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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

869 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 869
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 70
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:
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: 869 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle stored in the basement since may

A- deep dark amber to ruby colored body with a finger of fleeting off white very sticky head.

S- strong odor of hops. lots of dark ripe fruits. cherries, figs, and a hint of booze

T- loads of citrusy hops. some medicinal qualities, and the fruits i could smell. pretty boozy

M- nice and syrupy. the alcohol warms all the way down.

D- best suited for colder weather, the whole bottle was kind of hard to polish off on my own. half of it was perfect. wouldnt want another one.

jwinship83, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark raw apple cider. Not much head, not much lace. Almost legs going on.

S - Classic BW smells - dark fruits, deep sweet caramel malt.

T - Straight up sweet nectar with some hops to fight. Sweet wins, not completely balanced.

M - Medium to full body, good coating, great carb.

D - For the style, pretty darned drinkable!

srandycarter, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of smcolw
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive dense head that leaves a lot of ring lace on the glass. The color is light brown. Light shines through with little cloudiness.

Surprising amount of hop in the nose; the malt is equally surprising in its mildness. This could be a pale ale if I were blindfolded except for the touch of alcohol in the background.

This is a deceptive beer: The alcohol is quite muted for 10%. It's present but not oily. Lots of malt flavor while the hop is a perfect counterpoint for balance. Rich, without being "thick"; lots of carbonation to counter this.

This is more hoppy than most Barley Wines, which is to my liking.

smcolw, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of torchednoodle
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jctribe25 for this beer.

It's a decent barleywine. Pours a dark brown copper. Taste is of sweet raisins and fruit. There's some mild burn from the alcohol, but it really hides the alcohol pretty well considering 10%. Carbonation feels very good. The group I drank this with enjoyed this beer, but we agreed that it wasn't a standout compared to the other beers we were drinking that day.

torchednoodle, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Stonebreaker
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very nice looking beer. Good creamy head, dark amber color.

Smell: Unfermented malt sugars, not raisiny so much but some sort of dried fruit, perhaps figs, caramel sugars blah blah blah.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Slightly thin for the style, sweet malt with a nice warming alcohol effect, caramel, figs. It's a smooth operator to an extent, here I am at the end of a bomber and I'm feelin it. A good beer, but not an outstanding one.

Drinkability: It's a barleywine people, act accordingly.

Stonebreaker, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with a creme head. Nose is just thick and ripe with malts. Flavor brings the same with a defined sweet tone and as things warm up there's a woodcedge to things as well. Beyond that really not much complexity. Thick malts, sweet tone, and that's about it. Feel is sticky slick on liquid and a bit lower on carbonation. This is a very easy drinking barleywine. Perhaps a few years aging will help develop some complexity?

RblWthACoz, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of deanhead
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant amber/copper color
Smells of earth and horseblanket, with slight hint of fruit.
Sweet and malty, but well balnce with a dank bitternses that rides it's way thru the finish of the beer. It's a nice medium bodied, dank and sticky beer, yet Highly drinkable as far as barleywines go. This is great beer. Sek it out!

deanhead, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of bheilman
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great barleywine. Improves as it warms, but I feel that's usually the case with most barleywines. Has a smooth sweet malty flavor and stays tasty in your mouth for a while after it's in your stomach. Slight hint of hops makes for a nice balance and a great after taste. I would drink more of this and go out of my way to get it.

bheilman, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep mahogany color with a solid light tan head and an excellent lace. The aroma is a very mellow blend of malt and red wine with a subtle nuttiness. The taste shows much the same with lots of malty sweetness and a deep grape wine. Very fine carbonation and fair drinkability for a barleywine. Fruity and nutty. Delicious but not something to drink carelessly. Very nice.

Durge, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of kmeves
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper brown with aSmall off white head. Aroma is moderately sweet grape, caramel, cherry, date and grapefruit. Flavor is sweet caramel, grape, grapefruit, piney and some dough. Full body, sticky texture. Finishes very long and bitter. Alchohol very well hidden.

kmeves, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of bbothen
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/brown color with a tiny off white head. Head quickly dissipates into a thin but active skim across the beer. SOme sticky lacing on glass as well.

Smells big of sweet caramel maltiness & a distinct citric hop presence.

Big caramel sweetness & a nice big hop bitterness. Rich. Full & complex.

Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering bitterness.

For a 10% big ass barleywine...it drinks great. The 10% is well hidden.

I can't imagine anyone not liking this beer. It's big, huge, and flavorful. Go get it.

bbothen, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of msolar
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We taste-tested a few Southern Tier and Rogue beers last night and this was one of the favorites among our friends. I'm normally not a big fan of Barley Wine style beers, but this was pretty good. The 10% ABV is pretty well hidden, and this beer is surprisingly drinkable. I doubt I would put this on tap at home, but I'd certainly buy a couple more bottles of it.

msolar, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle into a snifter.

Appears a dark reddish brown, but when held to the light it seems more of a straight up ruby color. Thin head of a little less than a half inch sinks down to a skim and leaves a bit of lacing.

Aroma is typical of many American barleywines. Citrusy and resiny hops with a strong caramel backdrop. Good but nothing to go nuts about.

Taste is good as well, but again it's not really anything special. More of the citrusy hops right from the start along with a sweet caramelly surrounding. Finishes somewhat bitter and citrusy, but the malts keep a bit of the sweetness around.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, smooth drinking with a fairly low but nice level of carbonation.

Overall I found this one to be good and tasty but it's not really one that makes you say wow. The main problem I have with Southern Tier is that the painted on lettering on the bottles always comes off on my hand!

roadhouse, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
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

JohnGalt1, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burnt orange with a fairly good head considering the style and abv and some sloppy lacing. Slightly hot in the nose and with very sweet aromas up-front of maple syrup, cardomom, and pear as well as a bit of wax and apple. The taste on the other hand could be a bit sweeeter on the finish. The beer drops off quite a bit toward the end. Otherwise the beer is still a bit hot and there are flavors of dry, crackery malt; and a savory flavor of salty caramel, buttered popcorn and something somewhat meaty. A little strange and somewhat flat tasting. Quite smooth, if a bit hot. Not bad, and it certainly packs a punch, but the flavors seem a bit unusual and not quite sweet enough for the style.

Georgiabeer, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

While this was overall a good beer, I was expecting more after having the Unearthly, Choklate, Pumking, and Jahva.

Pours a deep clear brown. Plenty of foam and good retention.

Smell is quite malty and very boozy. This is a 2008 bottle but it seems that the hops have faded. There is a little european hop nose, so I checked the bottle and sure enough they used Willamette hops, interesting.

The taste is again boozy but also malty. Not overly hoppy like some other reviews have said. Again, this is probably 8 months old, so who knows.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy, alcohol taste and effects keep it from being as drinkable as it could be. Enjoyable.

t0rin0, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of pershan
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a deep, clear, reddish-amber with a dense tan head into a pint glass. The aroma was of fresh, piney hops - very nice. The taste was a big-time blend of sweet caramel malt, pungent hop flavor, and alcoholic esters, with a huge hop bitterness at the finish. Not quite as good as SN Bigfoot, IMHO, but pretty darn close.

pershan, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/11/08- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown in color. Full one inch plus head upon pour. Settles at a good 1/4 inch for most of the duration of the beer.

Smell- Very hoppy in the nose with harsh grapefruit hops. Also has some caramel malt notes.

Taste- Sugary sweet with lots of caramel malts. Also some sweet orchard fruits with oranges and tangerines in the mix. The hops really are the key here though. They come through very strong...very Bigfoot in nature. Fairly well balanced though with a large malt profile as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a touch higher carbonation level. Still feeling the bitter aftertatse in my mouth almost 30 minutes after finishing it.

Drinkability- Traditional well hoppen american barleywine. Very good and very drinkable.

GClarkage, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of mattp
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bomber at Olivers along with a Hoppe Ale from Southern Tier. The pour is really nice with a fruity aroma and thick head. The color was lovely, a dark red/brown vision of substance. The mouth feel reminded me of Middle Ages Druid Fluid. It felt rich enough to just about chew. Very nice. As you would expect from a barleywine there was a nice bitterness and an appropriate malt balance. A nice sipping beer if you are only having one that night. It was kind of humid last night and a lot of condensation formed on the bottle. When I poured I found a chunk of the painted label stuck on my hand. Different.

mattp, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep red, big head.

Smell: Very piney at first, then citrus, booze, dark fruit.

Taste: Nice caramel sweetness with just enough hops to balance it out. It does give a warming aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Slick, coating.

Drinkability: Good stuff but strong and in 22oz bottles means one bottle only.

This is a pretty good barleywine. I think they seem to be going for right in-between American and English barleywine since it wasn't overly hoppy like US but not too sweet like UK BW's. Either that or the hops died down as it sat on the shelf in the store. Good to try.

Mdog, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$6.99 for a 22oz bomber at the newly relocated Beverage Shop in TC. Brewed with 2-row pale malt, light and dark caramel malts, and hopped with chinook in the kettle, willamette for aroma, and dry hopped with amarillo and centennial (oooh, two of my favorites!)

10% ABV, OG=23 plato, 15Lovibond. Funny. The bottle is stamped with the specs as per Rogue tradition, but as the condensation forms, the letter slip off and you can rearrange them like you would refrigerator magnets.

Pours out to a clear deep rich mahogany, forming a tall off-yellow head with excellent retention and good lacing. Carbonation is medium. The aroma is hop-a-licious. Loads of sticky, piney, resinous, hops with loads of chewy sticky sweet malts. The mouthfeel is bold and beautiful, soft, chewy and very satisfying. The taste starts with the big resisnous hops, but they are not harsh not overwhelming like an Arrogant Bastard can be. This gives way to a big estery profile with lots of dark over-ripe fruits...apples and cherries are big. Followed by brown sugar, roasted nuts, and a moderate herbal bitterness which is nicely balanced for such a big beer. The aftertaste is of herbal hops bitterness, leather, and raisins.

This is a very nice barleywine. It's a big beer, but it's easier to drink than most. It still has a big hop bill, and isn't quite as sweet as some of it's English bretheren, but I would gladly buy it again. Recommended.

Mitchster, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A dark burnt copper red color. The head is tick fluffy and very very light tan, but vanishes quickly leaving great lacing.

S- The smell is very true to form of an American Barleywine. The Hops are present along with sweet malt smells and nice dark fruits are also very much there.

T- There is a bread taste that mixes with the dark fruits giving a granola type of taste. The hop taste is there and provides a bitter taste.

M- Feels good on the mouth, the Alcohol creates a spiciness on the tongue.

D- Easy to drink.

Wetpaperbag, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of mcmidc
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber color with a small tan head that lingered surprisingly. The smell is of fruits, and raisans with some hops and alcohol in the background. Tastes spicy with primarily plums and raisans that is spicy. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with spices running rampant. Drinkability is pretty good for a 10% beer and it's pretty smooth. Really becoming a fan of Southern Tier they put out some really good brews. I'll drink it again.

mcmidc, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a carameled, maple syrupy ruby color. Very faint head and no bubbles or lacing. Great color though. The aroma is a cinnamon spicey citrus and a dash of caramel and figs. Starts with some warm fruits and a light touch of Chrstmas seasonings. Cinnamon, nutmeg, with some caramel plums. Good, warm, and spicey sweet. The palate has some complex alcohol notes. Some brandy or mabybe cognac and some warms peas with some orange zest. Sippable andnice to look at in a snifter.

scruffwhor, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of jdaelhousen
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown colored body with little head to it.

Aroma consists of sweet candy sugar, orange peel, mild coriander notes, and contains a strong boozy factor.

Taste has an immediate blast of alcohol mixed with fruit essences of fig, cherry, and mild toffee presence. Mouthfeel is very sticky with a strong alcohol backing.

Overall, and outstanding and highly alcoholic barleywine.

jdaelhousen, Jul 21, 2008
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 869 ratings.