Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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4,136 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 4,136 |  Reviews: 833
Photo of Stoneman78
3.55/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at O'Brien's
A- Clear golden orange hue, minimal head that congregates to a cluster of foam in the center, sticky lacing
S- HUGE rye malts and bread malts, subtle citrus and grass hops
T- Taste is dominated by rye malts to an overwhelming extent (almost like eating a jewish deli sandwich), opens up to some grass and pine hops, finishes with a rye bread aftertaste
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture, highly carbonated
D- This is the most rye-heavy beer I've ever tasted, definitely an acquired taste that loses points for me personally (not a big fan of rye bread), the dominating rye appears off-balance and limits overall drinkability

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Photo of sfoley333
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Pizza Port (12-8-07). Poured into a pint glass a golden color with an egg shell white thick foam head. Smell is of rye bread mixed with slight citrus overtone. Taste is oh my god good...light malt mixed with dank pot pine taste all blended up with a mixture of pineapple and rye. Mouthfeel is light with smooth carbonation level. Drinkability is high with my first pint gone in 60 seconds, dont taste the alcohol and I could drink this beer everyday for years. The best APA I have tried but I really think it is almost more of an IPA mixed with APA mixed with the color and body of a hefe. Great job alpine now lets put it into bottles.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: I must admit, I enjoyed the aroma far more than I have enjoyed anything else that is, or has ever been, placed in front of my nose. Very aromatic aroma of juicy oranges and pinapples, freshly cut grass, and what reminds me of either minced garlic or shallots.

Taste: Light, fleeting malt flavor and sweetness upfront before a bright burst of juicy hop flavors, zesty orange rind and pineapple rings. Full notes of white grapes and garlic (or is it shallots). Hint of damp grass. All in all, there's only a very reasonable amount of bitterness. Finishes decidedly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's really great smelling stuff! I had to be restrained from pouring out the growler onto myself so I could continue to smell this beer for days and days to come.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
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 Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks like cheap airplane orange juice...cloudy, sort of yellowish. The head even looks a bit like pulp, chunky and webby.

S: Over the top smells of rye. Also some orange and grapefruit

T: Packs punches of specific flavors. Begins with massive grapefrut notes then moves towards some sour crab apple mixed with rye. From there the flavors meld towards dried hay. Finishes with lemon rind bitterness.

M: Medium body, mouthfeel is sort of hard.

D: Interesting brew. Definately original and worth checking out.

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Photo of oggg
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Liars Club

This brew is a terribly hazy deep yellow hue with a white wispy head. The aroma of peaches, lychee, flowers is unmistakable. On the tongue it is juicy, with loads of hop flavor -- the intensity of which almost rivals a spicy saison! The bitterness level is mild to moderate -- it won't twist your tongue like Wipeout IPA for example. The rye is barely spicy, very mild, but contributes a lot to the middle. Smooth and ridiculously thirst quenching. The abv tastes like 3%! Light to medium bodied.

Overall: oh gawd, I must learn to brew this... a brilliant (rye) APA, and another brilliant beer for Alpine

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

Nelson Rye IPA on-tap and cask conditioned at O'Brien's today...This is an IPA, definetely not an APA as listed, but what the heck...who really cares?

Served in a pint glass, a very yellow-straw gold with a 1/2" white foamy head and some very sticky resinous lace...looks like liquid gold! Very cloudy, much like a wheat, but it's rye.

The smell is delightful, grapefruit orchard and a pine forest mixed into one. Very aeromatic and refreshing essence...just makes you want to taste it!

The taste mimmics the smell, full-blown grapefruit that turns into a pine wallop, a classic IPA flavor with character and a unique balance that finishes clean and crisp.

The alcohol is very well masked in this medium bodied ale of bliss. Too easy to drink as well as a hot weather pleaser. You don't want to miss this one...another winner from Alpine!

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Photo of Bartzilla
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the brewery and filled up the growler. Excellent beer. Very fruity, but in a grapefruit kind of way. Looks like orange juice. So clean, refreshing, and goes down easy. I could pound this stuff all day long. One of these days, I will.

I always look forward to new beers from Alpine as it seems they can do no wrong. The sleeper beer hit of San Diego. Great job.

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Photo of rayjay
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bistro's IPA fest last saturday. All New Zealand hops, not sure of the variety used.

Very unqiue. Bright yellow and hazy, almost like a hefe; reminds me of sunsine in a glass. Unfiltered with a capitol "U." I love it because it's a totally different color than any other of the 50 IPA's here today.

Taste/smell is awesome. The hoppiest beer I had that day, but let me explain: not bitter hoppy, rather they captured the essence of the hops more than any other beer I've had. Really really citrusy, with lots of grapefruit, but also lemon zest and kiwis (sorry!) with some pine (more like fir) and white pepper too. 65 IBU's and really smooth, with a relaxing, enjoyable bitterness that shares the aftertaste with the pungent fruits which hit you in the sinuses. Not british tasting hops, not over-the-top bitter US hops, but a totally different vibe that I'm having trouble describing.

Body is almost like a wit beer. Very pale rye must have been used for this to turn out so bright colored and smooth. For contrast, BR's Hop Rod Rye is dark red/brown and has a heavy malt body.

A great drink that really stands out, both for the grains and the hops used. Good luck finding this one, but do not pass it up!

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Photo of stoner420
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap

Straw yellow, cloudy, with a white foamy head, medium carbonation

Smells of hops, pine, citrus, grass, faintly of rye and grain

Tastes great, lots of hop tastes, but balanced really well by the rye and malt, finishes a little bitter.

Mouthfeel is good too, not too heavy, not too watery, very drinkable hard to drink just one, so many interesting flavors happening.

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Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy light golden yellow color. It boasts a huge thick fluffy white head, with a slight yellow tint. The head fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a strong citrus hop aroma. It smells of lemon, and orange. It smells slightly sour also. A slight piney aroma is present.

This beer tastes slightly sour. Not like a lambic, just subtly sour. It has a citrus flavor. Orange is dominate, with some lemon mixing in. Some piney hops are present, but only slightly. The rye flavor is quite appealing.

This beer is very smooth. It is also very crisp and refreshing. It leaves a citrus aftertaste. Almsot a lemonade like aftertaste, just not as sour.

I think that this beer would make a good session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, at 7.2%, but it is very well hidden. I could drink this all day long. Since I have a growler, I probably will.

Overall: As usual, I am not let down with Alpine Beer Company. This is another winner to add to the list of great Alpine brews.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.44 out of 5 with 4,136 ratings