Nelson Imperial IPA Nelson Imperial IPA is a year-round offering from Widmer Brothers, who calls Portland home. This India Pale Ale draws its name from the Nelson Sauvin hops imported from New Zealand and used to create the brew. Mixed with a fair share of malty sweetness and caramel character, this beer explodes with a great balance of flavors. Pretty drinkable, but it seemed to lack the repeat drinkability that Widmer claims the Nelson Sauvin hop is supposed to bring forth. Pouring a nice copper shade with a nice amount of head on top, the best part of the brew is its piney aroma that has made some of the best IPAs really stand out. The taste brings out a nice amount of tropical fruity notes and a satisfying floral finish. At 8.6% ABV this double India Pale Ale runs circles around other offerings I’ve tried from Widmer Brothers and should be tried by anyone who enjoys a solid IPA with just the right amount of bitterness. The citrusy notes and presence of grapefruit is what really did it for this hophead. Redhook Nut BrownI wish I could say I was pleased with Redhook’s Nut Brown. Brewed since 2003, this nut brown ale has been a fan favorite over the last decade but it just left this reviewer wanting far more. Maybe it’s my inability to develop a sincere love of brown ales, but I just couldn’t detect most of the flavor notes that Redhook says should rise to the top, such as chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. This medium dark beer does indeed bring out a very malty presence with both caramel and toffee coming through. However, little else makes its way to the palette, and it seemed watered down. I really would have liked to taste more of the supposed chocolate and especially the brown sugar notes. Then, maybe then, Redhook could have had something great. Instead, I am left wanting something with more edge. Still, at 5.8% ABV, it might be decent for warm-weather drinking.