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Mandarin Nectar - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mandarin NectarMandarin Nectar

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93 Reviews
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Reviews: 93
Hads: 264
Avg: 3.41
pDev: 24.93%
Wants: 11
Gots: 14 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gusler on 03-30-2003

A Honey Ale with natural orange flavor. Spices used in a Belgian Wit beer, coriander and orange zest, complement the orange blossom honey used in this ale.
Draft & 22oz bottles.
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 264
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, honey, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer beer that is drinkable, but it's a pretty basic and underwhelming beer coming from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange with a nice head and a decent amount of lacing as it goes down. The smell is somewhat caramelized in the background, with some orange and a bit of sweetness up front. The taste is quite sweet, with a lot of orange and honey coming through. Fairly well-balanced, and another solid fruit offering from Alpine. Highly drinkable; nice and crisp.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a slightly hazy golden body and a white head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Just as advertised, it smells like mandarin orange perfume

Taste: Mandarin orange floral flavor with a smooth finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Awesome combinatino of flavor and quaffability; with the orange flavor, you could drink this stuff for breakfast and be happy the whole day

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mandarin orange, if a bit less vibrant than the actual fruit. A modest number of superfine bubbles rise through the pristine liquid to plonk into the bottom of the wonderfully creamy cap of palest pastel orange. The beer itself may be less than thrilling, but the head more than makes up for it. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to tear as they loose contact with the deflating cap.

The nose is on the subdued side and smells orange fruity and a trifle perfumy, although not in a negative way. Mandarin Nectar is, essentially, a witbier with a smattering of orange blossom honey. It sure doesn't smell like one; I don't appreciate either honey or coriander. It's still a pleasant smelling beer though, and is one that should translate well to the palate.

Well... not really. I expected an explosion of flavor rather than the popgun pop that greets my every mouthful. I still don't get the witbier comparisons at all. A miniscule amount of that spice is barely identifiable in a flavor profile that doesn't contain an overwhelming number of competing flavors, but I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to pick it out without knowledge of its presence.

I wonder why there isn't more orange flavor. My fervent hope was that this would be a tremendously orange juicy beer that would bowl me over with tangy citrusiness. Nope. A lingering sweetness is probably due to honey since there isn't enough malt on hand to achieve it, but honey per se isn't really appreciated. MN is an odd beer that I would have thought would have undergone an overhaul at some point along the way. Alpine must be satisfied with sales.

That light viscosity helps a mouthfeel that struggles to be considered medium. It is nicely silky smooth though, a compliment to quality brewers and quality brewing. I wish the flavor was more to my liking since the beer feels so good in the mouth.

Mandarin Nectar is the first Alpine beer that hasn't either blown me away (Pure Hoppiness) or impressed me greatly (Alpine Ale). Of course, I've only had those two. There's a great deal of potential here for the brewers to release a wonderfully orange fruity beer rather than the less than inspired one that occupies my glass at the moment.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a remarkably clear light golden-orange color with a fluffy white head and some mild lacing.

S: The nose is not very robust. A touch of coriander spice, some mild orange aroma, and a little sweetness.

T: The honey comes through and gives the beer some sweetness and a bit of a floral flavor. A light citrusy taste but not much in the way of the coriander that I noticed on the nose.

M: The body is medium, perhaps a bit slick and a surprisingly low carbonation.

D: I suppose I should have looked into this beer a bit more before I bought it, but this was one of the few disappointing Alpine beers I've had.

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Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Handsome clear amber in the tall Stella glass with plenty of lacing. The orange peel stands out. I smell honey, hard candy, and a whiff of grain and maybe a band-aid.

I guess you like the distinct honey flavor or you don't. It seems really strongly-flavored to me, with that sugary, cloying sensation. Unfortunately it's followed by a faintly sour, medicinal note, a little too much like a honey cough drop. Vegetal taste like zucchini, and something like a hint of kaffir lime leaf. Long bitterish, fruity, murky aftertaste.

While light, this is not what I would call refreshing. From the 22 oz bottle bought yesterday at the brewery.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to gottajiboo2 for sharing this beer poured cool into a pint.
A - A medium orange w/ great clarity and minimal head. A very sunny appearance.

S - Deep sweet orange aroma w/ a little spice.

M - An average feel, on the lighter side of medium w/ a zing! that says spiced mandarin tea. There is a moderate amount of carbonation noticed as it is held in the mouth.

T - The flavor is sweet, yet more of a juicy zesty, orange rind taste than the flavor 'nectar' brings to mind. The spices are very complementary and a sort of prickly tartness remains after the swallow. Nice sweet flavors that don't go overboard, very nice mix of orange and coriander in the taste.

D - I found this to be average for my taste, Not bad, just didn't hold my interest for more than one taste. This would be a great summer drink almost like orange tea cooler w/ the citrus flavor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-draught into a 5 oz taster at Alpine's pub. Expectations were high; I love Alpine. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a beige floater; no real head here. Body is a clear pale yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Nectary hops, honey, floral hops, apricot fruit, and pale malts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Nectary hops, apricot fruit and accompanying esters, clean pale malts, and a crisp clean malted barley finish. Tasty and crisp. Very well balanced. The apricot is wonderful. A bit of honey sweetness. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Crisp, clean, smooth, and wet. Ideal thickness and carbonation. Complements the flavour profile very well.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I'd have it again. Another solid offering from Alpine. Tasty stuff for the style. I quite like it. I'd recommend it to friends.

High B

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Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Clear amber with a small and short-lived head. No lacing.

Aroma: mild light malt with a hint of honey.

Flavor: sweet but not cloying. Light bready malts with a hint of honey.

Feel: Light body with near medium carbonation.

O: a fine honey ale

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My pour created two fingers' worth of rocky, eggshell-white head with nice retention. Color was deep gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both orange-citrusy and lightly spicy, like black pepper. Mouthfeel was medium with a light orange zest on the tongue. The label mentioned honey, but I missed out on that. The finish was dry with the peppery/coriander presence that I noted on the nose. Yum.

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Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured amber in color with a moderate white head to it. The head faded but left some moderate lacing.

The aroma is pretty sweet with honey and orange both present. It almost has a syrupy sweet orange aroma to it. Could have used a bit of bitterness to balance the honey sweetness.

The taste shows off the orange zest and honey pretty well. The coriander adds to the citrusy flavor of the beer as well. The finish especially shows off some of the honey flavors. It's very smooth and refreshing. It reminds me a bit of a few braggot style beers I've tried with the honey.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is a bit above average. Drinkability is decent, it was pretty light but flavorful and went down easy. Would be a decent choice for a hot day, however it felt a bit big and heavy to fit that bill perfectly.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's time for another Alpine beer, so on to it:

Bright golden orange in color, a show of large carbonation bubbles rises through the body of this spiced ale. The head shows good froth, and so is the head retention. Biscuit malt, lots of honey, a little floral in the nose.

It's spiced nicely, and the malt base comes together. I'm not sure if wheat is used here, but I'm certainly getting some malted wheat notes. But that could also be the honey that's present. BURP! There's the orange flavor I was hoping to get. At the trail end comes the coriandor with a hint of Wirgley's gum. Feels lighter than the listed 6.5% ABV, though I can still find a little booze running around.

When I purchased Mandarin Nectar, I thought I'd be getting a light, refreshing orange wheat ale. Wrong! This is a spiced orange ale with plenty of meat on it's bones. A tasty wheat ale, but the irony here is I was in the mood for something lighter.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.61/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange. The color of honey, no surprise, I guess. Small white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Buckets of honey. Some citrus. Diacetyl.

Taste - Tastes like honey. Lots of honey, but not too sweet. Some citrus. And then diacetyl.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall - It isn't that interesting to begin with, but the diacetyl is a deal breaker.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow-orange, with a very long-lasting white head, great lacing.

S: Orange zest, sweet malt notes, light.

T: Very sweet beer, the orange predominates, but it's not overbearing. Bready malt and a bit of earthy hops round out the flavour.

M: Can be cloying from the sweetness at times and a bit too much carbonation. Overall light-bodied, medium viscosity, smooth.

D: An interesting fruit beer from Alpine. I'm just glad it wasn't filled with artificial flavour and one could easily drink it. Well done Alpine.

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Photo of corby112
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the brewpub.

Pours a clear, dark golden yellow color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a thing ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet citrus aroma with subtle spiciness and pale malts. Lots of orange peel along with apricot and other light fruits countered by some zesty coriander and bready yeast.

Medium bodied with a good balance of zesty spice, citrus sweetness and bready yeast. Not overly spicy or dominant/overpowering in any area. Really well balanced with honey sweetness, orange and apricot countered by spicy pepper and coriander notes.  Not overly complex but flavorful and very quaffable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of honey, caramel, and light citrus.
Taste is of the same aromas slightly toned down.
Mouthfeel is of honey and tangerine sweetness.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a yellowish orange with a half finger head that had good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: wheat like aromas with hints of mandarins and honey in the nose.

T: crisp honey-mandarin like flavors with a combination of cirtus fruits and slight bitterness at the end of a sip.

M; light to medium body with decent amount of carbonation.

D: pretty sweet for my palate and probably could not drink a whole one by myself.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinker but an ultimately forgettable beer from a brewery that makes some of the finest IPAs in the world. This is not one I would go back to personally, if given the choice to have Nelson, Duet, or one of the other incredible hoppy Alpine creations. Mandarin Nectar is hazy orange with a good sized white head; nice retention, minimal lacing. Aroma of mildly sweet honey and oranges, a bit of biscuity malt. Flavor follows the nose; the orange citrus character is nice but not particularly big or bitter. In fact the hoppiness in general is pretty restrained. Honey is noticed but more on the subtle side; this is not an overly sweet beer.

Medium-light bodied with carbonation just a bit on the higher side. Fairly crisp and clean in the finish and overall mouthfeel. Good summer refresher I suppose. Again this wasn’t bad by any means but not all that memorable or exceptional.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Bdige.

Enjoyed on 4.23.12.

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a one finger, off-white head that fizzes down quickly.

S - Malty and candy.

T - Rye bread, candy, ripe citrus fruit, almost like rice candy.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Light, but the flavors are a bit odd.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.28/5  rDev -62.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured out a pretty light orange, a shade lighter than their ipa offerings. Aroma was horrible. Obviously something was wrong, as Alpine consistently makes some of the best smelling offerings in the world. This was obviously diacetyl, but in the most potent concentration I've ever come across (or my BA dad who also suffered from this beer's massive flaw).

Taste, could only gather one taste, and had to pour the rest out. Absolutely disgusting. I've had some D-ctyl bombs before, but this was the imperial nuclear daisy cutter of all diacetyl bombs.

I hope it was just an aberation from these guys, weird something like this would ever leave the brewery. Weird stuff, first the slight diacetyl with Emerson this summer, and then to be followed by this failure. I guess I'll stick w/ their world class ipa's from here on out (and Raven's Odin or vice versa).

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased in LA. I've had nothing but good beers from Alpine so I didn't hesitate to buy this bottle. Granted all of the others I've tried have been IPA's, but I figured this had to be somewhat good too. The label says "a thirst-quenching blend of the finest malts. We've added generous amounts of orange zest, coriander, and a touch of orange blossom honey". So I'm approaching this as kind of a wit-hybrid.

The beer is light copper and clear, way clearer than a wit beer would be. So maybe not a wit, this just uses the typical flavorings from one (coriander and citrus peel/zest). The aroma is sorta modest, it smells like an American pale ale with a very light hops bill. I don't really get any of the honey or orange in the nose. The taste is slightly better though, I can begin to detect the citrus. Still no coriander, they must have used so little of that. I guess this is turning out to be underwhelming, I expected more explosive honey and orange flavors from this beer. It isn't really bad, more a flavorful pale ale than anything else, but the bottle made me expect more.

The body is light, with prickly carbonation giving a mouthfeel about on par with a very drinkable pale ale. I'd say this was a let-down only because I expected greatness from everything this brewery makes, and the label seems to promise more than is delivered. But not bad if approached with no preconceptions, a more than solid pale ale.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank at our epic tasting, and this clearly did not belong...22oz? bottle into my Narke tulip...A super light and clear pour hardly ever gets things off to a good start...The taste and aroma are both a super sweet orange, not a natural acidic orange, but a generic candy thing...Light feel, not very drinkable.

Skip for everyone.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a crystalline amber color, the head modest and off white in color, the lace left behind a nice silky covering of the glass. The aroma of coriander and other spices and of course oranges, along with the malt makes a nice combo, fresh and crisp, quite pleasant with the start ambrosial, nice malt presence, the top middling. Finish has a stinging acidity, hops are delicate and the aftertaste dry and long lasting. The first beer I’ve ever tried from this fine brewery, and a quite pleasant beer to quaff on a lazy Sunday afternoon, thanks to Xlperro for this bottle.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to poniell

Pours a fairly clear orange color with some brighter golden tones. A thinner white head fades out almost completely, a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Plenty of juicy citrus on the nose with orange, nectarine, and pulp. Sweeter honey tones with floral notes and a kiss of caramel.

Decent amount of sweetness on the tongue driven by oranges and other citrus fruits. Not much of a hop presence, more sweetness with honey, sugar, and some slight floral notes. Lighter malt base with faint caramel. Finishes with fruit juice and sweetness.

Lighter medium body, mild carbonation, sticky and light on the tongue. The orange flavors were nice but this was too sweet for me - my girlfriend enjoyed it more than I did.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is transparent golden orange with a creamy white head and some large bubbles. Nose is heavy pilsner grain, lightly toasted, with light notes of citric orange and a honey tinge underneath. Taste is more balanced, the honey gives it a creamy body and adds gently to the toasted grain. Also some caramel malt notes, sweet but well attenuated, with citrus notes and a bit of herbal hops. Very interesting beer, nicely balanced and well done.

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Mandarin Nectar from Alpine Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.