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Red Nectar | Humboldt Brewing Co.

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Red NectarRed Nectar
591 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: 591 |  Reviews: 262
Photo of sweethome
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep, dark red. Rather large, pillowy head - light tan.

Sweet, malty nose. Carmel maltiness and backing of hops.

Entry is rather full bodied - a sweet maltiness envelopes the palate - then a rooty - dry flavor...some spicy hopiness, and a woody charachter.

The hop bittering is rather muted for this style - at least what I think of this style. Some nice aspects, but the dry, woody aspect doesn't quite deliver for me. Still, a well crafted brew that will appeal to malt oriented fans.

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Photo of neophilus
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper with a dense and fluffy tannish head. Big bubbles on top, the head hangs around the sides but the middle starts to fall in as I drink. Eventually it wastes away to a thin film on top, watermark waves clinging to the sides marking each sip.

The aroma is very light and refreshing. At first it speaks of fresh fruit - bright but not as citrus scented as an orange or lemon tree. Perhaps like ripe plums, or it smells the way grape kool-aid tastes. While sweet it definitely perks you up.

First sip is greeted with a balanced hop bite up front and gentle sweetness underneath. The hops do not overpower, but gently curtail the light and sweet flavor of the ale. Just enough bitterness to balance the flavor without standing out from it. Hop heads may be left looking for more, but those afraid of a malty taste need not worry. This light and sweet flavored brew does not cloy the palate while sipping.

Mouthfeel is sufficient up front, but thins out a little bit in the aftertaste. The hops disappear first and leave behind a mildly sticky-sweet flavor, like candy. That lingers a little as the thin body washes away. Strange that the brew can have sufficient body with each sip but in the aftertaste seems a little thin for the amount of sweetness left behind.

Coppery colored, mildly bitter, nearly-juicy brew that goes down very smoothly and doesn't raise a ruckus or overstay it's welcome. Perhaps a bit sweet in the aftertaste, but very approachable up front. I would not have a problem downing a few of these in succession. As I finish the glass the sweetness of the beer is the loudest thought left in my mind, but certainly not cloying or heavy on the palate. Refreshing and tasty for sure.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
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 zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, reddish orange color with a two-finger, tan head of bubbly, long-lasting head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with a nice piney aroma. Some citrus and caramel, too.

T - Nice bitter piney hop bite up front with sweet caramel and a touch of chocolate.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied amber ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very tasty red ale. Not surprised that Nectar Ales did another good ale.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a Spieglau nonic. 02/28/11 indicated on the neck of the bottle. Pours a deep copper hue with a semi-translucent clarity and a loose, quarter inch, tan-colored head embedded with ringlets. Nose expresses caramel malt, citrus and a faint earthiness. Taste reveals an earthy bitterness, citrus rind and a suggestion of light malt, but no caramel flavors to speak of. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a coarse carbonation and citrus astringency that leaves a light burn along the sides of the cheeks. Overall, nothing to write home about. Balance is a bit off (not sure if it might have something to do with the age of the bottle), but there's a little too much acidity and bitterness for my liking.

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

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look – dark red color, clear when held up to the light a bit, and with about a finger and a half’s worth of frothy, slightly darker than off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – very spicy and hoppy. There is a hint of something sweet in the smell, probably a syrup with red color to it, thus the name.

Taste – spicy and hoppy, just like the aroma, but with a odd, but interesting, kick to it. It must be something different that they’re doing with the sugar or maybe from the start with the barley or hops. A little bitter, but it’s more of a crisp bitter.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced in general.

Overall – not a bad brew at all. It’s got an interesting taste, and the taste itself is pretty decent.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear deep red - brown with a khaki head. well laced. nice looking beer.

scent is mildly herbal - could swear i smell fresh garden carrot greens

taste is caramel malt with a slight hop zing. again herbal and green. again i could swear i taste fresh-from-my-garden carrot greens. this is odd but not unpleasant lightly sweet and nutty. light bitterness.

mouth is a creamy light medium

A pleasant brown ale but not among my favorites.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.06/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a Sam Adams pint glass this beer was a dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head.

Caramel malt aroma. Earthy. Citrus hops. On the meek side.

Caramel taste. Piney. Some grapefruit. Again, very muted.

Medium-bodied, not that interesting. Kind of a "meh" beer.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear dark amber, soda pop head that's gone pretty quick, no lace.

I smell some slight fruity malts and earthy hops. Very light smell, simple, but not bad.

I taste plum, caramel and earth. Again, very simple. Light and fizzy in the mouth.

Super simple red ale along the lines of Fat Tire. Not at all bad, just not rememberable.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep clear red, tab head, good lacing

S: deep earthy malts, notes of tea leaves, pine, and other rustic notes

T: spicy earthy malts, big hop bitterness, decent balance

Mf: medium to high carbonation, crisp body

O: decent balance, a little to earthy for my liking

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Photo of samie85
2.78/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 6/21/11

A-Pours a burnt sienna color with two fingers of rocky, off-white head.

S-Pine resin and grapefruit with some caramel malt on the back end.

T-A little bit of bitter grapefruit upfront with some light caramel malt notes.

M-Very thin and watery with light carbonation and a slightly sticky feel.

D-The flavor profile is a little weak and the mouthfeel doesn't help it at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice red color, a light tan colored head. The lacing was pretty good along the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the sweet side but has some hop aromas too. The taste of the beer seemed a lot like an IPA. The other flavors are sweet like caramel. The mouthfeel was well balanced and pleasing. Overall I found the beer to be enjoyable.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up at a local binnys. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- the beer pours a reddish copper colored body with a small eggshell colored head that quickly becomes no more than a skin on the top of my glass. small spots of lacing are left behind.

S- the nose starts off with toasted bread and a little bit of caramel sweetness. after that i get a little bit of earthy and spicy hops. quick and to the point.

T- the taste begins with some caramel malt sweetness and a hint of freshly toasted bread. light fruits come in towards the end. the finish is all about spicy and earthy hops.

M- medium bodied. medium carbonation.

O- this is an average beer. not meant to be the most complex or cater to the craft beer enthusiast. easy enough to drink, and not overly strong or offensive to reach for a couple more. very functional for what it is.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up while working in Phoenix recently. 3/18/11 Stamped on bottle.
Hoping it’s a bottled date.

Even with a hefty pour just a scant head forms... Fades pretty quickly. The beer is a bright clear amber color with...OK... Reddish tones. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma was quite fruity. A bit of baked bread as well in the nose.

Well, it’s a basic Amber/Red ale. THe bread notes come through and it reminds me of a crusty rustic bread. A little toasty with a balanced bitterness in the background. A session beer if there was ever one.

A prickly carbonation, not quite astringent, but a “dry” snappy finish.

A decent beer. Not one to chase.

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Photo of teromous
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is brown the color of walnut wood, and I really don't see much red in it. There is a very small head at first, and it quickly dissipates into a ring.

S: It has a wood-like aroma, and a resin quality about it. The nose is very thin though.

T: I get a lot of hop character, with more of a pine-like flavor. It's not too strong or bitter. There is a light astringency though.

M: The mouthfeel is very peppy and feels good. It's medium balanced with a good carbonation. The hops leave a pleasant punch in the mouth.

O: Overall it was pretty good; it wouldn't be my first choice but I wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of Dope
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice red (duh) that is almost opaque since it is so dark. Fluffy white head that sticks around nicely. Not bad.

S: Pretty much just grapefruit and not much else. Not particularly strong but it's there.

T: Grapefruit with some sweet malt backing it up. Some sort of tea element in there. A lot of it. Tastes like someone put a teabag in my beer when I wasn't looking. Offputting as I don't particularly like tea.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a bit of stickiness. A bit too carbonated I think.

O: Honestly would be a pretty solid beer if not for the tea flavor. It's really overpowering and detracts from it in my opinion.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

deep red/ mahogany color very thick density with a thin head.
smells of light pine and a bit bready. really not too much stands out, actually as soon as i took a sip i could no longer smell this beer. the taste is very good tho. very well balanced between sweet and bitter. the hops make an appearence in the back notes, not much up front as it is smooth and transparent.
mouthfeel reminds of a newcastle or something simalar to that. decent brew overall

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear and lively crimson. The head is white and about one finger in height. Large bubbles race to the top of the brew in a very erratic fashion. The head leaves good lacing as well. An attractive brew.

S-Aromatic grapefruit flavored hops sit atop a very sweet malt backbone. Fruity and floral. A bunch of sweetness, especially when you key onto the scent. This beer also has a subtle smell of sweet tea.

T-The flavor is like the nose but a bit livelier. The taste is more floral. Long herbal, tea-like aftertaste. The grapefruit and sugary maltiness adds depth to the flavor. The flavor is also a bit spicy too. There a a bunch of different aspects that make up the entire flavor profile here.

M-The carbonation is fairly mellow. Slightly sticky. Smooth, lasting dryness. Fairly bitter on the tongue.

O/D-Well, I will definitely say this this beer is pretty underrated. The individual flavor and the good aroma are quite attractive. I love the almost herbal, tea-like qualities of this beer. I only bought a single of this, seeing that a 6-pack in MA is about $12.50. I will not be shelling out the money to buy a six-pack, but this beer is well above decent in my book.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours mahogany red with a qucik head burst that dissipates in short order. The aroma is is a festival of floral earth, fallen rotted trees in the forest, malts and hops. It is rather interesting. The body is about medium. The taste is also bitterly hopped.

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Photo of u2carew
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz stubby
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Settles to a creamy lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear body, amber in color.
S) Pleasant hop aroma mixed with some malt scents. Caramel, orange, some grapefruit.
T) A sweet grapefruit tone through out. Fairly balanced overall. Some nutty malt flavors pop in and out finishing with a noticeable hop bite.
M) Fizzy. On the light side of medium. Bitter in the finish.
O) A decent Red Ale. The dark color would lead one to think the body is a bit heavy that it comes across. Either way, I'd have another one.

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Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only demerit would be the head which forms modestly and settles into fine rim bubbles. Minimal spots on the glass. The liquid is a dark amber/light brown color where light does pass easily. It also appears to be clear.

Good malt base on the nose and the hop is mildly spicy with white pepper and a touch of grapefruit. Appealing and balanced.

The taste is well balanced: nice malt up front that lasts until the swallow where the peppery hop takes over. Low carbonation that matches the appearance and the liquor is decently rich. Overall, this is a very easy-to-drink amber with an interesting journey through the flavor profile in each sip.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
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 MaltsOfGlory
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard one finger head, barely off white, there are a fair amount of big bubbles, but underneath that there are small bubbles. The head has already dissipated quite a bit which kinda sucks, but oh well. The lacing isn't that great, decent at best. The body is a deep ruby color, very dark for an amber beer. It really looks like a scotch ale or an irish red, a lot more than it looks like an american amber. The carbonation is very low, maybe even too low, we'll see. Overall this is an interesting look, very unusual and unique, I'm not super impressed, but I'll give it points for being different. Slightly hoppy on the smell with a small malt scent to it as well. It's clearly a light beer, it smells very refreshing, crisp, and easy to drink. I may detect some fruit, but it's very small if any is there. Overall it just smells very smooth and tasty, I'm not expecting this to be off the charts with flavor, just really tasty and easy drinking. Well on the taste, I don't know what to say, I remember this beer being a lot more nectar-like. When I first had this beer I could tell why they called it red nectar, but now...I dunno, it just tastes like a pretty standard ale to me. I mean there might be a slight sweetness to it, nectar or fruit like, but not much. It is very smooth, and it has a really nice balance between malt, hops, and just being easy to drink, but it's not the most impressive beer. In terms of the style, I don't know either, because it's really skimping out on the hops for an amber ale. With that being said, it's obviously supposed to be a sweeter amber, so I can cut it some slack because I know where they were trying to go with this beer. Did they get there? Not really, it's not "as smooth as nectar" or anything. Is it good? Sure, but by no means as good as I thought it was the first time. Still, it's very easy drinking and refreshing. As for mouthfeel, it's ok, like I said this beer isn't as big as I want it to be, but I can cut it some slack because I know it's supposed to be a lighter, sweeter, amber ale. With that being said, the mouthfeel isn't that great, carbonation is good, but the body is just too thin in the mouth. Drinkability is probably the best factor in this beer, it goes down very well and it's very smooth and refreshing. Overall it's a good beer, but only good, not much more than that.

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Photo of vande
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A ~ a light-brownish-orange in color....appears to be somewhat of a thinner looking ale...

S ~ something sweet here, hints of hops mingling with something..can't quite place it...

T ~ some carmel? A nice balance of hop-malt presence...nothing overpower, light..almost reminds me a bit of summer solstice...a nice distinct little flavor

M ~ light and creamy...very,very smooth.. This is definitely a beer one could feel comfortable drinking a few of... Too easy on the palate.

O ~ A very nice red ale.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red? Hardly. This is a coppery orange colour, without much depth of colour that I'd expect from a Red Ale. Still, it's bright and clear, and the head is finely created, sitting as a very tight white film on the top of the glass. Decent body. Not bad looking overall.

Nose is slight and sweet, with some subtle tropical aromas from the hops. A little bit of additional wholesome grain gives it a bit of depth beyond a hoppy pale ale or weak IPA. Nothing overly exciting, but not bad.

Taste is a little less exciting, to be honest. Here, there's a grainy main note that gives a wholemeal bread dryness throughout the length of the palate. Hops are noticeably absent, as is any hint of the sweetness on the nose. Perhaps, there's a slight uprise in bitterness on the mid to back, but it doesn't do much of a job on clearing out or complementing the grain.

Feel is pretty good actually, smooth and fluid with a balanced crispness.

Eh. Not a terribly exciting brew, nor a particularly well-crafted one, I feel. It's drinkable enough, but there are far better examples available surely everywhere that this one is available.

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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 591 ratings
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