Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Troegs Nugget Nectar: Nugget Nectar is Nectar of the Gods

What better place is there to stop by on a 70 degree Tuesday, March evening than at the local microbrew bottleshop? In the mood to pick up something good for embibing while watching the hockey game tonight, I picked up a few known good picks and then, out of the corner of my eye, spied a new addition in the cooler selection roster. Could it be?

Yes, it was, one of the microbrews I've been wanting to try but haven't had the $40.00 to cough up for a whole 24 bottle case (crazy Pennsylvania liquor laws). Troegs Nugget Nectar has been high on my wish list lately, and luckily my local bottle shop just got a supply in and decided to stock it in the general assembly section of the cooler row.

Troegs is an independent microbrewery located in Harrisburg, PA and has long been known, especially amongst us Pennsylvanians, to put out some very high quality and tasty microbrews over the years (one of my seasonal favorites being the Christmastime issued Mad Elf, but more on that one later).

Anyway, I picked up two 12 ounce bottles and, needless to say, by the second bottle I just had to post a few notes on this very impressive Imperial IPA offering (to be accurate, the label touts this as an Imperial Amber). Pouring my slightly chilled bottle into a standard 10 ounce beer mug I am greeting with pungent hop aromas wafting up, out and all around the mug, sink basin and nearly the entire kitchen area in which it was poured. This one really eminates an evident "have you been drinking?" clue even if you've only just poured one into a glass to sit and admire the sight of it.

The sight of it however is not its strongest pint...I mean point (Freudian slip there, sorry). It did boast a fairly respectable head of about two fingers that stuck around for maybe three or four minutes. But the thing that really struck me was the absolute clarity of this brew. A lighter amber color in my mug, it was essentially a crystal clear presentation, carbonated bubbles streaming everywhere. It reminded me much more of maybe a Yuengling lager than a finely produced craft beer.

When it came to actually finally tasting it, after all of the previously written thoughts swirling through my mind, it was heaven on earth. This is truly nectar of the gods. As I've sample many stronger IPA's in my time, and given the aroma, I was expecting a more standard run of the mill grapefruity type IPA. This one gave off the grapefruit flavors but not in a most astringent manner. There was a malty, almost creamy backbone there that very classily offset some of the commonality of the boasted high level IBU's (93ish IBU's as per the bottle label for those keeping track).

Lacing on my mug was highly prevalent and it transferred well to a somewhat slick feel on the palate but not in an annoyingly obtrusive way. A pleasant aftertaste of sip #1 quickly led to #2 and so on.

On the quick, I would say I could picture myself downing a six pack of these on a hot summers day while doing yard work. But upon closer inspection of the bottle, the 7.5% ABV rating would make me seriously consider otherwise. This one is extremely drinkable, almost to a sessionable point but it's due to it's incredible balance of all factors involved.

Despite my initial predispositions, and Nugget Nectar's predominant assault on the ol' olfactory, Troeg's Nugget Nectar doesn't evolve to obscene extremes in any one particular area except for it's highly overall enjoyable drinkability. My impression is one of a high expectation, leading to complete validation with some meandering surprises along the way, a microbrew with an amiable character and one that I will remember and look for in the months and years to come. I can honestly say that I will be seeking out an entire case (yes at the $40.00 price tag) on my next visit to one of my local area distributors and I will highly recommend that you do too if given the chance.

Troegs Nugget Nectar checks in as a 8.25 rated microbrew in my opinion. Go out and try it today!

You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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