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Peter LaFrance

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A taste of… Tröegs Hop Back Amber Ale

Tröegs Brewing Company
Harrisburg, PA

Preface: The first time I sampled a beer from this brewery was in The Brickskeller, of Washington, DC. I was just about to reach the lip to sip when I caught a whiff of the smoke from someone smoking a cigarette at the other end of the bar. The sensory conflict left the beer the looser. For the record I am in favor of banning the combustion of tobacco from places where food and drink are enjoyed rather than simply consumed as silage.

The cost: ($2.04 US)

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: Tinny bubbles float up through a brew of deep copper color with a slight chill haze. Atop this brew floats a parchment brown head of tightly knit bubbles that slowly form a more lunar looking finishing head. There is noticeable Belgian Lace.

Aroma: The first impression was a tang of witch hazel followed by more familiar green hop aromas. The second take revealed the malted barley notes. From lip to sip the malted barley notes increased.

Mouth feel: This is not a thin brew. However, it is less than pleasingly plump.

Flavor: After a creamy sensation the first sensation is the grassy and green leaf aromas unique to the hop flower. However, the flavors never finish their potential.

Finish: The finishing notes are an almost bipartisan effort of the malted grain sweetness and the tang of the hops. Since bipartisan is a fantasy the hops finally vote the grain down. Even then the hops never deliver the knockout punch.

Comments: From the size of the hop flower on the front of the label I was expecting an India Pale Ale kick of hops backed up by a fairly warn kiss of alcohol. In the end I was sipping a brew more comfortable when I called it a bitter. This is a social beer that needs good conversation and a few rounds served to show its true assets.

Alcohol content – 6% abv

The Brewery: http://www.troegs.com/

What others say:

BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/694/6322

RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/troegs-hopback-amber-ale/17495/

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