Tröegs Nugget Nectar (Anti)Imperial(ist) Amber

Next up, Tröegs Nugget Nectar (Imperial Amber):

This beer is supposed to be an homage to the Nugget hop, which is a variety of hop engineered in 1970 by some mad geneticist at the USDA, probably while laughing maniacally in the bowels of the USDA’s 2.2 million sq. ft. building in DC.

The hop’s lineage is listed as Brewers Gold, Early Green, Canterbury Golding, Bavarian, and “5/32 unknown”. Ummm, what?

Let me get this straight, it is a hop: (1) handed down from the agrarian department of the Federal Government, (2) produced in an over-employed, imposing government building, (3) partly derived from “unknown” lineage, and (4) used to make an amber ale (a color that is 75% yellow and 25% red) with a propaganda-esque clenched fist label. This can only mean one thing: Communist government mind-control project.

You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool me, dammit.

It pours on the reddish side of amber. It has an off-white head that retreats to a thin layer, but there are some tiny foam islands that hold-out and conspire to leave behind a little lacy evidence of the resistance on the walls of your glass. The smell is orange citrus, with notes of sweet nectar fruits, and an herbal pungentness plotting in the background. The taste marches lock-step with the nose; but it is here that you can truly appreciate how smooth this beer is. Often, hoppy beers are a hegemonic battle between distinct and alienated malt and hop character. But Nugget Nectar sheds the shackles of this paradigm and perfectly blends the two in communal harmony. At the finish, there is a lingering herbal and spicy bitterness hinting at an underlying discord in this heretofore utopian fellowship of flavors. However, you quickly realize that Tröegs is in control, and this is not a call to step back, rather a now inculcated drive to continue forward on the path to more soma…er, Nugget Nectar.

I can tell you one thing, though. Those bastards at the USDA and Tröegs aren’t going to get inside my head. I’ve taken precautions.

The Haybag: It’s way smooth and it tastes nectar-like. I feel like a hop-headed hummingbird drinking this.