Tröegs Nugget Nectar is one of ‘those beers’ everyone seems to talk about. I heard a lot of buzz about it last year, but by the time I got around to being able to buy some – there was none to be found! The price I pay for procrastination.
So, this year I decided to be a little more proactive and I actually called my local beer monger and asked that a bottle be placed aside for me whenever it was delivered. Well, shortly after my request was made, I got a call that the Tröegs Nugget Nectar had arrived and my bottle was waiting for me. Nice!
In the meantime, I did a little research as to why this beer seems to be so popular. Here’s the specs from the Tröegs website.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s): 93ish
Color (SRM): Straw/ Orange
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
“…Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.”
OK, sounds good, but while I’ve tried (and enjoyed) other Tröegs beers like Java Head and Tröegenator, I haven’t tried their HopBack Amber Ale. I hope that isn’t a prerequisite to trying Nugget Nectar! Its labeled an “Imperial Amber” ale, and while 7.5% ABV needs to be respected, it isn’t as strong as I thought it might be. Not a big deal, just an observation.
So, onto the Tröegs Nugget Nectar.
This beer pours a nice, almost-clear amber color with an almost-white foamy head. There’s a little bit of lacing on the glass, but what there is does stick well. My dishwasher will earn its keep cleaning this glass. Nice, but nothing incredible here.
The aroma is somewhat more interesting, however. This beer is supposed to be hop-oriented, and many people will call Nugget Nectar a ‘hop bomb’. Not too long ago, I would have just avoided a beer like this, but I’m learning to appreciate the hoppier brews out there, and so should you! The smell is to me, mostly citrusy, then pine, then caramel-like sweet. Interesting, and it actually got my mouth watering.
Taste. Well, Tröegs Nugget Nectar is special. Its hop-forward, but not so much that its all out of whack, and after trying it, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a hop-bomb at all. It isn’t a bitter hoppy, but rather something much more blanced. Again, hops are there the whole way – citrus mostly – but there’s a good amount of malt too. Interesting that the citrusy flavors are also somehow sweet, like pink grapefruit actually. Really, really nice flavors here. I’m also noticing that the alcohol flavors aren’t too strong either. You know this is a serious beer as you’re drinking it, but its not overly boozy which I like. There’s a nice, lingering grapefruity bitterness that is simply to be savored.
Wow. After a beer that tastes like this one does, I almost don’t even care about mouthfeel! But, maybe you do. Its not a heavy beer really,and for the most part its a smooth drinking beer with some carbonation to make it lively and fresh feeling. The only thig I’m not crazy about is the sticky feeling I get, but the enjoyable aftertaste is enough to counteract any negatives.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Tröegs Nugget Nectar, and I can see why people love this beer. Its very much a hoppy beer, but its also got a complex, but well-balanced flavor profile that’s bitter, sweet, malty and tangy all at once. I’m not well-versed in amber ales, but if this is a representative beer of the style I need to try more.
Tröegs Nugget Nectar is a little expensive too, and I guess I can see why. Still, I think I saw the six-pack at around $16 which ain’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a great beer with a different character, I don’t see how you can be disappointed. Do yourself a favor though and don’t wait to buy some. Its a spring-seasonal beer and will probably disappear by April if not sooner.
Scott – TheBrewClub