Nelson Imperial IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Nelson Imperial IPANelson Imperial IPA
Very Good
749 Ratings
Nelson Imperial IPANelson Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Deadlift Imperial IPA

70 IBU
Original Gravity : 21 Plato
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Carapils, Caramel 10-L
Hops: Alchemy, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Willamette

Added by msubulldog25 on 01-08-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 749 |  Reviews: 304
Reviews by oldcrustacean:
Photo of oldcrustacean
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

QUESTION: WWRCD: What would Ronnie Coleman drink?

On tap at Elis... ugh. I've been drinking much less and hitting the gym hard. I didn't even want to go -- but decided on the Deadlift IPA for my one mug of the night. Good choice. Notes of pine, citrus with a strong floral aroma. Very pleasant IPA. Big bold flavors.

Almost as impressive as my 395# deadlift ...almost.

Ended up with a headache anyway. Every. single. time. It's the Elis standard.

This winter, I'll stick to homebrew and lifting heavy ass weight.

ANSWER: Protein. Beer doesn't get you swole.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Well it looks the part. The body is a bright and deep orange in color and kind of darkish with shades of brown. The head is big, full, and puffy with good retention and filming.

Smell - The malts clearly dominate this show. They are rich and sweet with loads of butter. The hops are light and more floral and definitely take a back seat to this malt base.

Taste - The malts come over terrific at the taste. They are indeed full of butter, probably more so than almost any other DIPA that I've had. This is a rich, rich flavor. The hops come on a bit bigger at the taste but are still confined to floral notes and maybe some grapefruit.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with light but fun carbonation and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel. This DIPA defines the concept of creamy on the tongue, and the quality feel that you get in the mouth is beyond compare. The hops, which aren't too hoppy, put up a surprisingly bitter bite especially at the finish. This is a class act.

Drinkability - I really enjoyed this beer but the hopheads will be disappointed. I'm willing to forgive the lack of a huge hop bite since the malts were so expertly handled from beginning to end. This was the most impressed I've been with a Widmer offering in years. Nicely done.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.72/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

The beer talk about this beer is that it uses the hops of New Zealand, the elusive Nelson Sauvin hop. And there's lots of talk --even AB-InBev uses it. Brassy amber color, clarity is fine, with a healthy head on top. Fruitiness from the hops and alcohol vary from ripe straw- berries to mangos and pineapple ... and a very fruity nose it is. Sure, it's hoppy, nearly soapy with a fruity wrap. Bitterness is there with a slow but light raking of the palate. Malt back- bone is not nearly enough to handle this fruit, hop and alcohol combo. Too clean. Fruitiness is all up front, and the malt drops dry in the end.

Very polished and clean, and wanting to be drinkable. While the body and crispness tell you to take another sip, the somewhat hollow malt base, fruit-focused hops and alcohol take everything over, and it soon becomes a chore to drink. Widmer is a day late and a dollar short for this style; too many brewers have already defined where it should be, and Deadlift misses its mark.

 1,050 characters

Photo of Carissa
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter the beer was copper colored with a medium tan head. There was some lacing.

Mostly a piney/herbal aroma. A little bit of citrus. Some sweet malt.

The taste was dominated by piney hops. There was a little bit of citrus and tropical fruit. Fairly strong malt background.

I thought this was kind of a "meh" beer. Nothing too damning to say about it, but more on the average side.

 391 characters

Photo of Lazaro
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been seeing alot of the Widmer line in my area since they started brewing the beers @ Redhook in Portsmouth, NH so decided to give this a try. $9.49 per 4-pack.

Pours and looks like a good DIPA should. Bright orange with a little head that disappears quickly. Sure smells like a DIPA too, it's got a nice nose.

Strong hop presence in the taste. A bit of hot alcohol too. Both these characters become more evident as it warms up, not in a good way. Last few sips to finish the glass are tough.

An OK, not bad DIPA, but the bar has been set pretty high with this style and this beer doesn't quite measure up.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a hazy glowing copper orange with a big creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is stinky piney resiny hops. It's a bit subdued though.

The flavor is some slightly sweet caramel malts followed by a big resiny, piney earthy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low smooth carbonation - slightly watery.

Overall, a very nice IIPA. It's pretty one dimensional in the hops. A nice surprise from Widmer.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

Shiny pale brass color with a great clarity, the suds do their job to keep the beer appearance up. Minty, mango, peppery, lime zest and mandarin orange come from the hops and light biscuity grain and alcohol round out the hoppy nose. Smooth and slick with a moderate sized creamy body. Bitterness might not be massive which is fine, the hop flavor is the real showcase here. Peppery, mint and exotic fruit hop flavor though I am sure some of that fruitiness is coming from the alcohol. Star fruit, ripe pineapple and papaya comes to mind. Faint caramel and cake malt flavors, alcohol is very noticeable but does not distract from any other flavor.

Looks like the complete re-vamp of Deadlift ends up being a win now.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, from a $8.99 four pack, purchased at Anconia's, Ridgefield Ct.

"Mar. 29 11" printed on front label. Bottling date?

Pours clear, lighter honey amber. Medium khaki head, stays nicely, tightly knit, then a thicker film, collar and respectable scattered fine lace.

Nose is full of tropical fruits and sniffs, like lime and ginger.

Flavorful and enjoyable DIPA, more lime, mint, ginger, gin picked up. Easy drinking, hops crushing but not overpowering the fruity goodness abounding here. Well done, well worth a try.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice creamy egg shell colored 1 and a half finger head. Pale golden color, quite clear. Smells quite big of floral, citrus, fruity hops then quite a bit of carmel sweet malts, some bready notes and some pine. Tastes very sweet and carmel at first, a very complex citrus/pine/floral/honey flavor. Very well put together. Light carbonation, medium/full bodied. The finish is some pine and citrus hops, quite a bit of sweet honey and carmel malts. Quite drinkable for 8.6%, very well hidden. Overall this is an awesome double IPA. The highlights are a plesant hoppy, citrus, fuity smell. Some balancing bitterness mid palate, a medium dry finish with a nice honey flavor. $3.20 a single, even at this price I'd pick this up again any day of the week

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the hops. I get a lot of pineapple, papaya and pine notes. The flavor is very heavy on the tropical fruit. I get some pineapple, mango and papaya. I also get a little bit of pine as well as some bready malt to balance things out slightly. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice, widely available Double IPA.

 410 characters

Photo of JupiterJesus
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of HoptimusPrimal00
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of innominat
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this ale off the tap at McGrath's Pub in Harrisburg, PA.

A= Yellow golden in color and slightly syrupy legs. It has a white lacy head with moderately good retention.

S= Mixture of citrus and pine hop aromas greet the nose. Sweet subtle malt comes through the hops.

T= First I tasted the strongly citrus bittering hops followed by the pine notes and then I was able to distinguish the malt characteristics. Pale and caramel malts intertwine with the hop acidity to give this beer a balanced profile. Alcohol was prevalent but not overwhelming. This beer has a lasting finish.

M= Malty, chewy and heavy on the tongue. Not a turn off though.

D= A good ale to enjoy one glass at a time. This seems like any other IPA, but be warned that the gravity of this big beer can sneak up on you in a hurry.

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Photo of virinow
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant amber under a 1” white foam collar that is moderately persistent and clingy. S: Berry, pine, maybe rosemary and tropical fruit aromas. T: this has a real fruity palate dominated by berries and tropical fruit riding on a light caramel malt backbone. The hops are big but exceptionally well done with the hop and malt flavors balancing the hop bitterness. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: This is an exceptional beer that might very well appeal to wine drinkers.

 483 characters

Photo of fionn13
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of juicebox
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of joeworrall
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured from a bottle into a wine glass, comparing it head to head with Green Flash Green Bullet Triple IPA and New Belgium Imperial IPA.

I've heard of Widmer Brothers, but didn't think of them as a "craft" beer brewer until today. I read about this IPA and was anxious to try it. It did not disappoint...

Lovely dark amber color, and subtle hop aroma and flavor. Subtle... nice, but not overwhelming. You can taste the malted barley with the hop flavor balancing it.

this is a beer I will come back to again... not a bargain, but a well crafted IPA that I will look forward to enjoying again

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Photo of ufmj
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Nelson Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 749 ratings