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Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

862 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 862
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 66
Gots: 101 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerTruth on 04-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 862 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What we have here is a year aged bottle of backburner.

Thick viscous dark copper colored with unfiltered characteristics. A one finger head of tan fades quickly into some trace laceing and a puffy topping.

Spicy hoppy aromas up front. Some dark homeade caramel and toffee mixed with dried fruts underneath. The hops show a little bit of flora citrus as well. Not huge on the style (of the nose) for a barley wine.

Very interesting barley wine. Dried fruits become juicy and tight in the mouth. Fig, date and prun with dark caramel. Very bitter ending spicey and complex totally dries out the tongue. Some apple flavors on the late mid palate to finish with a bit of a nutty kick.

Nice creamy mouthfeel but the overly bitter finish hurts drinkability. But a good BW nonetheless.

mcallister, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev -0.2%

RedneckBeerz, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/11/08- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown in color. Full one inch plus head upon pour. Settles at a good 1/4 inch for most of the duration of the beer.

Smell- Very hoppy in the nose with harsh grapefruit hops. Also has some caramel malt notes.

Taste- Sugary sweet with lots of caramel malts. Also some sweet orchard fruits with oranges and tangerines in the mix. The hops really are the key here though. They come through very strong...very Bigfoot in nature. Fairly well balanced though with a large malt profile as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a touch higher carbonation level. Still feeling the bitter aftertatse in my mouth almost 30 minutes after finishing it.

Drinkability- Traditional well hoppen american barleywine. Very good and very drinkable.

GClarkage, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle.

Pours a clear reddish amber with light off-white lacing for a head. Good cherry red glow when held to light.

Smells floral hoppy, similar to an IPA, but with more malty character. Maybe a bit of fig like fruits.

The taste starts grainy and a bit bitter. There's maybe a little smokiness to it. That's followed by sweet fruity tastes like figs. The taste finishes with subdued hops. Not too bitter, but present.

Feels thick with light but sharp carbonation. Very mild warmth from the alcohol.

Hmm, a good barleywine, although I'm more fond of the english variety which leans more towards sweetness than hoppiness. I would probably like this a lot more if it were a little less hoppy. That said, its very enjoyable but big. Fans of IPAs would really like this one a lot.

Cylinsier, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.2%

kjkinsey, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of disemgrowler
4/5  rDev -0.2%

disemgrowler, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 2-finger cream-colored head. Nice retention but not much lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles. A little bit lighter than expected, but still fits the style.

S – Mostly caramel malts and citrus hops with some dark fruits mixed in. Alcohol is definitely apparent in the nose.

T – Follows the nose with a little more depth in the malt department. Starts off sweet with caramel, rich malts, molasses, and dark fruits like plums and figs. Bitter citrus hops creep in mid-taste and build toward the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and mouth-coating feel, and a dry and bitter finish. Sweet caramel and bitter citrus hops linger. Lots of alcohol warmth is apparent at the finish.

O – This is a pretty solid American barleywine. It comes exactly as advertised with sweet caramel balanced with bitter citrus hops. The heat detracts a little from the drinkability, but it seems like that’s to be expected in beers that are this big. I haven’t had many barleywines so it’s tough to judge, but this one is pretty tasty. Another good beer from Southern Tier.

BlackBelt5112203, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of malfunxion
4/5  rDev -0.2%

malfunxion, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of macrosmatic
4/5  rDev -0.2%

macrosmatic, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -0.2%

mhaugo, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Edwaka01
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Edwaka01, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Lovethemhopps
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Lovethemhopps, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of rickrem
4/5  rDev -0.2%

rickrem, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of rebelthrower
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark red/rust in color. Off-white head that took a while to dissipate.

S-Smells sweet, strong barley and a little bit of hops

T- Rich with malt. Alcohol is not as strong as originally expected. a bit spicy on the tongue.

M- Mid amount of carbonation. Body wasn't to heavy. Nothing stands out as a unique taste.

D- Easy to drink. Not overwhelmed with alcohol. Overall the beer is pretty good. I was expect more though.

rebelthrower, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Relatively fresh bottle, <1 year old.

A: Pours a murky amber with a good sized and dense tan head. Fades slowly, leaving a thin but almost uninterrupted wall of lacing.

S: Loads of raisin, fig and molasses primarily. Some toffee and caramel in the middle.

T: Strong molasses up front along with the dark fruit - raisin and fig. Some toffee, caramel and a bit more molasses in the middle and towards the end. Not overly sweet, especially with a little burst of earthy and resin hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Heavy, thick.

O: A good american style barleywine. Nice complexity and balance of flavors. However, nothing stands out as earth-shattering so I give it a solid 4 across the board. Not a knock against the beer, it's a pretty excellent staple for the style. Just nothing to distinguish it from the rest.

Dope, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of Fargrow
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Fargrow, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of briiguy
4/5  rDev -0.2%

briiguy, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of jrohrbacher
4/5  rDev -0.2%

jrohrbacher, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of bluntedboywonder
4/5  rDev -0.2%

bluntedboywonder, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Phacoman
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Phacoman, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of jmathis
4/5  rDev -0.2%

jmathis, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of paulys55
4/5  rDev -0.2%

paulys55, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Exiled, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -0.2%

eawolff99, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of lpayette
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Table & Vine in W. Springfield, MA for $6 a bomber.

At the pop of the cap you know that you wont be disappointed by this beer. With a hiss, the aroma immediately hits you with big fruity, malty, and hoppy notes. Ok, that was only my review of the popping of the top. On to the appearance-

Out of the bottle backburner pours a copper-like hue, but in the glass with more volume it develops a very nice ruby hue. With a hard pour the beer mustered about 1 finger of head which produced some nice brussels lace but still disappeared rather quickly.

The smell as mentioned previously, does not disappont. I'm proud to declare that I successfully was able to guess 2 of the 4 hop varities in this brew before looking at what it was brewed with (I guessed chinook, and amarillo). The willamette really made sense after reading it on the bottle, and the centinnial as well.

This is certainly an american style barleywine rather than an english... Very hoppy as expected, but to be honest... the combination of hops seems a little odd initially- although it seems to work better by mid bottle or so. I'd predict that this would be much better with some age under it... maybe a year or two? Malt-wise- subtle notes of caramel with a slightly chocolatey finish. The 10% abv is apparent, but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel when young at least is a bit lacking, but I predict that some age on this would yeild a much better result. The hops are so potent that they tingle around the edges of the tongue and you can practically feel the enamel stripping off your teeth... I suppose that's a good thing if you're looking for a hop bomb, american style barleywine. I tend to prefer the english variety, but again, with some aging, this might be spectacular. Also, the initial sips with the head present are very creamy, and I enjoyed those most.

Overall a very respectable offering from southern tier, and probably worth seeking out if you're a big American style barleywine fan. I know that I'll be picking up some more if I get the opportunity, but this time I'll wait at least a year before opening and let this develop a bit further before I revisit.

lpayette, Mar 04, 2008
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.