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Switchback Ale | Switchback Brewing Company

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147 Reviews
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Switchback AleSwitchback Ale

Brewed by:
Switchback Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 796
Reviews by snowsurfer422:
Photo of snowsurfer422
4/5  rDev +13%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Butznutz
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
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

 319 characters

Photo of Ainman11
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from tap. It was golden amber color with a light malty smell. It was crisp and something I could have for a dinner beverage.

139 characters

Photo of edward_boumil
4.14/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | 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.

 336 characters

Photo of Ringersol
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mac19872
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Photo of DontTreadOnMe
5/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jpwadd
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of kevrob802
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maybe I'd reached my beer limit that day, but I just couldn't get into this too much. Hazy amber color, small white head. Mildly sweet, mildly citrus aroma. Kind of tepid grapefruit taste. Fairly balanced. Not bad, but I'd had some great beers prior to this, and it suffered in comparison.

 289 characters

Photo of Custom151
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Photo of DWolf
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this several times on a recent trip to Sugarbush, as it's available on tap nearly everywhere.

Looks like a cloudy Sam Adams, but that's where the similarities end. A caramel-ish sweet citrus taste up front which gets washed away by the hops at the end with a slight tingle. Each sip leaves you wanting more - quickly. And you can do it too, because the alcohol is left in check. This beer is definitely a drinker, not a sipper, and not one you want to sit and dissect flavors....just drink.

This is a terrific beer to session apres-ski. If I lived in Vermont this would be my go-to beer.

 593 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a big glass (special night at the GLB)

The color is amber not transparent with a nice thick head to start. As I drink lacing forms

The aroma is sweet subtle hops of citrus and a sweet malt very nice

The taste is brilliant start with a soft carbonation a sweet malt comes and reveals a citrus hops mixed with a slight earthiness

 342 characters

Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A = unfiltered orange-amber color, a quickly dissipating head that leaves no lacing on the glass.
S = Lightly flowery, I can smell hops at first sniff.
T = I found that the malts are outplayed by the hops in this brew.
M=carbonation is okay, medium body but somehow watery as well.

Overall, I was hoping for more balance between the hops and the malts, but found the hops took over and left a bitter hoppy aftertaste. The finish was somewhat clean, except for the aforementioned hoppiness. It is a lighter feeling ale than most in its class, but I think would be a good pub choice with burgers or a wrap. Best way I would describe this is that it's kind of like a "Light IPA."

 682 characters

Photo of Magister_Beav
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tigg924
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap in St. Johnsbury

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark amber in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: earthy hops

Taste: earthy hops and light caramel malt

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium bodied, bitter with a touch of sweetness

Overall: This strikes me as an average hoppy amber. This is not a bad beer and certainly worth a try for hopheads. However, I have heard fanatical things about this beer and it just left me wanting a bit more in the taste department.

 478 characters

Photo of JC333
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Cavanaghty
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap

Appearance: Dark Brown color with a small amount of head. Decent carbonation. Slightly off white head.

Smell: Toasted malts and hoppy. Some sweetness.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied not a smooth as I had hoped for. Toasted malts and yeast could be tasted with a subtle sweetness. Bitter after taste.

Overall: Good beer. I think I will revisit this beer the next time I'm back in the Burlington area.

 419 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite a tasty beer, it's got a cloudy medium pale amber color with a nice little head, and some of the best lacing I've seen in any beer! This went the whole way down the pint!
The smell was rather dull, although I was at a restaurant my nose may have been overwhelmed.

Overall it tasted really great, some nice hoppy notes but overall quite smooth, great to be paired with pub food!

 394 characters

Photo of ccurrid
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of Nfiorini513
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Switchback is the beer I compare to other beers. Like its not a bad beer, it's like switchback drinkable but there are other beers I like more.

143 characters

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of juicebox
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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Switchback Ale from Switchback Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 796 ratings.
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