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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

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1,126 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,126
Hads: 2,894
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 16.92%
Wants: 108
Gots: 445 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Maestro on 09-29-2002

Per Troegs website - serving temperature should be 50-55° F.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,126 | Hads: 2,894
Photo of TLWalsh
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is Troegs signature beer no doubt, and it should be. Pours a pretty deep amber tone with medium head. Has a piney hop aroma. A definite caramel first taste and leaves a citrus floral hop flavor lingering. A very interesting balance for sure. This ale is worthy of praise

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap at the Blue & Gray Pub in Gettysburg, PA into a pint glass. This beer is a light copper color with a small tan head. The aroma is big on hops and citrus with a hint of pine. The flavor is full of hops and has that citrus finish. The brew is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A great ale.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 7/20/15.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, citrus zest, floral, and earthy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance of malt and hops in the taste.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice amber with a decent white frothy head that leaves a nice trail of lace.

A nice bouquet of floral and citrus hops. Some slight caramel malts in the background.

Taste is a nice balance of citrus and resinous hops with malty sweetness. Big pine and bitter citrus balanced by caramel and toffee with some bready malts.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Draft at Game On. As good as I remembered from many years back. I'd stock this in my fridge if available on the West Coast. Love a good amber, and this definitely meets the criteria!

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very clear lighter amber pour. Smell is sweet malty and hoppy beauty. Slight fruitty scent that seems like strawberry preserves. Taste is malty sweet with that strawberry like flavor peeking through followed by some nice hops bitterness. Really enjoyable beer.

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Photo of PhillyJay1701
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leinenkugel's pub glass with laser engraving on the bottom.

Look: Quite beautiful deep amber coloration with a foamy white head. Carbonation looked quite nice. Pretty much see-thru with little to no sediment.

Smell: Hop was the star of the smell with a hint of sweet berry in there as well.

Taste: I know that the beer is called "Hopback," but I found it just a tad too hoppy for the balance. Has a malty sweetness but the hops train wreck the taste to being an "A" type beer for me. I've seen other reviews that say they feel it's overMALTY... Guess its all in the eye of the beholder.

Mouthfeel: Found it quite creamy but a little off for the hoppy side of the beer. It was like the beer didn't know if it wants to be malty or hoppy.

All in all, this is a solid beer but I feel like something is a little lost in translation.

Here is a link to my video review of this beer:

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade recently. Poured from a 12oz bottle. I was immediately surprised by the hops in this beer. Very solid Malts. This is the second beer I've tried from Troegs, and have been quite impressed. I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pleasantly surprised with this beer. Nice balance of malts and hops (although more malty then hoppy). Tasted even better as it warmed a little. Extremely easy drinking beer. Tasted great......;)

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Photo of MacMalt
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at a restaurant in a pint glass. The color was a pleasant amber-red with a thin, milky-white head and lacing. The head would have been better if poured from a bottle. The smell is hoppy citrus and pine with a hint of sweet fruit. The taste is a nice balance of malt and hops. There is some fruity caramel sweetness followed by the hoppy bitterness. Because it was served on draft, it was probably too cold. If it were warmer, then the taste may have been more complex. This is a fairly light, medium-carbonated ale. Overall, it was quite good, as expected from a Troegs offering. I'd like to try it from the bottle at little warmer temperature.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review date 5-1-15. Threshold glass. Bottle date 3-4-15.

Appearance: Pours a deep orange-red/copper with 1 finger rocky, khakhi head. Slow, lazy but abundant carbonation. Excellent lacing and retains a thin skim of foam.

Aroma: Pretty darn hoppy. A fruity, resinous hoppiness. Strawberry? Sweetness throughout. Jammy.

Taste: Malty & bitter arrival. Bitter mid-palate to finish transition with a lingering, slightly medicinal hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Good malty richness. Active, lively carbonation. Fairly clean finish for an ale.

Overall: Truly, a watered-down version of Nugget Nectar - but that's not a bad thing. Much more drinkable than Nugget Nectar, but not something I would drink often. Don't know why I gave this an A before. It is unpleasantly hoppy. Not getting this again for a long, long time.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: its an extremely clear, rich amber color with some very faint ruby red & purple (very faint purple) notes. 2 finger frothy white head thats leaving some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass

s: sweet caramel malt, dry bready crackers, strawberries, a hint of sweet berries, some of the cardboard-y yeast you sometimes get in an amber. finishes with a juicy herbal bitter hop smell

t: right off the bat is some sweet, syrupy caramel and a piney bitterness. some of those juicy sweet berries follow the pine and help to move the flavor along nicely. there is also a little graininess in the flavor here, along with a nice dry bready cracker flavor. with all these, its still not heavy at all

m: medium/medium-light. carbonation is average, and helps to harmonize the sweetness

o: i hadn't heard much about this before picking it up, but i'm glad i did. its an extremely! smooth drinker, with a nice balance of flavors and a great mouthfeel. though, it is not extremely hoppy (if you were expecting it to be because of the name) and definitely lets the malts do the talking in here

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Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Otto's Pub and Brewery in a pint glass.

L: This one poors a dark amber color, mostly clear with a thick creamy white head that was slow to settle. Generous lacing on the glass.

S: Floral and piney hops on the nose predominate with a sweet bready aroma in the background.

T/F: Very tasty and somewhat hoppy amber ale, just as the name implies. It's hoppy enough to be a pale ale but very well balanced with the malty sweetness of the amber. It works very nicely together and makes an easy drinking brew. Moderate carbonation and light on the mouthfeel.

O: A great beer with moderate hops... could be something of a 'gateway' brew into hoppier stuff for the uninitiated as the bready/malt sweetness brings it back into the 'safe' zone. An easy drinking session beer, and another solid brew from Troeg's.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice beer. It poured an an amber color with an off white head. The smell was hoppy and malty with some sweetness to it. The taste was a great balance of hops and malts, it had a little bit of a hop character and a sweet malty finish. The overall taste and feel on this beer was a good one. Troegs always puts out decent beers!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

HopBack is a satisfying amber ale that will forever live in the shadow of Troegs' superior Nugget Nectar.

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Cool label art. Branded pry-off cap. Cost was $2.09 USD at a New York, NY bottle shop.

6% ABV. "Amber ale."

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Reviewed live.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2.5 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour head. Soft-looking. Creamy. Has an even consistency. Retention is excellent - ~8+ minutes. Leaves a light coat of soft lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear translucent copper colour of good vibrance. Suggests a caramel-laden brew with an apt amber malt backbone. Clean, with no visible yeast particles.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a classic looking appearance for an amber ale, and boasts an impressive head. Not unique or special, but right on the money for the style.

AROMA: Toasted amber malts join an apt caramel malt presence and a piney herbal hop profile to create a rather inviting amber ale aroma of mild intensity. A bit bready, slightly spicy, and seemingly well-balanced. It's not as hop-forward as Nugget Nectar, giving it a bit more of a malt emphasis.

Certainly appealing for an amber, with no off-notes or inappropriate yeast character. Its ABV is well-disguised.

TASTE: It's more malty than hoppy, with toasty amber malts and a bit too much caramalt coming through clearly, lending it a bit too much sweetness. The hop profile isn't quite tailored to the malt backbone, bringing notes of resinous pine and herb that just don't quite click into the build like they should. More of an oily resinous hop character with brighter tones of citrus and floral character would better suit this beer.

Its underhopping and overmalting throw off the balance, but it still has plenty of cohesion and complexity for an amber, beating out widespread favourities like New Belgium's Fat Tire in my book. More subtlety of execution, depth of flavour, and intricacy would improve it. As it warms, a kiss of spice emerges - maybe from rye malt (or just the yeast). Not a gestalt beer, but certainly enjoyable.

TEXTURE: Slight overcarbonation is noticeable. Medium-bodied, smooth, wet, unrefreshing, and aptly thick on the palate. This texture doesn't elevate the beer as a whole, and fails to accentuate specific notes. It does dry in the late second act, bringing out a bit of that subtle spice. Overall presence on the palate is decent. Some drinkers might find it a biteen rough or scratchy about the climax.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

OVERALL: Not quite the mind-blowing amber ale I hoped for having loved Nugget Nectar, but worth trying for what it is. I wouldn't shell out $2+ per bottle again, but this is a relatively complex amber ale which I'd easily reach for over New Belgium's Fat Tire or other beers of that ilk. Highly drinkable, and worth trying in spite of its shortcomings.

High C+ (3.25)

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Photo of EvoRich
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a clear copper/amber color with a white, fluffy head.

Smell: Citrus hops, some piney and floral notes.

Taste: Citrus hops. Not as strong in the flavor as it is in the aroma. A good balance between hops and malts.

Feel: Light bodied and refreshing.

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Photo of mnrider
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep amber with one finger of tan head. Good retention with only a little of lacing.

S: Toasted malts. Pine. Resin. Sweet fruits and nuts.

T/M: Hops, Citrus. Pine. Herbal. Malts, Toasted. Caramel. Sweet. Fruits. Well balanced and creamy. Bitter. The finish is nutty but mostly bitter with a linger of hop resin.

O: Very good Amber Ale. Nice and hoppy with a strong malt presence which pushes the balance slightly to one side. An excellent example of the style.


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Photo of kkleu357
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the ABE airport. It’s pretty good. darker amber body. Light fruity sweet aroma. Taste was similar. More sweet tastes than fruitiness. It’s kind of like a baby Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; amber colored; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thick collar; nice lacing;

S: very well balanced; roasted grain, toffee, pine, a touch of citrus, a little spice;

T: roasted grain and a little nutty up front; earthy hop character comes in mid-palate; light to medium bitterness from mid-palate; long finish; until the finish, it's well balanced;

M: medium bodied; moderate, creamy carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: lacks the characteristic caramel note often found in ambers, but that's fine with me; I also really like the higher than usual bitterness at the end;

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Perfectly clear amber body. Small white head leaves moderate lacing.
S-Fruity esters. Biscuit, caramel, earthy hops.
T-Lots of malt. Caramel, toffee sweetness. Some spicy hop bitterness cuts it off.
M-Medium body, medium carb.
O-This is a fine brew definitely worth trying if to haven't had the pleasure but this isn't your normal amber.

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Photo of twosheds
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber in color with tan head

Fairly hoppy with a slight brown sugar caramel smell.

Citrusy and floral hops with a nice balanced malt flavor.

Not too bad, but I would prefer less citrus hops.

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Photo of Mikus
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful beer in the glass. Deep rich copper color, small head, great carbonation. Aromas of caramel and distinct bitterness. Spicy, clean taste. Malt - forward (seems appropriate), with nice balance through the bittering hops. Medium mouth, bit of that spicy aftertaste. Mmmm. About 2 weeks old. Not super hoppy if that's your thing, but a great option for something different. Well-crafted amber.

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Photo of FLima
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber copper color with a thick thin head with short retention.
Light aroma of caramels, spices and herbal hops.
Flavor of caramels, spices, toasted malts, tea leaves, fresh floral, earthy and herbal tangy hops (did I miss something?), mild citrusy, American yeast, lemon and pine. Dry aftertaste with a long bitter and toasted feeling.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
Interesting take on Amber ale focusing on English hops, but with American boldness (55 IBUs) on a malty base (not in excess).

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Photo of tillmac62
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOD 8/15/14. Clear amber pour with just a hint of dark ruby. Very nice head with exceptional lacing and very good retention. Nice light nose of blended hops, mostly pine with herbal notes, over a somewhat dominate caramel base. As it warms, light spicy hop notes are present. Light medium bodied with a nice slightly oily texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. Very well balanced flavor profile with a bit of complexity and quite good intensity for an amber ale. It begins with a blend of hop flavor that transitions to mostly pine as the bitterness begins to creep in. Beneath all of this, is a good caramel backbone that takes center stage as the mild bitterness releases into the finish. The finish is slightly sweet over a mild pine oriented bitterness with a touch of pepper like spice.

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Photo of Bone53
4.1/5  rDev +2%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance (4.25): Copper color with a finger of off white head

Smell (4.25): Toasted and caramel malts with slight undertones of earthy/spicy and citrus hops

Taste (4.25): Caramel malts upfront that fades into spicy citrus hops

Mouthfeel (3.75): Light medium body; As someone else mentioned, the bitterness doesn't exactly match the other aspects of the beer. Perhaps a bit too much carbonation?

Overall (4.1): Its a good beer, but nothing more than that. Considering that its available just about everywhere local to me, this would be a solid go to. Nice balance between malts and hops. Can't go wrong with that!

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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,126 ratings.