Red Nectar | Humboldt Brewing Co.

587 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 587 |  Reviews: 261
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 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 colts9016
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A thin foamy bubbly tan head that has poor retention. The color of the beer is medium brown color with mahogany hues. The clarity of the beer is is clear with a touch of opaque. There is a lot of effervescence bubbles in the beer. There is only a thin ring around the glass.

Nose: A fragrant floral aroma with grapefruit, lemons, and pine. The malt is well blended and has notes of biscuit, toasty, and yeast. There is a slight solvent note.

Taste: A descent malt flavor that has bread crust, yeast, and toast. The hops are mellowed out giving way to grapefruit, floral esters, and pine. There are note of solvents and phenols.

The mouth feel is carbonated, dry, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium light and the finish is medium. To me, this beer has its highs and lows. The high is the nose, the low is the appearance, and the tastes is just so so.

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Photo of tchenery
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass from the bottle.

This beer has little to no head retention. It looks reddish/amber. The beer has a fairly dry taste to it. The malt character is prominent (hence the darker color) and has a bit of a roasted flavor, but that plays off the bitterness well.

There is a bitter bite to this beer much like a pale ale, which is a nice surprise. There must be a fair amount of bittering hops used as well as finishing hops as the hops character shines through the malt especially on the nose.

I would rather this beer have a bit more head retention than it does for my personal taste but other than that it is a fine beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe its because of the nectar name, but I feel compelled to call this a sticky beer, sticky lace, a little thick sticky honey taste to it.

Amber in appearance, nothing to speak of in the nose, taste is sessionable, enjoyable. Glimmer of hops for an amber. Unlike many, it goes malty to hoppy rather than the other way around, neither of which, over the top style.

Price is usually 7.99 or more, which is a little more than I would desire to spend on this stuff. Not a ripoff, not a deal.

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Photo of JamisonM
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a nice amber color and a 2 finger head in my Duvel tulip glass

S: floral hops for sure a bit of spice mixed in on the back end

T: balanced beer is the first thing that strikes me here hops mixed with malts and pleasing to drink, a crisp finish with no after taste here its just gone

M: light mouth feel brings flavor to the party but still its light

D: oh yea this is super drinkable put down a 6 pack in 1 night easy if one was so inclined to do so.

overall: a well crafted good beer that makes a nice session beer and its quite refreshing a nice summer and spring beer

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Photo of PreacherBrewer
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber color with a light tan two finger head. looks appealing.

S - Floral hops and a nice clean scent.

T - Pretty basic floral hop profile. Some faint unidentifiable fruit notes a pressent. Nothing overly fantastic, but noting off either. The malt is a wee bit over powered by the hops. So, it's not a balanced as i like a beer, but others might like it even more for that reason.

M - Crisp and mod-light in body.

D - This is a good session beer for spring/summer. It's basic enough to down a few, and tasty enough to sip. Again, for me, i wish it was a bit more balanced in the malt/hop depeartment, but overall, not to shaby.

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Photo of obywan59
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle.

Beautiful clear amber with a 4 finger white head from a hard pour that dissipates, but never totally disappears. minimal lacing.

Sweet caramelly bitter hop aroma.

Rather dry with transitory florals on first swallow which don't return. Steady light bitterness. It seemed a bit sweeter later on, nicely balancing the hops.

Moderate body. Somewhat astringent and drying. Some nice warming alcohol on occasion.

Excellent drinkability.

Not a lot going on here, but very pleaant nonetheless. It would be a good beer for a warm afternoon down by the lake.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Surly pint glass.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1 finger, coarse, very light brown head with giant bubbles all over the place. Head fades rather quickly but maintains a super coarse layer at the top. Beer is a crystal clear red. On a side note, this is one of the only amber ales that I've had that's actually amber... Lacing is frothy at the very top and drips downwards from there. Like my own personal Niagra Falls in a glass. Pretty.

S: Nose is cane and brown sugar, candied hops (if you can imagine that), and a slight hint of grapefruit. Very rich though not all the impressively clean.

T: Opens with a rather intense astringent hop flavor that fades nicely over time into a coarse brown sugar maltiness. I imagine this to be what leaves in the Fall taste like in Candy land. Coarse, sweet, and red. Finish is one of the cleanest I've had in a while. This beer really doesn't leave anything after I swallow.

M: Light to medium bodied, very coarse and carbonated and watery in the mouth. Super clean and crisp on the finish.

D: This one really impresses me. Even though it doesn't technically qualify as a session beer, still I'd have no problem having multiples of these in one night. Clean finish is the key for me here since this beer possesses a richness in taste that doesn't saturate the taste buds. Worth seeking out in my opinion.

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Photo of JayQue
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice Red Ale. Appearance is really impressive. Big pillowy slightly off white head with good retention. Good lacing and nice dark amber clear color. A real winner. Smell is a bit too mild, a little malt and a little skunkiness.

The taste makes up for it. Much stronger presence than the smell and no skunky taste. More malty than hoppy, slightly sweet. I'm figuring that the sweetness comes from honey rather than caramel malts. There is a little bitterness that balances out the malt taste but not enough to say this is anything close to hoppy.

Mouthfeel is ok, really smooth but not that crisp or rich.

Drinkability is good. This one goes down real well and I would consider it a session beer for me, even if it is too high in abv for the mathematicians in our group. Nice. Would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep but luminous amber with good clarity, and a very thick meringue-like head that jiggles nicely. Nose has a nice mix of citrusy hop aromas along with a whiff of candied aromas in the background. On the palate there's a sweet toffee component that is behind this nice citrusy hops, as well as a black tea resemblance overall. Finish is somewhat thin and light.

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Photo of nickd717
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Bottle Shop in South Lake Tahoe. Pretty crappy selection there, but I made do (or made did?).

Excellent appearance, deserving of a perfect 5. Clear reddish-amber in color with a creamy off-white head that leaves some foam sitting on top of the beer and awesome lacing. Lucky for this beer, appearance is 20% on this site for some incomprehensible reason.

Aroma is caramel malt, herbal notes, and floral and citrusy hops.

Flavor is caramel malt, like you expect in this style, along with black/herbal tea. Not too hopped-up, as brewers like to do with this style now, but does have some noticeable floral and citrusy hop qualities.

Medium-full body with a really smooth finish.

Drinkability above average. Overall a pretty solid beer, as I expect from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Pony Bar, Manhattan: poured a deep amber red into an American pint glass, which looked ruby when held up to a candle. A finger of off-white head, which laced fairly well. The aroma was dominated by malt and caramel, with some hints of leather and oak. However, the flavor revealed more of a subtle bitter hop presence, and a nice dry finish. The big pleasant aspect of this beer that hit me was the balance between hops and malt; there wasn't any one dominating essence or a pronounced flavor progression in the beer, just a nice rich malt/hop balance throughout. The body was borderline medium/thick, but very smooth and pleasant. Might be a little too thick though to session.

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Photo of LibraryTom
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer doesn't really strike me as particularly great in any way, but is easy drinking, and not too sweet on the palette.

Nice roasty malt character up front, which quickly dissipates to a slightly hoppy, dry, bitter finish.

Not overly complex but pleasant.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a slight hop note, and caramel. The taste is sweet, slightly bitter, very slight dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice brew.

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Photo of pants678
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint from a normal 12oz bottle. Color is deep brown with a white head that's frothy but does not retain.

The smell is more complex than the palate with strong hops mixed with fruit and bread.

Boring. Complexity is minimal, the complementing flavors are all hardly subtleties. There are tinges of cinnamon behind the bitter hops with a backend that is almost non existent.

The carbonation is light that still leaves this drinkable but without a distinct feel. It's something I'd go to on a hot day, but doesn't seem a choice red.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at Alan's HSC initation. Bottle from Howard's Market in Tehachapi, CA. Pours a clear orange-amber color with a medium foamy light khaki head that dissipates steadily. Sticky patches of lacing on the glass. The aroma is mildly malty with notes of caramel and citrus. Medium-bodied and evenly bitter and sweet with hops and malt flavors. Touches of citrus as well. The finish is mostly sweet toasted malt with a bit of hops left over. Average overall.

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Photo of nerow
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep red, with a nice khaki head, some latticing. Absolutely characteristic for this type of beer. Regardless of this fact however, it's still quite pretty.

S- Bitter, perhaps a bit underwhelming for a beer with the word "Nectar" in it's name.

T- More hoppiness then I expected. There were some mild floral notes to the pour, also, perhaps a bit of citrus. A very pleasant, if rather simple beer.

M- Creamy, very nice.

D- Quite drinkable, perfect for a quiet afternoon with some buddies. Certainly not an overwhelmingly good beer, but a very nice one, nonetheless.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color, thick pour with a dirty white head. Nose is bitter hops, bready and caramel. Taste is good, bittering hops, caramel, drak fruits. Mouthfeel is good for the style, pretty thick and bitter. Drinkability is good eventhough I am not a fan of the style.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle filled at DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. Pours the expected red tinged amber, decent looking khaki head, that behaves in a pretty standard fashion, then leaves better then average sheets of lace. Non exciting nose, perhaps a hint of dusty hops. Enjoyable ale, on the hoppier side then the typical example of the style. Notes of caramelike sweet malt. Nicely balanced and quite highly drinkable offering. Well done and worth a try. Nice sessioner

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

Gave it a vigorous pour from a 22 oz bomber. A solid inch of creamy head with not too much staying power and thin lacing. Very clear, nice amber color in the glass. A subtle but distinctly floral hoppy aroma right off the pour. Creamy mouthfeel with some bite to it. The hops are well balanced by a carmel malt finish.

A bit more hops than most ambers, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served at the Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA on a warm afternoon. It has a clear red/rust color and medium white head. There is a good caramel malt aroma; the kind that gets me excited to take my first sip (of course, I have to jot down notes about the aroma first). Plenty of hops in the flavor, also some molasses and maltiness up front. It is full bodied and has an average amount of carbonation. It is a very good beer. I wish I could get 6-packs of this in Maine.

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Photo of Nickls
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Light coppery color; half-finger of eggshell head

S - Lightly hoppy aroma; bit earthy and bready

T - Hops are pretty faint like in the nose; the grainy/bready nature is a bit of a turn-off for me; heavier malt backing

M - Medium to thinner MF; a little slick

D - Decent but not great drinking; pretty boring and not even really digging the few standout characteristics

Overall, a pretty middle of the road Amber; there are so many other brews in the style that are much better.

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

APPEARANCE: Pours a slightly hazy amber/copper color with a medium size off- white head. There is a small amount of lacing.
Caramel and toasted malt.
Caramel, toasted malt and bit of an earthy malt that comes out more the longer you drink it. There is also a slight spiciness.
Medium body beer with that finishes a tad dry. Fizzy carbonation.
Easy drinking beer but needs a little more flavor to make it interesting. If I really want an easy drinking beer, I would probably lean toward a pale ale that had citrusy hop bitterness instead of earth flavors.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer came an orange amber with a thin film of off-white that left a little lace.

Smells of o.j. and canned peaches with some dry woody twigs for balance.

Tastes similar as it leaves touches of oaky dryness along the sides of my tongue, but reveals a subtle sweetness with powdered sugar and green grape. Finishes with a touch of red grapefruit.

Feels a little too busy as the carbonation really swells, but it isn't so bad.

A nice fruity hop experience and also quite unique.

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