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: 1,019
Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Dark gold color with a okay head
S-citrus smell with a strong hop aroma and a slight malt coming in
T-heavy pine, light malt that goes to a pine resin aftertaste that stays with you til the emd
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-I like this beer it had most everything I look for in an IPA. I think i need to try a few more to make sure

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Burnished gold, somewhat hazy, with a half-finger of off-white head and modest visible carbonation.

S: Tropical fruit, melon, and citrus hops with some grainy bready malt and just a touch of medicinal and vegetal aroma.

T: Bitter citrus, a medicinal astringency, resinous hops, light malt with a strange amount of graininess for IPA (rather than APA). A pithy to featureless bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body, good carbonation sensation, and a subdued alcohol presence.

O: Not my favorite IPA for sure, though not undrinkable. The medicinal and astringent flavors really do detract some for the beer. I'm a bit disappointed for sure.

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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 Cavanaghty
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber color with a thin white head.

Smell: Mild citrus, pine, and hops

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Bitter hops and pine, with a mild citrus sweetness. Strong bitter after taste.

Overall: Pretty good IPA, I would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of Shaw
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by the brewery ahead of their Florida debut.

Pours a medium amber in color with a big off-white head that reduces to a slender layer in my glass.

Mild citrus/metallic hop aroma.

Nicely bitter, with caramel and biscuit flavors from the malt. Sharp, metallic/bitter aftertaste. Very nice. I like IPAs like this one, that aren't super dry.

Good body, almost hefty.

Overall a very good IPA that can compete with the best of them. Will it outprice itself against the superb Sierra Nevada Torpedo?

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a very very average ipa. nothing special here at all, and I have a fairly fresh bottle. nice orangey gold glow on the pour, and my globe gives it a good looking inch of white head with solid retention. nose of grassy hops, but everything is really in the background, almost stale. understated in smell and taste to the point of boring. this is an ipa man, assert yourself! balanced again, to the point of not being interesting, and the hops just don't pop for me. medium bodied and sort of creamy and expansive, but this has very little happening for me. I took four days off from drinking beer, a periodic reset for the guts, and all I wanted was a good ipa. this failed me on so many levels, and honestly, a 3 overall is generous. its just missed the mark in every facet. good feel though for a session ipa. saint Arnold has some work to do on their basic lineup...

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is my first review and I am a little hesitant because there are so many advanced beer connoisseurs present. I have been enjoying beer for many many years but have only gotten into the craft beer thing more deeply within the last year or two. More than anything, I know what I like and what I don't like. I am reading and educating myself about all of the terms and nuances related to becoming an expert myself. Having said that I will review this beer.

I really like just about everything that I have tried so far from Saint Arnold's. This beer is no exception. I do think that there needs to be a bit more carbonation because it is barely more than flat. Nonetheless, the carbonation is present and I let the brewery know I think it needs a little more carbonation. Not being an expert I am not sure that my suggestion to them is right as more carbonation might kick something else into the red zone.

(11/29/13-Follow up on the carbonation issue. I just purchased another six pack and this one definitely has a lot more carbonation that the first one reviewed. I am drinking it from a tulip and there is a little geyser going from the bottom to the surface leaving a thin pillowy head. There is also a nice rather oily lacing. Much better!)

I placed this beer in the bottom of my fridge where it does not freeze but gets very cold. I poured it into a 12 oz Saint Arnold's glass I procured on a tour of the brewery. There was almost no head and no lacing to speak of. The nose of this beer is what I would call bright and hoppy. It is a bit strong but it seems that the hops hide the ABV. This is good.

I like this beer. I can say that I love beers that are balanced and smooth and filled with interesting flavor. This beer is in that category. The hops are very distinct and way up front and last even into the aftertaste without being offensive in any way.

This beer is something I will drink regularly. Enough extra ABV to be fun with a very interesting and refreshing flavor.

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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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Photo of brurevu
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Saint Arnold Elissa poured a nice golden amber with lots of floating sediment which seemed a little strange, but it did not detract from the brew. The Elissa had a bitter hoppy flavor that was diligently balanced by a strong malt body. It was a nicely balanced beer that didn’t try to overwhelm me with hops, but struck a delicate balance. This is an easy drinking and thirst quenching IPA.

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Photo of nsheehan
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saint Arnold
12oz bottle to English pub pint
BW 20130508 (bottled on?)

A – A very clear amber. Quickly subsiding head, that leaves just a thin layer on top. Very few bubbles rising. The clarity is astounding.

S – The fruits are the stars in this aroma. Some piney, resinous hop smells riding along with some nice fruit. Pineapple, orange, and grapefruit (I think). Also, a slightly musty kind of light smell from the malt. Like a very light vanilla smell, with a dash of brown sugar.

T – Nice hop flavors come through, first followed by the fruit, and then they share the spotlight well, through the swallow and into the aftertaste. This is very enjoyable. The hops are represented by sweet grass and some light pine and spiciness, followed by a slight burst of citrus flavors: orange, pineapple, grapefruit. These flavors are supported by a light, slightly sweet malt backbone that only shows its head right after the citrus burst. As you swallow, the sweetness gives way to the fruit mainly, and then the slight pine and resin taste comes back, balancing the fruit.

M – Heavy-light bodied, not very carbonated, I’d say under-carbonated slightly. Finish is average dryness. Sticks slightly close to the tongue without hugging it. Pretty slick feeling.

D – This is pretty close to the IPA I have been wanting to brew myself (in the future when I start brewing, though based on current preference). It has hop character but really gives it to you with some fruitiness. They go well together and the malt is happy to be hanging out on the side. There is a clarity to the smell and taste that I cherish, and influences my scoring of the beer.
4.25, 4.5, 4.75, 4, 4.5; 4.6.

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Photo of stinkydaddy
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Again, wish I had a scoresheet.. This is what I remember.

a - medium high hop aroma

a - what you expect from an IPA. copper with excellent white head. no haze.

f - hop flavor followed by hop bitterness. some caramel. no alcohol.

m - well carbonated beer with a light to med body. a bit of astringency.

o - a nice IPA. some pucker that I believe is the result of astringency rather the hop bitterness. Though I prefer late hop additions rather than bittering hops I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of Premo88
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(5/30/13 born-on date)

L: clear amber-orange with an emphasis on the orange ... tan head about 1-inch tall that's super thick and creamy with a slight bit of stick; does not lace on the way down; a remarkably clear brew -- proof that a craft brewery can gives us a crystal clear IPA

S: grainy when super cold but it opens up to some major sweetness ... the tropical fruit/mango/caramel kind of sweet from the cascade hops; when it warms up, the bready/yeasty malt shows up in the nose

T: hop bite! the first taste is a big bitter up front, but it smooths out and sweetens quickly; every now and then you get a hint of English malt ... the sweet bready kind of malt ... but that hint is a quick in and out; the rest of the time, the hops dominate this brew with loads of caramel/mango sweetness

F: good all around; perhaps just a shade on the light/watery side, but not bad by any means

O: cascade hops, so I read, are supposed to be citrusy -- they aren't in this brew. not at 60 days old, anyway, for my first six-pack of Elissa has had that sweet hop flavor that isn't piney, citrusy, grassy or spicy; it's the mango/starfruit/passion fruit/caramel kind of sweet hops flavor that still manages to come with a bite.

all in all, it's a fantastic, straight-forward American IPA that isn't over the top in any regard, a solid balance between the bitter and the sweet

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Photo of mjurney
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber-gold color, slight haze. Lots of fine bubble rising up. Thick bright white head.

Malty, citrus, resin, orange.

Bready, caramel, butterscotch. Hop bitterness is medium, mainly citrus, a little grassy and resin. Faint tropical fruit towards the end. Finish is bitter, crisp and dry. Body is medium, crisp, refreshing, dry.

It's an excellent beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Dogfish Signature snifter. Bottleneck says 050813.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Metallic, uninteresting herbal hop nose with some bready malt trailing.

T- Flavor is equally boring with very mild bitterness and a one-dimensional hop profile. It's actually quite malt-heavy but doesn't exhibit a favorable sweetness or complexity. That said, the alcohol isn't too noticeable.

M- Once again, a bit lame and uninspired although there's nothing necessarily wrong with it. Medium carbonation with a fullish body.

O- One of the weakest IPAs I've ever had. If you see this on the shelf, pass on it and reach for either Endeavor or Divine Reserve if possible.

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Photo of acevenom
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug. The beer pours light copper with a white head and plenty of visible tiny bubbles. The head sticks around for a while. This is a very malty smelly IPA that gives aromas of brown bread with some citrus. The flavor follows the nose. There's a lot of brown bread with some citrus and some nice back end hop bitterness. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The beer drinks pretty smoothly with some bitterness lingering in the aftertaste. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is minimal. Lacing is decent. It has a piney, citrus aroma that is kind of on the weak side. Good smooth taste. Piney resin and citrus. It kind of trails off to more of a lager taste at the end, though. Odd. Soapy and astringent aftertaste, but not too strong and doesn't linger long. It really is a good beer overall and one I would consider keeping on hand in the fridge.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This poure out as a copper color with a small white head on top. The retention is minimal with virtually no lacing at all. The smell of the beer is mostly malt, not sure how old the bottle might be but I have trouble detecting much of the hops on the nose here. The taste is also pretty malt forward as well, decent caramel flavors but not enough hops to give it the punch it needs. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's got a solid body to it, good carbonation and it's pretty easy to put down. Overall it's more of an English IPA to me than an American one. Either way it's a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Ommegang chalice glass

Appearance- Tints of yellow, orange and red. 2 fingers of cloudy white head that dissipates into a very thin layer leaving spotty lacing.

Smell- Lots of juicy citrus with some bready malt.

Taste- Lots of buttery bread malts combined with juicy citrus fruit. Reminiscent of Smuttynose IPA.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation that makes it a little heavier drinking then I like in an IPA.

Overall- A very well balanced IPA that may get discounted in hop heads books, but is very solid in mine.

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Bottled: 5/30/12.

Pours a clear orange/amber with very little visible carbonation. Has a nice sticky white head (recedes to a ring) that leaves some lacing. Smell is a wonderfully juicy pineapple and tangerine citrus burst. The taste follows the smell with a burst of sticky juiciness with a nice caramel malt backing. Not particularly sweet. Leaves a lingering mouth coating bitterness.

One of the best AIPAs I have had. So juicy and hoppy. I wish it was unfiltered, but this may just be due to my favorite AIPA being unfiltered.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA has a thick, fluffy, cream-colored head, and a clear, sparkling, orange-gold appearance, with lots of lacing and some streaming bubbles. The aroma is of sharp citrus and bready malt, and the flavor is of bitter hops, citrus peel, and sweet bread. The mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Saint Arnold Elissa IPA finishes astringent, mostly dry, puckering, and mellow. Overall, this is a most excellent beer.


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Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dirtygrind (Reddit) for another Saint Arnold I've never had before.

Bah, another screw cap?! Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, light lacing, over a hazy copper honey orange colored beer.

Nose isn't bad, nice light floral hops, some citrus with a light candied orange peel, a bit of pine, and a bit of earthy bittering style hop and some sweet crystal malts.

Taste starts with some sweeter malts, a light syrupy caramel like sweet malt with a hint of a toasty reddish malt, and a light candy flavor. That leads into the hops with again the candied orange peel, a mild bitterness with light earthy bittering hop, and just touches of citrus and faint hint of tropical fruit like tangerine.Finish is a bit malty sweet and syrupy but a bit drier, a ramping grassy earthy hop taste that reminds me that it actually is an IPA despite the light hop flavors and malty sweetness.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, bit sticky.

Overall eh, not great, it started OK, but the taste dropped off with little hop flavor and even lighter bitterness overall. The malts take a lot more of the show, making this more of a hoppy red ale.

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Photo of Tone
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of citrus hops, slight hop oils, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, and slight caramel malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of hop oils. Overall, weak appearance, decent aroma and body.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P:  Thin off white head that hovers over a clear darkened apricot/copper color. 

S:  Mellow crisp nose of citrus hops, pale malts, apricots, orange, grapefruit and fresh grains with a touch of herbs. 

T/M:  Medium body with timid toasted malts and grains with and fruity presence of grapefruit, apricot and orange zest. Hops are subtle and not too bitter but it's nice for a summer ale.  Sun dried lawn clippings and a slight rustic flare develop when it starts to warm.  Finish is crisp and dry with lingering orange zest. 

O:  Nice IPA especially for those looking to embark on the world of IPA's it's a gentle beast of bitter that has clean flavors and nothing overbearing. Would drink this again.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear beer that's dark/goldburnt in color and topped off with a white head, medium lacing and medium crbonation.

This is a clean smelling beer, light hops with mild citrus undertnes: grapfruit, orange zest. It has a medium-to-full mouthfeel.

Its a pretty hoppy beer, slightly bitter overall and a semi sweet aftertatse and goes down well too.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A crystal clear golden/amber with a nice, thin soapy head up top. The nose is smells of strong citrus and toasty british malt. The taste is rich in hops at first, but a nice robust toasty and sweet malt, as well as a light yeasty note, take some of the edge off the cloying grapefruit hop flavor (cascade?). Sharp carbonation and a nice smooth mouthfeel, make this one flavorful beer that is at home in a texas summer. All in all, this is a very good IPA, and a nice change from the constant barrage of 'west coast' style ales (not that there is anything wrong with them). A very flavorful and complex beer, made by some very knowledgable brewers.

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,019 ratings.
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