Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
NelsonNelson
BA SCORE
4.44/5
Outstanding
4,130 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#188
Reviews:
832
Ratings:
4,130
pDev:
8.56%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,363
Gots:
668
Trade:
17
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,130 |  Reviews: 832
Photo of womencantsail
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up at Walnut Liquorette yesterday, although the price tag was a bit of a turn-off, I've been wanting to try this one for awhile.

A: Nelson pours a clear, light golden color with a very thin layer of white foam and great lacing.

S: These Alpine IPAs (Nelson and Duet) have an amazingly sweet, fruity hop character that I rarely see in IPAs. Tons of tropical and citrus fruits and not much in the way of malt, but a hint of spice from the rye.

T: The initial flavor is piney and bitter, with a ton of grapefruit. The back-end of the sip features a bit of malt, rye, and that great tropical fruit on the finish.

M: There is low carbonation, and a medium body.

D: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. The excellent fruity hops make this so delicious and leave you wanting more. But at 7.1%, you need to watch out, as a bomber of this can do some damage.

 873 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.23/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

 629 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Mauerhan for the trade! 22oz bomber into a Foothills pint glass.

Nelson Rye pours a straw-golden hue with a hefty dose of particulates that jumped in with the last few ounces. Good carbonation level fuels a bone-white head that retains quite well and leaves behind some seriously impressive lacing. Tangerine and grapefruit zest absolutely dominate the aroma, with a subtle hint of rye, pale, and caramel malts in the background. Some spicy, earthy yeast notes if you dig deep enough. Amazing nose.

Wow. Wow-freaking-OW that's good! Huge blast of spicy rye and bitter hops lay the smack down on the front of the palate, dropping notes of citrus peel, white pepper, and tons of hoppy goodness. The slightest hint of band-aid esters is all that keeps Nelson from a perfect "5". However, the mouthfeel is flawless, with a crisp, well-carbonated medium body that finishes smooth and dry, but still manages to come off as refreshing. Solid, solid beer. A+

(Edit: Re-tried thanks to weibull. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I remember, and the beer was bordering on under-carbonated, knocking the mouthfeel from a 5.0 to a 4.0. Still, a wonderful IPA.)

 1,165 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at south bay drugs.

A - Poured copper golden with 2 fingers of white head. Dissiaptes moderately and left little lacing.

S/T - Rye, roast toffee, grapefruit, citrus and resiny pine. Lots of resinousness.

M - Moderate in body, hop-dominated and finishes smooth. Something is a little off in this beer. The combination of hops give the finish a somewhat chalky mouthfeel.

D - Good overall. Definitely worth trying.

 426 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery during my San Diego trip last week. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info but since got at the brewery it's gotta be fresh and well handled. It was a slightly hazy golden color with tinge of orange. Good carb streams and good lacing. It had a massive white head that very slowly settled into a foam. Very similar in appearance to the Duet from them that I had last night.

I believe this is my first beer with the Nelson Sauvin hop so no priors to compare it to. Floral hops, lots of rye and some grapefruit. No pine though. I enjoyed the Duet aroma much more but this is still good. The taste followed the aroma with the hop and rye sharing the spotlight. But kick in at the start and race to the finish and end in a tie. Finish is smooth and not bitter. Mouthfeel is solid with a creamy texture. Carb levl was good in this one so better mouthfeel than the Duet.

Overall, an good AIPA that I recommend. Not sure if it was the nelson hop or the rye or the mix of the two but I didn't love this one like I loved the Duet and Pure Hoppiness from them. During my trip, I got to try a sample on tap at the brewery so this was my first real taste of it. Rotation: not avail here. While I enjoyed this one, if I'm going to get some Alpine shipped to me I'll stick to the others from them. But if in the area and can get on-tap, it would be worth a pint.

 1,396 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, hazy golden body. Thin and bubbly cap of ivory white froth. Lacing comes in sporadic thin rings. Aroma brings bright layers of pink grapefruit, lemon zest, MJ, apricot, tangerine, etc... This is one great smelling beer. This IPA has nice balance between bitter and flavor in regards to the hops. Neither overpowers the other. Bitterness is fairly clean and refreshing. Flavor brings a lot of citrus and a little pine too. Not quite as bright and juicy as the aroma led me to believe, but rather, a little rough around the edges, which isn't all bad in an IPA. All of the original suspects are still around to varying degrees....grapefruit, orange, lemon, etc.... This is an interesting IPA and an interesting hop for sure.

 728 characters

Photo of GregSVT
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtsey of MASPuros...thanks Mike!

A: Poured a golden hazy color with a small white head that fades to nothing and leaves a small amount of lacing.

S: Nose is all piney hops with a small amount of tropical fruit in the background. There is a small rye component to the nose but it's barely detectable although it does show up a bit more as it warms. It also get more fruity as it warms and I get a big passion fruit aroma.

T: Taste is all pine bitterness like the nose with a small fruity flavor on the finish. The rye adds a spicey kick towards the end of the finish as well. The fruity sweet flavors get more pronounced as you let the beer warm. I can actually taste the passion fruit that has been mentioned now that it has warmed and the bitterness is all but gone. Very interesting flavors and a big change from right out of the fridge to about an hour later.

M: Feel is par for the style. Creamy and the carbonation is just right.

D: I would have this again but I'm not sure if I'll search for it too hard. The 7% isn't bad and could make me want a few bombers in one sitting.

This is good but I may be tempted to reach for other offerings before this one again. If you like rye in your beer this is one to try though. Let it warm and you will be greeted with a very different beer from when it's cold.

 1,327 characters

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pop of the bomber, recent release picked up by a really swell local BA. Slight chill haze, white grapefruit juice without the pulp. Pretty darn clear golden orange, on the golden side. Fluffy white head in my Moonlight nonic. Lace immediately sticking to the sides while milky way bubbling settles in.

Stong aroma of passion fruit, young pine sap, tart citrus, dash of honey. Somewhat earthy yet very dynamic. Distinct rye smell...so nice.

Crostini cracker pop until the onslaught of hop power. Huge wave of piney grapefruit rind. Tart hop flavor, with a solid block of maltiness allowing the hop flavor to shine brightly. Slight chalky hop bite, and I like it. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel with a twinge of citrus in the back. Lingering dryness.

Quite hearty & complex which continues to remind me, never judge a book by it's cover.

 840 characters

Photo of gford217
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear light golden amber with a big fluffy white head that hangs on for quite a while and leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is wonderful, with massive pithy grapefruit, floral pine and grass up front. The rye spiciness is evident as well and it really makes this more original than most in the nose.

The taste seems to be a little less citrusy than the aroma. There is some grapefruit up front, but the sweet malts in the backbone are much more evident than in the aroma and finish is very spicy with the rye and bitter with pine resin and pineapple.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated, but the rye makes it smoother than most IPAs and I think it adds to the feel overall.

This is another great IPA from Alpine, who has never disappointed me in this style. They are clearly making some of the best IPAs out there and I'm pumped they're bottling more of them. Highly recommended...obviously.

 950 characters

Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Super clean and bright gold with a ton of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass creating a lingering 3 inches of soapy white foam head.

S: Grapefruit aromas with a subtle rye note

T: Grapefruit notes with a bit of pininess and a slight hint of smokiness and soapiness in the finish.

M: Medium body with a lingering bitter note that is slightly off putting

D: Easy sipper for sure and the bomber was gone before I knew it

 440 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy light golden color with a nice loose foamy white head that fades slowly leaving a good amount of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is off the charts!!! Really enjoyable aggressive fruity grapefruit orange resin character. Full flavored, the grapefruit taste bursts out and pretty much hides the rye-factor. However, I do sense that the rye is adding to the mouth feel and seems to extend the impact of the resin aftertaste. This is one heck of a nice drinker. Very enjoyable; reminds me some of Pliny. Huge thanks to radshoesbro for the opportunity.

 563 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Finally, in the bottle. Almost clear, light honey/heavy straw. Near white head, though not much of it and it reduces to ring fast. Some thin sticky lace.

S - Sticky pine. Almost skunky, pot like in smell.

T - Nice fat malt obliterated by grapefruit hops. Yum.

M - Medium body, nice carb, great balance with heavy elements.

D - I could do a few for sure. Yeah, Nelson in bottle!

 386 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a bright golden color, moderate ivory head with decent retention and great lacing, fairly cloudy

s - you can really smell the spiciness of the rye on the nose, mixes in nicely with the big tangerine and grapefruit aromas from the hops, very unique smell

t - big bite of citrus up front with clear notes of grapefruit and tangerine rind, the mid-palate has a nice amount of sweetness to go along with the bitter citrus, finish is where the rye really comes into play with a good dose of spice mixing nicely with lingering bitterness and grapefruit, not too much alcohol evident

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, quite dry on the finish, not much by way of alcohol warming

d - pretty interesting and unique flavor and aroma keeps me wanting to finish the bottle, not too harsh on the palate, though it is dry, alcohol is not all that evident

Great stuff, all around. Great to see Alpine starting to bottle a few more of their offerings.

 956 characters

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. into a snifter

P: Brilliant gold with a pearly white head of thick, tightly-packed foam that showed excellent retention. Once it finally evaporated, it formed a thin film of foam on top and left some spotty lacing behind.

A: Wow! Hops just rip open the nasal passages with a fresh and vibrant citrusy goodness that smells like there's a freshly-cut piece of grapefruit in my glass. As it warms, more of a tropical fruit presence comes out that turns up the dial even more on the pleasure factor. Next in line is a bit of floral and pine to deepen the complexity. While the sweetness of the malt is hardly even noticeable, the spiciness of the rye is, even if it is decidedly more subtle than I'd like. This is in the elite class of IPA's as far as I'm concerned!

T: Citric blasts of primarily grapefruit, along with tangerines and pineapples are the initial sensations my palate is greeted with, as the biscuity malt underneath is used as a springboard for the hops. Some spruce-like, oily pine gets in the mix after the initial wave, while some more tropical fruit deepens the profile and broadens the complexity. The rye doesn't add the brilliant amount of spiciness that Hop Rod Rye does, but at least it's flavor isn't as subtle as it was in the nose and does tingle the tongue a bit on the back end. Oily, slightly grassy, and impressively bitter on the moderately dry finish. In my opinion, the flavor doesn't come close to matching the magnificence of the aroma, but it's pretty good nonetheless.

M: Alpine's Nelson Rye is a medium-light bodied beer that offers some stickiness to coat the mouth with. But, it feels a bit thin and watery in spots and doesn't offer any creaminess due to the relatively low amount of C02.

Notes: I have a feeling that this bottle isn't doing the beer justice when compared to the draught version. It seems like the flavor might be able to match the nose, and the amount of carbonation would be improved to give it that slightly creamy feel that I love in my IPA's. Seeing as how Alpine just starting bottling these beers, I wonder if they are still fine-tuning the bottling line because the carbonation seemed a bit off. This doesn't replace Hop Rod Rye as my favorite rye beer, but it will become a staple in my beer diet, for sure. Quite nice!

 2,297 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 1,113 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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 francisweizen
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sunny day
grass and hay

liars club
beer and grub

aroma clean also hoppy
little bit of rye, but it's kinda sloppy

Taste is hoppy, rye is small
is this a Rye IPA at all?

Finish is pretty much the same

Taste like duet, with a bit more burn
Alpines folks have got to learn

 273 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 869 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden body. Moderate white cap, decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: Clean light lemon-citrus hops. Fresh grassy. Pronounced rye.

T: The combination of citrus and grassy hops are so clean and refreshing. Not overwhelming, but very pronounced rye flavor. Definitely the best "rye" beer I've had.

M: Slightly thinner than I would prefer. Refreshing and crisp finish though.

D: Goes down so good. Incredibly drinkable. Could go for another growler easy.

 466 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Toronado 22nd Anniversary.

A - Clear golden with a lasting white head.

S - Aroma is pale and rye malts, grassy/floral hops, and maybe even a little bit of the "wacky tobacky" (intentional corniness).

T - Pale malt, grain, great spicy rye, and fresh citrus/floral hops. Not really much caramel malt, if any at all, but this is a good thing as it causes the hops and rye to be showcased more.

M - Body medium, palate crisp and fairly refreshing.

D - Very high. This beer is solid.

 490 characters

Photo of breals
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a beautiful beer in all aspects. I love the color, probably the lightest IPA you can find. It has about 7% ABV which gives the body but it's still a "light" IPA. The one aspect that sets this beer apart otherwest coast IPAs is that it doesn't have a harsh bitter finish, this might be due to the New Zealand hops.

This is my new favorite beer. I'm lucky enought to live 15 miles from the brewery and I go there bi-weekly to fill my cache of growlers.

 460 characters

Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado 22nd Anniversary Party. Comes in at 7%. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a very clear golden yellow with some orange tints. It has a small white head that sticks around. A tad bit of spotted lace is left on the glass.

S-A great fresh hop aroma. The Nelson hops impart a combination of citrus and hay that is very pleasing. The rye also is a little apparent.

T-All of the citrus components are noticeable very quickly. I pick up on mango, pineapple, and some pine. The rye used gives it a nice spicy finish. Not very bitter.

M-Medium bodied with a pleasing soft level of carbonation.

D-This is one easy drinking beer. It is blended so well that palate fatigue does not come on quickly.

I finally got to try an Alpine IPA that is not Pure Hoppiness and I was left impressed. The combination of the Nelson hops and the rye gives this a unqiue flavor that still fits in perfectly in the IPA family.

 926 characters

Photo of kbm
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I ordered a pint of Nelson on tap at Toronado in San Diego.

Appearance: Copper with a bit of yellow hue. Thin head fast dissipation. Good lacing. Looks great.

Smell: Creamy ripe mango with strong basilesque hop overtones. Man the smell is so tropical but still maintains a respectable hop character.

Taste: Creamy mango with great hop presence but not overly bitter. The rye is present. Hop flavor sticks to the palate but not in an oily way.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Insanely drinkable with a creamy mouthfeel.

This was a pleasant surprise.

UPDATE: I had a bottle of the a recent batch of Nelson. The bottled version is vastly inferior to the tap version, IMO. Overwhelming rye and none of the tropical flavor. If you've had it in the bottle and were not impressed, try the tap. Not changing the review because I believe the tap version is a great beer and a number of reviewers are picking up those tropical flavors in the bottle - maybe I just had a bad bottle.

 1,010 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from the brewery on release day. Gold with a lasting white head. Super green, dank, spicy, grape, and mango hop aroma. Awesome. Smells like no other IPA that I've had, yet is unquestionably one of the best hop aromas that I've ever come across. The flavor has a similar light toasty malt to their other IPAs, but with just a touch of rye spice. The hop flavor is all there, but is not too bitter at all, just very dank, fruity, and juicy. The body is on the light some with smooth carbonation. I know that this is at the peak of freshness, but damn this is amazing. Unique and just awesome all around.

 609 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev -2%
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.

 576 characters

Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.44 out of 5 with 4,130 ratings