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Beer #68 – March 12, 2010: Troegs HopBack Amber Ale

March 16, 2010

Beer: Troegs Hopback Amber Ale

Brewery: Troegs Brewing Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Style: Amber Ale

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $8.99 / six-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass Mug

Strength: 6.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Full-bodied without being overly filling; flavorful but not overly complex; a great backyard barbeque craft beer.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a caramel-amber hue with a moderate off-white foamy head.

Aroma: Caramel and pine.

Mouthfeel: Full body with a creamy / fizzy carbonation; satisfyingly substantial without a syrupy thickness.

Taste: Starts with caramel, mutli-grain bread, and honey flavors, followed by a nice dosing of pine and herbal hops.  A little buttery, and I swear there’s a hint of smoke in the drying finish.  A bit drying, a bit bitter, but overall relatively smooth and enjoyable.

Pairing: Barbeque… whether the northern definition (burgers and dogs on the grill) or the southern definition (ribs, pork and brisket), this is an ideal match.

Trivia: What is a “HopBack”?  The following answer comes directly from the Troegs website:

“Tröegs Brewery’s Flagship beer, HopBack Amber Ale derives its name from a vessel in the brewhouse called a hopback. As the ‘wort’ is being transferred from the brewhouse to fermentation it passes through the hopback vessel. Packed full of fresh whole flower hops, the wort slowly circulates through this vessel extracting the essence of the aromatic hops. This vessel adds more time and more hop character that creates a fresh, spicy taste and rich caramel note that defines this signature ale.”

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