Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

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BA SCORE
89
very good

2,846 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 2,846
Reviews: 1,132
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 101
Gots: 401 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,846 | Reviews: 1,132
Photo of Sammy
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well-hopped, aggressive attack of malts and carbonation on palate. Fine cooper amber colour. Light, good as IPA! Some pine aroma. Mid-sip sour grapefruit citrus, spices and nuttyness. Refreshing on hot day. Unique and very drinkable. Recommend you try and can convert beer drinkers to the craft world.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin head on a clear amber with golden hues body.

S: nice hop aroma with floral, earthy and some grapefruit and orange peel fruit notes.

T: hops up front provide a nice bitter presence beginning floral and moving to grassy in the finish. the caramel malts are fairly well represented. some orange peel and grapefruit notes as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: not bad. amber beers are usually blah. adding hops to beers make them better obviously if done right. nice beer.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber in color. Pours with a medium-sized head that quickly dies down into lacy patterns. Moderate carbonation; swirling the glass produces a little bit of head.
S: Hop aromas dominate the smell
T: Strong flavor with lots of hops and pine oils, less in the way of caramel malts. Bitter finish.
M: Medium-bodied taste
D: Relatively easy to drink, especially if you like hoppy beers

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

G: Pint glass with a Black Bear (WV) logo printed on it.

A: Deep amber with a decent head and quality retention. Medium amounts of carbonation.

S: Malts and sweet amber. Plenty of hops; mostly floral and seemingly fresh--from the hopback?

T: Slightly sweet and definite amber malt flavor. A nice, fresh hop taste.

M: Slight carbonation and little alcohol sensation--goes down smooth.

D: Very drinkable. Glad I'll soon be moving out to VA and can get Troegs beers whenever I need them.

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest head that leaves sporadic lacing

Smell: Bursts out with a pine cone nose but there is plenty of caramel malt in the background, too

Taste: It has that caramel amber flavor going on up front with lots of piney bitterness arriving by mid-palate; nicely balanced right through to the bitter tea-bag hoppy finish, though their are plenty of amber ale elements in there as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Overall, a fine effort that shows that an amber ale doesn't have to be boring

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An insanely good beer, and well-deserved while visiting Betty's in Columbus over the ROTR weekend.

This beer is Amber-done-right. A deeply.. well, amber colored beer takes on darker tones than most. A lightly tanned head form a 1" barrier on the beer and remains for the session while leaving great lacing all the way through.

A great blend of bold toasty malts swirl with resiny pine and citrus hops for a hypnotizing aroma. Lightly fruity, cramelly, and nutty to the nose. This beer is quite complex and bold.

Flavors alternate between the malts (toffee, toast, melanoidin, sun-kist caramel notes) and hops (grapefruit, orange zest, pine, and fresh grasses and herbs). Throw in a light estery (fresh apples, berries, and plubs) and we have a remarkably complex beer for an Amber.

Full and creamy to the mouth up front. But the beer releases into an easy drinking and balanced beer. No sweetness like the caramel noted in the aroma and taste. Rather a bready, bitter, and lightly minty alcohol note in the finish with a long, clean, and lingering aftertaste.

This beer reminds me of Troegs Nugget Nectar. Yea, it's that good.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer reminds me of when an old girlfriend dragged me to the movies to see black swan. like, a night at the movies, fine. a beer, okay. but then everything took me by surprise. like wow, mila kunis is really hot, the story line isnt that bad, the dancing is incredible, and the ending is a shocker. i left that theater very impressed, and much more stoked than i ever thought id be. this beer is the exact same thing. okay, another amber ale, here goes nothing. nope, behind its red malty opaque body and creamy two inch tan head lies a great many surprised. starting with the aroma, which is superior to almost everything ive ever had labeled amber. there is that familar malt profile sure, but there is a powerful hop presence not usually seen in this style. it plays off the sweeter malts perfectly and creates a very enticing scent. the flavor is also surprisingly robust on the hop front. very bitter in the finish, with caramel and pine notes going back and forth. the finish is also super clean, which makes this an easy drinker with very little residual sugars. to me, this is how all american ambers should taste, it sets a very high bar. excellent carbonation and a fine medium body. now if i could just get mila kunis to serve it to me...

edit: consistency and perhaps freshness is an issue in new york state. some bottles have a sort of blah red mat thing going on, others are like a slice of cold fresh ripe pink grapefruit. its insane how different each can be, so if you get an average one, keep on trying. even in the same pack, its insane. when they are good, they are great!

Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a clean crisp looking amber color with a thin cream colored head. The smell of the beer is hoppy and slightly sweet. It's a good mix of citrus and sugar. The taste is about half the hoppiness of the Nugget Nectar. This is a more standard drinking beer for a more common drinker. Regardless it's still got a good flavor to it and it's a quality Amber Ale for sure. The mouthfeel is carbonated, and medium bodied. Overall I'd prefer the Nugget Nectar but this is a pretty decent alternative.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Steph: Poured a deep copper color ale with a big foamy white head with some good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of floral and bitter hops is dominating. Taste is a mix between light caramel malt with some bitter hops at the end. Body is about average with some great carbonation. With the level of hops that can be found in this beer it is almost leaning toward an IPA. Very good session beer overall.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich apricot with a large cap of foam that is the color of light brown sugar and that leaves abundant lace as it slowly deflates. The nose is more akin to an APA than an amber ale due to the impressive hoppiness. There is enough malt to keep the hops honest though.

Hopback Amber is good beer (Troegs hasn't disappointed me yet). This is a classic amber ale, but is bolder, hoppier and more full than most. Thanks to a prodigious malt backbone, the hops aren't quite as boisterous as they were in the nose. When the actual drinking gets underway, their citrus peel and pine deliciousness is reined in to some extent. There's no mistaking it for an APA now.

The body is definitely full for the style with a sweet stickiness that most beer of this style doesn't achieve. As a result, there's flavor to burn. It might be a bit too big to be sessionable, but one or two should go down rather easily.

Troegs doesn't brew bad beer. Hopback Amber is a wonderful ale that keeps these guys solidly in my top dozen American breweries. The first of many from blitheringidiot. Thanks man.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another goodie from Troegs…I really could not wait. This one poured a nice light amber color, with the tiniest hint of an orange hue. Deep carbonation came up from the bottom of the glass only to reinforce the large head of white stick and foamy lace that formed on the top. Great retention finally gave way to copious side glass lace and a nice little film across the top. The smell was deeply hopped. Very nice bouquet of floral hops, lots of pine and citrus notes accentuating a typical amber back, nicely malted with large hints of grains. The flavor was so much hoppier then I had thought it would be. There was a huge citrus hop punch from the very first sip and a very nice resin like taste that followed you throughout the session leaving behind a great dry and bitter finish. Great use of the hops here as the typical amber will have more of the malty character, which was still evident in the underlying base here, however the big hop presence not only balanced it well, but pushed it over to the lighter side and gave it much more of a bright feel. Great smooth and light body with ample carbonation led this to be an easy session beer. Overall I had honestly never heard of this one before I got it and it was truly wonderful. This was a great beer and something I would like to see more of, a nice, well rounded amber that could hold its own with a lot of sessionable IPA’s. Definitely have to recommend this one.

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow a really nice beer,smell was great-grassy hop with some balancing caramel sweetness,poured a nice amber color with a nice medium head left a good lacing.Taste was of herbal hop to begin with the nutty maltness came thru in the end to really balance this one out nicely.Very well made brew will be looking for more from Troegs after this one!

Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a foamy, off-white, three finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt goodness and hints of grassy hops.

T - It had a very strong roasted malt taste with a pretty big dose of bitter hops.

M - A crisp and sharp ale with a dry finish. It was medium-bodied.

D - This is one of the finest amber ales around. ANother strong offering from Troegs.

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, amber body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A moderate,mhoppy aroma of pine and citrus with some toffee and bready malt.

T - Light, toasty bread up front with some pine. A touch of sweaty hops in the middle and a finish of dry malt and lingering toasty character.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, the hop aroma is nice but doesn't quite come out as well in the flavor profile. The malt is a little too dry for my taste but not overly harsh.

Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a finger of off white head that sticks around for a while.

Smell: Citrus peel hops dominate the smell. I am getting some sweet malt, but it is overpowered.

Taste: Malt up front, but it's hardly sweet at all. I am getting a bready note from the grain. The finish is extremely bitter from the hops and reminds me of citrus peel.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body with lots of tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not a bad beer at all, but doesn't quite work for me. I would have liked the body to be a bit thicker and more malt in the finish.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If there's one thing that defines the Troeg's beers it's drinkability, and this one is a real charmer! It pours a clear, very deep amber body that's capped by a creamy off-white head. The head drops shortly to a thin creamy surface covering, but maintains it throughout the entire glass and leaves some spotty lace as well. The aroma, however, establishes this beer as something special! Fresh hops burst forth as if you had them cupped in your hands and you could rub them between your fingers releasing the floral, softly grassy, and lightly spicy aromas! Really enticing! The body is medium/light with a very fine and moderate carbonation that's lightly crisp in the mouth. The flavor melds a rich caramel maltiness with grassy and floral hop flavors. As it warms in the mouth a gentle sweetness comes forth and accentuates some of the more floral flavors of the hops. It finishes lightly dry with a lingering caramel-laced malt note and a gently spicy hop character. The hop bitterness is well restrained, keeping it quite drinkable (and accessible), and allows for an interplay between the flavors of the sweet malt and hops that's rarely seen! Although the serious hop head may be let down by this beer because of it's moderate bitterness, I think that most beer lovers will find it's ability to combine and balance the malt and hops in such a unique way very interesting and highly enjoyable.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from plaid75, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brownish orange color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with hops as the name suggests, along with citrus and caramel sweetness.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a strong hops burst and a heavy citrus and caramel sweetness. I know that isn’t much analysis, but it’s as simple as that. It just tastes great.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down extremely easily, not very filling, similar to Nugget Nectar the only thing keeping this beer from being an American IPA is the fact that Troegs doesn’t call it an IPA. That being said, this is an excellent beer and I could see myself drinking a whole lot of it in an evening, if only Troegs were available this far in the Northeast. HINT-HINT!

Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Becoming a fan of most Troegs beers, so here's another review down the tube.

A: Pours a nice lookin 1 finger head that slowly subsides. It's got a very clear amber toasty brown color.

N: Some crisp ale aroma, perhaps from the types of malts. A slight sweet malt aroma follows through. A very light musty hop aroma is there, but is it really? A very slight toasty aroma also is, um, there.

T: Starts with a sweet malt like taste. Mostly earthy toasty malts, some crystal malts. A slight sweet fruity flavor from the yeast comes through. More bitter flavors, but not much on the hop side. Bottled on 9/16/09 so its not too fresh, but not too old, but the hop flavor isn't really there. A little sweet syrupy fruit flavors as well.

M: Medium body, slightly spicy hops and decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter but with out hop flavor. Must have been mostly early bittering hops. I do get some spicy warming hop flavor but not much. Also some earthy hop flavors that seem to linger for a slight bit. It's also slightly dry and some light lingering toasty earthy flavors.

Final thoughts: Overall a meh beer. It's got some crisp clean flavors and is pretty refreshing, but not much on the hop end considering its called "hop back". It's semi bland for an amber ale too. Oh well. This is probably the first Troegs I haven't been impressed with, bit it also could be because its 2 months old, needs to be fresh. I'll look out for a fresh one next time. Or again, this could be a factor of the fact that red/amber ales are usually not my cup of t... ummm, beer.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear red hued brown. Minimal head. Nose is like vibrant cherries, but not extremely pungent really. Flavor is nice and woody in a milder way. Hops are present in a leafy and slightly almost smoked way. Medium level sweet edge to it. Very smooth and consistent flavor. Feel has a fairly full level of carbonation sending tiny bubbles over my tongue. Liquid has a good body. Overall very drinkable. Extremely smooth and even, though the sweet kick on the tail end seems slightly out of place.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome beer.. I love me some hoppy American Amber's and this is one of the hoppiest. Nice reddish brown color to the pour, tons of head and lacing. Smell is full of citrus hops. Taste is very hoppy but with a nice caramel malty tone. This is a small notch below Ithaca Cascazilla and CBH Abijah Rowe IPA as my favorite beer of all time. Too bad there was only 3 in my variety pack.. it's a kick ass beer. I wish the package store had Nugget Nectar cuz it just sounds like a bad ass version of this one. Awesome mouthfeel and drinkability... fantastic beer.

Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from melbatoast93, cheers Hart!

Pours amber with 1 finger of sand colored head. Very good lacing & good head retention

S: Breadyness & citrus hops

T: Citrussy hops, a touch of grainyness & breadyness up front. Orange slices & a touch of lemons as this warms. Finishes grainy with lemony hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation, very nice balance

Superb drinakability, a nice amber to session on

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears amber with a copper tint and a huge billowing head with trickled lace surrounding my pint. This is one balanced brew in my opinion the aroma is balanced between sweet caramel malt and floral eathy pine scented hops, so balanced it's just about the perfect beer. This is one reason why Troegs has done what it has, and with it's oatmeal stout truly one PA's finest micros out there I must say. The taste is also truly balanced with a trace of the hops adding a bittering quality with the malt waves following blending perfectly to form a hopback amber ale. Medium to light bodied very good beer with no off tones to it everything here is like butter, what can I say. The drinkability level is unlike any other amber ale out there it's perfect, I love this beer.

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
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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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,846 ratings.