Troegs Brewing Co. – Harrisburg, PA
Nugget Nectar Imperial Amber – 7.5% ABV – 12 oz.
Bottled January 5, 2011
“Hopheads’ Nirvana. Experience a heady trifecta of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. 93-ish IBUs”
It’s been almost a year since I last had a bottle of this. The first time I tasted it, back in January 2010, I wasn’t actively discussing beer online. This is my first opportunity to really enjoy it and think about it at the same time. Also, over the past 12 months, I would like to hope I’ve developed a better palate for flavors.
The color is deep amber and you can see right through the glass. There is nothing floating that would reduce the clarity of this glass. A tiny head formed on the pour and faded to a thin film on top. There is some nice carbonation rising within the glass. It makes for a nice presentation in a pilsner glass.
The aroma is pure hops and malt. Nugget Nectar doesn’t apologize for what it’s trying to be, an Imperial. Big. There are some citrus and pine notes present, as well. Surely, a product of the freshness, being bottled on January 5. How nice is it to have a bottling day on the package?! (That’s an article for another day) As is often the case, the aroma is deceptive, but intriguing with the citrus aromas at the forefront and the pine notes in the back. Some brown sugar lingers in the aroma through the malt.
The flavor… Ah, the flavor… Well, there’s hops, more hops and after the first two servings of hops, there’s a hoppy finish. Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but just a tiny bit. This beer is hoppy. And it’s a bitter hoppyness being 93 IBUs. Let’s say 1 IBU has no bitterness, and 100 IBUs are crazy-bitter. Well, this is 93. Very bitter. But awesome! Anyway, the flavor is predominantly hoppy. I would describe it as a mix of pine-like flavors with a good amount of citrus flavors. Freshness is key. There are malty notes in the middle which help temper the bitterness with their sweetness. The finish has a nice alcoholic bite. There’s also a bit of a peppery spiciness somewhere in there. Tasty.
The mouth feel is more substantial and medium-bodied. Drinkability is high despite the 7.5% alcohol. Each sip tastes refreshing and bitter at the same time.
The only negative I can find is a slight metallic aftertaste in the finish that fades as the temperature increases a bit.
Like potato chips, you can’t have just one Nugget Nectar. This is a great annual brew. It’s too bad we only get it once a year. At least it’s something to look forward to as an After-Christmas gift. I’ll have this beer in my refrigerator for a month or two while it’s fresh. Get some while it’s available; It only hangs around for a little while. A great “go-to” craft beer. Awesome job Troegs!