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Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
818 Reviews
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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:
818
Ratings:
3,978
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
8.68%
 
 
Wants:
1,372
Gots:
631
For Trade:
21
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 818 | Ratings: 3,978
Photo of CraigP83
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, vibrant and golden. Two finger white pillowy head. Smell is magnificent OJ/Mango, right up there with Heady and King Sue. Taste is pine and peppery. Bitterness is good. Lovely beer would definitely seek out again.

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Photo of nhindian
3.23/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Contrary to everything I've read about this beer previously, my glass does not contain a hazy, orange-juice-esque beer. In fact, it is pretty clear and light, with slow trickles of carbonation filling the glass. This isn't to say that it isn't nice looking, but sort of unexpected since the appearance is usually one of the defining characteristics of Nelson. A bone white head sits atop the liquid and lasts throughout the glass.

Aroma - The nose is fresh with a hint of grape tartness, like green grapes or grape must. A big burst of grapefruit and papaya follow, but is balanced with a sharp bite of rye.

Taste - I'm taken aback by just how assertive the rye is on the palate, so much so that it starts to butt up against the hops. I was expecting this to be a hop bomb, but it is much more balanced, and at times, unfortunately so. Because of this, no one flavor rises to the top and the rest of the ingredients battle for supremacy, leading to a muddled, confusing drink. In parts, I enjoy each component, but together it doesn't really mesh for me.

Mouthfeel - If there's one aspect of this beer I dig, it's the mouthfeel. It is dry and crisp, with a mellow, creamy body that garners an excellent finish.

Closing Arguments - I came into this beer with really high expectations, and frankly it didn't meet them at all. I wanted the Nelson Sauvin hops to shine, but instead they were overshadowed by the rye. I'm not sure of the age of this - the tap takeover I got this growler at was pushed back from its original schedule - but I can't imagine it could be that old. Thankfully Alpine will be seen more in Pittsburgh, so I will give this a try at least once more to compare and contrast.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw color, with about 1/2" of white head that has decent retention and lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but it does not have quite the clarity that I have seen in other Alpine IPAs.

Smell: Light pale malt scents are evident, but that is quickly overshadowed by pungent tropical fruit dankness. Very nice.

Taste: Mirrors the smell. Nice, light malt backbone which adds a bit of sweetness but not too much. Then comes the hop flavors. Tropical fruit flavors shine, namely pineapple and mango. Very little bitterness, almost exclusively tropical fruit and dankness.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer has a light body with moderate carbonation, which is about right. Overall, the Nelson hops really shine in this beer. I love tropical fruit notes and limited bitterness in my IPAs, so I was a fan.

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Photo of wcu80
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight up mango bomb. Nearly perfect use of the Nelson Sauvin hop. I usually find that an IPA is best on the first sip; every subsequent sip is less tasty. That's not this case with this beer. Each sip is just as good as the last. I was sad when the bottle was empty.

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

Well this is a beer that enters immediately into the realm of regular favorites... I've loved it on tap, on cask... only Duet and fresh Pure Hoppiness have surpassed it from that maestro of the hops over there...

Pours a ruddy hazy pale straw with a kiss of orange. Head is creamy and rich, with beautiful organic lacing, if not overly abundant.

Aroma is a rustic, earthy, funky grapefruit blast... blistering and raw, but somehow skirting the boundary without falling too far into that musty, onion-y sent that some beers with similar profiles can succomb to.

On the palate it is a ridiculous solid combination of mid palate sweetness and a moderately clean bitterness, a hint of a ragged, pine-y, resin-y bite just at the end. If there's a criticism to be laid, it's that the sweetness comes through a bit too much like a very pale caramel and clings to the tongue a bit, malt flavors are completely swallowed up, with the exception of a bit of spiciness from the rye that underscores the resiny grapefruit-y blast of hops. This is all hops. And a bit of rye. It's awesome.

Mouthfeel is night perfect, with the high bitterness they've gone with a really delicate bubble that presents just enough head and carbonation to properly highlight the best attributes of the beer.

Dangerously drinkable, as the best of them are. Man, if Duet ever hits our shores as well that's THREE new IPAs I want in my fridge ALL THE TIME, and there's already Stone's two and Union Jack and Alesmith... damn you, delicious, fresh, local(ish) IPAs, ruining me for the day I must leave SoCal!

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My second time having this beer. This being the first time I am sober enough to review it and remember the characteristics.

Pours a golden yellow color with a very nice head and lacing.

Aroma is amazing. Tons of hop aroma that includes all sorts of fruits and citrus and even a little pine. I need to find me some of these Nelson hops for my homebrew.

Taste is so unique and amazing. The rye lends this different sort of flavor I can't really explain. I can see drinking this with some awesome Italian food.

Mouthfeel is good but I think it could use a little more carbonation.

Overall an excellent beer and I will drink this as often as I can find it. I only live 1 hour away from the brewery and it's hard for me to find.

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Photo of -Rick
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: an orange brown color, a nice white head. Not seeing the turbid look many said to expect
S: lots of grapefruit in this. some sweet fruits, mango, a nice bit of malty, and hints of orange peel
T: grapefruit, white wine, sweet mango, and a bit of malt on the back end.
F: nice carbonation, a bit of a tart mouth feel in there
O: this was a real good beer. My bottle was a GF version, my guess is that the real deal could have been a little better.

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

While Raul was sippin' hard on a Blind Pig, he became acquaintances with tha homie sittin' next to him at da bar. It wuz tight like - homeboy is in to da syrup (like Raul), and because he was so nice (and into karma n shit) he ended up giving Raul a bottle of this out of the back of his truck. (Ima get you back, dawg!)

Anyway, dis thing done blow Raul's mind! It got some hype, but unlike Halle Berry's nudie scene in dat dumb dumb movie, Nelson at least lives up to it! It wasn't like any other IPA Raul has ever had before; when I drank tha thang, I knew it was an IPA, but at the same time, holy hell was it different! The finish was all silky like; kinda like this Persian girl that Raul dated in high school.

Anyway, get dis thang. It dat good.

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Photo of phingdong
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebowski for the bottle.

Pours a clear golden hue with a nice sticky white 2 finger head. Leaves nice sticky lacing as it recedes.

Familiar tropical hop aroma with some pine and some funk in there as well. Smell of rye also comes through.

Nice thick and creamy mouthfeel that coats the entire palate. Taste mirrors the smell. Nice tropical hoppy fruit with a dank funk coming through nicely in the background. Very tasty beer. Maybe just a touch muted in aroma/taste compared to the best in this class.

My first beer from Alpine. I look forward to trying the rest of their lineup.

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Photo of jhavs
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle poured into a snifter tasting glass.
A= Golden, slight haze, head is white and soapy, visible carbonation rising in the beer, lacing and ring with thin head remains during entire tasting.
S= White grapes, some citrus, pine.
T= Pine, bitter, some citrus rind, bit of a white wine flavor. Melon in the aftertaste with bitter grapefruit.
M= Fairly effervescent, medium body.
O= Crisp and bitter IPA made with rye, unique Nelson hops flavors are abundant.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours an orangish golden color.

S: Lots of grapefruit.

T: An entirely unique IPA. The malt base is light but with a slight twinge of spicy rye. The hops are very interesting. Lots of grapefruit but not like any of the traditional American hops. There is also a very unique white wine flavor.

M: Medium bodied.

D: A great IPA. Not the standard that we are used to. Shows the range of the style and the creativeness of American brewers by slightly tweaking the ingredients.

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Photo of soze47
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on my trip to Alpine in late May, 2011. 4.5 oz. pour as part of a flight.

One of the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. The rye and NZ hops lend some really cool flavors to this brew. Not a standard IPA by any stretch. The golden body is well carbonated and it dances in your mouth, which is great since the flavors are so complex.

The NZ hops give a white wine quality to the flavor and nose, with the rye giving a nice tangy bitterness. These flavors blend and melt well into the more traditional flowery notes from the other hops. Combined, I get some great spice notes. Clove?

 609 characters

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 KnowYourCraft
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours very yellow with a slight golden hue to it, was quite surprised with the color of this IPA, it looks more like a blonde ale, but it still looks good.

S: Tropical fruits, spice, pine, bitterness, and a hint of pineapple and sweet malts, absolutely amazing smell to this beer!

T: Blown away in this category! In the beginning you get a wonderful blend of spice and pine, which transitions to an amazing blend of spice and tropical fruits, and then finishes with spice, tropical fruits, pine, pineapple, and some bitterness. Every flavor in this beer is so perfectly balanced and you get so much of every flavor, and this beer tastes truly incredible!

M: Perfect execution here, crisp, light refreshing, leaves your mouth a little dry which leaves you craving it more and more!

O: This is an incredible beer, easily hits number 2 on my top IPA’s list! You have to try this beer!

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Photo of rapayn01
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at a local (excellent) bar. The rye flavor was pretty good, but not outstanding. Ideally, a rye IPA is an excellent IPA with a just more kick. This tasted like a pretty good IPA with some rye.

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

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: It pours a beautiful golden color with pretty good clarity for such a hop monster. Rocky two finger white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some spotted lacing behind.

S: Big time aroma from all of the hops, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and funky pine. The malt is very light with a hint of toast and spicy rye.

T: This one is super fresh, the citrus and tropical hop flavors dominate the palate with some funky pine cones on the backside. The malt is very light and understated, a hint of the rye. This is a perfect vehicle for a the lupulin fireworks. Nice dry, slightly salty finish.

M: Medium bodied and lush carbonation.

O: This is up there as one of the best IPA's I have had to date. An excellent example of the American style with a slight twist, seek this one out.

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Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
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

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bone white head over a slightly hazy sunburst color body.
This beer smells great, very tropical and fruity, with the typical citrus present but not talking a front seat. Tropical is a major aspect of IPAs i search out, and these Nelson Sauvin hops have delievered. Taste is not as bitter as i was expecting which is a welcome change from a cali brewery and i am digging this, in fact dare i say with the rye aspect of this being involved there is a certain balance? However i would appreciate more dryness on the finish and more specifically and importantly more carbination, i think it is lacking a bit there, and would allow the great hop profile to pop out a bit more. Solid IPA i really am enjoying.

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Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a clear golden straw color with a small white head that settles quickly.
S - Aroma is all citrus.
T - Citrus, bitter grapefruit upfront, malty with more bitterness on finish.
M - Medium mouth feel, medium carbonation.
O - My 3rd Alpine beer in the last week. Very good, and a little different from most IPA's.

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Photo of Lothore
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light tangerine hue with a nice, 1.5 finger frothy white head that leaves decent lacing on the way down.

S- Grassy, Citrus, tons of grapefruit, mixed with light sweet fruits.

T- Bready and a tad spicy that leads into lots of citrus, blood orange, tangerine, grapefruit and has a nice bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D- A lot of these new top IPAs (Nelson, Sculpin, etc.) are very similar to pliny in the nose. This was wonderfully complex and balanced and one of the best IPAs i've ever tasted, bar none.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Big grape, white wine aroma from the Nelson Sauvin hops.

A: Yellow, super hazy with a super thin-ish head. Honestly, looks more like juice than a beer.

T: Big white wine, grape, grapefruit hoppy taste. With a bit of rye spicy malt character. Moderately bitter and dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Big danky IPA with plenty of grapefruit, white wine characteristics in the aroma and flavor. Quite delicious!

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Photo of pschul4
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

150th Review! Huge HUGE thanks to ehammond1 for an unsolicited box with this, duet, and some pint glasses. Total class act

A- Pours a dark golden orange with a 1/2 inch head that quickly receeds

S- Boom. Nelson sauvin hops hit you right away. I can't put my finger on the exact scent they give off but its similar to a pine cone in a grapefruit. Simply stunning

T- The steal the show, tons of that fruity yet piney taste along with just enough rye and malt to keep everything clean. Leaves that familiar rye bite on the back end of the sip

M- Super smooth for the style. It works amazingly

O- Can't thank you enough Eric this was a big want of mine for a long time and it really lived up to my hopes. Trade for this if you don't live near Alpine!

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

Pours a nice hazy orange color with a one finger off-white head. Leaves a consistent cap of foam and nice lacing. Real nice looking beer overall.
The nose is full of citrusy hops and a touch of the rye used. Also getting some floral notes and an odd synthetic off flavor too.
Taste is full of floral, citrusy, and grapefruit flavors. The rye blends in nicely for some subtle spice notes. As in the nose there's a bit of an off flavor in there but it's minor. There's also a nice bitterness that lingers on the palate. The carbonation level is great as with any of the other Alpine beers I've drank.
Overall it's a solid easy to drink beer.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.
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