The Code Switch from Revolution Brewing pours from its 12oz can, revealing a dark purple liquid resembling an inky concoction. The initial fizzy, purple foam erupts briefly, only to vanish within seconds, leaving behind a beverage reminiscent of opaque purple mud due to sediment accumulation at the can’s bottom.


The aroma is a familiar yet pleasing interplay of blackberry and bourbon notes. Drawing parallels to Goose Island’s Bourbon County Bramble Rye, the scent evolves as the beer warms, transitioning from blackberry to a sweeter black cherry aroma.


Upon sipping, Code Switch veers closer to a mixed drink than a traditional beer. The dominant flavors are a robust fusion of bourbon and black cherry, constituting around 90% of the tasting experience. Despite the absence of roasted malt and hop bitterness, the beer achieves a commendable balance through fruit skin tannins and fruit juice acids. The high ABV imparts a lightness to the body, reminiscent of Revolution’s V.S.O.J. A subtle sweetness (rating 6/10) is offset by a mild bitterness (rating 3/10), primarily derived from tannic berry skins and wood-like tannins. The finish is marked by a spicy, boozy flair, solidifying its resemblance to a sophisticated cocktail.


Code Switch presents a substantial yet surprisingly drinkable strong ale. Despite its potential complexity, the base beer remains muted, taking a backseat to the dominant bourbon and blackberry juice. The mouthfeel is akin to a warming cherry cordial, with an odd but appealing combination of mulled wine attributes, a stiff cocktail, and the influence of a bourbon barrel-aged strong ale.


Revolution’s Code Switch is undeniably massive, offering a straightforward blend of bourbon and blackberry flavors. While the base beer plays a minimal role, the integration of these dominant elements results in a unique and enjoyable experience. Contrary to its Belgian yeast and candi syrup components, there’s a lack of Belgian characteristics. Nevertheless, the beer’s oddity contributes to its charm, making it a suitable fireside sipper with qualities reminiscent of mulled wine, a sophisticated cocktail, and a robust bourbon barrel-aged strong ale. Despite its peculiarities, Code Switch manages to leave a positive impression, making it a noteworthy addition to Revolution Brewing’s repertoire.