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Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by OStrungT on 08-11-2006

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Reviews: 820 | Ratings: 4,019
Photo of DaverCS
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

***Green Flash Version***

Pours a hazy peach color with 1 finger of white pillowy head.

Aroma is of bright citrusy hops, tons of hop floralness, pure grapefruit essence, and a touch of grape must.

Taste is a pretty immediate punch of bitterness. This is closely followed by floral, earthy hops. Clearly tons of hops go into this beer; it’s a hop explosion. While I get the white wine characteristics, they are melded well with the other flavors. Nice bit of carbonation. I will say that the earthy hops and bitterness are the predominant flavors. The finish is extremely dry with bitterness lingering for a bit after consumption.

Overall, this is a good beer. I would love to compare it to a beer actually brewed by Alpine for comparison. I unfortunately found it to be a bit too much in terms of the floral hops. I would love for more of the white wine character to shine through and a bit more citrus as well. Still very good regardless! This is a special occasion beer for my nursing pinning. I see this pairing well clams and chorizo in a spicy white wine broth. It gets a 87/100. I hope to try the real version soon!

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Photo of bret27
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Cloudy yellow, thick white head.

S: Outstanding. Fresh explosion. Peaches, pine, multiple citrus fruits, take your pick.

T; Same as smell just not as amazing. Not too strong or bitter good balance. Maybe a little breadiness on the back of the tongue from the rye.

M: fairly med/thin

D: No real alcohol presence, just bitterness. Light, hoppy, refreshing= excellent.

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Photo of cfalls
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - the head is a little thin, but the body is a beautifully hazy neon yellow

S - guava, dank, peach, rye

T - more guava, grapefruit, not very sweet or malty, but the rye adds something

F - tiny bubbles, dry finish, lingering bitterness

O - pretty unique, and a must-try if you like NZ hops

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Bought in Oct 2010 from K&L Wines.

A - Hazy yellow-orange, with a nice two fingers of pillowy head that settles down to a thick cap. Heavy rings of lace on the glass. Very inviting.

S - Very nice -- lots of hops, with both pine and grapefruit notes. A bit of a sweet-ish malt, and a spiciness that I'm guessing is from the rye.

T - More of what was in the nose, with a huge hop bitterness, and more of that spiciness. The rye is subtle, which is good for me since I'm not a huge fan of it. There's almost a touch of vanilla in the malty sweetness, but it's fleeting. Long dry finish, but very little alcohol burn.

M - It's almost a bit thin, with lighter carbonation than I would expect. But the stickiness is good. Somewhat drying.

D - The flavors are good, the aroma great, and the alcohol isn't too high. I'd go for another for sure; good thing I have one.

O - Price-wise, it's less expensive than Sculpin (which is overpriced) but more than Pliny (which is not) so I'll happily pay for it. The beer is definitely worth it. Solid buy.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass from a 22 oz bomber provided by snaotheus.

Color is hazy pale gold, almost straw, with a large fluffy head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing traces every sip. Smell is mango, citrus and fresh cut grass. Very juicy. It hits the palate with a strong blast of bitterness that matches the nose, gives way to delicious juiciness and finishes with lingering grapefruit rind. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, really good!

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Photo of chrisjws
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Burnt orange, cloudy, two fingers of white head.
S: Spicy, floral, citrus, orange peel, grapefruit, some funkiness
T: Some bitterness upfront, chased by orange, grapefruit and spice from the rye.
M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Goes down very smooth and finishes dry.
O: Probably my favorite rye IPA. I love Nelson hops, I love rye and this is perfection in both.

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Photo of rudzud
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Received this extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy light orange hue with a thin half finger head that faded to leave a thin cloud and light halo. Do wish this had a bigger head/lacing.

S - Smell is incredible. Tangerine, pineapple, lightly floral. This is an incredible nose. Really top notch and exceptional on the nose. I want this as a candle.

T - Not quite as good as the nose, but still mighty tasty. Tropical notes of that tangerine and pineapple are still there just fainter. Some spicy notes too. Someone said rye so okay, I can see that. Lightly floral too with some well rounded malts. No bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, or at least thinner than what I was expecting. Very, very light on the carbonation.

O - Overall, this is a crazy aromatic with solid taste. Would like a better head and mouthfeel though. Bad bottle perhaps, dunno, but still amped to have tried it.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

delicious, but im not sure if im drinking the nelson of alpine lore, or the green flash version. either way, its pretty good. hazy orange in color. huge citrus nose. great flavor, nice backbone. mouthfeel really stands out for me. medium bodied with great carb. very nice.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

AP: Deep straw, fairly lively carbonation, big bubbled, continuous 1/8" white head. Sticky lace, very slight haze.

Ar: Light funk. Papaya? fruity, citrusy, pithy. The label tells of grapefruit aromas, I do not get that.

T: Dry wine? more citrus fruit. Hops are the star of the show. Malt is almost nonexistent. There's a touch of fleshy fruit also. I have no clue what gooseberries are supposed to taste like, but nelson hops are supposed to taste like them. This may be the flavor I'm getting

M: Dry, bitter, resinous. This is how I want my IPAs to feel.

O: A touch lighter in color than I expected. I finally got to try this sober, by myself, and not during a bottle share. I feel like my expectations of this were higher because every time I've had it, it has been in 2-4oz increments, after already wrecking my palate. I can't wait to get out to California and visit the brewery.

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Photo of Alequine
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw color with a puffy head which settles into the beer. Light hoppy flavor with citrus. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel with a citrusy and light bitter finish.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Smokepot23 for this in a trade.

A - Golden color with a nice two finger fluffy head that had nice retention and left some sheets throughout the course of the drink with some chunks on it.

S - Pretty mild, floral hops with a touch of citrus. Somewhat grassy with slight lemon. Slight rye notes.

T - This is really good. Rye and light malts with a sweet hop profile. Slighty piney, and more orange than grapefruit citrus with some bitterness. Very pleasant.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Very easy drinker, polished off the bomber with no problems and could have gone for another.

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Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pwoods for sharing with me!

Pours the color of light caramel-honey with a muddy consistency and a 2-finger sticky white head that fades to a thick, bubbly, well-retained skim leaving sticky rings of lacing behind.

Aroma is full of dry, earthy and citrusy hops. Alcohol is lightly noted, along with dry, crisp malts.

Taste is full of juicy and bittersweet citrusy flavors. Very wet and full-feeling. Good malt foundation provides a satisfying profile that is kept light and bright by the hops. Great tongue-coating stickiness promotes a long-standing aftertaste.

Drinkability is really high. While the alcohol was notable in the nose, it barely reaches the taste. It is an IPA that could please anyone - juicy yet sticky, sweet yet earthy, bitter yet bready.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold, with lots of little sediment particles floating in the brew. A massive pillowy sudsy foam head lasts forever, leaving clouds of sticky chunky lacing on the glass as the brew is consumed.

Aromas of citrus, green grapes, green hops, and ocean saltspray. Although you can smell lots of hops were used, there is nothing overboard, just a smooth inviting aroma.

The taste is quite different from the usual IPA and is quite laid back. At first there is some sweet malt, then a slightly bitter citrus hop taste kicks in, but then a bit of a grapy taste that adds a sub-layer of subdued sweetness (somewhat like Sauvignon Blanc, whence the Nelson Sauvin monicker comes from). Citrus rind prevails in the long finish.

Body seems a little more viscous than is typical of the style, as the yeast and other sedimentary particles remain in suspension. Ample carbonation gives this a somewhat creamy, as opposed to crisp, mouthfeel. The hops approach tongue numbing levels.

This is a very drinkable IPA, a different IPA with a unique aroma and taste, due to the Nelson Sauvin hop variety. Might be good to compare with Mikkeller Nelson or another Alpine beer like Exponential Hoppiness.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a light gold with mild haze, lots of visible carbonation, and 1 1/2 finger's worth of white fluffy head. Very pretty.

S: Tropical fruits, grapefruit, melon, lemon, grassy and a bit of dank and resin. I do feel like there's some white vinous character as well, but I don't know if that's just the power of suggestion from the label.

T: Tropical fruits, melon, a bit of spicy character; then citrus (lemon and some grapefruit). The resinous pine that I got in the nose doesn't appear in the palate. A light cracker malt lurks underneath the cacophony of hop flavors. Only mildly bitter on the hang for style.

M: Light body, good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is well-hidden.

O: Nelson's not always my favorite hop, but this is really quite enjoyable. Wonderfully crafted IPA. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of match1112
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to ehammond1 for sending this!

a: murky dark orange body with a slow and steady rise of bubbles from the botton. head is dirty white and stands a half inch tall leaving a nice spider web of lacing as this beer goes down all too quick.

s: nice and mello nose to this one. aromas of grapefruit, spice, rye and a little caramel blend nicely.

t: wowza! this is incredibly good. burst of grapefruit up front is nicely smoothed over by the rye.

m: nice carbonation level. the rye gives this a med-full body. little dry and bitter on the finish but is amazingly well balanced.

o: awesome! i grew up stealing sips of rye whiskey from granddad and have had a love for rye ever since. this beer fills that need very well. so smooth and drinkable! can't get over how awesome this beer is. if you havent had it, you need to.

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Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade ,now getting to drink and to the review, being poured in to a surly imperial pint glass

A-pours a hazy light golden orange and a wonderful creamy white head.tons of lace down the side of the glass

S- tropical fruit, notes of a musk rye up front with tons of tangerines and oranges

T-spicy rye, musky earthy malts, tons of nice tangerines, grapefruit and oranges. hops were done right in this one .

M- syrupy than the duet i just had recently with the same high carbonation feel to it and awesome crisp clean finish to it.

O-Amazing IPA one of my favorites , the tangerines and tropical fruit are super enjoyable. the bitterness is light and the flavors go together very well.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a Green Flash bottle.

Pours bright light orange with a fizzy head that rises, but subsides. Smell is peppery, grassy, dry grapefruit. Big Nelson Sauvin nose. Taste is spicy rye with zesty dry grapefruit. Finishes smooth. Fizzy texture, but dense enough to be pretty slick in the mouth. Great spicy IPA, great use of NS hops.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 22 ounce bomber bottle and into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed bright golden yellow with at least an inch of fluffy sticky bone white foam. The head leaves a nice lace in its wake. Nose and flavors consist of both white and ruby red grapefruit peel, pith, and juice, tangerines, oranges, lemon oil, fruity, white wine-like notes characteristic of this hop variety. Body is about medium could be a bit fuller, with adequate carbonation and quite dry throughout. Pretty tasty stuff and very easy to drink. Certainly worth checking out. Thanks a bunch Chris!

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Photo of eyncognito
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade from HopHead84, thanks Shane. I've been wanting some Alpine for some time now.

Pours a bright gold, hazy with a white head and good retention. Spotty lacing. An incredibly attractive pour. Aroma is a strange mixture of rye and hops. Citrus-orange and grapefruit dominates with notes of spicy rye, along with a strange piss smell that toes the line, not offensive, but it mingles with a dank weedyness.

Taste improves upon the nose. Citrus-orange and lime, tropical fruits-mostly unripe pineapple, along with some floral notes, the rye seems more subdued here, malt is toasty. Incredibly clean and dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty high. Worth seeking out. Alpine's reputation seems deserved as a first rate brewery of hop-forward beers.

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Photo of Lunch
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz. bomber courtesy of the very generous volatilesther into my 22oz. HopDevil nonic pint glass at the appropriate temperature (03/24/10).

A: Pours a very odd shade of light brown that looks like no other beer I have seen, but I like it. Capped by 2+ finger of a white foam with excellent retention and some nice ringed lace.

S: Aroma was very pleasant and filled with a great variety of pine and citrus hops and a faint malt backbone. The rye in this one is certainly there, but not nearly as overpowering as some.

T: The rye and pine hops hit first and leave a pleasant bitterness. Citrus comes next with some orange and grapefruit. I'm really enjoying the integrating of the rye in this one.

M: Medium-bodied with appropriate carbonation and just a bit of lingering bitterness and rye.

D: Extremely easy to drink and 7.1% is nowhere to be found.

Overall this was nice American IPA with rye, which was expertly balanced. If you are looking into trying a great IPA with hint of rye, this is your beer. Thanks again Esther! Recommended.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to pretzelcity for including this in my box for the Support Your Team BIF.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden tangerine color, with a foamy white head. Nice retention, with sticky lace all over the glass. Soft carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass, replenishing the head.

Smell: Soft white grape skin, honey sweetness, a touch of citrus, along with a touch of musk. Aroma is just slightly bitter.

Taste: The distinctive flavor of the Nelson Sauvin hops really carrry the flavor, with the rye providing a more complimentary dryness than an overwhelming flavor. White grape, orange rind, some grassiness give it a restrained juicy hop flavor. Other than the rye, the malt really takes a backseat, despite retaining a fragile delicateness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and tingly through most of the sip, which combined with the grape flavor gives it a sparkling wine feel. Strong dry character, and it has a little graininess.

Drinkability: This is a great change of pace from some of the other American IPAs I have been drinking. Still a strong hop presence, but the grape flavor really kicks this beer into a unique area of the palette. Very interesting, and one I would drink regularly if it was available here.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a bright golden color, moderate ivory head with decent retention and great lacing, fairly cloudy

s - you can really smell the spiciness of the rye on the nose, mixes in nicely with the big tangerine and grapefruit aromas from the hops, very unique smell

t - big bite of citrus up front with clear notes of grapefruit and tangerine rind, the mid-palate has a nice amount of sweetness to go along with the bitter citrus, finish is where the rye really comes into play with a good dose of spice mixing nicely with lingering bitterness and grapefruit, not too much alcohol evident

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, quite dry on the finish, not much by way of alcohol warming

d - pretty interesting and unique flavor and aroma keeps me wanting to finish the bottle, not too harsh on the palate, though it is dry, alcohol is not all that evident

Great stuff, all around. Great to see Alpine starting to bottle a few more of their offerings.

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Photo of RunDWP
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the ultimate Southern California IPA. Had on tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego. Poured a light yellow color, almost the color of a lager, but plenty of lacing and sheeting action on the glass. Strong piney and floral aroma. A decent amount of malt, with a little detectable sweetness, but all the piney and slightly floral hop goodness was definately center stage. Excellent crispness to the hop bitterness. Just a joy to drink and right level of carbonation.

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Photo of rand
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22 oz bomber to pint glass

Pours a cloudy apricot-orange, forming a sudsy, 2-inch head, and I'm already catching wafts of fresh piny hops. The head is really sudsy and frothy, leaving a trail of pillowy lacing as it reluctantly recedes. Upon a deeper inhale, the malty sweetness really stands out, nearly masking the hop bite. The malty aromas combine with what smells like ripened tropical fruit, perhaps passion fruit or mango. Really tropical bouquet.

At the front of the sip, you catch the piny, leafy hops, with just a tinge of bitterness, but the tropical tones noted in the nose quickly rush your palate and dominate the flavor profile, adding a lot of sweetness. Serious tropical notes. If I didn't know better I'd have guessed Alpine added guava juice to the mix. The flavors are supported by a rich malt-backbone, which tastes like rye bread and gives the beer a full and chewy complexion. There's just a touch of burnt toast towards the end of the sip and some caramel residuals. Finishes sweet and balanced.

The brew's flavor profile is surprising, especially if you were expecting the clean, citrusy profile of a standard IPA. The rye changes the entire complexion of the ale, but once you get used to the rich and almost exotic tropical notes, the beer is completely delicious and quaffs easily. By far the best rye IPA I've had.

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Photo of Popkas
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another round of thanks goes out to tpd975 for this one!

A: Nice cloudy gold with a mountain of head - talking 2.5-3 fingers. Took some time for this one to settle.

S: Rush of citrus (pineapple and a little grapefruit?) up front with a hint of hoppiness at the end.

T: Tame upfront but follows through with a taste much the same as the smell.

M: Nice feel with plenty of carbonation.

D: I could see drinking several of these!

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,019 ratings.
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