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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,093 |  Reviews: 1,174
Photo of MattyV
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a finger of dense creamy off-white head that leaves lots of lacing.
Aroma of light floral/fruity hops, touch of sweet caramel, very clean and subtle.
Sweet bready/caramel malt fight for dominance with the floral hops which provide a fleeting resinous bitterness in the mouth which leads into a very crisp and balanced finish.
Great silky/creamy mouthfeel and light-to-medium body.
Highly drinkable, I can see this being a good gateway beer for those new to the craft scene and not big hop heads. I found it big on hop flavour and aroma, but with a substantial malt backbone that canceled out any major bitterness.

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Photo of mltobin
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer down the road in Westchester County NY.

Appearance is amber with a small white head. Hopback smells of hops, malt, pine. It tastes fairly sweet, caramel, hops are present in taste as well, some citrus too. All in all, this beer tastes very nice. MF is medium bodied. Drinkability is good, a couple of this go well with some chicken or on their own.

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Photo of travelfrog
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this fine beer on tap in my favorite Washington DC brewpub.

Appearance was excellent -- Golden color with a creamy head.

Smell was less impressive -- some notes of hops, but surprisingly little aroma. Perhaps my allergies had suddenly kicked in, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

Taste was quite good. A nice balance of malt and hops.

Mouthfeel was good but not great. A little too much maltiness sticking to the roof of my mouth, if you know what I mean.

Drinkability was just fine. It's a very potent beverage, so it's certainly not a bad thing it doesn't rate higher in this category.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: Poured a clear dark amber with a one-finger creamy head that slowly died to a good film and big collar with good lacing.
S: Pine with citrus rind hops, sweet caramel malt with a slight biscuit character, some earthy raisin and brown sugar. Good.
T: Starts off creamy and malty and then moves to hoppy and almost crisp. The malt is a blend of caramel, brown sugar, and figs with a slight bready yeast character, while the hops come off as slightly piney over the earthy, almost floral citrus flowers that are a bit like fresh white grapes on the lingering finish. Slight alcohol comes off as a gin-and-juice.
M: Creamy and frothy to an almost crisp finish.
D: Good.

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Photo of Rhynes2
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great brew right here. Pours nice amber color with a decent amount of head and while there is not much to say for the lacing down the glass, it still has some nice hop flavors. Starts a little bitter and a touch dry but rounds out pretty nice. Hop flavor is prominent but not at all overpowering which I like in this kiind of brew. This is for sure something I would be drinking on a beach in the summer. Light citrus flavors are also present but again very well balanced. So if you light a medium bodied hoppy (but not over hopped) brew, this one is just what youve been looking for.

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Photo of ADWnyc
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed multiple pints on tap at Cazenovia Pizzeria in Cazenovia, NY.

A - Nice amber, reddish color with respectable head

S - Strong aroma with floral and sweet notes

T - Nice presence of caramel and honey, good amount of citrus in the finish

M - Medium body

D - Definitely easy to drink, especially considering 6% alcohol level

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark garnett with a solid head retention

smell: some citurs aromas and some caramel

taste: Like I thight it would taste, nice caramel malt bbackbone with plenty on citrus hops.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: unsure what the age it but I bet this is even hoppier when fresh. This may not be that fresh.

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Photo of jimlin
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While not an experienced reviewer (I won't try to go into all the descriptive comparisons that others know better than I), I can say, I expected a bit more hoppy bite from the name alone.

I first had one on tap last week, but it was following a Founders Red Rye PA, so I didn't want to go on that impression. I picked up a six tonight as I stopped to get some DME and hop pellets for this weekend's homebrew.

I love the color. A beautiful red/amber that really catches the eye. The head seems nice, but dissipated quickly. However, the issue is, something is just a bit "off" in the taste. There's almost a "metallic" flavor I can't get by. I thought perhaps it was in my head, but just into the second bottle (poured into a pint glass) proves to have this flavor consistent with the first. Can anyone explain what I am tasting? I taste the metallic flavor in the finish. I'll finish the 6 this weekend, but I won't buy it again.

It goes down easily enough, and if it weren't for this lingering metallic flavoring, I'd love this beer.

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Photo of JHamm
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: redish copper tone. somewhat cloudy with little head, slight lacing around the sides of the glass. little carbonation.

S: not much in the way of smell. slight orange/honey zest scent.

T: bitter upfront but balances well with an aftertaste sweetness. slightly floral flavors overall.

M: clean flavors overall although nothing stands out. crisp mouthfeel with little aftertaste.

D: Everything balances extremely well in this beer but nothing stands out as extremely memorable. the bitterness of the hops really balance out the malt sweetness. This feels like a great session beer to just hang out and relax. more body than your typical session beer, though.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Reddish, medium-copper amber in color with excellent clarity and lively carbonation which builds to a one-finger head of creamy, off-white foam, settling into a bubbly film which leaves good lacing.

S: Super clean, citrus and pine hop aroma with full on grassy, herbal, orange and lemon notes. A little peppery with a mint leaf-like freshness.

T: Sweet, medium roasted crystal and pale malts give off good caramel and bready flavors before giving way to a prickly hop character. The hops start off with a fruity, floral, prickly bitterness and build to a more pronounced, earthy, resinous herbal, citrus and pine effect. The finish is semisweet, slick and bitter with a lingering sting of citrus and grassy hops.

M: A very clean and balanced ale overall with a medium-bodied mouthfeel and a little stickiness in the hopped out, bitter finish.

D: One of the best flagship amber ales I've had to date. Troegs Hopback is very well-crafted and it pays lots of attention to its hops. The 6% ABV is a nice little bump that is virtually undetected amongst its rich, caramel malt sweetness balanced with the fresh, leafy hop bitterness. I would certainly get it again.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Amber color beer with a minimal head. Some solid lacing left on the sides throughout the drink. Head could have been bigger, but decent lace kept this a good looking brew.

S - Sweet malts, caramel, hops on the end. Floral and fruity mostly. Little bit of honey in there. Smells like an easy drinker.

T - Pretty much the same as the nose on this one. Sweet caramel with solid floral and grassy hops on the back end. It's a sweet beer with enough hop notes to keep it from being too sweet.

M - Thought it was a little flat, but not bad. Lighter side of medium bodied.

D - Pretty enjoyable and easy to drink session beer. Good stuff, would drink it again and enjoy.

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Photo of mjforres
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass

A - amber color, clear. nicely carbonated with moderate head retention. A very attractive beer.

S - hoppy with hints of sweetness and citrus notes.

T - not overwhelmingly hoppy, a nice balance of hops and malt with a little bitterness in the aftertaste. It invites another sip -- good thing I bought a 6 pack!

M - nicely balanced and layered flavors but maybe a bit thin.

D - an very sessionable and food friendly beer. I will be buying more of this in the summer when I like a lower alcohol, refreshing ale.

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Photo of cetherid
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


Pour is a nice dark amber color. A little transparent but A nice looking ale. About 1 fingers worth of off-white head.


Some sweet malts and nice floral hops. nothing really "wow" but decent smelling. Perhaps a slight caramel or honey smell.


same as nose. A little malt dominant. Again i get some sweet caramel like malts in there. A slight bitterness in there but the malts smooth it out. A very good tasting beer.


a little thin but great carbonation. A very smooth drinking and sessionable beer.


pretty good, however this beer is hard to get in Indiana. I had my aunt bring it from PA. Very drinkable and sessionable however.

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Photo of JDFish
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Beautiful dark amber color, thin eggshell head that dissapates pretty quickly. Good amount of lacing left on the glass

S: Citrus and grainy/floral aroma. Clean hops smell

T: Delicious. It follows the smell, lighter citrus notes with clean, crisp grain/floral hops. But not real bitter, pretty smooth

M: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated

D: Very drinkable and delicious. They go down really smooth. A great brew IMO

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised by this beer. Nice clear ruby red color with little head that fizzles out quickly. Aroma is of juicy, spicy, and piney hops and there is a distinct undertone of warm maltyness. Tasty brew with lots of pine flavor up front followed by a wave of grainy malts clean lemon and citrus that gives way to a mix of grassy and minty hop flavor and aroma. The mouthfeel is insane for a small beer, lucious and luxurious. I've had three of these today and could have three more.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise. Thanks, Matt.

A clear amber with a dense, off-white head with good retention and mild lacing, this looks good. The nose is solid. Moderately hoppy, I get the classic Cascade hop nose with pine and some citrus. Bitterness is low, and the hop character is actually nuanced and complex. Moderate malt character is present, with the rich, bready, Munich malt lending a caramel-like note. Solid. The palate replicates the nose, with a blend of caramel, bread, pine and a little citrus present, all beautifully balanced. The hop character is strong, but delicate, rich and nuanced. For a change, the malt sweetness doesn't get in the way of enjoyability, and I suspect it's mostly due to the sole use of pilsner and Munich malts, both of which provide rich flavor without being cloying. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this beer finishes with a light bitterness and some malt flavor. Enjoyable, I drank 3 bottles, and could have gone for more.

Despite the use of Nugget hops, this beer doesn't try to be Nugget Nectar Jr, nor does it need to be. A truly enjoyable, and dare I say, sessionable beer.

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Photo of LeftyEtc
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Medium amber with a quarter inch white head that disappears very quickly, an inviting unfiltered cloud lingers as you continue to sip.

S- Lightly toasted malts and citrus are behind a huge hoppy nose.

T- Beautifully balanced hoppiness and sweet fruit. I love hoppy beers that sting your tongue, this one should sting but the hop counter part of sweet toasted malts is spectacular.

M- A Carmel chewiness is noticeable at the end along with very little carination and no noticeable alcohol taste. Truly a wonderfully enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ToddT
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear dark amber color topped with a large off white head. Head falls slowly, is somewhat sticky, and leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Clean aroma of floral hops, malt and little else, aroma is very subtle.

T- Malt, caramel, and grassy/floral hops hit all at once and swirl about the palate in a beautiful balance.. Finish is dry and with a final not that shifts between sweet malt and bitter floral hops.

M- Medium in body and with decent carbonation, it has a nice clean feel on the palate. There is a little bit of hop oil residue left at the finish but it neither builds up nor is unpleasant.

D- Oh yeah, this is my go to session beer, the 6.0% ABV might be a little high for this but it is so tasty, so just pay attention to how many you have had.

I often session this at the local bar where I can get it on cask and even though the bottle version is very good the cask version blows it away.

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Photo of dutchlq7
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber to copper in color. Thin whit head which slowly disappates leaving a small white ring.

Smell-Sweet, caramel smell with the faintest hint of hops.

Taste-Toasty malt with hints of sweetness finishes with a slightly spicey and quick bitter hoppiness on the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, very crip and leaves the mouth dry.

Drinkability- I liked it, was pretty easy to drink and a nice change from IPA's.

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Photo of awalk1227
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/30/10 Bottled on Date of 11/02/10, all right, not too old!

Poured into an Alchemist Brewery pint glass

A: Pours a brilliantly clear brownish red, more on the red side than anything. Looks like some peach is trying to sneak its way in there. Finger and a half head, although my glass may not have been cleaned properly before use.

S: Citrus greets me first, with a caramel malt coming soon afterwards. However, like with the Native Amber I drank, this doesn't smell like an IPA fighting a Brown Ale for dominance. They blend well.

T: Fruity hops dominate the palate first, but not in a scathing way like with an IPA. A caramel and sweet bread malt is integrated well into the flavor, letting you know it's an Amber ale.

F: A little thinner than medium I'd say. Just enough malt though. Feels right for an Amber of 6.0% ABV.

D: Great! I'd like to try it even fresher though. Going to seek out lots of Nugget Nectar because I enjoyed this so much.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Nice amber color, nice head that stuck around no lacing.

S= I picked up some citrus hops a little earthy smell. Some malts

T= It is much like the nose faint hops but I'm glad it didn't have a strong malt backbone that some breweries have nice beer.

M= Medium bodied, not a lot of carbonation.

D= Nice beer very enjoyable good session beer.

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Photo of erosier
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice clear brown-amber color with a medium bodied and medium sized tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down as it fades.
S: Smells of sweet roasted and caramelized malts with a nice fresh citrus-y, earthy, and floral hop finish.
T: Tastes much like the nose - caramelized malts and toffee flavors up front with a nice clean and well balanced citrus-y, earthy, and floral hop finish.
M: Very crisp, fresh, refreshing, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this is a great session beer with the mix of flavors, its feel, and its mouthfeel. Decent abv too, nice beer for sure.

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
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 Beejay
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, medium amber, and a light tan head. The head starts to dissipate almost immediately.

S: Nice pine aroma. Some bready aromas and a little sweet caramel.

T: Sweet caramel, and bread. A bit of a toasty flavor with a nice piney/woody hop flavor. There is a nice balance in this guy.

M: Medium in body, and carbonation is pleasant.

D: Good overall. Something I could spend a whole night drinking..

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Photo of MowryJC
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Coppery clear color that starts with a decent finger and a half foamy head and dissipates into a nice ring, leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet toffee and caramel moves into resiny hops, nicely balanced.

T - Smacks of pine but moves immediately into a nice caramel maltiness, returning to a resiny finish of hops.

M - Finishes nice and dry with a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

D - I could definitely take down a few of these. While Troeg's Pale Ale left me wanting more complexity, their Hopback is a great balance of maltiness and hops that satisfies fully.

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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 3,093 ratings.
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