New England Brewing Co.

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #28
Ranked #342
4.43 | pDev: 7.9%
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States
Notes: One of our "single hopped" beers, this Double IPA gets brewed with only the Nelson Sauvin hop grown solely in New Zealand. A bright-tasting beer that has a big, ole taste of white grape. And yes, the label image is of a Hobbit holding a hop vine while being eaten by a T-Rex. It just seemed... there was this... um, honestly, we don't know what that's all about.

IBU's: 80
OG: 17.2
Hops: Nelson Sauvin
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 687 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of AElfwine_Nerevar
AElfwine_Nerevar from Connecticut

4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batches - L: 4.5 S:4.75 T:5.0 F: 4.5
O: 4.75 = 4.81

Can dated: 01/22/21

L: Pours a pale gold with a medium-light haze. A gentle pour gives a finger and a half of fine white head. Good retention as the head slowly falls to a 2 mm ring around the circumference of the glass with the interior covered by a thin film of head. As the beer falls in the glass it leaves a beautiful webbed and ringed lacing. This is the sticky icky!

S: Oranges, white wine notes, earth, a bit of crystal malt, some light notes of piney dankness

T: The beer starts with oranges and a bit of white grapes. Next I get a bit of earthy character tempered by malty sweetness. On the backend I get marijuana and grapefruit. The finish has a nice strong bitterness.

F: The beer has a medium body with medium-high carbonation. The mouthfeel is slick and oily with some minimal prickly carbonation tickling the top of the palate. The finish is nice and dry inviting the next drink.

O: This was my introduction to Nelson and what an intro it was, but I feel like this beer is not what it once was. Don't get me wrong it's still a great beer, but it doesn't have the same overwhelming white wine earthiness coupled with some nice bitter pine resin and marijuana dankness. I don't blame Nebco for this, but rather the decline of the hop variety itself. I have noticed this in several other beers over the years (Nelson and Eureka I'm looking at you). I think I first noticed this around 2015 or so. Either way this is still a great beer and I shouldn't complain. Highly recommended!

Mar 02, 2021
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.6/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at World of Beer in West Hartford, CT.

This one pours a clear dark orange color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like grape, malt sweetness, and weed.

I'm not sure if this beer has declined over the years, or if my palate has advanced beyond this sort of thing. It's quite malty, with a big bitterness, and very little fruit character. There's a touch of grape skin, as it is all Nelson, and that's appreciated.

This is light bodied, and clean, with no real booziness to it.

I wanted to like one a lot more than I did.

Sep 14, 2020
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far333 from Connecticut

3.86/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apricot colored with a frothy inch high head that lingers long. Aroma of citrus and honey malt. Hoppy upfront, a flourish of bitterness and hoppy flavors - lemon and pithy orange rind. Dry and crisp mouthfeel. Good beer.

Jun 22, 2020
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a punch in a can, delivering a shockingly high ABV beer. It's most notable feature is that it doesn't take like a beer exceeding 8% ABV. Instead, there's an assertive sweetness and a bold hop profile, and a slightly quieter-than-expected mouthfeel.

Jun 16, 2020
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woodchipper from Connecticut

3.77/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can dated BB 9/2/2020 to a Nonic. Not quite hazy, but it is opaque medium gold. Dark beige head fades to white lacing. Magic color change?
Earth dank nose with a hint it has a sweetness behind it. But when in comes to taste, the sweetness was a ruse. The taste is all dank with a fruit back ground. Alcohol is noticeable but not distracting.
Mouthfeel is slightly oily. Carbonation could be a little more prominent.
In a nutshell, good, but not as good as I expected.

Jun 07, 2020
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.01/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No canning date (presumably canned within the past week)

Pours a cloudy copper-orange capped with a few fingers of fluffy white foam; solid retention leaves a heavy smattering of thick, soapy lacing hanging around persistently alongside a thick collar.

Aromas of passionfruit nectar, pineapple, honeyed guava, and gooseberry at the top; a definite spicy quality and a deftly integrated maltiness make up the subtle backbone; hints of white grape must and detailed, herbal pine find their way interspersed throughout the bouquet.

Taste shows orange peel, papaya, and a ton of bursting general citrus character coating the palate; pine, sticky grapefruit, white grape, gooseberry, vague kiwi, and a squeeze of lemony zest all come out over time, all while still maintaining an extremely balanced profile.

Mouthfeel brings a pillowy smooth medium body with a solid dose of hefty carbonation evened across the palate and building to a touch of malty sweetness before fading into a thin veil of hoppy bitterness that absorbs into the finish; about as easy-drinking as it gets while still reminding of its malty/hoppy punch.

About as balanced and approachable as Nelson hops can be, with a traditional white grape character utilized to influence a fruitier/earthier character as opposed to dominating outright. Even-keeled to the point of extreme crushability, especially for an +8% DIPA with no shortage of a bittering hit.

May 30, 2019
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Growlah from Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer where I first learned about the Nelson Sauvin hop which instantly became, and still remains, my favorite hop. This has become my “go to” beer. Besides the amazing hop flavor, the soft feel and finish is what does it. Another fine creation of Nebco.

May 05, 2019
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange, tea-like color with two fingers of lasting, tan-tinted foam. Sudsy lacing.

Orange citrus and caramel malts dominate the welcoming, old-school aroma.

Pine and orange up front in the taste, with a sweet and bready malt backbone, and firmly bitter, lightly earthy finish.

Medium bodied, lightly creamy, with a nice fizz in the feel.

This is a great beer. I’m not picking up Nelson hops at all, though. I’d be guessing Chinook, Centennial, Columbus.

Apr 04, 2019
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ravisingh from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tried this at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, CT. Had this in a tulip glass with a quarter inch of head. Nice line of lacing. Not much aroma. Very fruity flavor - maybe plum. A little pine at the end, but not much. Overall great tasting beer.

Aug 19, 2018
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MrRB from Connecticut

4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer is another triumph by NEBCO. Just picked up a few fresh four-packs from the brewery. Rich golden-orange color with a thick, durable head. Aromas of orange zest, keffir lime leaf, fresh melon, and resinous pine. Dry yet generous and extremely long on the palate (honestly, count in seconds how long the finish goes). Similar to G-Bot in that they are both basically perfect DIPAs, but with noticeably different flavor profiles due to the different hop bills. I am officially a NEBCO fanboy.

Feb 08, 2018
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mike22ne from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can, fresh from the brewery dated 2/2/18.

Looks great, a slightly cloudy golden copper with a thick white head that persists all the way down.
Smells nice, fruity and aromatic. White wine grape, pine resin and berry.
Taste is similar hop tones, grape and subtle pine and citrus, maybe a little apple and spice. Some light caramel malt gives a round deep base.
Feels smooth, a bit oily but it's not too heavy. Strong enough bitterness and bright flavors keep it lively. A somewhat herbal and grassy character.

I used to think I didn't like Nelson Sauvin hops, but I had clearly never had a beer that used them so well. I'm still not sure I would choose to drink this over a more typical American-hopped IPA from NEBCo, but I can definitely enjoy it.

And glad I got it fresh!

Feb 08, 2018
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Knapp85 for this can. Canned on 9/25/17.

A - Nice clear dark orange pour with very frothy white head and lacing, foam is extremely sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Extremely fruity aroma, very sweet aroma, gooseberry, grapes.

T - All hops from start to finish - white grape, gooseberry, and very fruity with a subtle resiny white grape skin on the back end.

M - Big bodied with light prickly carbonation and extremely dry.

O - For 8.2% this drinks extremely well and the alcohol stays out of the way. Definitely recommend.

Oct 19, 2017
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Packageguy from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not easy for a guy in Massachusetts to get his hands on one of these, but I was able to squeeze in, after work, at the brewery on a can release day...the timing was finally good for me. Probably in my favor was the fact that it's not cheap, so...unlike the Fuzzy can releases, this one doesn't immediately sell out.
This is my first Nelson hopped beer, and it definitely has a unique smell/taste...white wine is an accurate description.
From a can into a flare, it has a typical NEBCo look...slightly dark amber...looks filtered, but has just a slight haze. Decent carbonation and mellow head retention. I can sense a little alcohol'll know you're drinking an Imperial.
The fact that cans aren't aren't released all that often (I think the last was 2 months ago), I'll definitely hit them up, when possible, to keep some of these in my occasional rotation.
NEBCo does no wrong.

Sep 29, 2017
Photo of RAlmeida77
RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good, not great. Filtered, copper colored DIPA. Super drinkable but overall, didn't wow me. Glad I got to try it though. On tap at Mohegan in Comix club.

Jul 16, 2017
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PHBoiler from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big grape nose. White grape is the star. Some pine. Fairly boozy. Balanced bitterness. Body is quite thin for a double. Hop notes trend toward grassy.

Jul 08, 2017
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jvillefan from New York

2.62/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

I don't get this beer, a malt driven IPA that tasted old and stale (drank from can 1.5 weeks after canning). The hops were not well executed. I will not be trying this one again.

Apr 24, 2017
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can into an Alchemist stemless teku.

Nose is pine, citrus and cane sugar. Aromatic with a resiny hop bitter bite. Beer opens citrus, pine, grass and a yeasty, resiny bitterness. There's a rounded malt presence that mellows out and balances this one. Body is medium with moderate to low carbonation. Smooth on the palate and goes down silky and a little oily. Accented going down with a bone dry aftertaste.

The body is what stands out about this beer. Super smooth and drinkable.

Apr 17, 2017
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Phishagonia from Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

New England Brewing just keeps bringing the goods. Had this from a can poured into snifter, from the most recent canning release in March. Look is spot on for the style..golden/amber with some very nice lacing. Smell is spot on for a heavily hopped Nelson double IPA. Tastes very smooth and similar to a top tier Vermont double IPA. Hops dont come out and bite, it's surprisingly very easy to drink for a double. This is probably my 3rd favorite double IPA from New England. That's saying something. Cheers!

Mar 24, 2017
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Mateo2699 from Texas

4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Medium orange hue, big frothy big bubbled head with great lacing. Aroma is super melon, cantaloupe and orange citrus forward. Those Nelson hops really shine through, yes plenty wine grapes and tropical fruit. No detection of maltiness, and subtle hop bittneress. For a DIPA, super session like. Impressive.

Mar 16, 2017
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Rejis from Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from can dated 3/10/2017 (yesterday! That's fresh!) into a rt tulip glass. It's hazy Orange with nice foamy head. I pick up some light citrus & melon in aroma but something else is there...the aroma of a hot wine grapes from the Nelson Sauvin.

The first taste is amazing, like nothing I've had before as this is my first Nelson experience. It's sophisticated white wine grape and light citrus. It has a perfect carbonation and has a dryness but drinks so smooth.

NEBCO continues to impress. I will seek this and other Nelson hopped brews more often.

Mar 12, 2017
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PSanger from Connecticut

4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer a number of times. The most recent was out of a can and after sipping it, and getting that huge smell of Citrus I said this could be the best beer NEBCO makes. Does not drink like a dipa to me. Almost a perfect beer. Well worth it anytime you can get your hands on it.

Mar 11, 2017
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aqi317 from Connecticut

5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 Oz can.

Currently my favorite offering from NEBCO. Perfect integration and marriage of the Nelson Sauvin hop with the New England base that everyone has come to love.

Jan 30, 2017
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Billolick from New York

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can...I can find no canning/dating info

Pours with a moderate haze, lighter almond amber, under a larger kkaki cap, lasting and then leaving low sheeting and nice looking strands and mini fields of lacing.

Inviting tropical fruit nose..with pineapple coming to mind...yum

Yasty, flavorful, smooth and highly enjoyable nectar...more tropical, more hoppy, more tasty goodness....notes of honey, pineapple, grapefruit, sweet bready malt notes...

Great as much as you can when and whenever you see this class and super enjoyable

Jan 13, 2017
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Gumbo_gravy from District of Columbia

4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12 oz can into a Veil Teku. No canning date or BB date that I can find. Got it in a trade on 1/6/17.

Appear: beautiful amber golden color. slight hze. foram 2 fingers of dense bubbly head. that's hanging around a little bit. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Nose: white wine grapes some herbal dankness slight MJ pine. some caramel notes. something bready almost. nice

Taste: well balanced IPA. has a nice hope bite. I get a nice caramel bread backbone playing off some piney citrus hop notes.

Mouth: not creamy but light medium. not bad.

Over: Solid IPA. it's not NE style. seen alot of comparison to some TH brews. This is a different style. I'd be surprised to hear that the brewers of this were trying to have this compete with Green or other TH offerings. This is different. I'd put this with some of the best DIPAs I've had from SIerra, Green Flash, or Niganski. I enjoyed it. Glad it was an extra in a recent trade.

Jan 11, 2017
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Acquired from marino13412 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a nice combination floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong but not over-powering piney hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good 2IPA to drink for a long time.

Jan 08, 2017
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Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 687 ratings