Nectar IPA | Humboldt Brewing Co.

very good
344 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Nectar IPANectar IPA

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by avylover on 10-03-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 344 | Ratings: 870
Photo of BittRnessabounds
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from notes fall of 03
Interesting label with a humming bird, labeled organic. Nice fluffy head and reddish orange color, nice and fairly typical for IPAs. The aroma is dominated by hops, with little else, nothing stellar here, but far from bad. The taste has nice crisp hop bitterness as i expected. Not all that well balanced. Nothing blew me away here, but far from bad. The mouthfeel and drinkablility were also solid. So how do i score this? I think i've had too many IPAs lately such that they aren't impressing me now. I enjoyed this one, but it tastes as i expected with nothing all that above average. Everything was as it should be. I would call it an above average to good IPA.

 688 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to mjl21 aka Mike for this one! Review from notes.

A- Pours a dark amber almost light clear brown color. Little 1/2 finger tannish white head that dies down to little lacing on the sides that seem to slide right back down into the glass.

S- There is some sweet caramel malts coming through the underbelly of the aroma. Some earthy piney hops in the front of the nose along with some fruity mango-ish notes here and there as well. Alcohol was present as well once this beer warmed a little.

T- Sweet malts come through more than what I thought and almost crash right up against a fruity hop kick in the front of this beer. This makes the beer kind of unbalanced in the mouth from time to time. Good tasting hops in the back end that is a little earthy in taste.

M- This is a light- medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is not lacking in this beer at all. A mix of mango fruity hops and sweet malts bring the palate a little balance during this beer. Clean taste throughout but alcohol taste comes though in the tail-end.

D- This is a decent beer. I was glad I got the chance ot try this one. A decent drinker that is a pleasant surprise. Nothing over the top but not a bad beer either.

 1,227 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours about a half finger head, maybe just slightly off white, but barely. The head has about half small bubbles and half medium sized bubbles, it looks like a pretty normal head, not creamy or pillowy or anything, which kinda sucks. The head is now pretty much gone so that's a bummer, decent lacing. The body is a dark red color, with hints of orange in there as well. Frankly this looks just like their red that I reviewed right before this, with maybe a touch more orange in the appearance. The carbonation looks very small, just as it did in the red ale. It's somewhat transparent, not completely, but a decent amount. A beer being transparent is even worse in an IPA than it is in a red ale, so this is bad for this beer even more than it was for the last one I reviewed. Overall it looks good, fore sure not great, but good, if it's just like the red ale I suppose I'll be happy, but bored since it would just be the same thing. The smell is much like the red ale as well, not much to it, very clean and refreshing smell, but not much going on. The hops are obviously the most present thing, but there clearly aren't enough of them, I get that it's made by "nectar" ales, but still, you can't use that as an excuse for wimping out on hops. I get some malt on the smell, but really a small amount. Overall the smell is just too faint and light, we'll see, but I don't think that this is going to be a great IPA. Yeah on the flavor, well there just really isn't much flavor. I mean you get that tiny tiny distinct nectar or fruit flavor that nectar ales have, but it's just not enough to make this beer that great. I mean it's an IPA, IPA's should have a butt load of hops, and this might be the weakest IPA I've ever had, maybe it's tied with 21st amendments bitter american. I mean there is enough hops, I suppose, but it's just not enough to be a good IPA. I'm sorry, but the nectar flavor works with the red, it's a good mix, but if your making an IPA you can't F around with hops and silly flavors, it's not a witbier. As for other flavors, small malt taste, and I also get a little alcohol kick, which is a little irritating because it's only 6.8%. I guess with all this being said it's still a good beer, just not a good IPA. Maybe if you slapped "nectar pale ale" on this, I would be a lot happier with it, I dunno. As for everything else, the mouthfeel is decent, good carbonation, it doesn't have big enough of a body though for an IPA. Drinkability is better than it should be, not enough hops and overall flavor. Overall on this beer, I get what they were trying to do, and the nectar flavor is nice, just like it was in their red, but I can't rate this beer too high, just because it's an IPA, and they didn't make a good IPA, they made a good pale ale. Maybe I shouldn't downgrade them just for that so much, but hey, IPA's should be hoppy, that's the way it is. Don't make a pale ale and say it's an IPA. Anyways, good beer, bad IPA, wrong label.

 2,966 characters

Photo of portia99
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A relatively new arrival in MA...12oz bottle (2/22/11 on the bottle) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Sparkingly clear medium dark amber color with a small cap of foam that recedes quickly leaving behind an uneven collar and some superficial surface bubbles and no lacing.

S - Quite fruity and citrusy up front. Crisp and pretty clean with an abundance of oranges, fresh grass, a mild spicy aspect, some sweet toffeeish aromas.

T - Still retains some of the citrusy and fruity points from the aroma, but not as prominently. Sweet, orangey, estery...a bit dirty, not as clean as I'd hoped. Bitterness is medium and a bit heavy feeling which I think is this beers biggest issue for me. It seems weighed down by the bitterness instead of being an enhancement and a focal point of the brew.

M - Feels a bit full and heavy. The carbonation is firm gives a big tingle on the tongue. Rough, heavy bitterness and just a general lack of life from the hops is a bit of a detractor.

O - This is an IPA that just misses the mark a bit for me. Probably falls into the category of a beer that uses a hop that just doesn't satisfy my particular hophead needs. Solid and well brewed, but just seems to leave me looking for something that never appears in there. I wouldn't turn this down if offered, but I'll probably not be buying any sixers of this in the future.

 1,353 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: citrus, floral, hops, malts

taste: bitter, dry, hops, caramel, biscuit, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: alright IPA. nothing to impressive. glad I got to try it.


 293 characters

Photo of jabergess
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent IPA, but nothing to write home about. It is well balanced, People wanting super bitter beers should move on. The malt sweetness nullifies the finishing bitterness. Nothing super discernible for hops. Not spicy, not citrusy. That being said, it is drinkable, though I prefer grapefruit and such in my IPAs.

 314 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear red brew.

Smell is sharp hop and malt with a tea. Has a pine and oranges scent.

Taste is hoppy with a strong malt flavor too. Has a big hops and caramel flavor going. Taste like maybe some milk sugar was added to this.

Mouthfeel is good.

An OK brew, but I don't really like this one.

 309 characters

Photo of CTBeerPope
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to pint glass
pours hazy glowing orange
aroma of watered down oj and hops
taste is citrus and earthy hops balanced by a light malt flavor with some yeast flavor underneath
mouthfeel is slightly watery with lower carbonation which works well for this beer

Overall I don't know what it is but I really like this. It's not over the top but it is a little different than most ipa's. As it warms it gets better than when I first poured it which pulls it all together for a pretty nice brew.

 498 characters

Photo of benclimbs
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a bit weak on the nose for me, carbonated in the mouthfeel. It isn't a bad beer, but it isn't great either. As IPAs go, I think this one is pretty boring - it kind of tastes like an amber ale with more hops and a lot of carbonation. Not my fave, but not awful.

 260 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle with an attractive hummingbird label.
Clear, copper-gold with a moderate head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint floral hop note
Taste-Toasted malt, soft floral hops. Nicely balanced but more of a pale ale feel than an IPA. Innofensive and pleasant, would make a good "starter" IPA for those just venturing into the wonderful world of the hophead.

 379 characters

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Tulip glass.

Pours a medium orange that glows in the glass and has a finger of off-white head that slowly dissolves into a fine layer atop the glass. Aroma is full of resinous hops, pine, sap, and some touches of bready malt. The flavor is a nice combination of malt and sticky hops upfront and finishes with nice piney bitterness. Its medium bodied and lightly carbonated with a slight dry finish. Pretty tasty stuff. The nose is very hoppy and the flavor is nicely balanced.

 501 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Poured with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, amber brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A spicy aroma of hops with a touch of pine and lots of caramel malt in the background.

T - Thick, sweet malt up front with lots of bready notes and toffee in the middle. Finishes with a bit of pine, spice, more toffee and moderately strong bitterness.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Not terribly good, the hop character is subdued and the malt is just a bit too heavy for my taste. Very bland, I almost wonder how fresh this is, but since it has no packaging date I am forced to assume it is fresh.

 691 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours nice and clear, not a huge head/cap but nice looking otherwise. Aroma is rather fragrant and pleasent and packed with grapefruit and citrus. the flavors come in with the same citrus flavors backed by some toasty malts making this one balanced in a great way that doesn't stray to far either way, and would be great for a Pale Ale lover to start with. As drinkable as any 7% ipa would be, no surprises.

Solid above average IPA.

 433 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Very good lacing & good head retention

S: Pineyness, some breadyness

T: Follows the nose, plus a touch tangerine up front. A touch of grapefruit mingles with pine as this warms, & just a touch of toffee sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, slightly over carbonated, starts to turn a touch watery as it warms; okay balance. Finishes with citrussy & piney notes, plus a tad of pineapple. Almost pulled a 4.0

A decent IPA, but the weak body really holds this back. Worth a shot, pretty quaffable

 555 characters

Photo of Kadonny
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a six pack of this in NJ on the recommendation of the beer buyer there. He said he loves hoppy beers and this one was his favorite.

A: A medium orange color with a two finger white head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Based in his description of the beer, I was expecting a west coast hop bomb, but got something different. Smells are of pine, slight citrus, earth and caramel malt sweetness.

T: My first flavors were pine and resin with some darker earthy notes then complimented by some citrus tones of orange and grapefruit. The malt sweetness is pretty big with caramel and even sugar sweetness. Finish turns back to the hops with the spicy piney finish with nice but not huge bitterness on the back end. More bitterness as the beer warms.

M: Medium, resiny, sweet with no alcohol. Nice carbonation.

O: A solid beer, but nothing to write home about. This is a west coast beer that if I were guessing would say is from the east coast. I expected way more bright fruits and got way more dark spicy flavors and way too much sweetness. A balanced IPA, but from the west coast I don't always want balance.

Overall this is an OK beer, but not a standout. Goes to show how one persons taste is way different than another. I would not classify this as an overly hoppy beer as the beer buyer did. Oh well, at least I tried it.

 1,330 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper color with a decent white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of a decent dose of citrus hops.

Tastes of light citrus hops and a bit of caramel malt. Hops have enough bitterness, but I find there to not be enough hop flavor to back it up. Caramel malt is perhaps a little too understated, but offers a touch of sweetness on top.

Mouthfeel is medium and has a smooth mouthfeel.

 419 characters

Photo of LibraryTom
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For a west coast IPA, this one really doesn't stand up, but could be great for someone new to the style.

The malt is sweet, a bit one dimensional, but flavorful and pleasant. Up front you get all that grain which is met a few seconds in by a mild hop profile that continues on into mellow yet fulfilling bitter finish.

Not a very floral IPA, but some hops are present. Very little of the pine and citrus one would expect. Drinkability is good, mostly due to lack of complexity.

 479 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow, clear, soft white head, no lacing really, low retention, moderate to low carbonation, looks like a beer.

Aroma is sweet with citrus hops and malt.

Beer is medium in body and has a mildly bitter finish, there is also a grainy aftertaste. The leadoff is the malt sweetness and some mild cascade-like hop flavors. Overall it is fine but nothing special.

 360 characters

Photo of countrocula
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had two of these on tap at The Mason Jar in Mahwah. As a side note, this night is like St. Elmo's Fire in here with old people like me singing Mick Jagger 'She's the Boss' songs. Huge snow storm impending....

Anyway, came to my table with nary a head and no residual lacing. Could be that the glass has some cleaner/detergent residue... Dunno. Very amber in hue with a slight mistiness to it. Not crystal clear but pretty transparent.

Beyonce is now on the juke

smell is slightly astringent. No big bouquet here. Little malt and booze aroma.

This maybe due to the cold temp this was served at but the inital taste is slightly plasticky. Tad bit of orange rind bitterness on finish. Sweet in a way. Surely orange rind over graprfruit...

Mouth is cleanish. Not cloying but a syrupy sensation develops after a few gulps. Not an exemplar of the style.

As much as this isn't an ultimately satisfying representation of the style, it's watery and booze deficient enough to be a solid pounder. I'd like to try another session with it warmed up to about 45 F

 1,055 characters

Photo of Bucktron18
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle, no freshness date. Light coppery orange with an off white head that quickly settles down to a fine lace. Slightly hazy. Not much of an aroma. Surprisingly more malty than hoppy at first. Up front there is light hop and some syrupy malt notes. Good solid bitterness at the end that doesn't linger. Mouthfeel has a slight viscosity that seems to go along with the syrupy malty note in the flavor. Overall a solid, easy drinking IPA. Could definitely use a little more hop aroma to really feel like an IPA as you drink it.

 532 characters

Photo of Telix
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours a hazy apricot, with a steady, thick carbonation rising from the nucleation points. The thin head dissipated quickly.

S: It smells kind of sweet, kind of resinous, with a bit of honey sweetness. There is much less citrus than I usually get out of Cali IPAs.

T: The taste is a bit juicy, with an herbal, resinous bite. The finish is a bit watery as the flavors clear the tongue. The overall impression is a bit harsh and unrefined, but it's not a big sharp bite - it's just a little raw. There is a bit of vanilla creme in there, too, which helps soften it up. "Nectar" fits - it's thick, "planty", herbal, honey-y... but definitely not refined.

M: Nice, rich, palatable, a bit watery on the finish - it doesn't hold up as well as I'd like. It's good for the style, though.

D: I was pretty disappointed by this beer.... really rough around the edges, unrefined, and raw. However, it has some interesting vanilla creme/honey stuff going on and it's worth getting a bottle to try.

 1,046 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Crystal clear amber/copper with a nice, rocky white head that settles and leaves decent lacing.

S - Grapefruit, pine, leather and a hint of tea.

T/M - Much like its aroma. The hops are there for sure but don't kock you over the head. The alcohol is there on the finish. This ale is missing some richness on the mid-palate that in my opinion is overshadowed by carbonation. I've come expect more "depth" and creaminess from American IPAs, which might make this food friendly.

D - Perfectly drinkable year 'round.

 518 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Russian River -tion glass.

Appearance - Deep amber body with a small white head that laces sparingly, but attractively. Very clear, but looks like a malty beer.

Smell - Smells like a malty beer too. A lot of caramel sweetness in the aroma. I almost smell alcohol, too, which is unheard of for such a low ABV beer. I get a small amount of pine hops, but not a lot for an IPA.

Taste - I get a lot more hops in the flavor. Pine hops in the front, a slight bit of caramel sweetness in the middle, and a bit of pine bitterness in the finish. Strange that it is quite different from the aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with medium to medium-low carbonation. It's easy drinking and finishes clean.

Overall - An unexciting IPA, but a well made one. No faults, just boring.

 807 characters

Photo of mooseo
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Hazy orange amber with a small white dense head.

S - Light citrus, grapefruit, and floral hops. A little grainy with hints of caramel malt.

T - Lightly hopped with lots of citrus and grapefruit flavor. Burnt caramel and bready malts provide a solid backbone. Has a short mildly bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, a little sticky. Nice lively, prickly carbonation.

O - Decent IPA. Nothing really stands out, but it does have good flavor and drinkability. I wish it was a bit more hoppy.

 532 characters

Photo of freed
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with an attractive label. Pours a bit dark for an IPA, just about perfect for an amber though. Not much head, but it's consistent through the beer.

Smell is lacking. Almost non-existent for an IPA. Could really benefit from some fresh hop aroma. In fact, fresh hop aroma and taste are both missing. The nice rusty malt flavor is very reminicent of a British style IPA, as is the mellow hopping. There's a bitter back end, but its unbalanced without the aromatic hops. Not quite my pint of IPA.

 511 characters

Nectar IPA from Humboldt Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 870 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.