Nelson is a uniquely excellent beer.
Alas, tonight's review is of another Alpine beer, Duet. And, while quite good, it is victimized by the magnificence of its brethren.
"Duet" by Alpine
Enjoyed at the Beachwood BBQ, Inc.
Long Beach, California
Duet is a 7.0% ABV IPA, with an undisclosed amount of IBUs, but this Guru's estimate is "plenty".
Alpine talks little of their beer selection on their website, so the history and composition is left to the determination of us, the people.
Whereas Nelson was super exotic and basically sui generis among its peers within the style, Duet is a straight-forward India Pale Ale.
In the glass, Duet presents a head of little height, but aesthetically pleases with white creaminess and thickness. The body is orange/brown. While more the latter than the former, it still borders near to copper.
The aroma is dank. No adjective more adequately describes Duet's scent, so only those who may have experienced pungent fresh marijuana bud may understand. For those missing out, it's something a bit skunky, a little metallic, slightly citrusy, and kind of wet.
Nearly impossible to describe, but pleasing to the olfactory through and through.
The palate is first met with spice. This serves well to cover a surprisingly influential caramel malt backbone.
The flavor is most appropriately compared well to what cat urine smells like; oddly, a desired trait in good beer. Underlying tones include rose pedal, and some tropical fruit. There is a very subtle hint of vanilla, and an overall fresh green honeydew bite.
Duet is an excellent beer. Which, in turn, places Alpine's Nelson in some rarefied class of its own. Duet is worthy of 4 stars and a recommendation. But the advice from TheCraftBeerGuru.com is to choose Nelson if only one of the pair may be had.