Switchback Ale

Vermont
United States
Switchback Ale by Switchback Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
80
Aroma:
16 / 24
Flavor:
33 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20
Description 

Switchback Ale was developed as a flavor concept, not adhering to any style guidelines. Using only traditional ingredients, Switchback Ale is an unfiltered, 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 fl¬avors and a subtle impression of fruit (our yeast’s contribution), followed by a palate pleasing malty finish.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

Profile

ABV: 
5%
IBUs: 
28
Hops: 
(Early) Simcoe, (Late) Saaz, (Late) Vanguard, (Late) Sterling
Malts: 
Pale, Lt. Carastan, Carastan, Crystal 70-80, Black
Judges Review 
Michael Bury's picture
Judges Rating:
80
Aroma:
16 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
33 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20

Switchback’s Switchback Ale IPA is being judged as a Best Bitter (2015 BJCP Category 11B).  However, according to the brewery it doesn’t fit any particular style as it was developed with a flavor profile and not a style in mind.

Moderate dry biscuits and toast with light caramel opens the aroma alongside a restrained earthy hop with hints of boyensberry and lemon.  A whisper of apricot may be from fermentation.  This ale is somewhat hazy with a light copper color beneath a long lasting beige head.

The flavor is similar to the aroma in that the butter-less biscuit and caramel malt with a bit of brown bread is slightly dominating due to the moderate bitterness and light hop flavor.  Switchback’s Ale finishes dry with a resinous aftertaste.

Highly quaffable, this fine ale would be best served on hand pump to allow some of the additional, slightly obscured fruit to emerge.  Despite that, you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the glass before you can ask, “What beer style is this?”