forward, citrus bomb for me to enjoy. Those New Zelaand hops are quite an experience to this beer drinker! Sure there is that sweet grapefruit, but it is combated by an even sweeter apricot or peach.

It adds great depth to an already great nose. The only thing that has me a little flummoxed is the slight sweat sock mustiness that creeps in with the sweet and sticky citrus notes.

Taste- Well, this Kiwi has a bit of a hard time transferring all the intricacies of the nose over to my taste buds. It still gives you all the citrus you can handle, but it seems to be more of a one off of grapefruit, not really any apricot or peach sweetness here.

There is also a new flavor that wasn't on the nose, a hop spiciness that grates into the finish. I did not ask for pepper in this fruit salad! And talk about lacking a kick. I am not positive on the IBU's, but I would be surprised if this one is pushing 70. It just does not kick you in the teeth like most of TG's offerings do.

Mouth feel- TG certainly did not misstep on the mouth feel however. It is just as nice in the mouth as any of their offerings. It is a dead ringer for medium bodied, and the carbonation leaves this drink feeling very creamy.

Overall- I think that the hops used in this IPA are just not the mix I would ever want to experience again. The nose is definitely exotic enough to perk any hop head up, but that peppery spice on the palate is too one-dimensional and not complimented or muted by the flavor hops that come before it.

I can't argue that the IPA is well crafted, and there will be those who enjoy it, but for my money, I will stick to Golden Nugget when I need a TG IPA fix. No sheep were harmed in the making of this review.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste: big herbal, grapefruit, citrus hops, earthy yeast notes, piney finish. Same for the nose. Golden honey color, unfiltered near end of bomber, large head of ringed lattice of lace. Medium/full body. 80 IBUs

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Photo of KVNBGRY
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I just don't think I can get behind Nelson beers. I thought I liked alpines, and while they are well made beers, the hops just aren't top notch. This looked like heady. Ugly as sin.

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Photo of emerge077
3.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft serving in a footed tulip glass, review from written notes.

Opaque orange color, delicate lacing, good surface coverage.
Slightly tropical aroma, fairly pungent. Dried papaya.

Earthy flavor, oddly floral and slightly astringent, it's a bit overwhelming on the whole. It overpowers in an odd way, light pale malt aftertaste, but the astringent floral fruitiness seems to dominate. Appreciate the tropical character of the Nelson Sauvin, but the mix is just too jarring. Starts out nice, but not so easy to finish a glass of this.

2015: Bottle
Light tropical aroma, also toasted popcorn kernels. Taste isn't as harsh as before, seemingly, and it has a smoother creamy texture. Bitter greens and floral notes in the aftertaste. Bringing score up a little bit across the board.

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Photo of koutkid41
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really thick and bubbly creamy two finger head. Thick orange and copper color that has a thick haze.

S: Really amazing aroma, now I see where people get that white wine like aroma from Nelson. White wine/grape upfront with some tropical pineapple that fades into a nice piney scent. Also get some fresh cut apple and some faint dankness.

T: Sturdy bitterness upfront with a nice white wine like quality. Then it has some dank pine. Really crisp. Some weird chalkiness though.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and dry. Chalky.

O: Really nice beer, really nice showcase of the Nelson Sauvin hops.

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Photo of mke_Brewer
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a hazy orange with a thick white head. Looks a lot like a Belgian wheat beer. The aroma is strong dank and apricot. Taste is grapefruit and orange peel at first followed by a mellow bitterness. Perfect carbonation with a medium texture. Overall this is a very solid IPA. Quite different from a Citra citrus bomb but very good.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Zeelander doesn't quite measure up to PseduoSue; Topping Goliath's world-class pale ale but I did realize tonight that this brew is pretty damn good when compared to most other beers in this category.

It pours a hazy yellow color which is similar to a lot of TG pale ales. The smell is citrusy but somehow lacking a little something I can't quite put my finger on. The taste is very bitter and somewhat citrusy and maybe a little watery as well. Like I said, very good but not quite up to the taste of the TG's gold standard, PseudoSue.

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Photo of martinfletwood
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this is probably purely coincidence, but last night I tried Three Floyds Gumballhead, and if you gave me one, then the other right after each other, I don't think I could tell the difference. That's not a bad thing, they're both amazing. So, if it's for bragging rights, whichever one came out first wins. Maybe I'm nuts, or just don't have the "beer tasting" taste buds yet, but this is my opinion. Great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: very cloudy yellow. Pastel yellow. Forms a a moderately large foamy white head. Very minimal lacing.

S: incredibly juicy. Lots of citrus, orange, mandarin, candied citrus peel.

T: taste is similar, but a bit less complex than the aroma. Slightly bready. Orange, citrus, and tangerine. Not quite as juicy. There is a slight astringency on the finish.

M: lighter bodied. Mild bitterness

O: A nice IPA. Would be very nice over the summer.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque yellow-orange with a large fluffy white head leaving tons of spongey lace and a permanent fluffy blanket.

Smell is very crackery and peppery, with lemon, pineapple, peach and slightly dank cannabis.

Taste is bitter pine and grapefruit, with vanilla cream, pineapple, peach, and peppery cracker.

ZeeLander is pretty bitter, but tries to be balanced with fruitiness and a very dry finish.

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Photo of Ri0
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 22oz bottle into snifter. This was bottled about a week ago.

A - Bright, translucent golden orange with a very nice 2 finger white head. Solid retention and artistic lacing on the glass.

S - It is wet, fresh, musty, dank with some notes of citrus and tropical fruit. It is rather aromatic, but not my favorite scents for an IPA.

T - Tropical and citrus fruits that seem slightly watered down compared to very sweet. There is a earthy, musty and dank grapefruit that seems to be most prevalent. Plenty of bitterness on the finish of this one.

M - Medium feel with fantastic carbonation that give it a wonderful body. It seems to finish a bit dry.

O - While quite good, I'm not sure this is the flavor I seek out in an IPA. I was happy to try it and review it, but will probably pass on it in the future.

UPDATE: The latest batch of this beer/2015 is hazy and super juicy with tons of grapefruit. Wow, I am really enjoying it!

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.07/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured very hazy orange with 2 finger white head that had good retention and lacing. Scent was grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Very juicy mouthful with nice carbonation, flavor is very grapefruit with lingering pine and malt to balance.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a large mug. There's clearly a date on the shoulder, but it's nearly invisible. Looks like it ends with 06-15. Traveled here in mr-jj's friend's suitcase.

Pours very cloudy amber-bronze with a medium to small white head and plenty of carbonation. Smell is juicy and lovely. Tropical.

Taste is maybe a bit of old hops. Wish I could read and understand the date on the bottle. Surprisingly soft. Strong bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, almost gritty. Overall, good beer.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow/orange. Smells of spicy peppers habenaro hops. Grassy , earthy , very flavorful but not overly robust. My first run in with just Nelson Sauvin it kept growing on me after each sip

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ZeeLander from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 974 ratings.
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