Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

824 Reviews
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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: 824 | Ratings: 4,047
Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A kind and generous coworker brought this back from their beercation in San Diego

A - A standard pour yields two plus fingers worth of active light khaki colored froth with a rich and creamy whipped top which is comprised of big and bigger chunky bubbles... Rock star retention... Once the head finally fades away there is an uneven splotchy lacing and moderate collar... A few stray carbonation bubbles streak rapidly throughout... Some carbonation bubbles just cling to the sides of the glass... The color is a muted copper... There is a slight haziness throughout... A wee bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The nose can be detected without bring one's nose anywhere remotely near the glass... An intoxicating blend of hoppy goodness... First a sweet citrus and tropical fruit... This ebb and flows with a dank piney hop presence... The two fight for supremacy before the sweet tropical fruit notes prove dominate... Sweet orange... Pineapple... Grapefruit... Mango... The end result is a unique and world class aroma... Some light malt undertones of bread crust and caramel...

T - Starts with sweet citrus... Next comes the dank piney notes... There is a robust earthiness throughout the palate... A sturdy biscuity malt base emerges next with some faint toffee and caramel notes mixed in... The grapefruit reemerges on the finish and lingers in a very pleasant way...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lightly carbonated... Starts with a touch of lushness, but proves to be mostly dry throughout... A bit chalky on the finish...

D - A world class American IPA... The aroma is rock star and all other facets far exceed better than average and flirt with best on class... I've long wanted to try this brew and I wasn't dissappointed... I only wish it was available in my area on a consistent basis...

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Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nelson Rye IPA on-tap and cask conditioned at O'Brien's today...This is an IPA, definetely not an APA as listed, but what the heck...who really cares?

Served in a pint glass, a very yellow-straw gold with a 1/2" white foamy head and some very sticky resinous lace...looks like liquid gold! Very cloudy, much like a wheat, but it's rye.

The smell is delightful, grapefruit orchard and a pine forest mixed into one. Very aeromatic and refreshing essence...just makes you want to taste it!

The taste mimmics the smell, full-blown grapefruit that turns into a pine wallop, a classic IPA flavor with character and a unique balance that finishes clean and crisp.

The alcohol is very well masked in this medium bodied ale of bliss. Too easy to drink as well as a hot weather pleaser. You don't want to miss this one...another winner from Alpine!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to kawilliam81 for sharing this brew!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from natoes on 6/16/12.

Appearance: clear and brilliant yellowish orange bodied beer with 1 finger of white head.

Smell: Citrusy, and fruity with spicy rye and a bit of yeast.

Taste: mild bitterness and moderately spicy. Citrus, grass, and floral notes. Grapefruit and peach. Rye is really spicy and is found midpalate and continues into the finish. A peppery note combines with the rye in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Super drinkable with a touch of creaminess.

Overall: My first Alpine beer! Mellow bitterness with big flavor is the best way to summarize this beer. Really unique IPA that is both memorable and unique!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275th review on BA
bottle to mug

App- A clear golden color with some streaks of Orange and Yellow. One finger head that was quick to recede and had some nice lacing.

Smell- Big floral hops on this one. Not too much citrus. A faint grapefruit/tangerine. A bit of a wheat smell in there as well.

Taste- A very good IPA. It's tasty and crisp and clean. Slightly spicy with a balanced citrus back. Not overpowering and a nice drinker.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level. Coats the tounge well with spicy flavor. Leaves a pleasant sweet grapefruit aftertaste.

Drink- I like me some Alpine. All of them have been very good. I could sip on this one for a long time. I swear I need to learn to buy more than 1 bottle of something.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into an IPA glass
A: Hazy light orange with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Lots of grapefruit along with rye and coriander
T: Matches the nose- grapefruit, rye, earth and spice
M: Medium-bodied, crisp, bitter
O: A very solid IPA; the spicy notes the rye adds up the amount of complexity making it quite tasty

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Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mauerhan for the opportunity to try this one. 22oz. bottle served in a standard pint. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a rocky, bright white cap. Decent head retention reveals specks and strands of delicate, cloud-like lacing as the brew is consumed. Nose is light, sweet grapefruit. Crisp rye flavor comes out up front, followed by grapefruit sweetness in the middle and finishing with a light, cleansing residual bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation that drops off towards the end of the quaff. This is really delicious. The rye really give it an extra dimension. This is my third IPA from Alpine and it is awesome. A top notch beer from a top notch brewery.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy golden with a very small white head with good retention.

S-Pineapple and grapefruit, some sweet malt. Very nice.

T-Plenty of hoppy citrus goodness, nicely balanced by a solid malt base. Quite tasty indeed!

M-Medium bodied, slightly oily.

O-One of my favorite hops, one of my favorite uses of it.


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Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to czoch75

Poured into rare vos glass.

Poured about 2 fingers of slightly off white head. Nice retention with some very nice lace walls. Color is a pale yellow with an light orange hue to it. I really am not a big fan of the color here.

Aroma: Mainly a bunch of citrus and floral notes up front. Has a lot of lemon and pine notes with a very subtle background of rye. I get some orange notes in the mix as well. A very fresh beer.

Taste: A very interesting IPA. A lot of unique flavors here. The rye sticks out a lot more here and gives it a bready feel, but complements the citrus flavors in a nice way. I get some lemon, orange, grapefruit, and mango for the citrus flavors. A nice big floral and pine hop profile is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, a little crisp, but overall quite refreshing. Medium bodied with a tad high of carbonation, but I don't mind it. Ends with a rye/citrus flavored sticky aftertaste.

Overall, another great IPA from Alpine. I love the rye in this beer, as it is subtle, but still present. I will have no problem with this bomber. A well done beer.

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Photo of tpd975
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very pale yellow with a tall pillow like head. Okay retention and light lace.

S: Nice bold grapefruit aromas, orange, and tropical fruit. Aroma is very juice like.

T: Wonderful grapefruit flavor. Notes of green grass, and floral like perfume.

M: Medium in body, nice carbonation.

D: Very tasty and damn drinkable.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium tulip. 

A: The beer's color is situated between straw and pale gold. A constant stream of bubbles feeds a fluffy white head. Good lacing and great clarity. 

S: Pungent hops present themselves as cat pee, eucalyptus, white grape and gooseberries. Maybe yellow grapefruit peel and grape skins.   Smell challenges my "expertise" and vocabulary. 

T: Taste mirrors smell very nicely. Pale malt bill is not hardy enough to offer much resistance to hop onslaught. Perfect level of bitterness. Resin shows up in taste. Finishes long and green. 

M: Heftier than your typical 7 abv beer. Above-medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation. Extreme hops add a gritty quality to mouthfeel and seemingly cling and rip at tooth enamel. Dry/astringent. 

D: Alpine crafted this beer to be the perfect vessel for the Nelson Sauvin hop, not necessarily the perfect IPA. An intriguing hop makes for an intriguing beer, and I really enjoyed thinking my way through this bomber.

Thanks to hurfer for the assist!

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Photo of Kshock
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another San Diego gem....

A- Cloudy golden yellow color with a little head retention. Good sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of citrus hop aroma with a spicy backbone from the rye. Smells like fresh tennis a good way. i had to put that because a friend mentioned it and now i cant get that out of my head.

T-- Great citrus hop flavors, spicy rye in the background. Really nice flavors, balanced nicely. Slightly dry on the back end.

M light -med body, drys out mildly on the backend.

O- Amazing beer, one of the best IPA's out there.

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Photo of Jonada
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of a white, soapy head with good retention and lacing. Body is lightly hazy with good visible carbonation.

Smell: Orange, pineapple, nectarine, mango and lightly grassy. Overall smells super juicy.

Taste: Light malt sweetness followed by grapefruit, pineapple, orange/tangerine rind and a slight dankness in the finish. Bitterness is surprisingly mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with an almost soft mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Overall: Excellent IPA. Awesome flavor and super drinkable. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of neorunner
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden yellow color with fine carbonation and a solid white head that slowly diminished for a good minute. A small amount of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

S - Citrus and floral notes abound but little to no resiny smell.

T - This tastes like awesome. There is a very nice clean balance between the malt and hop flavors with a mild bitterness. Aftertaste is not overbearing but a reasonable medley of biscuit and lingering hops.

M - Smooth and wet with most of the taste at the front of my tongue and a refreshed feeling in the aftertaste.

D - If this came in six packs I would have a new go-to summer beer. Alas, this will be one to look forward to the next time I visit California.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This an outstanding rye IPA. Nice and hoppy and yummy. This is a top tier selection and I will actively seek out this brewer again. Hard to find locally here in Ohio.

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Photo of jsh420
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours cloudy pale yellow with some dark muddy gold - 1+ finer head that left some spotted lacing

smell - wow if i was blindfolded i would think this was a stronger version of 3F Gumballhead

taste - again double gumballhead? the rye reminds me of wheat and those NZ Nelson hops must be a first cousin of amarillo - huge orange/grapefuit flavors meshed with the spice of the rye = amazing ipa

mouthfeel a light body with lots of carbonation that mixed with the spice of the rye really sting the mouth but fades to nothing

drinkability is good - those big spicy flavors hold me back from giving this a higher rating - i am glad i split this because i would have felt really bad if i could no have finished the whole 22oz of this incredible beer

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Photo of berkey
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Very hazy orange amber in color topped by a fairly sturdy slighty off white head.

Aroma has a nice spicy character to it but I'm not sure if it's coming from the malted rye or from the hop profile since I'm not familiar with the Nelson Sauvin hops. Also some great floral and pine notes here along with a dry pungent bitterness.

Still spicy on the palate, I'm sure now it's coming from the rye more than from the hops. Quite a bit fruitier in flavor than what I got from the aroma with citrus and a healthy dose of tropical fruit which is rounded out with a mouth drying bitter hop aftertaste.

Delicate but active carbonation and pleasant dry finish contribute to an excellent feel.

Another great hoppy ale from Alpine. The rye adds a nice element to it as does the unique choice in hops. Not a mouth blistering hop bomb but definitely complex and very enjoyable.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet

A- pours a slightly hazy orange with a half finger white head that fades pretty quickly. Would like more head, but I really like the color of it

S- I have the glass sitting a foot away fro me, and the aroma just comes and attacks my nose with a huge burst of grapefruit and orange. It smells absolutely divine

T- starts off slightly bitter, and the finish is slightly sweet, with grapefruit prominent throughout. Taste is actually a little bit more subdued than I'd expect

M- it's actually perfect. Not syrupy, not watery...about standard for the course, but that's a good thing

O- this is a good one. Real easy drinking for my first Alpine beer

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Photo of zac16125
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
no born on date but picked up from the brewery approximately 1 week ago

Thanks to harink for sending this over in a trade.

A: Pours a very murky, kind of urine yellow with just under 1 fingers width of sea foam white colored head. Honestly, this is pretty ugly in the glass. It does leave tons of really cool honey comb lacing, which is its redeeming factor.

S: Aroma is very vinous, white grapes and sweet white wine - like a moscato. Accompanied by mild dank, resinous notes. A hint of rye spiciness, citrus rind, and a touch of bready malts.

T: Follows the nose in thats its full of sweet white grape notes. There is a big rye spice component, along with piney bitterness, some citrus rind and tropical fruit sweetness. Better than the nose, as flavors as a whole are stronger than the aroma. Very tasty, I really like the combination of sweet vinous and rye spiciness notes.

M/D: Smooth for the style, with an appropriate carbonation, medium bodied with a rather wet mouthfeel. Drinkability is excellent.

O: Overall, an excellent beer. Dont let the somewhat nasty look of it scare you off cause its delicious. Not one of my favorite IPAs, and not as good at Duet (which I had yesterday so my memory is fresh), but certainly unique and very good in its own right. I would drink this again in a heartbeat, and if it was local Id definitely buy it on a consistent basis, but its not something I will aggressively seek out via trade.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour on-tap into a stemmed tulip.

Golden with 2 fingers of white head. Good clarity with light carbonation.

Rye, pine, white grape, pineapple, and caramel.

An assertive rye spice immediately comes through. Papaya, pineapple, white grape, and grapefruit zest. Exceedingly smooth malt backbone of caramel covered bread. Finishes piney with touches of onion.

Medium bodied, smooth, and juicy as Hell with a medium-low bitterness.

Exceptionally smooth, juicy, and spicy. The Nelson hops work great with the rye spice. Excellent IPA!

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Photo of mac31
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap

Hoppy, danky, tropical/pineapple on the nose.

This brew yields a bright, hoppy citrus burst. The hoppiness comes across as (soft) skunky, danky, moving in to earthy, slightly herbal notes. There is some added spiciness, not earthy in nature. I attribute this to the rye. The brightness is big notes of grapefruit. Very little in the way tropical notes. Refreshing melon at the half palate. Clean malt backbone that stays in the background. The beer dries out a bit as it rolls in to the finish. Clean bitterness in the finish, just shy of being bitey, overly bitter. Body is on the thin side. Brightness and dryness contribute to the perception that the beer is highly carbonated, but it's appropriate to style. West Coast IPA for sure. A hop head's delight. Nice beer. A highly regarded IPA that doesn't disappoint. Not quite Pliny, but good.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a peach color with a finger head that left good frothy lacing on the glass.

S: nice floral sweet piney hops are more noticable at first whiff with cirtus grapefruit, caramel, and good malt character. I also got some tangerine notes.

T: the piney hop are not as potent as the nose but still dominate the taste which also had a decent balance between the malts. The citrus grapefruit helps intensify the bitterness that had caramel accents.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet bitter and crisp finish.

D: probably one of the most drinkable IPA offerings from alpine. I always enjoy their brews especially their IPA's. I'm definitely glad I have acceess to them on a daily.

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Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing

s: Strong pine resin with petroleum notes

t: Follows the nose with considerable hop bite over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers on the dry finish

m: Medium plus, very good body and smooth oily texture. Good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully flavorful IPA in the definite West Coast vein. Can see why it's rated higher than Hoppy Birthday or Duet on BA.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love me some Nelson! And it's cool to see it with rye, in this instance mellow, but an often rather harsh malt. So much hype, rad to finally have one at back country in boulder. Pour is a really light pale golden color with an opaque orange lowlight and a lasting inch of airy white bubbles. Smells like Nelson alright, although somewhat less pungent and fresh than anticipated, and especially mellow for a top 250 IPA. The flavor is more dynamic than the nose, but also underwhelming. As good as it is, and it is real good, I wanted more from the hops. The rye is a real nice twist and can be both tasted and felt, but this lends credence to my theory that it's near impossible to make a bad beer with this hop. It just doesn't pip pineapple like others, and with such a no bull name, I thought this would be the loudest Nelson statement of all time, and it's not. It's freakishly dry though, so hops and rye do stand out, and there isn't much of a yeast profile happening at all. Carbonation is really lively, and I don't mean to belittle this because it is amazing, and a real nice use of one of my favorite hops, but it just doesn't stand out far enough from the heard to be labeled one if the best IPAs ever, at least in my opinion.

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Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a less than one finger head with good retention and some lacing. The appearance is the weakest area of this beer. The aroma is wonderfully hoppy. Grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and tangerines with some pineapple.

The taste is very unique, and good. Grapefruit, zest, tangerines, pineapple, malt, grass, rye, some earthiness, and some spices, although I am having trouble identifying them. It must be the New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops that give this a unique flavor. Very nice.

Sweet, with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Decent carbonation, medium bodied, and recommended. I would drink this again with no problems.

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Photo of beagle75
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of persistent white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense and hop-forward with fleshy grapefruit and green vinous notes.

T: Begins off-dry, with focused and pungent hop aromatics that are reminiscent of Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Acidity is mild, very clean. Flavors turn more herbaceous, floral, and slightly toasty in the middle. Some bitterness develops in the short finish, showing a little more of an herbaceous quality than peel of grapefruit.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate with a slight acidic burn, and with moderate carbonation.

D/O: At the first glance, Alpine's beer line-up may seem needlessly crowded with IPAs. A careful exploration of each will allow the taster to appreciate just how much variability is possible within the style: O'Brien's delivers the greatest balance, fulfilling the role of general-purpose IPA that does not disappoint; Duet is a showcase of Simcoe qualities (and a great substitute for Sculpin); and Nelson is the grapefruit bomb of the three. As advertised, it delivers grapefruit that is laser-focused and juicy, with an intensity that even challenges grapefruit-focused DIPAs such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder. If any criticism is required, its qualities have an obsessive simplicity about them--but after all, Nelson is a specialist whose companion brews pick up the slack nicely.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,047 ratings.
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