Red Nectar | Humboldt Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 261 | Ratings: 587
Photo of IPAisBliss
5/5  rDev +37%
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.

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Photo of losangelesacefac
4.72/5  rDev +29.3%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.6/5  rDev +26%
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 Vansmack
4.48/5  rDev +22.7%
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 +21.6%
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 +21.6%
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 +21.6%
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 +21.4%
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 +21.4%
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.

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Photo of adam7475
4.38/5  rDev +20%
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.


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Photo of terrapinchris
4.37/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

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Photo of shand
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a couple bottles of Red Nectar while traveling in Nevada. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a copper/bronze color and is clear. The beer is toped by a resilient frothy off-white head.

Smell is a pine and citrus scent.

Taste is a blast of bitter hops up front, with a sweet bread and caramel finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied for the style, and very drinkable.

A nice hoppy read ale. Well done.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 5/15/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a decent hops burst and then sweet flavors of citrus and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a really good beer to pound down for a whole evening.

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Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this today with grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by chips and salsa. It was a perfect pairing. Cloudy reddish amber, nice lasting head, and exceptional lacing coated my glass. bitterness was moderate and this ale went down very smooth. Good solid maltiness provided the foundation for this fine drinkable ale. I think I have found a new "staple" for my fridge. Since this brewery is in the general area of Anderson Valley and North Coast breweries, I might have to visit them soon.

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Photo of jzauder
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Total Wine-Pembroke Pines. Poured into a glass with pictures of blue purses on it. I was at my mother-in-laws house, and yes, that was the best glass available.

Appearance: Dark amber, almost brown. Not much head retention

Aroma: Pine and citrus, you definitely get the west coast hops.

Taste: Perfectly balanced mouthfeel. Malt is present but hops are the star of the show. Aftertaste gives you pine again, almost minty. Little hop bitterness

Overall: Sessionable & delicious. A great representation of the style. I'm so glad that Nectar Ales has made it's way to Florida.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a just barely clear copper-amber with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with grapefruit, citrus, and light pine hops with a bit of bready malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel malts with grapefruit and citrus hops and a bit of bitterness. Through the middle, some pine and lightly floral hop with a bit more bitterness and a bit of bready malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, pine and grapefruit hops, bitterness, and a bit of bread.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nicely balanced with a good hop profile and bitterness.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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 helluva drinkable red ale!

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Photo of deuschbag
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish copper color. Off-white head is thick, creamy, and rocky... laces the glass too.

Smell: Has a good balanced and somewhat complex aroma of hops, citrus, light caramel sweetness, and toasted grains.

Taste: Has a bold yet not overbearing flavor of roasted malts, supplemented by oranges, lemons, and hops. Tingly hop finish, followed by a rush of fruits, and then a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium-bodied, with light carbonation.

Drinkability: Good abv and an engaging taste make this quite a drinkable beer.

This beer really caught me off guard. I'd avoided it at the store for quite a while, as (judging by the name and packaging) I expected it to be a fruit beer. Instead it's one of the boldest amber ale's I've tried. Nice taste and enjoyable... I'll get this again and recommend it to others.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep, yet transparent amber. While crisp enough to see through, it was dark enough to block the light. A fizzy head, nothing incredibly amazing there.

S: Sweet, some mild fruits. A bit of a floral aroma, malts are quite rich and come across as rather complex.

T: A very tasty, well balanced sweet malt & hops. Seems like a tiny hint of cherry? Some spicy sweetness, citrus notes, rather sugary. A round, intriguing taste. Quite delicious.

M: Lively carbonation, fizzling over the tongue without the bite of some. A little bit of thickness, somewhat chewy... not overdone.

D: Full, rich, delicious. Certainly worth another. Easy to drink, and good to savour a little. I can see this being something I will get as long as it is available on tap and then perhaps switch over.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very Red in color, but it was cloudy, which sort of spoilt its appearance a bit. Moderate, but acceptable bitterness, with a really nicely balanced malty aftertaste. A very solid beer with an almost silky smooth drinking mouthfeel. So good I had another. I tried the Brace of Humboldt Reds on draft at Heroes Bar in Claremont, CA. I too had an accompanying meal, and its true, it does go really rather well with food, especially Steak.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass this goes, on to the beer:

It has a copper appearance with a dense, short head. The aroma on this one is very malty, biscuity and bready flavors with a kiss of hops. Now comes the good part, the taste. Good malt presense, light tropical and piney flavors pop around in the back and a hint of caramel. Quite a tasty red ale, reminds me a lighter Arrogant Bastard.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of horshack7
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one is a rich dark garnet with a head around an inch thick and is off white.

Aroma: Citrus hop forward, grapefruit, caramel malts, wisp of carob, notes of tropical fruits.

Taste: Medium to full bodied and a relativly smooth mouthfeel. Tropical fruit, grapfruit and piney notes. A good malt sweetness with a touch of caramel and chocolate.

Notes: A very solid beer all the way through. Cheers.

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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
3.65 out of 5 based on 587 ratings.
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