Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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NelsonNelson
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
819
Ratings:
3,989
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
19.18%
 
 
Wants:
1,370
Gots:
636
For Trade:
21
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Reviews: 819 | Ratings: 3,989
Photo of shrek806
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer blidly into a Surly Darkness snifter:

It pours a beautiful honeu amber with thick sticky lacing and prominent 1/2 inch head.

The nose is floral, with citrus overtones and a musty grass smell to it.

The taste is hoppy and citrus right up front with tastes of grapefruit and tangerines. The finish is slightly musty with a little "funk" going on and a nice bitterness on the swallow.

The mouthful is lively and refreshing with a slightly oilly finish

This beer has super high drinkablity in my book, But hey, I'm a hophead. A- for me

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

22 oz Bomber poured into a snifter. Thanks to LieutenantSour for hooking me up with this one.

(A) Pours a clean, golden, almost light copper color. Some burnt orange hues around the edges of the glass. Not much of a head as it diminishes extremely quickly. Leaves lacing.

(S) Pine, grapefruit, hops, and honey all greet the nose immediately. Light malts, sugars, and some other citrus notes such as orange and lemon peel follow.

(T) Different. It's a great mix of a golden ale and an IPA. The hops aren't as in your face as they are in the nose. There is a lot more of the sweet, light caramel malts at first, followed by some honey, and then you get the hops more in the middle of the taste.

(M) Kind of has a bit of a grain to it, but finishes smooth and crisp. The bittering lingers for a bit. A solid medium body.

(O) Solid golden IPA. Has a good amount of flavor that is well balanced in sweetness and bitterness. Has a cooling crispness about it that is quite refreshing. It's not like a lot of IPAs that I've had in the past few months.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy golden with a very small white head with good retention.

S-Pineapple and grapefruit, some sweet malt. Very nice.

T-Plenty of hoppy citrus goodness, nicely balanced by a solid malt base. Quite tasty indeed!

M-Medium bodied, slightly oily.

O-One of my favorite hops, one of my favorite uses of it.

HV

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

Alpine Nelson
Pours a nice brass brown color, fairly transparent, slight haze. After a fairly aggressive pour a half finger of soapy bubbly head appears, nice white color that stays around for a good while, lots of spotted lacing, really pleasant appearance. Nice big nose, bitter earthy hops driven by the rye spice laden Nelson Sauvin hops power themselves forward. Citrus and tropical fruits come through as well with faint biscuit malts at the end, well balanced and very rounded. Rye leads the way on the tongue, bitter hops come in as well, but this is bursting with citrus and pineapple flavors at the finish. Mango and the faintest of malts are in there as well, the rye flavors really help balance the hops without taking away from the bitterness and let this shine as a massively hop forward ale. Very smooth and juicy in the body which plays well with the citrus and tropical flavors that are so prevalent.

Verdict: Superb IPA from Alpine, I feel like I've said that a few times, but they make some seriously hoppy goodness down there in Alpine. This is one to stock up on.

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Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep amber, almost bronze/brass, with a slight haze. white head that leaves a bit of lace. nose is nelson for sure... fruits like grape, pear and melon mix with grapefruit, citrus and grass while playing with sweet, spicy rye and blending with a slight caramelly undertone. taste follows suit while evoking memory of "dank". not cellar dank... cali dank. hate to be cliche, but the juicy goodness in here is really reminding me of mj. the taste is well-balanced, and flavors pop out and shine for a second, then go back and blend while something else pops up. not muddy, just full of nelson. at times i'm also definitely reminded of why this hop is called nelson sauvin. lovely. medium body with no bad aftertastes. gripping bitterness that opens up the palate to the rye and other sharp flavors that are toying with the juicy, fatty flavors of fruit. overall, another very fine beer from alpine with a very, very fine name!

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No noticeable bottling date.

A real interesting body color, a very dark brass and polished brown, but slightly hazy. Head forms very nicely with some good lacing and retention, lots of clumpy circular rings, a very nice white color. These nice white bubbles come from the bottom to make the head.

Nose is interesting, mild grapefruit, extremely deep. Dank, mushy and floral with some strong grass. I'll admit this is quite unique but I am not exactly a fan of this nose, it's a little confusing if I could say much going on.

Taste brings some decent pleasure. A real wonderful great vinous texture, more like white wine, certainly as it says, very JUICY feel. The nose gets much larger, bolder, bigger as the tasting commences. Obvious hop angle, but scents and tastes seem to go all over. Almost kind of earthy and dirty after awhile, malts don't seem to become noticeable either.

Overall it's impressive but I don't think I am a big fan of this one. It's very good but I would probably choose something else, this seems a little excessive and all over.

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Photo of slentz
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brett for this bottle in our recent trade. Served at 50 degrees. Split into two tulips.

A: Easy pour leads to about a fingers worth of nice white head. Really nice lacing here with a couple floaties but seems like that is just the yeast. Nice golden straw color...looks really nice. 4.5

S: Smell is awesome. Really nice hops and fresh fruit, little bit of grass but lots and lots of grapefruit and citrus. This beer smells super delicious. 5.0

T: Really enjoying this beer, tastes awesome. Lots of super fresh hops with really nice bitterness. Just the perfect amount of sweetness. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is very nice carbonation is spot on and this beer leaves a really nice hop resin throughout. 4.5

O: Overall I really really like this beer. Tons of super fresh hops and great smell. Alpine hit a home run with this beer. Really glad I got to try this one and will be looking for more at any chance. 4.5

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Photo of tjkinate
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really can't wait for my visit to the brewery in a few weeks.

A: Golden colored brew topped with a single fingered, creamy white head that exhibited solid retention and lacing.

S: Hops were more prominent than expected, but followed nicely by the rye and some tropical fruit. The bready notes were slightly detracting from the overall experience.

T: Tropical fruits upfront with a hint of spice, rye and bready malts follow. Very unique flavors here, unlike any other IPA I've tasted to date.

M: Medium/light, well carbonated.

O: A very good IPA, will definitely be having again, hopefully on tap during my visit.

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Photo of Anaz
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Bruery Tulip

A: Wow, beautiful gold color. The bottle says golden IPA, and it lives up to the description. Big, fine white head, dissapates fast, and leaves lacing down the glass like I've rarely seen. Faint haze.

S: Juicy, tropical, floral, faintly grapey...instantly got my mouth watering in anticipation. A winey/Sauvignon Blanc aroma opens up along with tangerine and candied lemon zest. It's really too much for words. The best aroma from an IPA I've experienced yet.

T:The flavor nearly lives up to the aroma. Loads of guava, cherimoya, spicy honey, citrus. Hop bliss in a glass, with a clean bitterness and just enough malty sweetness to leave a pleasant counter to the lingering hop bitterness. This beer tastes almost as good as it smell, and finishes almost too cleanly. The rye comes through more as it warms, and the sweetness comes to the fore on the finish, so it's best to drink this one before it gets too warm, but it's so good, it's a shame to drink it too fast.

M: Medium-light body, faint carbonation, I would like it a bit higher. There's a slight oily feel, which I kind of expect from a beer with this much hop presence.

O-This is an utterly fantastic beer, and as stoked as I was to have found it, I was still blown away. My only real complaint is that I know I won't find it next time I look for it, and the drive down south will surely become more and more tempting as time goes by. If I was able to drink it on a more regular basis it would be fast favorite.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
5/5  rDev +14.2%

- 22 oz. bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 22-Nov-11
- 22 oz. bottle poured into Firestone Walker pint glass on 20-Oct-12

Much grapefruit up front and lingering honeydew at finish. Get some pineapple as well. Similar piney front as Just Outstanding, but opposite finish; smooth and flavorful. Wet texture. Bottle notes that the Nelson Sauvign hops are from New Zealand and have a white wine quality to it. I think this very aspect is what draws me to the beer. Crisp and refreshing.
Would and could drink this all day!

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Photo of HosP
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got from a very generous Scottfrie. Poured 22oz into snifter.

A- Pours almost a golden orange. Slight haze to it. Thin white head.

S- Lots of citrus, grapefruit in the nose. Grapefruit all the way from beginning to end. Some bready notes from the rye.

T- Grapefruit hoppy flavor up front, but not to strong. Some citrus hops blend well to the middle. Bready, rye flavor comes through in the middle to the end. Starts out with mild bitterness, but the rye cuts it down pretty fast. A little thin though but still good flavors.

M- Not quite a medium body. Lower carbonation.

O- Good beer here. Nice juicy, hop flavors with a nice rye mix to it. Smooth drink, something you could drink a few of these pretty easily. Would love to have another one. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of Centennial
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into pint glass

A. hazy honey yellow, 2 finger head with excellent retention. A lot of sandy-like sediment floating around leads to a opaque appearance.

S. Bready Rye, lemon zest, pine and tangerine

T. Bitter pine hits first and then followed by rye and a spicy finish.

M. Crisp and clean but with a nice body, slightly grittiness come intermittently as you drink this, but still smooth.

O. I really enjoy this, I feel as if this bottle is slightly off from normal though and missing some of its "pop" will re-review shortly.

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Photo of Dspohn
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes. Purchased back in 2010 from a recent shipment which had arrived at Hollingshead Deli in Orange so I could confirm it was nice and fresh, and it did not disappoint.

This beer currently edges out the competition for my favorite IPA to date. A great looking golden beer with a bit of haze and solid white head that left a bunch of sticky lacing.

Explosive hop freshness, honestly it has an aroma and flavor profile that I find to be completely unique in the world of IPAs. A crazy combination of super juicy tropical fruit hops with a delicious spicy edge and just enough malt for support to balance things out. Ideal bitterness for my personal tastes. Something about it reminds me of the first Blind Pig I ever had which is the only other beer that I recall having this particular sort of zesty sweet and bitter fruit quality that I have trouble describing. Unfortunately the blind pigs I've had since haven't really had this character for some reason.

Any way you look at it, this beer has an outstandingly good hop profile that just perfectly fits my palate. I'm confident I could identify this beer correctly out of a line up of 10 top IPAs everytime. Alpine makes some damn fine IPAs and this one's my favorite.

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Photo of cbutova
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly brought back from the brewery on 10/27/11, consumed 11/10/11 with Chico1985. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a golden yellow into a pint glass with a big, frothy white head. Good size and head retention. Thick webs of lace coat the glass where each sip stops.

S- Juicy tropical fruit hops right off the bat with a sweet peach feel as well as orange juice, canteloupe, grapefruit. Not much else but this is hops used to perfection.

T- Impressively follows the nose, the hop profile does not change drastically as with other IPAs. Grapefruit, peach juice, citrus and orange notes all the way.

MF- Creamy light body with smooth carbonation. Slightly bitter aftertaste which allows the hop flavor to really shine nicely.

Great use of late hop additions to get a West Coast profile to be reckoned with. Not over the top, smooth tropical citrus IPA.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

Straw colored with some haze to the body. Decadent lacing and a head that sticks around for the duration of the session.

Biting grapefruit and orange zest on the nose, with some hop resin beefyness to it. Pale malt and a touch of rye brings in some of the malt, but there isn't much. Some mango, pineapple, and guava in there too.

Big grapefruit and other citrus zest open up the beer and linger with hints of pale malt and some of that rye spiciness again. Those nice tropical fruit flavors poke their head in again and offer some balance from the bitter zest and spicy rye. Fantastic stuff.

Soft on the tongue with a crisp thin-medium body.

Oustanding zesty citrus flavor with pale malt, some bold rye, and tropical fruit flavors. This is probably my favorite IPA of all time. If it were available here, I'd drink it nonstop.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major props to Huhzubendah for sharing this- Thanks Matt!

Review from notes:

Pours a beautiful light, clear, gold color w/ a one finger white head. Very clean and clear in appearance. Some of the best lacing I've seen on any beer.. period... I got grapefruit, citrus, pine, hops and pineapple on this one. Very balanced all around, and one of the nicest IPA's I've had the pleasure of trying. Taste is out of this world, w/ rye, floral tastes, and malt being added to the nose profile. Super smooth and balanced. Feel is super smooth and satisfying- w/ a hops/rye aftertaste. Overall, this is one of the best IPA's I've ever tried. I'd drive hours to get this if I could- Highly recommended! Cheers.

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Photo of nc41
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I drink is IPA's, and it's been a long time since I had a mind blowing one, and I've tried a lot of the great name CA brews. This one is beyond sensational, the nose is fruity, not quite as sharp as grapefruit, and the taste follows. Fruity, kinds peachy, a little sharp like sucking on the peach pit, is the best I can relate to. You think this would be a typical CA IPA, but it's not... it's so much better. Definitely not sweet, well balanced, but still very bold, a little xtra malt, drinks like a DIPA. . Must be the different hops is all I can add. As good an IPA as I've ever had, and I have tried most of the higher rated ones. You have to give this one a try, i can't believe it hasn't had it's own thread yet.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber generously brought back from Cali and shared by cbutova. Been looking forward to this one.

Pours a pale yellow/light orange, white head retains pretty well, a little lacing left.

Awesome scent right off the bat and doesn't die down the whole time. Fresh grapefruit, orange, and lemon "greet" you, along with some dankiness to even it out.

Taste is of similar awesomeness, big mix of bright fruits (grapefruit, peach, orange) and earthiness, some rye and bready malts.

Light, well-carbonated, lots of fresh hop flavor without being close to overly bitter.

Great stuff, definitely my favorite from Alpine so far.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Chicago Bears pint glass. Once again, huge thanks to Brett!

A - Pours a golden yellow, with just the slightest hint of orange, and also with two fingers worth of pale white head. Retention is very nice once again, with half a finger's worth of head lasting throughout the experience.

S - Smells of fresh grapefruit, mixed with citrusy hops. There is an almost cider like quality in the nose that reminds me of Half Acre's Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, which makes sense as the main hop used in both beers is from the same part of the world. Really a perfectly balanced nose.

T - Follows well from the nose, but with more funk emanating from the hop profile than the nose would suggest. Definitely an interesting beer, as the hop funk dominates the mouth, with the citrus proving to be more of a background element than the balancing force it seemed to be in the nose. The cider-like quality to this beer is in full effect in the mouth, a perfect companion for this cold fall evening. As I swish it around in my mouth, the grapefruit and citrus comes through more, providing the balance present in the nose. When I do this, the taste is simply astounding! It's strange that it requires me sloshing this around a bit for the flavors to come together, and for that I'm docking it half a point.

M - The beer is very pleasant on the tongue, with a perfect amount of carbonation and absolutely zero alcohol burn, despite the slightly higher alcohol content for the style.

O - Overall a very well done beer. One I would definitely drink regularly if I had access to it!

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Photo of bennetj17
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Went all the way to San Diego but the only Alpine IPA I could get my hands on was one bottle of Nelson, and it was a good one. I had it once before and I realized it must not have been so fresh, because this one was amazing.

Very clear appearance, more on the lighter/golden side for an IPA. The white foam is immense and lasts nicely. What an intense hop bouquet. It's very bright with clean pine notes and a heavenly floral pungence. Like I'm wandering through a fresh meadow bursting with spring aroma.

The smell leads me to believe I'm in for a shock, but actually the flavor is more subtle than expected. The malt is very clean with a Pilsner-esque crispness, allowing the bright hops to shine through. It's alot like Pure Hoppiness but with a different hop twist. So good, and not overdone. I can't believe how drinkable this is.

All I can say is I highly recommend this. Next time I travel to Alpine I hope all the stores won't be sold out again, but now I understand why...

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Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle sent to me courtesy of smarcoly, thanks Scott! Poured into a tulip glass over the course of the evening.

A: Clear golden yellow body with some slight orange tones throughout. A bubbly, creamy two finger white head sits atop that leaves behind amazing lacing, and a thick bubbly retention cap. As I got to the end of the bottle, the beer became very hazy and had evident yeast sediment floating throughout. Judging upon initial impressions though, it's a gorgeous looking beer.

S: Orange peel, lemon juice, pineapple, pine needles and a well-rounded bitterness to the nose. All is balanced well by a slight pale malt and rye character sneaking into the back end of the aroma.

T: Citrusy bitter hops are evident up-front along with orange and lemon oils. Sweet tangerine and pineapple elements are on the back of the palate. Finishes slightly sticky with some residual hop bitterness and rye notes lingering.

M: Lively carbonation, super creamy and cleansing on the palate. Somewhat dry and sticky in the finish, but an extremely exceptional mouth feel.

This is probably the best IPA I've sampled so far from Alpine. I really enjoyed the citrus aspects of the beer coupled with some pine elements. The rye was a unique addition that didn't overwhelm the flavor profile but gave a nice balance in the malts. Nicely done.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle back in early Sept when visiting San Diego. Made a special trip out to Alpine simply because I was hearing such great things about them. Missed the brewery because it closed, so my wife and I hit the pub right next door. After a hearty meal with some tasty brews, the server was kind enough to sell me a bottle of Nelson.

A: Pours a clear gold color with light white head that fades rather quick. Label art on bottle original. No freshness date can be found.

S: Awesome hop character. Wish this stuff was a cologne cause I'd wear it all the time. Sticky hop sweetness of lemon, grapefruit, and citrus and some honey like aromas. Get a little of the white wine character as the label says.

T: Rye and hops. This one is a nicely done hop bomb, yet very eloquently done. A really great tasting IPA.

M: Bitter with some residual hop sweetness. Feels medium bodied yet refreshing.

O: Wish I could find this one all the time. This would be my go-to staple beer. Don't think I could ever tire of this one.

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Photo of Shagtastic
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vissai for this new Cali brew

Poured from a bomber into my tulip glass.

A: Light golden color with a huge head, great retention and exceptional lacing.

S: I love the fruity aroma that i get out of this one. Really comes through strong on the initial pour.

T: Wow, this is an interesting beer to say the least. I love the rye in the IPA but this is a new experience for me. I can't say much bad about it because it really is a great tasting beer.

M: Good carbonation on this beer, really heavy on the tongue but enjoyable.

Overall: I do like this beer, while it might not be an every day beer for me, If I had access I'd return to it for sure.

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Photo of brian44556
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Bell's pint glass. Curiosity of Sixofsigmas. No dating on the bottle.

Pours a bright yellowish, orange, with an amazing thick, bright white 2 finger head. As the head pulls back into the beer a thick ring of lace is left all over the sides of the glass. Smell notes of piney hops, tropical fruits, and a slight hint of malt. A mellow bitterness from the hops jumps out with each drink and is well balanced with a crisp malt flavor profile. A great piney linger is left on the pallet with each drink that makes you want to hurry back for more. This beer is an easy drinker with a great finish. Carbonation is spot on. This is a great example of how an IPA should be brewed. Every Alpine offering I have had the pleasure of drinking has left me disappointed because I don't know when I'll be able to drink my next. Great brew Alpine!

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Photo of kinopio
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

Very little head. The color of the beer reminds me of a an unripe tangerine.

The smell is the best part of this beer. Its amazing. I spend more time smelling the beer than tasting it. A nice balance of floral and citrus notes. A bit of hay and alcohol.

Taste almost rivals the smell. Tons of orange. The juicyness, lack of carbonation and drinkability make me wanna chug this beer despite the 7% abv.

An elite IPA that needs to be smelled to be believed. Duet and Pure Hoppiness are solid IPAs from Alpine; Nelson is a step above.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.
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