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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

880 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 880
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 72
Gots: 103 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerTruth on 04-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 880 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy/garnet color with a small, thick, foamy head. It left sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of rich malt, very biscuity. Also, good caramel and floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet malt. It was very rich with some fruity flavors. Just enough bitter hops to add some balance.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. Certainly a very malty one.

Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of skrib09
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured out a rich mahogany color with an off white head.

smells slightly sour, a strong pine and citrus come through, and maybe some sweetness. the alcohol is faint on the nose.

a really nice offering of hop and barley balance. overall richness comes through in a well mannered way. the color and taste are paralleled.

mouthfeel is fullbodied yet light. it's an easier to drink brew than other southern tier products.

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

Drinkin with mothman and DerrickBerg tonight.

Poured a 1 finger light tan head that dissipated in a medium amount of time. The beer color is a deep hazy amber color. Lots of lacing.

Smells very hoppy, with hints of dark fruits in the background

Tastes hoppy, with some dark fruit notes in the background, like the smell.

Mouthfeel is nice, bitter during the whole experience. Carbonation is on the low side of medium. Bitter aftertaste.

Pretty drinkable beer. Very tastey, hoppy like i like them, but not cant have more than a couple due to the ABV.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a caramel color with a very modest head that manages to dot the chalice with lace

Smell: Rich and deep aromatics, with fig and dates, treacle and a hint of piney hops

Taste: With a sweet treacle beginning, the dark fruits move to prominence by mid-palate, with a balancing earthy/piney bitterness as well; after the swallow, the flavors are nicely balanced and the finish is prolonged; almost like bread pudding in a bottle but with a bit of tobacco on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A really fine, well-balanced barleywine

Photo of KeefD
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with no head and no lacing. Some small white bubbles sit on top. Aroma of dark fruit, brown sugar, lightly piney from the hops, slightly floral. Taste is very sweet, noticeable alcohol heat (which I get in every ST Imperial Series other than Unearthly), a nice dose of sticky, piney hops, caramelized sugar, and light fruitiness. This is a pretty tasty beer, but nothing surprising as ST's hop bill seems to be the same on all their hoppy brews. Not a complaint, just an observation. Viscous mouthfeel, low carbonation, alcohol heat comes out especially as it warms. This is a tasty barleywine. I am enjoying sipping on this one slowly.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, fruit, a good amount of hops and a little bit of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet up front with strong flavors of brown sugar, caramel & dark fruit. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. There's a hearty malt character and no trace of the alcohol that you get in the smell. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a really good beer to drink for a long time and yet another excellent big beer from Southern Tier.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes into a thin ring of lacing. The aroma is of pine resin, grapefruit, and caramel. The taste leans more toward the malt than the aroma does, but this is still a hop centric beer. Like a lot of other overly hopped barleywines the hops seem to be sitting on top of the malt, and never intermingling. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, I think this beer would be better with some age on it. Then again age might further bring out the its lack of oneness between the malt and the hops.

Photo of bort11
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Mild creamy tan head, very nice retention. Color is a dirty coppery orange.

Smell has candied orange and caramel aroma. Taste has a orange rind flavor with some candied sugars. A little mint. Mild sweet apples with cinnamon.

Creamy mouthfeel and medium body.

Blipped "Brain Burner" by No Age

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

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is fruity and grqapefruit.Taste is dark fruit,sweet caramel and pine hops.If they did this without the hops it would be way better.Still it is an overall good beer that I would recommend and try again!!

Photo of david131
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle a year ago (March 2008).

A- Absolutely clear deep ruby red with a creamy off white head that has some pretty good retention and lacing.

S- Caramel, pine, grapefruit, slightly vegetably, and a bit spicy. Not too shabby.

T- Sweet caramel up front with some pine and citrus on the tail end with some notes of vegetable. The alcohol isn't harsh, just a little warm. The hoppiness has died off a bit, but some of the oiliness is still apparent.

M- Sweet, sticky, cloying, dry with a nice carbonation level. What I tend to look for in a Barleywine. The sweetness becomes a tad overbearing in the aftertaste.

D-A nice surprise for Southern Tier. For a 10% clear beer from Southern Tier, I was expecting an alcohol bomb, but this is an enjoyable Barleywine. This renews Southern Tier a bit in my book.

Photo of number1bum
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says this is 'first batch from 2008' so this is probably a full year or a little more old.

Pours a dark, dense reddish brown with about a finger of beige head. Doesn't keep much of a lace, just some bubbles around the rim and a splash of stick here and there.

Smell has a deep caramel aroma and a lot of fruit. Fruit seems to be a combination of hops and yeast esters. There is some citrus, cherries, apples, pears and dark fruits. Deep, complex sweet malts and the alcohol, shockingly for a ST beer, is well masked.

The nose was nice on this one but the taste is better. It's a bold, complex and flavorful combination of sweet malts and fruit. Lots of caramel malt and sticky sweet flavor, citrus, apples, passion fruit, and dark fruits. Just a ton of fruitiness, which again seems both hop and yeast in origin. There is some slightly earthy hop flavor and bitterness in the finish. Alcohol, like the smell, is well masked.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, creamy with light carbonation, giving it a soft, smooth feel. For a barleywine this is extremely drinkable.

This is one of the best ST imperial beers I've had. It's well balanced and even restrained, which is often ST's problem imo. By restrained I mean it's not overly hoppy or boozy, it's just well put together. I like it. This is a barleywine I would come back to for sure. Good stuff.

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

Southern Tier Backburner
22 oz brown bottle
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a mahogany brown with a decent head on top.

Whiffs of a caramel sweetness, malts and perhaps some fruit.

Bready and crusty dark bread backbone with a strong caramel malt presence. Sweet and sugary with hints of apple and even darker fruits like prunes.

Certainly a complex beer with an alcohol warmth and brown sugar punch on the finish. This beer is all over the place - acidic, bitter, sweet, sugary and bread flavors.

Photo of Guzzler78
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been eying this one since it came out, finally pulled the trigger.

Appearance: A dark amber color. A 1/2" white head that reduces to a small layer over top of the beer, fair lacing

Smell: Sweet maltiness, floral and citrus hop aromas, dried fruits

Taste: Complex-sweet malts, citrus, dark fruit and a bit of tropical fruits and of course a nice hop bite

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and viscous feel. Somewhat dry finish

Drinkability: A good barleywine, glad i tried it would drink it again for sure. Could drink two or three glasses for sure

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

I stopped by the great Neil St. Piccadilly on a whim tonight, and I'm awfully glad I did. Back Burner in the bomber bottle was in, perched next to Big Red and Unearthly, and deserved a shot. Great beer.

A dense, durable finger of off-white foam topped a rich mahogany body in the trusty Duvel tulip. Snowy lacing on the tulip seals the deal for a terrific appearance. Good smell, rather malty, lots of caramel, berry, and coffee--delicious. Great taste, viscous, sweet and sour, bold malty flavor--wonderful barleywine. It's nicely hopped as well, almost wet-hopped in taste and texture. Hops definitely take charge in the second half of Back Burner in taste and mouthfeel.

Outstanding barleywine, delicious, flavorful, and brawny--one of the best I've had, and one of the best from Southern Tier. Outstanding.

Photo of Tone
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of oelergud
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Standard 1 pint 6oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap. The label shows what I'm assuming is a back burner.
Caramel colored body with a nice tan creamy head that leaves good lace and stays well.
The scent is a delicious caramel covered hop cone and spice.
Excellent flavor of caramel malts and spiced hops, very similar to the scent. Great aftertaste of spicy and sweet hops.
Medium body with plenty of residual sugars and good coating.
Great drinkability, easy to enjoy, complex and long lasting.

-Oelergud

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

22oz bomber served in a snifter. Poured a brilliant reddish copper with a quickly dissipating head. Malty aroma with some burnt sugar. Some citrus hop aroma comes out as it warms. Definitely on the malty side. Full bodied and rich mouthfeel. More burnt sugar flavor, medium hoppiness. Hops come out more in the finish with a drying finish. Also a bit of smoke flavor in the finish. Pretty easy drinking for 10%, but I found it a little lackluster.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drunkmonk!
Poured dark amber to brown with a small cream head. Nose is strong on the citrusy hops, grapefruit, some tropical fruit nots, pineapple and mango. Taste is quite similar with light cocoa undertones and citrus notes as well as a bit of caramel and dried fruits. 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. Very drinkable!

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

Appearance: Murky ruby red with two inch foamy cream colored head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Lots of citrus hops mixing with a sweet toffee like smell. Pine and earthy hops in the back of the aroma, smells somewhat acrid.

Taste: Grapefruit and pine hop flavors are front and center but followed by a strong caramel malt background. The hops come back at the end to give you a nice hit of flavor and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, full-bodied, kind of sticky but very smooth drinking.

Drinkability: Deceptively easy to drink.

Overall: I love Southern Tier and this barley wine does not disappoint, but I would say that it could be amazing after some aging. It has enough hops in it to age it for two years and it still be pretty damn hoppy. I'd say give it a year in the cellar and you'd have a stupendous, and more traditional, barley wine.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber glass into a Guinness Pint Glass and observed minimal head, and a deep dark unfiltered brown. It looked like mahogany that someone stupidly painted over with black, and then someone else was in the process of sanding the paint away.

The nose was faint, fruity, and a little bit of a surprising wheat and yeast aroma surfaced. Overall, nothing major to report on the nose.

The taste is slightly thin, and spicy in the mouth, with hints of cinnamon, a little curry, and mixed berries floating around in the mouth. This beer leaves you with a dry, hoppy swallow that is almost a little too bitter. The aftertaste smacks of metal and hops.

Overall, if this is your first Barleywine, it will not be the one to turn you on to the genre.

Photo of mmmbeer
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, 2008 version, sampled several months back. It pours dark ruby, with low carbonation and an inch of light tan head. Later, the beer is almost still and the head reduces to a small collar. Orange, pine, white grapefruit and ethanol in the nose; still pretty raw. It tastes young as well, with thick caramel malts, fruity esters, and citric/piney/spicy hops that impart a deep bitterness. The body is medium to thick (approaching syrupy), dry, with light carbonation, and a medium to long finish. Still very young and rough around the edges, but will probably be great in a year or two.

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

22oz bomber into pint glass. Another strong delivery from Southern Tier.

A = Honey colored, slightly cloudy. Little head, lacing, or carbonation.

S = Plum sweetness, floral and hops.

T = Crisp and clean throughout. Dark fruit up front followed by citrus and slightly piney hops. Well balanced with maltiness throughout.

M = Feels solid. Satisfying on a cold rainy day.

D = Caution, sharp turn ahead! Deceptive for a 10%.

Really enjoyed this. I'm a fan of this style beer and BackBurner did me right.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown color with quite a bit of red highlights. An impressive half finger of slightly off white head as well. Excellent lacing that was the first indication of how hoppy this beer is.

S: Hops. Just a wonderfully pungent hop nose. You do get quite a bit of malt and even a hint of raisins and molasses but damn was this hoppy.

T: Just a nice hoppy American barley wine. Tons of piney citrus hops. The malt was interesting in that there was quite a bit of other elements besides just the sweetness. Some dark fruit towards the end. Really nice and complex.

M: Heavy side of medium bodied that was fairly heavy on the tongue.

D: Damn this was quite a bit better on tap than it was in the bottle. The hops really shone though. It is a damn shame that we cannot get more Southern Tier stuff on tap being in the same state.

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

Bomber into a Brooklyn snifter / tulip or whatever they call it.

Appearance: Beautifully amber. Nice lacing, with sometimes a soapy feel, sometimes hugely billowing. All depending on the pour and swirl.

Smell: Nothing transcendent, but everything's nice. A good balanced between caramelized sugars and citrus hops. A bit of vanilla, some fruit esters and candied fruit, mild tobacco and chocolate as it warms.

Taste: I feel like this sucker in bourbon barrels would take off to new depths. But that said, good caramelized fruit and citrus hops balanced by some sweeter vanilla and other fruit esters. Long finish with some good stuff to admire, and good things to go back to. Not as much of a hop bite as I expected, which makes me wonder how much it will mellow out even more with aging.

Mouthfeel: Near-full and a bit welcomingly sticky, if you will. Coating. Not a lot of carbonation, but there doesn't need to be.

Drinkability: Again, far from transcendent, but I enjoyed every sip of this, and it's really hard to go wrong with picking it up. Thankfully, it's not as super-hopped as a lot of American Barley Wines can be, which is nice, since I'm more of a fan of the English style. But there's enough going on, enough booze, and enough flavor to keep me happy, and another beer from ST that keeps the ante high.

Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 880 ratings.