Friday, January 18, 2008

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

WHOO! I'm keeping my New Year's resolutions; or one of them at least:
If there's a hop shortage -- and there is -- screw it: I am going to grab all
the super-hoppy beers I want and can get. Hopheads who got all defensive when I
talked about hoppy beers being simple? Pile on, I can take it. Just don't get
between me and the IPA taps.

So when I wanted a beer this afternoon (and I did, because when I interviewed Jim Koch about the new Samuel Adams Irish Red the booger taunted me that he was drinking a beer, and why wasn't I?) I reached in the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Tröegs Nugget Nectar, the beer that the Trogners insist isn't an IPA, but an imperial amber ale.

Okay, whatever. Mostly, it's hoppier than blazes. It's like grapefruit pith, it's piney, it's...okay, it's got a kind of cat's piss smell that's weirdly appealing. I can't believe I'm going to leave that in, but I am, because it's true. The amazing thing about this beer -- one amazing thing about this beer is how the bitterness doesn't hook into your tongue and linger forever: it's like wasabi, it hits WHAM and you stagger a bit, and it's gone. Which means it's time for another swallow, another mouth-squeezing taste, a blast of lupulin freshness -- hmmm, the cat's piss is gone -- and that's the other amazing thing about this beer: it's bitter, it's jam-packed with flavor, it's ... gone. Way too drinkable, which ain't a bad thing, just something you have to keep your eye on.

Scared of the hop shortage? Get as much of this as you can and stop worrying.

18 comments:

Matt said...

Lew,

Nugget Nectar has to be one of the most sought after beers from PA at the national level. The number of people looking for it on the Beer Advocate trading forums right now is staggering.

Its nice to be able to get it without all of the effort.

Lew Bryson said...

I had no idea; I never look at the trading forums. Good for Tröegs.

David said...

I picked up my first Nugget Nectar of this year today. It's going to be a glorious couple of months while this one's available!

John said...

Nugget Nectar is delicious and will certainly satisfy anyone's lupulin cravings, regardless of what style you peg it as.

But getting back to your Sam Adams Irish Red (which I also have a sample of), I am enjoying it in an Imperial pint glass with an equal amount of Steelhead IPA and it is working fine. Hop character and drinkability in a glass.

Lew Bryson said...

You just can't help yourself, can you, John: you gotta blend!

Jason said...

I am not a fan of IPAs, but I do love this beer. I say this I as enjoy my last bottle of Troegs Mad Elf.

John said...

I don't go on benders. I go on blenders...;)

(Sorry, I promise no more puns.)

Lew Bryson said...

You? No more puns? What are you, dead?

kevin said...

I love the Nugget Nectar but... An odor of cat's piss?? I'll never look at it this same again!

I have not bought any this season yet - do you know if the prices have been jacked up, like Weyerbacher's hoppy beers have/are supposed to, due to the hops squeeze?

Eric T. said...

"it's got a kind of cat's piss smell that's weirdly appealing"

I feel the same way about some Sauvignon Blancs.

If I get the chance, I'm going to head up to Troegs today to pick up some Scratch 7. Maybe I'll pick up some Nugget, too.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I picked the wrong time to move West.. Tröegs Nugget Nectar has been a favorite of mine for some years, and I will sing its praises to anyone who will listen (and a few who tried to walk away).
Last year, in fact, I dragged two of my friends (they like them some hops, so it wasn't that hard a sell) to a beer store tasting the day they rolled it out in Wayne, PA. We ended up buying a couple cases each.

I confess, I am one of those people on Beer Advocate looking to trade, but I don't think that route is going to work (Matt's comment about the effort required is well taken).

For me, Nugget Nectar's allure is the hop taste up front and the sweeter finish...balance, I guess you'd call it.

I may have to content myself with having a few when I'm in Philly in early March....assuming you guys leave any for the rest of us!

diakron said...

Picked up my case here in Lancaster yesterday. The clerk who rang me up said there's been a lot of demand (this being at the Beer & Beverage Shop just off Fruitville Pike in Lancaster's northern burbs).

I don't get any cat-piss smells, but I definitely agree with grapefruit and pine. An awesome beer that's become something to look forward to every winter.

Anyone in the Lancaster area know where I could get Heavy Seas beers? I'm planning an outing to State Line in the near future, but a closer outlet would be nice.

Steven said...

Booger?

You and Johnny Fever, Lew?

;-)

Eric Trimmer said...

daikron,

If you're willing to travel to York, they have plenty of Heavy Seas cases at D J's Westgate Beverage, 1550 Kenneth Road.

(717) 764-1550

I'm still working on a mixed case of the Heavy Seas beers I bought late last year. All super-hoppy, so each bottle seems luxurious now that hop prices are so high.

It's no Beer Yard, but it's getting there. Best selection I've found in the area. Local micros very well represented.

Prices are pretty good generally, though I saw a few price tags there that made my eyes melt.

diakron said...

eric,

Thanks for the tip. I work in the western half of the county and spend time in Columbia and Marietta, so a trip to York is very easy. Now I can free up the space Heavy Seas is taking on the State Line wishlist.

If you find yourself in the Hershey-Palmyra area, Brass Rail on the south side of US 322 in Campbelltown is a fine distributor, too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have heard and read Europeans say that some American hops like Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe varieties smell like cat piss...but worse there is a hop out there that can give off a nasty, pure "funk" kind of smell...I mean like sulfuric farts, not "belgian funk"....

What is this?

Al said...

I happen to have a six-pack of this in my fridge right now.

Well, a three-pack now.

I love it when my wife stops at the beer store and picks out a beer to surprise me with.

Is it me, or is the hop "slam" a little harder than it used to be?

Lew Bryson said...

Al, I think you may be right, it does seem more assertive this year.