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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: 4,019
Photo of abrand
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second of the west coast IPA's. Another bottle from JesseTheHut.

22 ounce bomber poured into the SN tumbler. Label explains the use of New Zealand hops that are used in this.

The Nelson pours a hazy amber orange color. A nice frothy pure white head sits atop with very good lacing and retention. The color is much darker than other IPA's. Aromas are nice and sweet with citrus fruits popping out of a nice hop backbone. Also some hints of grains and caramel. Quaff is much different from other hoppy IPA's. Plenty of hops make up the taste but there is also some piny notes. Not much citrus in the mouth. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Plenty of hops bounce around on the tongue. Drinkability is obviously high, ABV allows you to sip a couple and taste is right there. I am very excited to move onto the other IPA's from Alpine.

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

Nice pop of the bomber, recent release picked up by a really swell local BA. Slight chill haze, white grapefruit juice without the pulp. Pretty darn clear golden orange, on the golden side. Fluffy white head in my Moonlight nonic. Lace immediately sticking to the sides while milky way bubbling settles in.

Stong aroma of passion fruit, young pine sap, tart citrus, dash of honey. Somewhat earthy yet very dynamic. Distinct rye smell...so nice.

Crostini cracker pop until the onslaught of hop power. Huge wave of piney grapefruit rind. Tart hop flavor, with a solid block of maltiness allowing the hop flavor to shine brightly. Slight chalky hop bite, and I like it. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel with a twinge of citrus in the back. Lingering dryness.

Quite hearty & complex which continues to remind me, never judge a book by it's cover.

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

Pours a gorgeous orange-golden color that is impenetrable to light. Showcases an antique whit head that dissipates quickly. The nose is glorious. Juicy grapefruit to the hilt! Mouthfeel is wet and a little cottony toward the finish. A lot of grapefruit up front. The rye expresses itself in the middle, followed by distinct pine flavor. This is a magnificent beer. I can't believe how good this is. I'm not a rye fan, but this is phenomenal.

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Photo of dmsohyea
2.36/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the brewpub in Alpine. Taster glass.

A - standard IPA coloring, maybe a bit lighter yellow. Some lacing and good retention.

S - Smells floral and a bit uninviting. Not sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't know the horrors to come.

T - Tastes just off. The rye flavor and yeast selection just makes for a blah taste. I didn't enjoy it one bit and couldn't finish the 4 oz taster. Not super bitter, but it did taste a little like i was eating a flower.

M - Mouthfeel was above average. Not that I could really notice through the flavor that I hated.

O - Didn't like it. Sorry guys, I feel like this one is WAY over rated.

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Photo of jrnyc
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What used to be a world class IPA when brewed by Apine is now a shell of its former self now that Green Flash is brewing it. If I was given a blind taste test would never guess this is Nelson. Shocked at some of the positive reviews here on the new Green Flash version.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber drink by 3/21/16. Pours pale and a bit hazy with a 1/2 finger head. Thin lacing down the sides. Nose is spicy and citrusy. Taste is like drinking grapefruit juice. There's also some smokiness on the back of the tongue, which is interesting. Finish is quite dry. The bitterness lingers. Feel is relatively light. Overall, a pretty good citrus forward IPA. However, I'd like to have a little more malt to balance the bitterness.

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

A - Golden yellow color with fine carbonation and a solid white head that slowly diminished for a good minute. A small amount of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

S - Citrus and floral notes abound but little to no resiny smell.

T - This tastes like awesome. There is a very nice clean balance between the malt and hop flavors with a mild bitterness. Aftertaste is not overbearing but a reasonable medley of biscuit and lingering hops.

M - Smooth and wet with most of the taste at the front of my tongue and a refreshed feeling in the aftertaste.

D - If this came in six packs I would have a new go-to summer beer. Alas, this will be one to look forward to the next time I visit California.

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

22oz bomber poured into two stemless wine glasses (somewhere between a table-glass and a snifter). Pours an intensely hazy peach-straw color with a rapidly dissipating 1 finger white head leaving mild lacing with good moderate retention. Nose is dry piney hops and bright citrus fruits - lemon, orange, and kiwi. The palate opens with fruits very much in line with the nose: kiwi most prominently, with lemon undertones, which then give way to a strong hop body, with appropriately subtle rye notes. Rye so commonly overpowers the IPAs it inhabits, but in this case, it is a perfect companion, adding to the flavor and deepening the complexity, without dominating the palate. A not-insignificant malt presence is perceptible on the back-end of the palate. The mouthfeel is medium, chewy, with mild to moderate combination. Overall, an extraordinary IPA, with a phenomenal level of complexity, though the malt elements are perhaps more dominant than is fashionable in modern-day IPAs. The one-line assessment: a tremendously layered beer, well worth the purchase.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired thanks to FreightTrain.

This one pours a nice golden color, vary clear, with a bit 2cm head, that's nice and sticky, leaving good lacing. A very nice looking IPA. The smell just reeks of pungent, floral, resinous hops. Almost skunky, but redeemed by a sweet fragrant, almost fruity, citrus peel smell. Really a lovely and complex hop these Nelsons are. I can get grapefruit and fresh grass clippings as well. It's like Centennial, but more pungent, I like this. The flavor continues with the smell, with grassy, piney, resinous hoppiness. The fruitiness is more apparent in the taste, with a kind of grassy mango taste, a tiny bit of sweet cantaloupe, and some bitter grapefruit as well. The malt is nice (as I've noticed with most of these Alpine beers), just to the right level to complement the hops, and very sticky, with nice yeast charcter. The beer finishes pretty dry with a slight leafy fruit taste. And the rye, well, you don't exactly taste it, as much as experience it. It add a huge, nice feeling to the body. The carbonation is lively, and makes the flavors burst very nicely as it sort of stings your mouth. And the alcohol lends a slight burn. This IPA strikes that perfect West Coast IPA balance (and I don't mean a 50-50 kind of balance, but a sort of established - in my mind - ratio of what to expect from a very hoppy IPA). My only complaint is that you can't drink as much of it as you would like, as the 7.1% starts to push it towards DIPA territory.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.62/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this beverage came with a bit of reputation in the sd area, as many of the breweries visited informed us we'd be mistaken were we not to head over to alpine. when i arrived, they struggled to determine what order i should taste in, but were convinced i should finish with this unique beverage. the nelsons have an arrayed aroma and flavor, it was like having a bite of something colorful off of someone else's plate when they weren't watching and you didn't pay attention to what they ordered. playfully citrus with an angry spice contributed both by the hop and the rye. i'm not sure what to make of this beer, but i'd like more to try. it's kind've like a rhinocorn. i don't know if it's even real. a fun and spicy rye.p.a.

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Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a blind tasting involving Pure Hoppiness, Nelson, and Duet. Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a snifter.

A: I like the color of this better than Duet, as it is a little bit more golden in color. It poured a

S: A pleasant smell, but not very intense. Mostly pine, with a bit of oranges. More malty than the other two Alpine IPAs at this tasting.

T: I liked that this was a fairly balanced taste, with definite hops up front, but some noticeable malt character as well. The rye comes through at the end, which is nice, but overall everything tasted just a bit watered down.

M: Pretty good, but a tad thin for my liking as I look for a bit more stickiness and aftertaste such as I found with Pure Hoppiness. Nice level of carbonation.

D: Better than Duet in my opinon, but not nearly as good as Pure Hoppiness. If this was available at a bar nearby, I'd give it a try again, but would not actively seek out another bottle. Too many better options that are easier to get in the Midwest.

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Photo of marqoid
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden with a small off white head
S: Wow, grapefruit.
T: Lots of grapefruit, a tiny background of sweet grainy malts, I do not detect anything distinct from the rye
M: Incredibly smooth with little hop astringency, but plenty of hop character.
O: This is now one of my favorite IPAs, this is an IPA for a non IPA fan.

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Photo of m1ked
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A growler full of this love was given to me for Valentine's Day along with a growler of BP Victory at Sea....man am I lucky or what!?!

A- pours a clear golden yellow with a half inch foamy white head. Plenty of bubbles and streamers.

S- Like a hop soaked piece of rye bread.

T- Wow! Rye forward closely followed by a rye-hoppy punch. More of the floral than citrus hops. Think of hops sandwiched between some rye bread.

M- Smooth, crisp, great carbonation.

D- I f you like rye, and I do, this is an awesome beer. Think brewery meets jewish deli.

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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 PerHops
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Gorgeous light golden orange with a nice bright white head. A little bit soapy, but full bodied enough to stick all over the glass.

S- Now that's an IPA! Super fruity, a faint hint of pine, some herbacious goodness.

T- Pineapple, mango, orange, with a sweetness that asserts itself without overwhelming. Super hoppy, super fruity, clean semi dry finish. Outstanding.

M- No complaints here in the least. Just enough carbonation to hold up to the intensely fruity flavors.

O- Great IPA in every way imaginable. Really happy I got to try one of these a day removed from the brewery.

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Photo of HereforBeer
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft in Chicago shortly after they entered the market. I thought it was OK, but very unbalanced. I was pretty dissapointed after seeing a really high BA score. I hope I just had a bad batch.

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

Appearance: Light Amber color with a modest-sized white head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Primarily Piney hop aromas with some citrus fruits thrown in.

Taste:The pine aromas carry over to the taste, but I also get some grape-like and citrus notes. The rye adds a bit of spicy notes. I can't really pick up the malts in the taste. The finish ends with the grape notes, a bit of rye spiciness and mild citrus notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: IPAs aren't really my thing but this is a good beer.

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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 ptykozoon
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great foamage/lacing. Light yellow.

Outstanding smell, peaches, bitter light hops.

PEACHES, orange, bread, hops are mellow and smooth.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Never had an IPA like this. Light carbonation. Bitter/dry.

Great little IPA, taste is very fruit forward. My first beer from Alpine, I can see why they're so highly regarded.

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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 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 Totalpackage411
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very devolving beer appearance wise. very light in color almost like a blonde but the taste packs a delicious bite of hopps. One of the best IPA's I've had. Super refreshing!

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

Big thanks to Jesse for this great beer.

A: Pours a cloudy light apricot with a huge white head. Lacing lasts quite a while.

S: Wonderful citrus aroma with just a hint of malt.

T: Great smooth citrus hops upfront moving into mild malt. Finish is a fantastic grapefruit hoppy bitterness.

M: Lighter side of medium body with great carbonation.

O: What can I say. Some of my favorite IPAs come from Alpine. I could drink this all day.

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

pours light golden with minimal head that dissipates quickly. smell of nelson suavin all the way I can't seem to place what im smelling w this hop. maybe some floral notes and lemon? anyway smells pretty nice. taste follows nose w the hop presenting itself from front pallate all the way to the end. rye gives this beer a nice spice at the finish with bitterness lingering. this is a great beer and I love nelson hops even though I can't quite place what im tasteing. seek out this one it's a def winner.

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 4,019 ratings.
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