Saint Arnold Elissa IPA | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA
Liked This Beer
3.77 w/ 1,029 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:
A traditional India Pale Ale, the Elissa IPA is very hoppy with a properly balanced malty body. Elissa has huge hop additions in the kettle that give it a wonderful bitterness and is then dry-hopped in the fermenter to create the pleasant floral, hoppy nose. Our reverse osmosis water makes the bitter very soft with no harsh notes to it. The maltiness is derived from British Maris Otter malt. Its rich flavor stands up to the hops that would otherwise dominate this beer. The Elissa is an authentic version of an India Pale Ale (IPA) style.

Added by TXHops on 05-14-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,029 |  Reviews: 397
Photo of nitro0292
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, part of a mixed six purchased @ Kroger's over Thanksgiving weekend.

A - Good stable head, poured a clean, mostly clear orange.

S - Piney and Citrusy hops - Mmmm.

T - Not as citrusy as I would have hoped, more piney, floral, grassy hops than expected, but still a good, well balanced brew. Strong piney hops create a nice flavor profile.

M - Good. Nice balance of carbonation and body, could have preferred a touch more body, but still very enjoyable.

D - I would have liked more citrus to really make the mouth water for another.

When all is said and done, I would buy again. Good job.

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Photo of JonathanCrites
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Kroger on W Gray in Houston.

A - Poured a clear gold color into a pint glass. White head with some lasting along the edges of my glass.

S - I love the hop aroma of this beer. Smells crisp and fresh and ready to drink.

T - Hops all the way through but enough of the malt balances it out so you are not overpowered. Hops are clarifying as you drink, definitely getting some citrus as I continue on.

M - I would say this has a medium mouthfeel. There also feels like a good amount of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable and smooth, I like that the hops are not so strong as to wear your taste buds out. I could have had several more.

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Photo of GJ40
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at the Ginger Man in Dallas.

A - Golden with good clarity.

S - Citrusy hops with some yeast.

T - A balance between hoppy flavor / bitterness and toasted malt. The flavors were OK but not great. It seemed a bit stale and muted. I wondered if it was the beer or if it had been on cask too long.

M - A bit creamy with a great low, cask carbonation.

D - Nice but not as good as the 512 IPA my friends went with.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Received as an extra from SSW117; thanks Sam!

a - Pours a nice transparent amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate
carbonation evident. Little bit of retention and lacing.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, honey, and caramel malts. Nothing is overpowering, but it is very pleasant.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, citrus hops, floral hops, bready malts, and light pine. Lot more malts in the taste than the smell, and no really bitterness at all. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

d - I found this to be a very enjoyable, easy to drink IPA. It is not overally hoppy in the smell or taste, and the malts definitely come through more in the taste than the smell, but it is very pleasant. If I was looking for an IPA that was balanced between malts and hops and this was on my shelves I would definitely buy it again sometime.

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

Old Elissa does the part on the visual side of things. A murky amber body sits below a big foamy bubbly head, recession is slow.

The nose is on the sweet side, well-balanced but the nod goes to the hops. Tropical citrus and more bitter pine lead the charge, with sweet caramel and clove trailing behind.

The flavor is on the sweet side, still well-balanced, but by no means a hop showcase. It is very soft, the initial bitterness is interrupted by tinny phenols and an over-buttery character. Aftertaste is fresh citrus fruit and a floral dryness.

The mouthfeel is soft, but full. Carbonation is mild, but I have no complaints as it makes this brutally easy to drink. It's a bit on the sweeter side for me, but a well done beer for sure.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served into my Narke tulip...Pours a bright and attractive medium orange with an off white head. The head only rises about two finger and falls fast to a small soapy head, ok lacing...A sweet aroma of caramel and alcohol, reminds me of a light dipa, just not as strong. Caramel, bread and pineapple on the front with a nice grass hop finish. Balanced and alluring...The taste carries over the sweetness of the aroma too much. A super sweet ipa, malty caramel and bread, there is no hops in this at all. Flavor wise a tad disappointing, I want a bite.

This is an easy to drink beer, not an ipa at all, but its tasty. Don't bother getting this if you want an ipa or you will be disappointed.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet.

A Clear, and honey colored brew pours but generated just a moderate head and not much in the way of lacing

S malty backbone and a lite (LITE) touch of hops to the nose

T the taste itself is GREAT!!! hoppy IPA flavor to be savored.

M: nice enough....a bit nondescript

D: to hoppy for a session, but then go ahead and do it anyway.

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Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to OakedCanuck for sending me this one in a recent trade. I used to live in Texas and have had many St. Arnold beers, but I haven't had this one in a while.

A: Pours almost clear, but not quite - more of a hazy, brownish-red liquid with a very generous 1.5 inch head.

S: Candy sugar, malts, a little bit of hops but not much citrus.

T: Not bitter at all. This IPA is more on the malty end of the spectrum and I'm a bit surprised by this since this is a single hopped beer and that single one is cascade. I thought for sure there would be some grapefruit in there. However, this is not bad by any means.

M: A bit syrupy, but I appreciate the gesture of not doing, yet again, another West Coast hop explosion IPA.

D: I had no problems slamming this one down. I may be headed back to visit Texas soon, so I will look for more of this stuff for sure. I'd love to try this on tap!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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%
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 -3.2%
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 -11.7%
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 -36.6%
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 -23.1%
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 -14.9%
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 -1.1%
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 -16.2%
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 +4.5%
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 -4.5%
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 +7.7%
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 +12.7%
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 -12.2%
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 -7.2%
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 -1.9%
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%
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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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 60.8% out of 100 with 1,029 ratings
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