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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

874 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 70
Gots: 105 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ADZA
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of phishgator
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

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

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

CHEERS!!

Photo of AdamBear
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Tballz420
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

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

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).

Photo of generallee
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!!!

Photo of TJBAIHWL
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of beerhan
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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

Photo of Pellinore1
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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..

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of chicano4craft
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty brown. Cloudy and slighty red. Creamy white head.

Nose is strongly caramel and toffee. Smells very sweet. There's a faint citrus smell way in the back. I'm not sure how old this bottle is. I got it in a trade a few months ago. But whatever hops were there have since faded to the background.

Hops are still hanging around in the taste. There back up singers to the sweet barley now. Not as caramel as I expected, but that's good. There's a bit at the end. It's by no means hot...but after half a glass I was feeling this one.

Mouthfeel is a tad syrupy and heavy. This and the hugh abv brings down the drinkability for me. Overall it was an enjoyable barleywine. I much prefer my barleywines fresh. I'm more into the balance of lots of hops and barley. Would love to try this one again.

Photo of aepb1
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Brown body with an off-white fluffy head

S- Caramel, apples, some bite from those apples too

T- Caramel up front, some hops sneak in but a great balance overall. Hop finish lingers.

M- Warming from the alcohol, creamy and full-bodied. Its name is perfect and says it all!

D- Nice barleywine and it's a great expression of the style

Photo of brdc
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Large capped bottle, kept in my cellar at controlled temperatures for two years.

Poured into a snifter. Deep dark brown, clear, minimal head. Below average lacing.
Aroma has caramel, citric hoppiness, but despite the two years in the bottle, the alcohol related aromas are still predominant - brandy like, for the most part.
Medium bodied, reasonably well carbonated, but hot - hot -hot. Caramel, bread, lots of sugar, some fruitiness, and lots of "booze".
The flavors are actually interesting, and blend well - except the excessive heat still kills most of the enjoyment. I could not finish mine.

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

2009
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!

Photo of claspada
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aromas are quite fruity (dark and stone fruits that is). Some prune, raisin, licorice, berry, inviting. As it warms I can detect some more lighter sweeter fruits and some caramels and nice hints of vanilla.

The taste is quite balanced considering I was expecting a much sweeter beer (as Southern Tier tends to do). A nice thick, deep maltiness persists throughout. Definitely rich, almost like a doppelbock, a lot of dark bready malts. Subtle prune, molasses and licorice. Very little bittering but some aroma hops are present, Quite atypical but an enjoyable twist for the style. I like that this isn't another Pacific coast hop bomb. Finishes with a dryness that makes such a malty beer dangerous. As it warms it starts drinking like candy, with bright vanilla and light caramel flavors. Carbonation is fairly low, as to be expected, especially considering the ABV, style and the brewer. A shade lighter than a "syrupy" beer in my opinion

Overall, thumbs up. I appreciate the out-of-the box approach by Southern Tier on this "barleywine," although by today's standards I would classify it as an Imperial Cascadian Dark Ale.

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

Poured from bomber into snifter glass.

A: Traditional Barley Wine color. Dark amber with a little red. Thick head that recedes. Beige head with mixed size bubbles.

S: Lots of caramel and dark fruit. Maybe a some pine hop aroma afterwards.

T: Big flavor. Sweet caramel, with more dark fruit like raisin, followed by some nice hop bitterness -- pine. The alcohol taste is muted -- which I like in this instance. You can only detect the alcohol by some warmth in the finish.

M: Medium/Full body but it also feels dry -- which makes it feel deceptively lighter. Some carbonation can be felt in the mouth.

D: This is a very nice big body, full flavor, barley wine. Nice hop character for a malty beer like this style call for. Despite the big flavor, very smooth and drinkable. High alcohol is only slightly detectable, so you can slug it back if you like -- instead of sipping. Well done.

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

A - good carbonation, little to no head, lacing along glass. Amber/red in color - looks alive and inviting

S - very malty, figs or other dark fruits, raisins, smells boozy

T - nice malt and caramel flavors, taste some raisins and other dark fruits.

M - surprisingly light-medium bodied, do not notice any carbonation, very smooth.

D - very easy to drink, hard to just take small sips; with 10% alc this baby could get dangerous, because the strength is hidden.

Bottle from 2008.

Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.