Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Mandarin Nectar | Alpine Beer Company

118 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Mandarin NectarMandarin Nectar

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Gusler on 03-30-2003

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 369
Photo of pmarlowe
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tulip glass.

A: Medium gold, a finger of pure white head which dissipates rather quickly to a ring of foam. Some streaks of lacing.

S: Sugary malt, honey, floral notes, orange cream.

T: Sweet orange, pale malt, creamy sherbert, a little floral and spice. Sweetness makes this flabby and so not very refreshing.

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation.

O: So-so. Not particularly drinkable, which would be the one redeeming feature of this style of beer. I was also expecting more "mandarin" punch. I think it's funny how average Alpine's regular offerings are.

 569 characters

Photo of soze47
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Alpine Brewpub as part of a flight tasting. Review is from notes, tasted on 12/31/11.

Appearance: Golden orange color. Look well carbonated.

Aroma: Not a big nose, both malty and slightly spicy and hoppy.

Taste: Starts with citrus sweetness, finishes roasty and nutty.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Light bodied and well carbonated, this one has a good amount of complexity.

Overall: Nice beer to reach for if you want something light bodied and nice citrus and slight sweetness.

 513 characters

Photo of iadler
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brew pub.

A- Pours a translucent light gold that leaves a few thin lines of lacing.

S- Light floral hops, herbal spices, mandarine, lemon, honey and some sweet bready malt.

T- Fairly sweet with honey, bready and caramel malt, mandarine jam, candied lemon peel, herbal spices and some floral hops.

M- medium carb and light body. Finishes sweet.

O- Not a bad beer, but pretty bland and boring from a brewery I really respect. I'll be sticking with their ipas.

 477 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Alpine Beer Company
Alpine, CA

Clear orange and golden with a very thin off-white head. This beer leaves sheets of lacing down the glass.

A very sweet, syrupy, floral, and citrusy aroma.

An authentic and juicy mandarin orange flavor along with honey sweetness. This is a sweet beer, and almost overly so. Simple and uncomplicated.

Thin to medium bodied with low carbonation.

A sweet orange and honey ale. Some might think this is too sweet, and I'm almost in that group. Alpine makes far better offerings to have this one again.

 551 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into SN imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a light golden-amber with a thin white head that quickly faded into a fuzzy scum that left a complex network of lacing down the glass.
S: Orange blossom honey dominates along with a good dose of bready yeast and pale malt.
T: Sweet notes of pale malts and cracked grains mixed with orange zest, orange blossom honey and a bit dry biscuit-like yeast dominate but I get some coriander as well. The finish has a touch sugary sweetness and the finish is full of sweet orange.
M: Slick and drying mouthfeel, medium-light body with thin carbonation.
O: A little sweet but I was really digging the flavor. Pretty good mouthfeel and overall refreshing and easy to drink. Far from my favorite Alpine beer but not bad all around.

 773 characters

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).

 863 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with a decent white head. Fair retention and lacing.

Nose is surprising weak. I was definitely looking for some orange/mandarin or honey like sweetness and I'm not getting any of that. Maybe a touch of pale malt and cold odorless orange peel.

Flavor is just like the nose. I got no mandarin. Maybe as the beer warms there is a touch of orange peel. Again there is pale malt but no distinguishing characteristics. It vaguely tastes like a lighter Fat Tire.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with med-high carbonation.

Overall it's very drinkable and not a terrible beer. There is just absolutely nothing special or distinguishing about it. I think they need to revise the recipe because they have so many other amazing beers.

 742 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mandarin Nectar
22oz Bomber
Deschutes snifter
***Thanks barfdiggs for this one and TONs of other Alpines!

A: Pours a clear orange amber color. Basically no head. Some carbonation from bottom of glass. Some lacing.

S: Very bready smells. I get faint orange/mandarin smells behind it. But not what I was expecting. You get some sweetness from I'd assume the honey.

T: You get that breadiness all around. Basically no hop profile at all in this brew. You get lots of malt, and some fruit hints. Again, some honey notes are there on the back of the tongue. Eating with sushi...not best idea.

M: Light to medium bodied brew. Doesn't really quote the mouth.

O: I hate to say it BUT this is first brew from Alpine that I don't like. Maybe it's just not my style or it's just not that great. Either way, this is a swing and miss for Alpine.

 844 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from K&L.

Awesome appearance: clear brilliant golden in color with a lasting one-finger white head and excellent lacing.

Big orange zest on the aroma with some cream soda, honey, and sweet malt.

The flavor is rather big on cream soda with sweet pale malt, honey, and lots of orange zest.

Clean and crisp on the palate yet smooth and silky with medium-light body.

This is pretty good actually after not sounding like anything too interesting. Good for the style at least.

 482 characters

Photo of regspeir
3.37/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bottle courtesy of a trade with hamilton23. Poured a light orange-yellow with small one-finger head which quickly disappeared. Little lacing observed. Nose was orange, lemon and some spice (coriander and nuttiness) and some belgian-like yeast. Taste was very sweet, with oranges and honey in the forefront. There is some hint of spice in the back but this beer stays on the same theme throughout — sweet. Since I love the hoppy offerings of this brewer, I was disappointed to find not much here. I felt like it should be syrupy, but actually it has a pretty light mouthfeel. It has very little carbonation (and seems to beg for more). Alpine has so many good beers but sadly this isn't one of them. I wouldn't go out of my way for another of these.

 764 characters

Photo of broken22
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cannot believe this is my first alpine beer company review. I have had many of their beers. I'm just lucky to be living in San Diego so they are pretty close.

Okay I'll get on with it so not to make anyone feel bad for not living here. :P So this thing pours out and creates a light white head that dies away fairly fast. Once its gone only a thin ring around the edge of the glass are the only hints there ever was a head. The color matches the name. Its an orange honey color. The beer smell very sweet. I can easily smell it even when my nose isn't in the glass. The beer smells of sweet honey with a little malt. Not much more to say about the smell so I'll get right to the taste. This beer is very light on the pallet. This is very much like the description says " light and refreshing". The flavor is much lighter than the smell. The flavor really only hits me on the back end. I cannot really taste it when the beer is in my mouth. I will have to use the description of light when it comes to overall mouth feel with a very nice amount of carbonation.

Overall this is just what alpine says this beer is supposed to be. A nice summer time beer to be enjoyed in the hot days. I like it and think its a nice beer I would have with some BBQ. Actually a nice duck salad would probably work great with this beer. Since this beer much lighter on the pallet I think it would pair really well. Since we are all feeling the heat this summer pick one up if you see it appreciating on you local beer store shelf.

 1,512 characters

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

Bottle into tulip.

Perfectly clear pumpkin-orange. A frothy half-finger head of grayish white becomes bit of film and medium ring.

The nose: smooth and softly sweet mandarin oranges, mostly. Some spices — coriander, perhaps. There’s also a very small bit of honey, but the aroma is mostly about the orange — which is fine. It's nice.

More beery flavors show up in the flavor. The soft sweetness of oranges melds with honey and biscuits — this is a bigger, sweeter malt presence. Clean finish.

Medium pinching carbonation inside a smooth, medium-light body. Bright and snappy, yet fairly heavy and substantial for light flavors within.

Alpine Mandarin is light and drinkable, but displays great orange flavors that keep it interesting. It could be more complex, but for a summer day, it’s quenching and does the job.

 832 characters

Photo of jale
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jesse for this.

A: Pours a light amber with orange hues.and two fingers of off white head.

S: Orange, a hint of grapefruit and light spice and light malt.

T: Coriander spice for a mere second moving into orange and orange zest. Middle is very light malt and hop bitterness followed by slight sourness. Finish is some nice honey flavor.

M: Light and refreshing body.

O: A nice refreshing beer for summer.

 422 characters

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.

 766 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear gold with white head and just a little lacing.

The smell is faint and very sweet. Im thinking its the honey coming through.

The taste is also on the sweeter side but not overpowering at all. Slight orange and a kind of dry coriander roasted nuts on the back. A nice touch of bitterness as well.

I really dig this beer and it would be perfect for a hot summers day!

 382 characters

Photo of Genghis22
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My 100th Review!

A - Pours a bold honey color with a nice frothy white head. Very clear beer with visible carbonation.

S - Faint whiff of mandarin oranges, but not the big hop hit I was expecting. Very malty, biscuity smelling.

T - Mandarin oranges for sure. There is a certain herbal/ medicinal quality then a sweet biscuity bready flavor washes over the tongue. There are tastes of sweet citrus and honey. Aftertaste is more herbal/ medicinal qualities. Slight bitterness comes in from the hops.

M - Full body, chewy, but not syrupy. The carbonation is moderate, and fits the beer well. The finish leaves the tongue partially dry. Probably the highlight of the beer.

O - One and done. This beer just sounded like it would be better than it was. Not to say that this is a bad beer, but it was a personal let down. This would be a great beer to sip on while working the BBQ, or floating down the river.

 907 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden color with a tight, white head that leaves a nice layer of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus notes.

Tastes of mild orange notes and some underlying sweetness. Orange is more subdued than I expected, but what is there is nice. Some of the honey sweetness comes through to complement the orange along with some floral notes. There is some coriander, but it is very subtle.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a light, fruity beer that while I find nothing offensive about it, it just doesn't strike my fancy.

 567 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

276nd review on BA
bottle to mug

Bottle purchased at Alpine on 2/19

App- A darker amber color with a 1/2 in head. Very quick to dissapate.

Smell- A bit let down after reading the bottle. Sweet malts with a faint orange and some spice. Had to almost get beer up the nose to get some good scents.

Taste- More spice than anything else. Was a bit thin and almost watery for me. Just was kind of bland. I really expected a HUGE flavor on this one.

Mouth- Thin with a medium carb level was very much in the vain of apple juice.

Drink- It was okay, wasnt bad just didn't blow me over like I expected it too.

 606 characters

Photo of fear025
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:This beer smells like mandarin oranges and sweet malt.

Appearance:Pale gold in color, lots of bubbles. Big white fluffy head with good retention.

Taste:Lots of citrus in the foretaste with some slight sour notes, although a little watery. The aftertaste fades to some faint spicy/peppery notes.

Mouthfeel:Light body, good carbonation, a little creamy.

Drinkability:This is a nice easy-drinking fruit beer that has good orange notes. It's interesting, but I don't think I could drink a full bomber of this.

 515 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed at our Epic Chicago Tasting.

A - A light golden color that was a little bit hazy. Decent white head, no lacing.

S - Not a huge fan of this, smells like a wheat beer with some oranges added to it. Bit too sweet, smells a litle fake.

T - Orange, sweetness, honey, something a little off on this. It's not like it's a horrible beer, but it's boring and light. Little bit of spice in there.

M - Light bodied, carbonated, little syrupy.

D - While not the worst beer ever, it's not all that good, and the drinkability is merely average at 6.5%.

 552 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Very clean aroma with minimal fruit notes of orange. Light mouthfeel. The taste is very clean with some touches of fruit. Orange dominates the flavor over anything else with really no hop notes to speak of. Lightly sweet start and stays sweet the entire time. A very straight forward easy drinking beer. Not as fruity as I would like though for a fruit beer.

 392 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear honey, head leaves fast to ring. Not much lace.

S - Wheat beer smell, Belgian like yeast smell. Very light on both counts.

T - Wheat beer with some orange and spice - coriander maybe?

M - Light bodied, a little clingy in the finish.

D - One of my least favorite from one of my most favorite breweries.

 316 characters

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.

 889 characters

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.

 330 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
2.67/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug.

Cloudy golden color with yeast at the bottom that looks kinda like some sand was dropped in there. A finger in a half white head that has good retention but not much lacing.

Basically smell like a wheat beer. Nothing really special there.

The taste is pretty similar. Light witbier flavor with hints of orange and coriander.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Pretty smooth.

Just kind of a not that great beer. I love Alpine's IPA/DIPAs, but this is the second non IPA/DIPA that I have tried by Alpine that just isn't that good.

 553 characters

Mandarin Nectar from Alpine Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.