Though Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale rates pretty highly, I have to say it’s
only a good beer. It’s pretty much the epitome of the amber ale style in
that it’s pretty hoppy but uses earthy/spicy hops rather than citrus or
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It cost $2.75 ($0.23 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark amber/copper hue, transparent but not much visible
carbonation. Forms a small, white, frothy head which leaves plenty of
lacing on the glass.
Smell: Light caramel malty scent and mild spicy hop fragrance.
Taste: Mellow caramel sweetness up front followed by significant
bitterness through the middle. A definite spice character from the
nugget hops with just a hint of citrus peel. It’s a bit dry, but not
cloying so, in fact it’s well contained and balanced making it a
drinker-friendly palate. There’s more malt and hop character than a pale
ale, but there’s nothing about this beer that makes it stand out among
countless other beers of the style.
Drinkability: With a medium body and a mouthfeel that’s lively, but
contained, Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale is no challenge to drink at all. I
was a bit surprised to find out it’s 6% ABV, but at least it’s efficient
for that weight as it’s not filling or disproportionately heavy.