Saint Arnold Elissa IPA | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

very good
395 Reviews
Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TXHops on 05-14-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 1,018
Photo of Rizalini
2.31/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Recieved in a trade from scm2787. Thanks for the bottle!

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Deschutes tulip, it pours a clear golden orange color, with a minimal 1/2 finger off-white head.

S - Faint aromas of some malts, but no hops.

T/M - Unfortunatly, I'm not getting much of anything besides a slight bitterness at the end. Medium light mouthfeel.

O - I'm wondering if this one's not old? Without any identifiable markings to verify the date, I'm just taking a shot in there dark here. But for an AIPA this one falls flat...

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Photo of crossovert
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

It pours an amberish/copperish color with a big foamy white head that sticks for a while before receding with some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit of a letdown. It is very malty, almost earthy as well, there are hops in the piney and tomatoey variety.

Maybe this one didn't survive the journey from Texas, it is devoid of any hops. Just some dough like malt and some spice.

Maybe i got a bad bottle? It isn't very potent.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.47/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is a turbid, amber beer with a dull glow. I had yeast floaties in mine. There is a very impressive two fingers of sherbert head that sticks around and laves great lace. The nose is prettymuch standard cascade citrus, pine, and a deeply biscuity malt aroma. Was nice for the first few quaffs, but turned a little musty on me.

The upfront character of this beer is juicy-fruit gum chaced quick with a bracing, almsot antagonistic hop bitter, which falls flat due to a combination of water mouthfeel, overcarbonation, and lack of a strong malt foundation. It all drops out the bottom. Metallic finish makes it all the more funky. I'm not too impressed with Elissa, and had a hard time finishing it.

Goes to show what cask can do I guess. I had it on cask in Houston and it was pretty dreamy.

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Photo of armock
2.48/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this on cask at the Ginger Man in Houston its a lot different than on tap.

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of pine scented hops

T - Very disappointing it was like a mouth full of dirty hops

M - On cask theres no carbonation and makes it feel very thin

D - I like Elissa on tap but on cask its just not drinkable to me when I saw it I was excited to try it but after the first taste I was disappointed with this beer I wouldn't run out to try this again

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Photo of craytonic
2.48/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice honey-sun hazy orange-tangerine. Soda fountain head that quickly disappears.

Smell: There are hops in this beer?

Taste: Once again, there are hops in this beer?

Mouthfeel: Thin, but at least I don't have to complain about the lack of hops again. This is the better part of the beer, although it could still use a bit more malt. Very dry.

Drinkability: Not impressed at all, in a blind test I would have guessed this was a BMC, needs more of everything.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is clear and light orange hued with a small white head. The aroma consists of grain, biscuits, toasted bread. Very little hop presence here. The flavor confirms the absence of the hop profile one would expect in an IPA. Too grainy. Light to medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, I find this beer unimpressive. Not a repeat for me.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mhewes for this one.

This beer pours a clear copper amber with a sustained sandy head of off-white.

Smells of distant sour grains and a pungent hop that makes me think of produce that's on it's way out.

Tastes very thin of a sweet multi-grain bread that is subsumed by a sour and dry hop that reminds me of apples, cedar and sour grains. bleah! In the finish, there's a boozy sting.

feels light and clean with a swarm of carbonation that seems to get in the way.

Hmmm. Not as I remember this one at all. It seems that I should have drank this one when it was far more cold.

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Photo of sweethome
2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this versus Real Ale Lost Gold IPA. Based on my score...I think you'll see I like Real Ale better. This is the lowest score I've given this brewery.

Pours a light yellow with a bit of haze.

A bit of honey on nose...not much more. Slightest hint of hops. Say what - IPA with a hint of hops?

Not much of a finish. This disappointed me.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/27/2007 (Tap @ brewery):

Huge head, good lacing, big bubbles. Bitter aroma, hoppy, just hops, not tempered by malts. Hoppy bitter taste, somewhat tempeped by the malts. Malty, somewhat bitter taste. But bitter as it warms up. Just okay, I like IPAs, but this one is in the lower half for me.

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Photo of jwff
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark orange leaning towards reddish tones. Decent enough but fairly dark for an IPA. Smell is hops leaning towards sugary syrup with some alcohol. Taste is about the same but with less alcohol. This is very 2 dimensional, bittering hops with achingly sweet malt. The mouthfeel is candy sweet and not in a good way. I don't hate this beer, in fact I used to really like it, but this batch is just puckeringly sweet paired with an awkward bitterness which makes it pretty hard to take. Aye.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.89/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served in a snifter. Bottled on 5/31/13.

The head on Elissa built to a solid inch, but retention was lacking. Now the foam has been reduced to a ring. The lacing is thick and plastic-y. Golden- amber body looks really nice though!

First aromas are solvent and flowery, combines to make a scent similar to nail polish remover. An earthiness is present underneath that rather unpleasant smell. I am not detecting much else out of the glass.

This IPA starts earthy, flowery, and even has a nutty flavor. I know this is brewed with Cascade hops, but I am not detecting much citrus. The bitterness is decent, and is more resinous than piney.

The lighter side of the body is most noticeable. It is appropriate, but does not jive with the growing bitter finish, Elissa seems quite dry because of this.

I am pretty sure this IPA is just fine when consuming a fresher bottle. It is reviewed well enough. I would gladly give this one another try. It is not undrinkable as is, but pretty close.

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Photo of Kaiser81
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Mora2000

Poured a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A - Pours a clear amber color with about a finger width of head. There are noticeable floaties in the glass too. There is some nice lacing on the glass.

S - I get some raisins, some sweet bready malt, a touch of chardonnay mixed with hints of tropical fruit.

T - All malt with a touch of pine, and some overripened grapefruit. There is a noticeable lingering bitter taste too. Nothing that can be figured out, just bitter.

M - Light bodied with a bit excess of carbonation

D - I think I'd pass on this if offered again, though I was happy to try it.

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Photo of marcpal
2.91/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Won this beer in an LIF, thanks to Andy Van Slyke. 12oz bottle poured vigorously into a Tremens tulip.
Bottle graphics: 1/10. One of the ugliest.

A: Sure beats the appearance of the bottle. Golden hazy orange with a medium sized head. Sporadic lacing at best.

S: Some hops, only small hops. Could use a hell of a lot more. The sugar completely overwhelms what claims to be a bitter fruity smell and anticipated taste.

T: Sweet caramel that is quickly chased down with some of the hops. Piney type of bitterness with a remaining awkward sweetness that I want out of my mouth. I will give it credit that is it warmed something of a fig paste flavor came out that I thought delivered some needed goods.

M: Pretty creamy compared to the other characteristics. The beers aspect that I liked the best.

D: OK, so many better IPAs out there to spend time worrying about tracking this down at any time. Pleasant but not much more. Hell, if I were in the midwest, Id suck down many a Bells over this.

Had a couple St Arnolds now and surely not have been enthused or eager to seek any more of them out. Blah.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber in color with quite a bit of haze to it. The head never rises very high, but it retains nicely.

Smell: Not a ton of hop aroma (or aroma in general) from this one, oddly enough. Some mild fruit and grass are all I could pick up.

Taste/mouthfeel: Semi-dry bready malts, a bit of fruit and mild bitterness. Are there hops in this? It's kinda hard to tell. Seriously though, this is rather good stuff, but it drinks more like a nice pale ale. Those used to palate-raping West Coast style IPAs will probably find this overly mild, but it does have a nice flavor to it. The finish is pleasantly dry and reveals a touch more bitterness, but I still have a hard time calling this an IPA.

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Photo of tbone53
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this didnt taste like the othere ipa styles i have tried.not bad though just a minor adjustment.nice creamy head and moderate can taste the hops i think this is a good thing.not a bad beer but they have better products.i think their amber ale taste more like a ipa.

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Photo of orcasteve
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

tates a bit to much of corn or grain and not enough hops, this one is more like a week pale insted of an ipa, still would have been week if you called this one a pale, but this one is better than most macro brews out there. i wish this one was thicker and a few shades darker. all and all i would drink this one agan if i saw it.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Typical IPA color and almost perfectly clear. Head doesn't seem to want to last and there is tons of carbonation inside the beer.

S - Don't know when this one was bottled but the hops smell has almost disappeared. You can tell they are there but the sugar from the mash is much more present. Not going to completely slam it on rating b/c it could be due to old age.

T - Pretty much follows suit with the aroma. There is a slight citrusy/earthy taste from the hops but the freshness is gone. Sugary flavors are still there and there is sort of a metallic/grapefruit aftertaste. Not impressed.

M - Well the body is right on spot for the style as well as the volumes of carbonation, might be the best part of the beer, haha. No alcohol kick and aftertaste vanishes as fast as can be. Drinkability not really good because there is nothing to look forward to.

Acquired this one during a trade as an extra and I can tell why now, someone clearly wanted to offload their stock and make it someone else's problem.

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Photo of bastardface
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I have always liked and respected Saint Arnold's products. The Elissa isn't exactly my favorite though. The smell is good in that in is strong and a little overbearing. The taste is harsh and a little bitter. It's a strong taste and leaves a bit of an aftertaste. If you like dark, strong ales this IPA is for you. Just not for me.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle received from PHawk at Dark Lord Day. Thanks!

A: Fairly clear orange with a thin beige head. There's some stuff floating in the beer but it still looks fairly nice. As i drink it, it leaves attractive lacework

S: Mild citrus hop aroma with a faint malt presence. Nothing to write home about

T: Very mild hop flavor up front with no real malt character either. Maybe this is just a little too old? It's tasting like a pale ale to me.

M: Fair body, pleasant carbonation

D: Doubt I'll finish this - there's other stuff I'd rather drink now

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. Beer is amber / orangish and completely clear with a white head, one finger, moderate to low carbonation, some lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is grainy and sweet, almost no hops. D'OH!

Beer is medium in body, mild bitterness on the backend, grainy, mildly dry finish, a little bit of an aftertaste, a very mediocre IPA, not my favorite and probably not a repeat but it is not horrible. I've had worse but this one is not very good.

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Photo of nandemo1
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bright clear gold with tons of bubbly carbonation. Had a full finger of white head. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell is very muted and I'm able to get just a little bit of earthiness and sweet malt. It is bitter, but I'm not getting much flavor at all outside of that.

Mouthfeel is spot on for a single IPA, crisp and refreshing, without a whole lt of stickiness.

Very drinkable but without any flavor so this is an average beer at best.

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Photo of bmwats
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Light golden hue. Heavy carbonation. Pours about a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Disintegrates very quickly, leaving only pockets of foam on the surface. No real lacingg.

S: Piny with a slight hint of ammonia.

T: Full malty baked bread, with a biting piny hop. Well-balanced.

M: Really piny, and a bit of an earthy balance.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is okay. Golden hue, with a decent head, and lots of carbonation; but no lacing. Nose is simple, and has a bit of an off-putting smell of household cleaner. Flavor is a hearty with a hefty pine hop. Overall, this is a pretty decent quaff.

(May need to re-review. Judging from the others, I just had the one.... maybe it was skunky. Oh, well.)

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Photo of natelocc787
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is mediocre at best. Head builds good but no lacing is left upon it's death. The nose is even weaker, when I smelled it out of the bottle it was very inviting, the term "hoppy" comes to mind. Once poured though "malty hop water" comes to mind. Things pick back up in the taste category but not too much. Not much citrus in this one, lots of pine and spruce with a spicy caramel malt bite. The bitterness threatens to make your mouth pucker but ultimately fails. Mouthfeel, sadly is the highlight. Well done, tiny bubbles, medium thickness and a sparkling nectar quality.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice slightly hazy light orange color with some golden notes. There is a slightly ecru thin head that recedes quickly.

S - The aroma has some biscuit malt and some nice grainy notes with some slight citrus hop notes. However, the hops are very light. I don't think this smells like an IPA at all. Don't get me wrong the aroma isn't bad but this needs more hops.

T & M - Starts off with some bready notes. Very crisp and clean grain notes. There is some slight pale caramel malt notes in the beginning. There is some nice slightly citrus hop notes but the hop presence is definitely lacking. There is some slight tangerine and a grassy herbal hop note but once again these are very light. The bready notes are nice and it has a slight English IPA vibe to it. I feel like this beer is not too bad but it is lacking. It needs more hop flavor. Mouthfeel is crisp and light as expected.

O - Pretty average beer. It isn't bad or anything like that but just very average and nothing to write home about. I will probably have more than one of these but just because I bought a six pack.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours clear light golden amber with a big pillowy off white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is bready, biscuit malts and fruity, grassy hops (cascade?).

The flavor is milder than expected - some sweet bready, biscuit malts with a little fruit and a decent grassy, slightly metallic bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an OK IPA - too much biscuit malt and not enough hop flavor.

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,018 ratings.
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