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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.

860 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 65
Gots: 99 | 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: 860 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnyb


4/5  rDev -0.2%

08-15-2012 02:25:05 | More by johnyb
Photo of Giggy


4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-04-2013 16:30:03 | More by Giggy
Photo of Imstillthegman


3.85/5  rDev -4%

Thanks go to nlmartin for throwing this in as an extra on a recent trade.

Backburner comes out of the bottle looking like cola. I thought for a moment I had opened a Coke. It had a finger and a half of light tan head that remains a constant sheet on top of the liquid. There is some craggy lacing ringing the glass.

The aroma is where this one is lacking a bit, IMO. When I first poured it into my glass I could smell it three feet away...but now I have to shove my nose in there to get a whiff of it. There is some caramel, brown sugar, pine, black cherries, and a stem-like floral scent if ya know what I mean.

The flavor is a good blend of malt and hops. Spicy, yet sweet. Dark caramels, spicy florals, pine resin, brown sugar, dark fruits. The abv is noticed a little at the end.

Solid medium bodied brew that's nicely carbonated. Some burn from the alcohol in the aftertaste that overrides the bitterness...I knocked it down from 4.0 to 3.5 as this grew stronger. Overall, a good barleywine that is easy to enjoy. Might be a good idea to share it with a friend, though.

07-25-2007 23:09:33 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of Kadonny


3.43/5  rDev -14.5%

Poured from a bomber bottle into a tulip glass.

A: A dark reddish orange color with a thin off white head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits, sweetness and floral herby hops.

T: First hint is dark fruits with some floral herby spicy hops, then the malt honey caramel sweetness flows in. A bit spicy but the sweetness overtakes the hops to the point of being cloying IMO. Finish is sweet and really over the top. Where are all the dark dried fruit flavors I love in my barleywines?

M: Medium with a coating prickly mouthfeel. Some bitterness but sweetness is lingering.

D: Low, this wore on me at the end of the bomber.

Overall this barleywine just didn't do it for me. Too honey sweet and not enough dark fruit flavors. I'll take an Old Guardian, Bigfoot, Old Ho or Old Ruff over this any day. Sorry, misses the mark for me.

06-29-2009 01:53:57 | More by Kadonny
Photo of magine


4.33/5  rDev +8%

Poured into a becker glass.

Pours a cloudy dark amber caramel color. Has a cream colored head; head is about a finger width thick initially. Head then settles to a patchy lace head, nice lacing along the sides of the glass. Good looking brew.

Brew has a big barley malt nose. Caramel and sweet bready notes. Very good smell.

Brew is smooth, velvety, full and creamy. Big barley flavors, malty caramel notes as well. Sweet bready malts in the end. Finishes slightly dry and alcohol is masked pretty well. Can taste a nice hop oily resin in there as well, maybe some fruit based hops. Good drinkable brew... nice warming effect. Very good stuff here.

Now this is a damn tasty barleywine; malty, big barley, caramel, sweet bready taste as well. Excellent stuff here. One of the best barleywines I have had.

01-09-2011 03:12:04 | More by magine
Photo of ColSanders123


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

12-20-2012 17:55:34 | More by ColSanders123
Photo of dsshuck


4/5  rDev -0.2%

07-21-2014 19:05:22 | More by dsshuck
Photo of aubuc1


4.33/5  rDev +8%

22 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a hazy dark amber with a thinning tan head.

Big smell of citrus y hops and a big biscuit.

Taste is a nice balance of huge hops and biscuit malt. Sweet, bitter and yet slightly sour.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy.

Nice huge balance makes this very drinkable.

A truly great beer.

06-20-2010 00:58:03 | More by aubuc1
Photo of kzoobrew


4/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a deep caramelly amber color. Three finger cinnamon colored head sits atop. The head works its way back at a casual pace leaving behind heavy moth eaten lacing. A nice cap remains on top for the duration.

Warm toast malt and caramel aroma are surprisingly dominant off the bat. Bright pineapple and citrus hop scents fill in behind. The aroma displays an impressive balance. Not the aroma I expect from an American Barleywine but it is enjoyed non the less.

Candied pineapple and caramel flavor lay heavy on the tongue out of the glass. A bright bitterness picks up as the flavor transitions to the midpalate before a heavy caramel flavor emerges. Deep flavors develop on the back of the palate, heavily caramelized sugar and raisins mainly. The darker flavors become very strong on the back end drowning out the lighter flavors from up front.

Backburner comes in just under full bodied. The carbonation is a bit higher than expected, delivering a bit of a lighter body than I would prefer. The finish is long as the dark sugar and fruit flavors dig into the tongue refusing to budge.

Backburner is a solid beer, enjoyable but fails to reach the top tier of the style. Easy to drink and enjoyable. This is one I will pick up a s a change in pace Barleywine but will not be on the top of my list.

09-13-2011 17:48:53 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of loren01


4.83/5  rDev +20.4%

A: Pours a reddish brown color, good head and good lace down the glass
S: Smells of lots of malt and dark fruit.
T: Taste is mostly malt and dark fruits with a hint of hops at the end.
M: Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied.
D: My kind of barleywine, I loved this one. Was very drinkable for something with an ABV of 10%.

04-19-2010 15:08:04 | More by loren01
Photo of jayhawk73


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

A- Pours a bronze/red color w/ a beautiful two finger cocoa head. Decent carbonation and good lacing. Great looking, and perfect for the style.

S- Caramel, hops, malt, very sweet smelling... almost more than I'd like. Rum tinge to the fruit smell as well. Nice, although I'd like the hops to be more forward.

T- Big taste on this beer. A little on the sugar/sweet side, still nice. I'd like the hops to be predominant rather than the sweetness, but it's still good. A little short of great.

M- Very smooth, with a sweet aftertaste. No way this beer feels like 10%, it goes down too easily. A little on the dry side, and a tad thin. More malt in the taste would help the feel I think.

O- Nice Barleywine, and another solid beer from Southern Tier. If you like Barleywines, this is a good one to try- although the sweetness may turn off some people.

07-02-2011 02:28:11 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of BlindPig


4.55/5  rDev +13.5%

A- About a 1" tan head on a kind of clear dark brown and amber body. Great head retention and thin lacing covers the top with a nice collar and sticks to side of glass.
S- Huge hop aroma along with a bunch of sweet caramel and toffee malt, alcohol comes through nice and big too, some pine and light citrus, some breads also.
T- Sweet caramel malt back bone with a ton of hops that are holding on to the malts. Pine and some grapefruit make up the hop profile and leave a nice big bitterness on mid of tongue. Breads, and alcohol come through very nicley. Nothing over powers the other even though they are all big flavors.
M- Full body with low carbonation that tickles the tongue.
D- It is a very nice barley wine and refreshing to have one after not have one or a good one in about 7 months. I would get this again and can only OAT can be as good as this.

10-11-2007 06:00:08 | More by BlindPig
Photo of cavedave

New York

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%

A thin beige head gives way to a lasting skim atop a boldly cloudy, dark bronze beauty of a barley wine.

The nose is full of alcohol spice/warm, fig, some caramelish sweet, stone fruit, alcohol, hints of tart yeast, light hoppy floral/bitter, and alcohol. My nose just caught a buzz.

At a cool temp. this beer is a nice blend of sweet, some fruity notes, and a bit of alcohol. As it warms the component flavors come out to play, and they play well. Warming vapors spread a wonderfully thick mix of sweet caramel, peach, bread dough, nice floral notes that hang in to crest with a very tasty herbal bitter into a finish that may not be epic for style, but is clean, tasty, and interesting. At room temp. the alcohol comes back to master the sip, but it is now a beast, and the master's whip yields a complex and brilliant sip.

Mouthfeel is suitably viscous, acceptably low carb., and provides a nice taste platform and quite good finish.

Can I think of five other barley wines I would prefer to sip? Yes. Ten? Perhaps. Quite drinkable, though alcohol is hardly hidden.

Impression: With a couple years on it this may be exceptional. Now it is a bit hot. Lotta good flavor here, I recommend this one, and will certainly buy more for the cellar.

05-22-2010 02:17:12 | More by cavedave
Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -19%

06-12-2013 03:12:15 | More by SpAiReArGsEonNE
Photo of nick76


3.88/5  rDev -3.2%

The aroma is very rich with caramel, toffee, grass, butter, nuts, and toasted malt. The appearance is deep amber with a head that is appropriate for the style. The flavor is like the aroma with a bitter and malty finish. The palate is smooth and thick. Overall this is just what you are looking for when you want a Barley Wine.

09-29-2009 00:39:59 | More by nick76
Photo of Wetpaperbag


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

A- A dark burnt copper red color. The head is tick fluffy and very very light tan, but vanishes quickly leaving great lacing.

S- The smell is very true to form of an American Barleywine. The Hops are present along with sweet malt smells and nice dark fruits are also very much there.

T- There is a bread taste that mixes with the dark fruits giving a granola type of taste. The hop taste is there and provides a bitter taste.

M- Feels good on the mouth, the Alcohol creates a spiciness on the tongue.

D- Easy to drink.

07-29-2008 19:56:57 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of errantnight


4.13/5  rDev +3%

Thanks to Joe1510

Big citrus hop bomb at the moment... quite tasty young and fresh, but this really really really tastes like it needs a few years on it.

Pours a brilliant ruby red, perfectly carbonated with lasting head, lacing, and initial finger and a half of creamy head that disappears, as per the style, rather quickly.

Hops all over the nose, peaking around some sweet, malty notes. A slightly maltier, slightly less aggressive hop presence than a DIPA, but it's in the realm.

Taste has some awesome, incredibly well balanced hop flavor, a dry finish after a rounded, malty sweet middle, with golden raisin notes in particular coming through. It just tastes... simple. Malt flavor lacks complexity, it's perhaps a little spritzy.

Seems like a fine candidate to see what some aging does. The hops will of course drop out a bit, but there's a lot here. Some oxidative notes might help round things out.... or it might just get syrupy. Who knows?

Certainly worth the try, I'd gladly drink another.

04-14-2008 01:37:05 | More by errantnight
Photo of ant880

New York

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

01-19-2013 19:01:26 | More by ant880
Photo of BostonPhilly


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

06-24-2013 16:50:08 | More by BostonPhilly
Photo of hoppymeal


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours dark amber to brown, clear, with a small light cream head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong on the citrusy hops, grapefruit, some tropical fruit nots, pineapple and mango. A sweet malty backbone is evident but is definitely overpowered by the fruity hoppiness. Taste is quite similar with large tropical fruit and citrus notes as well as a bit of caramel and pruney breadiness. Soft and sugary mouthfeel with a bit of peppery tingling in the background, finishes with a nice citrusy dry hoppiness. Alcohol is very well hidden for the strength. This beer is quite tasty, but seems to be one of those dipa/bw hybrid/crossover beers. Very strong dipa charcateristics with a large sugary and malty backbone that accentuates the fruitiness. Very good and quite easy to drink, will look forward to seeing what a little cellaring time produces.

05-20-2007 18:44:27 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of webmanspidey


3.63/5  rDev -9.5%

Bomber poured into a Chimay chalice. A dark caramel/amber color with a slight head. Smells sweet and rich.. taste is much of the same. Full bodied, very rich, heavy, and malty with a mild hoppy bitterness in the background. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming, yet the overall characteristics of this make it a very slow sipper.

For this most part, I think this beer is pretty par for the course for the style. A solid offering.

10-03-2009 01:53:46 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of HumphreyLee


4/5  rDev -0.2%

05-06-2012 06:26:28 | More by HumphreyLee
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican


4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

05-24-2013 18:21:58 | More by IrishGermanAmerican
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured bomber into 34oz mug. Clear orange/red with a moderate white head that sticks. Smells mostly of hops, but with a strong malt presence providing some bready scents. Taste is all over the place; smooth clean malt sweetness at first, then slightly minty hops, warming alcohol, and finally a slightly yeasty finish. This is a big beer; just what I'd expect a barleywine to be. Mouthfeel is full and a bit creamy, moderately carbonated.

05-01-2013 04:43:10 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of EPICAC


3.88/5  rDev -3.2%

On tap at Burp Castle in NYC.

Pours a clear, deep amber. Topped by a beige head that fades to a patchy film leaving spotty lace. The aroma is malty and very fruity with notes of caramel and cherries. Swirling brings out hints of hops.

Malty: caramel and a bit of chocolate. Toasty with a bit of citrusy hops and a nice bitter finish. Full-bodied, moderate to low carbonation and smooth.

07-16-2008 19:10:56 | More by EPICAC
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.