Welcome to Caffeine Shark, where we drink and review so many energy drinks (over 200 now!) that sometimes we have to switch it up to keep things fresh.
And what better opportunity to break us out of our seltzer review hiatus than Nectar Hard Seltzer during AAPI Heritage Month, an AAPI-owned seltzer brand that's taking the nation by storm?
If Lychee, Asian Pear, Mandarin, and Yuzu didn't already catch your eye, how about no gross aftertaste, 90 calories, zero sugar, and a 4.7% ABV? Still not intrigued? How about the the hand-written note that accompanied the cases they sent us, from our buddy Jeremy over at Nectar?
"If you're tired of all the repetitive, Big Brand toilet water seltzers that have that weird aftertaste... Look no further! Nectar is here to bring salvation to your tastebuds. Enjoy crisp Asian flavors with no weird aftertastes. It's like sipping on Gods tears." - Cheers, Jeremy
High praise, Jeremy. Quite possibly the highest praise you can give depending on your religious and philosophical worldviews. When the crew opened up the package to see that note sitting on top of the case, I'm not gonna lie, we were dying laughing.
When you roast the competition and drop toilet water doing it, you have my attention. And at that point God's tears is the cherry on top.
All of this factored into some very mixed expectations going into our reviews, which I'll get to in a second. 90 calories, no sugar, and no artificial sugar?! There's no way it's going to be sweet enough, was one consensus that we came to before diving in head first. And definitely no way it can live up to God's tears.
I'll leave you with one, last thought before we get to the whole squad's reviews of all 4 Nectar Hard Seltzers. Boy, we could not have been more wrong.
Jared's Review - 9.8
Great smell that hit my nose right as I cracked it open. Amazing first sip. Lychee might be my favorite fruit and this drink didn’t disappoint. Flavor strength is a bit above average compared to other seltzers. Amazingly sweet considering there is zero sugar, 90 calories, and no artificial sugar.
Cameron's Review - 9.6
This is easily one of best seltzers that I have ever had. The taste is incredible, and it is unimaginably refreshing. It legitimately tastes like the fruit, and is light to the touch with an unparalleled mouthfeel. Nectar Lychee is absolutely deserved of the highest rating that I have ever given to a seltzer.
Matt's Review - 8.9
The Lychee flavor is undeniable without being overwhelming. I liken it to the Reign lychee flavor, albeit without the syrupy flavor. I prefer the cleaner taste of the Nectar, though it's hard to deny that the syrupy flavor is bold. If lychee appeals to you, I strongly suggest considering this drink.
Daniel's Review - 9.4
This was the first seltzer I tried from the Nectar sample pack, and my tastebuds were both visibly and metaphorically confused for a solid 3 minutes time. I dont think I have ever tried a seltzer that tasted so true to flavor, with zero artificial flavor notes or aftertaste. I dont even love lychee in general as a flavor but man I absolutely loved this one. I swear my tastebuds had me feeling like I was drinking a feather of lychee essence tickling the oasis of fine seltzer water, oh and 4.7% ABV. My favorite seltzer I have ever tried.
Jared's Review - 8.9
Also a great first sip and smell. Not quite as strong of a flavor as lychee - but that might be a feature, not a bug. Asian pear, the fruit, has a more subtle taste. I’m really struggling to find negatives here. It’s going down so smoothly that I have to slow down.
Cameron's Review - 7.9
While not in the same tier as Lychee, Pear is still one of the smoothest seltzers out there. It is delicious for its flavor, despite not being my personal flavor. Pear is just not an optimal selection in my opinion, but still feels like a unique novelty item for someone who has never had this flavor.
Matt's Review - 7.8
Another smooth drink from Nectar. I found the pear flavor to be distinct, though not controversial. Nectar deserves props for their unique flavors. Asian Pear wasn't the best fit for me personally, however, I encourage those that are curious to try it.
Daniel's Review - 7.2
Pear was an interesting one for me. As a disclaimer I really dislike pears and have a bad connotation surrounding the flavor in general, but even considering that I still found this flavor executed really well and balanced the sweet and sour flavor profiles really well. With all the nectar drinks they leave a really clean finish and no lingering taste on your tongue.
Jared's Review - 6.5
Good, not great. It doesn’t have sweet flavor that Asian Pear and Lychee have. Similar sweet smell, but the taste doesn’t quite live up to the hype. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste that I wasn’t expecting. Most comparable is white claw to me.
Cameron's Review - 7.1
The lack of an aftertaste is astonishing. The flavor is potent upon hitting your taste buds, then completely disappears altogether.
Matt's Review - 5.9
I have had better Mandarin flavors. If you consistently seek out Mandarin flavored beverages, this drink is worth a shot. Otherwise, you are better served trying the superior options from Nectar.
Daniel's Review - 7.8
Out of all 4 flavors Nectar offers this one left the longest lasting aftertaste in my mouth, albeit still incredibly short compared to other hard seltzer brands out there. It may just be because Mandarin had a more sour profile rather than completely sweet like Lychee was but the flavor itself was still very enjoyable throughout the whole sip sesh.
Jared's Review - 7.6
This is the first and only flavor where I don’t know if I’ve had the actual fruit, so it’s impossible to say if it’s true to taste. That said, I’d say it fits in nicely with the rest of the Nectar lineup. Mild sweetness, just a hint of bitterness, and no significant aftertaste.
Cameron's Review - 7.5
Like all other Nectar flavors, there is no real aftertaste. This does not indicate that the flavor is weak by any means, as it seems like a quite interesting blend of citrus derivatives. While it does not match the Lychee, it is still one of the better seltzer flavors.
Matt's Review - 8.7
I took one sip and wondered how I was going to describe this flavor. I still don't exactly know, but what is important is that the Yuzu flavored seltzer tastes unique. The tropical flavor is smooth and does not taste extremely artificial or like an additive. Yuzu was enjoyable and unlike other overdone flavors on the market.
Daniel's Review - 8.4
I didn't really know what to expect before trying this one, I guess I anticipated some lemon flavor based on the yellow can design but man was this one awesome. They balance the sweet vs sour flavor profiles so well which can often be heavily swung in either direction in other seltzers. The first time I tried this one the can was a bit warm so my initial encounter was a bit more on the sour side, but trying an ice cold one was absolutely phenomenal. Overall Nectar did an incredible job producing flavors that were clean, accurate, not overpowering, and enjoyable from start to finish. Now I know what gods tears taste like