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Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red NectarRed Nectar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

511 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 511
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 9
Gots: 23 | 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)
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Ratings: 511 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
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
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
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
2.3/5  rDev -36.8%
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
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
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
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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
3.93/5  rDev +8%
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
3.13/5  rDev -14%
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
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a shiney, highly filtered, amber to copper color. Offwhite head leaves behind pock marked lacing.

Fruity esters are the first thing to grab my attention. Solid body and depth. Malts are sweet but they do have a toasted edge to them. Hops snap in towards the end and complete this brew. Hops are in like a flash and gone, mostly bittering but they do a nice job of balancing this out and cleaning up. A bit of lemon towards the finish as well. Aftertaste tends to linger a bit but nothing annoying at all to offend.

Notes: Well, it is what it is...an Amber that is on the aggressive side of things, still maintaining its ultra drinkability in the process. Priced fairly at trader joe's this is a staple type offering.

Photo of ski271
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Zeno’s in State College, PA. Pours a clear medium-dark ruby-amber with a very small, slightly off-white, foamy head. Hardly any lacing. Smell is of moderate malt and light pine, with a touch of honey sweetness. Taste-wise, there’s much more of a hops presence that the nose suggests. Pine, citrus rind and caramel with a light berry finish. It has a medium body, dry texture and soft carbonation. Nothing here that wows me, but it’s a nice, evenly balanced & refreshing ale.

Photo of deuschbag
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle pored into a pint glass. pores a dark orange/light amber red color. head fades away after a few mins to leave a nice white ring.

smell is a nice mellow citrus hoppy smell. lightly malty and grainy.

this has a very mellow taste overall. has a light malty taste. honey and a earthly hop character.

feels so great in the mouth. very very thick and chewy. almost a meal by itself.

very drinkable. perfect for the summer time weather. great for any season.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Humboldt- Red Nectar Ale

On tap at Isaac Newton's. Newton, PA.

Appearance- ruby red with very little head. Looked like flat Dr. Pepper.
Smell- Decent caramel malt. Bold.
Taste- light caramel malt. Slight sweetness, watery.
Mouthfeel- slightly watery up front, bold malt that turns sugary, and finishes with a slight dryness.

Overall- didn't WOW me but was a refreshing beer to drink on a hot afternoon. Mediocre at best.

Doesn't compare to Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale.

Photo of Skidz
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle states that this is brewed and bottled by "Nectar Ales, Paso Robles, CA," but holds the same label as shown here. Contract brewed, or what?

Pours out bright amber and sits a brilliant copper brown in the glass with a large creamy beige head, fading to a light skimming with solid lacings up and down the glass. Excellent presentation.

Smells rich and malty, bursting with caramel and toasty grains. Hints of orange meld with golden raisins and spicy, leafy green hops.

Solid malt presence up front, caramel, light toffee, toasty, toasty. toasty. Intricate fluid hops deliver subtle notes of oranges, plum skin and grapefruit rind. Finishes with moderate bitterness, totally leveling out on all angles. Absolutely delightful.

Smoooth, light, soft and fine carbonation and a full-felt medium body. This gets it all moving, every gulp.

I am happily savoring every last drop. I was not expecting much, but this is absolutely brilliant. Wonderfully balanced, fully delivering every gram of flavor held within.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.63/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light orangish amber with a nice single finger full tan head that melts to a nice lacing.
Aroma is only faintly sweet malt and honey.
Taste is stronger than the aroma but still very light...malt, followed by a honey cloying, then a mild hop bitterness.
Aftertaste of honey and hops.
Just a very average beer of this style in my opinion. I don't know if they actually used honey in this beer, but to me it was distinct and distracting for the style.

Photo of thaichile
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 22oz. Pours an amber color with scents of malt. Not a brew that you’ll remember, but not a brew that you hated drinking either. Middle of the road, not overly hoppy or malty. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this but if it got in my way I’d have it again. Thanks to Zorro for the bottle.

Photo of sacfly
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Code 255D12035 stamped on the bottle, so no freshness date of note.
“All Natural Ale”
Pours a hazy amber/red. Particles noted in suspension. Thin head of tan bubbles. Lightly citrus nose with a hint of herbal character.

Taste is light. Seems “Dusty”? Very light crystal malt blends with a dusty tree bark and grass. Might be annoying, but not enough of any flavor to rank that high. Aftertaste is lightly bitter with a lingering sensation that you ate the white part of a grapefruit peal. Not grapefruit mind you, just the white part.

Uninteresting but not overly terrible. Not one I would seek out, “All Natural” or not.

Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml bottle pours a copper colored, pristinely transparent liquid with a small amount of off-white head. Head diminishes rapidly leaving a light lacing behind.

In your face, robust roasty malt flavor fills the nose. Earthy and full, I love this kind of malty smell. Perfectly balanced by the hops and yeast, the sweetness of the malt is nil. It just tastes hearty and malt rich, full malt flavor...mmm!

Velvety smooth feel in the mouth, full of body and very pleasant! Carbonation is perfect in this tasty ale.

Not to strong but kind of filling, goes down easily. I definitely recommend, especially to those that love malt.

Photo of goschool
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an attractive amber with a frothy head that leaves a bit of lace. The aroma is sweet with caramel malts and light citrus hop presence. I'm picking up a ton of crystal malts in front of the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and slightly rough (I can't think of a better way to describe it). The floral and citrus hops come in at end to turn this unnecessarily sweet stuff into a quaffable session beer.

Photo of HopHeadKen
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label on bottle says Nectar Ales, but Cap says Johnson's Authentic Brown Ale ? No date or batch # on bottle.

Pours medium hazy red brown with thin ivory head, bottle retains a very thin film of sediment in the bottom.

Smell is faintly malt and hops

Taste is caramel malty with subtle hop undertones, seems balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium, satisfying

Drinkability is good, I wish I had a few more of these, as I really would rather base a review on two or three beers over time than on a one and only.

Photo of mitchfor3
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear-looking reddish copper with a nice chunky head that lasts well and leaves good looking lace.

Smells really nice for an amber- seems like it's going to have good balance with a slight bias towards hops.

Malt is definitely present in the body, but the taste is dominated by mild bitterness and delicious floral hop.

Good feeling brew - slightly acidic aftertaste lingers and leaves you wanting more. An excellent choice for a session brew or a with dinner beer.

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

On-tap at Caliente in Richmond, served in a cold-ass pint glass.

Appearance: A pretty ruby / amber color that looked very nice in the light. Head dissipated rather quickly, though the glass was very cold, and I know that was a factor. Not tons of lacing, but the color's great, and I still think the glass being pretty cold screwed that up.

Smell: I'd heard this beer was hoppy, and yes, it is -- almost like a pale ale / IPA concoction rather than a red. But very nice nonetheless. Rather than an assault of hops (though they're there), it's balanced by some carmalized and sweeter smelling malts.

Taste: More like an IPA once again, to me. So I guess that's weird it's really called a red, though it's certainly an interesting take on the style. A balance of sweeter malts and cascade hops come through pretty well, and it went really well with my smoked turkey sandwich.

Mouthfeel: Not too slick, slightly creamy, and moderate carbonation levels.

Drinkability: I would've made it a session, though I wanted to try other beers. A tasty and pretty singular style, I think, on the red ale.

Photo of Fish113d
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a tap into a pint glass, it pours a ruby color with a thin cream colored edge layer with an oily white film on top.

Aroma is more hoppy than I expected. I also get some slightly sweet toffee malts as well. Nothing flashy, but decent.

Sipping reveals a sweet plum flavor with lots of bitter cascade hops that burst on my palate. Finish is a little bit of almonds and lots of hops. LIke I said, more hoppy for a red ale than I expected.

Tingly carb up front on the tip of my tongue but a nice smooth body with just a touch of drying on the finish.

Pretty drinkable brew. It'd make a nice session ale. Not exactly what I go for usually, but decent.

Photo of KoG
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby body with a decent tan head. Leaves a bit of lace as it goes.

Smell is rich malt, chocolate and caramel backed with a good hop presence.

Taste is well rounded. Good use of both chocolate and caramel malts that aren't too sweet but definately let their presence be known. Hop bitterness rounds out the finish to clean it up.

Not a bad ale at all, pretty drinkable and a solid competitor for the region.

Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.