Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

825 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 825 | Ratings: 4,066
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.

 839 characters

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!!

 190 characters

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.

 601 characters

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.

 200 characters

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.

 687 characters

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.


 444 characters

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.

 754 characters

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.

 859 characters

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.

 554 characters

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.

 327 characters

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.

 345 characters

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.

 746 characters

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!

 408 characters

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!

 581 characters

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

 294 characters

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.

 191 characters

Photo of TimZebGir
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 2/3 - Slightly hazy pale yellow with medium bubbly head that hangs around for a real long time
S 10/12 - Pretty strong tropical fruit, pineapple dominating, but pretty solid grapefruit, too.
T 18/20 - A very solid sweet presence throughout, the pineapple coming throughout with a mild bitter hang, and a little spice on the finish...maybe that’s the rye?
M 5/5 - Bubbles lead to dryness that keeps me coming back for more
O 8/10 - Such a shame that it took me so long to get to this beer, an ancestor of what has become a genre: the tropical fruit IPA. If only pineapple sodas would taste like this (and have 5% ABV), I’d start drinking sodas again. For now, I’ll enjoy this Alpine.

 698 characters

Photo of JHouse11
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious. Great aroma, huge Nelson character. Incredibly clean flavor. Pure west coast IPA. Wow, I'm glad to see that Green Flash has continued the excellence set forth by Alpine with this one. I will be picking this one up whenever I see it. No complaints here, give it a try! Cheers

 289 characters

Photo of BigGold
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First had from 22-oz. bomber, stamped best by "24 MAY 16," poured into nonic pint. Once again I'm left wondering if the Alpine beer I'm drinking here in the Deep South is the original beer that earned its stratospheric ratings here and elsewhere.

 247 characters

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

Pours a hazy peach with a two finger white head. Aroma is big citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruits, white wine/white wine grapes. Flavor follows with citrus, white wine, a zesty quality for lack of a better word, and a spicy bitterness from the hops and rye. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, perfectly carbed for a rye ipa. Overall, not always a fan of the stigma that Alpine has, but this is a damn fine beer that I would happily drink again.

 445 characters

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer looks excellent in a glass. It pours a murky yellow-orange with a fizzing white head. Lots of bubbles streaming.

There's not much on the aroma, which is fine. I care more about the taste. At the most I get pine and grapefruit.

This beer stands out because of this flavor. I guess it's the rye that adds that wonderful extra somethin'. I get piney hops, orange rind, and a kind of dry hay quality. Also there's this greenery-type thing going on - like flowers or grass - it's good. It's very refreshing and bright.

The mouth feel is a perfect medium-light with just enough carbonation to make this beer very refreshing.

This is one of my favorite IPAs because it's unique. I'm assuming that's from the rye, but Alpine also just makes some great IPAs. Cheers!

 775 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.99/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. best by June 18th, 2016.

A: really hazy. extremely pale. wouldn't mind a touch more clarity here. head is off white and frothy. decent lacing and retention.

S: green floral hops, soft tangerines, sticky hop oils.

T: honey sweetness and flavor. citrus, grapefruit, pine, hop resins. wheat like graininess behind. bitterness is low and not lingering by any means. hoppy, hoppy, hoppy.

M: a little extra body, but still drinks lighter than all hell. medium body I guess but could go light.

D: similar to most hoppy things from alpine this is super easy to drink will being very aromatic and hop flavored. the hop character is a little light for me as I prefer a more sticky resinous character, but still a well made beer. ive had Duet a couple times and find the rye adds a nice touch of complexity.

 810 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Fantastic lacing.

S: A sweet, alluring aroma of hops, citrus, and other light fruits.

T: Tasted of a good amount of hops, some rye notes, light malt, citrus (grapefruit), mango, and some other tropical fruits. A balanced flavor that's not too hoppy or too sweet. Very fruity and focused.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is another excellent West Coast IPA. It's quite well made and definitely easy to drink.

 628 characters

Photo of zimm421
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white head. The nose is tropical and fruity, with a touch of maltiness. The taste has notes of mango and orange and decent malt undertones. The feel is smooth and the finish lingers on the palate. Overall, it's a good IPA but doesn't blow me away in any aspect. Nice and fruity, goes down easy and very drinkable.

 347 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: cloudy yellow with a finger of white head
S: citrus hops with a rye backbone
T: big rye then some citrus hops. Bittering finish. Not my to my tastes.
F: smooth, and the flavor hang around for a long time.
O: many others that are better and more available.

 259 characters

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,066 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.