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: 4,018
Photo of jmasher85
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I would classify this beer in the category of "great American IPAs that I don't really love." While Green Flash's and Lagunitas' IPAs were the beers that turned me on to the style with their complex, juicy, yet gentle flavors, this one is more in the other direction. A hint of fruity flavors with a lot of bitter grapefruit basically drowning them all out, I'm not really sold on the Nelson Sauvin hop as an aromatic. Not a ton going on here, just a lot of bitter, rich hoppy resin.

Now the texture is a whole 'nother thing. Tons of foam, but it's thick and gritty like sea foam, not smooth and velvety like nitro head. Lots of resin and hop oils give a great, sticky texture that sticks around for a while into the dry, bitter finish. But overall, not a beer I need to go back for when I've found so many others I like. Oh well. Sorry to bring down the ratings, boys.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (Green Flash emblem is clearly shown) into a Belgain Tulip.

For starters I've never had Alpine beers from the Source. I have only had versions of the Green Flash era Alpine brews. Yet this one is speaking to me. This brew pours nearly perfect IPA SRM, you know what I mean!? Sunset Amber with an opaque texture, clearly it's unfiltered (which makes me like her already, she's a dirty girl with dirty intentions). Nice cloud white foam crowns this beaut...she's gonna give plenty of lace!

Next step in the enjoyment of the brew, the aroma. She smacking some veins with that fruity vibe and dank hop resins. It's a mixture of white grape skins and a bit of that marijuana earthiness. The "dank" is kind of aggressive with its touch. Backend has some berry notes and a touch of dried apricots. This is pretty banging.

Da Flavah? First hits with that rye sweetness that, in turn, slaps some spiciness to the tongue...I like what she is Sayin now! Second wave is Hoppy Goodness nice and green. The flavors of the oils explore the senses. This grabs that Hop Resin vibe with some fruity undertones. Nice Passion Fruit , and Grapefruit stand out the most. Then the Resin comes back for thirds and isn't slacking either. In the distant backend there's notes of Dill...weird. This finishes on time with a smooth dryness and a balanced spicy/bitterness. Aftertaste of Grapefruit pith and Hop Resin. This brew feels amazing on the palate. Nice medium smooth body and tight but not aggressive carbonation helps the flavors to pop on the palate.

Overall: I don't care who did what here, this brew is Outstanding! No wonder the high acclaim it's a well brewed IPA that captures the Hop in a drinkable fashion. The malts are there and add body and enough sweetness to carry the oils in a superb fashion. I see this being a repeat purchase. This brew is Recommended.

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Photo of RJB66
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A real great tasting Rye IPA. Super smooth and easy to drink. No aftertaste to to stop you from wanting to have more. I'm glad I found the last two in the store. I recommend this beer if you happen by one.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle best by March 21 poured into an IPA glass.

A - Hazy golden orange with a fluffy two finger head that retains and maintains nicely.

S - Strong grapefruit. Pine.

T - Rye, grapefruit, A little bit of zing. As it warms it rounds out somewhat. Bitter finish.

M - Carbonation is medium low, fairly creamy for a beer this bitter.

O - First time seeing/trying this. Pretty tasty for what it is, which is a straight grapefruit/rye/ bitter bomb.

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Photo of wedge
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy yellow color topped with a thick, soapy white head. Smell definitely has that Nelson stank going on...oily herbal greenness, berries, peppercorns, grass, apricot, and general fresh hop zestiness. Flavors of herbs, white wine, floral hops, peppery orange, and pineapple sweetness. Medium bodied with a lingering bitterness. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.91/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rye IPA is a pale gold, effervescent beer that straddles the no-man's-land between hazy and cloudy; a brief-lived, medium pebbly off-white head leaves good, somewhat complex bands of lacing. The nose is moderate in intensity: pineapple juice, pine, sweet florals and more subdued citrus notes with slight alcohol overtones and a hint of body odor. Up front, the palate presents as bitter pineapple, pine/floral soapiness and a nutty bittersweetness. By mid-palate, the citrus character shows a bit, as does the body odor from the nose; the bitterness builds to a medium-strong level, offset a bit by a modest bready malt presence (I don't really pick up any rye character). The finish is balanced and closes out with a decent carbonation bite, followed by the onset of a nice strong resinous hop bitterness that lingers quite awhile. Mouthfeel is big for the medium body, and the texture is slightly creamy and moderately peppery from the fizzy-yet-restrained carbonation. (22 oz bottle, 98 days before best-by)

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Photo of exposd
3.69/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very unique Rye IPA that is now one of my new favorites! Pours a hazy golden/orange into a pint glass with a decent head and slight lacing retention as you drink this West Coast brew. The smell of this brew reminds me a Belgian style beer on the nose, but as you take a sip you quickly realize it's anything but a Belgian. This IPA style brew is packed with Nelson hops and is really an interesting and unique style and flavor profile as it's different than any other IPA type of beer I've tasted. Rye and Nelson hops are used in brewing and dry hopping double time!

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Photo of Beers-es
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a fresh growler, pours a light orange-gold, slightly hazy and with a greenish tinge around the edges. Head is a solid 2 fingers, dense and white with very fine bubbles. Lasts a long time and never completely fades. Initial smell is dankness, mixed with an herbal spiciness. Also a bit of ripe fruit and something like sweet hay. Taste is spicy, earthy herbs. Finish is bitter grapefruit and lingering spice. Feel is an outstanding balance of pleasing smoothness offset by prickly carbonation. Killer IPA, very unique.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a Green Flash bottle.

Pours bright light orange with a fizzy head that rises, but subsides. Smell is peppery, grassy, dry grapefruit. Big Nelson Sauvin nose. Taste is spicy rye with zesty dry grapefruit. Finishes smooth. Fizzy texture, but dense enough to be pretty slick in the mouth. Great spicy IPA, great use of NS hops.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy gold body. Large white head. Moderate lacing.
S - Hop forward, citrus, light spice, maybe from the rye or hops.
T - Excellent hop juice. Balancing malt backbone.
M - Medium body, medium card.
O - An excellent beer. My first Alpine brew and I can only hope the rest are as good.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into an IPA glass
A: Hazy light orange with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Lots of grapefruit along with rye and coriander
T: Matches the nose- grapefruit, rye, earth and spice
M: Medium-bodied, crisp, bitter
O: A very solid IPA; the spicy notes the rye adds up the amount of complexity making it quite tasty

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Orange, hazy, and not much visible carbonation. Head dissipates quickly.

S - Piney with an almost onion/garlic hint.

T - Aggressive woody, green pine bitterness with a mild alcohol taste.

M - Soft and still. Finish is short.

O - Definitely fits the profile of an IPA, and a good one at that.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This an outstanding rye IPA. Nice and hoppy and yummy. This is a top tier selection and I will actively seek out this brewer again. Hard to find locally here in Ohio.

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Photo of smcolw
3.33/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hazy gold color. Moderate bar poured head, which leaves streaks and spots on the glass.

Strong, nearly harsh, prickly grapefruit to the nose.

Equally extreme on the tongue...think sucking a hop pellet. The bitterness completely overwhelms the palate creating a dry, biting swallow and long, peppery aftertaste. The body is neutral with a corresponding carbonation level.

Imagine a horror film that features 90 minutes of violence in a 92 minute film. This a bit like that. If you are into this sort of thing, you'll love it. Otherwise, try this to get a sense of a purely hoppy, extreme beer.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Brassy golden color with a deep haze. Creamy white head retains well and leaves some webby lacing.

S: White grapefruit, mandarin orange, pineapple, star fruit, mild vinous white wine notes. Juicy as hell. Light whiffs of grass. Soft earthy rye and dry crackers malt.

T: Bite of grapefruit and grapefruit rind up front. Pineapple and star fruit. Tangerine juice. Mildly grassy. Sauvignon blanc. Stiff hop bitterness builds to impressive heights and is enhanced by the soft earthy and bitter rye flavors. Dry and crackery malt too. Bitter grapefruit and tropical fruit juice finish.

M: Medium-light body. Soft and creamy and a little airy/foamy. Good dose of hop astringency. Aggressively carbonated for a crisp bite.

O: The bone dry malt base adds some nice spicy rye flavor and really lets the hops shine. Excellent.

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Photo of wdberkley
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm hoping I just got a bad bottle. It looked gorgeous in the glass, smelled like I was in for an awesome hop bomb, and then I tasted it and it was nothing but burnt malt. No citrus, no hops. I was totally let down. Will seek out again and revise my review if the second go around is better. (should be noted it was in a green flash bottle)

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Photo of tsmith1nu
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am, generally speaking, a good person. I don't liter, I treat my fellow man with respect and dignity, I call my parents regularly. But sometimes I say to myself "If I became a ruthless dictator I could make the folks at Alpine open a brewery in my backyard." I have been lucky enough to stage a few of their beers here in North Carolina and Nelson is the third of their beers that I have tried and each one has been extremely good.
Do not pass this beer up.

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Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 04/20/16, Kudos for putting an easy to find date on the label.

Pale golden color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing coats the glass. Dank aroma with notes of tropical fruit and grapes. No sign of the malt. Very much one dimensional in flavor. Dank and tropical with notes of stone fruit. Malt serves no purpose other than being a hop delivery device and no sign of rye and no attempt has been made to add any sweetness. Deceptively light body with somewhat lively carbonation gives the impression of a smaller beer.

A hophead's type of beer. It features the Nelson Sauvin hop in an excellent fashion. An old school type of West Coast IPA that perhaps has been surpassed by more complex style of IPA.

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Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the (Green Flash) bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is clear golden yellow with a half-finger white head on top. Good lacing.

S: Odd nose. I get cat pee and white wine, with a touch of rye. It doesn't really seem to all come together, however, and frankly, it's not all that pleasant.

T: Lots of tropical fruity hops, along with that cat pee and white wine sensation again. Spicy rye noted towards the back end. Lingering lemony bitterness competing with the white wine taste and a touch of pine finishes it off. Heat from the 7% ABV is felt in the belly but not noted on the palate.

M: Medium in heft, with a slight oiliness to the feel. Carbonation is muted.

O: Not really impressed with this one - I think the hop profile just isn't in my "wheelhouse" (I tend towards the C-hops and what I guess are now the "traditional" American Pale Ales' and IPAs' flavor profiles.) Disappointed given the reputation of this one - and my excitement over finally getting to try it now that Green Flash is distributing the Alpine beers. Ah well, so it goes.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date of April 16th, 2016

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow with a white, finger width head. Good retention, then dissipates to to a thin, broken layer of surface suds. Not much lace, save a few spots around the glass.

Smell - Hoppy with almost no malt in the aroma to speak of. Tropical notes of pineapple and mango stick out over the citrus and pine. Distant spice.

Taste - Mango is the predominant flavor here, while pineapple, citrus and pine follow up to add complimentary character. Maybe a touch of green banana? Rye spice kicks in near the finish, adding black pepper bite that rides out with moderate citrus pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - On the plus side of medium with lightly bitey carbonation. Almost velvety texture on the swallow with a dry finish.

Overall - Pretty delicious hop profile, but the lack of balance is making it hard to finish this bottle. A bit of malt would go a long way to help break up the sharp, acidic hop attack that this beast displays. That I gave it the score I did is a testament to the amazing hop profile, but buyer beware that it is a double-edged sword.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-pours a straw yellow with a dense bright white head that lasts forever and leaves some lacing

S-tropical fruits and a slight hint of pine when first poured-as it opens the nose becomes more dank

T-tropical with just maybe the slightest hint of pine in the end-very hoppy and bitter for a standard IPA. A little dank as it opens and a slight malt backbone. There is a slight white wine characteristic to it. It is not incredibly complex just a hoppy west coast style IPA. I didn't notice the rye as much as I had hoped.

M-Pretty thick, but has a good level of carbonation

D-This is a pretty big IPA given the bitterness and alcohol content for the style. I couldn't drink more than this one bomber in a sitting.

Overall, this i is a very good beer. I don't know if I would say it is great, but it is a classic representation of the west coast style. I am glad I was able to try it, but I do not see myself buying a bomber again because I can get IPAs I enjoy as much, if not more, for a better price. Truly a must try for lovers of the style.

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Photo of BltByKrmn
4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Green Flash bottle with a best by 4/20/16 into a snifter.

If GF messed Nelson up, I can't fathom what the Alpine version is like. This is pretty close to a perfect west coast IPA.

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Photo of WellRested518
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- Hazy, unfiltered golden-yellow with hints of orange. A nice crown of head lasts for awhile showing frothy carb & steady lace.

S- The crowning achievement here. Big lemon, Passionfruit, Papaya, grapefruit, guava, pine, & a touch of rye. Reminiscent of white wine... even getting "catty" as it warms bit. Beautiful showcase of Nelson.

T-M-Not as show stopping as the aroma, but still quite exquisite. Here I get more orange pith, tropical candies, mango, and hints of rye than in the nose. The grapefruit & pine bitterness stays full throughout with a dry finish. A medium to light carbonation produces a soft & juicy mouthfeel that really lets the hop shine.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Green Flash bottle best by 21 Mar 2016

A: poured into an IPA glass to a hazed light orange with a dense one finger tan head that retains well and leaves great lacing
S: smells extremely dank with notes of resinous hops with some citrusy notes and rye spice with some malt sweetness
T: taste is grapefruit and resinous pine with some light tropical fruit and grapefruit rind with some light caramel sweetness and spicy rye. Swallow is a nice blast of oily citrusy hops and grapefruit juice with some lingering spice
M: medium in body with soft and slightly prickly carbonation and a huge oily fiinish from the hops
O: Dank and resinous West Coast goodness in a bottle. Probably a benchmark for the style and easily one of the best I've ever had. If you see this and like IPAs you need to buy it.

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Photo of Simont
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pale straw color, slightly off white head dropped quickly. Aroma is predominantly melon and that funky wine-like/ gooseberry fruitiness that Nelson brings. Slight honey malt and pepper-like rye on nose. Flavor is that same melon/ white wine fruit, but amplified. Passion fruit and pithy grapefruit also come through. Hop bitterness is on high side but I dig it. Malt character is clean, dry and a peppery rye is very noticeable. It works well here and adds depth to the hop bomb. Very tasty.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,018 ratings.
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