Friday, March 28, 2014

Tröegs Nugget Nectar (2014 re-review)


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1071) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. The freshness date was smeared and illegible.

Appearance: Beautiful orange/flame red hue. Mostly clear with plenty of constant carbonation visible. Pours to an average sized white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Strong aroma of piney hops along with clean, floral overtones.

Taste: Tröegs Nugget Nectar is kind of an anomaly of a brew. Though marketed as an “imperial amber,” it drinks much more like a strong IPA as the hops dominate the palette. The malt does make itself known – providing for some general sweetness, but you wouldn’t likely describe this beer as being malty per se. It also lacks that confectionery sweetness often found in ambers.

This brew uses a variety of hops not commonly found in a lot of mainstream beers. Akin to a classic East Coast style IPA with a strong presence of pine and flowers from start to finish, though nothing earthy, herbal or resiny. The 93 IBUs are nothing to sneeze at. Strong bitterness right away, though the malt base quickly backs it up with some amber malt flavor. Continued hop bitterness at the apex, only dryer than at the beginning, followed by continued dryness on the finish. Thankfully, there’s genuine hop flavor to be found throughout, with pine at the beginning, flowers in the middle, and a bit of rich orange sherbet or grapefruit juice concentrate at the end (probably the impetus for the name). This palette is a bit repetitive, though I’m never bored by it. Consistently interesting and fun to drink.

Drinkability: For a beer that is full-bodied, rather heavy at 7.5% ABV, and aggressively bitter at 93 IBUs, Tröegs Nugget Nectar is remarkably drinkable given these parameters. The mouthfeel is calm and soft, but still crisp going down. There’s a dry aftertaste, but it’s not off-putting and easily tolerable. The alcohol never makes itself known, which makes it quite tempting to drink this en masse rather than savor it (as it probably should be). 
Grade: 9/10