1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red NectarRed Nectar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

472 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 472
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 9
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 472 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer


2.15/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

"Bottled on" date reads 8/27/08.

Appearance: Perfectly clear amber with two fingers of off-white foam. Nice and frothy with good retention and stickage.

Smell: Soap. That's pretty much it. What the hell? This is one of the least aromatic beers I've ever smelled.

Taste & mouthfeel: Biscuit-like malts, minerals, husky grain, a bit estery in the background. Slight astringency from the malt. Mild floral hop flavor with a dry bitterness in the finish. Light bodied, fairly crisp on the palate but not especially clean. Not the worst beer around, but not exactly good either. Meh.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 04:54:46 | More by largadeer
Photo of tempest


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Liberty St. Tavern. Poured a clear orange with a white head. Paired with waffles.

I had this after a Sam Adams Boston Lager and was surprised by the similarity. Red Nectar had similar dry biscuit malt notes with light toffee and a spicy hops finish. The Sam had more hops flavor up front with a hit of citrus, but Red Nectar still stood out as a clean, tasty, and drinkable session ale. Worth a try is you like other dry amber ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 14:47:37 | More by tempest
Photo of Offa


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the beers I grew up on and one of the first ales I had but I almost never have it now. It's pretty basic and very standard, although not bad and fairly drinkable.

Brownish-reddish copper, it has a medium light-tan head that slowly shrinks to a lasting, thin foamy top and leaves some nice lace. It looks nice.

The aroma is malty fruity with caramleized fruit, flowery-juicy citrus, mostly grapefruity. It's fairly nice but simple and very standard.

The taste is similar, fairly light with a light caramelly-fruit and juice quality then a fair amount of grapefruity citrus that dominates the finish. It is a little on the bitter side for the light body and has only a light grain taste with a hint of cracker. As it warms a bit, it gets a little smoother and more complex, with the bitterness slightly more balanced and with a light earthy-leaf quality as well. Overall, though, it's mostly grapefruity with hints of juice, fruit, and grain, and a little on the bitter side for the light, simple character, yet still with decent flavours and body to hold up well.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 18:20:02 | More by Offa
Photo of argock


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Pretty amber-red with light off-white 1-finger head with several levels of lace.

S: Nutty, caramel, and lightly toasted malts are most prominent with the slightest citrus hops note. The aroma overall, however, is a bit on the soft side.

T: Delicious nutty, caramel, toffee flavor that is sugary without being overwhelming because of the careful, generous malting not allowing any one flavor to be too heavy and the grapefruit hops contribution that provides enough counterpoint to balance the brew.

M: Another great, low carbonation ale with medium body with great malting and pleasant sweet, nutty aftertaste.

D: An excellent amber ale with good drinkability although there are others that surpass it. It is still a solid go-to beer that doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 03:55:24 | More by argock
Photo of Pencible


4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear, dark cherry color with some tan head. It smelled like barley malt with burnt yeast and some copper hops. It tasted like roasted barley malt with brown sugar and fresh, wet copper hops. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this beer had a nice, clean flavor and good body. They weren't kidding when they called it "nectar" with the generally sweet character, but this was kept in good moderation and is very easy to drink. This is probably one of the best red ales I've had, even if it's not terribly bold or unique.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 19:33:18 | More by Pencible
Photo of bbothen


3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light & clear caramel color with thick & fluffy 2 finger deep off white head.

Sweet malt, faint floral hops, slightly bready. All aromas subdued.

Sweet caramel flavor, bisquity, slight bitterness, nicely balanced.

Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Fine.

Drinks fine. Not overwhelmingly flavorful. An okay representation of the style. Middle of the road. User friendly. Your friends that don't like craft brew would probably like it. Nothing wrong with that.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 01:00:52 | More by bbothen
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark amber, not very clear, no real head or foam. Not much lacing either. Overall it looks okay. Nothing really special going for it.

Aroma: Malts, some amount of sweetness. There is also a scent of hops, floral. Smells pretty good.

Taste: The hops and the sweetness take up most of the flavor. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Lightish, and has a good mouthfeel to it. Overall it goes down well, the hops show up more towards the finish.

Drinkability: Not too much alcohol in it, plus its light bodied, so its drinkable. Overall a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 01:51:09 | More by kshankar
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Red Nectar poured, you guessed it red, with a small foam head and some decent lacing.

The aroma was a biscuity malt with a faint hop smell. The taste was malty and real amber like with toasted malts ringing true. It was semi dry in the mouth and tongue. Overall I found it to be pretty average in the catch all category.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 04:40:55 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of boralyl


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber into the glass. It has one finger of beige head that leaves a good deal of lacing and has a great retention.

S - Caramel malt, and floral hops make up the nose.

M - A light-medium bodied beer with a creamy feel to it.

T - Begins with the caramel malts, then a surprising amount of citrusy hops kick in. A pretty good balanced beer.

Overall this is a decent brew. It has a fairly low abv, and is smooth and has a good taste, making it very session-able. Worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 00:13:17 | More by boralyl
Photo of flannelman808


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm surprised to say that this is not a bad little beer. A friend bought it and I had one on a whim.

Beer pours a dark reddish brown color with a foamy white head. It looks like beer. It smells faintly like flowers, and oats.

It is actually a surprisingly hoppy beer, caught me off guard. It is right up there with any pale ale (being dark red its self I was not expecting it.

Not very much alcohol in the beer, so drinkability is naturally pretty high. all and all this beer is worth a shot, Im going to try their IPA next.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 22:01:26 | More by flannelman808
Photo of illidurit


3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 99 Bottles in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Amber in color with a beige head of about 2 fingers' height. Some lacing and decent retention. Aroma is caramel with some pine hoppiness. Flavor is malty and sweet; caramel and honey set the basis for the tangy citrus hops to lay atop. Smooth and easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2008 02:24:47 | More by illidurit
Photo of JBogan


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky and dull brownish/amber with almost no head or lacing to be found. Not a pretty sight. Certainly nothing here to make me want to put it to my lips.

Thankfully it smelled far better than it looked. Malty and sweet, with a bit of caramel and some hops present.

Tasted pretty good too. Mostly a sweet malt flavor with the hops showing up at the end. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel was also pretty good, especially considering what it looked like. Actually had some decent carbonation to offset a rather thick feel.

All in all a rather drinkable brew. Nowhere near my favorite of this style, but it probably would be more appealing to me if it didn't look so darn ugly. If a beer's appearance are not high on your list, then you'll likely enjoy this one. I'll probably have this again at some point, but it will be a while.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 03:13:24 | More by JBogan
Photo of boston2bburg


4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, sediment-filled auburn color with a finger of beige head that covers the glass fairly well. The unfiltered characteristic gives the impression you're drinking a homebrew, but I wish I could make 'em this good. Very jazzy label by the way.

Smell is lively, citrus hops blended with candied, buttery caramel malt. Chocolate presents itself with warmth.

Candy on the palate as well, with a chocolaty caramel flavor, and it goes very well with the citrusy hops. For me, the most distinguishing character is the chewy, tangy, and slightly bready mouthfeel. This beer definitely has it's share of specialty malts, which give it a soft, unique flavor, but it is balanced with the hops enough to be quite drinkable.

I hadn't seen this one for a couple years so I picked it up when I found it in town (at Sumdat Farmer's Market). Still impresses now as it did then. Excellent version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 21:01:21 | More by boston2bburg
Photo of Maudite


3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber, brown, with ruby hues. A creamy tan head about 1 finger thick with sticky lacing formed, stuck around for most of the beer.

S- Sweet hoppiness, biscuity, malty, and tangy. A fine nose, but nothing amazing. It was well balanced, and presented itself well of the style.

T- The hop bitterness was the most prevalent part of this brew, which kind of killed it. Like most California beer, this was all about the hops, and not necessarily in a good way... The hops were not imbalanced, but just overpowering....the standard biscuity, toasty, sweet and dry maltiness one comes to expect from an Amber was quite buried beneath the aggressive American hops. Perhaps a few less IBUs, or a more proper hop/malt balance would improve this ale. Not terrible, just not terribly enjoyable.

M- Acidic, hoppy dryness with a clean, residual mouthfeel.

D- I'm sure to many this beer is worth a frequent drink, but I've found many better ambers out there...

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 21:02:25 | More by Maudite
Photo of Vansmack


4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is definitely a great beer. It has a nice smooth taste. You can taste the redness in this one. I highly recommend this one for an all night drinkathon.

I made some filet mignon the other night with some asparagus and served it with the Red Nectar. I have to say, this beer goes really well paired up with meat. Don't take my word for it... try it yourself!

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 19:16:18 | More by Vansmack
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite reddish, crystal clear.

Clean hops to the nose. A lot of grassy notes.

Smooth full body with bright hops and a tart finish. Resiny cannabis taste in there, tea leaves, not to much citrus.

Good depth and certainly not one-dimensional. I really like this one, and I wish I had gotten a 6pack intead of a single bottle.

Great drinkability. A really nice red, I wish there were more of this style out there in the market.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 02:08:15 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of JDV


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep maroon reddish pour with lasting off white head. Smell is a nice fragrant sweet hoppiness. Taste is a good crisp hop flavor kick at first with light bitterness, and a smooth, clean, quick finish without much lingering flavor. Overall a really good amber that I'd buy again if I could get it here in Austin.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 22:56:41 | More by JDV
Photo of adam7475


4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottled beer, available in most Grocery Stores in California, and at T.J.s abroad, I consider this one to be exceptional. I have yet to try it from a draft.

I love the taste and the thickness is perfect in my view. Aftertaste is nearly non-existent for me and it is easy to polish off a six-pack of bottles within a few hours or less. I also like the overall look of the label and the bottle cap with the Humming Bird against a white cap.

The Review Points:

A: True amber, maybe a tinge of additional redness.

S: Nice, as would be expected from hand-crafted ales. Citrus fruits and, maybe, cherries, are implied somehow.

T: Similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, perhaps some lingering fruitiness (cherry, maybe orange).

M: Thick feel with plenty of bubbles. It's absolutely not a mass-produced domestic in any way. Doesn't sting with over-carbonation, and is not overly abrupt in any way.

D: This is a tough one for me, being that most beers feel drinkable to me - you could easily knock down all six of these without affecting lunch or dinner (...or breakfast for those of you in college or between jobs).

Overall, one of my personal top 10 for sure; although, I don't drink as many different beers as I would expect of an expert.

Side Note: I like the concept of nectar in terms of beer to begin with, so it's easy to like the bottle art and packaging for me. This may be irrelevant to a true beer advocate, but I am personally affected at some level by the presentation of a bottled beer.


Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 18:23:07 | More by adam7475
Photo of Proteus93


4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep, yet transparent amber. While crisp enough to see through, it was dark enough to block the light. A fizzy head, nothing incredibly amazing there.

S: Sweet, some mild fruits. A bit of a floral aroma, malts are quite rich and come across as rather complex.

T: A very tasty, well balanced sweet malt & hops. Seems like a tiny hint of cherry? Some spicy sweetness, citrus notes, rather sugary. A round, intriguing taste. Quite delicious.

M: Lively carbonation, fizzling over the tongue without the bite of some. A little bit of thickness, somewhat chewy... not overdone.

D: Full, rich, delicious. Certainly worth another. Easy to drink, and good to savour a little. I can see this being something I will get as long as it is available on tap and then perhaps switch over.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2008 05:50:42 | More by Proteus93
Photo of PhageLab


2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Beautiful crystal red with a brownish hue. Nice fingertip of head, fair retention and some really pretty lacing.

S - Mostly hops in the nose, with some cherries and other dark fruits. Not too potent but certainly not bad.

T - Crisp and citrusy, with a mildly bitter finish. Yeah, wasn't too bad, but there was an odd character in the aftertaste that reminded me of medicine. I'm not sure what it was, but it really causes a hit here.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation level, oily residue left in the mouth.

D - Wouldn't be bad were it not for the odd aftertaste. Can't see a reason to try this one again. Sorry, no reco's here, but if you're eating a burger and you need something to wash it down with, by all means grab one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2008 14:18:29 | More by PhageLab
Photo of mobud


3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into SA glass.

A- Brown(caramel sugar) with little head, but very active carbonation.

S- Sweet malt with lite fruit salad.

T- Sweet malt with a yeast ale finish.

M- Light with light coat on the back of my throat.

D- Very nice. Would give this one another shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 19:49:27 | More by mobud
Photo of BeerTruth


3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from the man himself, number1bum, cheers buddy.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a rich copper hue with a one finger off-white head that quickly dies down to a very thin layer of bubbles. Stickiness is thin, but there. Smell is, um...birdfood. Some hints of caramel and earth in the nose as well as a woody hop aroma, interesting. Taste is a big improvement after putting my nose into this one. Rusty caramel malt flavor up front with a weak citrus sweetness. A buttered bread taste with mild lemongrass aftertaste. Pretty light to medium body with a crisp carbonation. A pretty baic ale, it just seems to be missing that west coast kick. Thanks for the bottle Josh.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 00:23:20 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of number1bum


3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My contribution to NEPA BC split #10.

Pours a somewhat hazy reddish amber color with about one finger of light beige head. Head retention is decent and it leaves a bit of stick too.

Smell is a combination of caramel and biscuit malt with citrus and earthy, almost musty hop aromas.

Taste is really the same as the smell but a bit cleaner. Caramel malt sweetness and a toasty, biscuity malt base combine with primarily citrus but also earthy hops and a medium level of bitterness. Clean, drying finish and a creamy medium mouthfeel.

This makes a great session beer, and is a pretty tasty and solid brew overall. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 18:51:59 | More by number1bum
Photo of terrapinchris


4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this here is my idea of an amber ale. not cloyingly sweet, not overly carbonated. in many ways i found this more similar to a scottish red ale than an american amber. whatever it's categorization, it's excellent.

it poured a deep amber color in my guinness pint glass, which gives a hint of the character to follow. a surprising array of hits the nose, from the pine/citrus west coast hops to a somewhat fruity profile of...oh i don't know, flavors you might expect to find in a scone. cranberries and raisins, if i had to be specific.

the taste is very well balanced with a medium body. it's a bit more carbonated than i might have expected, but it works somehow. adds a bit of an edge to the flavors, which begin with the dough/cranraisin flavors and finish with the tastefully restrained hops profile.

overall, this beer's greatest virtue is its drinkability. it isn't terribly complicated, as most ambers generally aren't. but it's so well balanced that once you start, you can easily put away three or four bottles without thinking to yourself that you should have picked up that IPA you've been waiting so long to try. an ideal session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 18:08:36 | More by terrapinchris
Photo of DoubleJ


4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass this goes, on to the beer:

It has a copper appearance with a dense, short head. The aroma on this one is very malty, biscuity and bready flavors with a kiss of hops. Now comes the good part, the taste. Good malt presense, light tropical and piney flavors pop around in the back and a hint of caramel. Quite a tasty red ale, reminds me a lighter Arrogant Bastard.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 04:27:47 | More by DoubleJ
Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.