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Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red NectarRed Nectar

Educational use only; do not reuse.

526 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 526
Reviews: 254
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 10
Gots: 27 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 254
Photo of BeerTruth
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of number1bum
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of terrapinchris
4.37/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish copper color. Off-white head is thick, creamy, and rocky... laces the glass too.

Smell: Has a good balanced and somewhat complex aroma of hops, citrus, light caramel sweetness, and toasted grains.

Taste: Has a bold yet not overbearing flavor of roasted malts, supplemented by oranges, lemons, and hops. Tingly hop finish, followed by a rush of fruits, and then a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium-bodied, with light carbonation.

Drinkability: Good abv and an engaging taste make this quite a drinkable beer.

This beer really caught me off guard. I'd avoided it at the store for quite a while, as (judging by the name and packaging) I expected it to be a fruit beer. Instead it's one of the boldest amber ale's I've tried. Nice taste and enjoyable... I'll get this again and recommend it to others.

Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint at Bad Dog Ale House in El Segundo

Poured with a medium brown color and 1/2 inch silky head that stuck around I was about three sips in

Nice smell with some hints of spiciness

Taste was very smooth and bitter at the same time

Could drink a lot of these, drank pint in about ten minutes

Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish copper with a thin off-white head that becomes a lasting swirl.

The smell is of caramel, toast - slight berry-like fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet caramel with toasted breadiness. Earthy/spicy hops emerge and become more fruity as the drink progresses. The hop character blends in nicely after a bit of a slow start. This is one of those that I like the more I drink (and decided to bump the score on this one up from my original just a bit.)

Body is a bit thinner than expected, but hangs on to medium and leaves a nice balanced bittersweetness on the palate.

Overall, a satisfying brew - a bit more of a hop spice kick than expected for style, but works well here. Though nothing extraordinary, IMO, it's a notch above a run-of-the-mill amber ale.

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for finding this one!

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 9, 2007. 12 Oz Bottle. Aroma a rich crispy, floral sweet cascade orange and light peach. Perfumey and drawing. Pours a ruddied amber with a soapy head of off-white. Flavor is crisp, nice bright malt with candied lemon, pear juice, a run of caramel malts and a punch of gingered hop flows. All of this very alive and bright, with astounding drinkability. I could pound these back all day. It’s fresh, clean, clear and flavorful with just the right balance of hop flavor, instead of unending bitterness and aroma. It seems that if you can impart massive hop flavor, instead of just bitterness, you’re doing something right. And this beer achieves that in hands with great flavor, while preserving sweet drinking quality. Damn good Amber!

Photo of Night
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with crimson and brown tones. Medium, foamy, blonde head; light to medium lacing. Aroma is floral and grapefruit hops, spices, plum, raisin, sudsy dough malts. Mouthfeel is on the light and fizzy side. Flavor is well-balanced: thick bread (sweet, then sour) and buttery malts followed by grapefruit, bitter resin, and earthy-woody hops. Notes of cocoa in finish; bitter aftertaste with hints of spice.

Photo of adowney523
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle brought back from the plane from CA.

Deep amber in color, moderate carbonaton, and an off-white head with good rentention.

Smells of bready malt along with raisins, and piney and citrusy hops.

Very well-balanced and clean with a good touch of citrusy hops in the finish.

Medium-bodied with a slightly sweet finish and quite drinkable. Recommended.

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A red stunner, with not-so stunning head retention. Not bad, just not great. Smell is rich in caramel malt, and tart citrus. Hops are evident. This is a superbly crafted beer with an eviable balance of thick amber malt and none-too-subtle west coast hops. Mouthfeel is satsifying if a little sticky. Drinks itself, and at 5.99 a sixer at Trader Joe's, I defy anyone to find a better value for a way above average session beer.

Photo of jackorain
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark Amber in color, crystal clear. Three finger head, off-white, multisized bubbles. decent rentention. incredible lacing stuck all the way down the glass and hung around until i washed it.

S-bicuit malt and green hops, not very complex.

T-biscuit and carmel malt, green and earthy hops, finishes a little sour. Marginnaly more complex that the aroma.

M-light body, a little watery than I expect from a hoppier amber ale. Nice carbonation though.

D-Aside from my mild gripes above, this one is quite drinkable

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2007
This was one of those brews that hooked me on that fresh hoppy taste back in the first few years of my drinking craft beer, lets see how it has held up over the years. The beer pours with a darkish tan colored head that billows up to three-fingers in height. The head has some staying power to it and even leaves a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, reddish cranberry color. The aroma has a nice fresh hoppiness to it that is on the sweet side. Aromas of candied orange peel, brown sugar glazed grapefruit and touches of biscuit malt are the most dominant parts of the aroma, though you have to dig for that last bit.

The beer has a nice malty sweetness to it up front, and the malt character is quite clean and bright. I don't remember the malt being quite this refined, I seem to remember a bit more muddy crystal malt character & I am glad that either my memory is hazy or that the beer has changed for the better. Still it is the hops that lead the way here; a nice bright bitterness starts out as a hop bite and lingers on through the finish. The bitterness is nicely balanced by a crystal malt character that adds fruity overtones to this brew. A citrus hop focus also adds more fruit character to this brew with notes of grapefruit, orange and tangelo.

This is still quite a solid drinking beer, a lot of others beers have come along since this brew, but this is one of those that led the way from me, especially with its citrus hop focus. Ultimately this beer is still the session brew that I remember, even if it has lost some of its once, cutting edge vibrancy.

Photo of Slatetank
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear deep garnet with a sizeable head that leaves generous lacing.

S - The aroma is a goodly amount of malt that has roasted scents with a nose of subtle woodsy hops.

M - Creamy malt textures are the main elements with bitter qualities that gradually eclipse the sweet dry feel alongside liberal effervescence.

T - Toasted notes of dry malt -almost rye-like. Sweet, but ever so slightly creamy. Substantially bitter with tasty, woody hops and fruity floral hints intermingling with at malty sweetness that is matched oz. for oz. with bittering that is slight on the dry side. A slightly medicinial effect is apparent after short swallows that adds to the dryness in the mouth.

D - A roasty red ale that is not undrinkable with pleasant hops and a spicy peppery essence. Not my favorite style but a decently made ale.

Photo of drpimento
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an oldish beer-of-the-month shipment. No sediment. Medium to small head; a bit of lace. Very hazy copper color. Nice hoppy, citrusy, fruity, slightly malty nose. Sweeter in the mouth. Great balance between the hops and sweetness. Good mouth. I like this beer! Easy session.

Photo of Boto
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle: This pours a hazy amber color. It has a small off white head on it. This has a very appealing nose. A nice mix of caramel malts, spiciness, floral and some breadiness also. The taste is a bit of a letdown from the aroma, although still good. A somewhat harsh, bitter taste to it.

Photo of Phocion
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark amber with a thin off-white head which quickly disappears leaving slight lacing around my pint glass.

Aroma is weak but nicely balanced. Caramel and bready malts combine with floral and citrus hops.

The taste could be described the same as the nose. Grapefruit and roasted malts create a nice balance, but it is very weak and lacking complexity.

Thin, watery, and a little oily mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Not much to this brew, but it is very crisp and unoffensive. If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would be "average." It's not bad, but don't waste your time.

Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a three finger cream head that fades to a shallow layer and leaves some lace. Cloudy dark amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts mildly hoppy, looking for sweetness and not finding it, hoppy, resiny finish, with bitter aftertaste. $1.69 for a 12oz bottle from John's Market Tigard, Or.

Photo of shivtim
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a clear reddish-orange with a nice tan head. There are lots of tiny bubbles and ok lacing. Nose is hoppy and sweet. Taste is metallic with some malts. Not nearly as much hops as the nose. There's an odd grainy aftertaste that's like bitter honey. Complicated taste, but not in a good way. Mouthfeel is ok, drinkability would be better if it weren't for the odd cacophony of the taste.

Photo of vtfan77
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep reddish orange with a big, frothy beige head. Lots of lacing, too.

S- Very hoppy aroma. Some toasty malts take a backseat to the citrusy hops.

T- Not as hoppy as the aroma would suggest. Citrusy hops and toasted malts balance each other out nicely. There's a touch of sweetness up front that carries through to the finish and is somewhat honey-like (or, perhaps, nectar-like?). Finish is fairly bitter. Nice.

M- Good carbonation in this medium-bodied brew. Nice and smooth.

D- Darn good drinkability. Not too high in alcohol and tastes great. Sure, I'd have another.

Good drinking red ale. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but solid. A nice, hoppy beer. Recommended.

Photo of techdiver
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Overall a very acceptable brew. Pours a deep amber with modest head that dissipates quickly. Modest hops, well blended. Nothing stands out as unforgettable, but seems a good session brew. Goes down smooth. Brewed by Nectar Ales, Paso Robles, California. What's up with the difference from "Humboldt"?

Photo of Beerzebub
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear orange-amber, almost white head goes down to blotches fairly fast. Smells like orange creamcicles a little bit, which is great. Also, butternut/pumpkin, custard, orange, coriander seed, green tea, black pepper, bagels. Not a very strong smell, but complex, intriguing, and delicious.

Tastes of fresh fruit salad, bready/bagely malt, tea, with citrusy hops like grapefruit with hints of orange and bergamot. A vague custardy creaminess holds it together, but the taste has more hop bitterness and less custard than the smell. The hops are welcome, this is well balanced. Kind of watery, though.

The mouthfeel is its only real fault, this is stll an excellent beer.

Photo of SethB2
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep Amber in color, clean looking with a decent 1/2" head.

S - Sweet initially and very malty. Caramel, raisins, and toasted grain. There is a slight hop bitterness on the nose, but not a lot.

T - Good stuff. Hoppier than I was expecting after the smell. Definite west coast hop bite is the first thing I noticed, which is washed away by the sweetness about halfway through the swig.

M - Pretty good, but a bit on the thin side. Could use a few more bubbles.

D - Nice. Easy drinker that is very sessionable.

Photo of TheLiterati
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I’d originally had this on tap a while ago, and decided to buy a six-pack for a casual gathering I was having for some beer newbies.

The characteristics that stood out in the tap variety are muted in the bottled version. It does have the reddish amber color, thinnish tan head, and even offers a bit of lacing that sticks around.

The aroma hints at a nice hoppiness with caramel undertones. There’s also an undertone of something reminiscent of sweet cream that I can’t put my finger on. Sounds weird but it’s in there somewhere!

Mouthfeel is a little fizzy, almost like soda pop – lots of bubbles and effervescence, but not necessarily unpleasant. Tastes of hops, burnished caramel and malt. The finish is dry, but turns a little flat after it warms a bit.

Red Nectar is bigger than many of the red ales available, which sometimes tend to be big on color and light on taste. This one has some promise, and is mostly OK.

Photo of cbl2
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

6/30/2005 $6.99 6 pack 5.40% No best by date.


Pours a clear medium brown with a very thin tan head that settles rapidly. Course bubbles perforate the surface, swirling carbonation in the center.


Mildly nutty aroma with some sweet malt presence.


No flavors truly stand out, though there is a nutty sweetness midsip, that bleeds into a somewhat bitter finish. Easy to drink, but as soon as you've swallowed, you forget what the beer tasted like.

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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.