Troegs Hopback Amber Ale
82 Blade Chainsaw
Troegs Hopback Amber Ale is an American Amber crafted by the Troegs brewery in Pennsylvania. It’s crafted with Pilsner and Munich Malts, spiced with Cascade, Willamette and Nugget Hops and “Hopbacked” with Whole Leaf Nugget and Mount Hood Hops for an alcohol content of 6% ABV and an International Bitterness Units measure of 55 IBUs .
Hopback is Tröegs’ signature beer which is created using a vessel in the brewhouse called the hopback. The vessel contains the fresh flower hops and adds aromatic qualities as the wort is transferred through the vessel and into the fermentation tank.
Troegenator was one of the first beers I rated on this website, and now I’m checking out their flagship brand to try and get a better understanding of them. I’m still not entirely sure about them, but I know they make excellent quality beer. Sometime in the near future, I’m going to have to take a trip out to see them and tour their brewery. Maybe then I’ll get a better feel for their product and philosophy. In the meantime, I’m going to unwind and drink some of their good beer.
Onto The Method
8.5/10 – The Classic
2.0 – Appearance – An assertive pour into a pint glass showcases a solid dark amber south of bronze, with thick and meaty carbonation bubbles forming a heavy tan head with interesting and attractive lacing.
1.5 – Aroma – A welcoming hop bouquet hits the nose coupled with a mild citrus fragrance over a faint but reliable malt foundation.
2.0 – Taste – Good bitterness right up front bounces around the taste buds while leaving a swift and crunchy aftertaste over a minimally sweet malt taste.
1.5 – Palate – The body is roughed up some by the bullying hop alpha oils which give this beer its distinctly bitter edge.
1.5 – Overall – I still find some mystery in Troegs Hopback; is it too dark for an amber, is it even necessary to call it an amber? Is it more of a hoppy beer crossing into IPA categories? I still can’t say, but it is good beer with a terrific hop construction that feels creative and well planned out. Its malt foundation is faintly tasted in its sweetness but does a great job at carrying the hop fragrances and bitterness, making it a nicely balanced beer.
7.5/10 Blades – The Hammer – the booze – This respectable tool does quite the trick at 6% abv and carries itself well within its ingredients and formulaic parameters, subtly delivering its strength over a good beer.
8.0/10 Blades – The Knife –digestibility – This sharp blade utilizes a bitter and sharp edge to cut through the soul, dominating its presence within the system and peacefully making its exit.
8.0/10 Blades – The Spider – the lift – A nice sharp buzz comes on strong immediately after the first and continuing with the second. Slower serves and more enjoyable sensations are felt for the remainder of the session.
10/10 Blades – The Motor –can you handle it? – While the first two drinks are pounded with ease, its alcoholic presence makes it easy to slow down and continue enjoying the remaining beers for the rest of the night. The six pack is polished off, and no other beers are necessary to continue my relaxation.
40.0/50 Blades – The Buzz – Troegs Hopback Amber Ale is another misunderstood beer by the Troegs brewing company. It’s mainly my perception and ultimately my problem, but I feel that I need to give these guys a fairer chance by visiting their brewery and further understanding their beers.
On the other hand, Troegs Hopback seems more naturally inclined to deliver and promote its hop presence and uniqueness than it does being an amber. It’s quite dark and almost bronze; it’s beautiful really, but I still respect their direction and am glad they’re seeing success with this brew as a flagship offering.
The buzz itself is quite laid back and enjoyable. It is a great beer that drinks well and offers a complex, mildy fruity and delightfully bitter hop composition over a well balanced and subtly sweet malt foundation. Good feelings come on strong during the first two servings, and maintain its presence while spacing out the remaining four beers. This way, good sensations can last all night while you still have a beer in your hand.