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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.

2,696 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,696
Reviews: 1,107
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 91
Gots: 262 | 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: 2,696 | Reviews: 1,107 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamette
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of wobblynoggin
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of ljbrisson
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of 7ways
2.95/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

Photo of positiverpr
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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).

Photo of CrellMoset
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of PatronWizard
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
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

Photo of becktone
4.3/5  rDev +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.

Photo of neenerzig
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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!


Photo of BittererPlease
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
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.


Photo of WayneRooneyFan
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

Photo of MP72
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of saradad
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
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!

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 1 finger head with good retention and a nice dark amber color.

Smell is of biscuity/caramel malts with a bit of a hop bite underneath.

Thing biscuity caramel malts with grapefruit hop bitterness. I'm wondering about the freshness of my sample. I see signs of a good beer with a good grapefruit hoppiness, but the caramel malts underneath are a little thin and weak.

The malts on this one are a litle weak. There aren't signs of oxidation, but I wonder if this one just has some age on it. I would expect oxidation though.

Still the grapefruit hoppiness in this one makes it work. I may seek it out again.

Thanks to CrazyMacHarris for the sample.

Photo of tpdog86
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beautiful Ale that is crisp and malty with huge hop flavor and hints of caramel that aren't too rich. The bite makes it refreshing while the spice and texture make it a good cold-weather beer as well. Phenomenal on tap but holds up well in a bottle.

Photo of TonyT
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the Troegs Brewery
Poured into Hop Back Glass

A- Brilliant Amber color. Two finger head, nice and fluffy. Hanging lacing the entire way down the glass.

S- Nice Light hop smell, malt sweetness poking through.

T- Great. Crisp with a silky sweetness. The hops and malts intertwine with each other with a nice hop bitterness hitting at the end. The sweetness is in line with the smell.

M- Silky malts leave sweetness from middle to back. Sticky hops stay with you. Not heavy, not thin, right in the middle. Dryness remains in the front end also.

D- This is a very drinkable brew (going well with the Phillies/Dodgers NLCS game- Go Phillies). I keep coming back to this beer. It holds its own in the world of ales.

Troegs HopBack - You are tried and true.

Photo of Ricochet
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunday morning, 11:00 A, perfect for a good beer. Before football right? If only my team didn't have a bye week. Oh well, to the Beer!

A: Deep amber, little head or lace. Poured thick. Good start because it looks like a beverage with substance.

S: Tar from the hops, sour malt, lingering balance remained. Wow. The scent really stays too. Hmmm.

M: Big roasted malts overlay with a thicker swallow and creamy finish with a bitter aftertaste.

T: I had bought this because of the huge hops they use for the label. Not a huge fan of Amber beverages, but this one makes me a fan. Tar hops but not overpowering tarry flavor and constantly lets me know there are hops in here. Malt is balanced with a slightly burnt overtone. Bitter notes fit the outside of this beer. The grassy hop feel and ever so slight chocolate note.. good stuff

D: Yes. I think as an Amber ale at a micro, I'd get this again. In the bottle 08-20-08, very fresh tasting.

Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to have Troegs distributed in Central OH

Aroma: Citrusy, zesty hop notes up front. Nice bready, carmel malt base. A hint of alcohol which is suprising. Low to moderate fruity esters invade the nostrils.

Appearance: Crystal clear garnet pour with a sudsy off-white head.

Flavor: Bready malt comes through first with floral and powdery hop notes to balance. Nice balance between bready malt character and firm American hop bitterness. Finish is crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel: Slightly oily with medium to light body. High prickly carbonation that stings a bit but is ok.

Overall impression: A well balanced, straight forward Amber. A little less carbonation would put this over the top. Nicely done.

Photo of ckaufman
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into a Troegs Hopback glass...

A: Clear reddish copper in color with a nice frothy off-white head. Very good head retention and minimal lacing, however the lace that is present is super sticky on the inside of the glass.

S: A good blend of pine and floral notes in the nose with a noticeable amount of roasted malts trailing behind the hops.

T: This beer has excellent balance between the roasted malts in the front and its dry bitter finish. Lots of hop flavor, but very subtle in its bitterness.

M: Nice medium body with a resinous feel in the mouth. Medium carbonation that tickles the tongue.

D: A very nice smooth drinking beer that is very sessionable. I don't get bored with this beer even after drinking the entire 2 liter growler. A good "flagship" beer for the Troegs Brewery. Nice work Chris & John... keep it up!

Photo of vtfan77
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very nice deep copper color, although hardly any head forms upon pouring.

S- Nice citrus and floral aromas with a sweet caramel backing. This could almost be the aroma of a good IPA, only the malt is more pronounced here.

T- Citrus and floral notes carry on into the taste, backed by a sweet, cereal-like malt character. Finishes slightly sweet with a low to moderate bitterness.

M- The body is on the light side of medium with a moderate carbonation level that makes for smooth drinking.

D- I'd drink a couple of these in a sitting no sweat. The alcohol is a little high for this to be a session beer, but you'd really never know it from drinking this.

This is a solid beer all around. I think I read somewhere that Nugget Nectar is an amped-up version of Hopback, and I can believe it. However, this beer certainly has its own, distinct identity. It's a great beer for really any occasion. If you like a tasty amber ale with a nice hoppy kick, then this is your beer. Recommended.

Photo of Biggness
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark cloudy amber with 1 fingered head and lacing. The smell is of nuts and citrusy hops. The taste is wonderful, one of the best amber ale I have ever tried. A wonderful balance between nut flavor, citrusy hops and malts. Trully an amazing balance between the three. The mouthfeel is nice and the carbonation level seems nice. A very drinkable beer and a great session beer imo

Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,696 ratings.