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: 4,063
Photo of jvgoor3786
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a howler on the day it was tapped. A vigorous pour produces a thick, creamy, light tan, two finger head on top of an orangish tan, slightly opaque beer. The smell knocks you over with fresh citrus and woody/piney hops. There is also a spiciness to it. The taste is bitter hops resin, and a woody, floral spice. The citrus comes through less on the taste than in the nose. The mouthfeel is velvety and smooth. Overall a great beer I'm happy I had the chance to try. It's a unique flavor.

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Photo of JLK7299
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love love love Nelson hops so I have been trying to get this for a while. Worth the wait. It can stand there with most northeast IPA's. Wish it was more readily available in my area!

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Photo of fireazzi
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the first beers I ever had from Alpine. They are probably over all my favorite west coast brewery for hops right now. Super hoppy super smooth too. Nice mix of rye and citrus hops going on with this.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had it on tap at the Dive Bar NYC. It poured an eye catching hazy golden orange color. It had a thumb nail length frothy head that retained nicely. The lacing also retained well and was sticky.
In the nose I got a nice scent of citrusy orange peel and grapefruit pith. Next, I became aware of rye bread characteristics. As the drink progresses, I become more aware of herbal and even dank hops characteristics. Overall, quite pleasing to the nose.
Going down the hatch, it feels smooth, initially sweet and citrusy. There are some bready and even slightly doughy attributes that provide a nice malt backbone. There is a white wine like dryness throughout. As the drink progresses, a nice moderate hops bitterness that is herbal, spicy and resiny. The body is medium but feels on the light side because it drinks so fast.
This is a delicious IPA.

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

On tap at a liquor store.

Pours a hazy sunshine gold. Nice white head.

The aroma starts with light rye which pokes through spicy malt and sharp, citrus hops. The dual rye/hop sharpness balances quite well against the barley.

Tastes like it smells: aggressive but very well balanced. Finish is sweet and alcoholic, with lingering honey against the hop resin. A very good high-strength single IPA.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer is a murky golden color that showed a big head.

Smell - Rye and citrus hops compose the nose.

Taste - The beer is very rye forward, but it is not over the top. Caraway seeds are almost detectable. The hops come into view with citric tendencies. The hops grow more bitter toward the back.

Mouthfeel - Witg the giant head, I would not expect any carbonation to be left. But there it was.

Overall - This has to be among my favorite rye beers.

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Photo of do_ob
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a snifter. Hazy golden in appearance with moderate translusence. Big ol' pillow head of white foam on top. Looks nice. Big aroma of hop resin, citrus, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, and a touch of rye spice. The taste is very citrus and rye/malt forward. A very nice hop bitterness creeps in middleways and takes the wheel, leaving this beer to finish like a true West Coast IPA. The feel is very, very smooth and creamy, possibly the smoothest IPA I've ever had.

This is very good. I've passed this up on the shelf before because of the price, but it's worth it once in a while.

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Photo of CHickman
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy orange color with bubbles clinging to the glass in the body of the brew, leading up to a 1-2 finger foamy off white head that was full of bubbles of all sizes , dissipating very slowly and leaving very good spotty foamy lacing. Second pour from bottom half brought out a much better head and left foamy rings as it went down.

Smells of pungent lemon zest, red grapefruit, clementine, yuzu and all things lemony, with a potent citrus hop aroma from the Nelson Sauvin. Some biscuit, toasted grains and crackers show up but get pushed aside by peppery spices, dry floral hops and rye. A whiff of coriander peeks through, and there is a good degree of balance, but this is basically all lemon and grapefruit in the nose with a nice helping of rye.

Tastes like it smells with the lemon, red grapefruit, clementine, yuzu and juicy citrus hops jumping all over your palate at first, then allowing some of the malt base to come through with biscuit, toasted grains and crackers. Some soapy fruit aspects like a rotting pineapple or guava come with the taste, along with faint caramel and graham cracker. The finale is the spices, pepper, dry floral hops, rye, coriander and other spices that are peppery like dry floral hops. The rye must be bringing those peppery spices and taming the bitterness a bit, which is still very high and a little too bitter for me. It's complex yet on the basic side, hiding the ABV beautifully.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with mild carbonation, a medium body that slides down easy due to it's thin nature, and then zaps you with bitterness before fading semi-dry and leaving lemon and toasted grains as the lasting flavors. Overall a very good beer, but I liked Hoppy Birthday and Pure Hoppiness better than this.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Wausau. The "best by" date says this one is good for another month. Poured right from the fridge into my Founders pint glass.

L: Pours a bright straw color, quite hazy, with about an inch of eggshell head that has some nice longevity and leaves significant lacing on the glass. Lively, profuse visible carbonation present.

S: Big tropical fruit--pineapple and mango, predominantly--and floral hop notes in the nose. There's also some nice grassy and melon notes, along with cracked pepper and wheat. Not exactly an assertive nose, but it's very inviting.

T: Cracker and bready malts at the front, with just a touch of sweetness. The hops come in with a rush of floral and tropical flavor--distinct, refined, and assertive, without utterly overshadowing the malt bill. Toward the middle, the flavor gains a distinctive grassy and wheat/rye quality which plays off the floral and fruit hops remarkably well. There's some cracked pepper and more earthy undertones there, as well. The back end continues the juicy tropical fruit flavor and the ongoing floral and grassy notes. The close takes on a resinous pine/grapefruit rind bitter that lingers nicely on the palate in the aftertaste.

F: Lighter-bodied without feeling in any way watered down. Smooth and bright at the start, a bit creamy in the middle, and decidedly bitter at the close. Nice level of carbonation. The bitter keeps it from being especially sessionable, but it still goes back quite easy.

O: This is definitely a special beer, and it's one of the few IPAs that I find myself called back to on a regular basis. It's lively, yet extremely well-balanced. It's very flavorful but understated. I can count on both hands the number of IPA I've had that I'd consider truly great: Nelson absolutely has a place among them.

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Photo of scbeerman
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this for a while but never got around to it. Finally found a fresh bottle so here goes nothing.
Pours an ultra-hazy gold, kind of like fresh pineapple juice, with a creamy white head that dissipates surprisingly quickly for a rye beer. Nose of muted grapefruit and pineapple and a very distinct rye graininess and spice. Nice but nothing terribly special. Initial taste is of vaguely tropical fruits and maybe a slight (possibly purely subconscious?) hint of Sauvignon blanc, but I'm wondering if I just imagined that because Nelson Sauvin. Follows shortly with the same rye grain note, quite prominent on the back end. Moderate bitterness, with a feel that is creamy and slightly juicy. Overall? This is a good beer and one I'd drink again. It is not, however, the mind blowing beer as the hype might have you believe.

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Photo of moundbz
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a wheat beer/hefe. Smells like mary jane. Real smooth with a not too bad bitter linger, Taste is not over powering, but real drinkable. Overall another solid beer from Alpine!!

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.86/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a very hazy goldenrod with a large, fluffy head. The aroma offers up strong lemon and lemongrass, caraway seed and some muted pineapple. The flavor is dry and savory, with the caraway and rye bread flavor playing a solid background role to the leading players of the lemony, lemon grass, lemon pepper- pretty much every lemon influenced spice - flavor, the muted, not to sweet tropical notes of pineapple, and a background hint of pine. The mouthfeel is fizzy and full. Overall this is a stellar beer. There was a lot of hype when these bottles came around, but this beer was worth it.

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Photo of danh53
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy, light yellow color with half finger head. Big lemon on the nose with some grapefruit and grassy hops. Lemon also comes through on the nose with citrus, bread, and spice from the rye. Nice IPA.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: light golden-yellow hue with a moderate haze and a finger of frothy white foam that lasts a decent interval. Attractive!

Smell: brightly piney and grapefruity hops with a nice toasty base. The rye and the prickly hop elements work very well together indeed.

Taste: much like the aroma, pine, grapefruit and maybe a little tangerine are the prominent hop flavors, and the rye adds a bready touch to the finish. What a wonderful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and an OK creaminess. I don't think you drink Nelson for its texture, though.

Overall: I could see myself drinking a ton of this stuff.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shut up Nelson, you had me at hello.

Bottle to pint glass. Look is clearish yellow, a touch of cloudyness. Above average white head. Aroma is lemon, grapefruit, touch of pine, some other fruits like orange, apricot show up later. Taste is Similar, touch of the metallic hop Taste, but not in a bad way. Stronger smoother tastes come out later, probably because of the rye.

Imho, this is way better than pure hoppiness.


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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So much all over this, blending reviews of the Alpine beer with the Nelson* from Green Flash after the cashout. Usually light orange with a full inch of white head. Aroma is a straight 5 when the Nelson hops are popping all funky, earthy, and aggressive. Everything Mosaic wishes it was!

Taste drops all that down under tropical and citrus funk vibe for you. Rye isn't much here except maybe providing more substance and color to the beer, you're not really gonna pick out any specific identifiers related to the malt/rye.

When this beer is right, its one of, if not the best bottled ipa in the world. Its phenomenal. Of course, its had some consistency issues getting dialed in, but I think its getting back up there in terms of its potential.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy yellow with a large foam head retaining a thick blanketing layer. It's not quite so much lacing as it is a wall o foam curtains clinging to all sides.

Very bright nectarine, lemon and even some fresh hop dankness on the nose, which I did not expect considering West Coast IPAs focus more on bitterness, and dankness isn't something I get in a lot of the beers from Cali. The flavors don't fall off from the aromas, and there's even a bit of Sweet Tart in there as well.

Since everyone has been down on Alpine since the Green Flash acquisition, this was a pleasant display of defiance to all that noise. I admit I'm not aware of what this tasted like before the transition, but it's tang and dry but juicy characteristics have me wondering if it really is all that different from the original recipe. Even if it is, this is a darn good, drinkable IPA.

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Photo of delta490
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque gold with a big cap of foamy white head. The head has great retention and leaves trails of small sticky lacing. The aroma is good, with light floral and citrus hops notes balancing against each other. The flavor is much the same with an additional malt that isn't really noticeable but holds up the hops, which are more prominent in the taste than the aroma. The body is just the right weight, hitting that sweet spot of having a little heft but not being too thick for its flavor. There is just a slight bite from the hops on the finish.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden yellow. Smells like cotton candy, lime soda, black pepper. Taste of citrus and reminds me of a hoppy wheat beer. Aftertaste is bitter like citrus rind. The rye is subtle and blends well with the hops. I thought this was going to be a malty ipa but so much more fruity and complex than I expected. I'll have another.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep yellow color, moderate clarity. Bright white head that retains well. The aroma is citrus, tropical fruit, dank. The taste follows, with the dankness and rye pronounced on the aftertaste. The body is medium with a moderate-high carbonation. A bitter, balanced finish that lingers. Very impressed overall, a well balanced, very enjoyable IPA.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden-amber haze with a medium thick foamy white head. Good retention and lacing left behind. Citrus and dank hop aromas right up front. Slight resin hop tinge in the back ground. Smells like good things are going to come. Taste is incredibly well balanced, with fantastic notes of citrus, dank hops, and a splash of orange and lemon at the end. Fantastic. Mouth feel is smooth and filling. It has a great consistency to it that makes it feel like it could be served as a dessert course on a summer picnic, or downed pronto after a mountain bike ride. Overall, stupendous. Love the packaging on top of everything else. Just wish I could have it in 6 packs of cans or at least smaller bottles to take camping.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of HEaD_Beer_Dover
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kinda of biased because it is my favorite IPA in SD and I can go to the brewery anytime. I'm finally reviewing it because Green Flash is now making this beer for Alpine, which I had my reservations. After drinking a few batches, I can honestly say it taste the same as the original that I've come to enjoy many years ago. It is definitely a must try especially if your new to the craft beer scene. Cheers!

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Photo of deaddear
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, stamped best by June 2016, poured into IPA glass.

A: Beautiful golden color, pours clear but carbonation is so widespread and steady that it looks hazier in the glass than it actually is. Three-fingered head settles into a finger of pillowy foam, eventually subsides to about an 1/8" spread uniformly on top.

S: Passion/tropical fruit, white wine, bit of pine sap

T: Strong pine flavors, wine-like tartness, and then strong, sharp rye maltiness. Long, enjoyable finish.

M: Super silky body with plenty of carbonation.

O: Amazing. Wish I had bought more of this!

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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 Motleydrunk56
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber poured into a anchor steam glass.Smell is a strong grapefruit.Taste is a grapefruit maybe pineapple mix.A lot of bitterness.Overall a solid IPA but I believe a little over rated.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,063 ratings.
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