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Keene Idea | Alpine Beer Company

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63 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.88%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Toronado 25th.

Keene Idea is very different from Nelson. No rye, different grain bill, Citra and Rakau hops.

Added by HopHead84 on 08-11-2012

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 443
Photo of sendsilk
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this growler via Bdige, a true stellar trader, thanks Brandon!

Okay, it's no secret to anyone that I trade with, drink with, talk about IPA's with, Alpine Nelson is my favorite IPA out there, with Maine Brewing Lunch and Surly Furious coming in 2nd and 3rd (no particular order).

I received this growler on a Friday, 13 days after it was released(!!). Generally we have a tasting here in Tampa on Wed. or Thursday. I found out this weeks tasting was canceled yesterday (Wed.). Alright, time to go big balls and open it by myself.

I'm thinking "Man, that's a lot of beer to drink myself" than I think a little harder "WTF, pussy? It's like going to Cigar City for a tasting and having 4 pints total." I can ssure you a CCB tasting with our group is WELL over 4 pints total.

SO fuck it, I drink this beautiful golden IPA bitch all on my own. I did share a couple of sips with the wife so maybe I had 60 oz. of it. I WISH IT WAS 128 oz.!!!

Golden delicious, straw colored rye IPA. Nice bubbles and head. Freaking absolutely fantastic IPA, the best that I have ever tasted. I give it a 4.75. I could drink this all day long (theoretically) and am so glad to have been able to try it. FANTASTIC IPA!!!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sometimes Raul just has to do it. Like your granmama when she goes to K-Mart for a new muumuu, sometimes Raul just has to splurge!

Did someone bottle a tropical rainforest, put it in a Magic Bullet, blend it, add some hops, and then put it in Raul's glass? I mean, bomb diggity! Ecstasy on all levels!

Like when your baby mama's mama's flight gets delayed - Raul can get used to this!

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Photo of worldsworstextra
4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very nice aroma and blend of hops, remarkably smooth for a 9%. The higher alcohol content is not very noticeable, but can be noticeable if you let it warm up, so definitely drink it chilled. This is probably my favorite IPA by Alpine with bad boy a close second.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like liquid hop candy, yet with a basic enough malt base to never veer off into syrupy sweet territory. Arguably the best beer Alpine puts out, and that's saying something.

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Photo of drew42e
4.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stone fruit and juiciness on the nose give way to grapefruit citrus flavor and some dank , with slight bitterness. One of best DIPAs I've had and Alpine's best IMO

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Photo of jethrodium
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of these on draft at the Toronado anniversary party. Pours a clear golden amber with a small white head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. Aroma is quite dank with grapefruit, pineapple, mango and some floral notes present. Just a bit of rye on the nose and no alcohol. The initial taste has a bit of sweetness with pineapple, rye, and mango. There is also a bit of white grape and some dankness. The finish has a decent bitterness and is dry. No alcohol at all. Medium body. Medium carbonation. This was probably the best IPA that I've had. It was easily the best beer at the Toronado anniversary party. Hopefully, they start making it regularly.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpine's litmus test to me involved having Keene Idea (originally Toronado's 25th Anniversary beer) on a beer list already with outstanding beers. I prefer not to use tasters because I like to soak up a greater experience with a given beer, so after a round a Nelson, Keene Idea had a high mark to hit. On to the beer:

This beer is light orange colored and topped with a short head with solid retention on top. I took a smell of the beer, and at that moment I was assured by the USDA that I had consumed my daily requirement of fruit, as this beer is big on fruit! A smash to the head with passionfruit, followed closely by succulent guava, cantaloupe and mango.

There's no way that a stablemate of Nelson can be better tasting, could it? At times, I thought that Keene Idea had climbed Mount Everest to be with Nelson. While overall it doesn't quite hit that stratospheric peak, Keene Idea is undoubtedly outstanding beer. The beer is not bitter, yet full of hoppiness and more. The tastes of orange, passionfruit, and guava are unashamedly fantastic, and that alcohol level does not cross the palate immediately, further making my pint dangerously drinkable. It's full bodied and very smooth, and already being such a great beer, felt that this beer was not playing fair.

Keene Idea is a beer that I'm sure made Dave Keene smile from ear to ear. This is a fantastic beer!!

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite as good as Bad Boy, but different and special in its own way. Another example of the great SoCal IPAs that have a lot of hops but still make them drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Mike/Jacob. This one leaked a little bit in transit, but otherwise, seemed in excellent health (great carbonation etc.)

Mostly clear mild amber with a dense, white head with decent retention and some lacing, this smells nice. The nose is excellent. Beautiful hop expression with a big pine, lemon and spicy op character. Dank, resiny and weed-like, these notes whelm the fruity Nelson hop notes.

The palate opens super dank and resiny, with pine and a little bit of rye. The bitterness is big, but clean. Moderately fruity as well, with a mild grape character, but this is just so dank! A little bit of alcohol is present on the finish.Medium light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is fantastic on the palate. I really hope they rebrew this.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Type: Draft
Glass: Pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $6.00
Purchased: Oct. 12, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 12, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, caramel, hazy color with one finger of off white head when I got it. Good foamy spiderweb lacing along the sides of the glass. Average retention on the top all the way down. NOTE: Mine was a bit flat and I used the guy’s glass next to me. I went with somewhere in between the ratings. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled sharp grapefruit juice, Citra hops, floral hops, orange, tangerine rind, nectarine, caramel, honey and light spicy Simcoe hops. (Smell - 4.75)

Taste was similar to the nose. Got sharp grapefruit juice, Citra hops, floral hops, tangerine, nectarine, caramel, tangerine rind, more bitter than the nose, very smooth and sweet sugary notes. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium-to-long body. Oily-to-thin texture. Average carbonation. Long, sharp, fruity finish. About as close to perfect as can be. (Feel - 4.75)

Maybe as good as advertised, tough to tell. Wow, best Alpine beer I’ve ever had? (Overall - 4.75)

4.59 | 100 | A+

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Photo of Hootie159
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From growler. Pours a slightly hazy copper orange. Multi finger foam head with reasonable retention. Solid lacing. Smells of good, clean, hop fun. Bitter and earthy smell. A nice, more simple, great tasting beer. Bitter pine that makes way to a hint of fresh grapefruit. Smooth feel with strong carbonation and an assertive hop stick. Best ipa I've tried from these guys, thus far.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a burnt orange color with a thick white head that dissipates some throughout drinking. Solid lacing on the glass. Nice tropical smell on the nose with some of the nelson character as well. Taste reflects that soft citrus flavor with nice bitterness shining through. Great, smooth mouthfeel that you look for with the upper echelon IPA class. Best IPA offering from these guys in my opinion

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Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

Dark orange color with a white head. Enormous citrus aroma. Pineapple, pine, grapefruit, and tangerine. Tropical fruits galore! Flavor is slightly sweet with tons of fruit. Peach, pineapple, melon, mango, grapefruit, and tangerine, just to name a few. Pine bitterness with some floral hops and very minimal malt flavor.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Love the hops in this one, which is easily one of Alpine's best. The only bad thing about Keene Idea is that they (to my knowledge) haven't bottled it yet. I would stock up like crazy!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Mad Mike for sharing a growler of this. I've had good luck with Alpine growlers in the past (shhhh, don't tell them), but fear this sample lost it's edge in transit.

Appearance looks like a beer. Clear, mild amber in color. Sufficient white head with adequate retention and lacing is as expected for style. Bright hoppy nose of resin, lemon, and floral... hops. Soft, medium light body, well carbonated, bitter and juicy finish. Flavor has a light spiciness throughout but is dominated oily, resiny hops; grapefruit, orange and pine. I expected this beer to be a transcendental experience that brought me to tears. Instead, this was a tweaked, optimized version of one of my favorite IPAs, but not quite as good as HF Ann. What a waste.

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Photo of ThaFATkid
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was Fortunate enough to be in town for this release. Had it on tap at there pub on and got a growler for a lucky trader. So this review is from my notes that I took while.

A- Nice orangish white somewhat cloudy body with a little bit of a white head.

S- Hoppy sweet citrus, some honey, mango, pineapple, hoppy weed mixed with a little bit of malty sweetness.

T- Double Nelson fits this perfect this needs to be bottled! With that said first off theres a fruity hoppy honey citrus sweetness that first comes to mind and as the beer warms up the better it tastes. Not too hoppy not to sweet and not bitter a well balanced beer.

M- Smooth Medium and pleasant.

Overall- Like I mentioned earlier this was from my notes and thats what I wrote while drinking it and even now I wish that they would bottle it or have it on tap more. I hope to be able to try this again to compare my notes. Drink Alpine or Go to Bed!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler popped on 3.13.14

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a small tan head that fades slowly.

S - Pine, orange, pineapple.

T - Lots of citrus, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, some bitter pine as well.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Citrus heavy - a touch of bitterness. Very nice.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with about 1/4" of eggshell white head with decent lacing. A bit of carbonation is apparent, but not much. Nice clarity on this beer, but head characteristics could be a bit better.

Smell: A hint of pale and biscuit malts initially, followed by intense citrus, pine and dankness. Excellent hop balance.

Taste: In a word, clean. A hint of pale malt sweetness up front, followed by waves of citrus rind, pine and hop dankness. Definitely one of the most well rounded and cleanest IPAs I have had in some time.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The beer is light to medium in body, with just enough carbonation. Extremely drinkable and does not even come close to drinking to its ABV. Overall, an awesome beer. Was fortunate to be able to sample several of Alpine's hoppy beers during my visit, and this one was leagues ahead of the rest. Excellent.

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

On tap at O’Briens

*2nd release – stoked to catch this still on the day after.

A: Goldenrod body with some orange tones and a smidge of haze. Just enough to distort the appearance of your hand when peering through the glass. Thin lid of paper white foam with some slow rising bubbles. Sticky dots and ribbons of lace.

S: A fantastic floral nose bright with mango and peach notes. Big on the pineapple juice, with some passion fruit and just a suggestion of white wine in there. Smell is pretty killer. Not as heavy on the Nelsons it seems but all fruity and tropical hops.

T: Expressively hoppy flavors of melon, pineapple, and grapefruit. Lesser doses of white wine grape and green berries. There is real nice trailer of herbal weed stems as the pucker hits from an upper moderate bitterness on the palate. Has a perfect balance of sugars with minimal malt character and just a soft caramel kiss to it. Creeper alcohol warmth is well disguised at first. A fantastically hoppy DIPA. Not quite the Double Nelson I was hoping for but definitely tasty.

M: Medium to lighter body with an overall wetness to the beer. Although there is a bit of a crisp drying lift towards the finish. Sappy lingering hop oils with a slight bitter constricting feel.

D: Another hoppy homerun from Alpine. This did not make me think of a Double Nelson but it is delicious in its own right. Flavors are fruit forward with a more restrained white wine note. I do love the Nelson and wasn’t totally mind blown here but still very happy with the outcome. Profile of this batch comes together more like an uber fresh Sculpin or what the guys down at Societe are doing. Balance is superb however and I think I would even prefer this over Enjoy By.

Great beer hope to see this become a regular.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine:

A: Hazy light orange with a small bright white head that recedes to a small ring around the glass. Small specks of lacing persist on the glass.

S: Big notes of orange zest, mango, and pineapple upfront. A hint of sweet malt and some grassy and floral hops.

T: Sweet orange and resinous pine upfront, followed by a gentle bitterness and crackery malt. Drying finish.

M: Light/medium bodied and moderate carbonation.

O: As usual, world class ipa from Alpine. Is anybody surprised at this point?

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz ABC growler, served in a snifter glass 9/30/2015.

Pours a lighter orange-copper body, clear with a remarkable amount of clarity; two finger white head with fair retention (given the growler serving) and very nice lacing. Looks like a West Coaster through and through. Smells of tropical fruit, dank durian fruit, pineapple, rich caramel malt, slight herbal character, a mild amount of spices to it. Deliciously balanced nose. Flavour is similarly excellent; rich tropical fruit, a bit of ripe pineapple and durian fruit, slightly funky and spicy, backed up by a rich caramel malt that is bold but not to the point of cloying or barleywine levels. Makes for a very balanced, complex and rich double IPA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, substantial, slightly slick and sticky but incredibly drinkable. Very mild heat to it. Overall, a very rich double IPA with a lot of interesting spicy and tropical fruit character to it. This is awesome.

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Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine

A - Pours a bright orange/brown with very little head. Slightly hazy.

S - Large citrus aroma with a bit of weed thrown in. In addition to the citrus, quite a bit of mango in the aroma.

T - A little sweeter than I thought it would be from the aroma. Hops still predominate, and the sweetness is actually complimentary in this case, even for an IPA. Like the aroma, lots of citrus and mango in the taste. Just enough malt base to provide balance. Very smooth and tasty.

M - very smooth mouthfeel. Just a touch of alcohol burn, but very minor. Nice bitterness, though the finish is pretty clean.

O - Haven't had Nelson in a while, so I can't compare directly, but this is very nice. Would love to have again.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado for T25...I drank several of these.

Pours an hazy orange color, white head, spotty lace. An explosion of citrus with some light resin and rye. Really bold with a ton of bitter hops but still remaining smooth. Taste is big on the hops, yet smooth...tons of citrus and light onion with some rye in there as well.

Really smooth and super-drinkable for approaching 9%...this walks all over Pliny (had them side-by-side) and is basically a upper-echelon DIPA. What else would I expect from Alpine? Way to hit a homer while celebrating the legacy of Toronado. Exceptional.

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Photo of MHurley
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 64oz growler into tulp crystal clear orange in color with white head that vanished quickly. (I believe because i didnt get to open it soon enough) smells of tropical fruit, pineapple and citrus. Ice lacing and great tasting beer at a 8.8%. Piney and hoppy! Would like to get some bottle to beable to get the full flavor. Im a Nelson guy myself but another great IPA from Alpine

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Photo of kayalla
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one the day after the 25th Anniversary party. Poured into the glass an orange color with a thin head of white. Aroma was big juicy hops, fresh crystalline cannabis buds, orange and lemon peel. Taste was super balanced and a pleasant small explosion of weed like hops and orange. This was so juicy and fresh, dry in the mouth. Better than Elder in my opinion.

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Keene Idea from Alpine Beer Company
4.55 out of 5 based on 443 ratings.
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