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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,655 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,655
Reviews: 1,105
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 91
Gots: 250 | 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:
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: 2,655 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedge
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a creamy off-white head. Smells of sugary hop flowers...perfumy, soft, and floral. Fresh grainy aromas increase as it warms. Oily hop flavor, spicy citrus, flowers, and light grain. Melon-like fruit flavor and some leafiness. Medium bodied, coating mouthfeel. Solid bitterness. A nice introduction to the world of Tröegs. If I could get this around these parts I'd pick it up every once in a while.

wedge, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a rust color and a somewhat clear consistency. There was a quarter inch of head and some decent lacing.

S: A little bit of hops, a little bit of malt and some sugar (caramel?).

T: Slightly hoppy and sugary, but little else. Kind of thin and watery in my opinion.

M: An average amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is one of those beers where I fail to see what the big deal is. Not a bad beer as such, but taste-wise a little underwhelming.

avalon07, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of trbergman
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance - Deep, rich amber with a finger or so of light tan head that falls to a thin lace atop the beer.

Smell - Caramel, toffee, earthy hops.

Taste - Toasty, biscuity malts with hints of caramel sweetness. There's some assertive hop bitterness in the middle with spicy, earthy hop flavor. Bitterness lingers in a long finish, along with notes of tobacco.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, a tad astringent.

Drinkability - Good. It's well balanced and not boozy at all, but there's plenty of flavor.

trbergman, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of kbnooshay
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange amber with a small off white head. Aroma is hoppy and citric with a good malt presence. Incredible balance. These days its hard to find a beer that isn't a hop bomb. This is perfect! Just enough hops to say its hoppy and a great malty backbone. The flavor is wonderfully floral and citric with a nice hint of caramel. There is a nice fruity twang to this. Feel is kinda tingly from the carbonation but overall very smooth. If presented with a six pack of this i would drink the entire thing. Perfectly balanced, perfectly drinkable.

kbnooshay, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of UA8
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a dark cherry wood color with a heavy beige head.

S- Scents of light citrus with a light fruit backing and some sweet malts.

T- Very subtle yet balanced flavors. Starts with light fruit and hop flavors. Finishes finishes with a very nice light malt taste.

M- Very smooth with a moderate body thickness.

D- This beer does not pronounce itself intensely in any one area. It is, however a beer that that's nearly perfectly balanced. The hops are present but not overly bitter, the malts pronounced yet not overly sweet. Troegs has produced a beer that I can drink when I simply want something of a high level of quality and refreshment. Definitely a beer I would recommend as a session.

UA8, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of MacMan1980
4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer's appearance was completely clear and see-through with a vibrant color, and a solid head. The aroma was floral and grassy. The taste is obviously very "hoppy" with a sharp and bitter taste to it--though not at all imbalanced. The mouth-feel was crisp and very clean.

Serving type: 1/2 pint glass

MacMan1980, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of msante79
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours amber wit off-white head. Aroma is floral hops, caramel malt and citrus. Flavor is hoppy with notes of citrus and pine with nice caramel malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Nice hoppy amber ale. Very good session ale. Thanks to abcfan for this one.

msante79, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of RunDWP
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an orange brown color into a glass with some lacing on the glass. Had a slightly nutty aroma. The flavor was more of the same nutty character of the malt, that was slightly sweet, with a slight hops bitterness. Low on the carbonation, and a bit of a slick mouthfeel, both of which I thought were a good thing. I like this.

RunDWP, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of aibkstaff
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale has a deep, rich, amber color that's partly cloudy, with very light head. It smells of sweet malts and clean crisp hops. The taste is a little, sweet, a little bitter, and a little bready. Nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is good. Light/medium in body with just enough carbonation. This is such a refreshing and crisp beer. I love the clean hoppy bittery taste.

aibkstaff, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of adamette
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 1899 Bar in Willoughby, Ohio a few hours ago. Poured into a standard, clean, clear pint glass.

A Basic amber ale look with an light orange yellow body and minimal head.

S Hoppy but no extreme here. Also smelled the amberish malts and barley.

T Like a hopped amber, not unpleasant. The hop flavor being so strong and the amber asserting its own characteristic there was not much more room for anything else. The alcohol is hidden well imo.

M Light to moderate, deriving some feel from the hops.

D Good. Great if you enjoy hops bitterness.

Notes: This is a truly interesting offering from Tröegs, a brewery that I did not even know of when I lived in Hershey, PA and spent some weekends hanging out in Harrisburg. That was back in 1997 so it is possible that
1. Tröegs was not around yet or
2. I was not paying attention to the local craft beer scene.
I enjoyed this beer and would not hesitate to try others from Tröegs.

adamette, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Piraat goblet...
Appears a hazy, copper tone of amber with tiny traces of carbon dioxide bubbles slowly rising to the top. A 1 inch, ivory cap slowly fades into a milky collar of suds. Streaks of webbing are left around the sides of the glass.
Smell is of toasted biscuits, caramel, and a mix of hops that have notes of pine, citrus, flowers, and grass.
Taste is a symmetrical twin of the aromas with a sweet, malty, nutty flavor backed by citrusy, bitter hops.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly astringent, perhaps a touch of tartness found after the sweet, caramel and biscuit move away from the front of the palate. Definite bitter bite keeps the beer in check but this could be even more bitter, in my opinion.

weeare138, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of wobblynoggin
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a perfect amber into a pint glass with a slight lacing. Soda like bubbles.
S - Perfect balance of malt and hop notes, mixed nuts, caramel sugary
T - Again, just a perfect balance of malt and hops. If you like hoppy beer but do not want to give up the malt, this is the beer for you. From sip, to swallow the balance is just perfect. Caramel from the malt, and a slight citrus from the hops, like a muted grapefruit, not too sweet
M - Carbonation a wee bit much for my liking, but it does not ruin the mouthfeel. As the beer warms, the malt takes over a bit more, but that is to be expected.
D - Due to the carbonation, I think this is a 3-4 beer choice, which overall is not bad, but I like to clear my palate after this beer since it is a bit complex.

Overall, a great concoction of an amber ale with a hoppy kick. You'll impress a few people if you bring this along to a gathering.

wobblynoggin, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of ljbrisson
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a copper red into a goblet with minimal lacing that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing. Aroma is of cherry jolly ranchers, pine cones, and a bit of maltiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-bodied with good carbonation, a good feel. Taste is piney hops up front, some good malt balance, orange, pine cones, with some hop bitterness through the sip, but lingers in the finish. As it warms, it mellows out to a very well-balanced brew. Drinkability is high. My experience with hoppier beers is limited, but this is a good one which I may be inclined to revisit.

ljbrisson, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of 7ways
2.95/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

7ways, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of positiverpr
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a:dark amber. crystal clear. thick tan head with several minute longevity. good lacing.

a:not overpowering west coast hop aroma. enough caramel malt to notice. hint af diacetyl.

t:piney hop aroma with less citrus/pineapple(simcoe?). noticeable roast with residual caramel sweetness. medium bitterness that lingers. hop flavor fades quickly and is underwhelming.

m:low/soft carbonation. almost creamy mouthfeel. medium body. no resiny feel

o:very drinkable but i would appreciate more carbonation and more hop sharpness. i'm not sure if the water profile is responsible for this or if the hopback technique contributes. a little too dull on the tongue. i've had this before and didn't notice this. maybe my beer is older but i don't notice oxidation. very simple and hop profile is not complex (except for the simcoe hint).

positiverpr, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Market Street Wine, Charlottesville, VA, downtown location. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly dark ruby color with a foamy, fluffy two-finger tan head. The head has above average retention and leaves nice clumpy patchworks of lacing as it slowly recedes.

Aroma: A nice if not vibrant hop aroma - heavier but not terribly pungent citrus and leafy, herbal notes - and some dry, roasted doughy malts.

Taste: Mellow, and a little less than I was expecting, I think. There's a mild hop bitterness, lots of steely, caramelly malty notes, biscuity in places, and only some faint actual hop notes, mostly vegetal and spruce-like.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fairly creamy, perhaps a little undercarbonated. Medium to perhaps even slightly thick bodied.

Drinkability: I was pretty underwhelmed by this beer, but I think I may have gone into it expecting, as one friend puts it, "baby Nugget Nectar," which I'm a huge fan of. Maybe I got an old bottle, and I'll be more than happy to try this again when it's perhaps fresher, but the flavors just didn't seem as vibrant or bright as I had hoped or expected them to be. That being said, it's not a bad beer, and it's drinkability is pretty good - well-hidden alcohol of a manageable level - so give it a shot.

CrellMoset, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks yet again to adamharbaugh!!!! I won't hold the excessive use of silent letters against you.

An amber ale that's amber colored. Uniquely awesome. Frothy head.

Smell is just so-so to me. Kind of a vineagar background under some malts.

Taste of tea leaves and caramel. It's nice but I like 'em a little on the trashy side. Oh wait, I mean it's nice but I like 'em a little more agressive in the flavor department. The hops are way too laid back.

No problems enjoying the rest of this.

Overall: next

PatronWizard, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of becktone
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 10-27-08

Eye: Great look to this one. This brew is clear and it showcases the thiny carbonation bubbles that continuously rise to the top of the brew to support the white fluffy head. Head has great retention at...well, what is the perfect size. Color is copper, more of an orange tint than red though. When not held to the light it is more of a rusted color, brownish red but when light hits it a beautiful amber shows itlsef. Lacing is nice and thick, rings between sheets...perfect.

Nose: Definitely citrus, definitely floral, definitely Cascade. That and only that plus a nice strong malt backbone that first filled the room when opened. Some fruity esters. Simple, straightforward, and classic. What more can you ask?

Tongue: Nice and forward hop flavor. Big and floral, citrus notes back it up. If you've ever brewed this beer tastes like the beer smells once hops are first put into the boiling wort...at any stage. Very green and very nice. There's no mistaking that they meant to call this one Hopback. This beer isn't bitter like an IPA, and for the first few bottles I thought "I would call this an IPA." Yet now I see that it isn't really all that bitter, just real hoppy. Thats the hopback, passing the cooling wort through a bed of hops for flavor and for clarification of the wort. This one is nicely balanced, sure it focuses maily on hop flavor but its bitterness to malt ratio is perfect. Just a faint hint at something not citrus or floral like but hopppy. Could this one use a noble hop to bitter it? Just my thoughts.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Finish on this one is semi-dry and body is medium. Pretty average, carbonation doesn't overstep its boundaries. There is nothing here that really grabs my attention. I often feel that mouthfeel is the hardest to give a score to since it is either on or off. I mean if you have a RIS that is super carbonated then well I'd give it a 1, if there's a Light Macro with no carbonation then I'd give it a 1. For me its extremes...the beer either has a good mouthfeel or it doesn't, it is either really poor, where it should be, or it is something totally unexpected that just blows the mind. This one is where it should be. Easy drinking brew, one that I could easily drink all night, given I'm in a hoppy mood. As the weather gets colder it seems I'm more into a porter/stout mood. Still this is one that I'd not hesitate to pick up again. Not bitter like an IPA, really balanced between malt and hops in that aspect, but the taste of the beer is all about hops. Pretty cool beer, like a quasi IPA but without the bitterness. I feel that this one might be one that someone who doesn't like IPAs but likes nicely balanced beers such as browns, ESBs, etc would like.

becktone, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer is a clear, medium red amber/copper color. The head is about an inch when poured, settles to a very nice frothy looking surface layer. Good lacing here too! Has a good hoppy and malty aroma. Sweet malt taste with mild caramel and some hops. Nothing special or out of the ordinary here, but it is good nonetheless. It hit the spot on this late night that I am enjoying it. Has a crisp, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink in the good way!


neenerzig, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of BittererPlease
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler poured into a mug.

A good pour leaves you with a nice light head.

It has a beautiful amber appearance with a deap red tint in my wider mug.

Great hop taste, just bitter enough, but not too much.

Leaves the mouth wanting for more, great drinkability. Allows you to get a stronger taste than your pale ale and lets you consume a few more bottles than an IPA would.

The hop back system is quite interesting, take the tour, they allow you to 'play' with the hops!

Highly enjoyable, great from the growler, from the tap at the troegs brewery or your local bar, and not too shabby from a bottle either. In my personal opinion, it tasted the best from a growler, which was consumed about 6 hours after I purchased it.

This beer has become an addiction for me.


BittererPlease, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of WayneRooneyFan
4.78/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I know that some may argue with me, but Troegs Hopback Amber Ale is one of the finest American beers that I've had the pleasure of drinking in quite awhile.

Perhaps, this is the kind of beer that one needs to drink on-tap rather than from a bottle.

It combined three characteristics that I enjoy in a beer: hoppy, sweet and low-to-moderate carbonation.

The mouthfeel was excellent and struck me in a positive way immediately. The taste made my tastebuds stand-up and take notice.

It was served very cold, which may have helped its consistency remain strong until the bottom of the pint glass.

It is not my favorite from Troegs (Nugget Nectar is), but is very pleasing nonetheless.

WayneRooneyFan, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of MP72
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured a nice dark amber with a beautiful offwhite head.

Smell was of hops and malt sweetness.
Taste was good with a prominant hop character and a little sweet.
Mouthfeel of a typical red ale with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability was on the low end for me it was a bit too sweet even my wife didnt want another.
Onto something else.

Worth a try and dead on for the style.

MP72, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear dark mahogany color with a spotty beige head and a good amount of lacing.

Beautiful aroma of juicyfruit gum, grapefruit, kiwi, and sweet malts.

Tastes of sweet malts, candy sugar, grapefruit, apple, caramel, and bread. Finish is clean and dry.

Medium bodied, crisp and dry, with carbonation on the light side.

This is a terrific amber form Troegs. I could drink these all night.

Monkeyknife, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After hearing about this beer from a buddy in Philly, I was very glad to see it on tap at George Keeley's on the Upper West Side. I have had no bad quaffs with Troegs and this was was no different.

A: Poured into pint glass to reveal the color of half amber bleeding towards cooper that glistened at me as if to say "where have you been friend?" Light khaki head was minor, perhaps a finger at best and average lacing and impressive retention.

S: The nose proved it's name-hops but not too overpowring and nice malts and candy and florals lurking in the background. I was liking this one even before my first taste.

T: The zing from the hops makes this one of the most powerful ambers I've ever had but again does not ruin the experience. The brewmaster certainly is worthy of honors mixing the malts and sweets to ensure a complex and balanced product, with the hops leading the taste front and back. Sweetness and bitterness hanging out together.

M: Medium to thick, plenty of carbonation retained, but I truly enjoyed the creamyness from the malts more than anything else.

D: This is the best Troegs I have had and will certainl pick up a case when in Pa (as if I could get anything less) A nice refreshing new style that I originally thought was going to a different take on a pale ale. Again, the hops are balances to perfection, yet you still enjoy a robust flavor following by the sweetness to your tongue.

Brianmerrilyn, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of saradad
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz glass. Good head retention that fades to nice lacing down to the last swallow. Nice nutty brown color, with visible carbonation. Not much malt smell but a citrusy hops aroma is apparent, but there's a bready malt taste that's quickly run off by the citrusy hops with a dry yet sweet somewhat fruity finish. A good beer all around. Ciao!

saradad, Oct 21, 2008
Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,655 ratings.