Mandarin Nectar | Alpine Beer Company

133 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Mandarin NectarMandarin Nectar

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fresh organic orange zest and cracked coriander complement the orange blossom honey used in this ale. Like a mountain breeze through the citrus trees. 1.060 OG 6 IBU

Added by Gusler on 03-30-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 431
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, honey, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer beer that is drinkable, but it's a pretty basic and underwhelming beer coming from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle.

 611 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

surprised this is getting so little love. its definitely sweet, almost artificial citrus to it, very orange forward, like the canned mandarins, or even more like orange tictacs , which is maybe a little unflattering in the beer. i can see it going both ways, on one hand sweet and artificial, but on the other hand pungent and intense and distinct, and perhaps it is all from the hops, and if so, maybe its more a critique of the varietal than it is of the beer itself. hard to say, because this one is so new to the scene. i get such true orange though that there has to be fruit in this, the bitterness of the peel and that zesty first bite thing, its tropical and true, but also very sweet, and the residual sugar is a big turnoff for me, and it really limits how much of this i want to consume. well made like all the alpine stuff, and really pretty distinct as they go, there is nothing quite like this, but its not my favorite bit of their work. somewhat belgian in here for a moment, but like a wit meets an ipa, its an odd style. if it was a bid more on the dry side it would be a lot better, but its cool as it is, deserves more credit here for sure.

 1,159 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Having a lot of fun in the brewhouse, the brewers at Alpine embark on a floral, fruity and whimsical ale that has all the hallmarks of a great IPA... except it's not an IPA at all. Its sweet honey character carries the load and heightens the fruit and fauna remarkably well.

Even with an orange-amber pour, the light foggy ale carries a delicate and short foam cap. Bursting with succulence, the nose is bright with orange blossom, honeysuckle, citrus, honey and an overall scent of the orchard. As the honey drips on the front of the tongue, its succulent sweetness also shares light caramel, cashew and a lightly toasted malt savory character.

As the taste blooms on the middle palate, an herbal tea-like flavors pulls forth. Like southern sweet tea, a hint of lemon verbena, sassafras and lemongrass add a somber offset to the sweetness but without interfering with the delicate honey, citrus and floral flavor that's already established. Mild bitterness is restrained but with a grassy, spicy undertow.

Medium-bodied and trending crisp and fresh, the beer more and more begins resembling an American amber ale but with generous flower and honey overtone. Finishing delicate like croissant and baklava, a citrusy aura proves alluring and even seductive in the beer's waning moments.

 1,288 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a slightly hazy golden body and a white head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Just as advertised, it smells like mandarin orange perfume

Taste: Mandarin orange floral flavor with a smooth finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Awesome combinatino of flavor and quaffability; with the orange flavor, you could drink this stuff for breakfast and be happy the whole day

 444 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-draught into a 5 oz taster at Alpine's pub. Expectations were high; I love Alpine. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a beige floater; no real head here. Body is a clear pale yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Nectary hops, honey, floral hops, apricot fruit, and pale malts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Nectary hops, apricot fruit and accompanying esters, clean pale malts, and a crisp clean malted barley finish. Tasty and crisp. Very well balanced. The apricot is wonderful. A bit of honey sweetness. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Crisp, clean, smooth, and wet. Ideal thickness and carbonation. Complements the flavour profile very well.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I'd have it again. Another solid offering from Alpine. Tasty stuff for the style. I quite like it. I'd recommend it to friends.

High B

 866 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange with a nice head and a decent amount of lacing as it goes down. The smell is somewhat caramelized in the background, with some orange and a bit of sweetness up front. The taste is quite sweet, with a lot of orange and honey coming through. Fairly well-balanced, and another solid fruit offering from Alpine. Highly drinkable; nice and crisp.

 361 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Clear amber with a small and short-lived head. No lacing.

Aroma: mild light malt with a hint of honey.

Flavor: sweet but not cloying. Light bready malts with a hint of honey.

Feel: Light body with near medium carbonation.

O: a fine honey ale

 293 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Handsome clear amber in the tall Stella glass with plenty of lacing. The orange peel stands out. I smell honey, hard candy, and a whiff of grain and maybe a band-aid.

I guess you like the distinct honey flavor or you don't. It seems really strongly-flavored to me, with that sugary, cloying sensation. Unfortunately it's followed by a faintly sour, medicinal note, a little too much like a honey cough drop. Vegetal taste like zucchini, and something like a hint of kaffir lime leaf. Long bitterish, fruity, murky aftertaste.

While light, this is not what I would call refreshing. From the 22 oz bottle bought yesterday at the brewery.

 638 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden honey orange in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow highlights, The beer has a finger tall fizzy foamy white head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering a little more than 80% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet citrus/mandarin oranges with a light aroma of honey. Hints of typical witbier yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of wheat + grainy malts with a light amount of honey sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of citrus/mandarin oranges and citrus/orange zest which imparts a light amount of bitterness which fades away pretty quickly. The finish has a light lingering flavor of witbier yeast.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy enough to drink with well hidden alcohol but perhaps a little underwhelming for me (as I am used to much bigger, bolder, and sharper flavors). Good but not outstanding.

 1,123 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mandarin orange, if a bit less vibrant than the actual fruit. A modest number of superfine bubbles rise through the pristine liquid to plonk into the bottom of the wonderfully creamy cap of palest pastel orange. The beer itself may be less than thrilling, but the head more than makes up for it. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to tear as they loose contact with the deflating cap.

The nose is on the subdued side and smells orange fruity and a trifle perfumy, although not in a negative way. Mandarin Nectar is, essentially, a witbier with a smattering of orange blossom honey. It sure doesn't smell like one; I don't appreciate either honey or coriander. It's still a pleasant smelling beer though, and is one that should translate well to the palate.

Well... not really. I expected an explosion of flavor rather than the popgun pop that greets my every mouthful. I still don't get the witbier comparisons at all. A miniscule amount of that spice is barely identifiable in a flavor profile that doesn't contain an overwhelming number of competing flavors, but I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to pick it out without knowledge of its presence.

I wonder why there isn't more orange flavor. My fervent hope was that this would be a tremendously orange juicy beer that would bowl me over with tangy citrusiness. Nope. A lingering sweetness is probably due to honey since there isn't enough malt on hand to achieve it, but honey per se isn't really appreciated. MN is an odd beer that I would have thought would have undergone an overhaul at some point along the way. Alpine must be satisfied with sales.

That light viscosity helps a mouthfeel that struggles to be considered medium. It is nicely silky smooth though, a compliment to quality brewers and quality brewing. I wish the flavor was more to my liking since the beer feels so good in the mouth.

Mandarin Nectar is the first Alpine beer that hasn't either blown me away (Pure Hoppiness) or impressed me greatly (Alpine Ale). Of course, I've only had those two. There's a great deal of potential here for the brewers to release a wonderfully orange fruity beer rather than the less than inspired one that occupies my glass at the moment.

 2,223 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Nectarine, canned peaches

T: Follows the nose, white grape, a little orange up front. More of the same as this warms, a little dryness, getting as much peach as citrus getting a little orange rind bitterness. Finishes with canned orange slice sweetness, hints of orange rind bitterness

MF: Medium body, moderate carbonation , okay balance

Drinks alright, but nothing special here

 475 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to gottajiboo2 for sharing this beer poured cool into a pint.
A - A medium orange w/ great clarity and minimal head. A very sunny appearance.

S - Deep sweet orange aroma w/ a little spice.

M - An average feel, on the lighter side of medium w/ a zing! that says spiced mandarin tea. There is a moderate amount of carbonation noticed as it is held in the mouth.

T - The flavor is sweet, yet more of a juicy zesty, orange rind taste than the flavor 'nectar' brings to mind. The spices are very complementary and a sort of prickly tartness remains after the swallow. Nice sweet flavors that don't go overboard, very nice mix of orange and coriander in the taste.

D - I found this to be average for my taste, Not bad, just didn't hold my interest for more than one taste. This would be a great summer drink almost like orange tea cooler w/ the citrus flavor.

 864 characters

Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured amber in color with a moderate white head to it. The head faded but left some moderate lacing.

The aroma is pretty sweet with honey and orange both present. It almost has a syrupy sweet orange aroma to it. Could have used a bit of bitterness to balance the honey sweetness.

The taste shows off the orange zest and honey pretty well. The coriander adds to the citrusy flavor of the beer as well. The finish especially shows off some of the honey flavors. It's very smooth and refreshing. It reminds me a bit of a few braggot style beers I've tried with the honey.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is a bit above average. Drinkability is decent, it was pretty light but flavorful and went down easy. Would be a decent choice for a hot day, however it felt a bit big and heavy to fit that bill perfectly.

 889 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a remarkably clear light golden-orange color with a fluffy white head and some mild lacing.

S: The nose is not very robust. A touch of coriander spice, some mild orange aroma, and a little sweetness.

T: The honey comes through and gives the beer some sweetness and a bit of a floral flavor. A light citrusy taste but not much in the way of the coriander that I noticed on the nose.

M: The body is medium, perhaps a bit slick and a surprisingly low carbonation.

D: I suppose I should have looked into this beer a bit more before I bought it, but this was one of the few disappointing Alpine beers I've had.

 624 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with lots of sediment. Aroma is citrusy and floral with some sweet malt in the background. Taste is really underwhelming, not much going on. Just some clean malt sweetness and a slight floral note.

 210 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My pour created two fingers' worth of rocky, eggshell-white head with nice retention. Color was deep gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both orange-citrusy and lightly spicy, like black pepper. Mouthfeel was medium with a light orange zest on the tongue. The label mentioned honey, but I missed out on that. The finish was dry with the peppery/coriander presence that I noted on the nose. Yum.

 397 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.61/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange. The color of honey, no surprise, I guess. Small white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Buckets of honey. Some citrus. Diacetyl.

Taste - Tastes like honey. Lots of honey, but not too sweet. Some citrus. And then diacetyl.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall - It isn't that interesting to begin with, but the diacetyl is a deal breaker.

 419 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, hazy, orange gold coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy head. Aromas of sweet orange, rich honey, and hints of coriander, with an overall candy-like feel to the nose. Flavors are orange forward, tart and sweet, with a subtle honey backbone, rich and earthy. Fairly balanced between the two characteristics, with the beer itself being a candy-sweet palate as a whole. Subtle hints of grassy hops, and the coriander spice is there if you dig deep for it. Light, crisp, effervesced body, with an orange candy aftertaste. Effervesced, crisp finish. Tasty beer.

 617 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a yellowish orange with a half finger head that had good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: wheat like aromas with hints of mandarins and honey in the nose.

T: crisp honey-mandarin like flavors with a combination of cirtus fruits and slight bitterness at the end of a sip.

M; light to medium body with decent amount of carbonation.

D: pretty sweet for my palate and probably could not drink a whole one by myself.

 423 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.29/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tasted in a Rastal Teku glass from a 1 pt 6 oz bottle on April 16, 2016. Best by 04 AUG 16. Look is orange gold with an off white head and little lacing. Smell is bread malt up front with hints of orange blossom, honey and coriander. Taste is sweet malt, coriander, honey and hints of orange. Feel is light in body with a smooth creamy finish.

 348 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's time for another Alpine beer, so on to it:

Bright golden orange in color, a show of large carbonation bubbles rises through the body of this spiced ale. The head shows good froth, and so is the head retention. Biscuit malt, lots of honey, a little floral in the nose.

It's spiced nicely, and the malt base comes together. I'm not sure if wheat is used here, but I'm certainly getting some malted wheat notes. But that could also be the honey that's present. BURP! There's the orange flavor I was hoping to get. At the trail end comes the coriandor with a hint of Wirgley's gum. Feels lighter than the listed 6.5% ABV, though I can still find a little booze running around.

When I purchased Mandarin Nectar, I thought I'd be getting a light, refreshing orange wheat ale. Wrong! This is a spiced orange ale with plenty of meat on it's bones. A tasty wheat ale, but the irony here is I was in the mood for something lighter.

 931 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a moderate haze and a finger of frothy ivory foam; pretty attractive.

Smell: very sweet with honey and orange notes. Completely as-advertised, but really only great if you're super into orange and honey.

Taste: super floral with a big sweetness. The orange zest is nice in that it is not overly bitter, but the overall effect is reminiscent of a heady springtime wildflower field; sweet and a bit perfumey.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: I could see this beer really doing it for some people. Of the floral/zesty/honey beers out there, this is among the better ones; that said, it doesn't tickle my fancy. I am glad I tried it from an experimental point, though, so; points for originality, if not for quaffability.

 850 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinker but an ultimately forgettable beer from a brewery that makes some of the finest IPAs in the world. This is not one I would go back to personally, if given the choice to have Nelson, Duet, or one of the other incredible hoppy Alpine creations. Mandarin Nectar is hazy orange with a good sized white head; nice retention, minimal lacing. Aroma of mildly sweet honey and oranges, a bit of biscuity malt. Flavor follows the nose; the orange citrus character is nice but not particularly big or bitter. In fact the hoppiness in general is pretty restrained. Honey is noticed but more on the subtle side; this is not an overly sweet beer.

Medium-light bodied with carbonation just a bit on the higher side. Fairly crisp and clean in the finish and overall mouthfeel. Good summer refresher I suppose. Again this wasn’t bad by any means but not all that memorable or exceptional.

 890 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow-orange, with a very long-lasting white head, great lacing.

S: Orange zest, sweet malt notes, light.

T: Very sweet beer, the orange predominates, but it's not overbearing. Bready malt and a bit of earthy hops round out the flavour.

M: Can be cloying from the sweetness at times and a bit too much carbonation. Overall light-bodied, medium viscosity, smooth.

D: An interesting fruit beer from Alpine. I'm just glad it wasn't filled with artificial flavour and one could easily drink it. Well done Alpine.

 538 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.14/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the bomber with a Best By 04 Aug 2016 date. Sampled on April 10, 2016.

Orange amber pour with modest silky off-white head.

The aroma is orange, honey, slightly herbal, mildly tropical and with toasted grain.

Light to medium body.

Honey characters are big in the taste with the orange juiciness a little behind it. Slight bitterness at the end. On second thought, ti reminds me a bit of a Ricola cough drop.

 416 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mandarin Nectar from Alpine Beer Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 431 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.