Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
819
Ratings:
3,989
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
19.18%
 
 
Wants:
1,369
Gots:
634
For Trade:
21
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Reviews: 819 | Ratings: 3,989
Photo of MichaelinFishers
3.21/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into two pint glasses for my wife and I to split. Thanks to Esther for the trade.

A: Pours with a very pale head, very light retention and just a little lacing. The color is a little odd. There's an unusual hue to it that I would describe as almost pink, but I'm slightly colorblind, so take that with a grain of salt.

S: Wow! The aroma is incredible! I'd heard that Nelson Sauvin smells almost wine-like, but this is amazing! (Looking on the label, it actually says that. How about that!) Delicate, fruity, floral, this is a beautiful aroma hop.

T: OK, this is where is starts to let down. Now that I've looked at the label, I'm reminded that this is a rye beer. And the rye just isn't working for me with such light malt accompanying it. I've had, and loved, other rye beers (Red's Rye, Cane & Ebel), but those pair the rye with bolder, fuller malts.

M: Nice, but nothing special. Pretty typical for a west coast IPA.

D: Having a hard time getting past the taste. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I dislike it -- I finished my pint with no problem -- but I don't think I'll be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.22/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The Alpine hype train finally hit Bellingham. Been looking forward for trying these SoCal legends for a long time. This one didn't push my buttons. Just a solid, good, enjoyable IPA, nothing less, nothing more.

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Photo of nhindian
3.23/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Contrary to everything I've read about this beer previously, my glass does not contain a hazy, orange-juice-esque beer. In fact, it is pretty clear and light, with slow trickles of carbonation filling the glass. This isn't to say that it isn't nice looking, but sort of unexpected since the appearance is usually one of the defining characteristics of Nelson. A bone white head sits atop the liquid and lasts throughout the glass.

Aroma - The nose is fresh with a hint of grape tartness, like green grapes or grape must. A big burst of grapefruit and papaya follow, but is balanced with a sharp bite of rye.

Taste - I'm taken aback by just how assertive the rye is on the palate, so much so that it starts to butt up against the hops. I was expecting this to be a hop bomb, but it is much more balanced, and at times, unfortunately so. Because of this, no one flavor rises to the top and the rest of the ingredients battle for supremacy, leading to a muddled, confusing drink. In parts, I enjoy each component, but together it doesn't really mesh for me.

Mouthfeel - If there's one aspect of this beer I dig, it's the mouthfeel. It is dry and crisp, with a mellow, creamy body that garners an excellent finish.

Closing Arguments - I came into this beer with really high expectations, and frankly it didn't meet them at all. I wanted the Nelson Sauvin hops to shine, but instead they were overshadowed by the rye. I'm not sure of the age of this - the tap takeover I got this growler at was pushed back from its original schedule - but I can't imagine it could be that old. Thankfully Alpine will be seen more in Pittsburgh, so I will give this a try at least once more to compare and contrast.

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Photo of ZAP
3.23/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very unique IPA...the much talked about Nelson Sauvin hops exude an aroma and flavor unlike any IPA I have had before.

If I had to describe in one word I would say Herbal...almost like tea but this has big chive/garlic notes in the aroma and taste....much more so than Summit hops which can give off some of that as well.

To be honest I am not a huge fan of the characteristics I am smelling and tasting but it is so unique it is enjoyable to taste something different..

Body is medium...easy drinking...there is just a hint of the spicy rye which complements the hops nicely.

I am glad I tried this but one is enough for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.33/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hazy gold color. Moderate bar poured head, which leaves streaks and spots on the glass.

Strong, nearly harsh, prickly grapefruit to the nose.

Equally extreme on the tongue...think sucking a hop pellet. The bitterness completely overwhelms the palate creating a dry, biting swallow and long, peppery aftertaste. The body is neutral with a corresponding carbonation level.

Imagine a horror film that features 90 minutes of violence in a 92 minute film. This a bit like that. If you are into this sort of thing, you'll love it. Otherwise, try this to get a sense of a purely hoppy, extreme beer.

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Photo of trevorpost
3.39/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like the syrupy mess than many west coast ipas are in Massachusetts. Really disappointing. Looks like a great modern ipa, byt tastes like sweet oxidized ipa. And this is on draft. I'm sure it's great fresh but I have no faith that I order is fresh now. Ugh.

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Photo of beergrrrl2
3.41/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this new Alpine Nelson that was contract brewed at Greenflash on tap. Nelson was probably my favorite beer and I've written beergasm reviews of it but this new collaboration needs to be tweaked. The beer was exceptionally cloudy with a chewy mouthfeel. It lost it 'brightness' and extraordinary deliciousness. While the Nelson hops were there, if I had this beer for the first time, I wouldn't order it again :( I hope they fix it.

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Photo of juhl31
3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-a very foggy yellow color with a white head. lacks much head retention

-good amounts of grapefruit. big time meaty english hop smell, but not a good meat smell if that makes sense at all

-probably the most actual rye tasting ryePA i have had. that meat is back up in there. the hop profile tastes english for sure, but not as much in the malt side

-very thick and smooth for an IPA

-not a great one for me. my least favorite of the alpine IPA's. i warmed up to it a bit as i got towards the bottom of the glass, but i still wouldnt want to order more. i am usually a big fan of ryePA's too

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Photo of gregshead
3.44/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light, light yellow color. Did a double take and almost asked the bartender if they handed me the correct beer.

S - Citrus and pine hops domintate the smell

T - Pine and Citrus/Orange hops dominate the taste. If their is malt/rye taste, it didn't show up for me.

M - Very light and carbonated mouthfeel. If I didn't have taste buds, I'd swear this beer was a wheat or hefeweizen by feel and appearance.

D - Overall, an ok IPA. I wasn't awed but I wasn't upset either. I would drink again but I would take other IPAs before it.

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Photo of DearthVader
3.44/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured to my La Fin Du Monde tulip (thanks for the glass Alex!)

What a beautiful beer. Pours a clear golden yellow that shoots bubbles of carbonation ferociously to the top where it meats the billowing pure white 3" of foam. The head dissipates to a creamy crown and a thin layer of film over the top. Gobs of lacing clinging to my glass. Picture perfect.

Smell is maltier than expected. The sweet malts overpower the crisp citrus and rye I was expecting my nose to explode with. I still get hues of slight grapefruit and orange peel. Definite notes of earthy bark tones, and the nice hop finish.

Taste has a powerful punch of grapefruit, but yet again the malt takes over. Slight orange and lemon zest, followed by the nice slightly hopped finish.

Extremely drinkable beer and perfectly carbonated. A dangerous beer with a ABV, but I could imagine drinking these all summer long if more available.

I was definitely expecting more. I'm starting to wonder if this is an old bottle, which I would be very upset with the store I bought this from yesterday. I will most definitely revisit this beer and hopefully be able to come back in and change the scores a little bit. I have an insane amount of respect for Alpine and the things they do.

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Photo of joepais
3.45/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to errantnight for hooking me up with this. Bottle spit among friends produced a smaller white head than expected that went off to nothing. it has a somewhat cloudy yellow in color body to it.

I will say I wasn't to much impressed with the new hop variety. I didn't get the grapefruit aroma the touted on the bottle but more of grassy earthy hops to it. It was nice but having tried this right after their Duet It was a little underwhelming.
The flavor was kind of a nice for Rye. PA and I will say one of the better of that hybrid that I have tasted. It had a good balance of pepper and hop to it and it finished rather dry in the mouth. The feel was light with somewhat a lack of carbonation for me. I think this brew needed more.

I finished the glass easily. it's a ok beer but I have had better in this Hybrid of a style.

Edit.. after looking at others reviews I would be up to try this one again to see if it wasn't a fluke or a bad bottle

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Photo of Zorro
3.46/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed yellow with a tall white head.

Smell is a mountain of hops. Smells primarily of grapefruit and pith. Smell of medicine, lots of Phenol.

Starts out strongly hopped with a melon after taste. Very strong Hops.Tastes of wood and strong tea.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Tastes OK, Don't see the charm of this one.

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Photo of HereforBeer
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft in Chicago shortly after they entered the market. I thought it was OK, but very unbalanced. I was pretty dissapointed after seeing a really high BA score. I hope I just had a bad batch.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.52/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap at Simzy’s LB poured into footed stange. Hazy golden body with a thin white head that settles to a thin ring. Lace rings. Aroma is piney, with grape skin, herbs, rye spice, citrus, and grass. Taste is initially dank and musty with moderate bitterness featuring the same flavors as the nose. Some malt and tropical fruit sweetness comes through. Rye spiciness hits on the swallow. Medium body, thin texture, moderate carbonation, and a dry bitter finish.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A truely exciting bottle from Randy in the Loko4locals Bif! Thanks homey! Poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden color with a little bit of an orange hue. A nice cap of white head sits on top.

A little bit of sweet carmael in the aroma. Just a little bit of citrus hops in the background. A big orange aroma though. Big orange juice aroma. A little bit of a rye flavor. A big bitter hop flavor is a lot more noticable on the pallet than the aroma. Lots of juicy orange on the aroma.

Nice light body with good carbonation. A little bit sticky somehow. Overall pretty tasty here. Pretty malty for an IPA but ths is darn good.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ben for sharing! Poured into a tulip. Nice hazy orange color with a half inch head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is orange candy and mango, slightly sweet.

The taste starts out a little sweet and follows with orange candy and a hefty dose of bitterness to balance out the sweet malt.

The body is medium, and this is pretty refreshingly drinkable with the smooth carbonation.

Well I am happy to finally have some Alpine, I really want some more!

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at O'Brien's
A- Clear golden orange hue, minimal head that congregates to a cluster of foam in the center, sticky lacing
S- HUGE rye malts and bread malts, subtle citrus and grass hops
T- Taste is dominated by rye malts to an overwhelming extent (almost like eating a jewish deli sandwich), opens up to some grass and pine hops, finishes with a rye bread aftertaste
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture, highly carbonated
D- This is the most rye-heavy beer I've ever tasted, definitely an acquired taste that loses points for me personally (not a big fan of rye bread), the dominating rye appears off-balance and limits overall drinkability

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Photo of fehrminator
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I first tried this beer many years ago, the heavens parted and it instantly became my favorite ipa. This new version brewed by GF is a shell of its former self. Massive fail here. Dear GF, Please get your shit together. Thanks, Ryan.

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Photo of jrnyc
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What used to be a world class IPA when brewed by Apine is now a shell of its former self now that Green Flash is brewing it. If I was given a blind taste test would never guess this is Nelson. Shocked at some of the positive reviews here on the new Green Flash version.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Beer Company has a favorable reputation amongst BA members and even sports a few beers in the top 100, including Nelson. Since they don't make their way up to the SF Bay Area, I used a recent trip to San Diego as a great excuse to visit them in person.

Pours a somewhat hazy, medium orange color with a thin off-white head.

Prevalent grapefruit hoppy nose backed up by floral notes. Touches of pineapple, too.

Herbal hops mingling with a light malt spiciness. Minor presence of tropical fruity hops. Moderate level of bitterness. Lingering, chardonnay-like long dry finish.

Medium-light bodied with moderate-low level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't quite living up to its top 100 status, in my opinion. I'd take a Union Jack, Torpedo, or Stone IPA over this, no-brainer. Hop flavor/bitterness lacks variety and pungency. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not as good as it could be.

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Photo of Rayman
3.61/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a chilled 16 oz glass, the bottle itself was just pulled from my refrigerator at the said temperature. Yellow golden hue that is transparent with a very light head.

S - Smell was very pleasing and a strong citrus aroma which can only be described as piney and grapefruit. The smell of this American IPA alone makes my mouth water

T - Having the privilege to try a lot of IPAs this ranks up there really well. Its not your average IPA, that being said the initial taste goes in well, but after it is sharp. The taste of rye really comes in that instance. It feels as if your mouth puckers a bit and just wants to keep drinking.

M - Mouth feels a bit puckered, perhaps because this is where the grapefruit characteristic comes out. If i were describe this after taste. I think it is what gives the characteristic of the grapefruit used and that gives it a personality. Which is strong flavorful and tad bitter like a grapefruit

O - This is definitely a must try because this beer will not disappoint the IPA enthusiasts. It will definitely be a plus if you do like grapefruits.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.62/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this beverage came with a bit of reputation in the sd area, as many of the breweries visited informed us we'd be mistaken were we not to head over to alpine. when i arrived, they struggled to determine what order i should taste in, but were convinced i should finish with this unique beverage. the nelsons have an arrayed aroma and flavor, it was like having a bite of something colorful off of someone else's plate when they weren't watching and you didn't pay attention to what they ordered. playfully citrus with an angry spice contributed both by the hop and the rye. i'm not sure what to make of this beer, but i'd like more to try. it's kind've like a rhinocorn. i don't know if it's even real. a fun and spicy rye.p.a.

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Photo of wdberkley
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm hoping I just got a bad bottle. It looked gorgeous in the glass, smelled like I was in for an awesome hop bomb, and then I tasted it and it was nothing but burnt malt. No citrus, no hops. I was totally let down. Will seek out again and revise my review if the second go around is better. (should be noted it was in a green flash bottle)

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Photo of jmasher85
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I would classify this beer in the category of "great American IPAs that I don't really love." While Green Flash's and Lagunitas' IPAs were the beers that turned me on to the style with their complex, juicy, yet gentle flavors, this one is more in the other direction. A hint of fruity flavors with a lot of bitter grapefruit basically drowning them all out, I'm not really sold on the Nelson Sauvin hop as an aromatic. Not a ton going on here, just a lot of bitter, rich hoppy resin.

Now the texture is a whole 'nother thing. Tons of foam, but it's thick and gritty like sea foam, not smooth and velvety like nitro head. Lots of resin and hop oils give a great, sticky texture that sticks around for a while into the dry, bitter finish. But overall, not a beer I need to go back for when I've found so many others I like. Oh well. Sorry to bring down the ratings, boys.

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow with a durable white colored head that leaves a temporary coating on the glass.

Aroma: Hops, with hints of pineapple, grapefruit, starfruit and other tropical notes.

Flavor: Fruity, slightly tart, and only moderately bitter at its peak. Moderate complexity. The hop flavor builds over time but nevers becomes harsh or overbearing

Feel: Light-medium body with near medium carbonation.

O: a distinctive IPA. Recommended.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.
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