Saint Arnold Elissa IPA | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

very good
1,021 Ratings
Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Endeavour is a double IPA. The color is deep amber with a light, creamy head. The nose starts off with a touch of citrus but then turns decidedly into peaches. The taste starts off with creamy malt resulting from the pale 2 row and caramel malts and Saint Arnold yeast. The hop bitter starts low then builds to a crescendo, but always maintains a balance even in its big finish. The hop flavor continues to be peaches, an interesting manifestation of the Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops.

Added by TXHops on 05-14-2004

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Ratings: 1,021 |  Reviews: 395
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

A bit of a hybrid here with English malts and Cascade hops. Authenticity aside, the word "hybrid" is overused to begin with, and look at the facts: 6.6 percent ABV and roughly 60 IBUs--yeah ... that sounds like a modern day American IPA to us.

Good head retention with a sea foam-like lacing on the glass similar to when a tide pulls back. Orangey hop aroma with some juice and rind, a tad minty and earthy as well. There's a pleasant toasted biscuit malt nose right below the surface of the hops. A nice burst of smoothness opens up this beer. Hop bitterness is there with a slick resiny/oily orange flavor that puckers with rind and zest. More of a citric oil and wildflower flavor in the middle. The malt steps up and is able to balance without a problem--it's very biscuity with a toasted husk note in the finish. End is semi-bitter and dry.

This reminds us of those old school "microbrews" of days long gone which we love. Great to see this flavor is still around. Thumbs up!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes from 9/10/10

Enjoyed on cask at Gingerman in Austin, TX.

Poured in to a pint glass with a medium amber colour and 1 finger of thick creamy cream-coloured head.

The nose had some bitterness from the hops with light citrus and floral notes.

The palate is predominantly bitter hops with floral and citrus notes and some caramel malt sweetness in the background.

Creamy; Lightly carbonated.

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Photo of Duttonic
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at the Gingerman in Houston on 8/18/10.

A- Amber in color, cloudy/bubbly at first until settled, two fingers thick whipped foamy head.

S- Hoppy, floral, caramel, sweet, bready.

T/M- Creamy, hoppy, a surprising malt backbone, medium to light medium body.

D- Good drinkability. It was the last of what they had on cask, so I definitely want to try it again when they have it fresh. Try it. It's a good way to sample a non-overpowering IPA and it benefits the Elissa tall ship in Galveston.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby 12 oz bottle with a twist off cap poured into a nonic.

Appearance is a clear light copper color with a moderately thick and creamy head that fades to a thin cap and film with streaky lacing. Aroma is disappointingly mild, with caramel and biscuity malt, and extremely faint citric hops. Flavor and mouthfeel seem more like an APA, with a strong caramel malt body and smooth Cascade hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is pleasantly full, with moderate carbonation and leaves a soft, full coating on the palate. Not the worst IPA, but largely forgettable.

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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 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 Beasticles
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours golden amber with a 1 and 1/2 finger cream colored head. Nada in the way of residual lacing.

S: Smell is very mild with a malty-hop scent.

T: The taste is also rather mild for an IPA. Hops are picked up first and malt finishes it off. Flavor lingers for 20 seconds or so.

M: I liked the mouthfeel. Got the carbonation level right for the flavor intensity. Gives it a cleaner feel than many heavier brews.

D: All-in-all, it's a very decent IPA. Nothing special, but I would buy it again.

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Photo of Xul
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for Dajtai007 for the extra!

A: Pours a translucent golden with some orange highlights, capped by a thin white head. Retention is poor although some lacing is left behind.

S: Earthy hops with just a bit of orange/grapefruit citrus character, backed by a strong malt base that's a mixture of bread and caramel. Some faint pine notes hangs in the background. Overall a pretty subdued nose.

T: Hops come alive on the tongue better than they did in the aroma, with a juicier citrus character and much stronger pine, moving the earthy hops to the background. Malt base takes on more caramel than bread. Well balanced.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, feels a bit on the heavy side.

D: Goes down easy but doesn't have an entirely refreshing finish. Good, solid IPA.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with lighter yellow hints, with an off white head. In the aroma, gritty malt and pine like hops. In the taste, quite mellow across the board, but nice pine hop and a bigger malt than expected. A light bite of pine and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a citrus like dryness in the aftertaste. I like it, seems more like a pale though.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Up front the appearance and aroma was very good. It pours a nice copper/amber color with a bubbly head. The head stuck to the sides of the glass and settled to a strong lace.
(temp 48 into a Sam Adams pint - to me it tasted best at temps between 48-53)

The aroma reminded me of pine needles and lively hops - as it got warmer there was more of a citrus grapefruit smell.

It was a bit strange, the beer looked great, smelled great, but the taste was not that great. I'm not saying it was not good, just not as good as the aroma and appearance. The bitterness and dryness was a little off. At first the taste had a pine hops flavor, however, when it got warmer the taste changed to a more grapefruit bitterness.

It had an oily hops feel to it with lively carbonation.

Overall, compared to other IPA's this one was a okay - I might even say run of the mill. However, the taste had a "Christmas tree" quality. I want to drink this in December or whenever I feel the need to revisit Christmas time. This beer may not be the best IPA out there but it will get high marks in drinkability and smell from me because it invoked a strong sense memory - Christmas time when I was a kid.

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Photo of TexasTowHead
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice copper color with a relatively thin beige head that leaves little lacing. The smell is an intriguing mix of tobacco smoke and grapefruit. Unfortunately the taste is less intriguing with malt and barely detectable citrus; there was little of the hoppiness I've come to expect from the style.

Medium carbonation, belying the somewhat thin head. As with all of Saint Arnold's offerings, Elissa is very drinkable and actually benefits a bit from being less upfront than others of this style.

Update: Had another of these and I feel that I shortchanged the taste in my earlier review--it isn't as hoppy as I initially expected but it is still quite tasty. Moving from 3.0 to 3.5.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 16oz American pint glass.

Appearance: Pale copper color with a fairly sized off-white head that dissipates very slowly and leaves thick lace.

Smell: Light, toasty smell backed up by earthy hoppiness and a bit of nuttiness.

Taste: Bready malt beginning, with a strong bitter finish and some slight nut flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full body with lighter carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Very good overall, though the hops are more subdued and the beer more balanced than the bottled version.

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Photo of JMad
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a chilled pint glass.

Poured a deep copper/ amber color with a creamy 1 finger head that disappeared after a few sips. Left some nice lacing on glass.
Smells like roasted malt, kind of bread-like. Then the hops scent kicks in, not very piney or citrusy, they're just there.
Tastes nice and malty, finishes with nice hop taste, just a little alcoholic, not as bitter as I usually like, but still very delicious.
Feels soft and bubbly, very drinkable.
I'm glad I tried this beer, This is something I would drink on a regular basis

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Photo of number1bum
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to krisandajt for this bottle.

Pours a hazed amber color with a soft orange quality to it. Generates about a finger and a half of light beige head. Keeps a thin but full lace, and does leave some webbing on the sides.

Smell is very malt forward, with bready, sweet caramel notes in particular. There is a subtle citrus hoppiness, and some pine as well, but the level of hoppiness here leaves something to be desired. Very average IPA nose.

There is a bit more hoppiness on the palate, thankfully, but it still doesn't pack nearly the punch that many American IPAs do. The hop qualities are the same as the nose - pine and citrus, grapefruit in particular, but they come out in somewhat greater quantity. I get a bit of a spicy note too. There's a substantial malt backbone as well, with a good amount of caramel sweetness and some bread. Decent amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not as slick and creamy as many IPAs, but pretty smooth.

This is decent, but really doesn't fit the bill for what I look for in an IPA. It's too malt forward, and at the end of the day is very mediocre in a crowded category.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big head and a deep amber almost overly carbonated appearance. Little aroma. Kinda citrusy, not compared to the big hopped ipas though.

Same in the taste profile, muted citrus along the lines of grapefruit feel. A little lighter malt body with it, matches nice. Rather easy to drink, no surprises, a solid effort. A decent, malty ipa.

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

Another treat courtesy of Adouble. Cheers!

Appearance: A standard pour into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass, I see before me a slightly cloudy, dull copper colored brew. The steady stream of bubbles seeping up from the laser-etched bottom of the glass rise to form a small, centimeter's worth of off-white head. This fine bubbled head doesn't hang around too long, fading almost completely away leaving nothing but a thin ring where the beer meets the glass and some sticky patches on the side.

Smell: Smell is fairly standard, although a bit subdued, for an IPA. I'm getting some citrusy hops with some malt to provide a bit of balance. So far there is nothing extra-ordinary about this brew, seems pretty simple and straightforward.

Taste: The subtlety of the hops in the smell are really kicked up in the taste to the point where it's almost surprising. The bitterness is fairly robust, and doesn't take on the singular, citrusy quality as the smell indicates. The hops take on more of an earthy kind of spice intermixed with not-quite-ripe grapefruit. I needed me a bit of a hop fix, and this beer is doing the trick.

Mouthfeel: As the thin head sort of indicated, the carbonation is a bit low. I do like my IPA's to have a bit of fizz to them. Other than that, the body is good and it's going down pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Overall, not a bad drinking IPA. It has some good flavor, and isn't so strong or overpowering as to not be sessionable. There are, in my opinion, better IPA's out there, however I could see myself having more than one of these in an evening.

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

My first review
12 oz bottle pored into a pint glass

A: Light amber color with a small head that dissipates quite quickly leaving minimal lacing.

S: Bready malts with some light grapefruit hop smell.

T: Quite a bit of malt coming through with a light hoppy grapefruit ending. Also a little funky aftertaste that is quite nice.

M: The beer has a nice mouthfeel

D: Drinkability of this beer is off the charts for me. I can easily drink a six pack of this beer without blinking

Very good IPA that doesnt rip my taste buds outta my head. Its also a local brewery so it feels good to support them.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Wine Glass
Attained through a trade (Thanks Neil)

Appearance: The pour is an amber and cadmium orange color with just a thin layer of foam forming on the top. I just got this bottle about 12 hours ago in a trade, so perhaps the yeast didn't have enough time to settle and form on the bottom, but the half bottle pour, and the rest inside the bottle looks quite cloudy. Inside the wine glass is a little bit of effervescence, but it's pretty calm.

Smell: The nose is a mixture of bread and biscuit malts with a little bit of caramel malt as well. On top of the malt sits a little bit of citrus from the hops, but not as strong as I was hoping from this IPA.

Taste: The bready and biscuity malts don't come through on the palate like they had on the nose, but the caramel and pale malts are there. A good amount of hops were used during the boil to add bitterness, but I think some more should have been used for a dry hop. The hop profile just isn't pulling through like I'd like to see. There is however a bit of orange peel and herbal notes at the end of the tasting.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly on on the full side, with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This has been on my list of bottles that I wanted to try, but it didn't impress me like I was hoping. This falls more in line with a pale ale except for the biterness.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Bright clear copperish amber, nice fluffy full looking head, white but not pure white

S: Pretty mild smell, could be too cold, but just some mild hops really, can't tell much

T: Starts with a nice malt base, but quickly turns into sticky almost amber like hops, a little earthy too, good deal of bitterness

M: Exactly medium body, tight feel but not real dry

D: Good, but a little intense to put it down fast

Notes: Couldn't really tell much about the smell, but I'll be sure to check next time. Other than that, the beer is a good IPA, it wouldn't let you down.

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Photo of deereless
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium head that dropped quite quickly, light amber in color, minor to no lacing, very clear - 3.00, S: Very biscuity and with a strong earthy aroma, faint apricot and slight caramel, muffled pine and citrus in the depths of the nose, departs a bit from your traditional American IPA, ever so slight sourness - 3.25, T: Whereas malts seemed to play a larger role than the hops on the nose, the hops have the main role on the palate, nevertheless there are still significant caramel malts, hops provide a sharp pine taste, also somewhat resiny - 3.50, M: Medium bodied with a smooth mouth feel - 3.50, D: All in all a decent IPA though a little heavier on malts than I normally like in my IPAs - 3.25

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Photo of GregSVT
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a huge white head that slowly fades leaving a ton of lacing on the glass. May have poured this a bit too fast...

S: The nose is floral/citrusy hops and a good malty backbone. Nothing overly exciting but definitely solid.

T: The taste is the same hops from the nose with a bit more malt than the nose revealed. I'm actually a fan of balanced IPAs and this one is one of the better ones. I've had this on cask at a bar but didn't want to worry about a review. I'll have to say I liked it better out of the bottle. Great stuff.

M: Good creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: The ABV and the balanced flavor makes this a great session IPA. I can see myself drinking a good amount of these in a night.

Can't believe I waited this long to buy this one and I only got a single. I will definitely be keeping this one in my IPA rotation this Spring/Summer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Robert for sending me this one as an extra in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a clear amber/copper color with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S: The nose is primarily of orange notes from the hops with some sweet caramel malts.

T: The flavors are sweet and malty with plenty of caramel and bread. The finish is mildly piney and bitter, the only main traces of hops on the flavor.

M: The flavor is medium bodied with a moderate level of tingly carbonation.

D: Not a bad IPA, and one of the better ones from the good ol' state of Texas.

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Photo of Popkas
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to my brother in law for this one (and several other Saint Arnolds...)

A: Pours a golden bronze with thick head leaving bubbles matted to the glass. Upon closer review it is very hazy almost unfiltered look.

S: Grassy with some floral hops but just a touch underwhelming.

T: Wow, significantly more going on here than was expected from the smell. Wallop of piney hops to start and more hops (floral?) at the end with a nice bit of malt balancing things out. Not perfect but again much better than anticipated after the nose.

M: Medium body that hangs around for a while.

D: Not my favorite, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of myost88
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Bit of an aggressive pour yields a 2+ finger head. Deep amber-copper color. Head is off white ivory type color leaves some light patches of lace. Beautiful cascading effect that can be stirred up again at any time.

Smell: Grapefruit is the first thing that comes to mind. Citrus is dominent. Not as much of a pine scent that you find in other IPAs. Not very complex

Taste: Grapefruit/Citrus is dominant. Pine is a bit more noticeable than it was in the smell. Has a very tart bite but its also very sweet. I typically find all of SA's line to be on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a sharpness to it. Carbonated up front and very smooth going down. Really perfect for an IPA. Many of the top IPAs could stand to take note of this beer in this category.

Drinkability: Even at 6.6% this a great beer for drinking a few down. Very smooth.

Overall: A fair, although simple, example of the style. Not as bitter as a lot of American IPAs. It's good out of bottle, better on tap. If you get the chance try this on cask!

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Photo of Zaccone
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being used to buying the beers I enjoy, this is underwhelming. But, in the grand scheme of things, it's really a decent beer.

Taste is somewhat hoppy, balanced by some malts. Mouthfeel is hard to describe, because despite the successes of this brew, it seems watery. When I take a sip of this I'm not reminded how glad I am that I picked up a sixer of it. It's merely decent. Sad, since I'd love to give the hometown guy a glowing review. But - sometimes 'decent' is just what the doctor ordered. I'll probably end up buying this again as part of the rotation - as the "I'm sweaty and need a beer" beer.

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,021 ratings.
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