Switchback Ale | Switchback Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
80
good
140 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
140
Ratings:
752
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
30.88%
 
 
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18
Gots:
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Switchback AleSwitchback Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Switchback Brewing Company
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Switchback Ale (First sold October 22nd, 2002)

Using only traditional ingredients, Switchback Ale is a reddish-amber ale which is particularly well-balanced, allowing for complexity of flavor coupled with an unusually smooth and refreshing character. Five different malts, select hop varieties, and our own specially cultivated yeast create an ale which leads with hop flavors and a subtle impression of fruit (our yeast's contribution), followed by a palate pleasing malty finish. Our own special process uses the yeast to naturally carbonate the beer, and we leave it unfiltered. The result is a satisfying brew full of flavor with a remarkably clean and smooth finish.

Added by kaszeta on 08-06-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 752
Photo of edward_boumil
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Solid, super easy drinking beer, especially on draft. Tons of toasty malt, even slightly crisp hint of citrus on the finish. Smooth finish, but tons of flavor and a touch of bitterness as well.
Honestly this is a simple beer, but for those who appreciate simplicity, quality ingredients and balanced flavors (me) this is a great beer.

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Photo of Butznutz
4.37/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

God this is a great beer and one of the treasures of Vermont in that it is usually on tap anywhere within the state. Super easy drinking with a nice breaded malt backbone. Pours hazy and unfiltered. Medium body, medium finish with slight toffee/nut. Surprised it is rated as low as it is. Would drink this all day

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Photo of 6470zzy
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours hazy and golden with a one finger head that settles down and lingers throughout the session with nice lacing.

Smell: Very mild, some dust and grain

Taste: Subtle hop bitterness with a dry crisp finish

Mouth-feel: Medium body and carbonation

Drink-ability: Definitely an easy drinking beer and not one that it going to tire out your taste buds.

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Photo of Kinger22
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall a solid brew. A good level of carbonation, with an enjoyable hop/malt combo of a finish. Beautiful color poured from its bottle into a beer glass.

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Photo of jared-beer
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great beer. Very easy to drink, and for all the local "macrobrews" in Vermont this one always seems to be the cheapest on tap and easily available in most Vermont retail locations. this slightly amber ale is very rich going down and has a very pleasant malty sweet aftertaste that's very satisfying. Although it's a darker rich beer if never seems to bloat me of leave me feeling overstuffed. Overall, great brew will drink again many times.

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Photo of rorykanderson
3.34/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An unfiltered everyman beer that has a clean malt/hop taste. Best served cold after a hearty day of activity. Nothing outstanding but it'll satisfy, for sure. Real easy drinker.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy; burnished gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin collar; very little lacing;

S: quite bready; pale malt and toffee in the background;

T: sweet malt with toffee and nut behind it; more nutty on the finish with mild bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: enjoyable; would pair well with a lot of food;

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Photo of RABouffard
4.14/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unfiltered amber color, well-balanced with complex malts and a mild hop finish. A refreshing creamy, smooth brew, easy drinking, not extreme in any way, just a pleasant above average pale ale.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bomber dated mid-September into a pint glass. Comes out a very cloudy amber color with a white head that leaves great lacing. Smell is very weak, some grain husk and yeast at the most. Very mild flavor, quick sweetness and breadiness, bitter hops at the end, somewhat dry mouthfeel. It's a tasty beer but it's very basic. Should be good for coverting those macro drinkers.

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Photo of Dope
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date that I can find.

A: Pours a cloudy red. Mid-sized fizzy light tan head. Head dissipates almost immediately, leaving no lacing or head retention at all.

S: Pretty subtle aroma. Light herbal quality and some caramel malt.

T: Again, pretty mild. Mild herbal hoppiness with some grass and a touch of citrus up front. Caramel sweetness and a little graininess, especially in the finish. More herbal and stronger grassy tones, with floral hops now, in the finish.

M: Light/medium bodied. Lower carbonation makes it feel heavier than it is.

O: Not a bad amber. Nice and easy drinking with some classic hop flavors to spice it up a little bit and to keep it from being too bland.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Valley Brew Fest. Served in a sampler size glassware provided by the festival. The beer had a cloudy amber appearance with a white-color head and good lacing. The beer had a grassy hops aroma mixed with some malts and a bready smell. Taste was pretty good and followed the smell with an earthy malt taste. Not a bad mouthfeel; very drinkable. Overall, not too bad.

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Photo of 57md
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber in color with a half finger of head that dissolves rather quickly. Mildly malty nose and flavor.

This is a fine and sessionable beer but it certainly gets lost amid the outstanding beers in the State of Vermont.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: opaque pale amber ale with a fluffy head a few fingers high that left a bit of lace behind

S: mild malt and hop aromas suggesting a little bread and fruit with earthy accents

T: again, mild flavors bringing malts and hops into balance - slightly bready and biscuity, some hop accents of citrus and pine, but very muted and subtle, vague sweetness reminiscent of soft fruits

M: medium weight, fuzzy, smooth, soft, moderate carbonation; easy to drink, nice aftertaste

O: decent enough to warrant a try, but nothing I'd seek out.

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Photo of dredmahawkus
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Its kinda boring but smooth and very drinkable. One of them beers you wouldnt mind drinking all day...very balanced....slight dank. Just not a flavor explosion!

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Photo of jlindros
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Texas bbq

Nice creamy head, 1 finger head, fades slowly, nice lacing, murky toasted orange brown color.

Nose malty aroma, mild sweet malty reddish amber malt, hint of grassy hops, little candy caramel malt.

Taste is a malty flavor, mild toasted reddish malt, caramel, little candy malt. Grassy hop, turns mild herbal earthy, little pine note. Fair bitterness, a weird earthy skunky weird bitterness almost icky oil. Weird yeasty thing too, not really skunky but something unhappy. That lingers in the finish the weird skunky bitterness.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb.

Overall eh.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber to amber-red color.
Creates a frothy light density head that was short lived.
This pour seemed quite effervescent.
A small malt nose bearing hints of yeast.

At the first sip-- I declare this beer to be an excellent warm weather beer.
Perhaps it should be served slightly chilled. It is not a beer to call attention to itself, I did not find myself basking in its flavor cornucopia. None of it's attributes bring attention to themselves. This is a fairly light bodied ale-- perfect for quenching a summer-time thirst rather than a serious tasting session.

The mouthfeel is cordial-- that is as it's flavor I found little to remember.

Overall I call this a very enjoyable American Pale Ale. The other thing I like about it is that the alcohol content is not particularly high so I enjoyed a bomber bottle w/o being welded to my seat as the bottom of the bottle was up.

It has

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/19/2015 at Pour Farm, in New Bedford, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, fruit that are quickly followed by a strong creaminess that you typically don’t find in this type of beer. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Chris33
4.36/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a bomber from my parents (I live in Ohio now but from Vermont). No date on the bottle but drinking 3/16/15 and was given the bottle around 1/5/15 and has been in the fridge since.
Usually one of my favorite beers to pick up (or get) when I'm back at home. Lots of particulates, which i expected because of the long refrigeration. Still has that very smooth APA taste thats a more hoppy but smooth ale flavor. Can't go wrong with this beer at any point and time. I will always pick up a few bottles whenever I'm back at home. It's as much of a Vermont staple as Long Trail Ale for me. Great overall.

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Photo of hurricanes56dan
2.62/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Its hit or miss with this beer. I get it pretty often, and ill have one and it will be good, then ill be at another bar another night and it will be terrible.

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Photo of Gavage
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours an amber color with a 1" head that lasts a long time. Some lace develops on the glass. Caramel, fruits, and some yeast are detectable by the nose. The flavor profile follows the aroma, as caramel, dark fruit sweetness, a mild bitterness, and yeast are detectable. This is a nice malt forward beer. Light crispness from start to finish.

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Photo of Brenden
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I wouldn't call this a reddish-amber, per se, though it does achieve amber. It's clear with a bit of brightness to it. The head is a sudsy white one that falls somewhat quickly but leaves bubbly foam on top that translates in the lacing.
This is one of few beers that I can say is just kind of beer. I figured what friends who weren't into beer were saying when they made that claim, and now I understand it. There's moderate aroma and flavor, a bit of leaf with some toast, a bit of fruit underlying.
It is smooth in its light body with a soft, fluffy feel. Crispness is even, not too hard or too soft. What it gives up in body it makes up for in its smoothness and a bit of depth.

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Photo of Alissa2579
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Had this in tap at Generations in Lake Placid, NY. It's a nice light beer that is not too hoppy and subtle hints of fruit. The perfect beer after a day of hiking. Would definitely have again10/5/14

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Photo of TWStandley
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Enjoyed on tap at the Lucky Dog Tavern in Plymouth, NH.

Appeared amber in color with barely any head retention.

Smelled of light malt sweetness and a slight pine scent on the end.

Taste was pretty well balanced but also pretty boring. Nothing wowed me about this one.

Mouthfeel was fine.

Overall an ok beer but nothing really great about it.

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Photo of scootny
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%

A 3.75 The bottle is a 22oz with instructions to introduce the yeast that settles on the bottom. As a result my glass is filed with an opaque and light orange brown fluid. Good head, light brown eggshell with healthy lacing.
S 3.75 Lots of bread and biscuit. Some light fruitiness with some caramel sweetness.
T 4.0 I really like this one. Deep bready malt front with a biscuity finish. Clean dry hop finish has earth and a light astringency. Great balance.
M 3.75 Smooth and crisp carbonation. Perfect weight. Quenching and refreshing.
O 3.75 A perfectly balanced and highly drinkable brew. Thanks to my good beer buddy Chris Brady for the opportunity to sample a superb session ale. More please!

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

A- light amber/brown color that pours a 2 finger head but runs off quickly. A poor lacing made around the glass. mildly opaque with bits of yeast floating.

S- hints of caramel but mainly and earthy bready aroma. maybe some hints of dark candied fruit.

F- Flavor mimics the nose with the caramel malts being dominant. I also detect molasses as the possible dark candied fruit that comes through. bready and earthy tones as well.

M- carbonated and chewy and medium bodied

O- not a bad ale.....the caramel actually makes the beer in my opinion.

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Switchback Ale from Switchback Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.