Friday, December 11, 2009

Nelson In The Bottle

I felt like Bart Simpson. I started calling the closest of the small group of stores that sell Alpine Brewing's beer when I received Alpine's email late last summer announcing that it was going to start bottling and distributing its Nelson and Duet IPAs. "Do you have Nelson in the bottle?" I would ask. The calls were met with the inevitable and hesitant, "What?," as the person answering the phone was probably waiting for me to tell them, if they said "yes," to let Nelson out of his bottle. After I got past the awkward exchanges I found out that none of the stores I was calling had received any Nelson. I eventually stopped calling.

Wednesday I was grocery shopping at Windmill Farms and saw an empty slot labeled "Nelson" in the beer fridge. I asked a guy working if there was any in the back. He went to check, and to my surprise, out he came with a box full of Nelson. I picked up two and had one tonight.

Nelson is a great IPA (initially described here). Dave over at The Drunken Polack just ranked it as his number three IPA/DIPA. Its rye and Sauvin hops give it a distinct flavor that sets it apart from other IPAs. Nelson's taste is piney brilliance. It has the sharp hop bite of all great IPAs, but it's not overwhelming and it's a very drinkable beer. Your tongue does not get fatigued drinking it, but you know you're drinking an IPA. If Nelson has one weakness, it's that its mouthful could be more robust, but this is like complaining about a small mole on a super model. Most important, Nelson has lost nothing in its transition to to the bottle.

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