Monday, February 15, 2010

230. Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale

Beer number three from Tröegs Brewing Company; most recently we had JavaHead Stout, and a very long time ago we had Nugget Nectar. We had this on tap at South Park Tavern, which I’m sure will shock no one who is reading this post. The keg this beer came out of was very fresh tasting and super yummy.

HopBack was a crystal clear deep copper color with a minimal white head; the nose had a light hop spiciness and some dry biscuit malt aromas. Starting dry and clean, HopBack quickly moves into some hop spiciness. There are some underlying biscuit and caramel flavors from the malt in the front; the middle has some hop bitterness along with spicy hop flavor and low levels of grassiness. HopBack ends with lingering hop resin and spicy flavors. While there is not a lot of malt presence across the profile, there is easily enough of a malt backbone to carry the hops. Medium to light bodied with a decent carbonation bite, HopBack’s mouthfeel builds and accentuates the flavors found in the body. A good, fresh tasting beer overall—there is a lot of hop flavor without a lot of hop bitterness, and the body to back up the hop profile. A solid and enjoyable beer across the board.

From the Tröegs 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.”

ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 55
Malts: Pilsner & Munich
Hops: Cascade, Williamette, & Nugget
Hop Back Hops: Whole Leaf Nugget & Mt Hood


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