Beer: Nugget Nectar
Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company
Style: Imperial Amber Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Crystal clear amber body with a small white head that quickly dissipates.
Smell: This might be the best smelling beer of all time, if you enjoy the smell of sweet, pungent, juicy, piney hops.
Flavor: I’ve started plenty of these “flavor” sections with “if only it tasted as good as it smelled” or “well, this tastes NOTHING like it smells.” This won’t be one of those reviews (except for the fact that I technically did start with those statements). Indeed, this beer tastes like a big serving of sweet, pungent, juicy, piney hops. As insanely hoppy as this beer is, it is almost equally balanced with a caramel sweetness. There is nothing else on the planet like this beer.
Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation.
Concluding Remark: Depending on your level of beer geek, you might be aware that Tröegs’ Nugget Nectar has a cult following. You, like myself, might be the high superior wizard of that cult. If so, there’s no need to keep reading; you already know of the magical powers that this beers possesses. And by magical powers, I mean the power of tasting like rainbows, world peace, and waterfalls. If you are not yet acquainted with the holiness of Nugget Nectar, ignore every recommendation I have ever written in CAPITALS on this site. What I’m about to say is the only truth that matters: Tröegs, a microbrewery out of Hershey, Pennsylvania, makes the best beer in the United States (well, the best beer that is readily available on the East Coast in the early winter months).
Nugget Nectar, regardless of how long it sits on your bedroom floor as you painfully wait to review it, tastes like the moment its hops and barley were first plucked from their hallowed grounds–fresh and heavenly. When people ask, “if you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be,” I answer Nugget Nectar nine times out of ten.*
*If it happens to be a hot day, sometimes I get nostalgic for drinking fresh pilsners in snowy Prague and might say Pilsner Urquell. Or, if it happens to be Oktoberfest season, I might answer Hofbrau’s Oktoberfest. Or, if I’m craving something dark and sweet at that moment…NO, I will still pick Nugget Nectar. Clearly, the only things that trumps Nugget are nostalgic travel memories.
ANYWAYS. I don’t know what else I can say about the world’s most perfect beer, other than that it is the world’s most perfect beer. It is the world’s most perfect beer.
The key ingredients to perfection, in you case you haven’t read it in a Buzzfeed list or in Lifestyle yoga mat tips for the freelancer biannual zine, are: Pilsner malts, Vienna malts, Munich malts, Nugget hops, Warrior hops, Tomahawk hops, Simcoe hops, and Palisade hops.
You’ll be able to find Nugget Nectar in stores for the next few weeks, so get it while supplies last (they usually do not). Even better, try to find it on tap. I had the incredible fortune of finding it at a new pizza place in DC last year, and I pretty much had a flavorgasm while eating dinner with my father. Awkward.
We started this two-month journey through the world of Amber (and Red) Ales with Tröegs’ HopBack Amber Ale, and we end with Tröegs’ Nugget Nectar, which Tröegs says is the HopBack “intensified…to create an explosive hop experience.” Well done, Tröegs. Take a nearly perfect beer and make it unquestionably perfect; most would settle on just great enough. Dareisay that Tröegs might have cornered the market on the Amber Ale. And I’m fine with that.