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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Per Troegs website - serving temperature should be 50-55° F.

Added by Maestro on 09-29-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,147 | Ratings: 3,006
Photo of bft1
2.63/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Darker color than I expected. Fairly sweet, malty taste with so so mouthfeel. Not hoppy enough me. Tastes a little like a watered down Troeganator double bock stuff, which I don't like either. A bit surprised it's rated so high, but then again maybe I just don't dig this kind of ale.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: clear brown color, white half finger head that stays a bit
S: hoppy, slight caramel scent, lots of malts
T: hoppy, bitter, generic solid amber
M: initial hoppy bite, fades to smooth feel, bland aftertaste
D: so-so

Not a big fan of hoppy ambers, this had a lot bold flavors, nice beer, but I won't be getting it again.

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Photo of A_Frayed_Knot
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

At first sip was intrigued to feel the hit of hops mostly in the aftertaste, the back of the palate. Not disappointed at lack of sweetness which accompanies many amber or hoppy blends. Mostly disappointed that with additional sipping, what started as a hint of charcoal next began to produce more of a chalky texture effect. This was the most pronounced impression it made on me and unfortunately, if a beer doesn't finish well with me, it doesn't make me want to start over with another one.

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Photo of MikeTaz
2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Poured a transparent reddish brown. Clear with a nice head that clung to the glass.

Aroma was hoppy but not strong.

At first taste I noticed the hops and not much else. Second and third sips revealed caramel under notes and light carbonation. Hits the back of the throat nicely.

Overall, not a particularly impressive beer but a decent drink if you're looking for something in the style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean amber color with an off white head. Aromas of hops and a bit earthy. Tastes of hops, but a watery taste. A small dry, bitter end. A decent hop, a light body, but expecting a bit more in body, but it is still very nice. I do respect this because it is the Nugget Nectars daddy.

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Photo of jegross2
2.86/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing the Hop Back Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company.
Score: 73

I got this bottle as part of n00b BIF. Bottled 11/26/11, batch #111102. Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 03/03/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark, translucent amber color with two fingers of frothy cream colored head that settles into a super thin layer atop the glass. Yellow-orange highlights atop the glass. Above average lacing, excellent retention. 4/5

Smell: Caramel malt, sweet barley grain and spice. Light notes of citrus. Not much else. 3/5

Taste: Huge notes of super malty caramel. Barley grain. Tastes like a "light" barleywine. A little stainless steel sweetness. Virtually devoid of hops. A little bitter. Stale caramel malt finish/linger. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-minus carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Malty finish, slightly bitter. 3/5

Overall: Probably past its prime. Not impressed in the least with this beer. Hopefully Nugget Nectar tastes a thousand times better.

Recommendation: Skip this brew unless you love super malty/grainy beers like the Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe Ale.

Pairings: Tacos.

Cost: $8.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of Chadbrew
2.92/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Reddish gold and mostly clear with a thin head and OK lacing.

Aroma - Sweet syrupy and oh yeah... there are some hops too, but not as much as I though there would be.

Taste - Bitter and dry with some sweetness in the finish. Not bad but not exactly great either.

Mouthfeel - Thin to medium, mostly thin though.

Drinkability - Not too bad, I won't be going out of my way to get it. I've been told by others that this beer was pretty good so maybe a fresher representation would warrant an edit.

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Photo of 7ways
2.94/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boy, I really expected more from this beer. Maybe that's why I'm not rating it very high, but the flavors speak for themselves.

Poured a nice coppery red with a one finger head, and the lacing was watery but consistent. Smelled like pine air freshener with a hint of sweetness. More pine in the taste with an artificial citrus twang. Not seeing the "spicy taste and rich caramel note" advertised on the bottle. More like cardboard actually. Based on that description it sounds pretty bad, but it's not because all of the flavors are so muted. Mouthfeel is decent, and it goes down well without leaving a bad aftertaste, but too bland for my smoker's palate.

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Photo of nowise
2.96/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Maybe I am missing something here but this beer does not impress me.

The color looks nice and average, a pale reddish color.

The smell, well it doesn't smell bad. But it doesn't have a strong smell either. I get a faint floral hop smell but not what I expected from a beer with "hop" in the name.

It tastes... what does it taste like? I get a little hops up front, a little malt going down but that's about it. Nothing really stands out.

As for mouthfeel, average again. Its light on the palate and the alcohol is hidden. Average amount of carbonation as well.

Drinkability must be the strongest suit, mostly because it is unoffensive. Goes down smooth with no bitter or bite. Unfortunately, that is just not my style at all. I prefer a little bold in my beer.

Overall, I used the word "average" a lot because I can't think of any other word to describe. The born on date is 8/12/08 so I know it is fresh. I guess this just isn't the beer for me.

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Photo of papat444
2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up on my trip to Philly last month.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, bottled 08-26-10.

Appearance: A burnt orange body which said color is lightly reflected in the head. Very good lacing with a strong 4 finger head that settles to 2. Body is rather clear. Nice looking.

Smell: Some good hops, tangerine & peaches with some malt mixed in. Juicy and nice.

Taste: What the heck? Where's the flavor? Hot really hoppy, not much fruit, not much of anything really. Flavor seems like an afterthought and what there is available is too brief to latch onto. Mild bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Not much better i'm afraid. Low carbonation & smooth body but it feels too lifeless and inert.

Drinkability: More or less. I found it kind of boring and after half a glass, i was pretty much done.

Overall: Not sure what happened as it looked and smelt good but everything fell flat after.

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Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a one-finger off-white head with a light amber body.

Smell: Smells of spicy, floral hops with a hint of grapefruit peel.

Taste: Tastes of bitter grapefruit upfront, finishing with a slight graininess.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, with a fair amount of carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall: This beer is alright. In all honesty it's not exactly my cup of tea, but I can't say it's a bad beer.

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Photo of Soonami
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this casked at Local 44 in West Philly

A-the beer looked night poured from the cask, a nice coppery amber, with a thin pale white foam

S- The beer smelled great, a lot of sweet citrus and a little piney resin

T- The beer was almost completely flat and as such, the lack of carbonation removed some of the acidity that is normally there to balance the malt and the hops. Without the carbonation, the malt was a little over sweet and the hops tasted a little soapy. Overall, the beer tasted stale, although the hop flavor made it bearable.

M- Medium-bodied, but a little slick and sticky

D- I would probably not have this beer again on cask, it was disappointing. I could barely finish my beer. I love this beer out of the bottle, but perhaps because I had it in the bottle, I was expecting something else.

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Photo of BellsFan
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber into a pilsner glass (yes I know it's the wrong type of glass but that is all that's available at my friends house). Minimal off white foam, less than one finger. Considerable laseing on the glass.

Not so aromatic especially for a hop back beer. Perhaps my sample is old. There is no bottling date.

Tasting notes: Carmel, toasty, molasses.

Full body complents the molasses, somewhat tart

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Photo of JDV
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of kmweaver. Thanks!
Rich amber pour with a small offwhite head and a balanced nose of hops and malt. Found it a bit watery and slightly thin, but with a decent balanced flavor and what seemed to be some alcohol peeking through. Nice and drinkable, but not quite what I was expecting.

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Photo of fromage
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok, but not my favorite from Troegs. Seemed mighty imbalanced and uncomplex.

Looks good coming out of the bottle. Copper with a good deal of little bubbling, amber at the fringe. Medium tan head that faded to a lasting table. Nice lacing.

Spicy, peppery, grassy hops with just a tiny bit of citrus. Pretty good smell, but I don't get any fruit and just a bit of sweetness.

Taste a definite dissapointment. Bite is minimal with an insipid caramel afterbite. Aftertaste is slightly cloying and I occasionally got astringent hints.

Mouthfeel is medium and a bit sticky for me.

Easy to drink but too light for me, both in hoppiness and in body. Probably an ok session, and probably much better on tap.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The beer has a nice rich amber color, that is also very crisp. There is a nice white foam head of about 1/2 an inch that stick around with some lacing.

The Troegs is hoppier than most amber I have had, to the point where many of the other flavors are pushed to the background. The beer finishes well with a nice crispness.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint

A - Pours a crystal clear amber. white to off-white head that dissipated quickly.

S - Caramel malts, some citric orange and tangerine. Sweet smelling

T - Not as bitter as I expected or citrusy. A bready sweet malt was the main flavour with some lemon and orange on the back. It tasted 'reversed' as what you'd expect from an amber

M - Slightly thin and sticky.

D - good enough to drink but the malts might wear on you after a while

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Photo of david18
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a cask of this at the Amsterdam Ale House in Manhattan's Upper West Side. I'm surprised I've never reviewed this beer before. It's not my favorite but the cask version was pretty interesting.

Appearance is a medium amber/red. Carbonation was rather low but it was served from a cask. Very cloudy as well, but, again...

Aroma was balanced, featuring the hops, malt as well as the yeast. Not bad, not overwhelming.

Flavor was also well balanced but not outstanding in any way. I enjoyed it but wasn't inclined to order a second.

Worth trying but, again, not outstanding.

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Photo of WVRadar
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Very clear deep amber, with about 1/2 inch head, which quickly dissipated. Very little lacing. Aroma and initial taste were above average, but I didn't care much for the finish. Mouthfeel was a little oily, with soft carbonation. Initial taste was better than the finish, one was enough for me.

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Photo of brewski09
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle into pint glass (6 pack).

A. The beer pours nicely into the cold and slightly wet pint glass with a nice, mild color expected of amber ales. The head is about 3/4 of an inch thick and just off white in color. The head appears creamy, but does not hang around completely. lacing is mild to moderate on this beer.

S. Smelled moderately of hops, but less than expected from the name of "Hopback" and all the hype that people have put into this beer for its hops. With that said, the hops are present and mellow. Definitely some mild caramel/crystal malt tones in this beer with the floral hop qualities. Nice to the nose.

T. The taste seemed somehow slightly out of balance for me. The maltyness didn't quite offset the bitterness and the hop aroma didn't follow through with flavor. Still, this is a drinkable beer that is much better than many on the market. I would generally characterize this beer as mild for hop lovers.

M. The mouthfeel was pretty decent, except the beer seemed somehow dry from the bitterness. Maybe just too astringent for the residual sugars in the beer. The beer seemed a little thin to me, which is why I don't normally drink amber ales.

D. This was a drinkable beer in the average category to me. I waited until after I had consumed almost the whole 6-pack over several sessions to review this beer. Maybe it just wasn't as good of a batch, but I wouldn't seek this beer out actively again. could be a good selection on a warmer humid day.

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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 vtblackdog
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a clear darkish amber and one finger head that falls quickly.

Smell has strong caramel notes upfront. The hops are much weaker than expected.

The taste is more malty than anything else. For some reason I expected some degree of hoppiness, but I'm not getting much hop at all.

Medium carbonation on the mouthfeel and a bit creamy.

Overall a drinkable beer but I was expecting it to be a bit more crisp and tasty.

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Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear, medium carbonation, caramel amber, quarter inch head

Smell: I get grapefruit and hops

Taste: hops, citrus, and some soapy taste

Mouthfeel: bitter, dry, and light

Drinkability: This is a decent red that should appeal to hop heads. I would have this again, but will not seek it out.

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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 Bills453
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - poured from a bottle into a goblet glass. The color is amber, haha. Nice head with decent lacing.

Smell - not too much of a smell. Yeasty, bready.

Taste - very much like the smell. A bit bready.

Mouthfeel - pretty average, nothing of real note.

Overall - ok amber ale.

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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,147 ratings.