Friday, May 31, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 127, Troegs Hopback Amber Ale

Hey everyone!

Amidst Philly Beer Week, here I am at home reviewing local beers!  It's cool.  I've decided to limit myself to a few events and volunteer where I can.  I don't like crowds really, but it is good to get out and mingle.  I would like to extend an invite out to anyone who is looking to dodge the crowds to come hang out at my shop.  This Saturday would be good, but next Saturday people may need a change from the crowds the most, so I'm doing that!

Tonight is the next installment to Troegs Week with Hopback Amber Ale which is considered an American Ale.  These ales for the most part can have any range of ingredients like toasted malts and hops in varying colours of amber and some are even oktoberfest-like but in ale form.
I poured this beer cold and the glass instantly collected condensation from the humidity in my highrise cabin.  It poured a crystal clear amber colour with a full one finger head that fell to a thick ring and full cap on top of the beer and leaves what looks like the view of all the heads and shoulders of a very crowded room of people.  Weird!

Aromas of caramel malt and piney/citrusy hops are most noticeable at first and then as it warms some bread and tropical fruits pop up.

Balance is the name of the game with this beer!  All through the sip the caramel malt character is present and so are the piney/citrusy hops which start off solid, fade a bit and then finish solid.  A smooth breadiness as well as fruit like mango appear towards the middle of the sip and finally a mild bitter from the same hops finish the beer off with a hint of spice.

It's a pretty refreshing and smooth mouthfeel both mildly sweet and slightly hoppy dry and a thin to medium body.  The finish is pretty neat and dry.  A slight slick feeling on the tongue, but only very slight.  Hop resins?  I've read that the body on this beer is fuller on draught and would love to try it from the tap!

Overall I find this beer exceptional!  I would recommend it as a crossover into hoppy beers as it is delightfully easy to drink and whets the hop appetite as well.  A solid 4.25 is due for this beer!

I'm so glad that I try different beer as often as I can as I am really starting to enjoy all the different variations and complexities from the different brewers and am finding that local breweries here in Philadelphia really can compete with the rest of the world!  You should try some too!


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