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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 1,018
Photo of Dallasjohn
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark in color, similar to iced tea. Nice head (but disappeared quickley) and fantastic aroma, maybe a little citrus here. I enjoyed the bitterness. I liked the hops. I call this a great bakyard beer. This beer went very well with bratwurst on the grill.

 253 characters

Photo of Xadoor
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is by far my favourite Saint Arnold brew. Poured a dark orange colour with a nice head. Strong hoppy aroma that just smells wonderful. Taste buds are flooded with hoppy, bitter goodness. A full bodied bear with a great mouthfeel. Not a beer that I would want to drink a lot of in one sitting, but definitely a delicious beer.

 330 characters

Photo of Dubblebock
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Elissa IPA is another fine brew from the Saint Arnold's Brewing Company in Houston, Texas. They still can't put a label on straight, but they do produce some remarkable beers to make up for the lack of attention to detail.

Eliss IPA pours with a medium-sized head atop a robust body. The coloring is deep-orange, and the pour is filled with suspended sediment. The nose is all grapefruit and hops.

The taste is incredibly well-balanced and fresh. The grapefruit notes hinted at in the scent really pop out and take precedence in the flavor. The malts are crisp and bready, making a nice counterbalance for the hoppy and fruity main course. Very nice, very refreshing, especially on a hot, Texas day.

Good mouthfeel, good finish. Very drinkable. Highly recommended if you enjoy a good IPA. Makes a great summertime quaffer for the Texas coast. Good job. Why the heck can't you guys put a label on straight?

 918 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to TxBeer for this one...
Pours an orange/copper color w/ a half finger of off-white head after a gentle pour....mininal lacing and head disappears within minutes.
Aroma is faint yet inticing...a nice fruity hop presence w/ some sweet malt and iced tea.
Taste is nice...a boatload of bitterness w/ a very subtle sweetness.
Very well balanced for the style...not trying to overdo it.
Mouthfeel is above average and the carbonation is perfect.
I would enjoy this one on tap very much...a very quaffable IPA.
1st impressions w/ St. Arnold are solid...recommend it to any fan of the style.

 604 characters

Photo of rowew
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Flying Saucer in Dallas. Poured a reddish color with a thin head. Aroma is heavy with hops. Flavor is also hop dominated, with a slightly thick mouthfeel. Unfortunately there was a taste that was just slightly off that kept this beer from being one of my favorites. Despite this it was still a very tasty beer.

 320 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to BA HardTarget for the chance to sample another Texas goodie.

Appearance: Pours a rich and clear copper color with a thin, carbonated khaki head. Carbonation throughout the body and little hop floaties in it...very cool!

Smell: Refreshing citrus, some carmel notes here and there, a bit of pine, and a touch of floral hops. All in all, a very inviting smell.

Taste: Dry carmel and wheat bread that quickly ramps up to some bittering and oily pine notes, a touch of grass, and then back down to the wheat bread, malty base. Bittering pine is the hop flavor profile that continues to dominate. However the malt base balances this out pretty well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crispy due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: Highly quaffable and great for a hot, humid Ohio summer's day. Strongly recommended and thanks again to HardTarget!

 865 characters

Photo of soper2000
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this from Spec's on an interview run to Houston. My first Texas beer if you don't count Shiner.

Upon opening I was presently surprised to get a strong whiff of citrusy hops which actually commanded attention over the poblano'd chicken right next to it. It pours a light brown/dark orange color with a well retaining tan head. First thing that jumps out at me in the taste department isn't the nice mix of piney and citrus hops but it's the subtle hint of bubble gum. I'm not used to that in an IPA. Excellent balance with a solid caramel backbone. This baby is super drinkable. I'm extremely pleased with this offering and it will probably be my alpha king replacement here in a few months.

 718 characters

Photo of RocketWidget
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big cheers to fellow BA dungaree who was exceptionally generous in shipping this brew to NY. Cheers to you man!

Comes in a 12oz twist top bottle with no best by date. Pours a hazy golden-brown color. Head is light, should be a little bigger. Carbonation is very mild. Smell is to style - herbal and hoppy. Taste is sweet, subtly roasted by what I believe to be the hops, and overall just has a good hoppy character. A great beer and I would certainly have another (I've had 3 so far). If your looking for an IPA in Texas, this one is recommended.

 551 characters

Photo of cooter
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours well--a cloudy, murky dark orange. Head is a finger, spotty as IPAs tend towards. Good lacing.

Smell is phenomenal. I got a whiff of cane sugar before the piney, hoppey, spicy, resiny, and just slightly citrus scents hit. Very nice, enticing.

Taste is a little hollow towards the back; I expect a stronger, more enduring taste from the hops. It's tart and biting in the front, with a moderate to strong kick. It may have better than average drinkability for an IPA due to its lack of hops with stamina. Reminds me of expresso. Little grapefruit-like tang.

I can't make a decision. It's a strong, solid IPA, but beyond that I don't have the taste buds to really classify it within the style. I'd have another--and if I had a six pack, I'd be able to get to know it.

 779 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This comes to me through clvand0, as he received it as part of his Confederate BIF. It pours a nice amber color with a finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is beautiful. Lots of sweet citrus hops abound. Very nice. The flavor is a bit less bitter than the nose led me to think it would be. The sweet hop hits first, but mellows out quickly to a slight caramel sweetness and spicey residual hop. Very nice. The feel is moderate to thick. I think this is a nice example of an American IPA. I could easily sit and drink this beer most of the night. Good show.

 572 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The final and most anticipated beer from assurbanipaul's Texas-Minnesota trade. Very nice murky bronze coloring with a head that rises and falls, leaving lots of sticky lacing. Smell is all about the hop flower. Floral and fruity, bubblegum and cotton candy, slightly piney. Taste reminds me of how much I love hops. Slightly malty and sweet, but the hops start sweet and then leave you with a very satisfying bitterness. Mouthfeel is spot on slick and perfectly carbonated. I could drink a gallon. What a great beer, definitely the best of my end of the trade. Thanks again Paul!

 580 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling this beer for the second time reminds me of just how far my tastes in beer have expanded since joining BA. The first time I tried Elissa, about 6+ months ago on a brewery tour, I found it too hoppy and almost undrinkable ( I ended up pouring it down a drain). Tonight I'm really enjoying Elissa and thinking it could be a little bit hoppier. To me this proves that to a degree beer is an acquired taste.
On with the review. Appearance is dark amber with a reddish orange hue. Head is slightly below average size but leaves nice lacings. Aroma is hoppy, fairly simple with no particular hop smells sticking out. The taste here seems fairly balanced compared to other IPAs of which I've read reviews. Hops are still the major flavor though, they just aren't strongly bitter or overwhelming to any degree. The flavor is primarily a zesty type generally described as grapefruit or citrus. A nice touch of malt flavor adds to the complexity. This is a very drinkable beer in my book, now that I've enjoyed this IPA I want to try many more.

 1,045 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours a orange/yellow hue with a white head. Sweet, perfumy hop smell. Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Has a grainy, yeasty malt taste with sweet mangos and bananas. Has a perfumy hop taste to finish.
This brew has a big herbal flowery taste /smell thing goin' on.
An IPA with lots of flavor and no hype.

 344 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No dating on the bottle.
Poured a honeyed golden and clear, with a bit of white head that left only a thin ring and a little dusting in the center. Caramelly sweet and hoppy aroma. Bitey hops, peppery, and bitterness. Grapefruit rind with a bit of grapefruit juice. Bit of sweetness and roasted maltiness coming through. Smooth with a nicely low carbination. Nicely drinkable, good flavors and neither too heavy or too light. Could easily drink a bunch of these.
Thanks to Kindestcut for this one!

 501 characters

Photo of poundboy
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kindestcut for this bottle.

Appearance & packaging: Screwtop bottle but hey, sierra nevada is screwtop so I'll withold judgement. Pours a pale copper/burnt orange, with minimal head that fades like a canadian runner in the texas heat.

Smell: My nose is quite poor, but once it warmed I was able to detect separate malt and hop aromas. The malt smelled extactly like a freshly opened can of malt extract syrup (you'd be suprized how often you find that smell in a beer). The hops I could not identify, only that they probably weren't casacade. Not an unpleasant nose, but not the overwelming oleofactory assult that some IPA's give ya. *Edit* From the website "We use only a single hop in this beer, cascades." Doh!

Taste: Like a quality IPA should. Sweet malt underneath flavorful, bitter hops. The malt has a bit of biscuity character to it, the hops something akin to grapefruit. Not overwelming like some of the westcoast IPAs. Enough hops to let you know this is an IPA, not so many that your palatte is shot after one beer. This beer is much better at 55 degrees than it is at 45.

Mouthfeel: Thick enough to remind you this is craftbrew. points deducted for the relative flatness of the beer.

Drinkability: Tastey, moderate alcohol and not too too many hops. I could probably drink quite a few of these before wanting to switch to something lighter.

 1,380 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label Lingo and bottle babble: Cool “State of TX” shape in the cap top. Dual labeled 12 oz. Stubby browner. Neck label Has an “1877 Elissa Tall Ship.” Sea scape of Saint Arnold drinking a brew. No freshness dates.

Deep orange hued pour with murky countenance topped by a razor thin off white collar.

Juicy orange & cherry spiced scents. Sweet sugary yummy dessert like aromas.

First Swigs: Balanced malt shakes hands with juicy hops. Wondering about the somewhat lack of hoppy brightness. Almost a banana flavor to this. Tacky hard candy malts seem a bit pointed.

Sugary thick and somewhat flat?

Last Swigs: Syrupy hard candy malts & grassy hops balanced IPA.
Thanks to fellow BA Shapudding for the bottle via a trade. Maybe a bit old due to lack of hoppiness and carbonation. Maybe beat up?

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 845 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a reddish tone. Only the faintest hint of a light beige head and almost no lacing. The aroma is hoppy with grapefruit undertones. Medium-bodied with a fair amount of flowery hops in the flavor, as well as a touch of malt, and some sweet fruit. The finish doesn’t have quite the hops bite that I enjoy in an IPA, but it is a well-balanced mixture of mildly bitter hops and citrus. All in all this is a pretty good IPA. Lost a little steam on the head and finish but overall I liked it.

 507 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear copper/amber color with a modest off-white creamy head. The smell is very nice revealing fresh baked bread malt highlighted by a nice accent of citrus hop. Simply mouth-watering! The taste is a light crisp whisper of the malts and mostly made up of the hop punch in citrus fruit colors. Nice! It is a little thin in the mouthfeel department and it finishes slightly dry. The thinness hinders the drinkability a tad as well as the bold dryness.

Notes: I like this beer. Possibly one of the cleanest crisp IPA's I've had. If I had to change anything about it, it would be to add a little malt...but hey, IPA's aren't really known for balance. Cheers!

 671 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light Orange.

Strong, floral, resiny hops in the nose giving scents of pine, spruce and grapefruit along with a slight hint of caramel and toffee.

An onslaught of hops and not much else. In a way, East Coast hoppiness with a West Coast feel. Floral hops with a hint of grapefruit and pine. Solid, biscuity malts. Medium bodied. A pleasure to drink.

 356 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 14 from Assurbanipaul. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/8" slightly off-white head over the amber brew. Head is gone in a flash, and minimal, at best, with just little bubbles left here and there that eventually fall to the liquid. Aroma is hoppy, with a noticeable malt component as well. Taste shows hardly any sign of that malt character, just in-your-face bitterness. Could have balanced this somewhat, I would think, although some malt character begins to arrive as the brew warms. Mouthfeel and drinkability are alright, a tad more malt and carbonation would help. Will revisit this one if I see it again, to make sure these impressions are true to form, but that's how i see it today.

 772 characters

Photo of Boto
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle: This one pours a cloudy, orangish-golden color. There was a very small head that went away immediately. There was no lacing. The aroma is dominated by grapefruit hops. There may be a hint of pininess there also. The taste is good, but doesn’t quite elicit any raves. A decent hop presence in the taste, but not much else. Some maltiness. OK, but not really one to search out.

 389 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a hazy bright orange pour. A small, pale orange head maintains a thin cap. Lots of floating particles throughout this beer.

Aroma - lots of pink grapefruit and pine resin. Very resilient aromatics, wonderful.

Taste - a brief sweet malt start goes nowhere before some serious hops kick in. Solidly bitter, pure grapefruit rind. Finishes dry with a strong grapefruit residual taste; A little harsh but tasty.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, hop oils make it glide over the palate. Average carbonation, well done overall.

Drinkability - tasty and intense. The bitterness is a little harsh and a under-developed for sessioning, but a good IPA nonetheless.

 669 characters

Photo of mudhoney
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A wonderful hoppy IPA with a creamy and nicely laced head, and hoppy characteristic for an IPA. Saint Arnold has outdone themselves on this beer. This IPA finished with a sweet clover aftertaste that is different from most IPA's I drink, but common in Saint Arnold's beers. Very crisp, citrusy flavor and a drinkability that compliments almost any type of foods. I'm a big IPA fan and also a native Texan, but haven't been all that excited about the Texas craft brews I have tried outside of Saint Arnolds since Celis was sold. This beer I would easily rank along side of any of my favorite beers. It's new and not available in too many stores.

 644 characters

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

Poured a medium, clear copper color with a thin head, leaving some fine lace all the way down.
Smell is very hoppy with a hint of sweet malt.
Taste has a hint of malt but the hopiness really grabs you and stays with you.
Very light and refreshing in the mouth and easy to drink.
One of the better beer from St. Arnolds.

 324 characters

Photo of filabrazilia
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a medium beige head. Good lace.

A pronounced grassy hop aroma greets the nose and is joined by a touch of carmel malt. Very nice.

This is a pretty hoppy beer. The hops embrace the mouth and leave a strong impression. There is a touch of malt to balance this grassy hop flavored beer.

Pretty thin in the mouth but nice and refreshing to drink. The hops are firm and bitter and pretty darn assertive. The hops linger well after the last sip.

This is the best beer I have had from this brewery. A very nice interpretation of the style.

 570 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.