• TRÖEGS' NUGGET NECTAR (7.5% ABV) made its triumphant return last week. The revered Imperial Amber blends the best traits of an IPA and a red ale: heavenly hops (lots of pine and citrus), sweet malt, a dry finish, and the flavors get more complex as it warms. The first batch (also super-fresh, the bottles I got were sealed on 2.21) is already gone, but more is on the way. Many beers get overhyped these days, but Nugget Nectar is a subtle, sublime offering which deserves its lofty status and is worth a trip across the border to MA (it's not available in RI).
• LAGUNITAS IMPERIAL RED | Another big amber (7.8% ABV), it's a "reconstructed exhumation" of the first beer that the aggressive Petaluma, CA brewery unleashed in 1993. They sum it up: It has "a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture & all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack . . .yum." The limited edition six-packs should be back in stock this week.
• SIERRA NEVADA BIGFOOT BARLEYWINE STYLE ALE | Another annual classic, this strong (9.6% ABV), hopped-up concoction demands to be sipped and savored. (And if you're looking for SN's Hoptimum, be patient: the 10.4% ABV hop assault won't be here until April, but it will be available for a few months at $10/four-pack.)
• FIRESTONE WALKER UNION JACK | Bombers of Double Jack and Walker's Reserve hit the state last year, and the extraordinary Union Jack IPA (7.5% ABV) six-packs have finally arrived. These will go fast — grab some now and prepare to be wowed.
, Beer, Ocean state, Pale Ale, More