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 Brenden
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice, bright dark orange-red body with a light head that's both fluffy and creamy and leaves pretty good lace behind.
The smell is good, with some blend of fruits mingling with caramel. It's lightly sweet with an herbal counterpoint to the malts. While leaning malt-heavy, the hops balance this beer well, at least in the aroma.
The taste goes weird, though. It's got mostly an odd burnt cereal grains taste with a lingering sourness. Other sweeter elements are pushed aside but still come out. I have to wonder what happened. At least the bad off-flavors don't dominate, and some of the goodness makes its way in. It's a strange transition from smell to taste, though.
The feel is crisp with some smoothness in a medium body with a little overzealous bite of spritz.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into becker pint glass; dark orange and clear with a huge fluffy off-white hide that fades slowly leaving tons of lacing. Smell is light floral hops, slightly metallic and bready caramel malts. Taste is spot on the smell; clean, crisp crackery malts with just a slight twang of hop bitterness to finish it off. I generally like amber/red ales that are a bit hoppier, but this one is tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall, I am probably a little harsher on this style than others because it is not my favorite, but a nice red can be refreshing. This one is pretty complex and interesting.

It pours dark with a little head. The aroma is a rich nose full that reflects the chewy mouthful that the taste will be.

It sits nicely in the mouth with a nice mix of malts and hops. The balance is good. There is a slight off taste and aftertaste that could be attributed to sitting a long time on the shelf, but I think it is fresh, it just tastes that way.

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Photo of jkrich
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful, clear garnet red with some brown highlights. The foamy off-white head quickly receded with minimal lacing.
The sweet malt aroma competed with a resinous, piney aroma with the malt eventually prevailing after the pour into a pint glass.
As the aroma indicates, this is a balanced and refreshing amber with a somewhat malt forward flavor. The flavor begins with a faintly syrupy (though not cloying) taste that is quickly countered by some faint hop bitterness. The ale has some hints of molasses and caramel but somehow remains light and thirst-quenching.
The ale has a light to medium body with a somewhat thick mouth feel from the malt profile. The zesty carbonation keeps it lively.
Open opening the bottle and smelling the piney aroma wafting upward, I assumed this would be a hop dominated amber. In fact, it is a mild yet flavorful ale this is very quaffable. I am glad to see this is available in southern Indiana.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper with a decent head of airy, off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint toasted malt
Taste-Caramel, toasted malt, soft floral note and faint kiss of hops in the finish. Nicely balnced and subtle with a sessionable feel. Worth a try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker bought the rights to the brand now their brewing in Paso Robles, I was drinking the stuff out of Humboldt County ten years ago, this is still a great introduction ale. I guess it won a 2010 GABF gold medal who knew? Back in Ohio after quite a long departure from the state's distribution I hope Cavalier starts getting some FSWB stuff I'd be amped about even a variety pack of their regular stuff. Appears a dark ruby amber body with light beige head forming thick and dwindling at an appreciable rate, fine speckled lacing coats the sides of my chalice. Aroma pleasant fruitiness sliced red apples and hints citrus greet my nares, with an underlying rock solid malt and hop combo going on. Flavors are dry upfront with a refined caramel breadiness with backend hops that bring earthiness, pine, and mild citrus peel abroad to the forefront of the flavor explosion quite a nice mix of bread, hops, and yeast. Mouthfeel is so dead on hits the palate upfront without overt sweetness and takes the palate on a ride of complexity balanced carbonation, and hop oils all take a ride of glory on the palate nothing bad to say here. Overall I'm missing beers like this that have great flavor complexity that got me into craft beers, that are so good yet often overlooked much appreciated red ale from the folks out around SLO and Santa Barbara brewing world class ales abound.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, light brown with orange highlights. One finger's worth of light brown head forms but fades quickly. Medium visible carbonation.

S: Brown bready malts, hints of citrus hops. Overall fairly muted on the nose.

T: Similar to nose, but has more of the nondescript citrus hoppiness, which is balanced (or perhaps overwhelmed a bit) by the malt sweetness. Still has some bitter hop tingle at the end.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation sensation, minimal alcohol.

O: Not objectionable but quite forgettable. It does cross my mind to wonder how old the beer is. It's only quite recently been available in FL, so I assume it's fairly fresh (?). I really wish *all* breweries would date their bottles!

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Photo of chickenflea
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Pours a clear amber body with a medium white head. Floral spicy and mild banana aroma, hints of earth and citrus. Caramel with some light anise. Caramel malt blended with earthy bitterness. Hint of grapefruit. Clean dry finish. Pleasant and refreshing, but just a hint of astringency keeps it from high marks.

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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 spinrsx
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Bristol Farms Palm Springs CA for 3$

Appearance - Clear red/copper with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, apricots, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some toffee, cherries, and a slight herbal flavour. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with a mild amount of hop bitterness.

Overall – This along with their IPA are both solid and tasty brews. Nothing over the top but a nice balanced fruity and hoppy taste. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - A floral, lightly fruity hop aroma with some caramel and toffee malt in the background.

T - Toffee and brown bread up front with some spicy hops in the middle. Finishes with caramel, light roast, and floral hops as well as moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, but the hop profile is very old fashioned, with floral notes that don't really stack up against the pine and tropical fruit that most west coast brewers are using in their hoppy red beers today. Drinkable, but forgettable.

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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 Bouleboubier
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: satiny foam, nice stick - the liquid is (a little too) clear and of a brownish-red color

S: piney, slightly floral hops - quite hop over malt, at first - layers of hops in delightful accord - malt seems to be way more apparent later in a dramatic shift, but a very nice balance between the two is eventually realized - pleasant and inviting if a little weak, overall

T: the hops are earthy and piney, however, not very citrus, if at all - bit of an almost cinnamon spice when hops are weighed against the malt - definite red ale roasty malt character, arguable circus-peanut like, tropical flavors - overall a spiced orange tea profile (see: Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea)

M: med-full body, super smooth with a gentle bubbly wash preceding its light, disappearing finish - lovely to drink

O: this was (maybe not so) surprisingly good - it's nothing mind blowing, however, it's really well-conceived and constructed, and that should be recognized first - i could be rating this lower than it deserves...

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head on a clear amber body. Earthy and subtle citrus hops with toasted and caramel malts as the aroma. Flavor follows aroma with additional metallic hops otherwise very similar. This is like a sweet pale ale as far as hoppiness degree. Good hop degree but too much metallic flavor. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, good flavor. Better than I was expecting.

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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 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 Oakenator
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is amber in color with a healthy head at pour. Some lacing on the glass. Mouthfeel is good but not particularly noteworthy. Smells hoppier than anticipated - nice piney aroma. Flavor leans more towards malts and the hops fade to the back. A hint of molasses. Good for a red ale but tempts with the hoppy aroma - overall a good balance.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 4/26/12

A: Pours a pretty crimson copper color. Finger of off white fluffy head. Leaves some sticky lacing.

S: Smells fairly malty. Caramel nutty malt notes. Some pine notes behind it but subdued.

T: Up front you get a touch of piney hop bitterness, so they are still there! Then those staple red ale malts kick in. Crisp and nutty. Maybe a little almond flavor. The finish isn't totally dry.

M: Medium bodied. Easy drinking.

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Photo of kagent777
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a date of 5/21/12 poured into my perfect pint.

Appearance: A drop dead gorgeous ruby/amber with a three finger rocky head that settled slowly. The head had large bubbles that left splotchy lacing.

Smell: Pine and orange hops mingle with toasted caramel hops. A bit of a metallic smell also.

Taste: A clean straightforward beer. A lingering bitterness all through the taste is faintly citric. The caramel malts bring some sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel: The body is light to middling while the carbonation is tingly.

Overall: Not my favorite red ale, but a very good one none the less. I can easily get this one and will visit it again. Solid!

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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 UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/21/12.

Pours a clear dark amber with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, burnt caramel, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and drinkable but not something I would likely go after again.

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Photo of Blargimus
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Bottled 4/2/2012.

Pours a crystal-clear brownish red. Not much head and not much carbonation in general.

Not much smell to speak of. The head faded very rapidly, so there's nothing to keep the aromas in. What little I can smell is some faded hops.

Tastes much better than it smells. Good balance of malt and hops. Not a particularly strong flavor.

Mouthfeel on the thin side. Carbonation is light.

I can't say I would buy this again. The flavor is fine, but there's just not much of it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this at Beachwood BBQ, where it was labelled "Humboldt Red Nectar Ale". Humboldt's page suggests it's now brewed at Firestone Walker, but Firestone Walker owns Nectar Ales. It's a confusing contract brew/ownership of brand situation, but I believe I've found the right listing. Served on-draught into a 5 oz taster. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice white cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a dark copper-gold.

Sm: Dry toasted malt and cream. Simple and mild, but appealing.

T: Toasted malt, cream, and some amber hops. Some caramel. Simple, but decently balanced. Hops - mainly bittering - are present but mild, supplementing the balance. Decently built but unremarkable. Not unique or special.

Mf: Smooth and a touch dry - especially on the climax. Complements the flavour profile to a moderate extent. Not tailored to it, but suitable.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Boring for the style. I wouldn't have it again (knowingly). Pairs decently with barbecue.


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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting Red/Amber to me. It comes across as sweet, by the look of it and the name. I mean, c'mon...nectar. And it starts off that way. It's an amber/reddish color with nice head. Aroma is a bit sticky and malty. Some sweetness comes through. Rosy, almost.

Flavor is sweet up front, but it does stop about half way to introduce a bit of hops. A nice bite on the finish seems grassy and minty.
A good brew, maybe a bit 'syrupy' in the feel throughout.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. About 1 ½ fingers of head. Color was pale caramel brown. Thick caramel lacing with lots of bubble spots on the top. Decent amount of wet, spongy, thick film on the sides that lasted throughout the pour.

Initially got caramel in the nose. Also some mild rye hops. Sweet sugary malts as well. Reminded me slightly of an iced tea in the nose.

Icea tea was a great guess on the smell, because that’s what the taste initially reminded me of. Probably more rye malts than anything else, but I still got some bitterness on the tongue. Nothing too extraordinary overall.

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average-to-above average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

It was OK overall. I’ve had it before, but this was the first time I rated it. I’d still probably still give it another go.

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