Tröegs “Nugget Nectar” – Imperial Amber/American Red Ale – 7.5% ABV – 93 IBU
Have you ever been shitfaced, stoned, or just high on life and decided to make some bizarre meal out of unlikely bed-fellow ingredients from your refrigerator and pantry, and it turned out delicious? If you’re over the age of 7, of course you have. I used to put slices of cheese on toast with peanut butter. I have made fried bologna and cheese sandwiches with bacon, tabasco sauce and ketchup. I’ve put fried mashed potatoes on pizza. And I have used a Twinkie as a hot dog bun and squirted easy cheese on top of the frank (paired with a pale ale).
If you are now concluding I’m an obese, unshaven slob with clogged arteries, go FUCK YOURSELF with a splintered fence post, because I’m skinnier than a Tim Burton claymation character. So what is my point? Tröegs “Nugget Nectar” is a beer that, like one of those late-night substance-induced culinary mad science experiments, contains everything including the kitchen sink. And I’ll be damned to the bowels of hell if it isn’t delightfully delicious.
Quick, relevant lesson here: there are really only two categories of beer: ales and lagers. Lesson complete.
Nugget Nectar contains 3 types of malt, including a pilsner malt (which is a malt commonly used to make lagers). But it is made with an ale yeast (which makes it an ale). It contains 5 varieties of hops that are added during the boiling process, and one of them is also used in a hopback, which is for an option used in an additional step during the conditioning process to add an additional layer of hops to its profiles. So, what the fuck is this stuff? It’s technically an ale because of the yeast and fermentation process, even though it contains a malt used for lagers, and illustrates malt and candy flavors of lagers such as oktoberfests and doppelbocks.
What is it in simple terms? It’s beer. It’s awesome beer. Drink it, you fools. Or piss off.
The liquid is fairly transparent, but dark, burnt orange in color. The head comes barreling up to the surface in a bit of a delayed reaction to the pour, so be careful. It is smooth, puffy, tinted orange, and soft. But the head calms down and tapers off to virtually nothing by the time you’re halfway finished drinking it. The aroma smells mostly of malt and also presents candy, honey, toffee, and oats. The carbonation is fairly high and gentle, giving this brew a smooth, soft, creamy and refreshing texture. The lacing is moderate, and forms a spider web around the glass. The flavor is very malt-heavy, but it is a beer cornucopia of granny smith apples, pecans, oats, root beer candy, bourbon, and a slight pinch of booze. The finish turns into a soft buttery biscuit taste. At 93 IBU (which is higher than most IPA’s) the malt keeps the bitterness at bay, but the leash on that dog snaps at the onset of the aftertaste, and a Herculean bitterness comes roaring in, seizing your attention, kicking your ass, and punching your tongue’s genitals. Do tongues have genitals?
Tröegs Brewing Co. is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania and does not distribute to my part of the country. But thankfully my buddy Carl in NJ graciously sent me some via UPS. Carl knows just as much as me, if not more than me, regarding beer. So when Carl hands me a glass of beer during one of my visits to NJ, or when Carl sends me a bottle of beer in the mail, I don’t question it like it came from Ted Kaczynski. I drink it like I extracted it from betwixt the luscious chest melons of Veronika Zemanova. Everyone should have a friend like Carl.