If you pay attention to the scores and rankings on websites like Beer Advocate and Rate Beer you’ll notice a trend, the “best” beers in the world are almost all incredibly hard to find. If there is a beer that you can grab off the shelf at a local bottle shop it will probably be lower rated than a beer you need to wait in line for. Many brewers read these reviews and care about their ratings, they understand that high ratings on these sites can lead to more consumers seeking out their products. This presents an issue for established breweries who have increased capacity and distribution, they want to create buzz but their business needs higher sales volumes to cover their overhead. It doesn’t make much sense to release very small batches of your most popular beers just to improve the score on a website. One solution is seasonal releases – make a large quantity of a sought after bee,r but only release it for a couple months to help build anticipation. A great example of this is Troegs Nugget Nectar, a hopped up version of an American amber ale that is only released in the late winter. I was surprised at the amount of social media buzz that this year’s release generated. I know Nugget Nectar is a well-liked beer but didn’t realize how many people look forward to it’s release each year.
Troegs Nugget Nectar pours a light amber with a mild off-white head. The smell is a solid dose of floral and citrus scented hops. The hops also lead the flavor with notes of lemon, grapefruit and pine along with a solid hit of bitterness. This is balanced by a substantial malt body that adds touches of toast, toffee, roasted nuts and just a hint of sweetness. This beer is defined by the brilliant interplay between the rich malts and pungent hops. Nugget Nectar is medium bodied and goes down smooth while still packing a little punch at 7.5% ABV. It is really easy to see why this beer is so popular, I love hop-forward amber ales and this is one of the best. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
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