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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.

852 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 62
Gots: 96 | FT: 6
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 852 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This large bottle aged two years in biegaman's cellar, thanks for sharing. Pours a murky, caramel brown with tan head that settled in short order, wispy streaks remain with minor lacing and a ring. Sweet caramel-molasses nose, malts, a fleeting malty aroma interspersed with a hoppy backdrop yet present. Taste is sweet, bitter, sticky toffee with a long finishthat pleases. Smooth texture in the mouth, somewhat like a sherry but then a viscosity that says big time barley wine. This is not my favourite beer style but one I respect when it's done right and this is certainly one of the finer I've come across, exceedingly drinkable. The alcohol can't be denied yet it blends well and is not overpowering. The hops not yet faded, they flirt with the malty backdrop teasing your tastebuds with a complex structure that flirts with your palate. Barley wines are never to be rushed and while this is worth savoring, I found myself unalbe to put the glass down for very long. Well done, another winner from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 03:52:44 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Casey10


3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure if I just had a bad bottle or something but was let down by this barley wine beer.

While the apperance was nice dark and the smell was good which was like slight carmel like smell.

The taste was okay as the mouthfeel I realize that that Barleywines can be hit or miss I gave this a good.

If I try this one again I hope that it is a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 22:38:43 | More by Casey10
Photo of n00blar


4.25/5  rDev +6%

05-04-2013 02:03:43 | More by n00blar
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A new barleywine from Southern Tier??? I've been pretty impressed with their big beers since they became available here so I had to try it. Here goes.

22 Ounce bomber bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Very nice look. A dark mahogany that glows a bright red when held up to light. Two finger head of cream colored foam, probably due to hard pour. Head has some staying power.

S - Hops coming up here along with some sugary smell.

T - A whole lot of fruity/sweet malt flavors here. This brew really has the flavors of an English Barleywine. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste. Lots of sweetness.

M - A nice chewy, thick sticky feel.

D - I found the sugary flavors to be a bit overdone. Still pretty good if you're looking for a really sweet barleywine.

Notes: This one's gotta be mislabeled. It's an American brew but it's got the characterstics of an English BW. Still quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 03:26:18 | More by EStreet20
Photo of sacrelicio


3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent barleywine, but not a favorite. A little let down. Fruity pineapple and honey and cherry syrup smell. Taste is somewhat savory and sweet, with bitter pine hops and chewy malt. Solid bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is full but flat. Fairly drinkable, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 06:23:26 | More by sacrelicio
Photo of dragonWhale

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't remember it quite like this..but here it is in all its resplendent glory. Still with massive chain alcohols stirring the pot, prickling carbonation and surprisingly large hop aroma and flavor contributions. It's pretty astounding that this has held up so well after a year. I only remembered that it wasn't *too* sweet last time I had it.
Brilliant ruby. I feel as though I can see right through it, the light shines so brightly, but it is false! It is cloudy in there and my glass is stained with the strains of the liquid attempting to reach my mouth and swallow me whole. The alcohols are evident in the smell, shining through the sweet caramel malt, blending in with oranges and flowers in the hops. It is still bitter, not acridly so, with a nice balance between its sweetness, its booze, and its dryness. The carbonation is excellent, helping to lure you into thinking that this dry beer is one also of reasonability. Do not let it lie to you as it has done to me!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 02:54:43 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of BarrelO


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a goblet.

A: Good garnet color. Nice two-finger head, but it fades fairly quickly.

S: Carmel malt and citrusy hops at war with each other. Fairly solventy.

T: Again, the malt and hops pretty much cancel each other out. It's basically a neuter beer. Not too pleasant.

M: Appropriately thick and after-dinnery.

D: Can't say I dig it too much. Since it reminds me of Old Horizontal, I'm giving it the same score. It's almost becoming a tradition at this point.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 03:08:35 | More by BarrelO
Photo of jmathis


4/5  rDev -0.2%

07-17-2012 01:42:54 | More by jmathis
Photo of badbeer


4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really dark red with an off-white head that has excellent retention and lacing. Sweet caramel, dark fruits, and toffee are balanced with piney and orange-y hops in the nose. Sweet malt all over the tongue; caramel, dark fruit, and a large amount of bitter, but flavorful hops come through with some pineapple and tangerine. This drinks incredibly smooth to me with a full body and about medium carbonation. I'll be getting more of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 00:57:59 | More by badbeer
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle shared with Adil and Christian at Chancey Smith's. Pours a clouded, deep ruby hue with a thin ring of beige head. Several spots of lacing line the tulip. Smell and taste are yeast esters, pear-like aromas, prunes, sweet caramelized fruit, candy apples, red plums, butterscotch, liquor, and a light, minty hop bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is rich, silky, fuller than medium, a bit juicy, powdery and parched finish with some warming alcohol. Pretty basic for the style but it's aromatic and flavourful nonetheless. Drinks well for the weight even though the booze is evident at times. Southern Tier never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 03:13:29 | More by cratez
Photo of MMAJYK


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my notebook.

A- Medium rust color; head is 1/8" and loose.

S- Citrus and floral hops dominate, but is pleasantly balanced with the malts. Touch of molasses and brown sugar.

T- Sweet like dates and figs; rich. Hops are definitely noticable, but sweetness of malts dominate.

M- Sticky in the mouth and low carbonation.

D- One of the most drinkable BWs I have ever tried. Smooth, balanced, and a great representation of the style!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 17:57:11 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of Thickfreakness

New York

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A murky ruby/amber pour into my DFH glass. Not much of a head, but really sticky and oily as it drips down the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet Caramel and butterscotch candy, nutty toffee, raisins, black figs, honey and a touch of piney hops in the backround. Picking up notes of toasted marshmallows. Very complex!

T- A sweet and piney/fruity punch, that blends seemlessly! Tons of depth! Rich buttery caramel, sun dried fruits, honey, pine, roasted nuts and candycorn! Really wishing I could try this oak aged or out of a Firkin! Funny how it seems like an English BW after each sip... only to be punched in the kisser by the tart/piney hops!

M- I love the way the piney, citrusy punch marries with the sweet, sticky and oily malts! I wish they made gum that tastes like this... I chew it all day long! A nice bit of alcohol burn on the tongue! Love it!

O- Yet another brilliantly executed Imperial brew from Southern Tier! They sure as hell know how to do big beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 03:11:17 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of paulys55


4/5  rDev -0.2%

06-28-2013 14:04:19 | More by paulys55
Photo of gopens44


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Somewhere between golden and orange. Hazy with a nice thick foamy creme colored head.

S - A ton of malt hits first with a twinge of honey sweetness following. I looked for hops but didn't find any.

T- Like the nose, malty and honey sweet with a grape taste as well. After a while a medicinal taste came through but not a ton of it. Just enough to notice.

M - Silky with not too much carbonation. Almost no aftertaste at all.

O - This came across a little more like an English barleywine in my opinion due to the lack of a predominant hop presence. Good beer but it lacked a tiny little "something" that I can't quite place...maybe it was the lack of hop taste after all...

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 12:55:46 | More by gopens44
Photo of blitz134


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from jayjaye. He has been my Southern Tier hookup lately. Much appreciated.

Clear body with a dark garnet color. Light tan head on top. An inch thick initially but reduced to a quarter inch of foam that reaches up towards the edges of the glass to hold on. Pretty nice.

Lots of hops and sweet simple sugar syrup. Not really caramel too much in the sweetness but more of a cherry lifesaver fruitiness. Hops are floral and a little citrusy. Flavor seems a bit subdued, good but not bursting forth from the glass.

Flavor is pretty good, quite hoppy again. Citrus hops predominately with some pine aspects. Malts are caramelly but has some sweet bread as well. Has some dark fruitiness too, a little raisin and other dark fruit hints. Pretty good. Not the most complex, but a solid offering. A little hints of alcohol, but works well in this.

Mouthfeel is medium or so. Coats the mouthwell and the flavor lingers. Low carbonation level.

Good drinkability. A solid barleywine offering. Not the most complex, but good. Bigfoot'ish in its hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 01:04:24 | More by blitz134
Photo of djgustafson

New York

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

07-31-2013 23:48:39 | More by djgustafson
Photo of allenson21

New York

4/5  rDev -0.2%

02-11-2013 15:42:40 | More by allenson21
Photo of YeastEnthusiast

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

01-29-2014 04:55:56 | More by YeastEnthusiast
Photo of gfreed


4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This arrived in a snifter, with a deep ruby color and a buttery and oaky aroma that was edged with cherries and raisins, vanilla and one or two coffee beans. The heat from the aroma was astonishing. The bitterness is on a level with a good stout, intensifying as it warms and exhibiting more coffee taste as well. The brown-sugary flavor intrudes somewhat at the end, but this can be forgiven. I mean, it's a malty, sweet beer. The burn is extensive and comfy. A fabulous fat and after-dinner beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2010 01:31:20 | More by gfreed
Photo of rwilde


4/5  rDev -0.2%

11-27-2011 22:28:05 | More by rwilde
Photo of oakbluff

Manitoba (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish ruby, good clarity. Minimal head. Nose- toffee, hot piney hops. Taste- sweet caramel malts, nuts, with a sharp hop bite on the finish. Medium bodied and carbonation. Drinks quite smooth but is missing something. Just not all that complex for a big barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 03:13:55 | More by oakbluff
Photo of brewerburgundy


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this since the middle of October 2009, no freshness date, and its been poured into a goblet.

Nosy opening leads to a pour that produces a brilliantly clear red glass full of sensory pleasures, I hope. Pretty good frothy tan head with seemingly good retention. Three fingers to one to half. Some pretty heavy lacing.

A surprising burst of citrus and grapefruit hops greets me considering my best guess is that this bottle has just shy of a year on it. This seems to fade after several minutes to reveal sugar, brown sugar, slightly burnt caramel, and definite warming alcohol. Fresh red grapes.

Simple syrup, the grapes are in evidence again but definitely fresh not wine. Some caramel and and small toffee influences but straight sugar is dominant but dried out by the alcohol. Eating orange peel describes the hop presence at the beginning and the finish is citric, bitter, and lasting.

Full, thick, and syrupy mouthfeel where the carbonation makes exactly the right impact, keeping the syrup from closing in on the palatte. Bubbles seem to rise slowly or become suspended.

Very good but not as good as Bigfoot, the yardstick by which all other American barleywines are measured. I have a slight regret that I didn't have this when it was purchased, as some more hops could liven it up. Still good with a one bomber limit for obvious reasons.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 01:24:25 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of davesway10


4/5  rDev -0.2%

11-16-2011 21:43:27 | More by davesway10
Photo of bbrown12

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.2%

01-03-2013 23:47:58 | More by bbrown12
Photo of Profchaos20


2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

12-27-2012 01:43:47 | More by Profchaos20
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.