1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Switchback IPA - Lighthouse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Switchback IPASwitchback IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

94 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.09%
Wants: 13
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lighthouse Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Siriusfisherman on 03-15-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by CalgaryFMC:
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled a single 355 ml bottle poured into a pint glass. For some reason that I cannot really articulate I went into this experience with fairly low expectations ... OK, this will be yet another reasonably tasty and well-crafted but not earth shattering west coast IPA, like something from Tree or another BC brewer a notch or two below Phillips or Central City. I was very happy to be wrong on this occasion. This one looks nice, a peachy orange-red with around three inches of beige bubbles. Nose is chock full of tropical fruit, with melon, guava, passion fruit, and grapefruit rind detectable along with a mellow yet persistent caramel malt backbone. Apparently this brew contains two hop blends (Zythos and Falconer's Flight) and when you do the math there are something like 17 different hops making contributions here, which could account for why this tastes so wicked. There is a real New Zealand influence here, with the tropical fruit and gooseberry flavors very prominent. I even get some floral rosewater and strawberry, lemon tea, and a darker floral note (tobacco?). This sucker is complex. However, instead of remaining fruity and floral, an aggressive pine resin flavor gathers steam like a menthol cough drop and the finish is bitter and aggressive but not coarse. There is a cool evolution from sweet flavors to green pine bitterness, with a tannic tartness throughout. On top of all this, the malts go beyond the typical IPA sweet profile, starting with some butterscotch and moving toward some toasted and near-roasted notes. Body is just shy of moderately chewy and this does coat the mouth a bit. What a super-tasty package all told. Dare I say this is almost as good as Red Racer and probably has a few extra layers of flavor.

CalgaryFMC, Feb 09, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

cam477, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Justindouglas7
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Justindouglas7, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of BashOnABike
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 4oz taster @ The Island Beer Fest
FWIW, this beer was HEAVILY advertised...like, by far and away more than any other beer @ Club 919!

A: Light and transluscent gold, almost pilsner-like, with that big head characteristic of Coast IPAs. Dissipated fast, with clean white lacing.

S: Not very strong, but certainly citrusy: pineapple and grapefruit, with some light hop. This was tasted late in the festival, though, so my olfactory sense was slightly compromised.

T: Light and surprisingly refreshing, much like a hoppy grapefruit juice. Some pineapple, lots of hop on the finish.

M: Creamy but light, this beer has it all. Long-lingering on the tongue, with moderate carb.

O: A nice beer, certainly more chuggable than Fat Tug (as I've seen it compared) but not as much as Hop Circle. A good intro to IPAs, and it will certainly see its place on the Victoria scene.

BashOnABike, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of chickenm
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

chickenm, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of MJ63
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

MJ63, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of JonnyBeers
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

JonnyBeers, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of intoxabroad
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

intoxabroad, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz pint at Three Boars on a pleasant spring Monday evening.

This beer appears a clear, medium golden amber hue, with a thin cap (no worries, I always appreciate a decent pour - kudos, Chuck!) of thinly foamy, yet faintly creamy off-white head, which leaves a few sparse instances of streaky lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of grapefruit and orange peel, caramel cream, fairly bitter pine resin, a bit of near-stale lemon, and a soft green earthiness. The taste is a surprising uptick in the bitterness, spread deftly across a somewhat tropical fruitiness - grapefruit, papaya, and mandarin orange - with further dank pine needles propping things up, before slowing ceding minority control to a simple, and softly bready caramel malt. That indistinct drying earthiness hangs out, kicking it a bit as well.

The carbonation is a tad frothy at times, but generally low-key in its support, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and mostly smooth, the hops nicking in here and there. It finishes off-dry, a wee bit surprisingly, as the now musty caramel malt benefits from the (time well) spent-seeming nature of the hops.

A rather enjoyable bitter, fruity Yankee IPA, whose grace stems from its ability to convince me from the outset that this is a truly balanced affair. Sessionable? Sure - unless all the other patrons ordering it around me drain the keg first (and at 8 bones a pop at that!).

biboergosum, May 14, 2013
Photo of Tmappin
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Tmappin, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of hreb
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (355 mL) served in pint glass. Beer pours a clear pale amber with a thin white head. Fresh, cascadey aroma.

Beer is dead on with a load of alpha acid and citrusy goodness. As the ABV would indicate, this is a pretty big beer -- a healthy balance in between a west coast IPA and a double/imperial IPA. Mouthfeel is relatively thin in terms of weight, which works well with the moderate carbonation and hop-forward style. Overall I am very pleased.

hreb, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of CWVegas
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

CWVegas, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of 1stOffender
4/5  rDev -2%

1stOffender, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of Rutager
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a very clear, rich yellow-gold with a bit of amber and a finger of white head.

Smell. Big, big hops. Tons of citrus, sweet pineapple, and a bit of grass and cedar.

Taste. Nice toasty malts and again big, big hops. Loads of citrus rinds and grapefruit juice. Not an excessively bitter finish, but the hops do linger a bit. Really nice.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. An awesome ipa. Instant addition to the regular local rotation.

Rutager, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of ivyman
4/5  rDev -2%

ivyman, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops notes is quite pleasant with some lightly sweet notes from the caramel malt. Taste is a good mix between some citrus hoppy notes with some notes of caramel malt which are sweeter then I would have liked. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Well brewed but a tad too much caramel malt and sweet for my own taste.

Phyl21ca, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this bottle. No freshness info apparent. Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Light to medium orange. Translucent. One finger of cream coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - Nice mix of citrus and tropical fruit. Grapefruit, peach, mango and tangerine. A very slight sweetness is present.

T - Sharp bitterness up front with grapefruit, pine and tangerine notes. The tropical fruit from the nose doesn't translate to the palate. A trace of malt sweetness is present in the background.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev -2%

ThinkAgain, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev -2%

irishkyle21, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of mtomlins
4/5  rDev -2%

mtomlins, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of pudoo
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

pudoo, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of ssmack
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle from the BC Craft Beer sampler 6 pack.

Pure gold with 1 inch of fine beige head that left very good lacing.

A real piney aroma along with ripe mango and a touch of lemon. Wonderful.

Tons in the taste. Bitter grapefruit and mango. Very hoppy and complex. Grassy and herby bitterness. I find myself sipping this since a full mouthfull is almost overpowering. There is a touch of carmamel maltiness.

A medium mouthfeel that could use more carbonation.

Overall a very good American IPA. The best in the sampler so far with one to go.

ssmack, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of DamageCase76
4/5  rDev -2%

DamageCase76, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of papat444
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes accumulated since the birth of Zoe.

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 355ml. bottle.

Appearance: Mostly clear with a slight chilled haze on a yellow-gold body. Eggshell white head that is easily 4 fingers and slowly recedes but not less than a fat finger. Some hanging lacing.

Smell: Fresh fruit, hops, melon, sweet mango and light pineapple. Very powerful aroma.

Taste: Starts a bit tame with some grapefruit, nothing strong then segues into a peach syrup flavor. Strong biscuity malt upfront kind of overshadows the hops. Gets better as it warms as some spiciness and plush orange appear.

Mouthfeel: Very balanced but maybe a bit too conservative? The finish is nice and the overall feel is crisp.

Overall: Don't drink this one too cold or you might miss some nuances. A good IPA but for me, not top tier.

papat444, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of Caudalie
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Caudalie, Mar 21, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Switchback IPA from Lighthouse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.