Nelson
Alpine Beer Company

NelsonNelson
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Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #1
ABV:
7%
Score:
98
Ranked #247
Avg:
4.45 | pDev: 8.31%
Reviews:
874
Ratings:
4,292
From:
Alpine Beer Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1,390
Gots
  681
SCORE
98
World-Class
NelsonNelson
Notes: A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
Reviews: 874 | Ratings: 4,292 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy orange yellow with one finger head that dissipates to a foam puddle. plenty of lacing. I find the aroma and the flavor to be rather unexciting. Along with the resiny tobacco flavor it tastes like old hay. I suppose these hops, Nelson Sauvin, need some getting used to or maybe it's the rye malt. I am not familiar with either.

I see that my experience with this beer is way out of line with other people's experience so I may revisit this sometime in the future.
Revisit #1 - It is DEFINITELY better when you smoke some weed.
Revisit #2 - Third can from the sixer, getting better, edited the review.

Oct 18, 2020
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 6.99 (Including discount and shipping)/12 oz can ($0.583/oz). From Craftshack, San Diego, CA. Received 8/31/20. Reviewed 9/7/20.
UNDATED. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 45 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.75.
First pour – Pale straw (SRM 2), hazy.
Body – Straw (SRM 3), opaque. When held to direct light, the same.
Head – Large (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, high density with rocks, average retention, diminishing to a three to five mm crown, a thin complete layer, and several islands of foam remaining on the side of the glass as the head retracts.
Lacing – Really no bands, just random pieces hanging on the glass.
Aroma - 4.25 – Heavy on the pine and grapefruit, no malt, no yeast – smells very refreshing. Weakens to a fruity smell.
Flavor – 4 – Surprisingly weak with none of the pine and only hints of grapefruit, otherwise a bit fruity. Some rye spiciness. No yeast, no malt. No alcohol (7 % ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma. No diacetyl or dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Thin, watery, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 3.5 (Minus 0.25 points for undated container) Perhaps I was expecting too much.

Sep 07, 2020
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highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a turbid, light gold with a little head. Smells a little spicy from the rye, I imagine with grapefruit and tropical fruits. Tastes similar; a nice backbone of spicy rye that complements rather than overpowers, tropical fruits, grapefruit and it’s somewhat bitter. Well balanced and easy to drink like alcohol juice. Canned on 7-20 and consumed on 8-23.
This is the closest of the old Alpine recipes and it’s a good beer and close facsimile of what once was but the old Nelson fresh from the tap was a “5” and the big bombers when fresh were close to it. Still a damn tasty beer and I’ll buy when reasonably fresh, cheers!

Aug 24, 2020
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a hazy golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is full of citrus, pine. Taste is excellent There is.grapefruit, pine, some malts, moderate to heavy bitterness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall give this beer a try!

Aug 09, 2020
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cren1 from California

4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my personal favorites. Hazy, unfiltered look that pours a brilliant orange color. The beer is absolutely delicious - hop forward with strong tropical notes that brighten your day.

Jul 21, 2020
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Ahypercube from California

4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this fresher before, as this can is just over 180 days old, just about at the end of its life. Looks like this poor beauty sat on the refrigerated shelf waiting for her prince charming to come along for a tad too long. I decided to take care of the old belle partly out of charity, and partly as tribute.

She pours with a thick golden orange body, opaque but translucent, like fresh pressed apple juice with a splash of mango puree. Thick white froth crowns her head with impressive retention, leaving thick bands of white lacing everywhere like array of mountains.

Aromas of yellow grapefruit and peach jump up at the nose followed by notes of passion fruit, pineapple and mango, an onslaught of tropical fruit permeated only by herbal needle of pine and a cloud of chamomile.

Any good hazy IPA gives impressions of a bubbly herbal fruit smoothie and this is no exception. Peach and mango notes do their best to hold up against sharply bitter and astringent pine with grapefruit and lemon rind to back it up, but they just can't quite hold up. I remember this having near-perfect balance when I had it fresh, and I will rate it as such.

The feel still has a nice creamy richness and a dry, albeit somewhat clingy finish.

Awesome beer. Way better when less than a month old. Cheers!

Jul 14, 2020
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy pineapple color with a thumb sized head that laces well.

Aroma is nice citrus, orange, grapefruit, apricot hints of pine all backed by the light spiciness of the rye. The malt adds some light sweetness that blends well with the fruitiness and hops.

Taste is damn the nose turned up a touch, love rye goes great with hops, that touch of spicy zest just adds to the hops. Nice citrus bitterness, with light pine and rye just makes my tongue tingle with excitement. Nice IPA makes me love the style again after too many fruity ones.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation is fairly mellow but peaks just as the hops resins are coating your tongue.

Overall I like it , love a good rye IPA would have this in my beer fridge regularly if it was available in my area.

Jul 09, 2020
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It is unique and delicious, one of the best IPAs I've had.

Look: hazy golden with a thick white head.

Aroma: rye malts, citrus, orange, grapefruit

Taste: The flavor is sweet rye, citrus, lots of citrus, orange, tangerine and grapefruit, lingering grapefruit bitterness at the end. The rye goes very well with the citrus.

Body/Overall: medium to full body, it is juicy and soft with a thick consistency for an IPA.

Jun 04, 2020
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captaincoffee from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a fairly brilliant sunshine light orange-y color that's somewhat hazy. Nose is very classic with orange rind and pine with just a little dankness. Not punching me in the face, but a really nice mix. Taste is similar, but maybe not as delicately balanced as the nose. Slightly floral as well, and unfortunately just a touch of dish soap in there. Great balanced mouthfeel and carbonation. Overall, a great beer that was probably better back in the day when it made its name. Still, for the price, I'd get this all the time if it was ever available fresh.

May 12, 2020
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just1cho from California

4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

*Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Teku glass at 45F*

For me, balance is the key word for this beer.

Poured a hazy pale orange with a white colored half a finger thick head and solid retention. There were some yeast particles in the bottom of the bottle, which predictably contributed to its hazy appearance.

Upfront on the nose, I got a nice balance of earthy and citrus/tropical notes from the hops. There was a pleasantly syrupy-sweet hit of canned dole mandarin oranges, peaches, and apricots. This was balanced harmoniously with some dankness, earthy-grass clipping notes and pine from the hops.

The taste follows the nose, giving a nice balance once again between the herbal earthy tones and citrus/fruitiness of the hops. However, this is where more of the sweet malt characters shine through, developing a nice malty and caramel-like character in the middle. Towards the end, there was a bit of a lingering grapefruit bitterness--it's noticeable, but it wasn't overwhelming. Again, a nice balance!

The feel was also very satisfying--offering light carbonation contributing to a very smooth and mellow feel, making this super drinkable for me. For an IPA, this was also surprisingly medium to full bodied, almost sticky-like.

This is honestly the best IPA that I've ever had. Almost every IPA was either massively hopped to the point I couldn't taste the malt, or had very little hop character, making it unsatisfying, bland, and unimpressive. Nelson had a nice balance between the hops and the malt, making this a well rounded and delicious beer.

May 02, 2020
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SHDoyle from Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Description: Hazy appearance with a light orange juice color. Noticeable white head and legs that linger in the glass. Smell is overall kind of light, but there are notes of tropical fruit, melon and floral aromas. The taste is similarly mild with light floral, melon and tropical notes. Most prominent in the flavor is the bitter, grapefruit aftertaste that kind of overwhelms the palate. Feel is smooth and medium to heavy bodied with a low amount of carbonation.

Overall: 4 (This beer is good and I may or may not drink it again) A good, solid beer with on-point craftsmanship, but overall not a standout for me. The flavors were delicate and the aftertaste kind of drowned out and hid that unfortunately.

Apr 30, 2020
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paltemose2303

4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I've only had a few Rye IPAs, but this was easily the most approachable of them all. Great hazy golden color with a modest off-white head. Really picked up the rye in the smell, but it wasn't very strong. Rye really came through early with the nelson hops bringing some fruity bitterness on the finish. Tasted clean and balanced. I loved this beer and look forward to drinking the rest!

Apr 09, 2020
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H-TownMcBuck from Texas

4.21/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful, hazy, light orange to gold color. Nose was a bit on the light side, slightly floral. Incredible flavor! Hoppy towards sweet clementines. Definitely recommend and will have another.

Mar 25, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Notes from 3/6/2020.
Poured from a 12oz can into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
The body is a hazy yellow with 4 fingers of pillowy white foam. 2 fingers of head remain after slowly receding. There's a large amount of moderately thick lacing. 4.5
The aroma is medium in strength and of ripe mango, sweet pineapple, a little peach, and orange juice. 4.5
The taste is medium-high in strength and of ripe mango, pineapple, peach, and has a moderately bitter hoppy finish. 4.75
The mouth feel is above medium, juicy, extremely creamy, silky, and has low carbonation. 5.00
Overall, this IPA is such a high quality beer and so remarkably well balanced that it's crazy. The quality is consistent each time I have had it on tap or in cans. There's no hype with this one folks. 4.75

Mar 13, 2020
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timon from California

4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I bought this today on my day off and thought: PLEASE LET IT TASTE LIKE THE ORANGE CAN LOOKS. It does. Tastes like orange/tangerine/grapefruit with a hint of dark bready malt. Super refreshing on a hot day. Smells like OJ and flowers, light but pretty. Looks like straight juice in a glass. So good. If you told anybody it was vodka and OJ/grapefruit juice mixed at 7% alcohol, they really might believe you! (assuming they don't understand lacing because it does have nice lacing).

Mar 04, 2020
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.34/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Single can from Trader Joe’s in San Diego.
Cloudy but uniform golden yellow pour with finger of creamy off white head.
Aroma is a burst of ripe orange, creamsicle note, slightly floral with a bit of the spicy rye malt, and perhaps a touch of peach.
Taste continues with the ripe orange, grapefruit, again the slightly spicy effect of the rye; pine notes dip in and there is a delightful building bitterness.
Medium mouthfeel with perfect carbonation, finishes crisp and dry with that bitterness lingering on the palate.
Another great Alpine beer.

Feb 29, 2020
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mudbug from Oregon

4.18/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the freshness dated bottle by way of a kind friend into a tulip results in a very hazy gold body with a small cap of foam leaving heavy laceing down the sides.
Aroma is pungent citrus and a slight astringent spice note.
Taste follows aroma with grapefruit and oranges and a very welcome rye tang. Just outstanding.
The feel is slightly light and dry, refreshing with a slight bitter aftertaste
A very nice rye IPA worth it's rating.

Feb 17, 2020
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bsoares from Massachusetts

4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - It pours a muted yellow that only allows for minimal visibility. The pour finishes with a solid finger of fluffy white head. The head retention is great and it leaves delicate lacing on the glass.

S - As soon as you pour the beer into the glass you get a whiff of citrus around the immediate area. There is also a subtle citrusy sweetness to it that reminds me of creamsicle flavored ice-cream. You also get hints of citrus zest, grapes, and floral aromas. As the beer warms the smell gets a little dank and earthy.

T - The taste follows the smell with citrusy flavors of oranges and mandarins. But there is also a distinct wine vinous taste that sets it apart from typical juice bombs. The middle palate is where the strong malt back bone comes in. The malt sweetness is not overbearingly sweet nor spicy. It reminds me more of a pale malt flavor, bringing me back to the creamsicle smell. The finish is mild to medium bitter, and dry.

M - It has a light to medium mouth feel with very light carbonation. Very pleasant feel on the palate.

O - Very pleasant beer. The taste is complex enough to make it distinct, but it is also very refreshing for a 7% ABV beer. VERY CRUSHABLE.

Jan 24, 2020
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Knickerbocker in Altoona PA this afternoon.

Arrives at the table with a slightly hazy yellow/orange body. Decent white head persists throughout leaving very good lacing.

Aromas are muted, non citrus fruit, gently hoppy, a light spice note.

Upon tasting, this is a beer that you have to hold back on, or you'll down it in one. Excellent balance here, fruit, lightly bittersweet, extremely drinkable.

Mouth a little above medium, finish a fruity wash with a hint of pepper and bitterness.

Overall an easy go to beer when on tap. Can't go wrong here.

Jan 12, 2020
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jlavely2002 from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hop Scholar in Spring TX. To me, many rye IPAs can taste a bit too sharp or unbalanced. Not this beer - it is an excellent IPA that has a great balance, a signature rye zest, and combination of pine, citrus and other interesting flavors. In addition, it is a great looking and great drinking beer, with a nice hazy orange color, thin foam head and creamy taste in the tongue.

Jan 09, 2020
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Anders91 from California

4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: perfect golden hue, with a thin white head.

Smell: hops and citrus, a very pleasant smell

Taste: crisp, smooth, citrusy, with just the right amount of hops. The only IPA I have had with a better balance of flavor is Pliney the Elder.

Feel: nice carbonation, prickly, smooth over the tongue

Jan 02, 2020
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 17th, 2015 - The famous Nelson. Drinking beers like this is instructive for learning how San Diego developed its emphatic taste for hop heavy brews. It starts with a heavy dank smell, tumbling with weed and a splash of pineapple fruitiness, and a thickness like a shake. Also, it smells a little like fog from a fog machine. The flavor follows the aroma, with a lighter body and some leather in the aftertaste, which lasts a very long time. It's dank, but not a music concert dank, and it's not too sticky either (differentiating it from some other beers that push the weed note in both the flavor profile and the marketing.) As a San Diego West Coast IPA it's excellent, and clearly a keystone in the city's beer history.

Dec 13, 2019
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deleted_user_1111368 from Delaware

3.97/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned 10-24-19
Good tasting beer. Light citrus on the aroma side, with a malt backing. Flavors were very mushy.. citrus and malty. No bitterness.

It's pretty smooth, but there was something odd in the flavor that dampened my experience.

Dec 13, 2019
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz canned 10-7-19, opened 11-20-19.
1" white head, good retention...slowly recedes to 1/4" and sits steady. Opaque orange-gold IPA with a ton of fine carbonation bubbles streaming upwards. Fresh, foamy lace. Good looking beer.
White grape and ripe oranges, a tangy and expressive nose.
Rind is the word that comes to mind first...orange rind, melon rind, grapefruit rind, spicy rye backing and tangy white grape flavors. The rind flavor and the spicy rye are a great match.
Medium to full body, love the unfiltered aspect here - smooth and persistent bitterness stands out in a long finish.
Very good to Great, this is a unique beer with a lot of nuance...the rye malt is a genius addition here along with an unfiltered IPA and unique Nelson hops.
Drinkability is HIGH.

Nov 20, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Picco, Boston

L -- Moderately hazy golden orange with a nice solid white head that retains and laces well
S -- Kiwi, Orange blossom, grapefruit pith, rye spiciness
T -- Wet earth, melon rind, white grape, pine, crackery pale malt backbone
F -- Clean and crisp. Has that west coast hop bitterness up front but a lot of that tapers off on the finish
O -- Thought I'd seen the last of Alpine after their disastrous merger with Green Flash, but here we are. It's very obvious the influence this beer had on the emergence of the NEIPA, especially in terms of the malt bill used. Shares a lot in common with Hill Farmstead's single hop IPAs

83/100

Nov 18, 2019
Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 4292 ratings