Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Trio of Troegs

Over the weekend, I made the huge move (7.6 miles to be exact) from my old stomping grounds in East Falls to the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. Before the day of the move, I picked up a variety case of Troegs to reward my friends for all their help with the move. The case went over well with everyone, which I kind of expected. I managed to horde a few for myself to review:

Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale:

Dark at first glance, but when held up to light you can see through it to see the the nice chocolatey-redish brown color shining through. 1/2 thumb of head, served in a pint glass.

Smell: A very sweet and malty aroma. I'm picking up a subtle nut smell, but I feel like I'm getting more chocolate and roastiness from it.

Taste: Somewhat sweet with a great roastiness on the backend. The malts I'm getting are chocolatey and roasty, very tasty. I'm getting hints of nut, but I feel the nut taste is a bit subdued considering the name. There is a slight and subtle lingering chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This might be the only real let-down in what was really an awesome beer. I'm still learning, but it just felt like the Rugged Trail had more carbonation that I expected and wanted from it. Judging by the color, I was hoping for a feel that would coat nicely and feel more full. The carbonation made the brew feel light to me, where I was expecting a very hearty and thick brew.

Drinkability: At 4.4%, this makes for a great session beer. An awesome mixture of earthy aromas and tastes, with a subtle hint of sweetness and nutty flavor. 3.75/5 (would have again)

Hop Back Amber Ale (the headliner for Tröegs):

Color: True to form, a very nice and rich amber color is shining through. It has a nice offwhite head (served at 1 thumb). I enjoyed this dandy in a pint glass.

Smell: Leaning in and taking a wiff, I knew I was in for a treat. Flowery hops and subtle caramel malts both sang in unison. From the smell I can gather there is a nice balance of the two for an amber ale.

Taste: Awesome balance, not unlike that of a tightrope walker. On the initial taste, the hops were clearly apparent, with a flowery and crisp and spicy taste. But, the hops quickly gave way to malts on the backend for a very smooth and fulfilling finish. There is also a noted caramel flaver coming through. As the beer began to warm ever so slightly, the balance of the hops and malts became much more apparent as the flavors of both were at their best.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation stings the mouth, much like many ales, but it certainly does not destroy the palatte. It's also not overly bubbly either, which I think allowed me to note the balance of the hops and malts.

Drinkability: After having this brew, I can definitely see why this is considered one of the better varieties of Troegs. It was amazingly balanced and really gave me everything I would expect from both the hops and malts in an amber ale. 6% ABV. A wonderful beer that I wouldn't mind to have 2-3 of in one sitting. 4.25/5 and I would DEFINITELY have again.

Dreamweaver Unfiltered Wheat:

Color: Foggy yellow-orange color, leaning more towards the yellow side.

Smell: Citrusy and tarty, with a spiciness in the aromas.

Taste: Very sharp/tart and citrusy taste with a spicy note on the backend. I'm also picking up a slight fruit flavor reminiscent of banana, but I can't exactly put my finger on it. A noticeable citrusy aftertaste lingers a bit too long for my taste.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the wheat style. There's an acidic and refreshing tingling when I let it roam around. It coats and finishes pretty smoothly, but the tingling comes right back with the aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is a very nice and refreshing wheat beer. Although, I feel it falls into the fray of all the other wheats out there. Also, the acidity of the citrus limits one from having more than a couple. 3.5/5 Very good beer to try though.


Jimmy said...

Nice little trifecta review and the pic of the 3 beers in a row is quite artistic. As far as the beers are concerned, I have never been a fan of brown ales I feel from the ones I have tried. There is something lacking in them, kind of how you described the mouthfeelof the Rugged Trail Nut; its needs some more umph! Hopback Amber is a beauty that you can keep drinking. Haven't had the Dreamweaver Unfiltered Wheat yet; I am not a big fan of the unfilteredness and there are sometimes too many spices in these types of beer. I will give it a try sometime.

Try Troegs Imperial Amber Nugget Nectar. It is a seasonal around winter time? One of my favorites

CJ said...

How long did this take you to do?

Alex said...

Chalk me up as another Hopback fan. I was hoping Troegs had something they brewed all year that could stand up to their fantastic Nugget Nectar seasonal, and this guy delivered.