Saint Arnold Elissa IPA | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA
Very Good
1,045 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,045 |  Reviews: 399
Photo of Marty30
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dajtai007 for this. Poured into a pint glass at about 45 degrees.

A. Nice hazy copper colored body with good carbonation. Two finger fluffy white head. nice lacing sticking all over the glass.

S. I get piney hops and a kind of astringent taste. Some citris also.

T. Very much like the smell, lots of bitter hops not to balenced in my opinion not really a bad thing though. I get a slight bit of peach in the end.

M. Medium mouth as said before pretty bitter and well corbonated.

D. Not bad at all, I could drink a sixer in a sitting. worth trying if you can get it.

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Photo of joshuacavett
4.92/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was crazy smooth on cask! Had at Major League Grill in Beaumont, TX after the cask was opened about 15 minutes before. Smell was no where near as hoppy as the bottled version, but you could definitely tell it was an IPA. Served pretty cold and this almost drank like a very malty beer b/c it was so smooth and creamy. I have had other beers on cask before which I usually do not prefer cask, but this one impressed me. I am a convert now for very fresh cask. Drinkability was very high and the mouthfeel on this was indescribable. You truly have to experience this beer on cask to truly appreciate what St. Arnold's has created.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an amber/copper color that's clear, no head, thin white lacing, and mild carbonation. the color of this beer has to be its strong point, looks awesome!

S - Mild citrus, pine effervescence, and a light caramel backbone. The nose could definitely use some more "kick".

T - Balance is the name of the game with this beer. Mildly sweet caramel that greets the tongue up front and midway through gives up the malt for a migration of citrus and pine that gradually take over and bring it home for a bitter finish. Pine and citrus bitterness melt together and leave a semi-dry, lingering bitterness that hangs around for several minutes.

M - Prickly on the tongue, thin medium finish, and slightly watery on the finish.

D - Would be a very good "go to" beer to have in the fridge. Is very well balanced.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from gawnphishin. Thanks!

No freshness dating, poured into goblet.

A - Light fluffy head, crystal clear orange. Pretty thick lacing.
S - Fairly delicate florals and fruits. Not much pine. Touches of citrus.
T - Not what I expected, begins floral and citrus followed by a kick of pine and a fairly bitter and astringent aftertaste. Wasn't expecting this much pine from the smell; but a nice surprise.
MF - Creamy and surprisingly light bodied- a bit too light for my tastes.
D- Elevated drinkability due to water-like mouthfeel, also lower aby helps.

A solid IPA; would have again. Not something to actively seek out but a nice beer.

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Photo of awalk1227
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 1/31/11 got this in a trade from a friendly Texan!

A: Pours a bright, hazy peach/orange. Unfiltered? So far so good.

S: Very sweet. Bread and malt overlay a faint whiff of hops.

T: It's pretty good! I feel that this beer's aroma doesn't do justice to the taste. I feel it may not be very fresh, but the slight bitterness indicates this isn't a bad beer by any means. Still, I wish for a slightly more pine/citrus flavor and a bit more bitterness.

F: It's pretty full and creamy. A little less than medium though.

D: Easy to drink, I could probably have a couple in a night. Not something I'd seek though.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of jenray. Thanks Jen!

This was one of the first beers I tried at my first GABF and I remember loving it.

It pours a clear 24K gold with about an inch of foam and some decent lacing. There's a decline in both foam and lacing but ya can't take that gorgeous colour away. ;^)

The nose is hoppy with some notes of pine and a bit of citrus.

The taste is pretty damn hoppy and bitter! Some pine, a wee bit of citrus, mild grass, and buried deep into the background I can just pull out some hints of bready malt. Jen is from Texas so I reckon this must be a super fresh sure tastes like one! Yummy.

Medium covers the body and the carbonation, though the carbo borders on high, and makes for a nice mouth feel.

I really enjoy this IPA so I'll put it in the very drinkable category.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice hazy subdued orange look, slight off white head, which opens up bigger and fluffier when warmed.

It's really hard to get anything from the nose, maybe it's too cold right now. Nope, warming doesn't help this.

Taste has a nice malt backbone, with a balanced finish, not super hoppy as I expect from an American IPA, but well balanced, and very drinkable. Not overly exciting, this is a quafable brew, not a sipper like some IPA's, very sessionable if you ignore the 6.6% abv which is easy to do since it's very well hidden. Not a heavy beer, and no it wasn't under-carbonated, very well done actually.

I'm split on this one, a non over the top hoppy IPA?? Yes please.It drinks very well.

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Photo of suspect
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle on 1/17/11

A: Clear copper-tinged gold color aggressively poured to an average head that disappeared rather quickly with little lacing.

S: Not an overpowering smell but hops are most obviously presented first with a slight hint of citrus that I had to look for to find.

T: Surprisingly good given the weaker smell. Balanced, not too bitter, really even-keeled nice tasting IPA.

M: Highly carbonated, light and frothy.

D: This was a very drinkable beer. This one isn't gonna punch you in the face with its characteristics but it doesn't have to given how nicely it's rounded out. For those lucky enough to have this on a regular basis (IE, not those of us in NY), you are getting a really nice treat.

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Photo of salvo
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St Arnold Elissa IPA is a tasty if simple bitter hopped pale ale that tends toward dry astringency rather than bold citrus or pine hops. Classic and consistent with the St Arnold of Austin TX brand. A great everyday beer; tasty without becoming a chore but lacking complexity and subtlety. I wish it were on tap at my local with 2 or 3 dollar pint night specials: a gateway beer with the potential to move folks who try it to further experimentation. Lighter brown/straw with nicely laced bone white head.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass consumed on 1.13.11.

A hazy and dull gold color with a sparse head opens up with a decent nose of grapefruit rind. At its opening there's a bright and significantlty "sour" bitter citrus feel that moves into a refreshing and easy going well balanced feel and moderately resonating finish. Everything seems very nicely distributed here and this is one of the best finishes to an IPA I've ever experienced. Not too much and not too little hops here...Great drinkability! Bravo, Saint Arnold! Cheers!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike for sending this my way!

A- Body is a completely transparent light golden hue. Pours with a nice 1-2 finger foamy white head. Fades to and retains at a nice 1/2 finger. Traces of lacing are left all the way down the glass.

S- Nose offers tropical fruit, pale malt, aznd a touch of pine.

T- The flavor overall is pretty mild but the pine and hops come through a lot more in the flavor than in the nose. A mild resiny hop bitterness lingers.

M- High carbonation and a light weight body.

D- This is a nice, light, classic drinkable IPA. There seems to be a little bit of funk in there too.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as a great extra in a trade with mattisloco. Thanks! Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a very clear coppery orange color. A thin cap of white foam fizzles to the surface quickly leving a loose skim coat and a small collar. No lacing.

S - A bit bready in nature at the base with a thick citrus covering, orange blossums with hints of alcohol, a bit fruity, a little metallic and a barely noticeable sugary sweetness too. A very well balanced smelling IPA.

T - More bitter than the nose would indicate. Full hoppy bitterness with a mostly floral flavor character that fades to an earthiness and metallic taste on the swallow. Finishes pretty dry and crisp. Some breadiness and bisuity flavors from the malt.

M - Lightish medium body with a rich and creamy feel from the carbonation. Smooth and well balanced IPA with a lingering bitterness. Dry and crisp - refreshing.

T - A good session IPA. Very well balanced - not at all over the top on the hops or the malt. Everything works together well and nothing overpowers. Carbonation is on the lower side for an IPA and seems to enhance the drinkability of this one. Not gonna blow you away, but this is a very solid and well brewed IPA.

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Photo of anotherpg
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wide glass, nice head straight from the pour. A good smell, mostly of bread and pine. The taste to me was grapefruit, without being overly bitter -- tastes like a blend of hops that are balanced out. This is *not* a massive hophead beer. At 60ibu, it's clearly an ipa but won't make you wince (for those of us that like that.) A nice, solid AIPA that is highly drinkable. Not a beer that's odd enough to seek out, but one worth having with dinner if it's on the menu. As others have said, a possible gateway beer for newbies just getting into hop-heavy brews.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours cloudy gold in color into my tulip glass with about a finger of head, moderate retention and lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, some bread tones, mild citrus and pine hops, just not enough for me.

T - Somewhat sweet and fruity, caramel malts, and much more grapefruit citrus hop than the aroma, has a pretty bitter linger to it, but overall pretty well balanced.

M - Crisp, bright and clean, very nice.

D - This is a very nice IPA, one that might help non IPA drinkers bridge the gap.

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Photo of wray7276
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Clear Amberish color,Frothy light tan head,3 finger head that did seam to stay but did disolve to about 1 finger,Very low carbonation not too many bubbles.

Smell: Sweet nose with hint of citrus,the cascade hops really hit the nose.

Taste: Starts off like biting into an orange,then ends with a citrusy if you licked an orange peel.There is light sweetness there as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: At 6.6 abv and over 60 ibu's its a really easy brew to drink.

Notes: Very interesting American IPA.I love styles like this that make my mind wonder and keeps me guessing.Overall a very drinkable beer,i look forward to trying this again.With that said Saint Arnolds Elissa IPA gets 2 THUMBS WAY UP!!!!Great job guys keep up the good work.Also would like to note the LACING....WOW!!!! Also would like to add under the caps there is a message...mine says You've got know thats funny!!!

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

Got this in a trade with mattisloco. Thanks Matt! Bottle dated 09-13-2010. It's been kept chilled for (at least) the majority of its life.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Poured crystal clear into the glass, producing a short, eggshell-colored, sudsy cap. The body is a copper in color (crystal clear) and displays a turbulent column of carbonation within. Impressive head retention and good-looking lace.

Smell: Toasted bread crust, mild pine, lemon zest, caramel, and a metallic undertone make up the aroma profile early on. Nuts and a hint of alcohol come through as the beer warms, but otherwise the nose remains the same. Pretty balanced overall; not like the west coast hop-bombs I'm used to. I'm cool with that.

Taste: Starts out bready and nutty; certainly malt-centered. Pine and earthy bitterness then enter the mix, followed by grapefruit, honey, and a touch of lemon grass. As with the nose, I'm detecting a metallic flavor. That flavor gets magnified a bit in the bitter finish, but never becomes obstructive.

Mouthfeel: Active carbonation stimulates the palate without stinging it. Medium in body, moderate in bitterness - well balanced in terms of hops and malt (given the style). Taste clings to the palate and lingers deep into the aftertaste. Nicely put together.

Drinkability: Balanced and mellow, in terms of taste. The metallic accent and higher-than-normal carbonation hurt the drinkability just a bit. All in all, this is a solid IPA though. I'd happily go through two or three of 'em on game day.

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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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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 1,045 ratings