Thursday, January 24, 2008

Strike Up Another Perfect 5 - This Time For Nugget Nectar

Last year I heard a lot about a seasonally released beer called Nugget Nectar from Tröegs Brewing Company in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I didn't really have the motivation to pursue it then but this time around I decided to take the plunge, and a fellow Beer Advocate from NJ helped me out with a 6-pack. It's released towards the beginning of each year, so thankfully I was able to get this super fresh (this particular one was bottled 1/11/08).

Nugget Nectar is defined as an Imperial Amber Ale by the folks at Tröegs, containing 7.5% ABV, 93 IBU's, and a combo of Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, and Palisade hops (5 hops per their website, but only 3 are listed in the description on the bottle). The bear pours a really crystal clear light orange (my picture makes it look darker than it really is) and the head forms generously into a frothy top. I smelled the cap before anything else and knew I was in for a hoppy treat. Upon inspection of the aroma, if your mouth doesn't immediately start to water then hops aren't your thing. Nugget smells piny and citrusy- pretty much what a million other IPA's can be described as right? Well, one thing that sets it apart is the balance of those aromas and their freshness. When you get to the taste it has a front end of citrus and a back end of pine. Again, the resiny hops that come through just taste so amazingly fresh and crisp. Being an Imperial Amber you would think the body is pretty beefed up. Not so much. This is one of the lighter bodied IPA's (or anything hoppy for that matter) that I've had, and it's perfect like that. It has a bit of a sweet malt background but nothing out the ordinary. The mouthfeel is what makes it all work to me. If it had been viscous or syrupy as I might have expected a highly hopped, 7.5% Imperial Amber to be, then I would have been pretty disappointed. But the light and crisp mouthfeel rounds everything out perfectly (I haven't overused that word have I?).

For you Southern Californian's, I would liken this beer to Alpine Pure Hoppiness, though a little lighter in body. The main thing I learned from this beer is I need to get more right away, cause the 5 more I have left ain't gonna be enough. Score it a perfect 5.0 / A+ for me on BeerAdvocate.

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