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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

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2,256 Ratings
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Ratings: 2256
Reviews: 1093
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%

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:
Per Troegs website - serving temperature should be 50-55° F.

(Beer added by: Maestro on 09-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,256 | Reviews: 1,093 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of david18

New York

3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Serving type: cask

06-25-2012 19:34:06 | More by david18
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on cask and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, crystal clear, ruby copper coloring with a thin, filmy, off-white head. Aromas of rich caramel malt and a subtle, wet hops to balance. Flavors are resiny hops and dark, sweet, roasted caramel on the forward tongue blended masterfully together. Roasty and smooth throughout. Bitter and slick aftertaste, with a roasty and resiny feel. Great lacing along the glass as you drink. The smooth, rich body leaves a resiny, slightly bitter finish. Solid beer.

Serving type: cask

06-06-2012 22:41:34 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on cask in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a medium golden-orange color with a large white head. The head faded moderately fast giving way to a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is of some caramel and more citrus hop in nature. Mixed with the heavier aromas there are lighter biscuit and piney hop aromas as well.

Taste – The breadiness is the first to meet the tongue. There is a lighter caramel sweetness at first, that intensifies to the middle of the taste. When the caramel really comes into play nice citrus hop flavors meet the tongue. These soon take over the taste and mix with some good pine hop. At the very end there is still a very light caramel sweetness in the bready backbone, but the hops dominate the stage and leave a crisp bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Being on cask the carbonation was a bit on the lower side. This gave a very creamy body feeling on the tongue and really allowed, at first the sweet flavors to really be experienced, but later allowed for the smoother hop flavors to sit on the tongue and linger. It was very satisfying.

Overall – This is a very nice cask beer. The mouthfeel from the cask pour really accentuated some of the nice taste qualities of the beer. It was delicious.

Serving type: cask

04-20-2012 00:11:18 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy white head. Cloudy amber color. Looks really nice. The head sticks around for a while. Excellent lacing

Citrus and some piney hops with a bready aroma.

Mostly citrus, some slight pine, caramel and bready yeast.

Creamy body -- yet very light mouth feel. Easy to go down.

I had this before -- never on cask -- the flavors seem a little muted but still tasty on cask. Worth the experience if you can get it on cask.

Serving type: cask

10-16-2011 07:43:55 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of DevilsCups

New York

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first ever cask conditioned ale, served at BeachTree in Poughkeepsie, NY.

A - Unreal. Perfectly orange/amber, halfway hazy and a large puffy head. This is what I want my beer to look like. Imagine a Guinness head but perfectly white and everlasting. The 1" head lasted all the way to the last sip and was the only thing left in the glass when finished. Amazing.

S - Aroma of hops, small amount of caramel style malts and tropical fruit. Could use a little pumping up, and not sure if this is normal for a cask conditioned ale due to the lack of carbonation. Still, plenty to enjoy in the scent, just a little more subdued.

T - WOW. This is a home-run for me personally. This was towards the end of the cask supply, and what a beautiful mixture of grapefruity hops and mango/pineapple notes. As the beer warmed up the fruit notes came out more and more. Fruity, hoppy, only slightly bitter, but one of the best tasting brews I've had yet.

M - Since I'm new to cask ales, it's hard for me to judge this one properly. Of course there was a big lack of carbonation, but I'm not going to nail it for that because that is the intent with these ales. I found it to be extremely creamy and smooth. I don't miss the carbonation one bit.

O - Excellent beer, and really went beyond my expectations. HopBack in a bottle is usually solid, but the cask conditioning totally put it over the top. Very unique and refreshing.

Serving type: cask

08-08-2011 23:30:57 | More by DevilsCups
Photo of akorsak


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Al's. Advertised as 3x palisades.

A: The ale is a darker color, more brown than not, that clings to its translucency. The color is much darker than Hopback. A small head, less than a finger, comes along for the ride.

S: The nose has a bit of hops, zesty and citrusy, but for the most part sticks with the caramel malt base. No sign of the rich Hopback aroma.

T: The amber ale is malt-driven, with caramel and toffee taking turns in the lead. The cask has mellowed out any hops, leaving a smooth flavor behind that trends towards the English end of the spectrum. The hops, unfortunately, aren't the main attraction. A good cask ale that reminds me of a few English pints that I've had.

M: The mouthfeel is malty with just a little bit of citrusy hops. Perhaps this beer has been on cask just a little too long.

D: The drinkability is high, as the cask softens the rough edges. Glad to have had it in this fashion.

Serving type: cask

12-23-2010 22:06:04 | More by akorsak
Photo of orangesol


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on cask into a nonic pint at Al's of Hampden. This version has 3x palisade hops.

A - Pours dark amber with a small one finger head, dissipating to a light film of head, leaving faint rings of lacing down the glass.

S - If you think the normal version of hopback is hoppy then you aint seen nothing yet. This one is HOPPY, like the normal version but on hoppy steroids. Huge amounts of grassy, piney, citrus hops. A touch of sweetness from the malt is a welcome addition and helps add some contrast to the nose.

T - An absolute wall of grassy hops up front giving way quickly to a touch of caramel malt sweetness and a bit of dryness from the yeast. Finish is plenty of hop bitterness that lingers for only a short time because it is washed away by the thin, watery, feel. Very nice flavors but the thin finish ruins it a bit. If it wasn't so thin I would say this is the best hopback I have ever had but I just can't do that with how it is.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The feel was a bit on the watery side which I didn't like too much. Lingering hop bitterness in the finish but it does not linger on the pallet for very long.

D - Fairly high. I love the normal version of hopback, and I have had this on cask a few times before, but the watery feel brought this one down a notch. I still think it is the best cask hopback I have ever had.

Serving type: cask

12-16-2010 17:01:41 | More by orangesol
Photo of woodychandler


4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How odd that I have never reviewed this beer before and now I am transcribing undated notes that are most likely from one of the GEN Sutter Inn's Cask Nights. Onward!

A beautiful cap of a finger of thick ecru head floated atop the beer following its pull from an engine. The beer itself was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was spicy with hops, much more so than in its bottle or draft forms. Mouthfeel was phenomenal - silky smooth and with a slight hops bite on the tongue, giving 'way on the finish to a great caramel sweetness. I never seem to get this level of taste anywhere but from cask beers. Finish was smooth, tasty with a wash of simultaneous bitter and sweet that lingered. Drinkability - out of this world!

Serving type: cask

11-26-2010 22:43:18 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Slatetank


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this Simcoe Dry Hopped cask at Al's of Hampden, served cask temp in a Nonic.

A dark copper color on entry w/ hazed appearance and thick cream collar w/ rocky top. The bead is very tiny. The aroma has lots of floral and tropical scents w/ slight fruit ester from the yeast w/ a smell akin to blood orange or ruby red w/ a light pineapple tinge in the mix. The feel is good w/ smoothly bitter hops and citric juiciness and a mild toasted texture from the malt w/ semi dry finish. A mild creaminess is felt and is balanced with by the acidity of the the hops w/ moderate sweetness from the malt. The balance of moderate bitterness and malt texture is very pleasant.

Hopback has subtle fruit flavors which border on stone fruit, but with the simcoe there is more citrus influence. The malt taste is toasted w/ an essence of mild creamy yeast from the cask treatment. The citrus combo with mild munich sweetness is a pleasant juxtoposition w/ more juiciness in the taste than I remember from standard Hopback. the slight caramel comes through more as it warms w/ light tinges of grapefruit and mild lime tinges. The biscuit in the malt is fitting for the style and provides a good backbone for the mild hop w/ only a slight amount of alcohol shining through. A worthy cask ale w/ lots of hop aroma, I think it is solid in its usual format, but the cask with Simcoe hops adds just a little more to the drinkability for me.

Serving type: cask

10-20-2010 14:22:01 | More by Slatetank
Photo of BARFLYB


4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a firkin dry hopped with bravo hops at The Grey Lodge in Philly for Friday the Fifthkenteenth (that's spelled wrong, I know) Thanks for saving this one scoats.

Out da firkin Hopback looks like it's going to be a treat. Bright sunshine orange glaze with some gold set within. Somewhat of a hazy appearance on this one but that's to be expected. A big ol fluffy white head with staying power, not to mention nice stickies. Smell is less sweet than normal hopback out of the bottle, or tap for that matter. The extra dry hopping really shows. Scents of tropic fruits with a thimble of maltback sweetners, bready and quite inviting. Hopback is not a very bitter beer to begin with, this version is no different. In taste the sweetness is muted under the additional hopping and Im loving it. I sense a bunch of pineapple and mango, not so much is fresh grapefruit. A dash of that Troegs signature pine and some sweet from the malts in the back. A slight sense of sugar on the tail end. The feel is to die for, it's a smooth criminal, it almost rivals fresh Racer 5 off the firkin or cask. Less than medium with a perfect gliding effect. This is easy drinking it is very easy to drink it all before you know it's gone. Not my favorite beer to begin with but the firkin makes it that much more enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

10-16-2010 17:24:47 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of aussiebilly


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at Pipers Pub, which is what inspired me to review. Have had lots of these in the past, but it was truly a treat on the handpull. The hops are nicely subdued, but the rich maltiness comes right out at you from the nose to the first sip. Still had a nice hoppy aroma when freshly pulled, one that jumped out at you even when your nose was a couple inches from the glass. Extremely drinkable, even at 6%abv. Definitely see myself going back for a couple more of these, since I'm sure it wont last long.

Serving type: cask

07-22-2010 13:34:49 | More by aussiebilly


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hand pumped into pint glass.

A: Very large, billowing white linen colored head that lasted quite some time. The lacing was spare. The body was a medium orange-brown and murky from the cask conditioning. I understand.

S: The focus here is not on the malts, which were light at best. The hops shine unobstructed, way above average but not huge. Whether or not it was from the cask or from a very recent brewing, the freshness of the hops was evident. The Hopback has a beautiful bouquet of flowers and wild grass.

T & M: The hop aromas are also the hop flavors. Even though they outweigh the malt, balance is achieved through other flavor sensations, in this case, equal parts sweet and bitter. The medium body is smooth & creamy which also neutralizes the hop attack.

D: Even the loud, drunk & obnoxious girl beside me couldn't keep me from enjoying this one. Really smooth, very well balanced and truly sublime. The Hopback Amber Ale is made for the cask.

Serving type: cask

01-03-2010 01:16:01 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of drtth


4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. (This will be similar to my review in bottle but with appropriate changes.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear reddish copper color with a ½" light beige head that soon recedes leaving patches of foam, sheets of foam on the side of the glass and a ring of foam around the glass. Sipping leaves lines of foam and lots of finely speckled lacing. The foam persists throughout the entire beer and so does the lacing.

Smell: The aroma is smooth and well integrated with both floral, citric hops and malt. There is a definite grapefruit and spicy presence layered over and supported by a rich caramel malt aroma.

Taste: The flavor is pretty much predicted by the nose with citric hops that come through strongly but are balanced and modulated by sweet almost dark flavored caramel malt. There is also some spicy hop character that shows up in the flavor along with some floral hop notes.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a soft silky feel from the light but persistent carbonation. The long finish starts in the mix of malt and citrus, gradually fading with the malt disappearing first, then the bitterness is gone and the long tail off in spicy dryness.

Drinkability: On cask this is actually smoother and the flavors better integrated than when having it from the bottle. I could easily have more than one a night and I'll return to this one on cask. For those who like hops but want some softening provided by the malt this beer is a good choice. Every time I drink one of these beer is always gone before I want it to be.

Serving type: cask

12-31-2009 02:23:01 | More by drtth
Photo of sholland119


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pump at Teresa's Next Door.

A-Pours a slightly hazy amber with a fluffy off white head.

S-Sweet malt with moderate hops.

T-Sweet caramel malt combines with medium citrus hops.. Nice hop presence for a cask beer.

M-Medium bodied and creamy.

D-One of my favorite cask ales, along with Racer 5. Extremely sessionable in any version, but especially this one.


Serving type: cask

08-10-2009 16:53:10 | More by sholland119
Photo of cpone

New York

3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear copper color, head recedes fairly quickly and leaves some lacing. Great smell - robust spice, good hops and some citrus. I felt the taste didn't quite live up to the aroma. Those flavors were there, but much more subdued than the smell suggests. Mouthfeel was ok, but a little thin.

Overall a very drinkable beer, but just didn't have the flavor i was expecting.

Serving type: cask

08-03-2009 21:45:11 | More by cpone
Photo of Soonami


2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: cask

02-08-2009 16:13:37 | More by Soonami
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice clear brown color with a nice size off-white head. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Stong hops smell with some caramel malt in the background.

Sweet and piney hops mix with a nice backbone. Cask version is noticeably hoppier, but still nice and balanced This is Nugget Nectar's little brothers. Not as hoppy, not as good, but still great.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Serving type: cask

07-13-2008 14:50:45 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of BBM

New York

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found on cask at Once & For All in Patchogue. Poured a beuatiful mahogony color with a sudsy beige head that stuck around for a while. Aroma was crisp and slightly sweet, with hints of apples and flowers.

Delightfully balanced between the floral and herbal hops, and the roasted malts. Slight bitter finish, but nothing unbearable. Overall a gold-star effort from Troegs, and a highly drinkable amber beer.

Serving type: cask

04-25-2008 14:33:35 | More by BBM
Photo of jscondon


4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer engine pour!

I love cask beers and this did not let me down, in fact I would go so far as to say that the Troegs Hopback amber from the cask is awesome. It arrived in a pint glass brown, slightly hazy and at a nice temp. The floral hop aroma of this one was out of control awesome, and these were followed by hints of pepper and a good amount of maltiness. When I tasted it I was blown away, a malt front with hints of caramel that foamed up in the middle and finished with a nice hop flavor.. it was very well balanced.

This is a great cask beer. I have had the bottled version before and was not as impressed by its flavor then. It was good but on the hand pump this blew me away. If you find it cask, don't pass it up this up.

Serving type: cask

01-10-2008 02:41:06 | More by jscondon
Photo of vdubmatt

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this from a cask at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ.

A- Nice orange slightly hazy color.

S- Wonderful, there is no hiding the hops in this amber. It smells of citrusy hops and reminds me of an IPA.

T- Very nice taste, I was very surprised because I expected a lot more bitterness with all of that hop flavor and aroma. I am unsure if that had anything to do with the cask or if that is hop this beer normally goes. Nice and balanced.

M- Smooth and a bit watery. Nearly no carbonation since it was from a casks.

D- Very drinkable, could of had a few of these, but I had already had a few and had to drive. It seemed like a session-able hoppy ale.

Serving type: cask

01-07-2008 15:08:34 | More by vdubmatt
Photo of Deuane


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Zeno's Real Ale Fest

A - Dark amber (duh), very turbulent and almost opaque...interesting. Thick tan head that lasted nicely.

S - Nice sharp pine / citrus hop scent. A whiff of malt comes thru late.

T/M - Solid hop bite with a lovely mellowing malt ovetone. A solid beer with few faults. Good balance and plenty of flavor.

D - Very good beer that shines when on cask (as most beers do IMHO) could drink this multiple times without hesitation. A solid offering from Troegs.

Serving type: cask

11-08-2007 13:04:12 | More by Deuane
Photo of Imstillthegman


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Half Moon in Kennett Square.

Poured a deep amber with a thin light tan head. The aroma was muted somewhat, but I expected that since it seems to be what I encounter with cask ales. There was some hops (pine and lemon zest) and some sweet malts. Touch of fruitiness. The flavor seemed like a blended version of the bottles I have had previously. It was good, but nothing really stood out. Towards the bottom third of the glass I did notice more of the hops in the taste and the sweetness faded some. Creamy cask-conditioned feel to it. Overall, it was a good beer, but I think I prefer the bottles.

Serving type: cask

10-08-2007 20:30:20 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from cask at Andy's Corner Bar.

This ale poured a beautiful, clear, red/amber color with tall, fluffy, slightly off-white foam that persisted. The smell was a very hoppy aroma (reminiscent of Stone) with faint caramel coming through the hops. The taste was hoppy with strong bittering hops and floral hops. It was richly malty to balance the hops, with a light malt sweetness. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and low carbonation. The hoppy flavors lingered nicely. This was a very nice ale, and was particularly good from cask!

Serving type: cask

12-09-2006 07:40:27 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of JohnnyM2002


4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edit (10/21/06): Poured from cask into a 20oz glass (previously mis-clicked "on tap")

A - Beautiful pure amber color with a 1-inch head that quickly melted away.

S - Blend of citrus with caramel malt and a little grassy hops...quite the blend of scents! Comes together nicely to form a toasty-hop aroma.

T - Malty with a light-to-medium hop presence, but not enough to bring about any bitterness. Grassy grapefruit dominated the aftertaste, but it finally finishes with a caramel twist.

M - Light carbonation and a medium body...finishes very clean and smooth.

D - This beer won Best Local Beer by a Philly magazine, and I'm quickly identifying it as one of my top everyday beers. It finishes so smoothly and pairs well with many food selections...the more I drink, the more I enjoy it. Definitely suggest picking some up if you have the opportunity.

Serving type: cask

10-13-2006 01:14:28 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of k75


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

great nose - complex and medium strong - not overpowering

slight cloudy yeast haze (acceptable)

good medium to full body

nicely balanced hop - to - malt flavor

quaffable (available for session work)

first one requires another...

lace is great - lingering malt is lip-smacking...


Serving type: cask

05-15-2006 07:27:34 | More by k75
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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,256 ratings.