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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 aasher
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a recent box from BrewerB, thanks for hitting this Want Brian!

It pours a light tinged gold in color, light in body, with a one finger frothy white head. It smells of clean grapefruit, pineapple, light soap, with a light citrus finish. It's really nice. The flavors are a combination of clean piny hops, soap, light citrus, and it has a light yet bitter finish. Still very solid. It drinks very light and smooth and has nice flavors that're both appealing and easy to come back to. This is a very approachable IPA. I'd put this in the Blind Pig ballpark. It's a nice IPA and I'm glad I could try it.

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

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice slighlty hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, HUGE thick creamy/foamy white head, with lots of thick creamy/foamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, citrusy, with some slight pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, malty, with some citrus/pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty IPA. Glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of dvmin98
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bomber poured into a Allagash tulip glass

A: Appearance is cloudy orange with a thin white head. Good lacing, that sticks around for several minutes.

S: The aroma is pineapple, rye, tangerine, mango, and some spice.

T: Taste is spicy rye, tropical fruit, white wine. Nice lingering aftertaste that's not overpowering.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation, dry finish.

O: Overall one of my new favorite IPAs. Grab it if you can find it. Well done, Alpine!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to sample a beer made with Nelson Savin since they first hit the market. Lightly hazy, it even has some floaties from the growler, the beer is a light, copper color and it is topped by a ring of wispy, light tan colored froth. The aroma is quite distinct, certainly hoppy, but not as I have ever smelled before. It is quite herbal, with a note reminiscent of garlic chives, some musky hemp notes, and an almost woody grass-like note that can be quite pronounced at times. There is a fruitiness from the hops too, and with all of the herbal focus, it is not too far of a stretch to say this is like Sauvignon Blanc. It even has a touch of cattiness to it as well as notes of unripe grapes, lime and even some grapefruit if you really dig for it.

Very weird flavors here; certainly quite distinct in its hop character. The hops contribute a definite catty note to the flavor that almost leans towards cat litter (though not nearly as bad as that sounds). Strongly herbal hop notes contribute flavors of pine tar, woody-rosemary, oil-laden hemp seed notes, basil and something that is quite, distinctly, reminiscent of a herbaceous flavor that I just can't quite put my finger on, but is so apparent that I can't figure out why I can't put a name to it. The beer is fairly light on the palate, and definitely is perceived as being quite dry. While the herbal notes seem to dominate, there are significant fruit-like flavors contributed by the hops as well; flavors of slightly acidic, under-ripe, green grapes, kefir lime leaf, star-fruit, and a tart citrus character mix in, and somewhat mitigate the herbal notes. As to the malt notes, well this is definitely an IPA, and they only play a supporting role here; just barely noticeable under all of the hop influence. The bitterness is not over the top here; it is at a nice, contributing level though and helps to clean up the finish.

This is certainly a fascinating hop, it is quite different from any other hop variety that I have direct experience with. Very interesting, and very tasty, I definitely could do with more of this beer. I have a feeling though that these flavors would get old if I encountered them at such levels on a more regular basis. The hop character (both the aroma & flavor) is so musky; it is makes me think of the essential oils of a mix of herbs. I am not sure if it quite works in the IPA format, but could definitely see using it in some of the lighter colored Belgian-styled beers. Definitely well worth it though, and I am still quite exited to use this hop in my own brewing.

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

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pt 6 oz bottle on November 13, 2015. Best by 21 Mar 16 printed on bottle. Look is golden, two finger head and lingering lacing. Smell is grapefruit. Taste is white wine and fruit. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

I love Hop Rod Rye and generally like any rye IPAs so I was very excited to try this. Appearance is a translucent golden copper with a massive dense white head that slowly fades but never completely disappears and leaves sporadic sheets and streaks of lacing. Grapefruit, mango and mild pine hops dominate the aroma with some light caramel malt and rye balance, nicely balanced but not overly impressive. I really enjoy the flavor and balance of this beer. The front of the palate picks up grapefruit, citrus resin, pine, and mango. Moving back the palate the mild malt body is present with some slightly spicy rye. Mouthfeel is medium thick and smooth with fine, sharp carbonation that slowly asserts itself. Overall a very nice Rye IPA, not quite as bold as Hop Rod Rye, but definitely one of my favorite Alpine beers so far.

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

On-tap at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a vibrant yellow, with a full foamy white head which leaves generous lace.

S: Notes of rye, sweet malt, grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Rye is clearly evident with a spicy undercurrent which works well with almost herbal and at times and citrus notes of the hops. There's like a tropical fruit salad, orange, sweet wine, lemon, mango, very interesting.

M: Smooth, creamy, lots of carbonation, medium-bodied.

D: A nice beer from Alpine, a joy to drink, but I wasn't as blown away with it as I was with Duet, but a very good effort nonetheless.

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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 Georgiabeer
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Toronado San Francisco anniversary fest. I really, really liked this beer. I've been an Alpine fan for a while, and I think they do a great job with their hoppy beers. I love the zingy, bitter hop onslaught on this one coupled with the spicy rye, it just really works for me. Poured golden with a wispy head, but very nice continuous lacing. Very fresh tasting herbal hops in the nose, quite a bit of dill aroma that I get from the Nelson Sauvin hops sometime, and a bit spicy in the finish as well. I just love the taste of this beer. Lots of herbal hops followed by lots of pine, pretty much my favorite hop situation. Long, tangy, spicy, piney, and herbal. Beautiful interplay between the spicy, slightly sour rye and the hops. Very bitter and long in the mouth with quite an austere malt profile. This is a delicious beer, but its a mouthful.

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

App: Dark orange-gold and hazy, with a smallish, quickly settling head and lots of sticky lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Big, fresh aroma of grapefruit and grass with a subtle, spicy rye note underneath.

Taste: Follows the nose, vivid citrus hoppiness, fresh-cut grass and pine, the rye is buried in there, just peaking its head out in the finish. Booze is nowhere to be found. Subdued bitterness underneath it all carries into the aftertaste a bit. Modest sweetness with a very reserved underlying malt character.

Mf: Medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean, yet smooth and just a wee bit creamy. Long finish is spicy and bitter.

Overall: A truly phenomenal beer. Preferred it slightly on tap, with its lower carbonation and fuller mouthfeel, but you can’t lose with this one. As good as anything made in this style without a doubt. Had a hard time not guzzling this one down like a racehorse.

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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 John_M
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'brien's the other night.

The beer pours a light peach color with OK head retention, but very good sticky lacing. On the nose the beer is very citrusy and spicey. In fact, there's almost a speeramint aspect to the aroma that is intriguing. The flavors on the palate generaly replicate the nose, though there's not as much spice. In fact, the beer has a fairly light mouthfeel and is almost a bit watery. On the other hand, this beer is very drinkable, and it's really difficult for me to believe the abv. is over 7%.

I thought this a nice beer, but really nothing all that special. If I lived in the San Diego area, I doubt I would ever order this again, as there are just too many other delectable options to choose from around here.

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

Bottle generously shared today Isaac, thanks dude.

Pours a golden light amber, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing. It's hard to discern lacing in a plastic cup, but whatever.

Smells real delicious, I get some grapefruit, grape, orange, rye, a bit of honey, and a moderate level of bitterness. As per the usual for Nelson hops, the hop flavor is slightly reminiscent of white wine. I wish I had more and more of this.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp, and slightly spicy mouthfeel, with a medium level of carbonation.

This beer deserves the hype it gets- it's really tasty.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up by my buddy ArthurPendragon. Consumed on 10/11/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is transparent straw golden with a creamy one inch head. Retention is good and a little lacing is scattered.

The nose is floral with prominent bitter grapefruit and a little orange pith. Pine notes are evident, as well as grassiness and a touch of mint. Malt imparts a low level of sweetness and the rye contributes a decided spiciness. When it warms up this beer smells so damn good and light tropical notes are apparent.

The taste opens up with bitter grapefruit and strong rye character which lends spicy notes. Other citrus notes are of orange and a little pineapple. I get just a little pine in the flavor. The beer has a bit more sweetness than Alpine's other IPAs but it's fitting. Bitterness is at an upper medium level and alcohol is faint.

The beer is upper light bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. To be honest the bottle could have used a bit more carbonation, but maybe it's just me as I typically prefer higher carbonation on IPAs. This is a fantastic beer. As of now I prefer this beer on tap.

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Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color comes in a surprisingly bright hazy lemon yellow with a 2 finger white fluffy head. Almost looks like a wheat ale because of the haziness and yellow, almost like yellow Gatorade color.

The aroma has pungent juicy sweet grapefruit, orange, tangerine. A nice bready malt in there as well. Some mango and pineapple.

One could write paragraphs and paragraphs about this beer because of the complexity of flavors. The flavor follow with some bright floral, sweet melon, honey dew, sweet grapefruit. Then moves onto a hint of spicy rye, white pepper. Then a honey sweetness and lightly toasted bready malt. The finish has grassiness, astringent grapefruit pith, a bit of pine and resin. Mostly drying and some bitterness. There's a theme of white wine character with the sweetness.

The general theme of this beer is a hoppy grapefruit bomb with a gentle bready malt, light body, and fresh flavors throughout. Certainly one of the best IPAs I've had.

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Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber received in a recent trade courtesy of mbudner. Thanks again man!

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy, pillowy white head with good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Dank oily hop aroma with lots of dry earthy pine needle along with some sweet citrus notes, rye and subtle malt character. It smells like there is some incredibly fresh hops with a good bit of sweet citrus peel and grapefruit but the dry piny scent dominates.

Very well balanced dry, sweet and bitter medium body that is slightly earthy with a lot of uber fresh juicy hops. Lots of dry earthy pine up front that is quickly balanced by a nice citrusy lemon peel/grapefruit character, sweet rye malt and graham crackery malt presence. I was hoping that the rye would be more pronounced but it was a bit subtle providing nice balance. The ABV is excellently masked resulting in a complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable IPA.

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Photo of JohnParadee
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Surprisingly light yellow/orange color (thought it might be more cloudy & orange, based on smell). Relatively thin fluffy white head, which dissipated somewhat quickly. Lots of tiny bubbles, and good/sticky/even lacing throughout the quaff. On the nose, strong pine dominates over grapefruit/orange citrus notes. There is a distinct dankiness to the nose, which becomes all the more prominent upon first sip. As the beer settles and warms, the beer becomes more hoppy/piney/dank and less floral/citrusy on the palette, which is fine by me (that's how I like them, although a little more balance would be preferred here). Mouthfeel is full and coating. Alcohol burn is subdued until final points of the finish. All in all, I liked this very much. A very good example of West Coast style (reminds me a little of Sucks in that regard). Duet is better, but Nelson is a close second. Nice work, Alpine!

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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 barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a slightly hazy golden orange with good carbonation with a promising creamy like white cap, bubbles and moderate lacing. I did spot a little bit of hop oil sticking to the glass

S: Very nice and aromatic. A hefty dose of orchard citrus and tropical fruits; mainly pineapple, mango and orange zest with a light bread, slight pepper and even a touch of honey??

T: Flavorful indeed. The immediate thing I notice is balance. There is a nice breadiness to balance the truckload of hops poured into this. Initially my taste buds get a big passion and tropical fruit blend (kiwi, light pineapple, mango, white grape) with a little green characteristic. Like I would expect a liquid jungle to taste like. The finish is sweet, pretty dry and lighly bitter. Did I say pretty balanced?

M: Medium bodied, sweet, fruity and bready. The rye presents a bigger beer than what you would expect.

O: I can see why this beer is coveted. Also, rye is a love/hate and I seem to find it a difficult task to find one I routinely enjoy so I think mixing rye and Nelson hops together takes balls. Alpine has big balls. Well done but a tad but overrated and hyped. Yeah, i said it.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orange body with one finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma that is both citric and grapefruit hop infused along with some spices and possible touch of citric acidity and sourness (I assume the Nelson). Medium bodied, rather a more grape/tropical fruit like sweetness but balanced with both dry hoppiness and dry, bold malts (I assume this is the rye). A really enjoyable IPA that doesn't fit the norm and has a little bit of everything.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale straw colored gold, foamy head settles to a comfortable pillow of fluff on the surface, tight lacing. Nose is cantaloupe, grapefruit, passion fruit, and pineapple hoppy aromatics, more pine as this warms, with spicy caramel malt in the finish. Taste is light melon, grapefruit and heavy pine, strong bitterness with a softer finish, light caramel malts and rye spice. Bright palate, mouthfeel remains light, very drinkable.

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Photo of akorsak
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a growler.

A: The IPA is a golden yellow color, radiant while retaining a hazy complexion. I don't have any notes on the head, so it wasn't that memorable. One of the palest rye beers I've seen.

S: Heaven in a glass. The Nelson Sauvin hops are lemony, sharp and and sweet. Surprisingly, they aren't overwhelming, allowing rye bread to share the stage. I can't spend enough time on the aroma, full and intoxicating. The hops are damn-near perfect.

T: The rye is most flavorful at the tail end of each sip, expressing a spicy bread flavor that is restrained. It's there but not in your face. Prior to the rye, the Nelson Sauvin hops run wild, all lemony citrus and herbal. Surprisingly, the hops aren't overdone in the ale. Rather than dominate, they create a moderate flavor burst that showcases then steps aside. That allows the nuance to be more fully enjoyed. Bitterness following the rye accentuates more herbal lemon. A great sipping ale.

M: Balance is the key to this IPA. The hops, while plenty flavorful, don't scorch the palate. The rye is a nice accompaniment.

D: A top notch IPA. The Nelson Sauvin hop should be used in more beers (wishful thinking). A stunning nose and solid body. More, many more, please.

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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 Bitterbill
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, says it is 7.0%abv.

I flipped over Alpine's Duet so I'm anxious to give this one a go. Purchased from South Bay Drugs & Liquors and shipped quickly to me by Joey. Thanks you, sir!

A hazy light golden colour, I get a 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing. It doesn't look spectacular though I *do* like brews with a bit of haze in them, for the most part.

The smell nearly knocked me on my arse with the huge grapefruit hoppiness.(a good thing;) I get some tropical fruitiness as well and some serious spice eminating from the use of rye. I don't think I smell any real malt character other than a really really faint sweet note. No probs.

The taste is big grapefruit and the spicy rye flavours up front and in my mouth. Ha, betchya thought I was going to say face. lol.

The bitterness is very big but there's *something* there to hold it back enough for me say it isn't over the top. I guess the rye mixed in with some fruity tones and a mild malt sweetness is doing *that* job and they deserve a damn raise. Especially the rye. The more I sip, the more flavourful it gets and the finish, though bitter, may be the highlight of the session. Me hearts this brew. I'll go ahead and say it...Nelson Sauvin hops from NZ rule!

Medium bodied, carbo is just a tad below medium, I'm thinking this has a great, smooth feel to it.

Drinkability? A pretty average abv for the style these days is a major plus. Easily, one of the best and most drinkable American IPAs on the planet. Super thumbs up!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip a ways back, (from notes), I can't thank Rutager enough for the major want

A hazy golden yellow liquid with enough clarity to see a thick stream of bubbles floating up to a well sestained two finger foam that leaves a couple thick rings followed by big random patches

S massive tropical nose with pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit, mango, some purple candy, faintly catty, just a hint of bubblegum of all things, a tiny amount of soft caramel, spruce and pine round things out, just brilliant in this department

T heavy on the pine and spruce, a hint of spice but much of the tropical fruit flesh is replaced by rind, lemon mostly, still solid but a bit of a let down after the nose

M medium bodied, very gritty, has a sharp bitter bite, a little slick in the mouth, spice and lemon peel linger for ages

O one of the better smelling beers I can recall but it didn't follow through at that level in the mouth, I sound like I'm being hard on it though, I assure you its a great beer

I haven't had a beer in 3 months and needed a good welcome back and this one provided just that. Strange how much the nose and taste differ, this one came close to blowing me away but fell just a little short

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