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Nelson | Alpine Beer Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
818 Reviews
THE BROS
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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 Lingenbrau
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

GF or not, it is still outstanding. It's been a while since I've had a "real" Nelson, but i would never complain about this being in my fridge. Cheers!

 153 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a snifter. Hazy golden in appearance with moderate translusence. Big ol' pillow head of white foam on top. Looks nice. Big aroma of hop resin, citrus, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, and a touch of rye spice. The taste is very citrus and rye/malt forward. A very nice hop bitterness creeps in middleways and takes the wheel, leaving this beer to finish like a true West Coast IPA. The feel is very, very smooth and creamy, possibly the smoothest IPA I've ever had.

This is very good. I've passed this up on the shelf before because of the price, but it's worth it once in a while.

 599 characters

Photo of Philousa
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow gold with a thin white head. Lacing left on the glass looks like layers of sediment or rock in a cross section. Thin yeast residue left at the bottom of the bottle. Piney, woodsy, earthy hops aroma, as well as citrus and floral aromas. A little twinge of tart light bread also, like it's baking in the oven (read: yeast). Taste starts out very piney, like some spruce tips were used in the making of this beer. Very mild malt, but rye is there and unmistakable, which makes it tart and acidic. Bitterness comes in like the tide taking over your taste buds without you noticing. Tangy yeast comes out with time. A bit acidic in feel, but easily drinkable. dry finish.

I've been waiting for months to try an Alpine Brewing IPA, and I am not disappointed. I was worried when I saw that the only one left on the shelf was a Rye IPA, but Alpine really balanced the rye flavors well. A bit tangy due to the rye and hop oil, it was surprisingly smooth. I drank the bomber by myself and only noticed the acidity halfway through. It was never a problem though, more of an enduring characteristic. I would love to try this on tap!

 1,141 characters

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

Thanks David. I may move to SD for the sole purpose of drinking bombers of this beer on the regular.

Hazing yellow, odd for an IPA. Tropical/grapefruit, white wine, herbal & floral on the nose. Beautiful aroma. Massive tropical fruit and white wine on the taste, the spice of the rye pulls the finish dry and leaves you wanting another sip. Soft carbonation and minimal lacing on the glass. Remarkable beer, unique and simply the best. Nelson transcends the IPA style.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received this one on a trade. Just in time to try to drink on a cold snowy night. I don't know why but I felt this strong compulsion to put on Pet Sounds, by the Beach Boys. Hmmm...

Appearance: Light golden straw yellow. Hazy in color reminds me a lot of another beer I have had. Can't recall.

Aroma: Very fruity, Fruity Pebbles aroma. Reminds me a lot of several beers I have had recently, this one reminds me a lot of Pseudosue. I don't know if Nelson Sauvin hops are a dominant hop in Psue or not, but the fruity vinous notes are definitely there. This is not your typical resinous, dank, earthy hop forward IPA that you are used to from CA. I think that is a good distraction.

Taste: Very light and delicate but does have a bitterness to it you would not expect. Almost like a light grapefruit or perhaps some other fruit note in there. This beer really does remind me of a lighter version of Psue in the taste. I kind of like the taste notes but with the less dominant sweet thick mouthfeel. I like how this one is more crisp and clean.

Overall: Very well made beer I am glad I got to try this one. It reminds me a lot in taste and aroma of several others but the clean lighter mouthfeel is what kicks it off for me!

 1,227 characters

Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Im not much of a hop guy but I found this beer extremely enjoyable. The hop aroma and flavor were very crisp and fresh and the taste was good without being over the top bitter.

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Photo of NorthSideSean
4.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Worth the hype. Happened across this while on a trip to San Francisco - on tap at Hogwash. This is a stand out among IPAs. Beautifully cloudy orange color, dank fruity smell and a mouthful of citrusy hops with a hint of rye. Very drinkable... just wish I could get this in Chicago!

 281 characters

Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pwoods for sharing with me!

Pours the color of light caramel-honey with a muddy consistency and a 2-finger sticky white head that fades to a thick, bubbly, well-retained skim leaving sticky rings of lacing behind.

Aroma is full of dry, earthy and citrusy hops. Alcohol is lightly noted, along with dry, crisp malts.

Taste is full of juicy and bittersweet citrusy flavors. Very wet and full-feeling. Good malt foundation provides a satisfying profile that is kept light and bright by the hops. Great tongue-coating stickiness promotes a long-standing aftertaste.

Drinkability is really high. While the alcohol was notable in the nose, it barely reaches the taste. It is an IPA that could please anyone - juicy yet sticky, sweet yet earthy, bitter yet bready.

 774 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Scored this want in a generous BIF box from domtronzero.

A - Orange-yellow hazy body with a white head resting on top

S - A nice pineapple smell mingles with some funk rye aroma. This thing smells fantastic. I absolutely love the aroma Nelson Sauvin hops produce and the mix of that and a rye make an unforgettable aroma.

T - Picking up more pineapple-y hop flavor mingled with light rye notes. A formidable malt backbone stands up throughout this one. Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting however. Nice flavor but not amazing like the nose.

M - medium body, slightly sticky good amount of carbonation

D - Pretty tasty beer but the flavor doesn't match the awe of the nose. Not as bitter as I was expecting but still a pretty good beer. I wouldn't mind drinking more of this but wouldn't go nuts trying to seek it out.

 870 characters

Photo of JohnG190
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden orange. Not much of a head for an IPA, settles into a light lacy cap. Aroma of tropical fruit; smells like a stick of juicy fruit gum with a hint of grassiness. Big fruit flavor up front on the palate. Finishes dry with a slight rye aftertaste. Medium bodied and slightly carbonated. Overall, an extremely well crafted IPA and one that ranks right up there with the best of them! Well done, Alpine!

 418 characters

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

Poured into a snifter.

A: a hazy golden yellow, with a thin white lace head.

S: Pineapple, mango, melon, and other tropical aromas.

T: Very piney, with a small spicy flavor. Ends with the mango and hop flavors.

M: medium bodied that lightly coats the tongue.

O: Very good IPA. I am glad I was able to try it.

 313 characters

Photo of rayjay
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
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!

 1,232 characters

Photo of WeedKing4
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a golden orange colour into a snifter glass. I could really pick up grapefruit in the smell. The taste followed suit as a intense grapefruit like flavour followed with each sip. Good bitterness and a nice malty backbone. Very nice beer.

 292 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to one of California's many BAs. From notes.

Pours hazy orange with a huge foamy white head. Great looking beer.

Smells of intense floral and citrus with a little malty sweetness on the back end.

The taste follows the smell almost to the letter with a little extra sweetness. Lots of floral and citrus hoppy gootness with a bit of sweet malt on the end to balance things.

Creamy with a nice bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

Very drinkable. I wish I had more.

 474 characters

Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Beer Company has a favorable reputation amongst BA members and even sports a few beers in the top 100, including Nelson. Since they don't make their way up to the SF Bay Area, I used a recent trip to San Diego as a great excuse to visit them in person.

Pours a somewhat hazy, medium orange color with a thin off-white head.

Prevalent grapefruit hoppy nose backed up by floral notes. Touches of pineapple, too.

Herbal hops mingling with a light malt spiciness. Minor presence of tropical fruity hops. Moderate level of bitterness. Lingering, chardonnay-like long dry finish.

Medium-light bodied with moderate-low level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't quite living up to its top 100 status, in my opinion. I'd take a Union Jack, Torpedo, or Stone IPA over this, no-brainer. Hop flavor/bitterness lacks variety and pungency. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not as good as it could be.

 909 characters

Photo of kk73
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a very light and slightly hazy golden color with a very smallish and underwhelmingly white head that quickly disappeared and left a little lacing.

S - Smell is a ton citrus hops, primarily grapefruit, also some piney characteristics. Little bit of spice, and bready malt.

T - Tons of grapefruit and citrus goodness, with some hop bitterness that moves into a flash of spiciness from the rye.

M - Solid and medium bodied, with moderate carbonation, and some stickiness.

D - Very drinkable and could easily put down a couple of bombers of this beer.

 604 characters

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

This beer looks stunning, like liquid sunshine in the glass. The nose is sumptuous with Sticky citrus notes of tangerine and grapefruit. The rye adds a dry backbone that is perfect complement to the juicy, tropical sweetness of the hops. This beer is perfectly integrated and balanced. As good as IPAs get. This is a treat.

 323 characters

Photo of angelmonster
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to billshmeinke for sending this to me in a LIF

Pours a big one inch white head. Body is a clear golden orange color. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is a mix of spicy rye , citrus, and pineapple. Pine and some sweet honey are also in the background.

First taste is a ton of hops. Starts off with citrus, mango, and pineapple. Bitter pine hops come in next and its all balanced by the rye which added some black peppercorns and clove. Alcohol is slightly present but not overpowing and blends nicely with the hops.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Head contributed little to the beer.

Drinkability is really good. Finished the bomber rather easy, really unique beer. Never heard of this beer or brewery up until acouple months ago but its easily one of the best Ipa's I've had.

 822 characters

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

A very proper looking IPA. Nice white puffy head which leaves a trail of tight belgian lace behind it. Hazy and opaque but a nice golden orange color. Such a fruity aroma, big grapefruit and citrus fruit. Sticky and hoppy, could pop a bit more. The flavor is clean and pure west coast IPA. Big fruit notes, grapefruit, melon, citrus, really great. I'm missing a little complexity from multiple strains of hops, I think? The rye is a nice touch, faintly spicy. But where the rye shines is helping create a dry clean finish. Nice, alot of IPAs have a bit of a cloying finish from the hops, but not this one! An IPA of the highest order.

 634 characters

Photo of dlello2
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle sent by ScottO. Reportedly less than a week old!

This was a fantastic beer. Perfect shimmering orange appearance with a nice couple of fingers of head. The smell erupted from the glass with tons of tropical fruit deliciousness. Mango, pineapple, citrus. Truly fantastic aroma. The taste followed the nose almost perfectly, perhaps I've found my new favorite hop. The balance was near perfect with just the right amount of lingering bitterness. Part of me wants to say that I'd have liked a bit less sweetness, but another part of me thinks this beer needs it! Overall the aroma was the winner for me with this one--will definitely seek it out again.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 3FFF glass
golden color and thin head
hops smell is overpowering and can smell the nice bitter hops
taste is smooth that kind of bitter is unreal good
this was bottle about 8 days ago and is so amazing fresh
could drink this all day/night
it is to compare but this one is up there on my tops when done right and fresh

 348 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good IPA. Not sure if I would describe it as a world beater, but I would definitely buy again. It's a little more bitter then I prefer, but I assume that must be th characteristics of the Nelson Sauvin hops. Has a definitely tropical, grapefruit taste going for it.

 272 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Bought in Oct 2010 from K&L Wines.

A - Hazy yellow-orange, with a nice two fingers of pillowy head that settles down to a thick cap. Heavy rings of lace on the glass. Very inviting.

S - Very nice -- lots of hops, with both pine and grapefruit notes. A bit of a sweet-ish malt, and a spiciness that I'm guessing is from the rye.

T - More of what was in the nose, with a huge hop bitterness, and more of that spiciness. The rye is subtle, which is good for me since I'm not a huge fan of it. There's almost a touch of vanilla in the malty sweetness, but it's fleeting. Long dry finish, but very little alcohol burn.

M - It's almost a bit thin, with lighter carbonation than I would expect. But the stickiness is good. Somewhat drying.

D - The flavors are good, the aroma great, and the alcohol isn't too high. I'd go for another for sure; good thing I have one.

O - Price-wise, it's less expensive than Sculpin (which is overpriced) but more than Pliny (which is not) so I'll happily pay for it. The beer is definitely worth it. Solid buy.

 1,077 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - Cloudy citrus juice golden color with thick white head that stays until almost the glass is gone great lacing.

Smell - The smell is not a pronounced as I expected but still amazing orange and grapefruit stand out as well as some pine notes.

Taste - The main things that stand out are orange grapefruit and a good hop flavor.

Feel - Very smooth light to medium body very clean and crisp.

Overall - An amazing beer that I would have again.

 449 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale apricot with a thick, foamy white head that has good retention. Aroma is very unique. It is spicy, fruity, and herbal with some green onion, grass, and bread.

Initially you are hit with a lot of fruitiness (grapes perhaps?) from the hops, a very wine-like fruitiness. Grapefruit is noticeable. The spiciness from the rye is definitely present. That grass and onion like funk noticed in the aroma is in there too. Finish is a bit dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, with a nice creaminess and a pleasant carbonation level. This is probably the most unique IPA I have ever had. I really enjoyed it.

 608 characters

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