Hopback Amber Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Hopback Amber AleHopback Amber Ale
Very Good
3,112 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,112 |  Reviews: 1,176
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.

 455 characters

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.

 671 characters

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.

 818 characters

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.

 480 characters

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.

 456 characters

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.

 730 characters

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.

 429 characters

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.

 572 characters

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.

 250 characters

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.

 745 characters

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.

 1,173 characters

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.

 252 characters

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.

 519 characters

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.

 657 characters

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.

 320 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a just clear deep amber color with hints of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades slowly to a ring around the glass lacing nicely on the sides of the glass.

S - Aroma if full of deep sweet roasted caramel malts and some nice light citrus hops. There is also just a hint citrus fruits.

T - Starts off with a lot of sweet caramel malt flavor and some nice roasted notes. There is some light hop flavor and bitterness in the background. Through the middle more citrus hop flavor really comes out. The finish is a blend of citrus hops and roasted caramel flavor, with some nice sweetness, that lingers nicely.

M - Medium to medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth and crisp. Almost a touch creamy and the semi-dry finish is really nice.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent hop and malt blend and a very nice malt profile. Very crisp and refreshing while still having really nice flavors.

 950 characters

Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Ruby/bronze in color with a light haze, a 1-finger head, and good tiered lacing. Poured on tap into a pint glass.

S: Buttery with a sweet milk/caramel malt undertone. A hint of nuts on the end.

T: At once both creamy and earthy. Prevailing flavors of toasted barley, creamy malts, and earthy hops. A touch of peanut flavor on the swallow with a fairly neutral aftertaste.

M: Creamy without being too smooth. Full-bodied, dry-finished, and sedimenty.

D: A good beer to have one or two of, but less than sessionable.

 521 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - A caramel colored amber with a thin spotty head, very little lacing

S - Very sweet with cascade hops

T - Sweet with good hop balance, not over malted, but close

M - Great carbonation with delicate flavor that separates itself during consumption

D - Very high drinkablity, but the brew has a sight sting on the back of my tongue once i set it down for a few minutes

A good beer, would recommend. Thanks Andy!

 417 characters

Photo of socon67
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours lively with orange/amber color and plenty of carbonation. Very clear, and foams with a solid head.

S - Smells hoppy and sweet of fresh fruit. Hints of pineapple and grapfruit are present.

T - Tastes like a weaker version of Nugget Nectar. Now that is likely an unfair comparison for any beer, but while it is a nice mix of citrus, hops, and hearty grains; it isn't as good of their other widely popular beer.

M - Solid. A relatively smooth drinker with a kick. The raspy finish is pleasant. Not particularly noteworthy though.

O - Nothing worng with this at all. It is a great offering from Troegs. But if you like this, then you will probably love Nugget Nectar even more.

 687 characters

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

Pours a dark amber with a one-finger off-white head. Not much lacing or retention. Aroma of hints of citrus and caramel malt. Nothing stands out too much. Sweet flavor profile. Sweet bread malt, caramel, hints of subdued dark fruits and amber creaminess. Hops are pushed aside, but hints of citrus and pine can be found deep in the beer. A bit of a toasted vibe as well. Refreshing and subtle, wish the flavor was a bit stronger.

 429 characters

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

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date of 02/18/11. Pours a dark amber color with a thin ring of head. Aroma is of floral, spicy hops. Slightly bready as well as a caramel aroma. Taste is more of the floral hops, a lot of the floral hops. A bit bready with a metallic aftertaste. Rather heavy mouthfeel to this one. Overall this is a very floral, hoppy beer. Pretty good beer for being in a mix 12 pack. Certainly worth buying on its own.

 434 characters

Photo of vande
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good! My first try and a lucky extra from a recent trade [thanks Chase2634]... A hoppy lookin' golden amber... Great nose... poured very smoothly with a little lacing left behind.. Great mouthfeel...Sweet..bready..malty..hoppy..a good mixture..Definitely one of the better hoppy ambers I've had!

 300 characters

Photo of angusdegraosta
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Had this on tap at Quality Meats in Manhattan this January. Looks great and smells good, but what impressed me was that I liked the sweetness so much. I don't usually go for too much sweet, but the kind of sweetness here has bread, some fruit, and is not in the least bit perfumey. Balance that with great hops and you have a beer that's fun to drink - not too bitter, not mild either. Definitely among my favorites. I look forward to trying it in a bottle, as well as giving the Nugget Nectar a try.

 505 characters

Photo of WVRadar
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Very clear deep amber, with about 1/2 inch head, which quickly dissipated. Very little lacing. Aroma and initial taste were above average, but I didn't care much for the finish. Mouthfeel was a little oily, with soft carbonation. Initial taste was better than the finish, one was enough for me.

 294 characters

Photo of nickshep7
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a huge fan of Nugget Nectar and I've heard of this beer referred to as it's little brother (a spot on assessment, imo). Deep amber base with 1 to 1.5 fingers of off white head. Good retention and lacing. Smell is very similar to NN with just a little less hop and fruit (citrus, apricots). Taste is fantastic, very similar to the smell. Mouthfeel and drinkability are spot on. If you love NN, but want something you can throw back more of, try this brew. Might be my new "always on hand" brew.

 497 characters

Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 3,112 ratings