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Switchback Ale - Switchback Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Switchback AleSwitchback Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

506 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 7
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Switchback Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: kaszeta on 08-06-2003)
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

1.25/5  rDev -65%

04-25-2014 10:34:50 | More by chippo33
Photo of rregan
rregan

Massachusetts

2.1/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Super light yellowish color, fairly transparent. Not a good head but could have been because of the servor.

S- I think a trained nose would pick out the malt and hops, but frankly it was nonexistent.

T- Solid ale I guess, but nothing special. Rather bland. Below average quality.

M- Pretty crisp and bubbly. Goes down easy.

D- This beer bored me to death. Probably won't have another one. I'd rather have a Bud.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2009 06:49:07 | More by rregan
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

2.23/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A nice looking, vapid brew: that summarizes things in a nutshell about this beer and, I'm afraid, about Vermont beers in general. I have yet to have anything from this state that tastes as good as it looks. This one has almost no flavor or aroma that goes beyond soap. Blah.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 00:18:29 | More by gfreed
Photo of ScaryEd
ScaryEd

New Hampshire

2.25/5  rDev -37%

11-07-2013 00:51:37 | More by ScaryEd
Photo of nathanjohnson
nathanjohnson

Vermont

2.25/5  rDev -37%

07-03-2012 20:02:34 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of Msudukie
Msudukie

New York

2.25/5  rDev -37%

03-22-2014 21:07:47 | More by Msudukie
Photo of SpasmWaiter
SpasmWaiter

Vermont

2.25/5  rDev -37%

08-11-2013 02:04:06 | More by SpasmWaiter
Photo of sfr26
sfr26

New York

2.5/5  rDev -30%

04-03-2013 18:20:22 | More by sfr26
Photo of Chakri
Chakri

Vermont

2.5/5  rDev -30%

03-09-2014 19:14:50 | More by Chakri
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -30%

06-05-2014 20:07:09 | More by Davepoolesque
Photo of kabritz
kabritz

Quebec (Canada)

2.5/5  rDev -30%

03-10-2014 17:52:28 | More by kabritz
Photo of meehandennis
meehandennis

Maine

2.5/5  rDev -30%

04-11-2013 20:33:18 | More by meehandennis
Photo of hopley
hopley

Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -30%

11-16-2013 02:14:35 | More by hopley
Photo of JMScowcroft
JMScowcroft

Vermont

2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I snagged one of these in the new 1pt 6oz (bomber) bottles since they started shipping these around in stores, they are still selling quite fast but if you are out and about on the delivery day you are almost guaranteed to get one.

Look - Bottle is clean and inviting, good marketing. Pours thick and caramel, frothy, full head. Unfiltered in all its glory. I followed the recommendation of thumb cover and half pour to mix the yeast back in, once or twice.

Smell - Rather plain, unimaginative, lightly scented, surprisingly lacking for what appears to be such a full bodied beer.

Taste - Heavily carbonated, rather dull flavor, not quite as good as it is on-tap. Almost like a light red ale without a full body.

Mouthfeel - Nothing special here, goes down rather smooth with a slight bitter aftertaste. Leaves the palette rather quickly, you will forget how it tastes between sips.

Overall - Not an amazing beer, but not bad, I would say it is about as average as it gets for a craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 12:21:57 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

(from notes)

Had this twice on tap at different locations in the Plattsburgh, NY area- figured it was worth checking again after having heard good things about it and being disappointed. Both bars served it overly chilled, and I wasn't particularly impressed even when I waited for it to warm.

Look- Beautiful hazy orange-red without much head and almost no lacing, which is possibly due to the overly cold ambient temp.

Smell- Pretty faint. Oranges and pine, with a hint of sweetness and lemon. I actually thought of pine-sol when smelling it, though it is by no means bad, just an odd mix.

Taste- Again, pine and lemon, slight alcohol presence. Finishes somewhat flowery. On the whole, too sweet for my tastes.

Mouthfeel- Some bite off the front, ends watery and slightly acidic. Borderline unpleasant.

Drinkability- Surprisingly hard to put back considering how weak the body is- couldn't shake the watery pine-sol feeling. Definitely not a session beer, though it would probably go decently well with spicy food.

Overall- Alright I suppose, but not particularly tasty and not particularly drinkable. I don't know if the brewery ships their reject batches over to this side of Lake Champlain, but I'd probably pass if I saw it on tap again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2012 04:06:58 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I hear tell this is a big deal 'round Burlington.

@ Strange Brew, Manchester NH. Hazy, rust tinged amber color. Arrived with a thin skim head that ran away as soon as it reached the table. I suspect a bad pour.

Doesn't smell like anything other than beer glass and my hand. At least it doesn't smell bad.

Taste is sweet munich-y malt with marmalade spice. Doesn't taste of any particular hop but brings forth pleasing hoppy belches. Carbonation is week and juice-like.

After doing some research I find this ale may be more favored by the Vermont crowd for it's sometimes $2 price tag rather than any particular palette appeal. It's not bad by any means but I could find plenty of options I'd prefer more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2010 21:23:51 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer at Mahar's where the bartender described it as a decent session beer. I found it to be an acceptable session beer; lacking in taste somewhat and aroma completely though. It pours a cloudy amber color with a white head. It had almost no aroma at all though, which was a bit disappointing. The flavor had very light malt aroma with no hop aroma with a bit of lemon in the background. It also had a flavor I couldn't exactly place, but might have been some smokiness. It had a light body and fairly low drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2007 22:18:20 | More by drseamus
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

Bomber to tulip.
Sampled 13APR13.

[A] Pours with a beautiful bright white foamy head, dense but fluffy, and excellent retention. Minutes later a chunky collar remains just below a thick, solid sheet of lace along the entire glass. The body is dark orange with above average haze. I don't love the color of this beer, but every other characteristic is fantastic.

[S] Subdued aroma. Minimal and nondescript hop presence. A strong metallic edge plus a hint of sulfur are noticeable. Lightly toasted bready malts provide the backdrop. The second pour - including the yeast - lends to a more enjoyable nose and introduces a well rounded fruity aroma.

[T] Light front end sweetness. And low bitterness on the back end. The flavor is a little vague from a hop and malt perspective - although it is well balanced. The yeast actually seems to be the most important part of the flavor profile, which adds the same fruit quality captured in the aroma. Mild caramel malts are deep in the background.

[M] Smooth at first with a fine tingling carbonation setting just before midpalate, and increasing in intensity all the way through the finish. The body is medium. The finish is medium-sweet.

[O] The appearance and mouthfeel of Switchback Ale are great. But the aroma and flavor are lacking. And, unfortunately those scores count a lot more. I doubt I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 00:11:10 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On at 3 needs. Seems to be called Switchback ale, and not this name here. White head and lace and pale colour. Light mouthfeel.Some citrus. Drinkable but minimal for the style.Well malted. Sour finish. Why others want to put this on, I do not know why.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2008 00:09:29 | More by Sammy
Photo of Cascade77
Cascade77

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -23%

03-17-2014 16:55:50 | More by Cascade77
Photo of carteravebrew
carteravebrew

Colorado

2.75/5  rDev -23%

01-19-2014 16:25:59 | More by carteravebrew
Photo of chefduff2
chefduff2

New York

2.75/5  rDev -23%

06-01-2013 02:58:35 | More by chefduff2
Photo of TastyIsBeer
TastyIsBeer

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -23%

09-23-2013 23:58:32 | More by TastyIsBeer
Photo of Focusf111
Focusf111

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -23%

06-21-2012 17:08:51 | More by Focusf111
Photo of jealmanzar
jealmanzar

New York

2.75/5  rDev -23%

07-04-2013 11:46:38 | More by jealmanzar
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Switchback Ale from Switchback Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.