Trӧegs HopBack Amber Ale
Posted by dave
So I’m a hops fan – at this point in time it’s not a secret. I’m also more usually a fan of a good ale over a beer. Although to the common man they’re both pretty much the same thing, I find myself usually smiling a bit more at a well-made ale.
But back to the hops, I’m in a small store in Philly checking out some crazy brews, and the Troegs (sorry, that’s Trӧegs with the funny “ӧ”) not only claims to be hoppy, but has a picture of a hops plant right there on the label. It’s a bold statement – because if it’s not hoppy – well… that’s just false advertising.
Having no reason to doubt the sincerity of the brewers, I picked up one. Now, sipping on this brew, I wish I had gotten more. Many, many more.
I admit that at first I assumed – no, I hoped – it would kick of hops like Victory’s HopDevil (also an ale) or River Horse’s Hop Devil (pale ale). But now that this ale and I have been introduced, I’m oddly happy to report that the hops is almost – reserved.
Ok, so this is called an Amber Ale, and man is it pretty. It’s like pouring liquid apricot, and it’s even got a slightly amber head. The head lasts for a good time, although after a minute or two of admiration I briefly looked away at the Miami-Steelers game, and it was almost instantly gone.
Undeterred, I took my first sip, and was confused. My palette was infused with taste, and yet the hops didn’t muscle out the other flavors in the ale – it was hardly a one-hop show.
Trӧegs HopBack Amber Ale is like having a serving of fruit – it’s perhaps the sweetest ale we’ve reviewed to date. While the hops definitely makes an entrance, it’s the sweetness of this ale that stays with you for a while – and that ain’t a bad thing.
Back to the hops though – um, YUM. While still being too hoppy for anyone that doesn’t consider themselves a drinker that lives for hops, I can’t overstate the subdued nature of the hops flavor. It’s soft yet strong, quiet yet unquestionably present.
That’s really all I can say about the flavor. It’s hardly complex – and that’s it’s charm. Rather it’s a sweet, cool, refreshing amber that makes up for its sugary flavor with a healthy helping of soft hops. The woody flavor of the hops is ever present, and it’s like eating the apricot – and the branch it grew on – at the same time.
This is a great hop-infused beer/ale. If you’re a hops fan, Trӧegs HopBack Amber Ale is your new champaigne. It’s for anyone with a tongue for hops, but it’s maturity in flavor makes this an ale for the palette looking for something… well… more mature. And as some of us get older, we’re looking for our beer to grow up with us – and Trӧegs HopBack Amber Ale is right in step.
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