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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

852 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(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 mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared some of this with ThePeskyDingo.

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Pours a 1 finger tan head. Decent retention with thick lacing. Color is a very cloudy dull copper. Kind of a sweet look to it.

Aroma: D*mn it's hoppy. Floral hops to the max backed up with a bready malts.

Taste is major floral hops again. Has some alcohol, grapefruit, and so major citruses to it. Very bready.

Mouthfeel is very bitter. After a while it smooths out a tad, but still remains bitter. The 10% abv comes out here a lot. Leaves a boozy aftertaste.

Overall, I really enjoyed all the hops in this beer. At 10% abv, I think having an entire bomber of this would take a while to finish. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 00:50:40 | More by mothman
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear burgundy chestnut brew. Head holds relatively steady, but tending towards a layer of small bubbles, with plenty of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is syrupy upfront for a moment, and then is overpowered by an extremely artificial-seeming fruitiness, with warmth coming on at the end. Mouthfeel is average to good, nothing particularly notable, and drinkability is quashed a bit by the fruitiness that (looking at the ingredients) probably is coming from some hop or another. Regardless, this one just didn't do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 00:38:13 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.2%

09-09-2012 14:55:13 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)
Southern Tier Brewing Company
Style: American Barleywine
ABV: 9.60 %

LOOK: Dark ruby brown color, opaque, with a small, short livid white collar of a head.

SMELL: Deeply caramelized and toasted malts, booze, dark fruits. Smells like a big beautiful barley wine.

TASTE: Sweet sugar plum notes upfront, giving way to a malty body with a fruity estery English ale yeast profile. Loads of malt flavor, little in the way of bitterness, and a downplayed but present alcohol character. Warms the soul, as well as the belly.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth, viscous, syrupy, but well carbonated.

OVERALL: This is a very tasty brew, and it goes down easily for a beer of such strength. A well made barleywine, and would age gracefully if cellared properly.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2012 21:49:25 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2011 bottle(I think). Pours crystal clear dark reddish-brown color with a dense 1 finger khaki colored head with nice retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap. A small amount of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, molasses, bread, citrus, spice, light fruits, and a bit of honey and booze. Very nice aromas here, with good strength and complexity. Taste of huge caramel sweetness, molasses, toffee, citrus, apple skins, toast, light spices, and a bit of pine. Small amount of bitterness present on the finish with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, and citrus flavors. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. Very creamy and slick mouthfeel that drinks smoothly, though it is a sipper. Nice balance as well, being slightly more malt forward because of the age. Surprisingly the alcohol is almost invisible, only a bit of warming present after the finish. Overall, I really have no complaints. They have done a fine job with this barley wine. Excellent stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 02:47:45 | More by superspak
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Iron red oxide with the slimmest bronzing trim. The beer is stainlessly clear although its deep tone yields distorted transparency. Nevertheless, its complexion is brilliant and its body glows. Despite the bare center, a sandy fence of lace has mushroomed up along its perimeter and serves to fatten up the otherwise barren surface of the beer.

The beer is brewed with Amarillo, Willamette, Chinook and Centennial - if there is a better cast of hops I'd like to know about it. Let me tell you - this smells wonderful. It's an ambrosial, leafy, pine-scented bouquet with a backdrop of scorched caramel and singed bread crust. It is as sticky sweet and tree sappy bitter as any American barleywine I've come across.

Big fat hop cones ladled with caramel and finally dipped in chocolate - this is the delicious profile of Southern Tier's barleywine. The hops really do play an unmistakable role contributing notes of spice, pine, and above all else dried citruisy fruit. What a power struggle between hops and malt! It has caramel crusted toffee wafers coated with citrus zest. It's an ultra-hoppy flavour that indulges the taste buds without numbing them.

Please, defined "drinkability" for me. Granted, this sample has had just about two years to mellow in the cellar but it is as smooth and quaffable of a 10% beer as you can expect to ever find. I don't believe that barleywines should necessarily be meant to be quaffable in this sense, but the fact that Back Burner is means that it's disappearing from the glass at a much faster pace than was expected.

And why wouldn't it? Like its supposed 85 IBU's, the alcohol is scarcely noted. The bottle could read 7% and I'd believe it; the alcohol plays no real factor in determining drinkability. The beer drinks like a sweet caramel-hop smoothie with the taste of biscuits and pine lingering pleasantly. Notes of candied-fruits and caramelized malts please the palate without overwhelming it. Each sip simply entices you more so to take the next.

Southern Tier had already proven to me that they could swim in high gravity waters but their barleywine certainly confirms that. Anything they release in a 650ml bottle is well worth picking up. I'm reminded of a few reputable West Coast offerings but wonder if even they are as good as the drink left in front of me. Back Burner is so aggressively hopped yet balanced with such finesse, I must recommend this to any fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 04:00:01 | More by biegaman
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.25/5  rDev +6%

09-10-2012 00:27:41 | More by drewone
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.2%

11-20-2011 03:52:08 | More by brandoman63
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

04-09-2014 00:10:17 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

5/5  rDev +24.7%

12-09-2011 04:00:21 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a half finger frothy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy caramel malt with some alcohol and a sweet hop.

The taste consisted of a dull alcohol, dark fruit, raisin and an earthy hop. Some residual sweetness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a slightly tongue numbing alcohol.

Overall a tasty and well balanced barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 02:07:47 | More by plaid75
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Bottle dates June 27th, 2010 off we go.

Straight in the middle pours a nice dark amber out of the bottle, going to a really beautiful red plum color. Head has some color to it of cream tan. Some leg action but not much pock mark sticking.

Malty dominant, and some fruit almost faint Concord sweet grapes in the back. Smells particularly boozy, some hints of chocolate also but it needs to be aerated to open up the chocolate it seems. Overall though pretty good nose, smells like something sweet is coming.

Malt chocolate and mild malt overtones for taste. Surprisingly not as sweet as expected. Grape taste comes through in the after finish after a few swallows. Hardly noticeable high abv loosing the boozyness of the drink upon tasting. Small hints of tickle carbonation.

Pretty good I have to say for drinkability this was quite tasty I have to admit. I'd get it again for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 22:26:54 | More by smakawhat
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

85 ibu barley wine style. Hopped with Chinook and dried with Amarillo and centennial.

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with virtually no head.

S: Pine and spruce on nose.

T: Huge sticky pine flavor and palate. Bitter and dry with some dried grapefruit. 10.0 abv. Deep caramelized flavor with some bitterness that ends with a touch of lemon citrus. Some alcohol warming but otherwise very drinkable considering abv. Big dry pine bitterness from hops.

M: hearty malty mouthful. Reminds me of a arrogant bastard.

D: very good drinkability even for high abv%

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 18:02:32 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.2%

05-29-2014 01:14:55 | More by Latarnik
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At Goldoraks tasting, post-Mondial 2007! Big group of RB guys and a couple BA's, and some on both, it was a great time! Can't remember who brought this because I didn't write it down, but to whoever did, thanks!

Pours a clear brown, small off white head, lace spots, leaves a small ring, something very average about it though. Smell is sweet, some caramel, citrus, very fruity, alcohol, smell like an English barleywine. Taste is rich toffee, slight roast, very fruity, bit of alcohol, nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, quite coating and rich. Not sure if I would call this an American barleywine, but pretty half decent stuff. Thanks!

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 19:35:30 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

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

Scarlet red body. Slight off white head. Lace is quite adequate for the octane level. Aroma is fruity and hoppy. I get the pineapple like hoppy smell and some sweet maltiness as well. Pretty nice balance between malt and hops for this bigass brew. Rich caramel malts lay a nice foundation. Citrusy and pungent hops accent nicely. Alcohol is damn near absent in the flavor. Slightly spicy aftertaste from hops. Good barleywine overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 05:21:17 | More by Bighuge
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a brandy snifter.

Pours a deep, dark brown close to purple with one finger of head that fades to a thin lacing. Nose is malts and raisins. Taste is caramel and roasted malt with a very smooth dark fruit flavor maybe raisins or figs and just a hint of chocolate. Very good mouthfeel, not over carbonated, full bodied, and very smooth warmth from the alcohol.

I really liked this beer. I found it in the back of a Wegman's on my journey to Hornell, NY. It had dust on the bottle and looked like a hidden gem. Since we only recently started getting my hands on Southern Tier in NC, I buy up any I see. I'm so glad I did.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 00:05:53 | More by tdm168
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

01-25-2013 15:58:50 | More by Kelp
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 from joe1510 .. shared a small glass with Brenda.. mine poured into my Smokestack goblet..

1" head with beautiful lacing.. brew is dark brown with not much showing until I held it to a light and it revealed a crystal clear ruby brew.. very pretty for the entire bottle.

Aroma is American hops but with a significant backboard of malts caramel and even some chocolate as it arms.. . yeasty fruitiness reminds me of overripe plums... does have a distinct solvent characteristic as it warms.

Flavor is very nice.. just enough bitterness to balance the malts.. good caramel.. toasty and much lesser chocolate malts.. complex malts with the fruitiness from the yeasts make this a memorable brew. Pine and citrus hops play very well with the overall sweetness. Bready midpalate and a long lingering hoppy/fruity finish combines with caramel remnants. Body is pretty much exact so is the carbonation..

I wish Backburner and other Southern Tier brews were available to me.. This BW is pretty classy fresh.. an would probably age like a champ if I had them in the cellar.. Good Stuff! Big props to joe1510 for a great trade!!

4/3.5/4/4/3.5

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 07:45:40 | More by JohnGalt1
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sendbeer

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +6%

12-21-2012 19:38:27 | More by sendbeer
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Pours a hazy dark copper reddish color with a two finger white fluffy head. Moderate lacing on the glass.

Aroma is malty with a lot of caramel sweetness and surprisingly slightly hoppy. Taste also has a lot of caramel and maltiness with some fruit flavors as well. It also has a slight sweetness in the finish with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel is heavy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for a 10% beer. I'm glad I split the bottle with someone because 22oz of it would be slightly tough if planning to drink anything else tonight but one glass was very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 01:59:48 | More by billab914
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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

A twist-top bomber?

A: Dark copper-brown, off-white head, some retention, good lace.

S: Plenty of fresh hop aroma: pine, peachy-appricot, woody spice; brandy.

T: Assertive bitterness, piney, light citrus, amarillo-aspirin, burnt toffee, light fruityness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. Some BW's need some age on them, but this one is really great fresh.

M: Moderate body (well-attenuated), slightly creamy, hints of hop acidity, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable... the 10% could really catch up to you!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 21:33:02 | More by Derek
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper/amber color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong hops, sweet malt, slight alcohol, and a hint of raisin. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is really smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops up front, earthy malt comes through next, slight alcohol, and the finish is sweet malt and more hops. Wow, for a Barleywine fan and a big hops fan this is a great brew. Overall, this is a really tasty beer and I wish I had a SN Bigfoot to compare next, but I think this is just as good. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 01:51:05 | More by Tone
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beertunes

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

01-29-2013 21:54:55 | More by beertunes
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a two-finger head that fades down to one finger. Nice presentation.

Aroma is full of cascade and centennial hops in the nose with a bit of sweet malt and alcohol warmth.

Taste is strong and full of sweet, caramel-like malt with raisin. Hops are quite strong here as well.Very mellow with only a hint of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is full of the lingering smorgasboard of flavors mentioned above. Very nice.

I like this barleywine. It's very mellow and easy to drink even when it's young. A bit of aging should expose the malt even more.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 04:33:08 | More by Brad007
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.