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Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red NectarRed Nectar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

488 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 488
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 9
Gots: 13 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 488 | Reviews: 250 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Fish113d, Sep 11, 2005
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.

KoG, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of Reidrover
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz brown bottle.
Good looking amber/red coloured ale, small light tan head, retains good lace throughout .
It has quite a malty aroma caramel like malts,though the hops are very apparent in the background.
Taste? well it starts with a very pleasant sweet honeyish maltiness, which after the initial sip gets rather "toasty and less sweet, the hops appear near the end and lend to a pleasant long lasting aftertaste.
Quite good on the tongue above average "fullness" for the style and smooth.
I found this ale very drinkable, would indeed make a nice session ale.

Reidrover, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of SwillBilly
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a nice, dark, amber with a 2 finger, frothy head.

Smell: Initial hop fragrance that gives away to a slightly, sweet malty aroma. Hints of apricots, and pine.

Taste: Beginning is slightly sweet, malty and finishes with a nice, dry hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Faily viscous, smooth.

This is an easy drinking amber that is pretty well balanced. This would make for a good session beer. Compare to Red Seal.

SwillBilly, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of charlesw
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's red. Well, red/brown. And has some head. Well, not really. In fact, no head to speak of - even with a fairly healthy pour.

It smells crisp and clean, very light on the floral hops, some freshly cut hay. A touch of caramel malt.

You get a light taste of dark caramels in the mouth. A bit heavy on the citrus/floral flavors in the hops for my taste... Nothing else really stands out in the flavor in a positive or negative sense.

Nice and easy light/medium body - works well on the tongue.

I can't really give it higher in drinkability 'cause I don't particularly care for it. It seems something out of balance to me. Why citrus hops and caramel malts? To my palate that's like having a safety orange dress with lime green polka dots (uh, I mean that I don't think that the flavors go very well together).

charlesw, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an absolutely gorgeous red color-really lives up to the label and name. Low malty aroma. Good malty flavor with a slight hop bitterness. Clean though dry finish. Good, full malty body. Overall a very enjoyable beer. Had not heard of this before so it was a nice treat. Thanks to the trade from biglove.

lackenhauser, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clearruddy brown with a nice, firm tan head. Aroma is lightly fruited and malty, lightly sweet.

Taste is rich and malty, nice and clean. Toasty caramel malt, a little on the sweet side but with enough hoppy bitterness to stay appealing. Very light dark citrus, a trace of fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium but clean and crisp. I could session this.

assurbanipaul, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper color with moderate white head. Smell is very strong of hops and a mild texture of malt. Taste is an enjoyable bitterness with a strong dry finish that makes me want to drink more.(So much so that I finished the glass before the review) Good beer.

tgbljb, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/13/05- Purchased at Winco Foods in Vacaville, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle. Poured into my North Coast Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Copper colored pour with a small 1/4 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- Heavy on the caramel malt scents with a tad bit of hops as well.

Taste- More on the malty side rather than the hoppy. Nice caramel malt taste with some fresh summer fruits inside as well. Maybe some apples and oranges.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- This has always been one of my favorites, but haven't visited it in at least a few years. Great different ale. Very tasty.

GClarkage, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty aroma that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts along with a nice citrus hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and bitter hop flavor with a fine malty base. It is a little hop heavy, but that's what I like. It goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine red ale. It has a good maltly flavor along with excellent hop characteristics. This is a fine sessions brew.

WesWes, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best looking beers I've ever had. It pours well with about an inch high head that slowly lowers into a nice layer of dense foam. The color is a beautiful, dark red with a bit of amber. It also leaves a bit of lace on the glass and gives off a great, slight hoppy smell with a creamy malt odor on top which smells kind of sweet. Maybe like a...nectar? Not sure.

The first taste is smooth and has a bit of tingle from the carbonation. The texture of the beer reveals itself slowly as you hold it on your tongue and then swallow, going from a bit malty at first to hoppier as you pull air over your tongue. This beer tastes earthy but not dirty. A bit dry in the aftertaste with the continued earthiness, maybe a bit like a fresh spring day. I'm trying to figure out if there is a distinct flavor in there but it feels more like a conglomeration of little flavors to make the whole. It is a beer that is hard to nail down.

This is a very mellow beer and it goes down well. I really like that it is not blatant in any one flavor but instead makes me think of a relaxing spring day outside. Maybe I'm getting a little too poetic here but I know I'll be buying this beer again as the weather gets warmer.

misterscooter, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of Troyone
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, the label says "all natural ale", poured a red copper root beer color with a two and a half inch head that dissipated to one inch then to nothing.
The smell is not significant with a hint of sweet resin and possibly a cross of licorice and band-aid aroma.
The taste is a sweet ale with a roasted malt grapefruit finish along with a cross of leather and soap background.
Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp lively carbonation and an almost chalky finish.
The drinkability is alright could be a session beer if one is used to commercial session stuff.

Troyone, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice khaki colored head nearly fills the glass before falling to a compact layer sitting above clear medium red liquid. A wonderful fruit and sweet/toasty malt nose. The taste is a great balance of malt to hop bitterness coupled with a medium bodied mouthfeel making this ale very easy to put down. There's just enough hoppiness to provide lip-smacking bitterness among the lightly toasty maltiness underneath it without being super hoppy/bitter. Finishes very balanced but with an emphasis on the hop here...one helluva drinkable red ale!

beerluvr, Oct 03, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a beautiful shade of redorangeamber, bright and clear, and sports a generous, pastel orange-tinted cap of foam has all of the attributes that I look for... persistance, frothy firmness, stickiness and laceability. Red Nectar looks wonderful in the glass, especially with the setting sun behind it.

Hoptastic nose, more so than most red ales, even west coast ones. Orange, lemon and peach are at least as strong as grapefruit. There's more malt on the palate than there is in the nose. Even though the sweet, caramel flavor is right up front, hoppiness carries the day. Just what I like, a red ale that isn't afraid to forego balance and make a committment--even a modest one--in one direction.

Again, the flavor profile consists of lightly caramelized cane sugar syrup flecked with the zest of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The medium body feels a tad more full than it actually is due to the sweet, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Drying it out a little would enhance sessionability, but I'd keep it just the way it is.

I don't see, smell, or taste a lot to criticize. Red Nectar isn't in St. Rogue Red's league, but then what is? This is just damn tasty beer, it's as simple as that.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer as it spills from the 12 ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a transparent copper color with a modest sized white head, which is semi-creamy in texture and the lace a thin white sheet to cover the glass. Nose is sweet and nicely malted, fresh cut red apples comes to mind, crisp and clean, the start is sweet, and has a nice malt presence, the top middling in feel, and its sets nicely on the palate. Finish is moderate in its acidity, the hops mild and pleasant, aftertaste dry and somewhat sweet, a nice summertime beer me thinks.

Gusler, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting #2 (Nectar Ales):

Much nicer citrusy hop aroma and flavor than I remember and more of a true American Amber Ale.

Rating changes: S 3.5 to 4.0, D 4.0 to 4.5

Bottled(?): 05/18/05 (lasered on neck)
Tasted: 07/14/05

(12 oz. bottle)

Tasting #1 (Humboldt Brewing Co.):
Nice light amber color (with light brownish hues), a full creamy beige head, good carbonation, and good lace. Aroma is mostly of bittering hops with a light malt presence. Nice balanced non-descript malt-hop flavor but definitely a bit more malty. Medium-full bodied and smooth.

A solid Amber Ale but not a recurring one for the price...

Per B.A.B. book: 5.3% ABV. Chinook, Willamette, Mt.Hood, and Cascade hops.

Gold Medal - 1999 GABF - American Amber Ale
Silver Medal - 2004 GABF - American Amber Ale

($3.49 / 22 oz. bottle)

RBorsato, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice find at my local Trader Joe's. This amber ale had a deep copper color and a firm, compact white head that slowly shrank down to a small cap. Some modest lace was in evidence.
The nose was a well-balanced blend of caramel malt, mild apple notes along with some other fruits, and a good dose of floral hops. The taste was also a good mix of caramel and lightly earthy malts and sweetness in the form of apples and a hint of tropical fruits. An equal to the malt character, there was some grapefruit peel and a bit of pine in the finish to hold up the hops profile. The medium body and smooth feel really made this an easy drinking brew.
Humboldt's Red Nectar Ale was a real surprise find at Trader Joe's, where more often than not a beer turns out to be a "miss". Tasty and well-balanced, this is one I'd keep in the fridge for the times I'm in the mood for an amber ale.

Boilermaker88, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of IrishRedRock
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got exactly what I expected from this. This is your typical "straight 4" beer. Medium bodied amber, toasted caramel malt and a sweet hop presence in both flavor and aroma. Very well balanced. Nothing very interesting, but a tasty brew nonetheless. A session brew if ever there was one.

IrishRedRock, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of ADR
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright clear copper color, luminous. Head is persistant and settles at about 1/8 of an inch after a moment. Lace is fairly intricate. Fruity aroma, apple skins and pale but noticeable citrus. Body is slightly thin with moderate to high carbonation. Decently balanced between indroductory caramel malt qualities, but the astringency of slightly unripe fruit wins over by the end of the profile. Hops are distinct by the aftertaste. A little light and slightly sourish for me, but not unpleasant and not over-assertive in the long run.

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a good-looking red ale.

Smell is strong malt, tea and fruity smell. Smells really good.

Taste is very complex. Malt and tea are the dominant flavors with a nice astringent quality. Fairly dry with a little bit of sweetness to it. There is a lingering tea after taste to this, not unpleasant. Much better than expected.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, tasty brew.

Zorro, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colorful hummingbird on the bottle cap and label. Pours a beautiful, clear, copper/red amber with a moderate beige head. Good head retention eventually falls into patchy sheet lacing. Aroma features caramel up front, then an array of hops take over. Floral and pine scents are dominant in the hops department. Light bodied and medium carbonation in the mouth. Hops are assertive on the tongue, without biting. Tatse is caramel sweetness with plenty of hops boldness. Pine and grapefruit notes give this a lot of pale ale characteristics, but the caramel malt is able to maintain its balance throughout. I found this one very enjoyable and very well balanced. This would be a nice session ale.

merlin48, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bright rusty amber with a fluffy tan head.

An earthy hoppiness found my nose right away.

First notes that play on my tongue are a nearly sour acidity that quickly segues into a very narrow, one-dimensional hop bitterness. And somewhere in the background there's a malt stickiness.

Mouthfeel is slightly watery.

I've had this on tap several times at the brewery, usually during happy hour when it's offered as one of the 2 dollar pint choices, and I do enjoy it, average as it is.

RootedFool, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of pheurton
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

crystal clear mahogany. slightly tannish 1/4" head that retreats to subtle yet ever present foam. substantial lacing. clean on the nose with whiffs of crystal malts and delicate floral hops. detecting a chocolate undertone. crisply carbonated, slightly thin mouthfeel. big shot of bready carmel malt flavor cut by some really fresh tasting floral hoppiness. rather refreshing. bitterness is light but noticeable. a highly drinkable, balanced red. this is a well built, enjoyable session ale - nothing more, nothing less. find some.

pheurton, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Thick white/tan chunky head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Beautifully clear, deep penny copper color. A better looking red ale you'll be hard pressed to find.

Smell: Hoppy nose with herbal, almost vermouth, scent. Nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Yum. Floral and herbal hop spice with a nice malt sweetness; a wonderfully balanced beer. Smooth carbonation and excellent body provide a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is the most drinkable beer I've come across in many a moon. This may be the session beer to end all session beers. Good job, Humboldt Brewing Company.

WetCoaster, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, dark ruby color, a lovely jewel, aided by an enormous head, off-whitish shade, nearly cocoa, honeycombed with lace.
Aroma: fresh, yeasty, citric, slightly sour, tasty, too.
Taste: smooth-going at first sip, untroubled, and tasty. Minor-key fruit factor. Adequate malt, excellent balance. Delicious, but mild enough, too, to enter the session ale field. Every sip and swallow is it's own reward, flavor returns and is enjoyed again and again.
Much thanks to el mocoso!

feloniousmonk, Nov 13, 2003
Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.