Blind taste test. Nugget Nectar vs. Lagunitas Imperial Red

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by OneBeertoRTA, May 4, 2012.

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  1. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    While one is a seasonal and moderately hard (especially for west coasters) beer to acquire the other is widely distributed.

    To keep this fair I used two like glasses and denoted one of the beers with a blue marker dash on the bottom.


    I gave an = pour with both bottles and closed my eyes and shuffled them around for 5 minutes.


    After 5 minutes to let the head settle and for me to forget any of the random shuffling I readied for tasting. At this point both were nearly identical.


    In order to not give anything away I tasted before taking a whiff.

    The first one was booming with citrus hops. Very light mellow sweet malts and medium to high carbonation. The second beer lacked the hops presence and had a much sweeter carmel malty tone resembling a more traditional amber ale. Both beers had great mouthfeels, no sign of high abv - dangerously drinkable.

    After tasting it was time for the smell. The first was a cacophony of different citrus/tropical and hops. The second of sweet carmel malts and very mild hops.

    Overall I chose the more hop dominant glass which as you could have guessed was Lagunitas. While both are equally a world class beer I would say 70% of the time i would prefer the less sweet LIRA over the NN. Makes me happy to think that with NN drying up in the next few weeks I will have a replacement.
  2. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,229) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Lucky you...wish I could just have access to one of those!
  3. lokieman

    lokieman Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    I did virtually the same thing a while back...sans the extensive documentation. Lagunitas came out on top for me as well. It's starting to dry up around here (Austin, TX) and becoming harder to find, but it's one those beers that while it's in season, I always try to keep in my fridge. Nugget Nectar gets a lot of hype and Lags Imp Red gets very little and NN is so hard to come by depending on where you're at. Lagunitas does "hoppy" as well or better than any brewer in existence. I'm drinking a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid ($4 bomber) right now and can't think of many IPA's I'd rather be drinking at the moment...
  4. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (4,966) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Beer Trader

    That's an eclectic match since they're two different styles.
  5. coronajm

    coronajm Initiate (177) Jan 4, 2010 Ohio

    Not according to
  6. lokieman

    lokieman Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    Dude Lagunitas distros to Colorado...should be able to find some Imperial Red fairly easy with a little effort.
  7. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,229) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    They only recently re-entered the market and all we get is their IPA last I checked.
  8. soze47

    soze47 Crusader (705) May 22, 2010 Massachusetts

    Apologies if I'm not picking up any intended sarcasm, but I find this a really apt comparison and seen it discussed many times over the past few months. FWIW, I bought a sixer of each when they both first dropped and also preferred Lagunitas over the NN.
    lokieman likes this.
  9. mnbearsfan

    mnbearsfan Aspirant (249) Dec 25, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I believe at one point NN was listed as an IPA.
  10. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,807) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I have tried both of them together several times.
    I have decided that, like my children, I don't have to pick a favorite. I just enjoy them both.
  11. kdmcguire10

    kdmcguire10 Initiate (0) Jul 15, 2011 Michigan

    Nice work! I've not done the side-by-side blind tasting, I thought they were both of equal greatness. Lagunitas is really killing it lately.
  12. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,431) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Yep, I've seen a lot of people say Lagunitas Imperial Red is about as close as you can get to Nugget Nectar. And of course there are pretty big gray areas for certain "styles" anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your results OP! I like Nugget Nectar, but certainly wasn't blown away by it. We get all kinds of Lagunitas beers here in Seattle but I don't recall ever seeing Imperial Red. I'll have to watch for it.
  13. lokieman

    lokieman Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2011 Oklahoma

    Oh man I didn't know that...figured since you guys get a very healthy craft beer distribution that Lagunitas would come full force in Colorado.
  14. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Zealot (572) Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I had them both on the same day, not blind though. I found the Nugget Nectar to have a much strong "citrus" and "hop" profile, while the Lagunitas was more of the standard amber ale. But, to each their own.
    paslaugh likes this.
  15. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    I was horribly disappointed by Lagunitas Imperial Red. This was the first year I've had any.

    I felt Nugget Nectar was above average, but only firmly in the B+/A- category. This was the second year I've had NN.

    IMO, Nugget Nectar is a better beer. Just my $0.02 and palette's worth.
    Massbmx and RBassSFHOPit2ME like this.
  16. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    both good, but i'd rather maine beer co. zoe or ithaca cascazilla.
    GetMeAnIPA, tobelerone and mfrigon like this.
  17. cbutova

    cbutova Poo-Bah (3,426) Oct 10, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I agree. The first time I had Zoe, it was so fantastic. Much better than the best bottles of Nugget Nectar I have ever had. I had it a few times in late 2011 and it just wasn't the same. I hope I can find some fresh bottles soon because I kind of forgot about this beer and it might be the best Amber I have ever tasted.
  18. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    It was like night and day in the other direction for me. I thought the Lagunitas was pretty far closer to an IPA than than the NN.
  19. FatSalad

    FatSalad Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2012

    I can't imagine how you could come to that conclusion, unless you haven't tried Lagunitas.

    I prefer Lagunitas, but they're both great.
  20. ColForbinBC

    ColForbinBC Poo-Bah (1,993) Sep 9, 2005 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Same here
  21. Brushkanna

    Brushkanna Devotee (456) Jun 27, 2011 New Jersey

    Nugget Nectar is the winner for me. Lagunitas Imperial Red has a bit to much floral perfume flavor for me, I believe it is the cascade or centennial hop contribution.
  22. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,249) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Did you tell us the bottled on date and/or age of each beer? That can be critical.
  23. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    NN 3/21/12
    Lagunitas (Don't see a bottled on date) but I'm guessing really fresh as they just got them in a week ago.
  24. rfgetz

    rfgetz Poo-Bah (2,253) Nov 14, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    But that's like at least a month wayyyy past its peak!
  25. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (662) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Nugget Nectar was six weeks old, yeah that's not too shabby. You should be able to find the Lagunitas bottling date printed on the neck (not easy to see but it's there). I believe they have a Julian code.
  26. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    08337616 is what's on the Lagunitas label. Not sure what that is.
  27. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'd rather have a Bar Fly and Don Quijote. What was this thread about? oh yeah...
  28. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    it was about a blind taste test between two imperial reds. what was my post about? oh yeah, imperial reds.
  29. MarcM

    MarcM Initiate (131) Aug 19, 2011 California

    March 23.
  30. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,142) Dec 1, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I found these both to be fairly similar, of course Nugget Nectar is a great beer but it's probably over-hyped by a wide margin. It's also all over the place here so maybe I'm jaded.

    FWIW I think Zoe is a lot better than both of these beers, in fact, the week old Zoe I had last year was one of the best of the year for me.
  31. crossovert

    crossovert Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2009 Illinois

    I liked NN i have had in the past but got a really fresh 6 pack and it wasn't hoppy at all.
  32. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Mix them together and they taste identical to Goose Island BCBS.
    FarmerTed and BradenMK like this.
  33. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    There's something very similar in most Lagunitas beers that I'm not crazy about. I think it's a heavy amount of munich malt, but I'm not sure.
  34. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Interesting... I could have sworn it was a head to head between NN vs. Lagunitas imperial red like the pictures, thread title and OP indicates.
  35. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (606) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    This post made me run down the street from my work and grab a single of the Lagunitas Red.I had week old Nugget Nectar this year,so I'ma see how this Lagunitas compares in a little while.....

    Cheers All.....
  36. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (4,966) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Haven't tried The Lagunitas... Your the fourth person who's nailed me on my stupid mistake. Expecting more to come, stay tuned...
  37. FatSalad

    FatSalad Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2012

    Okay. Sorry. I thought you genuinely could not draw the lines between the two. You should pick some up. Despite that they are going to be a few months old, they hold up a great deal better than NN.
  38. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (4,966) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I would like to. I made a stupid late night mistake by comparing the two without considering the blurred lines that often happen between styles nowadays. That was my mistake. No harm no foul, I brought that one on myself! It's all good!! BTW, have seen your postings and always wondered what that creepy ass avatar is! (I say that with a smile on my face!!)
  39. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    /facepalm. do you have any opinions on what i should eat for dinner tonight?

    turn your brain on. it makes sense for people to talk about other imperial reds in a thread about 2 imperial reds. my original post was not meant to insult you, but it's getting hard to avoid it now.
  40. imbrue001

    imbrue001 Aspirant (216) Aug 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    NN is better when fresh. You'll have a lemony sweet-tart like candy on the nose.
    If we are talking 6 weeks old, then yeah id go with the more piney Lagunitas.
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