Sunday, March 8, 2009

Awe-Inspiring Alpine

I have wanted to try Alpine's Nelson IPA for several years. Finally, on Friday I was able to make it to Alpine on an actual Nelson release date and I bought a growler. (I would have bought more, but I am suffering from empty growler fatigue.) I am glad I made the trip. This has to be one of the best, most unique IPAs I have ever had. I was expecting a special taste due to Nelson's rye and New Zealand hops, but I was not expecting such a "Wow" factor. Simply stated, this beer is amazing.

When I opened the growler, I was struck by Nelson's hop aroma, which had touches of clove, citrus and pine resin. I poured it in an imperial pint glass. It had tight, white foam and its color was pale straw, almost like a "fizzy" yellow macro. It was the lightest looking IPA I've seen. Nelson's soft appearance belies a robust flavor. Its taste was very creamy, almost like it was poured from a cask. The hops were balanced, and the New Zealand sauvin hops brought a great bitter flavor. It is an easy drinking beer, and is as close to a session beer as any IPA that I know. Alpine has crafted a near perfect beer in Nelson.

Here is my rating:

Appearance: 3 (out of three)
Aroma: 4 (out of four)
Hop / Malt Balance: 3.5 (out of four)
Aftertaste: 3 (out of three)
Mouthful: 2.5 (out of three)
Overall Impression: 3 (out of three)

Total: 19 out of a possible 20, or Excellent

Some of the notes I took include, "unbelievable," "very drinkable," "strong hop aroma," "unlike any IPA I've ever had, but delicious," and "compelling beer - masterpiece." I guess I really liked this beer. It is too bad Alpine does not bottle Nelson. Nelson's price was reasonable, too. Without the growler, it was only $10 and change, which I thought was quite a bargain.


J.Rhode said...

I have to give you a "I told you so" on this one. Unique is definitely an appropriate descriptor. Too bad it is running out in less than a week these days. I heard several more batches coming this year though.

JessetheHutt said...

I'm no math guy, but isn't this 19 out of 22? Still one of the greatest beers in the universe!

Rational Realist said...

J. Rhode, you sure were right. I am glad Alpine has several more batches in the works.
Jesse, good catch on the math - I do a lot of math in the real world - and should have checked the numbers. Agree on great beer, maybe I should have scored it 22 out of 19.

Dave said...

I can't wait to get mine. Don't forget to tell me what you want in return bud.