Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

1,166 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,166 | Ratings: 3,073
Photo of perfectkaos
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice amber color with a great head that lingers and laces the whole way down.

smells of hops with a strong pine presence.

the taste is a mix. The bitter hops are present but theres also a lingering sweetness. overall its a pretty tasty beer.

I've like the three previous Troeg's beers Ive had ( Rugged Trail, Nut Brown, and, of course, Troegenator) and this one fits nicely on that list.

 405 characters

Photo of smanders
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Troeg's I had after moving to the East Coast. Never heard of this brand, but I like hops so why not.

The color is a deep amber with a thin head that doesn't stick around very long. Sugary malt and a hint of spicy hops are evident from a big whiff. Makes me want to take a swig! Yum! A little citrus, which I love, is quickly followed by sweet malt. Well balanced ale which could easily be overindulged. I love this style...and you should too!

 461 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in an oversized wine glass here at Croxley's Ale house.

Appearance: A real nice darker amber, heavy bubbles on the body. Head (off-white)is pretty strong on the pour but then again it's off the tap coming just a notch over a finger length.

Smell: light hops, comes off almost like the wet hip infusion type of scent.

Taste: Very rich hops, slight citrus to it that makes it feel bitter but then also sour. Strong in flavor but not in alcohol, which makes this easy to repeat over and over.

Mouth: a slight dryness to it but still sticking that grazes the surface if quality to an IPA. Medium to heavy, toasty and smooth.

Overall: This brew is an easy to go to if its a available by you. Might seem strong but it's the hops that seem a bit too much, my opinion it's just fine. Salud.

 798 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-07-08 at the brewery in Harrisburg, PA

A - Clear red-amber with a short light tan head.

S - Mild grain, fruit and hop floral like a milder Nugget Nectar.

T - Mildly roasted caramel malt, citrus, cherry, pine, mild bitterness. Moderately sweet. Dries out a good bit. Not a commanding taste like a Nugget Nectar.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation give a moderately creamy feel.

D - I guess if you can't get Nugget Nectar but want a hint of that glory, you'd have one of these. It's a good brew but pretty "safe".

 543 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the brewery into a snifter.

A: Deep, clear orange-amber body with a finger of slightly off-white foam that dissipates almost completely, leaving abundant lacing. Not bad, not great.

S: Sweet, toasty malts at first, and then some noticeably piney hops aroma on the tail end. Decent.

T: Piney and floral hops up front, followed by strong toasted malt and a big malty finish that includes just a hint of alcohol. Tasty.

M: Medium body with solid, smooth carbonation. Lovely.

D: Nice and complex, but drinks hotter than it should.

Notes: Solid beer, but just a decent example of a style that doesn't really excite me.


 638 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass...Pours a medium copper with a light tan head, good retention and lacing...The aroma is piney, a little malt character, and alcohol, too much for a 6% beer...The taste shows off the hops again, too much pine for me. The pine is too much feel wise, but the hops are too bitter for me as well. A nice rye note tries to balance this out in vain. Way to much hops for me but still an enjoyable drink.

 433 characters

Photo of dancinwillie
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tburkhart for throwing this one in as an extra on a trade.

Big pour, very active. Amber in color, obviously. Topped by a massive off white head, with it's twinkling golden highlights. Head is dropping slowly, leaving some nice lacing. Gives me a chance to look at the bottle art a bit more closely. A lovely stylized hop still on the vine, over a sunny day in the forest. This looks like I should be enjoying it while making breakfast, on a camping trip. Back to the beer though.

Light aroma of caramelized citrus. A peppery smell that makes my nose twitch.

Like in the aroma, sweet caramel, mixed with bright citrus fruits, and a soft floral flavor. A delicious rawness runs throughout, and really ties it all together. Hop bitterness is well done, and on the higher side, but the flavor is quite balanced with the malt. A bit of spiciness is also here, which let's the yeast come out to play a little. No alcohol present.

Medium bodied, and well carbonated, this is a very clean beer, with a nice medium aftertaste.

My first beer from Troegs, and I'm not disappointed. A very good beverage, and I hope to trade for more. Thanks again tburkhart! Cheers!

 1,171 characters

Photo of socon67
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
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 Phatz
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent golden orange (honey) color with a one-finger head.

Smell: potent hop aroma from the instant you pop the cap. A small amount of sweet malt character and that classic signature aroma of reds.

Taste: Very floral hoppy but also has a nice sweet tone to it. It is a bit hoppier than my preference but it is not excessive. It also has a nice caramel sweetness as well. It has a very short and minimal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The full smooth mouthfeel make this beer very pleasant in the mouth. The high carbonation couples with the hope bite to make this beer feel prickly to touch even though I would not call it dry.

Drinkability: I am not a huge fan of hoppy beers so I would not consider this very sessionable, but the very pleasant mouth feel helps the taste (which is not bad) be easy to drink (one). For me I’d drink this with some cheese on the side, or next to dinner. I would only have one and move on. But that is me.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,002 characters

Photo of grub
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled jan 31/09.

pours a nice deep orange with a small dense cream coloured head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves lots of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. white bread and cracker. caramel. bit of toffee. light alcohol. bit of earthy character. some pine and grapefruit rounding things out.

taste is nice. medium-low bitterness level. caramel and toffee. lightly sweet fruity ccomponent too. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. touch of nutty and earthy character.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. balanced and tasty. good stuff.

 674 characters

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours clear amber with a thin, white, quickly dissipating head.

S - Very faint all-around. Malt, brown sugar, hops.

T - Sweet, citrus, green apples, caramel malt, hops.

M - Creamy, thin bodied, medium carbonation.

 260 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a case bought at the brewery. Bottling date is not entirely legible but the year is 2007. I got a real nice light tan head over a dark copper colored ale. The head did not last long and left a minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is mostly of malt. Not nearly the hops in the nose that I expected after trying a sample of this on tap at the brewery. There is some citrusy hop presence there.

I have the same comment about the taste, as I know I got more hops from this on tap. It makes me question the bottling date of this batch. A bit disappointing when compared to the fresh draft version, but this would not get bad scores as a straight amber ale.

Medium bodied with little notable carbonation in the mouth. A nice beer if you're planning on having a few with the guys.

 789 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Half Moon in Kennett Square.

Poured a deep amber with a thin light tan head. The aroma was muted somewhat, but I expected that since it seems to be what I encounter with cask ales. There was some hops (pine and lemon zest) and some sweet malts. Touch of fruitiness. The flavor seemed like a blended version of the bottles I have had previously. It was good, but nothing really stood out. Towards the bottom third of the glass I did notice more of the hops in the taste and the sweetness faded some. Creamy cask-conditioned feel to it. Overall, it was a good beer, but I think I prefer the bottles.

 609 characters

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

surprisingly, this pours darker than it's big brother nugget nectar, and darker than most amber/reds. mahogany in color with nice clarity, and a dissipating off-white head and lacing. nose is somewhat subdued, although caramel, dark fruit, and roasted nuts are present. lacks any citric hop character. decent dark maltiness in the taste with a smooth hop bitterness underneath. good but not great. medium-bodied with a nicely carbonated mouthfeel. sessionable at this abv.

 472 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, purchased at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a crystal clear dark amber/orange, medium sized white head forms, settles to a nice thick ring around the glass, keeps a solid layer with some nice retention, looks like a good amber. Smell is alright, sweet and caramelized, some floral, juicy grapefruit and orange peel, sugary malt, honey, bland but very fresh aroma. Taste is sweet at first, caramel and honey, nice floral, sweet orange peel, grapefruit, sugar, nice fruitiness to it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth and drinkable, not exciting but theres nothing bad about it.

 619 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear, copper beauty with a moderate head that rapdily dissipates to a stubborn thin film on the surface.

The smell is a nice balance of floral, citrus and bready notes, with a bit of caramel hanging out in the background.

The flavor is restrained...perhaps a bit too restrained. The bread and light sweetness from the malt come through nicely, but the hops manifest themselves a bit too simply. There's a very nice earthy bitterness throughout with a bit of citrus peel, but the floral and fruit characteristics are more muted than the smell would suggest.

That said, overall this is a nice, quaffable entry that would make a great session beer when the outside temperatures come back to sanity in the spring.

 715 characters

Photo of spointon
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 879 characters

Photo of a74gent
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice brew. Received in a trade; although I can buy it here I've never had it before.

Nice hopiness with a stiff malty backbone. Color is a nice amber with some lacing and foam.

The mouthfeel is full with a distinct bit of malt. Nice, nice balance.

This one drinks nicely. One after another would bve possible for a hop/amber lover. Not a great beer, but a good one all around.

 381 characters

Photo of jmfc8237
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a bright amber clear color. Nice bone white head with moderate lacing. Sticky and small lined lacing what has tiny bubbles running throughout.

S- Citrus notes of grapefruit and pine. Some lemony and earthy malt tones as well. Picking up on a candy like caramel smell as well.

T- Very nice balance of hops and malt. Fruity and earthy front with a moderate alcohol astringency that follows. Finishes clean with a nice malty backdrop.

M/D- Nice clean finish and very drinkable.

 487 characters

Photo of SirSketch
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopback contains several shades of reds and yellow that combine to the color of a sunset! Sticky head to boot. Aroma is fresh, fresh hops. Mainly citrus and wet grassy flavors from the hops. Some caramel and soggy wood (not in a bad way, more an earthy character) aromas as well. Well balanced flavors all around. Besides a slightly higher than normal ABV for such use, I would consider this a great session beer.

 413 characters

Photo of hu5om
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to BigTomZ for the excellent extra!
a- a rich burgundy, clear, slight ring of foam that persisted decently.

s- caramel with faint ginger, citrus, and toffee

t- caramel and malty ginger, finished off with a light citrus finish and that lingering toffee.

m- smooth and well rounded overall. pleasant with moderate carbonation

d- full disclosure: not a big amber fan. this one was pretty solid though. I could drink a few of these pretty easily. Excited to try a few more troegs brews.

 494 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 12oz bottle. Pours perfectly clear amber with a sizeable pale yellow head that lasts. Fruity, grassy hops are dominant over faint malt in the smell. A bit of bubblegum. The taste has some grapefruity bitterness. Citric notes and earthiness dominate faint biscuity malt. Nice medium body and good carbonation. Pretty decent, but there's not a lot of real amber ale character as the caramel malts aren't very assertive; essentially just another IPA.

 453 characters

Photo of phiberoptik
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich amber with a small finger or so of light head.

Clear hoppiness in the nose along with some caramel maltiness and slight yeasty aroma as well. Smells nice and sweet and the hops give it a nice citrus touch.

The taste is a little more on the malt and yeast side. I get a hint of the spiciness the label talks about but nothing profound. The hops are more subdued in the taste than the nose. Just a touch of bitterness in the finish.

It has a nice smoothness across the tongue with a hint off resinous character coating the tongue. A nice beer to stake your name on.. oh wait, they do!

 604 characters

Photo of cpone
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear copper color, head recedes fairly quickly and leaves some lacing. Great smell - robust spice, good hops and some citrus. I felt the taste didn't quite live up to the aroma. Those flavors were there, but much more subdued than the smell suggests. Mouthfeel was ok, but a little thin.

Overall a very drinkable beer, but just didn't have the flavor i was expecting.

 369 characters

Photo of Scrapss
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: deep amber hue. suspended bubbles, suspended solids. Thin collar, 1/16" thick.

S: Taste of fresh hops. Citrusy, resins. Refreshing. Invigorating. Fresh citrus hop meets malt in a very bold way.

T: Has that fresh hop & amber goodness. Malt, lemongrass. Quite bitter. Dry. Don't get me wrong, I like dry beer, but for this style it's just a hair too crisp and dry.

M : starts off malt-big, then thin, disappears all too quickly into an overly dry, lemon grass and grapefruit-skin abyss. I still feel that on a breath after a quaff. Very dry and piney.

I really like this brew as I do all fresh hop tasting varieties, but for the style, I was expecting much more malt and lingering sugars. I was not expecting this much of a fresh-hop style finish.

 752 characters

Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 3,073 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.