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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

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1,122 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,122
Hads: 2,884
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 105
Gots: 428 | 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: 1,122 | Hads: 2,884
Photo of Bills453
3.28/5  rDev -19%
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. (285 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber with a finger and a half ecru head that reduces quickly leaving a good deal of sticky lace in the glass.

Aroma comes off as a balance of malt & hops, sweet and citrusy all at once.

Taste starts out with sweet (but not overdone) malt, then hops a plenty take over with a nice balance of bitterness in there. Remarkably smooth drinking with pleasant flavors abound, alcohol is hidden quite well for 6%.

Mouthfeel is light medium, dry & crisp finish more like an IPA than an amber.

With Nugget Nectar being a tough act to follow, Hop Back Amber is a great grab by Troegs while NN is out of season (and even when it is in season). This is an exceptionally well done amber with a distinct flavor well worthy of a purchase. (732 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass (2013/6/6)

A: Copper color with a reddish hue that pours to 2 – 3 fingers of chalky off-white head. The head settles down to a nice white collar leaving some lacing.

S: Hopback has a sweet malt nose with sticky, spicy hops; very floral.

T: It is a nice, balanced amber ale starting with a nice caramel malt backbone and is followed with a hit of bittering hops, both spicy and floral. It ends very clean, a touch sweet with a lingering mild hop bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation and a medium-light body; soft and smooth on the palate.

O: Very drinkable! Nice balance of malt and hops. Hopback is a great alternative from heavy/aggressive Imperial or Double IPAs (not that there is anything wrong with those!!). While not a session ale at 6%, I could drink it all day. (829 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a Troegs' sampler pack, bought at Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park, NY.

Poured into a small nonic. Dark amber-caramel, with a sturdy half inch of head which forms a nice cap to the brew before settling down into a thin ring. Good sticky patches of lace as well.

Nose is sweet malt, earthy and citrus hops, with some bread, orange zest, resin and faint grapefruit.

This is certainly a very tasty red ale that is well put together. Nothing to stampede over, but a terrific camping/sixpack brew for certain. sweet and malty up front, a bit floral with some bread and caramel. Hop 'back' is appropriate, because the brew finishes with a good hop bitterness of earth and mild citrus. Medium bodied, nice mouthfeel.

My favorite from the pack, this was a great little ale to enjoy by the campfire. Nice mix of hops here. (841 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks, jbravato! Poured into a nonic pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is "05/09/13."

Pours a reddish amber color with about a finger worth of head. Bubbles are pretty much nonexistent in this thing, although head retention is quite good, never lets go overall. Slightly viscous and thickened, even for the style at hand. Looks a lot like a classic English bitter in the glass. Could use some more lacing, but this is probably already getting a bit old.

The aroma is definitely showing signs of aging, but it's not without its perks in the process. There's big notes of pine and orange peel here, as well as a subtle yet firm biscuit flavor underneath. Honey and caramel are fully present, and are pleasant, rather than overtly sweetened, especially with the beer's age at hand. Dried flowers are another component here, as well as apricots. The grainy flavor is pretty well integrated, and it shows well made aspects in execution. Pretty good, especially for an amber ale.

The flavor, just like the aroma, does not provide an explosive experience by any means, but still grows on me throughout consumption. At first there's light notes of lemon peel, pine, orange blossom, and a subtle but pleasant toasted graininess, and then there's a fruity, nutty combo, resembling cashews, apricots, and to my surprise, dried peaches. Definitely holds a lot of restraint towards the malts, which is what I like when done as such in the style. Never gets too bready or grainy, and the hops and fruity esters are allowed to shine, albeit in a balanced manner. Very creamy and juicy overall - I'd imagine on tap this would be even better with the increased carbonation. Never too thin, and the ingredients are all well showcased. Quite good!

Haven't had a normalized amber ale this pleasant and balanced in a while. If this is the base for Nugget Nectar, then I intend to hoard those as soon as they're in season. The malts and grains are really well held together, and still allow the fruit and citrus to come through quite well. Refreshing stuff, and while not "sessionable," I could most definitely have a bunch of these in one sitting and not complain. A winner from Tröegs once again! (2,193 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into craft pint

A- Clear, dark amber (as promised) with a creamy light tan head. Hangs around at a 1/4." Some lacing accumulates.

S- Strong caramel background, with a very pleasant floral, earthy hop aroma.

T- Smooth caramel malt. Clean subtle hop bittering balance.

M- Fairly light and clean. Slight bitterness in the finish.

O- Hopback gives this beer some great sttributes in the aroma, without overpowering the malt. Very well done. (464 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is burnt amber with orange and golden traces in the edges. There was a finger of head that dissipated rather quickly. The nose is lightly hoppy. The flavor profile is a well blended mix of malt and mild hops. This is the baby brother of the mighty Nugget Nectar; not bad in its own right. (299 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: The Andersons, Columbus, OH
Date: Bottled 2013-04-09
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Troegs' Hopback is a solid amber ale, balanced yet still showcasing the hops and malts in the beer. While certainly a good beer, I felt the creation was a bit lacking in one direction or another in both aroma and flavor, never quite earning it the high marks it would get if pushing the boundaries a bit further. One I'd try again, if it were locally available, but as it's not, I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out again.

Beer pours a 1.5cm tall head of off-white foam, made up of bubbles that are small in size. The foam eventually settles to a thick lacing atop the body of the beer, about 0.2cm in height. Lacing is present, but rather minimal, a few dots and lines cling to the insides of the glass. Body is a transparent dark amber color out of the light, a brighter orange-brown when illuminated. Carbonation is visible through the body, rising up from the center of the glass

Aroma is generally sweet, with bright hops giving a floral and sweetened grapefruit edge, with a strong complement of rich, slightly dark bread and caramel-like malts. Generally very smooth and complementary to both hops and malts.

Front of palate finds sweet caramel malt and dark bread-like flavors tempered with slightly floral and citrus-like hops. Mid-palate is of rich, sweet caramel malt tempered by prominent floral and lightly citrusy hops with some pleasant spiciness and mild bitterness. Back of palate continues deep caramel and grainy malts with moderate hop bitterness and some notable floral, citrus, and light pine flavors. Aftertaste features more notable bitterness along with grapefruit-like flavors and subdued caramel malt.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth, slightly foamy mouthfeel that's easy on the palate and makes drinking this pleasant. Closes quite dry from the hops, with moderate to heavy stickiness lingering on the palate. (1,994 characters)

Photo of Lonelyshadow
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stein.

Appearance: Pours a thin white head with a nice amber body
Smell: A wonderful hoppy aroma mixed slightly with citrus notes
Taste: A very hoppy beer beginning with a slight citrus bite and ending with hops.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body
Overall: I enjoyed this beer and though it will not be my first pick, it has certainly earned a place on my fall back list. (388 characters)

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Have been drinking this beer for a while and finally decided it was worth a full review. Drunk today on tap at the tasting room in snifters.
Glowing clear amber orange with a creamy head, streaky legs, and consistently evolving carbonation.
Smells of heavy hops and spice with just the necessary blend of grapefruit. Floral and grassy notes, with just enough pine, as well. These scents settle down as the beer sits, and more malts jump up, rounded with sweet caramel.
Hops charge in on the front of the flavor experience too, but there is balance from toasted sugar and oranges. Chewy malts in the middle close down around a bright note of the typical pine and grapefruit hops of an IPA. But it's always heavier, always just a bit darker, and rounded smooth with the amber core.
The body is fuller than expected. There's just the right amount of alcohol to let this burn into the tongue a bit. When colder, it helps along lots of different foods, even making spicy dishes a bit hotter while curiously helping douse thirst. At the end of the glass (at higher temperature), the fruity chewiness is almost the start of dessert.
Overall, this is my favorite year round brew from the Hershey boys. It's the combination of high points of different styles all poured into one glass that make it special--creamy, spicy, hoppy, deep, and just the balance of sweet and bitter. If you can't get to the brewery for the steady stream of scratch offerings, hopefully bottles of this widely distributed creature are in your neighborhood. (1,523 characters)

Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3/5  rDev -25.9%
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. (431 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour is a nice dark copper/amber with a half finger of dense off white head fading rapidly. Scant lacing.

Nose is rather sweet, notes of caramel, orange, honey, and just a slight hint of bourbon.

Taste is equally sweet up front, big burst of caramelly malt, earthiness, and a bit more of the soft bourbon flavor. Maybe it's a peaty flavor I'm getting? Follows quickly by a blast of dry, bitter hops. Nice touches of stickiness and pine, but lingering dryness.

Feel is pretty medium full, if not totally full. Feels very thick in the mouth.

Nice beer. balance between the sweet and the bitter is a little too much of a stark contrast for my palate, but good flavors seperately. (680 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clwar amber with a creamy filmy head. Healthy dose of carbonation throughout. Good amount of lacing

Aroma: Dank hops and sweet caramel malts. Fruity. I smell mango and apricot. Oranges and maybe a whiff of sweet bananas. Floral grassy notes too

Taste: Sweet at first. Lots of sugary caramel and sweet fruits like apples, juicy melon, some citrusy oranges. Toasty bread malts. There's some grassy hop profile and some tart grapefruit but as it warms it stays sweet longer. The finish has a hint of pine and a touch of lemon. Very nice

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium body. Slightly carbonated. A little slick

Overall: This is a prime example of a beer becoming a totally different animal as it warms. When I first poured it from my fridge it had a huge hop flavor. As it got nearer to room temperature the hops gave way to sweet fruity malts. Another solid offering from Troegs (886 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear orange amber with 2 fingers of light foam that fell off quickly to some picturesque splotchy rings of lace. Nose is mild and cheerful with gentle citrus, floral hops and a generous, forward malt presence. The malt profile kept expanding as the beer warmed. Hearty bready biscuit, round and toasted, then honey toffee sweetness. It’s slightly whimsical how all that strong malt character gently kisses the bright grassy hops. Taste is perfection. Smooth, light, lively; moderate for all it’s malt backbone. Deeply flavorful. Succulent hops finish dry but not really too bitter with a slick mouth coating and a little pine. This is an enticing amber with plenty of character that you could happily drink all day. (728 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into becker pint glass. Clear darker amber with a medium-thin white head that fades a bit into a tight disc of foam on top of the beer. Smells of sweet caramel malts and floral/fruity hops. Slight hint of piney hop bitterness, but not much. As the head continues to diminish it leaves tons of lacing. Taste is lots of clean, bready crackery malts, with some sweet fruity hops and a tiny pinch of bitterness at the very end for a nice crisp finish. Awesomely drinkable, another winner from Troegs. (503 characters)

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer cold and the glass instantly collected condensation from the humidity in my highrise cabin. It poured a crystal clear amber colour with a full one finger head that fell to a thick ring and full cap on top of the beer and leaves what looks like the view of all the heads and shoulders of a very crowded room of people. Weird!

Aromas of caramel malt and piney/citrusy hops are most noticeable at first and then as it warms some bread and tropical fruits pop up.

Balance is the name of the game with this beer! All through the sip the caramel malt character is present and so are the piney/citrusy hops which start off solid, fade a bit and then finish solid. A smooth breadiness as well as fruit like mango appear towards the middle of the sip and finally a mild bitter from the same hops finish the beer off with a hint of spice.

It's a pretty refreshing and smooth mouthfeel both mildly sweet and slightly hoppy dry and a thin to medium body. The finish is pretty neat and dry. A slight slick feeling on the tongue, but only very slight. Hop resins? I've read that the body on this beer is fuller on draught and would love to try it from the tap!

Overall I find this beer exceptional! I would recommend it as a crossover into hoppy beers as it is delightfully easy to drink and whets the hop appetite as well. A solid 4.25 is due for this beer! (1,367 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It comes in a dark amber color.

The aroma has big juicy hop aroma, sweet honey orange, mango, peach.

The flavor follows with those tropical fruits and a smooth crystal malt flavor, then a light hop bitterness. It tastes like a laid back Nugget Nectar, which makes sense as this is the base beer where they then hop the beer crazy to get Nugget. Less crystal malt sweetness from the beer and the bitterness comes through more. It's crazy to say, but from the many times I've had Nugget, but I prefer this smooth flavor, less sweetness, and the wonderful hops.

What a fantastic drinkable beer. Great flavor with hops and the crystal malt sweetness. (649 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: ?
Recent tasting from a bottle; fresh, per the bottle date.

Very nice and simple amber ale. Brownish amber in color, with a somewhat aggressive pour giving a large, healthy white head that retained nicely. Caramel malts in the nose, with a good dose of crisp piney/citrusy hops. Taste was similar, more complex than your typical amber ale, even if nothing surprising going on; bready malts, caramel, nice hop bite with notes of pine and citrus pith, for a good sense of balance. Light-medium body, crisp and enjoyable, and about as spot-on for the style as you can get. (581 characters)

Photo of lsummers
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper but still thick enough to not be clearly seen through. One finger slightly tan head that is fairly frothy. Dissipates with some good lacing.

Smells of malty, creamy, caramel sweetness with some of that citric piney hop note mixed in.

Taste is malty and hoppy right away. It's really balanced with more of the caramel and molasses creamy malt notes coming through than hop bitterness. It melds well with the tropical piney hops. The sweet caramel malts really do shine in this beer and help it to be really unique. It's fairly hoppy but not over bitter in any way.

Mouthfeel is zingy and smooth. Possibly even a tough light in body but I don't mind. This is quite drinkable.

Overall, it's a great example of a red ale. The hops could throw some off but could be a gateway for hoppier styles as well. It's fairly balanced in my opinion and isn't just a sweet malt bomb. (893 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopback Amber Ale pours a clear bronze color with a moderate sized creamy head on top. As the foam dissolves it leaves behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma is fruity with some tropical fruit notes, caramel, and hoppy orange citrus mixed in.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft, creamy with moderate carbonation. The flavor is well balanced, but leans toward the malt. Caramel, bread, tropical fruit are followed by some spice. It finishes mildly bitter with a flavor of pine and citrus. Once gone the caramel malt and bread lingers on the palate.

This is an easy drinking beer that would go great with a meal or to drink on a snowy winters night. (676 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: a burnt orange color. a bit hazy. small tannish head that slowly fades

Smell: a wide variety depending on temp and the likes. notes of earthiness, or citrus, caramel malts, and bread. the hops aren't quite as noticeable in the scent though

Taste: pretty complex blend. caramel malts, some toasty bread, citrus hops, some earthiness, and a stronger spiciness.

Mouthfeel: a little heavier than i'd prefer for this type. and a bit sticky. i would prefer a bit more sessionable and crisp

Overall: a solid offering and a good start to checking out a different brewery. tasty and well crafted. hope to get my hands on some more Troegs while on the east coast. Wish Nugget nectar was available too. (708 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a frothy one inch light khaki head that dissipates slowly, leaving modest lacing.

Aroma is initially woody and earthy, with caramel malt sweetness, pine, and hints of citrus adding complexity.

Flavor reveals stronger citrus character underlying a fairly sweet, caramelly, bready, toasted malt backbone. The finish is slightly bitter, peppery, and fairly dry. Tangerine, pineapple, mango, and lime emerge. There's a bit of earthiness present.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation. There's a touch of astringency at the finish.

Good balance of flavoring hop and malt character for the style. Avoids being cloyingly sweet and overly bitter. (675 characters)

Photo of migwell
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

'Note its characteristics.' Well, sorry if I lack the palate and refinement to comment in the prescribed fashion on a good beer here, ('...white grape, black tea, lychee and bubblegum. bitter rye and tropical fruit flavors. the palate is smooth and sticky with a jelly texture...') but I leave the parsing of taste to the more 'refined' beer snobs. Myself, I like to drink beer, and good beer at that.

Of which, this is one. A real desert island beer, satisfying, not cloying after a few, but holding its own. Clean, clear, and refreshing... 'clear', that is, if you like dark meat.

Troeg's is quite the brewery, and they're on the right track with this one! (661 characters)

Photo of BrewMaven
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I haven't had too many red ales but with a name like HopBack, this had to be tried!

Deep, clear amber with a soapy head that dropped to a cover, then a ring leaving splotchy lace.

Hops on the nose...yup...hops. Anyone know a way to amp up ones smelling ability?

Taste was nice and hoppy from the get go, a bit like an APA here. Some malt through the middle with more hops bringing up the rear and lingering for a while.

Mouthfeel is somewhere north of thin with soft carbonation. Nice.

Really enjoyed this and, at 6%, one can have a few and not be debilitated the next morning. Cheers! (592 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 012113

A: Pours a copper/amber color with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head that retains for a while and leaves decent lacing

S: A very nice balance between malts and hops. Get some lighter caramel malts and an earthy/spicy and floral hoppiness

T: Again, very nicely balanced between malts and hops. Earthy and floral hops lead to sweet caramel malts. Finishes lightly sweet

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and lightly rich

O: A nice amber with great balance. Plenty of flavor as well as ease of drinkability. One of the better year-round ambers out there (590 characters)

Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,122 ratings.