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Nectar Ales IPA

July 3, 2011

Nectar Ales is a brewery you might remember from my first review, or you might be aware of them because of their 20-plus years of experiencing in the craft brewing industry. Founded in 1987 in Humboldt County (no surprise one of their other famous ales is the Hemp Ale), Nectar Ales prides itself on all natural ingredients and well balanced flavors. These principles really do shine through when I was able to pick up a bottle of their IPA at a swanky Manhattan restaurant.

The beer was poured into a glass by the bartender revealing a hazy deep orange colored beer, with a shockingly white head that was slightly above the standard low head I’ve come to expect from bottles. The beer smelled strongly of floral hops, tickling my nose with light spices and sweet smells. The mouthfeel was somewhat thick, but still smooth, making for a very pleasant drinking experience.

The taste was a nice ride of hoppy flavors without being particularly overpowering. The primary flavor was one of floral, and sweeter hops, like drinking from a fine garden of flowers. Along with this was a nice burst of spiciness throughout the mouth, never becoming too overpowering. Finally, only with my nose trick was there any hint of bitter hops, and even then it was still very slight. The finish was very crisp, and it’s only during a prolonged session that you will find a hop aftertaste lingering at the back of your throat. As the beer warms, in addition to the hop aftertaste, I began to sense a slight maltiness that came in equal balance to the lingering hop bitterness.

In the end, the Nectar Ales IPA truly holds up to the brewery’s goal of a well balanced beer. This is the type of brew that any beer drinker can enjoy, particularly when served cold on a warm day.

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