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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

857 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 857
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: 857 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a solid brown with some amber highlights, a pretty short tan head with no real lacing. Nose is strong on spices. Some dried fruit, maybe raisins. Sweet spicy malt flavors up front. Dried fruit on the tongue, prunes, some deep molasses or brown sugar too. There's a touch of hops that show up in the background, although their very mild, especially for an American barley wine. Alcohol shows up later on, although its fairly mild, but it does stay for most of the rest of the beer, especially in the aftertaste. Feel is medium bodied, not quite syrupy, and tasty. This is another good beer from Southern Tier, although it doesn't dominate the style like a lot of their brews do.

08-27-2007 22:07:41 | More by soupyman10
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a dark brown color with a nice head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malty, sweet, has some hops, and a lot of alcohol. The flavor is very malty and tasty - lots of sweet caramel and toffee - and plenty of hops to back that up. Alcohol is present in the flavor as well. The body is medium and the drinkability is good. This is a very nice American Barleywine - others have more hop character, but this is a tasty beer none-the-less.

08-27-2007 01:38:29 | More by clvand0
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +8%

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with a 2" head that last quite a while for the style. Some spots of lace develop during the session.

Smell: malt sweetness, earthy, and a bit of hop bitterness is detectable.

Taste: big malt sweetness here along with some soft molasses, milk chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and decent hop presence. Some alochol warming is present.

Mouthfeel: medium in body which is a bit lighter than other barleywines. Smooth from start to finish. Relatively brief aftertaste.

Drinkability: this is mellow and very enjoyable compared to some other barleywines. Nice beer here.

08-12-2007 22:20:03 | More by Gavage
Photo of RedChrome
RedChrome

Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

A iced tea brown color with a huge red color in the light. Tan half inch high head faded very rapidly. Slowly rising carbonation in an average amount. Lacing is small sticky spots.

Aromas of cherries popped first in the scent. Alcohol is clearly present but not as strong as expected. Light citrus and earthy pine blend to balance out the complexity.

Taste is subdued alcohol which leaves room for the other components. Malt is a toffee and caramel blend, which plays against and wins over dark fruits including plums. Bittering finish from hops.

Thinner then most others in the style, but it allows for carbonation to really grab a hold and shift some flavors.

A decent choice. A great after dinner beer on a cold night. Not as strong alcohol profile as others I have had. A subtly strong beer with good flavor.

08-06-2007 02:39:22 | More by RedChrome
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

3.85/5  rDev -4%

Thanks go to nlmartin for throwing this in as an extra on a recent trade.

Backburner comes out of the bottle looking like cola. I thought for a moment I had opened a Coke. It had a finger and a half of light tan head that remains a constant sheet on top of the liquid. There is some craggy lacing ringing the glass.

The aroma is where this one is lacking a bit, IMO. When I first poured it into my glass I could smell it three feet away...but now I have to shove my nose in there to get a whiff of it. There is some caramel, brown sugar, pine, black cherries, and a stem-like floral scent if ya know what I mean.

The flavor is a good blend of malt and hops. Spicy, yet sweet. Dark caramels, spicy florals, pine resin, brown sugar, dark fruits. The abv is noticed a little at the end.

Solid medium bodied brew that's nicely carbonated. Some burn from the alcohol in the aftertaste that overrides the bitterness...I knocked it down from 4.0 to 3.5 as this grew stronger. Overall, a good barleywine that is easy to enjoy. Might be a good idea to share it with a friend, though.

07-25-2007 23:09:33 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -21.9%

Pours deep, rich mahogany with a one-inch head that descends to half-size and stays (very impressive for abv level!). Some lacing sticks to glass.

Well, this is a hoppy-smelling beer for the style. Citrus and pine with resiny alcohol with plenty of sweet malt mixed in. Complex, but leans towards plastic.

I thought I would enjoy the hoppy profile, and I do to a point, but it is just too much for this style, and ends up with plastic/resin mixing with alcohol that is very sharp. Still, caramel and molasses are enough to give it more complexity and depth. It has a medium-to-full body. Very warming - I would even say hot.

Interesting, and not bad tasting, but the mix ends up leaving a plastic aftertaste and it's very sharp. Things just don't meld together well enough for me to get again, though I'm glad I had it once. Maybe aging will mellow it, but I'm not quite convinced it's worth it.

07-16-2007 03:05:35 | More by jwc215
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

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!

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

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

Appearance: Pours a ruby-colored body with a short-lived, beige head.

Smell: A rich, malty sweet aroma with plenty of fruitiness held within notes of black cherries and syrup-soaked plums.

Taste: Strong, supporting malt backbone bringing flavors of sweet, charred caramel, dark fruits, and hints of chocolate. The beer certainly needs that malty brace for the sharp hop hit of soapy pine right at the end and into the long, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a very thick, lush mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Its all kinds of decent!

07-01-2007 04:51:30 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +7.2%

A - this barleywine pours a crimson brownish color with a thick golden brown tempura colored heady, steady but small carbonation sustains said head

S - a pleasant aroma of brown sugar, molasses, is what hits first, with a decent hoppiness second all over a sufficient malty backbone

T - strong sweetness up front as in the aroma, howerve the sweetness is more defined, more poignant, especially the brown sugary notes, but the molasses flavors are still there as well, what makes it great is the perfect hop balance, also some decent woody/resin flavors in the background

M&D - really a great example of an American Barleywine, in all elements its very good and excellent in flavor and balance, smooth due to the sugary sweetness, despite the higher ABV, again a high quality brew from Southern Tier

06-30-2007 13:59:56 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

Pours a ripe plum color with an off white half finger head that holds nicely around the edges and leaves a bit of film in the center. Huge malty presence with hints of sweet caramel and spicy brown sugar notes. Hop presence stings the nose with a pine and floral fruit aromas. Thick and juicy with a huge alcohol bite.

Malty and hoppy combination blends well with a balanced mouthfeel. Caramel, slight chocolate, burnt sugar, and molasses malt notes. Piney and spicy hop flavors. Juicy and coating on the palate with a thickness. An interesting and thick barleywine definitely weighing in on the American side of the line. With such a high abv, this brew isn't very drinkable, but still pretty tasty. A nice one to get a hold of if you can and another good selection from ST.

06-26-2007 01:46:01 | More by bjohnson
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

6/21/2007 $5.75 22 oz. 10.00% First beer brewed 2007.

Appearance:

Given a hard pour, this is a relatively still beer that is dark brown suffused with crimson highlights. Just a thin ring of tan rims the glass, but otherwise there is no head to speak of.

Aroma:

Caramel candied apples with a touch of spiced rum. Notes of fig and banana lurk in the depths as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

I've come to the conclusion that if Southern Tier puts something in a 22 oz. bomber, then it's worth drinking. This has a nice slick mouthfeel, with loads of caramel sweetness up front. Fruit flavors include pear, apple, raisins, prune, with rum-soaked bundt cake flavors dominating the finish. Supposedly this is 55 IBU's, but I find the bitterness to be minimal in this one, with the malts and alcohol taking center stage.

Drinkability is lower in this one than their last big beer I had (Hoppe, which also was 10% ABV), as the alcohol catches up with you by mid-bottle. Definitely a sipping beer, and something I'd like to cellar and see how it improves with age.

06-21-2007 19:56:10 | More by cbl2
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

1 pt, 6 fl oz brown bottle, served in a snifter.
First brew 2007.

Pours a deep garnet with hues of ruby. Slightly creamy, off-white head that fades to a near intact sheet with pools of bubbles. Lasting strings of foamy lacing with decent strength.

Dark, yet ripe fruit: plum, cherry, fig. Notes of acidity with a sharp alcohol aroma. Spicy pine from the hops. Mild hints of powdered chocolate/caramel.

Creamy, semi-sweet tones of caramel and hazlenut; rather dry and powdery. Mild, dark fruit: cherry, grape, and plum met by a young and swarming alcohol presence. Subtle, almost bland flavors.

Medium in body; slick, smooth for the most part. A nice balance in texture with hops and malt.

The flavors are too tame for my preference in Barleywines. Nothing offensive, but not one I'd have again.

06-11-2007 12:29:48 | More by NEhophead
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -20.2%

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.

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

New York

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

22 oz twist top bomber, served in a goblet.

A - chestnut brown/red hue color with a tan head that lasted a little while, leaving some lacing.

S - sweet raisin/date/fig aroma.

T - very good tasting brew, sweet at first, rich malty flavors, hop taste kicks in after the swallow.

M - medium/full bodied, good carbonation, sweet aftertaste.

D - goes down very easy, an all around very good barley wine.

06-09-2007 21:06:11 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%

Beautiful mahogany color with a fairly sizeable head in top. Very malty aroma with a good dose of hops up front. Big full malt flavor with a bevy of hops but not the explosion that other US barleywines offer. Very nice caramel flavors. Somewhat earthy and rich tasting. Great body-extremely full and satisfying. Very, very drinkable. I let this sit over a 2 hour period while working around the house and it just got better and better. Well worth enjoying on a regular basis.

06-03-2007 23:48:49 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of jmz62565
jmz62565

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

This beer pours a clear dark burnt reddish/orange with a large tan head. The head is long lasting and leaves good lacing. The smell is lighter than I expected,but there is some hop and dark fruit aromas. The taste is very good,almost Bigfoot like, with bitter hops,dark fruit,cherry,vanilla, and an oak woodiness. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well. What can I say? This is a damn good beer from a brewery that produces some kickass beers.

05-20-2007 23:05:33 | More by jmz62565
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours dark amber to brown, clear, with a small light cream head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong on the citrusy hops, grapefruit, some tropical fruit nots, pineapple and mango. A sweet malty backbone is evident but is definitely overpowered by the fruity hoppiness. Taste is quite similar with large tropical fruit and citrus notes as well as a bit of caramel and pruney breadiness. Soft and 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. This beer is quite tasty, but seems to be one of those dipa/bw hybrid/crossover beers. Very strong dipa charcateristics with a large sugary and malty backbone that accentuates the fruitiness. Very good and quite easy to drink, will look forward to seeing what a little cellaring time produces.

05-20-2007 18:44:27 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

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!

05-18-2007 21:33:02 | More by Derek
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

This is a good barleywine. Received as part of a random trade during Dark Lord day. Reminds me of a good middle ground between English and American barleywine.

The beer pours very dark for the style, and almost looks layered like a black and tan. Very deep and dark plum color towards the dark, almost opaque brown, and at the bottom it appears more of a dark amber. Probably just the light shining off the table. Good carbonation, but little head. Decent lacing, and what little head pours has a good staying power.

The smell is not all that impressive. Has malty backbone, showing off some of the earthy, ripe dark fruits. Soft notes of fig, prune, and blackberry. Some herbal hops as well. Everything seems very soft and muted, however.

The taste is great. Everything the aroma has and more, and the flavors intensify on the palate. The malts are the obvious focus on this beer. Rich and sweet, kind of bready, more like an English barleywine, along with the same dark fruits mentioned in the aroma. As it is swallowed, the hops flavor hits strong with a huge piney and herbal hops flavor, like Chinook and/or noble hops. Nice catty bitterness with a hint of a grapefruit lingering in the finish. Very good balance, even with the obvious stress on the malts.

The body is huge. Nice and dextrinous. Sweet, but not aggressively so, to the point where it gets to be cloying. The alcohol is fairly well hidden for a 10% barleywine. Easy to drink as well. I wasn't in the mood for anything too strong, given the recent turn back to spring time, but this still hit the spot. I'm glad I was able to drink this, and don't regret not going to the store for something lighter.

05-18-2007 04:29:58 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%

quarterly tasting party may 16/07 with northyorksammy, Derek, and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. Derek contributed this one, so thanks derek!

22oz bottle, listed as their first batch of 2007.

pours deep reddish brown with a small dense tan head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. light alcohol. bready malt. nice fresh hoppy character. orange and apricot. light caramel sweetness.

taste is good. light alcohol. bready malt. medium bitterness. lots of nice citrus - orange, apricot, grapefruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level with a nice big body.

drinkability is great. well balanced and very good.

05-17-2007 23:20:57 | More by grub
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

22 oz. bomber, 10% ABV, 85 IBU. Mahogany in color, with some ruby shades. Tan foamy head, which held together well for the size of the beer, then faded to a nice ring.

Citrusy, floral and slightly grassy aroma. Not much else.

Bits of dark fruit and toffee stick out first. A lot of sweetness, with some fruity flavors. Bitterness is not as powerful as the aroma would indicate.

Good body, with lower carbonation. Fairly balanced. Overall, not bad, but not terribly exciting either.

05-17-2007 17:47:03 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

Thanks Derek, this was good drinking for a young fresh BW.The malt and fruity yeast was enjoyable in the aroma, there was lace on the opaque brown. Amarillo and C-hop. Appropriate above-average carbonation. Above average mouthfeel.Some complexity and significant fruitiness to taste.

05-17-2007 02:53:06 | More by Sammy
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

2.38/5  rDev -40.6%

A: Pours a deep garnet color with a small bubbly head. Moderate lacing.

S: Small but balanced smell with both a fruity malt character and a dry hoppiness. Noticable alcohol presence.

T: Malty with brief fruit flavors that quickly yield to a taste of burnt plastic and chemicals. Bitter, hoppy, and alcoholic in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, chewy, and sticky with light carbonation.

D: Not bad, except for the disgusting taste of course. One of the worst tasting barleywines that I've had.

05-12-2007 22:02:06 | More by klewis
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%

This beer pours a beautiful concord grape and burgundy color with an enticing creamy tan head.

In the smell there’s a little plumb and raisin with a touch of smoked honey that melts into a decisive silky, yet assertive, hop. There’s also a boozy alcohol that comes out, but it fades nicely into the rest.

Tastes of a creamy barley and a touch of peach that again transfers into a simcoe-esque hop. It’s simple but solid.

Feels medium bodied with a tiny electric carbonation that livens things up quite a bit.

Very nice, very simple and very solid.

05-10-2007 19:17:17 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.93/5  rDev -2%

Received in a trade from jayjaye. He has been my Southern Tier hookup lately. Much appreciated.

Clear body with a dark garnet color. Light tan head on top. An inch thick initially but reduced to a quarter inch of foam that reaches up towards the edges of the glass to hold on. Pretty nice.

Lots of hops and sweet simple sugar syrup. Not really caramel too much in the sweetness but more of a cherry lifesaver fruitiness. Hops are floral and a little citrusy. Flavor seems a bit subdued, good but not bursting forth from the glass.

Flavor is pretty good, quite hoppy again. Citrus hops predominately with some pine aspects. Malts are caramelly but has some sweet bread as well. Has some dark fruitiness too, a little raisin and other dark fruit hints. Pretty good. Not the most complex, but a solid offering. A little hints of alcohol, but works well in this.

Mouthfeel is medium or so. Coats the mouthwell and the flavor lingers. Low carbonation level.

Good drinkability. A solid barleywine offering. Not the most complex, but good. Bigfoot'ish in its hoppiness.

05-10-2007 01:04:24 | More by blitz134
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.