Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nelson IPA

Nelson IPA is an American IPA by the Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, California.  Nelson is named after the featured hops - Nelson Sauvin which were created in New Zealand about 10 years ago. Get ready to change the way you think about the flavor of hops.

I bought this at the Pangaea Bottle Shop for $18.99 for a 22oz bottle. The ABV is 7.10%. Pangaea is probably the only place in the Sacramento area you can buy it. Alpine doesn't distribute bottles outside of LA, Orange and San Diego counties so if you see a bottle get it. I believe Rob, the owner of Pangaea had himself or someone else pick them up.

It pours a clear, light orange with a thin, fizzy head that leaves behind slight lacings. The head disappears after the first sip. The aroma is probably the best smelling IPA I've come across. It's a powerful cornucopia of tropical fruits with slight pine and bread tones. The taste does not disappoint - the sweet tropical fruit hops hit you up front and it finished with a slight bitter pine that doesn't linger.  It's almost like a white wine, which is where "sauvin" comes from.

Throughout the whole taste is a subtle rye flavor that ties it all together and adds to the complexity, even though this IPA relies on one type of hops. The mouthful is medium bodied, yet crisp light and well carbonated.

Overall this is an amazing beer. It is definitely a Must Have it. It's an IPA that's based on one type of rare New Zealand hops. The fruitiness could be a little off-putting to rookies, but if you're a hop-head you should love it. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I prefer Nelson to Pliny. I think the drinkability of Nelson is what puts it ahead. Its hard to sit back and sip on this when all you want to do is gulp it down.

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