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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Hopback Amber AleTröegs Hopback Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Standing 12 ft. tall at the center of the brew deck is our HopBack vessel; here, whole flower hops swirl in hot wort coaxing hop oil into aromas of grapefruit pith and pinesap. This bright hop nose is counterbalanced with malt tones of toffee and Caramel.

Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Nugget, Crystal

55 IBU

Added by Maestro on 09-29-2002

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Reviews: 1,162 | Ratings: 3,059
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer.

Pours amber with a slight off-white head. The aroma is piney hops with some malt. The flavor is more of the same with piney hops and a nice caramel malt backbone. Medium-thin mouthfeel and low carbonation. Not the most complex beer in the world but a very good drinker.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Alkey for the brew.

Pours a nice slightly cloudy golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice small tannish creamy head, some nice little islands and sticky lacing followed. The nose is sweet, hoppy, citrusy, and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is very nice, hoppy and citrusy. Nice chewy mouthfeel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew from Troegs, highly recommended.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is also a bit hoppy, some malts coming through, finishes a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this makes for a quality brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a rich amber color, which is brilliantly clear and lightly carbonated. It is topped by a frothy, initially just over a finger thick, tan color head. The aroma is nicely hoppy with a nice mix of dominant pine notes and a light grapefruit citrus character. There are some lightly malty notes underneath the hop character; toasted malt and sweet caramel.

The beer is sweet up front, which accents the citrusy hop character. The hops have a tight grip on the palate; sharp and herbal with a solid bitterness that lingers on through to a long finish. This is nicely hoppy, just what I needed this afternoon. Fairly malty as well, with a solid backdrop, which helps to accentuate and balance out the hops. Both a malt sweetness and a toasted almost baked malt character. Quite a tasty beer, and as is the sign of any good beer it seems to disappear from my glass long before I want it to.

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Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one and a half finger creamy frothy head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell had a sweet upfront citrus aroma accompanied by a very good doughy malt aroma.

The taste was solid and malty with an excellent sweet orangy hop element. Mild pepper and grapefruit as well.

The mouthfeel was full with a little bit of sweetness.

Overall a very unique American Amber. Very quaffable amber ale that would appeal to my fellow hop heads.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sometimes have trouble discerning between IPA's and really hoppy amber ales, but this certainly has enough red in its suit to indeed be considered an amber ale. Its gold and soft copper tones lead me to consider it a light tone of amber, but again amber none the less. It has spotless clarity but its head is erratic and thin. All in all, I suppose it looks pretty good.

I'm not usually one to complain about too much caramel malt - even in my hop bombs - but I do feel a little short changed by the lack of hop presence in this one. The citrus is restrained and the spice is mild at best. The lupulin is present, just not to the extent I had expected given they named the beer after the vessel packed with hops through which it circulates.

The malt, which I felt was a little too forward in smell, is much more appreciated in taste. The sticky caramel coated sweets impart flavours of lightly toasted bread, honey laced wafers, crisply baked cookies, a handful of nuts and butterscotch drizzle. Again the hops fail to jump out at me as hoped, although I do get a good dose of pine and hints of bitter grapefruit.

I'll soon stop complaining about it, but one last thing, I find the hops are more sensed then tasted. A vinous, dry, almost thorny bitterness lightly throttles the palate after each sip. The sweetness of the malts makes this considerably smooth and balanced. Although very easily quaffed, it could use a notch more of carbonation to be considered ultimately quenching.

As mentioned already, I had expected a little more of a hop presence given that it's been boasted right there in the name. Nevertheless, this makes a darn nice amber ale, albeit not as good as their Nugget Nectar. Troegs seems to make nothing but darn nice beers and despite not being particularly huge on the style, I could definitely see revisiting this one.

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Photo of Zorro
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 OZ bottle provided by Thaichile.

Pours a clear reddish brown ale with a good tan head. Held up to a snow-white plate this is very much a red colored beer.

Smell is both quite malty and hoppy without one dominating the other. Sweet smelling to the point of being a bit syrupy malty. Good strong hop scent that is a bit of all things hoppy, some pine, grapefruit, and herbal scent without a dominant hop scent.

Taste starts malty, woody and a bit smoky at the beginning. This gets a little sweeter and maltier as you drink it and the taste is not unlike a Scottish Ale. Hops remain mostly dry and woody but a bit of citrus flavor does come out. Overall a dry mild ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Good solid drinking beer here but it is a little too malty and dry in the end to get a really great drinkability rating. This is a rather full flavored and bodied beer that just isn't all that after the first hop burp you realize just how rich this really is. Nice beer though, would go great with sausage and dumplings.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber hue with plenty of haze and a strong effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy light-tan foam. Quite good.

Smell: rich malty aroma with lots of caramel character and some earthy hops coming through. Biscuit is on the low side for the style, which I like. Pretty good!

Taste: big caramelly malt flavor with a bigger variety of hop character. There's some citrus here as well as earthy and dank hop flavors. Bitterness is surprisingly balanced. This reminds me of a "light" strong ale. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good creaminess. Satisfying.

Overall: this is a good and satisfying amber. Not usually my style, but the brewers have toned down the biscuity malt character and come up with a nicely refreshing recipe. I would have this again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This always felt a bit like a baby Nugget Nectar, with the balance swinging more towards malt than hops- the opposite of Nugget Nectar. There's a wonderfully toasty malt backbone, with just enough hops- slightly fruity, a good amount of pine and grass.

This one seems to be forgotten- it shouldn't be. Great stuff.

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Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer out of the bottle and liked it even more from this brewery fresh growler. It’s very much the same but the body felt a little fuller, the carbonation is moderate, and there’s an appealing smoothness and creaminess that’s somewhat absent in the bottled version. Otherwise it’s the same beer at the height of freshness.

Amber color, as expected; decent cap of white foam; solid lacing. Sweet caramel malt and mostly piney hops in the nose; some orange and grapefruit citrus notes as well.

Flavor follows the nose; quite hoppy for an amber and tastes essentially like Nugget Nectar light. Sweet caramel and bread flavors from the malt; a nice mix of pine and citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange mix with emerging floral notes. Very balanced; moderately bitter; semi-dry, with a lingering mix of sweet and bitter in the aftertaste.

A solid hoppy amber that’s even better in a fresh growler!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium dark amber with very little head. Some lacing as the beer was consumed. Fairly faint smell but traces of malt rather than hops. The taste is quite good- maybe a little too much carbonation at the front of the palate, but quickly some pleasant not too sharp bitterness from the hops and immediately a transition into a sweet malt flavor followed by a some lingering hop taste. The mouthfeel starts a little slick, but quickly drys out and ends up quite refreshing. Hoppier and maltier than many ambers, but eminently drinkable.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle with a bottled date of 012209 and a number of 090107. Sampled on March 16, 2009.

The pour is a good looking amber-orange with a lot of carbonation that bubbles up to a frothy two-finger beige head then settles back a bit but never entirely. The aroma is hops first, citrus second almost like an IPA. The mouthfeel is of medium to bold texture and holds its own while swirling in the mouth. A hoppy taste bites me on first sip but then it ends in a rather unique but balanced bitter finish. A pretty good brew.

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Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-amber with a light tan head, ring of retention, good lace.

S: For something called hop-back, I expected a little more, but it does have a good hop nose for an amber... Pine, tangerine, apricot, toffee & some light cotton candy esters.

T: Definitely plenty of hops in the flavour... mostly tangerine & pine with a little grass. Malts are a little grainy, with toffee & biscuit flavours, good bitterness.

M: Moderate body has a little bite from the hop acidity.

D: A good drinker.

Thanks Sstacko!

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Photo of dar482
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in New York and brought back to Sydney to drink with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a ruby-tainted amber colour, with a nice heft to the body. Head is firm, but a little listless, although a hearty swirl reinvigorates it. Pleasant creamy white shade to it. Minimal lacing, and the body is quite light, but otherwise, a good looking beer.

Nose is light and fresh without being very sharp, exciting or bright. Aromas of cut green apple, wheat chaff, and turned earth make this a subtle, rather than explosively hoppy beer, but the flavours are all nicely integrated.

Taste is smooth and light, with a clean green hop character treading the length of the palate, but not releasing a lot of bitterness. Some light grainy malt structure balances this nicely, although neither the hops nor the malt make a striking or exciting contribution. It's more just a well-rounded, smooth and pleasant brew.

Very drinkable, and my comments about the lack of mindblowing flavour shouldn't mask the fact that this is a very well made and enjoyable beer. A tasty drop that would be relatively sessionable, even for 6% ABV.

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Photo of corby112
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Podarks dark amber/ruby red color with golden orange edges and 1.5 finger frothy white head.  Excellent retention slowly fading into lasting cap that coats the glass with soapy lacing on it's way down.  

Earthy hop aroma with grassy/piney notes that are very nicely countered by the sweet malt presence.  Hints of caramel and biscuit.  

Full bodied for the style with an excellent balance of earthy, bitter hops and sweet malt flavors.  Hops are prominent with a dry and bitter piney, grassy presence that lingers into a dry finish.  Countered by hints of caramel, rye, toffee and biscuit.  Flavorful, well balanced and very quaffable.  

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 1-finger head that quickly dies w/o lace ontop of a brownish red body. A very hoppy aroma for an amber ale with good citric notes that are spicy and a nice caramel malt base as well. Well-balanced and smooth light-to-medium bodied beer that has a sweet caramel taste that first struck me and also some bready/dry malts. The citric hops come out for balance on the back end for a mixture of a sweet then dry, crisp beer as the backbite is sharp and pleasant. A great beer for this style as they really got the sweetness right and the hops in there are the perfect amount to taste and balance the sweet malt.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright, clear cranberry-apple with a thin, fizzy medium tan head. Medium visible carbonation steadily streams upwards.

S: The nose was soft with fresh pink grapefruit, light pine with a nice malt sweetness with some juice-like aroma of berries and apples.

T: The initial flavor starts out with a sweet citrus kiss fo grapefruit and sweet caramel. Malty, piney, citrusy with a rich toasted caramel all combine to provide a incredible smooth and well rounded flavor from start to finish. A big wet grapefruit hopping appears providing a nice spicy citury finish.

M: very smooth with a light-medium fullness. There was spicy grapefruit and rich caramel lacing the tongue after the swallow.

D: A great drinking hopped amber that is case worthy by all means. One that is very enjoyable in multiples and hard to tire of.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass) bottled 11/19/09
A- This beer has a dense crystal clear amber body with a gentle carbonation and a head of soft peaks. The head is a yellowish-cream color and starts bubbly and thick, lasting for a good bit.
S- This beer has a faint green aroma with some pretty clean light cinnamon hop aroma and a dry caramel malt note that grows as the beer warms a bit.
T- The fresh hop pellet green taste has a soft lightly toasted malt flavor to follow with just a note of dry biscuit note. The finish is a green hop flavor that lingers with just a bit of bitterness.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizzy finish that cleans up the taste.
D- This beer has a nice hop flavor but it is a bit soft and the malt is even softer. The over all flavor is pretty dry but it is pretty quaftable.

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to frenchy for this one

Appearance - Amber/copper colour with a large frothy and fizzy beige head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, caramel, brown sugar, malts, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, cookies, malts, and some very light citrus. There is also a nice amount of hops.. nothing over the top, but enough to provide some light bitterness to balance the sweetness. It ends with a caramel sweet aftertaste with a little bit of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - A delicious beer that is good in all categories. It might be a touch too sweet to have more than a couple of however. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a crimson hue with pretty burnt orange highlights. The head is small but the lacing it leaves behind is quite attractive.

S-Nose is surprisingly lighter than I would have expected. Behind the sweet malts is some pleasant pine and floral aromas. Not very impressed by the nose but the taste is always the most important aspect of the beer.

T-The flavor is better than the nose. Piney bitterness and floral hoppiness play well with the deep malty sweetness. The bitter aftertaste lasts for quite a while. I get a tea-like flavor as well which is pleasant. The beer is balanced and flavored well.

M-Lighter side of a medium body. Carbonation is vibrant. Slightly resinous.

O/D-Pretty good. I would consider buying another 6 pack. Maybe a bit fresher would make this one come to life on the palate more. But I love the style, and I love Troegs. No Nugget Nectar, but that goes for most beers. Happy with the results.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1/2"of light beige head, which laced ok. Aroma is mainly of hops, but the malt is also evident, just in the minority. Taste is a bit of a surprise, as the nose did not lead me to think this would be as well-balanced as it is. Hops is up-front, but the flavor profile is quickly rounded out by an appropriate amount of malt. Mouthfeel is good, and that little aftertaste of hops is great, just like you want. Drinkability is excellent, plenty going on this brew so as not to bore the taste buds.

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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 3,059 ratings.
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