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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.

856 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 856
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 64
Gots: 100 | 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:  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: 856 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

Another bottle I got with that great trader, russpowell. Thanks Russ!

A lovely deep red pour, 2 finger head of foam, excellent lacing...great way to start things off.

There's heaps of caramel and bready malt in the aroma intertwined with a rather small amount of hop bitterness. It smells more like an English BWSA than an American but the bread seems to be a bit too strong on my nose buds.

More of the same in the taste but it seems to work better on my palate than my nose. Caramel is huge, bread is big but not as big suggested by the smell, the hop bitterness is done very lightly, adding just a touch to stop this from becoming too sweet. Goodly amount of alcohol shining through bringing lots of warming. I'm a fan of the malt as well as the hop so I'm enjoying the sipping session I have going on here.

Close or at full bodied, carbonation is on the light side, very nice mouth feel and pretty easy to drink considering the abv. I like!

03-03-2011 00:34:08 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of sacrelicio


3.45/5  rDev -14%

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.

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


4.35/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

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


4.38/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured a slow to emerge 1.5" head. Clear dark auburn brown. Smell is like a strong double IPA. Taste is complex with very sweet malt, hops, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, some fruitiness, and spices. It's a big barley wine which will put some hair on your chest. A solid A performance to me.

02-24-2011 09:34:00 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: hazy orange color with a thinkg white head.

Smell: Malty goodness. Some hops to balance the beer/

Taste: Oak, vanilla, malty sweetnes.

Mothfeel: This is a big beer that is very balanced. It s an imporession to wo worka n qiimqnten sign,

02-13-2011 08:31:25 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of dtivp


4.25/5  rDev +6%

Poured a medium copper brown with a nice white head, dissipated into a collar with moderate lacing.

Very nice sweet aroma of toffee, sugar and a hint of malt.

The taste is sweet with, toffee, vanilla , brown sugar and figs, however, the sweetness is not over powering, it is tamed with a hint of malt and bitter hops. The alcohol is well masked and only slightly detectable.

Medium body with light carbonation, very creamy with a slight bitter finish.

This is a very nice drinkable barleywine, and look forward to purchasing again.

02-06-2011 19:50:49 | More by dtivp
Photo of elgiacomo


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

22oz bottle. 2010 batch. Probably 9 months old or so. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours red/copper/amber with a large off white/beige head that leaves some lacing and holds a very nice cap.

Powerful aroma of rich caramel and toffee, sweet breads, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla.

Flavor is caramel, butterscotch, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, some spice, some sweetness, and very little noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, creamy, low to medium carbonation.

Very nice Barley Wine! Incredibly drinkable...very smooth with the most well integrated alcohol content of any of the big Southern Tier brews I've had to date.

02-04-2011 04:27:33 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of ADZA


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

This brew pours a nice copper,bronze hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head that slowly recedes to a nice frothy rim and some sporadic lacing,the smell is very sweet with aromas of cane sugar,caramel candy,sticky toffee and of course sticky resinous pine cones,it has a medium bodied nicely carbonated mouthfeel which feels very slick,sticky and resinous and has tastes of caramel candy,butter popcorn,sticky toffee,maple syrup and is rounded out with a bittersweet almost sweetbitter boiled candy,resinous pine cone finish that leaves your lips and mouth nice and sticky and overall even though im not the biggest fan of Barleywines i really do like this one as it does have a few different elements to it and is very easy to drink with its ABV being only noticeable on first sip cheers.

02-01-2011 15:43:08 | More by ADZA
Photo of daledeee


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%

A 22 oz. bomber.

Poured this and got a wonderful off white creamy head and a reddish brown body.

Nose quite hoppy,roasted malts and also musty.

Taste is somewhat sweet with a big dose of hops and a bigger dost of toasted or roasted malts. This is a big beer. Once again a slightly musty finish.

Mouth feel is nicely carbonated and the creamy head leaves a nice feel in your mouth. This is a very tasty beer and there is plenty of alcohol warmth to go with it. One of the best barleywines out there.

01-29-2011 23:03:00 | More by daledeee
Photo of phishgator


3.33/5  rDev -17%

Poured into a stout pint glass. Big foamy white head and lighter amber color. The nose is some fruity hops, alcohol esters, and apricot fruit. The taste is residual sugars throughout. There is a bitterness that tries to balance the sweetness, but doesn't. The alcohol is actually well hidden even though you smell it. The body is filling; finished the bomber and didn't want anymore beer for the night. It's been a little while since I've been drinking a Barley Wine so I might be a little bias on the taste. Not bad just there are much better examples out there.

01-27-2011 17:38:37 | More by phishgator
Photo of waltersrj


3.73/5  rDev -7%

Pour: Deep ruby red with a brown hue and a 2 fingered off white head. Sticky lacing on the glass and decent legs.

Nose: Dark fruit, sweet sugars, very hoppy, caramel malt, and toffee.

Taste: Dark fruits, prune and fig, toffee, caramel, very bitter hops, slightly cloying malts, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick but creamy with a slightly cloying feel.

Overall: a pretty good representation of an ABW, great hop and malt profile but not the best.

01-23-2011 07:06:45 | More by waltersrj
Photo of bbeane


4.08/5  rDev +1.7%

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... starts with a small head that disappears quickly. Beer is dark amber colored, very cloudy

S- I could smell a malty sweetness as soon as I popped the cap. Actual wiff from the snifter is super aromatic of mostly sweet maltiness with a very subtle bitter backbone

T- A little more bitterness accompanying the huge malty sweetness then the aroma lets on. Both combine nicely leaving behind a balanced aftertaste in your mouth along with a bit of boozy heat

M- Medium body with light carbonation

D- Tastes great, though I couldnt consider it too sessionable at 10% abv. I would def consider buying again. Not ST's greatest work, but very worthy to say the least


01-22-2011 03:15:46 | More by bbeane
Photo of AdamBear


4.43/5  rDev +10.5%

A-dark cloudy chestnut brown with a thick cream colored head. the head stays and there's a good lacing that stays on the glass

S-really strong malts. small hint of caramel and grapes. this is a very strong scent.

T-mmm this is a good, complex beer. hits with a great amount of grainy caramel. then hits with a bomb of sweet malts. the after-taste is powerful and long lasting of caramel grains and some grapes. this beer is really good!

M-really good light to medium carbonation that is really creamy. finish is very smooth. its a thick beer but not too heavy for 10%

D-after my first few sips, i didn't think i'd be able to finish the bomber, not because of the taste but because of how thick the beer seemed. however, i found myself drinking this at quite a quick pace. the tastes toward the end do start to begin to fade together and it becomes less complex. Still at the end the bottle, i was very sad it was over

01-10-2011 01:39:11 | More by AdamBear
Photo of Tballz420


4.55/5  rDev +13.5%

Brown colored brew, think and murky. Bubbly tan head. You dont even need to hold the glass near to smell the think malts coming out of that glass. Stinks of dank syrupy malts. Hot damn its a goodin. Thick malts stick to your throat. Nice load of bittering hops. Alcohol is there, and its spicy. Dark fruit tones. Its a big beer, theres no doot aboot that one. Thick and crunchy, very full mouth. Fairly sharp on the tongue. A no-shit beer.

01-09-2011 06:25:50 | More by Tballz420
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 tchaos


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

A - Medium amber; hazy, with a two finger head and excellent retention.

S - Intense malt, plus citrusy hops and some raisin. Fantastic aroma that intensifies as it warms.

M - Medium full and velvety; low carbonation with noticable, but not overpowering alcohol.

T - Right on target for the style. Starts with bready malt, then sweetness that carries through to the citrus hops and alcohol. Finishes with a dry, lingering hop bitterness

D - Very nice for the ABV, and a solid entry in the Southern Tier (ST) Imperial line. Much less polarizing in my circle than some other ST Imperials (e.g. Creme Brulee, Pumking).

01-05-2011 02:21:57 | More by tchaos
Photo of generallee

New York

4.68/5  rDev +16.7%

Presentation: It was poured from tap into a small (10 or 12oz) nonic pint glass and served right at the brewery in there own bar The Empty Pint.

Appearance: A small finger of just off white head sits on top of a mahogany reddish brown colored beer. The body looks thick and blurry when held up to the light. Its head quickly fades to a slick ring of lace.

Smell: In the nose I get a big blast of sweet, rich, bready and somewhat fruity malt. Hops can also be found in the nose and they add just a touch of citrus.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is like caramel covered raisins and baked apples with hints of plum and nectarine wrapped up in sweet bready and pie crust like maltiness. Add to this a nice warm boozy character and some mellow hops with modest notes of citrusy grapefruit rind and herbal bitterness. It feels quite firm on the palate and smooth but still lightly carbonated. (slow sipper)

Notes: When I think Barley Wine, this is about what I think of. It has loads of malt complexity first, which is then backed up with hops. Backburner is a very enjoyable Barley Wine!!!

01-04-2011 20:10:30 | More by generallee


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

A - Dark cherrywood red. Translucent, and many tiny streams of bubbles appear when held up to light. No highlights really. Buttery, sticky head that starts craggy and subsides to about 1/4" thickness, leaving behind ample thick lacing.

S - The lemony hops and caramel malt are in-your-face, and a little alcohol, spice, & toastiness is present as well. That all blends together to create a sweet, fruity, almost smoky aroma. There really is a lot in the nose, more than I can really pick out or characterize.

T - Resiny and citrusy hops up front, sweet & clean malts in the middle of the palate, and a little warmth on the finish, with the resiny hops recurring as it goes down. Dark caramel, almost chocolaty malt comes through later on. Resiny hops & dark syrupy sweetness linger and give the impression of a maple flavor that I didn't find anywhere in the body of the beer. A good, unique barleywine flavor that creates a nice little narrative in your mouth.

M - Thick, sticky, chewy, full. The mouthfeel of this beer screams "big".

D - While not as digestible as some Barleywines, it is pretty good for one so thick & heavy as this. It's definitely one for sipping. If you drink it too fast, either the alcohol burn will get you or the aforementioned resiny aftertaste will. At a normal Barleywine sipping pace, though, this one is just fine.

01-04-2011 03:39:06 | More by TJBAIHWL
Photo of rapidsequence


3.55/5  rDev -11.5%

12 oz bottle. I bought it at Total Wine in northern VA in November. Since its a February release, I'm assuming its from 2/10.

Appearance: An attractive clear red-brown color and an off white head with good retention. Webs of lacing.

Smell: A nosefull of caramel malt, ripe fruit, and citrus hops. Less hoppy than I hoped, but it is a year old or so. There's an earthy, slightly vegetal aroma in the background that I often find in ST beers and do not enjoy.

Taste: Very much what I expected from the smell. The vegetal aroma is really not tasted much. Caramel and fruit. A little toast. A nice amount of hops bitterness, but again the flavor is subdued. Alcohol is barely detected.

Mouthfeel: Very little bad to say about the mouthfeel. Big and sticky with soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Without that slight earthy/vegetal smell/taste, this would be excellent. As it is, for me, its pretty good.

01-02-2011 01:37:04 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of arboristfish


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

This beer poured a deep red amber color, almost reminds me of a blood amber color, with a slightly off white head. The aroma I can describe as robust malt. Sweet and yet hints of hops as well. The taste is sweet and has a unique charateristic, also has a slight boozy character to it. The mouthfeel is medium light and I would consider this one drinkable.

12-22-2010 22:39:23 | More by arboristfish
Photo of beerhan


2.88/5  rDev -28.2%

Ah 2008 bottle poyred into a wine glass. Very little head with an orange color. Super thick and creamy. Smells veru fruity and tastes kind of bitter and reallt malty. Kind kf hurts going down. Thus is a real sipper that takes a while to drink. Decent beer for the price

12-18-2010 05:56:53 | More by beerhan
Photo of Pellinore1


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a deep, cloudy amber, leaving about an inch of light tan head. This fades slowly, leaving some lacing.

The smell is primarily nice, mellow malt. Caramel and vanilla notes are there, with just a hint of hops and alcohol in the background.

This beer begins with sweet malt, dark fruit, and caramel, then comes through with a bit of hops and bitterness for the finish.

Ridiculously smooth and thick, with light carbonation.

The ABV is almost undetectable, making for a very drinkable barleywine.

12-16-2010 03:12:48 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of Sachsenfreude


4.13/5  rDev +3%

appearance; Cloudy hazelnut brown with a tan head. Dissipates to a film and collar around the edge of the glass. Very pretty lacing.

smell; perfect balance of rich, nutty and sweet malts and citrusy hops. Beautiful aroma and the American hops work nice with the rich malts.

taste; starts with a sweet, sappy, resin flavor, mixed with white sugar. Super rich and caramel malts take control, before fading into a cirusy bitter finish. Some sweet malt as well as bitters in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel; very warm and sticky, reminds me of an apple cider texture. The carbonation is strangly chewy, yet smooth and light. Finish crisp and refreshing.

drinkability; the high abv is very well hidden. This beer can sneak up and knock one on thier ass. Quite smooth..

12-10-2010 19:01:09 | More by Sachsenfreude
Photo of mtstatebeer

West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

22 oz. bottle, 2008. Pours an opaque amber color with a decent, frothy tan head, good lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, smoke, wood, raisins, light earthy hops, grapefruit, and alcohol. Flavor is raisins, roasted and toasted malts, caramel, wood, pine, and a hint of alcohol at the end. Mouthfeel is medium, syrupy, sweet, warming, and finishes nice and bitter for proper balance. Good beer, drinkable, well balanced.

12-07-2010 02:43:52 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of ryanonline


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

Deep dark brown with a fluffy white head and awesome lacing.

Smells big and malty but with a strong hop presence. A light citrus scent in the background. Its a bit cold outside so its sort of hardto smell.

Much more citrussy than I would expect from sic a malty beer. Lots of toffee and bran in there too. Big ol alcohol finish though.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light bodied and has a sweet coating finish. Very crisp on top of it all.

Very drinkable.

I want to have southern tiers babies.

12-07-2010 00:42:49 | More by ryanonline
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 856 ratings.