Hopback Amber Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Hopback Amber AleHopback Amber Ale
Very Good
3,122 Ratings
Hopback Amber AleHopback 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,122 |  Reviews: 1,176
Photo of stevenstofen
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A superb amber-reddish color; it's a very beautiful beer. Only has about a 1/4 of an inch head which dissipates rather quickly. Very little lacing.

S: Has a slight caramel scent to it. Also, it has traces of pine when you just pour it out of the bottle and the head is still prominent.

T: Has a good bitterness to it from the hops, but the caramel is also somewhat noticeable throughout the experience - especially in the after taste.

M: Light to medium bodied. It gives a pleasant "tickle" from the carbonation even though there is little to no head left a few minutes into the indulgence.

O: Overall it is a pretty good beer. I think I was expecting too much after having Troegs Nugget Nectar (one of my favorites) but this was a pretty good substitute. A very different flavor than the NN - but enjoyable nonetheless.

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

Bottle was part of a Troegs Variety Case.

Printed on the carton: Best if enjoyed by August 11, 2011

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Pours a semi-translucent deep amber-reddish color. A very slight head upon the initial pour which didn't last very long. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Spotty lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - A semi-sweet malty, caramel like aroma. Not overpowering.

T - A rather malty beer with a good bite from the hops. A sweet background that taste like burnt caramel. There is a bitter aftertaste but is not overpowering. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M - A rather carbonated, tingly mouthfeel. A thinnish to medium consistency.

O - A decent beer. This is a great beer for those that love the maltiness along with a nice hop bitterness. A very sessionable beer. Enjoyable. My first beer from Troegs and was impressed.


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Photo of bubseymour
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very sessionable well balanced beer with good flavoring yet not over the top. Copper clear color with 2 finger head. Perhaps the one I bought wasn't fress as I didn't notice much hop aromas but the taste was a nice blend of hop, spice, pine notes. This tastes like it would be a great beer to pair with seafood or New England style cuisine. I had it with Chinese and it held its own, but I really could picture myself drinking this beer in a rustic raw bar somewhere downing some mussels, clam chowder or oysters with it. Troegs makes another fine product.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle in my 12 variety pack. Dated 4/21/11.

A: Dark amber/copper color, very clean looking. A frothy cream colored head formed and seems to be coating the side of the glass with heaps of lace.

S: Smells of a bouquet of hops, dry citrus, floral, sweet fruit, and a little pine. Sweet caramel malts in there too.

T: A very balanced flavor of hops and malt. Sweet malts hit you first with the hops kind of flowering in your mouth after a second or two. The hops have a bit of dryness to them, but merely enough to add to the flavor rather than detract.

M: A light-medium body that seems a bit thin at first but finishes on the creamy side. Very sessionable.

O: Aside from Troegs Nugget Nectar which is basically the exponent of this beer, Hopback is one of the best versions of an amber ale I've had. Nothing over the top, but enough ingredients to really bring out the flavor.

On a side note, I'm really glad I got this fresh; I had a chance to taste this at beerfest in AC and I could tell they were serving a very old batch of hopback. It was completely lacking hop flavor and almost skunky.

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Photo of mdr4669
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours smooth and rich, leaving about a 1/2 finger of creamy head covering a rich red/amber body.

Smell: A very nice balanced bouquet of hops, pine and citrus fruits.

Taste: Basically follows the scent to a tee. Starting off with a nice hoppy kick relaying into a fresh pine a citrus after taste.

MF: A little light feeling but refreshing non-the-less.

OA: A fine brew, not as intense or intricate as it's older sibling Nugget Nectar, but available year round.

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Photo of jman892
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark but clear amber, with a foamy 2 finger head. Nice intricate lacing remains

S - Caramel malts with just a hint of citrus fruit in the background

T - Hoppy with a bit of caramel sweetness, also notice an orange rind taste in there to mix it up

M - Moderate carbonation, pretty well balanced, which makes this a pretty drinkable brew

O - The red headed step child to Nugget Nectar. Solid beer that will do, is nice to find in a mixed 12 pack once or twice a year

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Photo of spointon
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This ale poured a clear amber color with a 1/2" tan head. The head quickly dropped to a thin cap that lasted a long time. OK lacing down the glass.

S= Sweet/caramel maltiness evident but thin. Hops were of the floral and sweeter smelling variety, and also muted.

T= Pretty malt dominant, with the balance leaning toward caramel sweetness and malt depth. The hops were lightly citrusy and floral. Finish was dry and a tad astringent.

MF= Lightish body with low/medium carbonation level.

D= Very sessionable in the sense that the ABV and flavor profile were not over the top. That being said, a beer called "Hopback" should have a bit more pronounced hop character. Especially in the hop flavor department. The astringency issue was distracting also. Not a bad beer, but it could be made better for sure.

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

Appearance: Decent , light tan head that diminishes quickly but lasts. Pours a nice clear, dark amber that is pretty nice.

Smell: Floral hops with caramel malts. The malts dull the intensity of the floral notes and bring the sweeter notes.

Taste: Floral hops are there but the malts steal the show with hints of spice to supplement the sweet caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated and creamy.

Overall: Fairly good beer and I might buy again in the future.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear dark amber with a thin light tan head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: sweet sweet caramel and apples.

T: hit first with a robust sweet malt, sweet raisins and apples. Brown sugar, a bit grassy from the hops.

MF: medium body, ok effervescence and a bit astringent.

O: solid beer from a local brewery. I wouldn't skip over it.

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Photo of Dan3279
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the 12oz bottle into a pint glass to find a somewhat clear, reddish amber body with a small light head. There was a noticeable amount of lacing when I was at the end of the glass. After I poured the beer into the glass I let it sit a bit to warm up. After about 10 mins I started to notice the aroma coming out. I picked up a slight fruity sweetness along with the hops.

The taste was very good, defiantly on the malty side with a caramel sweetness with the citrus hops coming out at the end. I was expecting the hops & carbonation to be more pronounced and to hit you more upfront.

The beer has a great mouth feel, very balanced and smooth with a creamy side. It was extremely easy to drink, I could easy enjoy putting down a few of these in one sitting.

Overall this is a great beer, glad I got a fresh bottle (bottled within the last six weeks) I would defiantly pick this up again if I have the chance.

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Photo of smh804
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - rich amber, almost no head, moderate lacing
S - the hops and the caramel malt tones blend perfectly, a little spicy
T - biscuits fade to caramel sweetness fade to strong, linguring hop profile.
M - medium bodied, spicy and moderate carbonation
O - this beer is very good. An aggressively hopped amber, but a well balanced one at that. I like the fact that despite this amped up approach, it's worthy of a session label. Truly an IPA lovers' Amber Ale.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a dimpled beer mug

A- One finger head, nice lacing, moderate carbonation, dark Amber, bronze body, very clear.
S- Hints of hops, malts and spice are present, caramel as well, overall smell is muted.
T- Malts and spice are very evident, slight hops. I expected the hops to be more present, slightly disappointed with the taste.
M- Medium mouthfeel, light on the body, sticky as well.
O- Was a little disappointed with this brew, I have yet to try Nugget Nectar, I have heard so many good things from Troegs, and I must say I was disappointed with my first beer from them, very easy drinkability, but nothing really special about this beer.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a ruby amber color with 1/4' thin head and some lacing. This is a good looking beer.

S: Floral hops and citrus burst into the nostrils. Some slight malt and pine aromas also present.

T: Sweet citrus flavors dominate the initial sip followed by a significant hop presence in the middle to finish. Some slightly unappealing bitter aftertaste in the finish.

M: This beer has the feel of a good spring beer. It is light and thin on the tongue with the presence of prickly carbonation.

Overall this is a good beer. It is very similar in flavor to Nugget Nectar, but the flavors and character are not as prominent as in its Imperial Amber Ale cousin. Aside from the slightly bitter aftertaste, the beer is well balanced and one of the tastier amber ales that I have had.

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

A - Good looking creamy head, resembling raw bread dough. Tall sticky head atop this perfectly clear deep amber body.

S - Aroma of sweet, fresh hops. Floral and crisp, green hop scents. Some mildly sweet grass as well.

T - Well balanced hop character here. A little spiced, bitter, sweet, fresh. A touch of mildly sweet malt thrown in the background.

M - Easy drinker. Lighter amber brew with a proper touch and finish.

O - A pleasant amber hopped ale. Nice for a few bottles.

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Photo of Bulkman
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Obtained this as an extra in a trade with Centennial, thanks Steve!

Pours with a thick white head & sticky lacing. Definitely amber in color, with excellent clarity. Picking up some mild malty notes, but mostly hops on the nose. Taste is pretty balanced between malt & hops with medium body. Overall, it's a pretty drinkable beer & reminds me of Nugget Nectar, but without the malt & hops presence of its big brother. It would make a great lawnmower beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dark copper, almost ruby color. A one finger white formed and dissolved rather quickly, but left some splotchy bubbles on the top layer. Very nice rings of lacing.

S: I very nicely hopped aroma. Not as hoppy as nugget nectar, but there is a nice combination of piney and citrus aromas.

T: A really nice hop flavor, citrus upfront with some orange and grapefruit. Like how Troegs makes their amber/reds hoppier than most, certainly suits my preferences. Some nice caramel and slight toffee malts help to balance it out.

M: Light to medium bodied with a good bit of carbonation. Drinks very smooth.

O: Almost like nugget nectar light. Really happy I grabbed this one and that it is available all year long.

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Photo of vtblackdog
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a clear darkish amber and one finger head that falls quickly.

Smell has strong caramel notes upfront. The hops are much weaker than expected.

The taste is more malty than anything else. For some reason I expected some degree of hoppiness, but I'm not getting much hop at all.

Medium carbonation on the mouthfeel and a bit creamy.

Overall a drinkable beer but I was expecting it to be a bit more crisp and tasty.

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

Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours an amber brown with an orange tint. Nice head forms on top leaving trails of sticky lace.

Fruity aroma with whiffs of cherries and malts.

This is one solid beer on all fronts. Big malty backbone with some caramel sweetness and light apple fruit flavors. A really nice and aggressive hop punch on the finish.

Hop flavors are intense, yet controlled with enjoyable citrus and pine blasts. I enjoyed this beer with some sharp cheese and crackers, providing a nice complement to each other.

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

Served from a bottle, reddish amber in color. Nice aroma with hoppy overtones. Smooth, balanced flavor, with a nice compliment of hops. This was a pleasant surprise. Not too expensive, but high quality flavor. Would definitely drink again. And again.

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Photo of tzieser
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: served in a standard pint glass out of a 12oz bottle. pours amber in color (shocker, i know) with a pretty thick white head that sticks well.

s: piny hops take up most of the aroma with a noticeable biscuity/caramel like malt character. well balanced smell.

t: taste is a bit sweet than i was expecting. i'm probably used to drinking nugget nectar, but i expected a bit more of a hoppy punch. the best by date on the assorted 12 pack is april 16th 2011, so it probably tastes much hoppier when fresh. regardless, the flavor is well balanced. not to sweet and not too bitter. grassy and piny hops balance out a nice caramel malt character. good brew.

m&d: smooth mouthfeel; good drinkability.

another solid brew created by a solid brewery.

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Photo of Hoser77
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours a deep copper-orange with slight red hue. Dense off white head that quickly fades. Lacing is persistant. Brilliant clarity

Smell-Predominantly spicy nugget hops up front followed by subtle floral and citrus notes from the williamette and cascade hops. Very mild biscuit and bread crust notes from the malt. Slight fruity fermentation esters.

Taste-Spicy bitterness up front, fades into bready malt sweetness at the back of the tongue. Hops stick and coat your tongue, however. Slight fuitiness. Balance is towards the hops. Lacking that crystal malt sweetness you find in ambers and that I prefer. Finish is crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel-Chewy, slightly puckering from the spicy nugget hops. Appropriate carbonation, lively.

Overall-I have heard a lot about this beer, so I think it would be hard to exceed my expectations. The beer seems out of balance to me. Spicy nugget hops seem to clash with the other hops and the malt. Would like to see some crystal malt notes/flavor as well. Overall, not a bad beer. Enjoyable. Experience improves as the beer warms. Not my favorite amber, would be better if the nugget hops were substitituted for a different hop.

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Photo of malloyca
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful crystal clear amber color. Aromas of roasted and sweet malt, earthy grains, and a slight citrus hop profile. This is a very pleasant drinking and well-balanced ale that begins with a solid, sweet malt flavor and follows with a dry hop finish.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark copper-reddish body capped with a decent white head that leaves behind some spotty lacing.

S: A strong nose of casade hops and a caramel malt backbone. Reminds me of Nugget Nectar.

T: Sweet caramel malts upfront followed by semi-bitter citrus hops. Very well balanced.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with almost a sticky texture. Medium body with light carbonation.

O: Great beer that's smooth & easy to drink. Definitely worth getting some if you see it. Almost reminded me of a maltier/sweeter Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of chumba526
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JPWV for this bottle.

It appears hazy orange/ red with a small off-white head.

It smells of grassy, citrusy hops and mild caramel malt.

It tastes initially of a mild caramel and toffee malt flavor. The malty flavor is countered by a subtle grassy and citrusy hop flavor. The beer ends with a touch of bitterness that is balanced by a bit of sweetness. This beer is very well balanced.

There is a crisp mouthfeel and the beer has ample carbonation.

Overall this is a great amber. It does a good job highlighting both flavors of the malt and the hops. If more breweries made ambers like Troegs I think they would be a more popular beer style.

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Photo of danmcg62
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep amber red with a solid head that stay around for a bit.

S-Caramel and spice comes to mind at first sniff. Hops and mild alcohol smell as well.

T-Creamy, spicy, hoppy taste. Smooth drinking. Very nice.

M-Creamy feel.

O-Overall a solid offering. I like this very much. Would definitely drink this again.

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Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 3,122 ratings