Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ALPINE BEER's “NELSON” – A FULL ONE

THE BEER ROVER had it, and said it was the best beer of 2009. THE VICE BLOG had it, and gave it an A+, which I believe is the highest honorific one can bestow upon a beer. It made sense that HBJ was going to have to have it soon as well, but only if someone brought me one from San Diego or I found my way down there. As it turned out, Craig & Beth from San Francisco’s CITY BEER STORE brought me one – well not me exactly, but they brought several cases of ALPINE BEER COMPANY beers to their store and then sent out the “beer alert”. I foolishly wasted 48 hours before responding to the alert, and by then, all the bottles of ALPINE EXPONENTIAL HOPPINESS were gone, and all that was left was the “mehPURE HOPPINESS that I’ve had a couple of times, and the lighter-only-in-relative-scale IPAs DUET and NELSON. Oh, and a bunch of other non-IPAs from Alpine Beer Company as well that we skipped this go-round.

The beer in question in our discussion today is ALPINE NELSON, the one that prodded the aforementioned gentlemen to bust a proverbial nut. Let it be said that this outstanding IPA busted my nut as well. This is a 7% or so ABV India Pale Ale that’s based around the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand, and that also serves up some “European rye” in the mix (and which I admittedly did not pick up on whilst drinking it). NELSON is nearly opaque, thinner than most bombshell IPAs. The major fruits are all out in force on this one: oranges, tangerines and grapefruits all combine into a sweet/tart/delicious mix that adds up to a flat-out amazing taste. Bitterness is certainly there, but it’s no scorched-tongue hop beast by any means. Simply put, it’s the best beer by ALPINE BEER COMPANY I’ve had by a mile, and it’ll register in the upper half of the Hedonist Beer Jive 75 for sure once we update it. 9.5/10.

4 comments:

Richard said...

Jay,

Thanks for this review! woo-hoo! yes, Alpine Nelson is one of my favorite beers. I mentioned previously that I had recently found your blog and respect your opinions on beer - I know I'm getting the straight scoop - may not agree, but know it's honest! Glad we agree on the Nelson. I would rank it in my top five beers (of course, behind Pliny the Elder! ha - just had to say that)...

But, wanted to say that the Nelson is the absolute best beer from Alpine that I have had - haven't tried their Bad Boy, Whale, or O'Brien's, but a friend has had them all and says the Bad Boy may, may be the equal of the Nelson. He equates the Whale with Duet and the O'Brien's with the PH. I agree with you on the "meh" Pure Hoppiness (though here on the East Coast, it is better than anything much we get) and the Exponential Hoppiness - well, I'm torn on that one - it is similar to the Avery Maharaja - not quite as sweet and fruity, more hoppy, not as much malt, but better than the Pure Hoppiness - recall you didn't like RRBC Pliny the Younger? and the Exponential, to me, at least, is very similar - but not as good - then again, I think I have a screw loose when it comes to RRBC - I really like their brews (and really, I'm in no way connected with them, don't know them, have never met them - just love their brews!). The EH doesn't hold a candle to the Nelson though, I think.

Richard.

Dave said...

Nelson blew me away when I had a growler of it. It does the same in bottles. Just an amazing beer.

Nat said...

Nelson is great, and glad you got to try it and review it. Alpine is an IPA brewing machine, but Nelson is my favorite Alpine beer. This may sound stupid, but I think Nelson has some kind of magical quality to it. I get a dopey grin on my face when I drink it. Alpine linked to this post (or maybe your website) in its email/news last Friday.

brucericker said...

we were out at Ritual Tavern in North Park last night so I had to try the Alpine Nelson Rye-PA which was on CASK!!....it was hands down the best IPA I have ever had...so smooth with the back-end hoppy kick instead of the up front in your face boldness of most IPA's. i was very pleasantly surprised....