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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Reviews: 1,165 | Ratings: 3,068
Photo of PatandDavid
3.47/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to fellow BA JayT for bringing me some brews. This one was a true clear light amber, but even when I poured it myself, the small 1/2 inch head left quickly. Aroma is interesting...very strong, more grapefruit than grassy hops. Tastewise, I am picking up on strong grapefruit smelling hops, that have an interesting hay-like quality as well. Mouhhfeel is medium, carbonation is low. Alcohol would like to hide, but I can tell this one isn't a session beer.

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Photo of oracle
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle servered in a tall pilsner style glass

This beer poured a pretty medium amber/red with very little lacing despite vigorous pour.

Smell was extremely hoppy, much more so than I expected with a red ale, even one named "hopback". Smelled more like an IPA.

This was may have been the first beer I've had the smell hoppier than it tasted. There was a significant hop bite to it, but nearly so much as in the smell. Really, not even as hoppy as many pale ales. Taste was outstanding, mildly hoppy and bitter, crisp and very delicious.

An excellent by itself or with food.

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Photo of TheDeuce
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the Troeg's Brewer's Dozen Variety Pack

Appearance- Poured into a pilsner glass...a nice amber red color with a large head that overflowed the glass at first and then settles down.

Smell-sweet wiffs of flavorful hops, sweet malt, a little bit of berry and a lot of grain. Very aromatic.

Taste- hops hit you immediately while the sweet malt puncuates the senses, character is well balanced, medium bodied mouthfeel, layered taste moves between hopes, fruit, and sweet malt, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel-not too heavy or too light, nice balance of hops, malt, and other layered flavors.

Drinkability-easy to drink, very nice flavor and charactar, flawless.

Overall-Spectacular, the first beer I've ever given a flawless rating to. I'm absolutely floored, great work.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color with a foamy, 2-finger beige head that drops to a light collar, but stays until the glass is done. Very nice lacing as well. Smells very fresh and clean, very hoppy. Has hints grass, floral, and spicy hops. They all combine very well for a great smell. Honestly I wish I could have this smell in a Glade "plug-it-in". Tastes wonderful. Absolutly superb. A nice caramel hops flavor up front with light hops in the back. So, obviously, the name HopBack makes sense. Finishes with a nice malt flavor, caramel and hops abound. The malts and hops blean beautifully to create a complex and fabulously drinkable beer. Well done. This is the third of my Troeg's sample pack, and so far, the best. Try this and you will not be dissapointed.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich apricot with a large cap of foam that is the color of light brown sugar and that leaves abundant lace as it slowly deflates. The nose is more akin to an APA than an amber ale due to the impressive hoppiness. There is enough malt to keep the hops honest though.

Hopback Amber is good beer (Troegs hasn't disappointed me yet). This is a classic amber ale, but is bolder, hoppier and more full than most. Thanks to a prodigious malt backbone, the hops aren't quite as boisterous as they were in the nose. When the actual drinking gets underway, their citrus peel and pine deliciousness is reined in to some extent. There's no mistaking it for an APA now.

The body is definitely full for the style with a sweet stickiness that most beer of this style doesn't achieve. As a result, there's flavor to burn. It might be a bit too big to be sessionable, but one or two should go down rather easily.

Troegs doesn't brew bad beer. Hopback Amber is a wonderful ale that keeps these guys solidly in my top dozen American breweries. The first of many from blitheringidiot. Thanks man.

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

Pours ambery reddish color with a light beige head. Subtle, piney floral hop aroma and some malt sweetness present, too. Botanical and malty sweet up front, then dryness from the hops, and finishing with a faint, lingering sweetness, rather like sweetened tea. Slightly astringent, and a mild metallic oxidized flavor in the background, but easy to drink. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when Troegs decided to part ways with their ESB in order to make this beer, but it's a worthy substitute. I didn't really like the cask-conditioned version of this beer, but the bottle is enjoyable.

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Photo of edchicma
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Troeg's offering...thanks to Ted for bringing it back from his recent trip to PA. Appearance is excellent...a medium amber, chunky head and great lacing. Smell is a pleasant blend of malts and fruity hops. Taste is a palate's delight...starts lightly sweet on the front...lessens on the mid palate and finishes with just the right amount of hop finish. Moouthfeel is moist and smooth throughout and not overly oily or dry on the finish. Very easy on the drinkability scale, defintely could have another. I have three others from Troeg's to try and if they are anything like this offering, I may take a trip to PA myself. Highly recommended.

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Photo of drifter29
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

purchased a 1/4 keg for my home tap system based on my fondness for other Troegs brews and was not disappointed by this tasty amber ale. Pours a clear amber with good carbonation - firm, creamy head starts off 1/2" thick but settles to a lacey film for the duration. Initial aroma is sweet and mildly herbal. Drinkability is great for a 6.0 abv - a sweet beginning becomes a slightly bitter, hoppy full flavor with a long lasting hop aftertaste. I highly recommend this to anyone who fancies amber or pale ales.

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Photo of wbickerton
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap and cask-conditioned. Dark-amber color that is clear with good effervescence. Large, creamy, off-white head that is fully lasting. Excellent lacing. Aroma is hoppy with a medium to strong herbal and evergreen scent and slight caramel notes as well. Excellent mix of sweetness and bitterness. Long finish that is evenly bitter and sweet. Excellent carbonation, body, and finish.

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

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours a rich almond amber, clear, tan head, fair retention and leaving a tiny bubble, broken up film and classy lacing. Nice resiny hop nose. Medium bodied. Malty base. Almost creamy mouthfeel. What hits you with this one is the well developed and complex hop notes, flavors and smells. Nicely rounded brew all together. Well done and worth seeking out.

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Photo of ramrod666
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

saw this an cask at the sharp edge emporium in pittsburgh and told the bar-keep to pull me pint. little did i know, this would take some time. about ten minutes to be exact. i waited patiently as he readied the pint. he told me that it had not been pouring well but, the taste was fine. i said ok. the appearence was a creamy amber with a mountainous head that you could cut with a knife. the smell was much more raw than that of the bottle or an tap samples. a very hoppy nose with a sweet malty, earthy back. taste was creamy, hoppy floral but, more subdued than i had expected. the malts in this ale seemed to come through more on cask. mothfeel was almost free of carbonation and heavier than other serving types i've tried. the lack of carbonation kind of threw me at first. it seemed to take away the bite from the hops but, delicicous nonetheless. i don't know if i would have more than one or two on cask at any given time (price-$6 a draft) and the lack of carbonation lowered my drinkability slightly. very much enjoyed.

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Photo of jahred
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear reddish brown color, with a very large, thick, foamy white head that caught me off-guard while I was pouring. A nice grassy hop scent comes off the top of my glass.

The flavor is more hoppy than anything else, but it's not bitter. This is the definition of a flavorful, American, well-balanced beer. Sweet, nutty caramel flavors mingle with oily, thick, rich grassy hops. This is dangerously easy to drink. A hoppy beer for those who are not hop-heads - I'm gonna have another one of these with my Mexican-food dinner.

I needs to gets me some more Troeg's beers!

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep amber color with two fingers of head. There is a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of hops, but has a rich caramel background to it. Balanced just slightly on the hoppy side. The taste starts out a bit malty with some sweetness. Hops are really king here, and there's lots of em! Many layers of fresh hops leave a little room for a slightly malty finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, yet very smooth. Much more full of a body as compared to any other amber ale. The drinkability is also very good as well. The 6% is masked nicely. A great amber brew!

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Photo of andyo
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer!

I was hesitant to pick this up after seeing that it was an amber ale. I'm not big on ambers, yet I had a hunch that this would be hoppy like an IPA which would definately please my wife, so I picked up a 6 on a whim.

I was not disappointed in the least.

This beer poured a nice copper color, with a pillowy 2 inch head. There was excellant lacing againt the glass the whole way down. Beautiful.

The nose was quite nice, exuding a sweet hoppy aroma. Taste was much the same. Sweet up front, good carbonation, thick mouthfeel, and a nice, crisp, slightly dry finish. This beer is big on hops, and it comes through in the flavor: Big, bold, fresh green hoppy flavors abound.

This beer is a winner, and will stay stocked in my fridge from here on out!

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Photo of rabidawg
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep chestnut with a slight ruddy hue. Appears quite carbonated. An aggressive pour yields a large, white, creamy head that settled to a small cap. Sheets of lacing.

Smell: Wonderful fresh hops aroma, with notes of evergreen and citrus. Decent maltiness pushes through, with a slight sweetness and lots of bready, toasty smells.

Taste: Slightly more carbonated than I prefer, lending a slightly spritzy mouth that leans toward thin. Initially slightly sweet. Toasty, husky, and slightly grainy in the middle. Finishes dry and with a nice hop bitterness, attacking the back of the tongue. Hops coat the inside of your mouth and don't let go. Very nice.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe it's taken me this long to write a review for this beer...

Appearance: Pure amber--the color of Attiki honey, with perhaps a bit more of a golden tint to it. Head is about a finger thick and lasts for the majority of the session. Lacing is plentiful.

Aroma: Huge herbal hop aroma. Some citrus tones are also present, and caramel malts slip into the background.

Taste: Hops hit you first...herbal and a bit grassy, with pine prevalent as well. Sweetness from caramel provides a stable backbone that balances the bitterness well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body brew that's perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: Easy-drinking session brew.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This ale is simply gorgeous! The bright, slightly cloudy orange body is faintly tinted with hints of brown. The head came up two full inches on an even pour and sat there for what seemed like an eternity. It slowly made its way down the glass like a floating, fluffy cloud of fine grey-goose down, leaving intricate lacework all along the insides of my Great Lakes Brewing glass.

Smell – Oh, so good. This is reminiscent of their Pale Ale, which I adore. The fuggley nose (or whatever you call East Coast hops) is awesome and set up with a terrific, biscuity malt backbone. There’s some light fruity smells to this one as well.

Taste – The light fruits come our more at the taste, otherwise the tongue fits the nose (so to speak). The flavors are amazingly harmonious.

Mouthfeel – Light and delicate and very refreshing.

Drinkability – I promised myself that I would savor every bit of this, but of course I didn’t and gulped it down. Maybe next time.

Comments – Thanks to ericaweizen for sending this one my way. Darn her – now I’m addicted!!

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Photo of 99bottles
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer looks perfect. Beautiful copper color, nice 1" of medium thickness, off white head with above average retention. Moderate carbonation. Awesome.

Smell: A great blend of light malts and playful, leafy hops. I credit the nice nose on this to the hopback system--esentially a Randall.

Taste: I have to keep reminding myself that this is an amber, not an IPA. A sweeping malt base grounds this in reality, while the use of Tomahawk, Warrior, and Nugget hops give this a lip smacking citrus aftertaste. Really nice balance between the sweet malt and the hop bitterness. I think by "hopback"ing this, they kept the malt the focus and retained the qualities of an amber while breathing in life via hop scent and fleeting taste.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, light and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is a very nice session beer. I can imagine this being wonderful on-tap. It doesn't assault the tongue like somesuper strong IPAs, but this will definitely give hopheads a nice little fix. Very good and easy drinking

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Photo of Sammy
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well-hopped, aggressive attack of malts and carbonation on palate. Fine cooper amber colour. Light, good as IPA! Some pine aroma. Mid-sip sour grapefruit citrus, spices and nuttyness. Refreshing on hot day. Unique and very drinkable. Recommend you try and can convert beer drinkers to the craft world.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good amber color, with a decent head that had some retention. Decent lacing was seen when drinking this brew. The aroma is dominated almost exclusively by hops, mainly citrus with other smells present. The malt smell rounds out the aroma for an overall great smell. The taste stays true to the name as the citrus hops are taking over with the malts still making themselves known. Clean aftertaste with a slight bitterness and a good mouthfeel. Very easy drinking as I am on schedule to finish this 6 pack tonight. Another great beer by Tröegs.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first cask conditioned beer, served up at Sharp Edge Beer Emporium.
A: Very different from either the tap or bottle versions of this one. Hazy amber/golden in appearance with a big creamy white head that lasted nearly to the end of the beer. Lacing was sticky and heavy. Fantastic.
S: Strong floral hop aroma with nice hints of lemon and spice.
T: Oh so smooth hop flavors right up front, balances with a darkly sweet malt taste that doesn't overpower. Tastes linger on the palate for quite some time.
M: Smooth and rich, creamy and mouth coating. The seemingly lower levels of carbonation let this beer travel all around and carry the flavors quite well.
D&N: Beer Nirvana. One of the finest brews I've had the pleasure of tasting. Rich and full of character, this beer in a cask conditioned incarnation is one I'll look forward to having again. If you ever see this in a cask, try it.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask version at Fat Head’s in Pittsburgh. Pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white head. Thin and foamy lacing. The aroma is outstanding: Citrus hops, malt, caramel and fruit. Very smooth body, with a strong floral hops flavor, followed by malt and spice. The finish is slick and earthy hops and malt. This beer is definitely enjoyable on the cask, I’d like to try the bottled version too.

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Photo of PSUDREW
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice (appropoe) amber color, with little head and less retention. 1st time I have seen this beer on tap, lucky for the Phryst has this, becuase this was a surprising treat!

Nice deep malty taste/mouth feel that is backed up by, and washes down with a nice, lucid (neither overpowering or clean) and strong citrus flavor, and a solidly crisp finish. Nothing is overpowering taste-wise, and everything complements each other nicely. And makes for perfect drinkablility when looking for it!

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Photo of ngandhi
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe I should invest in a hopback for my homebrew. That device that runs unfermented beer through a sleeve of hops as it cools is the perfect name for this amber ale with a summery buffet of unique hops on the nose and palate.

And, for as loud as these not-so-bitter-at-all hops are, they are actually in the background behind an exceptional display of caramel malt. Drinking this beer, I can actually see thick ribbons of caramel falling from the sky. Light nuttiness. Fresh in every way. Troegs Hopback is a little hoppier than most amber ales, but has the extra maltiness to back it up. Citrus, pure honey, and grain fight it on in the finish. Hints of residual sugar on the lips round everything out.

There aren't too many beers that showcase everything a style should be and can still put a completely unique spin on it. As much as Bell's Amber is what I cry home about, Troegs Hopback is my new defintion of the style, elegantly displaying how malt and hops can interact -- both as full as can be in flavor -- without ever overpowering each other or the drinker. That's what this style is all about.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1/2"of light beige head, which laced ok. Aroma is mainly of hops, but the malt is also evident, just in the minority. Taste is a bit of a surprise, as the nose did not lead me to think this would be as well-balanced as it is. Hops is up-front, but the flavor profile is quickly rounded out by an appropriate amount of malt. Mouthfeel is good, and that little aftertaste of hops is great, just like you want. Drinkability is excellent, plenty going on this brew so as not to bore the taste buds.

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Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 3,068 ratings.
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