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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,162 | Ratings: 3,059
Photo of SaintM
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a sampler pack from the local large discount liquor store. This was the second beer I tried out of the 12 pack. Needless to say I was impressed. Unlike its lighter brother pale ale the amber has a very pleasant finish that all around earns high marks.

The beer poured a rich copper with impressive depth and tone. The head was 2 fingers that dissipated fairly quick with quite heavy lacing. The smell is not very pungent and I seem to catch earthy layers of some type of wood.

On to the best part of all beer reviews, the taste. This brew has subtle overtones that come in waves of flavor. It was very pleasing in the mouth and finish. Overall a solid beer that I would not hesitate to enjoy again.

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Photo of DarkBeerGuy
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice dark, healthy looking amber, as the name suggests. Two fingers of nice thick white head form, but dissipate quickly, leaving a thin lacing that grabs the glass.

Smell is modest- malt, great hops for an amber ale .

Mouth feel is exceptional! This beer is smooth, silky, creamy. Not expected, and awesome. Warmness from the spicy hops tops it off perfectly.

Taste is great- warm, malty sweetness from the caramel malt is balanced off beautifully by the hops, but its not overpowered of bitter. Finish is smooth.

I really like this beer.

Serving type: 1/6th Keg!!

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Photo of A_Frayed_Knot
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

At first sip was intrigued to feel the hit of hops mostly in the aftertaste, the back of the palate. Not disappointed at lack of sweetness which accompanies many amber or hoppy blends. Mostly disappointed that with additional sipping, what started as a hint of charcoal next began to produce more of a chalky texture effect. This was the most pronounced impression it made on me and unfortunately, if a beer doesn't finish well with me, it doesn't make me want to start over with another one.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a pretty long time, and left a little coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong influence of hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some sweet malty aroma, which balances the hops for a nice aroma.

Taste: A nice mix of hops, and herbs in the flavor, that make for an interesting and complex amber ale, but with a strong bitterness from the hops. There is a nice after-taste with a hint of bitterness from the hops, which lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex amber ale.

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

This is exactly what you would want from an Amber Ale, smooth and rich with just enough hops. The hop character may be too much for some, but you can still appreciate it in the flavor. The color is very appealing, and the aroma is pleasant. This brew is great on draft and in bottle.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Reddish amber. Lots of sediment.
Smell: Honey and citrus. Some floral.
Taste: Lighter version of the smell.

This is really good. The look is very inviting with a ton of sediment. The smell is the best part: honey and hop. The taste is a reflection of the smell, but it's slightly less so and almost watery in comparison to how big the smell is. I would probably get this again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

RE-REVIEWWW. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper color. In general, the body has amazing translucence and clarity. The head is a one finger off-white shade. While it's not the creamiest or the softest-looking head, it does leave behind a bit of lacing.

S: There's a really nice fruit ester note coming out of the glass here, somewhat reminding me of apricot. Otherwise, it strikes a good balance between caramel malts and piny hops, without either element dominating the other.

T: The first thing I notice is the malt backbone - definitely caramel-forward, and ever so slightly roasted. Hops exist as a gentle balancing act on the back end. Since this doesn't have Nugget Nectar's hops, I can also notice the some of the ester flavors (read: apricot) beyond the malt/hop interplay more easily. As balanced as this beer is, none of that would really matter if the competing flavors were muddled - luckily, each element is very defined.

M: Surprisingly full-bodied for the style, but the dry finish turns it from being hard work right into being ridiculously easy to drink. The crisp bite and healthy carbonation make it...uh, ridiculously easy to drink.

O: Without a doubt, this is one of the better brews I can get all day, every day, all the damn time at nearly every liquor store (with a half-assed craft beer selection, that is) I frequent. What else could be expected from a 5/6ths scale Nugget Nectar? I really should buy this brew more often...

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

A - one finger head, amberish color. good looking.

S - some caramel and some mellow citrus. piney too.

T - starts with caramel, and finishes smooth with very mild citrus and pine. this is real well balanced.

M - very carbonated, medium feel.

Overall, This is a super well balanced beer....very mildley hopped, and balanced perfect with sweet malt...not overly bitter, not overly sweet, just an awesome amber.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade. Thanks! Been anting to try this one for a while. Pours a deep amber bronze with a nice slightly orange white head. Aroma is sweet fruity malt and hints of grapefruit hops. Light-medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavor is mostly fruity malts with an ever so slight hop zest. Not bad but also not super exciting. Excellent BBQ beer and I suspect it would go nicely with some pulled pork.

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Photo of Omnium
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice deep orange color, 1.5 finger off white head, light lacing.
S - Aroma is rich with caramel and a slightly toasted malt, pine and citrus hops, a little dank, and some fresh bread.
T - Sweet malt, some lighter bubbly citrus, caramels and bread, and pine on the end.
M - Creamy and sticky.
O - Great amber, something thats full of flavor that you could go to all year round.

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Photo of JG-90
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Troegs Hopback is a copper brown color with hints of gold and red. Has an average sized thick tan head with okay retention and moderate lacing. Aroma has a bit of sweetness and pine, with light caramel malts, not too much overall aroma here.

Taste starts with sweet and floral, then caramel malt, then tart citrus, with a clean crisp piney, floral, caramel finish. Mouthfeel is on the light side, a bit of creaminess and high carbonation. This amber ale is a flavorful, crisp,easy to drink beer.

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Photo of Cyrion
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured at fridge temperature from a bottle. Date unknown.

Appearance: A dark yellowish gold with a frothy, 2" yellow head. Translucent with a few tiny bubbles moving up the glass. Decent rings. Looks promising.

Aroma: Some malty caramel and a vague whiff of pine hops. The scent does not give away many secrets.

Taste: Sweet malt, which is quickly followed by hops. I detected pine, although many reviewers mentioned citrus. I simply cannot taste citrus here. The pine settled snugly in the back of the palate and remained there until the glass was empty.

Body: Moderate, very typical of an amber ale. A good feeling, with appropriate dryness for a 6% beer.

Overall: A change for those burnt out by IPAs. Provides the hops you seek while softening the sharp, piney edges and providing a tease of malt. Hops contribution falls somewhere between an IPA and a lighter pale ale. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from the Canton Sunoco station. Bottled 032813 so about 5 months old give or take.

A - Pours dark golden and bright with good carbonation and a nice off white pillowy head of two fingers. Great rings of lacing and a finger of retention.

S - Honey, maltiness, citrus. Caramel, bread, vanilla. With the age it seems to have taken on a much more 'English' character.

T - Citrus, fruity maltiness. A metallic twang. Bready, toffee. Hop character is very muted, probably b/c of the age.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a fruity, mild bitterness.

O/D - Expected more but it's possibly due to the age of the bottle. A decent beer, but I wanted more. Wouldn't have another. Could take it or leave it.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tröegs Brewing Company - Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale, poured into an Otter Creek pint glass.

Look - Pours a slightly hazy ruby amber with an inch sized foamy head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell - Aroma is fruity sweet and sour along with caramel sweet. Hops are well balanced here.

Taste - Taste is tart, then caramel sweet, then a nice fruity citrus sour with bitter pine/resin hops.

Mouthfeel - On the lighter side in terms of body. Dry, crisp, tart, and refreshing like a "cider IPA" on steroids. Booziness is just right. Perfect drinkability.

Overall - This is most definitely Nugget Nectar's little cousin. Hot damn Tröegs this is great! Best amber I have ever had for sure.

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Photo of Bills453
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - poured from a bottle into a goblet glass. The color is amber, haha. Nice head with decent lacing.

Smell - not too much of a smell. Yeasty, bready.

Taste - very much like the smell. A bit bready.

Mouthfeel - pretty average, nothing of real note.

Overall - ok amber ale.

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Photo of Hendry
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber with a finger and a half ecru head that reduces quickly leaving a good deal of sticky lace in the glass.

Aroma comes off as a balance of malt & hops, sweet and citrusy all at once.

Taste starts out with sweet (but not overdone) malt, then hops a plenty take over with a nice balance of bitterness in there. Remarkably smooth drinking with pleasant flavors abound, alcohol is hidden quite well for 6%.

Mouthfeel is light medium, dry & crisp finish more like an IPA than an amber.

With Nugget Nectar being a tough act to follow, Hop Back Amber is a great grab by Troegs while NN is out of season (and even when it is in season). This is an exceptionally well done amber with a distinct flavor well worthy of a purchase.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass (2013/6/6)

A: Copper color with a reddish hue that pours to 2 – 3 fingers of chalky off-white head. The head settles down to a nice white collar leaving some lacing.

S: Hopback has a sweet malt nose with sticky, spicy hops; very floral.

T: It is a nice, balanced amber ale starting with a nice caramel malt backbone and is followed with a hit of bittering hops, both spicy and floral. It ends very clean, a touch sweet with a lingering mild hop bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation and a medium-light body; soft and smooth on the palate.

O: Very drinkable! Nice balance of malt and hops. Hopback is a great alternative from heavy/aggressive Imperial or Double IPAs (not that there is anything wrong with those!!). While not a session ale at 6%, I could drink it all day.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a Troegs' sampler pack, bought at Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park, NY.

Poured into a small nonic. Dark amber-caramel, with a sturdy half inch of head which forms a nice cap to the brew before settling down into a thin ring. Good sticky patches of lace as well.

Nose is sweet malt, earthy and citrus hops, with some bread, orange zest, resin and faint grapefruit.

This is certainly a very tasty red ale that is well put together. Nothing to stampede over, but a terrific camping/sixpack brew for certain. sweet and malty up front, a bit floral with some bread and caramel. Hop 'back' is appropriate, because the brew finishes with a good hop bitterness of earth and mild citrus. Medium bodied, nice mouthfeel.

My favorite from the pack, this was a great little ale to enjoy by the campfire. Nice mix of hops here.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks, jbravato! Poured into a nonic pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is "05/09/13."

Pours a reddish amber color with about a finger worth of head. Bubbles are pretty much nonexistent in this thing, although head retention is quite good, never lets go overall. Slightly viscous and thickened, even for the style at hand. Looks a lot like a classic English bitter in the glass. Could use some more lacing, but this is probably already getting a bit old.

The aroma is definitely showing signs of aging, but it's not without its perks in the process. There's big notes of pine and orange peel here, as well as a subtle yet firm biscuit flavor underneath. Honey and caramel are fully present, and are pleasant, rather than overtly sweetened, especially with the beer's age at hand. Dried flowers are another component here, as well as apricots. The grainy flavor is pretty well integrated, and it shows well made aspects in execution. Pretty good, especially for an amber ale.

The flavor, just like the aroma, does not provide an explosive experience by any means, but still grows on me throughout consumption. At first there's light notes of lemon peel, pine, orange blossom, and a subtle but pleasant toasted graininess, and then there's a fruity, nutty combo, resembling cashews, apricots, and to my surprise, dried peaches. Definitely holds a lot of restraint towards the malts, which is what I like when done as such in the style. Never gets too bready or grainy, and the hops and fruity esters are allowed to shine, albeit in a balanced manner. Very creamy and juicy overall - I'd imagine on tap this would be even better with the increased carbonation. Never too thin, and the ingredients are all well showcased. Quite good!

Haven't had a normalized amber ale this pleasant and balanced in a while. If this is the base for Nugget Nectar, then I intend to hoard those as soon as they're in season. The malts and grains are really well held together, and still allow the fruit and citrus to come through quite well. Refreshing stuff, and while not "sessionable," I could most definitely have a bunch of these in one sitting and not complain. A winner from Tröegs once again!

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Photo of BWED
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into craft pint

A- Clear, dark amber (as promised) with a creamy light tan head. Hangs around at a 1/4." Some lacing accumulates.

S- Strong caramel background, with a very pleasant floral, earthy hop aroma.

T- Smooth caramel malt. Clean subtle hop bittering balance.

M- Fairly light and clean. Slight bitterness in the finish.

O- Hopback gives this beer some great sttributes in the aroma, without overpowering the malt. Very well done.

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Photo of 57md
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is burnt amber with orange and golden traces in the edges. There was a finger of head that dissipated rather quickly. The nose is lightly hoppy. The flavor profile is a well blended mix of malt and mild hops. This is the baby brother of the mighty Nugget Nectar; not bad in its own right.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: The Andersons, Columbus, OH
Date: Bottled 2013-04-09
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Troegs' Hopback is a solid amber ale, balanced yet still showcasing the hops and malts in the beer. While certainly a good beer, I felt the creation was a bit lacking in one direction or another in both aroma and flavor, never quite earning it the high marks it would get if pushing the boundaries a bit further. One I'd try again, if it were locally available, but as it's not, I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out again.

Beer pours a 1.5cm tall head of off-white foam, made up of bubbles that are small in size. The foam eventually settles to a thick lacing atop the body of the beer, about 0.2cm in height. Lacing is present, but rather minimal, a few dots and lines cling to the insides of the glass. Body is a transparent dark amber color out of the light, a brighter orange-brown when illuminated. Carbonation is visible through the body, rising up from the center of the glass

Aroma is generally sweet, with bright hops giving a floral and sweetened grapefruit edge, with a strong complement of rich, slightly dark bread and caramel-like malts. Generally very smooth and complementary to both hops and malts.

Front of palate finds sweet caramel malt and dark bread-like flavors tempered with slightly floral and citrus-like hops. Mid-palate is of rich, sweet caramel malt tempered by prominent floral and lightly citrusy hops with some pleasant spiciness and mild bitterness. Back of palate continues deep caramel and grainy malts with moderate hop bitterness and some notable floral, citrus, and light pine flavors. Aftertaste features more notable bitterness along with grapefruit-like flavors and subdued caramel malt.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth, slightly foamy mouthfeel that's easy on the palate and makes drinking this pleasant. Closes quite dry from the hops, with moderate to heavy stickiness lingering on the palate.

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Photo of Lonelyshadow
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stein.

Appearance: Pours a thin white head with a nice amber body
Smell: A wonderful hoppy aroma mixed slightly with citrus notes
Taste: A very hoppy beer beginning with a slight citrus bite and ending with hops.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body
Overall: I enjoyed this beer and though it will not be my first pick, it has certainly earned a place on my fall back list.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Have been drinking this beer for a while and finally decided it was worth a full review. Drunk today on tap at the tasting room in snifters.
Glowing clear amber orange with a creamy head, streaky legs, and consistently evolving carbonation.
Smells of heavy hops and spice with just the necessary blend of grapefruit. Floral and grassy notes, with just enough pine, as well. These scents settle down as the beer sits, and more malts jump up, rounded with sweet caramel.
Hops charge in on the front of the flavor experience too, but there is balance from toasted sugar and oranges. Chewy malts in the middle close down around a bright note of the typical pine and grapefruit hops of an IPA. But it's always heavier, always just a bit darker, and rounded smooth with the amber core.
The body is fuller than expected. There's just the right amount of alcohol to let this burn into the tongue a bit. When colder, it helps along lots of different foods, even making spicy dishes a bit hotter while curiously helping douse thirst. At the end of the glass (at higher temperature), the fruity chewiness is almost the start of dessert.
Overall, this is my favorite year round brew from the Hershey boys. It's the combination of high points of different styles all poured into one glass that make it special--creamy, spicy, hoppy, deep, and just the balance of sweet and bitter. If you can't get to the brewery for the steady stream of scratch offerings, hopefully bottles of this widely distributed creature are in your neighborhood.

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Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a one-finger off-white head with a light amber body.

Smell: Smells of spicy, floral hops with a hint of grapefruit peel.

Taste: Tastes of bitter grapefruit upfront, finishing with a slight graininess.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, with a fair amount of carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall: This beer is alright. In all honesty it's not exactly my cup of tea, but I can't say it's a bad beer.

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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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