Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

824 Reviews
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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: 824 | Ratings: 4,047
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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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy golden body, not much light through, with a full white head and lots of lacing.

S - A nose full of fruit, heavy on grapefruit flesh and pith, mango and lemon, and a touch of spice.

T - Strongly bitter flavor, with pith first, and a spicy malt hit from the rye, with flavors cycling out to the close.

M - Moderate carbonation, bright feel, mild drying on the close.

O - Glad I had a chance to pick up a growler from Jungle Jim's. It is a solid IPA, flavorful and drinkable. Quite bitter, but not overly so.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

slightly over hopped, and overrated. Alpine is a nano-brewery and uses bottles from green flash to increase its distribution which is pretty cool. I was able to score some at Whole Foods in River Forest, which has developed an impressive beer selection.

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Photo of thebeers
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Exceptionally clear orange-straw color with a finger-and-a-half of white head and heavy lacing. Subtle floral aroma, with orange, peach, grapefruit and lemon peel in the background, definitely reminiscent of white wine, as advertised. The fruit carries over to the taste, perhaps more than balanced out by a stronger-than-expected hop bitterness and clear rye character in the malt. Medium bodied, slightly creamy with good carbonation. Very glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of Cobrito
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Again, of the four Alpine beers to recently hit Atlanta thanks to the Green Flash relationship, I like this and Hoppy Birthday the best.

This is a phenomenal brew with some of the most beautifully integrated contrasting flavors you will ever experience. As some others have said, it does have an almost wine/champagne quality to it in addition to just being a West Coast IPA hophead's delight. Love it!

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Photo of myrixis
3.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a deep golden with a nice head
Smells of champagne almost quite vinous some muskiness too
Taste has a nice flavor real piney with a bitterness that coats the tongue
Overall it may be a bit too bitter for some who don't like the strong bitterness but it really had a nice initial flavor aside from the lingering bitterness

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Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing

s: Strong pine resin with petroleum notes

t: Follows the nose with considerable hop bite over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers on the dry finish

m: Medium plus, very good body and smooth oily texture. Good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully flavorful IPA in the definite West Coast vein. Can see why it's rated higher than Hoppy Birthday or Duet on BA.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Green Flash bottle. BB April 2016.

A - Bright. Golden or light golden. Two finger white head. Some particulate in the body. Minimal carbonation. Rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Spice, fruit, rye note is there in a spicy malt note, lot's of nice zippy hop. Huge Nelson Sauvin note.

T - The rye and fruity note balance so nicely. Nelson character comes in so well and shines. Big hop and malt blows.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body and a spicy, fruity finish with a good but not overpowering bitterness.

O/D - Lovely stuff. So subtle but so complex as well. The spice and fruit work so well together. Excellent and drinkable for the ABV. I wasn't expecting a ton from this, but this was very impressive. Awesome.

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Photo of trevorpost
3.39/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like the syrupy mess than many west coast ipas are in Massachusetts. Really disappointing. Looks like a great modern ipa, byt tastes like sweet oxidized ipa. And this is on draft. I'm sure it's great fresh but I have no faith that I order is fresh now. Ugh.

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

The rye overpowers the Nelson, this is unfortunate.
Very dry.
Faint hoppy aroma with a pilsner type smell.
A very good beer, but somehow a disappointment.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The look is definitely on the lighter side for an ipa. Smell was amazing floral aroma. Taste was just about perfect for an ipa. Can not say enough about how much I enjoyed this beer. Can't wait to try there other ipas. Seek this out.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer. Surprised by the contrast between the aroma, which is all pine needles and pakalolo, and the pour which isn't cloudy or murky at all but rather golden with a light head. Taste is dank (but not sticky) and citrusy, but there's also a slightly smokey and herbal taste. Beautiful dry finish compliments the NZ hops very well. A real gem. At one point I would imagine this was considered very hoppy but in today's world of ever more hop-forward profiles Nelson actually feels more nuanced and subtle. Go figure.

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Photo of trygelski1
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into tulip glass:

Look: Pours an amazing hazy golden color. By looking at the color this could be mistaken for a wheat beer. Small amount of head present with some lacing.

Smell: Citrus, pine, hops galore, rye

Taste: Grapefruit tasting with pine and citrus then finishes with some rye coming thru.

Feel: Medium bodied

Overall: This one is a step below Duet in my opinion. You can definitely taste the rye on the back end after big hits of hops and citrus up front. Not a huge fan of the Rye IPAs also which may be skewing my ranking slightly.

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Photo of anonymoose
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a clear orange color. The aroma is spicy rye and citrus. The taste is rye and tropical fruits with medium bitterness. The rye character is very accurate. Definitely the most rye tasting IPA I've had. Goes well with the tropical fruit taste. Very good shelf beer in NC now that Green Flash is distributing it.

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is in regards to Alpine's original gangster version and not the GF brewed bottles and or draft editions.

Appearance: opaque, hazy, kind of turbid but a vibrant yellowish gold color with slight orange hues. normal level pour creates a nice medium-ish white soapy, fluffy frothy head. This beer sort of looks like some Heffs.

Aroma: sweet orange juice, white grape notes. Pretty intense smelling tropical fruit blend rounded out with the rye component. Rye is not very detectable but compliments the other strong aromas very well.

Taste: Citrus fruit juice, sweet papaya notes, sweet oranges, the slight slight bitterness is akin to grapefruit rind and pith as opposed to aggressive pine dank super hoppy bitterness. sometimes I get a little bit of awesome lemon flavor too but not in a sour or weird manner. oh, and drinkable as hell. like just simply delicious.

Mouthfeel: very smooth, medium hearty body. very suave and amazing mouthfeel.

Overall: This is not only a SD classic. This beer is a top west coast beer for the ages. Lives up to it's highly coveted reputation.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention is very good. Lacing is excellent. Has a nice, fresh, juicy citrus aroma with some piney resin at the end. I wish there was cologne that smells like this! Taste is a big, juicy citrus bomb. Nice piney resin at the end. Moderate astringency. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. So glad this beer came to Texas and hope we get it in a 6 pack soon. This is great!!

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

Bottle. Finally. Perhaps my longest standing want. I've heard its not as good as it was before Green Flash but I don't know if I ever would have had the chance to try it without them. It pours clearer than I was expecting. Probably more filtered. Well structured, white head. Lacing is thick. The aroma brings my favorite hop right to my receptors. Tropical fruit, earth and flora. Some Sauv Blanc notes. Some dankness. A bit of sweetness too. Smells very nice. Love Nelson hops! The flavor starts off with a pronounced, coercive citrus flavor. A combination of several high-acid citrus fruits. Then the more terroir-driven hop flavors come out. Really vibrant hoppiness. Pot and earth and herb as well. Really damn tasty. Rye malt acts as a unique prop for the Nelson deliciousness. Rye tang combines with the unique hop zest. Its medium bodied and quite bitter. Still very drinkable. A morning juice substitute in a perfect world. Whether its different than it used to be or not, this is still an excellent beer. Finally got to scratch this one off the list; grateful.

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Photo of Zorro
3.46/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed yellow with a tall white head.

Smell is a mountain of hops. Smells primarily of grapefruit and pith. Smell of medicine, lots of Phenol.

Starts out strongly hopped with a melon after taste. Very strong Hops.Tastes of wood and strong tea.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Tastes OK, Don't see the charm of this one.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is DANK. Tons and tons of fruitiness on the nose and the perfect balance of fruitiness and hoppiness on the drink with a nice white, clean head and good lacing.

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Photo of 98green
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wowsers. Yeah this one is great. Pours a cloudy light orange. Smell is all juicy citrus. Taste follows through and more. All citrus and bright clean bitter. Almost no malt to get in the way. This is my kinda IPA. Probably shoulda given this a 5, maybe I will update if I catch this again another time. Updated to add that the rye is also a plus. Joseph James Citra rye similarly kills it, so maybe ima sucker for rye malt

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Photo of Roland7792
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle with bb date of March 2016 poured into a Teku. Look is a hazy light orange with lots of lacing. Smell is fantastic with dank earthy onion/garlic, grapefruit and tangerine. Taste follows suit with the nose and has a great earthy white wine flavor after the initial citrus. Can definetaly taste the rye too as a slight peppery malt finish. Feel is a tad thin but not bad for an IPA with medium carbonation and slick oily resin. If Green Flash brews aren't as good as the original Alpine, as I've read, the original Nelson must be killer cause this is pretty fantastic as is.

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

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pt 6 oz bottle on November 13, 2015. Best by 21 Mar 16 printed on bottle. Look is golden, two finger head and lingering lacing. Smell is grapefruit. Taste is white wine and fruit. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,047 ratings.
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