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).