Backcountry Amber | Backcountry Brewery

20 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Backcountry Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.38%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as "Switchback Amber," it is reminiscent of a German Oktoberfest-Style brew with a deep copper color, smooth malty flavor and pleasantly noble hop aroma and bitterness from German hops. Prost!

Original Gravity: 13.5° plato / Alcohol by volume: 5.38% / Bitterness: 28 IBU’s / SRM: 16

Added by Jason on 08-13-2003

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 56
Photo of Domvan
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Toffee, light bodied, easy drinking amber ale. Nothing hoppy or crazy about it, but just an easy drinker for the mountains and a good day of skiing in Colorado.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I enjoyed this amber, especially since the bigger Dillon Dam Brewery located nearby doesn't really make anything similar. This a more of a red than a straight amber, which works for me. I'll have to get this again sometime.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Nose fresh grain and malt
Brilliant golden amber, 1" white foam cap collapses to a thick film, some nice lace
Palate: starts dry and ends with a burst of rich malt with traces of caramel. The hops are light and the beer is very drinkable, lingering malt tastes with a light touch of sweetness.
Medium high carbonation, medium body.

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Photo of SamN
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Back country Amber pours a slightly cloudy honey amber color, with a thicker than expected head of fine soapy bubbles, better than average head rention. Pretty good looking brew. Aroma is a slightly toasted, slightly sweet honey-like aroma, bready with light fruit-like happiness. I'm really liking the toasty aromas in here. Tastewise, the malts loose a bit of there toastiness, but it still has a upfront malt flavor; nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are muted all the way through its clean finish. Carbonation is active but not distracting, smooth and almost creamy.

Pretty good beer here. I like my ambers maltier, and this one fits that bill pretty well. Not a stellar beer, it could use more hops presence first of all, but in all a decent sessionable CO amber ale.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.82/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

this is easily the worst beer going at backcountry. it is utterly devoid of flavor. it doesn't taste bad at all, it just doesn't taste like anything. If I wasn't at a brewery, I might not even know this is beer, no kidding. it pours a fine clear amber color with an inch of just off white head, pleasant enough. the nose is mildly sweet like caramel and maybe a little stale yeast, but not much else. the flavor is just absent. I thought maybe my palate was ruined from the ipa I had before this, but I kept at it, and the flavor never came. I got a little residual sugar and some funny mineral complex on my tongue, but literally no taste at all. by the time I realized it has a nice mellow carbonation and an appealing medium body, it was way to late for this to be saved. backcountry makes a lot of quality beer, and they sell it nice and cheap, but trust me and stay away from this amber. I don't know how its possible, but it honestly has no taste whatsoever. wtf mate?

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Photo of denver10
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a amber with a wooden brown kinda hue and a nice thick, foamy thumbs width white head. Very nice lacing. A nice, bright floral aroma hits you at first, the sweet caramel malt follows providing some doughiness. A very bright, crisp flavor to this.. Floral, caramel, and some toffee that is cut with some apple. Overall, one of the better amber ales I have tried. The ability to capture the sweet maltiness of an amber while also provide some crisp brightness to the beer really worked for me. This is the second beer from these guys I have tried, and the second one I really liked. Definitely going to have to check out their other stuff.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very easy drinking beer. It fits well in the category with an amber poor, medium sized white head that fluffed up and settled down to a collar.

Sweet aroma, probably could use more malt in it, but it's still there. Hops give it a floral sense to it.

This is smooth. Any more hops and it would dry out a bit. The floral the hops provide really showcase the malts up front. The sweetness of the malt, adding the floral, and finally the crispness make this beer very easy to drink. I had it with a burger from my grill. Looking down, I couldn't believe I had almost drank the whole bottle. Solid beer

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4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, copper color with a dense, pillowy 2" head. Very good retention w/ thick lace. Malty aroma - caramelly crystal malt - clean with some lightly spicy hops - nice! Very good balance - it starts out malty sweet but dries out in the finish. Toffee, caramel and spicy finish. Clean mouthfeel - carbonation seems in line for the style. Very drinkable and I would guess sessionable! Good beer.

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Photo of u2carew
3.02/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber. Picked up on a road trip through Denver.
A) Pours with a quarter inch head. settles quickly to some thin bubbles at the edge of the glass. Lacing is nearly nonexistent. Some chill haze. Upward carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Fruity notes - orange, peach. Subtle malt aroma.
T) Orange citrus notes upfront, then a mellow hint of nuts and caramel toward the finish. Sugary sweet, almost soda-like.
M) Fizzy. Crisp. Light to medium body.
D) An average brew. I'd drink if I had nothing else to choose from...

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Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear tapered glass goblet. Best by inked 06/10 on side of label. Purchased at Skee-Vue Liquors (Breckenridge, CO) for $3.49.

A: Light-to-medium amber with 1-finger off-white head with decent retention and impressive lacing.

S: Toasted caramel is strong with light herbal, tea-like hops

T: Caramel sweetness is tempered by nice roasted character and complemented by floral, herbal hoppiness which is light to let the great malt flavor palate

M: Crisp and clean with light-medium body and active carbonation to provide a pleasant creaminess to the feel

D: A surprise brew that dazzled with its great feel and wonderful toasted caramel character. Pick this one up if you are out and about in Breck or Frisco.

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Photo of HeroJH
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a pretty good beer. It seemed to fall off quick at the end though, diminishing my interest, so I probably wouldn't order 2 in a row, but I'd certainly have it again.

A - Dark Gold, nice lacing
S - Earthy German hops. Slightest Oktoberfest caramel. Flowery hop aroma.
T - Full, bitter Amber. Nice. Feels American w/ roots of European.
M - Dry. Thin, watery.
D - Gets a bit dull eventually. Thin and watery.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle tried 19 Feb 2009. Best before April 2009.

Poured in shaker pint glass. Smallish off white head. Well carbonated. Clear deep amber color. Aroma is light, sweet, soapy and cinnamon. Starts light and sweet, slightly watery. Moderate malt throughout. Hint of cinnamon and tea towards the end with a sweet bready aftertaste. Light body, light ethanol.

Not bad but overall pretty average.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Backcountry Brew Pub.

Poured a medium orange color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, oranges, toasted malts and a little bready. Tastes of caramel, citrus, toasted malts, and bread. Light lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 12/15/06

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.24/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Man I wish I had not bought this beer just because I liked the IPA. The color was a nice amber (surprise!) and the smell was a little funky. I couldn't put my finger on why but it was off. The taste was very grainy and unpleasant. Very close to being a drain pour. Bottle was marked to enjoy by 04/2007 so I thought I would be ok. Maybe it went bad?

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Photo of RevDru
2.4/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a medium brown/red, with almost no head formation. Minimal carbonation.

S - Very slight hoppy citrus tones. Orange flowers.

T - Sweet, candied orange. Lacks the hops bitterness one would expect from an ale with the orange-citrus tones found in this beer.

M - Flat and somewhat thin.

D - This was a disappointing and boring brew. Upon further inspection, the bottle was marked with a "Best By" date of 12.06 (One month ago). I don't know how much a difference this makes, but I will give the brewer the benefit of the doubt, and try this again at another time.

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Photo of WesWes
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a creamy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a weak crystal malt scent with little hops; nothing special. The taste is great. It has a smooth and creamy malt flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It goes down easy and finishes with fruity hops. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking amber ale. It's got good flavor and mouthfeel; highly drinkable.

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Photo of mentor
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage and consumed a couple evening later. Best before N 05. Pours a one finger light tan/yellow head over very cloudy rust colored liquid. Smells biscuit malt and caramel sweet, but has a cottony dry feel about it too. A bit of floral hops that have earthy and grassy qualities. Tastes sweet malty with a very intriguing floral hop. The hop flavor has a granite flavor to it, as well as a mild saaz tiny character. After many sips, I pull out just a little bit of oranges, too. The hops are really tasty above the malt sweet. The malt sweet plays a nice supporting role and tastes like mild biscuit malt, or perhaps it's a decent-strength vienna malt. This beer is really tasty and very drinkable. It's quite hoppy flavored, but in a spritely floral manner. Md to md-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Right to style and works well with the flavor of the beer. Final note, the aftertaste has a flavor I know, but just can't place. It's in the floral hops...cardamon? Rye bread? Pumpernickel bread?

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Photo of Beaver13
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Switchback Amber poured a copper-orange with a frothy off-whiet head that had nice lacing and good retention. It looked very similar to an Octoberfest.

The aroma was of light, grassy hops with some citrus tones.

The taste was very sweet malt up front (a little too sweet) with some caramel and slight citrus. It had a slight bitter, earthy finish.

It was medium bodied and very drinkable. Overall, I thought it was a nice amber. It had and interesting, appealing sweet flavor with an IPA-like aroma.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, bright amber color, nice layer of creamy foam.
Good aromatics, fresh, lightly fruity, citric, peachy, nice and pleasant.
Taste: very light hops, good malt, fruitiness rides high in the flavor. Too thin in the body, though, too short in the finish. Feels terribly flat. Drinkable, but forgettable. I'm sure this is much better on tap, but this serving from a 22 oz. bomber bottle disappointed. The fruity flavor started getting syrupy, and the texture became non-existent.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured to a pale copper color with a thin head. The head lasted during the first half of the pint. A more floral aroma was sported from this than the IPA which surprised me. Very good carbination with a great balance of malt and hops. A wonderful tasting version of the Amber style. Very drinkable and would be a good session beer.

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Backcountry Amber from Backcountry Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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