Switchback Ale
Switchback Brewing Company

Switchback AleSwitchback Ale
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From:
Switchback Brewing Company
 
Vermont, United States
Style:
Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #245
ABV:
5%
Score:
82
Ranked #26,283
Avg:
3.61 | pDev: 12.74%
Ratings:
1,003
Status:
Active
Rated:
Apr 07, 2022
Added:
Aug 06, 2003
Wants:
  29
Gots:
  298
SCORE
82
Good
Switchback AleSwitchback Ale
Notes: 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by hudsonvalleyslim from Massachusetts

This fine ale seems criminally underrated to me. This stubby was dated 1.25.22, so a tad over 2 months conditioning in the bottle. Switchback suggests rolling the bottle to put settled yeast back into the mix. I usually forget to do that but by the cloudiness I'd guess pouring it into a glass is close.

This is fine beer to settle in with, malty but not sweet, balanced.

Apr 07, 2022
 
3.93 by cdub70085 from Connecticut on Mar 22, 2022
 
3.5 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Mar 02, 2022
Photo of black-dog-barks
4.51/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by black-dog-barks from Massachusetts

I am reminded of living in the middle ages when beer was first made.. One great ALE... One of Vermont's Best of the Best.

Jan 24, 2022
 
3.85 by kp7 from Massachusetts on Dec 24, 2021
Photo of O-Meg
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by O-Meg from New York

why does it look like that?

Dec 20, 2021
 
3.03 by Arg914 from New York on Dec 20, 2021
Photo of DavetotheB
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

From a 12oz stubby bottle dated 11/2/21 into a pint glass.

Pours a very murky yellowish brown with a ton of suspended particulates. About one half finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving a moderate amount of lacing. Not really all that appetizing looking.

Smells of some grassy notes, bread and sort of an oily aroma.

Taste is better than the look and smell. Bready notes and some grassy/floral in there as well.

Smooth enough mouthfeel. Full-bodied. Slight bitter aftertaste. Low carbonation.

If you can get past the look of it, this isn't a terrible beer. Just doesn't present well.

Nov 28, 2021
Photo of Captain69
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Captain69 from Illinois

pours amber red great head slightly malty ale great drink

Nov 10, 2021
 
4.14 by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania on Nov 02, 2021
 
3.9 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Oct 20, 2021
Photo of Josh1218
4.46/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Josh1218

A unique and genuine beer that personally is an unrivaled ale.

Oct 09, 2021
Photo of TheRatCage
3.19/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by TheRatCage from Connecticut

(From short neck bottle)
L: half inch white head. Turns into a thin covering layer shortly after. Some lacing for an amber beer. Pure orange in color, somewhat cloudy. Almost like apple cider.

S: sweet and malty. Herbal hops. Touch of fruity hops.

T: Smooth malt as expected. More of a spicy hops character than originally expecting, not harsh but something you notice. Not overly sugary sweet either, doesn’t give that “mouth coating” feeling. Balanced I suppose.

F: closest to medium bodied. Not exactly a crisp finish nor a heavy one.

O: it’s alright. It is smooth and perhaps overly balanced where there are no discernible notes besides hints of malt and hops. A little less malty than others I’ve had.

Aug 22, 2021
 
3.42 by Dalkri from Massachusetts on Aug 11, 2021
Photo of TheBigBoy
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

basic red, nothing stood out to me. A bit deep and hearty for a quench on a hot summer day.

Aug 02, 2021
Photo of DuaneL
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DuaneL from Delaware

We would call this an ESB. Had it on tap at the brewery on Vermont. They make a lot of smoked beers here, which are hard to find, so we bought several bottles to bring home to DE.

Aug 02, 2021
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by orcrist_cleaver from New York

A little strong on the spice/cinnamon florals. Fallen, dirt-rotten red apples. Lots of yeast. It's really the cinnamon that I can't boggle in this current session. Something I'd like to revisit to affirm, but the watery Apple Jacks vibe I'm walking away with will make it difficult. Not trying to knock them for their expressive ingredients, but I'm just not in the apple galette mood.

Otherwise, chilled caramel/amber haziness. Grainy feel gives a coarse texture. Good carbonation and crisp-dry.

Jun 16, 2021
Photo of Craig-er
4.19/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Craig-er from New Hampshire

Very nice bottle conditioned beer from Vermont.

Jun 06, 2021
 
3.8 by Jdells09 from New Jersey on May 24, 2021
 
3.77 by PaleAleWalt from New York on Mar 27, 2021
 
3.71 by Mustela_Man from Rhode Island on Mar 13, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by GreesyFizeek from New York

Stubby bottle purchased from Daiker's in Old Forge, NY.

This one pours a slightly hazy amber color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells mostly malty, with some light fruity hop character and some breadiness.

There's not a whole lot to this beer, but it's tasty and well done enough. It's nicely malty, with rustic breadiness and some light sweetness, and just a hint of hop character and some fruity sweetness.

This is medium bodied, fairly crisp, and very drinkable.

This is old fashioned, and done well, but it's not exactly gonna blow you away.

Mar 01, 2021
 
2.75 by Mattandwin from New Hampshire on Feb 26, 2021
Photo of stevoj
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by stevoj from Idaho

12oz stubby from Halftime. Murky, dark amber pour, thin off-white foamy head. Light malty aroma, brown bread. Taste is pure malts, gentle, smooth like a UK pale. This is a simple, straightforward ale, light and tasty. If I was in the distro area for this, it would become my lawnmower beer.

Feb 11, 2021
 
3.12 by pirish28 from Massachusetts on Jan 19, 2021
 
3.65 by Tbone2131 from Connecticut on Dec 31, 2020
Photo of ANIMOUL
4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by ANIMOUL from Vermont

Pours rich amber color with an inch of foam that slowly dissipates. More an amber ale than a red ale; nice hoppy malt balance (though biased towards hops). Very sturdy and delicious. A staple.

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of 1009
4.28/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by 1009 from Massachusetts

A delicious flavorful ale. First enjoyed after skiing and then sort of looked over for years. Had it a few weeks back with friends sitting around a fire and man, what a lovely sipping beer. Beautiful old time stubby bottle holds this gorgeous liquid. Mighty fine malty flavors with a great mix of hops that balances the beer. Just so satisfying in the cold winter months. As always, another winner from Vermont

Dec 18, 2020
 
3.67 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Oct 30, 2020
 
3.28 by RyanPollie from California on Oct 21, 2020
 
3.75 by Paddy-loves-beer from Pennsylvania on Oct 16, 2020
 
3.74 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania on Oct 13, 2020
Photo of bearr
1.8/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1
by bearr from New York

Another over-hopped craft beer.

Sep 04, 2020
 
3.85 by Boone757 from Virginia on Aug 20, 2020
Photo of Act25
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Act25 from New Jersey

Sampled in group tasting, Loved it for being true to a favorite red ale style.
a) Looks as it's tasting: Cidery, puffy, pretty.
s) Cider, applesauce on a traditional red-ale malt back.
t) follows Aroma, ample, solid. Malt showcase, caramel.
f) Mid-, nice finish, give it a blind vs best red and APAs!
o) Tradition done well.

Aug 19, 2020
 
3.75 by Velivolus1 from Vermont on Aug 09, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

A 12 oz. bottle was poured into a clear pint glass. Even before the pour, the nose gets the first sensation. The aroma is certainly malty and yeasty, along with a little hoppiness. The color from this bottle pour was a murky dark copper. There's very little head, nor lacing. Probably, that's because it's not overly carbonated. It sure does taste like the nose tells you it will. It's malty and yeasty, along with a little hoppiness. This reminds me much of the English Bitters I enjoyed across the pond more than a few times. A nice beer with the added allure that it's hard to find outside its region.

Aug 03, 2020
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

Hazy amber with a small off white head.

Smells like toasted bread, honey, and herbal hops.

Tastes like toasted bread. A bit oxidized? Some cardboard and paper. A touch of earth and herbal hops. Bland.

May 01, 2020
 
3.73 by lakewy17 from New Hampshire on Apr 17, 2020
 
3.78 by SFHbeerME from Maine on Mar 23, 2020
Switchback Ale from Switchback Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 1003 ratings