Review: Red Nectar, Nectar Ales

Red Nectar
Nectar Ales — Paso Robles, CA

  • Style: Amber Ale
  • Bitterness: 35 IBU
  • ABV: 5.4%
  • Malts: Premium Two Row,  Wheat Malt, Crystal 75
  • Hops: Chinook, Mt. Hood, Cascade
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "The beer that started it all… Red Nectar was considered a strange bird when it was first released in 1987. After all, where did a robust, handcrafted all-natural amber ale fit into the massive flock of American industrial lagers? Answer: it didn’t. So it blazed its own trail, helping set the pace for the craft brew revolution.  Enjoy Red Nectar for its dazzling reddish copper hue, original flavors and caramel spice accents."  — Nectar Ales

Random thoughts:  I picked this one up at Main Street Homebrew.  New Seasons also stocks this in some locations.  Love the label artwork.

The tasting:  Color is a gorgeous reddish-amber.  Aroma is very hoppy, more than I expected for an Amber Ale—but I like it.  Lots of nice malty flavors, but I can't make out what they are.  The hop flavor is strong, and in nice layers.  Body is medium.  After the beer warmed up, the bitterness was a bit more noticeable, but still nice.  Red Nectar surprised me because I expected it to have a much higher IBU count—closer to IPA levels.

Rating:  4 star. Really Good! I want this again.  Prior to this tasting, I had never heard of Nectar Ales. But this is exactly the type of beer I had envisioned when I selected the recipe for my first homebrew.  I wanted a red ale (that my wife likes) with a more hoppy profile (that I like).  If my brew turns out as half as good as this, I will be very pleased. Great selection by the guys at Main Street Homebrew!

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