Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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97
world-class
4,075 Ratings
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NelsonNelson
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
alpinebeerco.com

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
Ratings:
4,075
Reviews:
825
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
8.68%
 
 
Wants:
1,360
Gots:
660
For Trade:
17
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,075 |  Reviews: 825
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deliciously rounded and profoundly unique with malt flavors of caramel and butterscotch balanced with citrus and winy notes- Nelson delivers the familiar wash of IPA flavors, but with a unique twist here and there to create intrigue and identity.

Pouring a firm orange camel color, the beer carries the standard hoppy hazy that allows only a mild glow to penetrate. Very well headed with a creamy egg shell white foam cap, the beer's froth retains remarkably and laces the glass with left over traces of foam. It's a sturdy looking beer.

Rich and zesty aromas seem to alternate from malty caramel in one whiff, but orange marmalade the next. Notes of herbs, grapes, citrus, and tropical fruits continue to emphasize the fruity-hop dominance of the ale.

Flavors are full of caramel, butterscotch, honey, and crisp grain as the barley makes a moderate impact on flavor. But what makes it's mark is the hops. Starting citrusy with the taste of grapefruit, freshly zested oranges, and a light mango flavor; the beer also weaves in the slightly woody flavors of white wine, juniper-gin, and sassafras for a truly unique counterpart to the ordinary citrusy-resiny hops. But the resin quality comes into play in finish with a decidedly bitter finish of drying hops, alcohol warmth, and light mint.

Medium bodied, the beer's early creaminess is quickly sheds, in favor of fleeting caramel malts, high hop bitterness, mild grassy astringency, and sappy closure. Only a linger of grapefruit bitterness reminds me of how dry the beer is and encourages a quick visit to the glass, much sooner than it should.

Although the beer has a lot of classic and intelligent characteristics that set it apart, the mild buttery taste gives the hoppy ale a rounded and rich taste while the winy hops give extra acidity with a somewhat twiggy taste. Likely considered flaws to some, the moderate tones of these properties give the beer more intrigue and seduction than they do deterrents.

 1,967 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta Pilsner pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Alpine yesterday. Expectations are very high; I've had it before on-draft and loved it. I'm a huge Alpine fan.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I had this side by side with Alpine Duet for comparison.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, nice cream, pretty good hickness, okay lacing, and above average retention. Colour is a clear translucent vibrant pale yellow. It isn't much to look at, but I'm looking forward to trying it. No yeast particles are visible (not that they should be for the style). No bubble show.

Sm: Piney potent citrus ester hops. Some floral character. Hop oil. Very hop-laden, but the lack of bitterness in the aroma suggests good balance. Clean malts provide the foundation; I don't detect any rye. A rather strong aroma. I could smell it before I poured it (and my nose is broken). Much more piney and oily than the Duet.

T: Quite piney, with some citrusy and more minor floral impact. Light grapefruit citrus. Little bitterness - to its credit. The rye comes through a bit in the flavour, but the foundation still seems to be mainly pale malts. I suspect rye wasn't the primary grain used. It's well balanced in terms of both flavour and structure, but it's actually rather simple (at least in comparison to the Duet); the hop character is well layered but lacks true complexity. It has good depth of flavour, however. The finish is my favourite aspect due to its somewhat refreshing quality. It's a good IPA for what it is. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I'm impressed by the balance in particular.

Mf: More dry and coarse than I'd expect. I blame the rye, but it's nicely complemented by the refreshing feel of the pale malts. The roughness in the second act makes the smooth wet finish that much more refreshing. It could be more crisp, but it complements the flavour profile very well. Not as soft as Duet.

Dr: It's a very drinkable IPA and hides its above average ABV quite well. Would I get it again? Definitely, but preferably on-draught. This will please fans of the style and is more balanced than most IPAs. Rye was an interesting choice here. Another incredible IPA from Alpine.

Having had them side by side, I have to say the verdict is in: I prefer Duet.

A poor candidate for aging. Drink Fresh.

Drank fine out of a pilsner glass, but a conical pint glass is recommended.

Would pair well with spicey food or an aggressively dressed salad.

Probably best on-draught.

B+

 2,694 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a green tea tinged amber with modest head; some lace

Smell: Clear out the nostrils with these hops (pithy, grassy, pungent kaffir lime, basil); just lovin' the Nelson Sauvin

Taste: Opens crisp and clean with a quick dive in the hoppy direction; all of the complexities of the Nelson Sauvin (grapefruit, pineapple, vinous Sauvignon Blanc, basil, kaffir lime, tropical fruit) jump into the fray, along with the spicy rye elements as well; after the swallow, the beer finishes clean, fruity and bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: I have been looking forward to trying this one for a while - just a supurb beer

 660 characters

Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber with a finger of creamy off white head. Decent retention.

Smell: You can definitely tell they used Nelson hops. Juicy, citrus hop bitterness, hints of pineapple and grapefruit rind. There is some spice from the rye as well.

Taste: This is a really tasty IPA. So complex, but still really hoppy. The Nelson hops are so unique. Citrus peel and herbal notes with spice from the rye. Bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of light carbonation and a very slight dryness in the finish.

Overall: Super complex and very good. I would drink this all night long if I had more.

 685 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for the generous hookup!

Into a Duvel tulip, it's a murky greyish brown, but orange in the light. A sticky halo sits inside the glass, with a broken skim after a few minutes.

Grassy, herbaceous, and citrusy in the nose. Pungent hops and a hint of rye spiciness. Flavor is similar, intense yet balanced with plenty of malt and rye flavors lending sturdiness under all the hop greenery. A somewhat sweet cereal grain that reminds me of a local hop bomb, Daisy Cutter. Hop bitterness is firm and moderate, carrying long into the dry finish. Body is on the light side of medium with ample carbonation. Easy to drink, Nelson is another West Coast stunner from Alpine...

 683 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden/yellow color ale with a large foamy head with excellent retention and some really good lacing. Aroma of floral hops of mango, Sauvignon and papaya is just ab out perfect. Taste is also dominated by loads of fresh floral hoppy notes of mango, papaya and Sauvignon. Light residual sugar notes can also be detected and bitterness is very minimal. Body is about average with good carbonation. Can’s say I really tasted the rye malt so much but the hops flavours are just about perfect.

 513 characters

Photo of largadeer
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A vigorous pour from the growler produces two fingers of head that clings to the glass impressively. Hazy, bright and golden, this could be mistaken for a hefeweizen.

Smell: Huge juicy tropical fruit and white grape with a kick of spicy, earthy rye. Nelson hops have a very perfumy, fruity, floral character that helps set this beer apart from Alpine's other heavily-hopped pales; combine that with a twang of rye and you've got a beer that's unlike anything else out there.

Taste & mouthfeel: Spicy, earthy and zesty, like rye bread with orange marmalade. Floral, fruity hops blends beautifully with the rye. Malty sweetness is minimal, but this is loaded with flavor. Finishes dry and earthy with mild bitterness. It's hard to break new ground with IPAs these days with it being such a saturated style, but Alpine has managed just that.

Overall: World class, probably my all-time favorite IPA.

 910 characters

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

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but was traded fresh. Pours moderately hazy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big mango, passion-fruit, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of tropical/citrus hop notes with a fair amount of malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, passion-fruit, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, grass, light honey, bread, light rye, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible balance and complexity of bright tropical/citrus hop notes with light-moderate malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible IPA! Fantastic balance and complexity of tropical and bright citrus hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and extremely smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,485 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego in August 2009.

A: Pours an orange-gold with a white head.

S: A little bit of rye behind plenty of citrus and tropical hops.

T: Lots of hops going on with a little bit of rye in the background.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and little alcohol feel.

D: Quite drinkable. Not nearly as good as Duet or O'Brien's IPA, but very good stuff.

 389 characters

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.

 1,109 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed very light golden with a full one finger white head atop.Big tropical fruits in the nose along with a bit of sweet onion wich is more prevalent on the pale,very fruit forward.That sweet onion I talked about comes into play upfront on the palate along with a bit of grass,some sweet caramel/biscuit malts as well.A very good beer but the sweet onion flavors seem to really take over the beer after awhile,again it's very good.

 439 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,075 ratings.
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