Red Nectar | Humboldt Brewing Co.

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Red NectarRed Nectar
593 Ratings
Red NectarRed Nectar

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 593 |  Reviews: 262
Photo of Azteceinstein
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Photo of IPAisBliss
5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The appearance is a beautiful reddish amber color with a nice medium head.

Smell is awesome! A bit of a floral note with pleasing hoppy aroma.

As for taste, this is by far my favorite IPA. The hops used provide the perfect blend of bitterness and taste. It's not overly bitter like some IPA's tend to be. A very clean finish, and multitude of flavors on the palate keeps you going back for more.

The Mouthfeel is silky yet crisp with a bit of effervescence. Very smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional! This is a great IPA that will please most IPA lovers. It's not overly bitter and is not plain in the least. It's easy to drink and drink and drink.

The only fault I can give Red Nectar is the price. Expect to pay between $9 and $12 for a six pack.

 753 characters

Photo of drno904
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Photo of Barrchon
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Photo of Gray88
4.88/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of C-Dog
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of losangelesacefac
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Why is this beer not higher up the rating scale? This is what amber/red ale should taste like! It tastes incredibly FRESH and exciting. It goes down smooth with good malty mouthfeel but with a thin body. Why is Red Rocket Ale (an Arrogant Bastard wannabe) on the top ten and not this? This is one of my favorite session beers, and a great segway beer for people who don't think they like hoppy beers.

 400 characters

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.6/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ruddy auburn pour into a pint glass with a nice single finger head. The head leaves behind a sticky thin lace. The hop aromas are the most prevelant with some candy sweetness from malts underlying. The hop flavors are wonderful both piney and citrusy. The malt character of the beer is. Noticable along with some notes of grass and grain. The mouthfeel is sticky but not syrupy...a real nectar quality. The slickness of the brew makes for easy drinkin as does the lowish abv. I could drink this one all day and all year.

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Photo of vwbus7
4.53/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of VABA
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MrBillyMac
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of JohnyFriday
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of KevinTK
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of foghornleghorn22
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Vansmack
4.48/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is definitely a great beer. It has a nice smooth taste. You can taste the redness in this one. I highly recommend this one for an all night drinkathon.

I made some filet mignon the other night with some asparagus and served it with the Red Nectar. I have to say, this beer goes really well paired up with meat. Don't take my word for it... try it yourself!

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Photo of boston2bburg
4.44/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, sediment-filled auburn color with a finger of beige head that covers the glass fairly well. The unfiltered characteristic gives the impression you're drinking a homebrew, but I wish I could make 'em this good. Very jazzy label by the way.

Smell is lively, citrus hops blended with candied, buttery caramel malt. Chocolate presents itself with warmth.

Candy on the palate as well, with a chocolaty caramel flavor, and it goes very well with the citrusy hops. For me, the most distinguishing character is the chewy, tangy, and slightly bready mouthfeel. This beer definitely has it's share of specialty malts, which give it a soft, unique flavor, but it is balanced with the hops enough to be quite drinkable.

I hadn't seen this one for a couple years so I picked it up when I found it in town (at Sumdat Farmer's Market). Still impresses now as it did then. Excellent version of the style.

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Photo of sfprint
4.44/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Upon opening this beer, it promptly nearly exploded with almost 1/3 escaping on to the floor. Hmm.

A: Hazy nut brown in color, with a sizeable head of medium size bubbles.

S: Very Pale Aleish, although sweeter. Doesn't smell like an amber at all to me. Just a tad sweet, hints of fruit, but nothing overwhelming. It's really a perfect smell for this kind of beer.

T: Doesn't live up to the smell, but quite good. It's very similar to Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, although slightly less bitter. Very hoppy.

M: Very nice, almost foamy when it goes down, but somehow not. Interesting and very pleasant.

D: Very drinkable, great beer. Just as good as Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, and very similar.

I'm surprised no one has posted a pic yet. I bought it because the bottle was so beautiful, will have to post one....

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Photo of pkalix
4.44/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

darker, reddish color; off-white foam which dissipates to almost nothing. thick, clay kind-of pasting on the sides as the glass tilts....
smell is more of a softer, floral-type, and less of the pine-y i've become accustomed to in the more hoppier brews.
taste is a soft kind of hop flavor, very pleasant. still a little piney, but softer in that regard. very easy to let pass the tongue with an earthy kind of flavor along the sides of the palate.
either i'm warming up slowly to the hoppier brews or i'm finding some really subtle brews in that style. i'm surprised at the lower BA score as i feel this is a really smooth and great tasting brew. the only thing that i might object to would be the lowered abv of which i've become accustomed to...

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single 12oz bottle for $1.30 off the clearance rack at The Beer Store in Nashua, NH. (I cleared them out over two days, like 9 bottles total). Date "06/07/12 09:16" printed in small letters at the bottom of the label. Served cold in a tulip.

A: A moderate pour gives 1/2" of dirty ivory head that settles after a while, leaving one large iceberg and a thick meniscus along the glass. Candy apple red brew, clear as a bell, shows some carbo floating upward.

S: A very nice pungent resiny hop rides on top of a clean moderately strong fruity candy sweetness. Pine, grass, mixed citrus rind.

T: Very similar to the smell. A fairly strong generic resiny hop takes charge at the tip of the tongue and covers the palate all the way down. Mixed notes of pine, grass, citrus rinds. Light candy sweetness with a touch of light malt provides body, super tasty, somewhat fruity like candied cherries or the coating on a candy apple (without any cinnamon or etc). A bit of the pine and grass hop lingers in the finish for just a bit, but it's not too strong.

M: Medium thickness from the sugar, not too malty or starchy, really nice viscosity for how light it is. Soft carbo. Nicely balanced.

O: I love this stuff but its been kinda hard to find. Glad I came across it.

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Photo of Skidz
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

 1,029 characters

Photo of adam7475
4.38/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottled beer, available in most Grocery Stores in California, and at T.J.s abroad, I consider this one to be exceptional. I have yet to try it from a draft.

I love the taste and the thickness is perfect in my view. Aftertaste is nearly non-existent for me and it is easy to polish off a six-pack of bottles within a few hours or less. I also like the overall look of the label and the bottle cap with the Humming Bird against a white cap.

The Review Points:

A: True amber, maybe a tinge of additional redness.

S: Nice, as would be expected from hand-crafted ales. Citrus fruits and, maybe, cherries, are implied somehow.

T: Similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, perhaps some lingering fruitiness (cherry, maybe orange).

M: Thick feel with plenty of bubbles. It's absolutely not a mass-produced domestic in any way. Doesn't sting with over-carbonation, and is not overly abrupt in any way.

D: This is a tough one for me, being that most beers feel drinkable to me - you could easily knock down all six of these without affecting lunch or dinner (...or breakfast for those of you in college or between jobs).

Overall, one of my personal top 10 for sure; although, I don't drink as many different beers as I would expect of an expert.

Side Note: I like the concept of nectar in terms of beer to begin with, so it's easy to like the bottle art and packaging for me. This may be irrelevant to a true beer advocate, but I am personally affected at some level by the presentation of a bottled beer.


 1,508 characters

Photo of terrapinchris
4.37/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

 1,150 characters

Photo of Gschwaeb
4.36/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of shand
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nectar Ales is brand new to Florida so I know this is fresh, but this beer blew away my expectations. Red Nectar pours a beautiful deep red color with tons of carbonation bubbles. The aroma jumps out of the glass, with a solid citrus hop presence over a wonderful caramel malt with some slight toasted aspects. The taste is, again, excellent. The hops are the front line here at first, providing some nice citrus flavors along with a little bit of spiciness and grass. Then, the aftertaste provides a nice mixture of caramel and toasted malts, with a bit of hoppiness lingering, leading to a smooth finish.

The mouthfeel is perfect, the body has just enough heft to it while the carbonation level makes it go down easy. The drinkability is also great. Overall, this is one of the better, more traditional American Reds I've had in a while. It's not hopped to the point of being an IPA as is trendy right now. Instead it provides an excellent balance of caramel malts and citrus hops to make a truly tasty and easy-drinking brew.

 1,030 characters

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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 593 ratings