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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: 73
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 880 | Reviews: 498
Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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

Pours a deep caramelly amber color. Three finger cinnamon colored head sits atop. The head works its way back at a casual pace leaving behind heavy moth eaten lacing. A nice cap remains on top for the duration.

Warm toast malt and caramel aroma are surprisingly dominant off the bat. Bright pineapple and citrus hop scents fill in behind. The aroma displays an impressive balance. Not the aroma I expect from an American Barleywine but it is enjoyed non the less.

Candied pineapple and caramel flavor lay heavy on the tongue out of the glass. A bright bitterness picks up as the flavor transitions to the midpalate before a heavy caramel flavor emerges. Deep flavors develop on the back of the palate, heavily caramelized sugar and raisins mainly. The darker flavors become very strong on the back end drowning out the lighter flavors from up front.

Backburner comes in just under full bodied. The carbonation is a bit higher than expected, delivering a bit of a lighter body than I would prefer. The finish is long as the dark sugar and fruit flavors dig into the tongue refusing to budge.

Backburner is a solid beer, enjoyable but fails to reach the top tier of the style. Easy to drink and enjoyable. This is one I will pick up a s a change in pace Barleywine but will not be on the top of my list.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Mike099
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown colored beer with a thick lasting tan colored head. Maroon colored when held up to the light to test clarity.

Smells spicy and heavily hopped. Scents of Pinewood, citrus, faint mango and pineapple.

Starts out sweet and woody with a melon aftertaste. Quite fruity the melon taste stays but a peach flavor appears along with the taste of chocolate. Little bit of spice here, mostly cinnamon stick.

Mouthfeel is full.

Quite a friendly Barleywine not near as strong as the smell suggests. This is about perfectly balanced between flavor and tongue friendliness.

Sampled through the efforts of Bentkentk56 and Secret Bunny 09 BIF.

Photo of Wedgie28
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is good stuff. Cool color - HTML #43104 or so, transparency 95.

Minute foam that follows the beer to the bottom of the glass.

I eat barley in soup sometimes and I like it. I drink barley in beer sometimes and like it and this is one of the best beers with barley in it so far. So I really like it. You should get some.

This is strong but doesn't taste strong. Get a girl two glasses and she'll like you afterwards.

Shankque'!

Photo of MMAJYK
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my notebook.

A- Medium rust color; head is 1/8" and loose.

S- Citrus and floral hops dominate, but is pleasantly balanced with the malts. Touch of molasses and brown sugar.

T- Sweet like dates and figs; rich. Hops are definitely noticable, but sweetness of malts dominate.

M- Sticky in the mouth and low carbonation.

D- One of the most drinkable BWs I have ever tried. Smooth, balanced, and a great representation of the style!

Photo of bheilman
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

vital stats:
10%
85 ibu
15o L
2-row pale malt
light & dark caramel malt
kettle hop: chinook
aroma hop: willamette
dry hop: amarillo & centennial

clear ruby pour with frothy foam and amoebic lacing. slight pine in the aroma, mostly dominated by a strong scent of fruitcake. candied ginger, apricots, and healthy doses of cinnamon and brown sugar fill the nasal cavity. raisin puree rounds out the fruit bomb in my snifter.

smooth and easy-drinking, especially at a slightly warmer temperature. sweetness is an undisputed character that defines the back burner. the maltiness is a bit one-dimensional, and simple sweetness is the unfortunate byproduct of a beer that shoots for drinkability above thickness and overwhelming complexity. dry though, and that might be the saving grace as it provides some balance. an almost-belgian yeast flavor and hints of white grape and fresh-cut grass struggle for independence behind a barrage of overripe fruits.

it's been a while since i've had a barleywine.. not sure why.. but this one is rather pleasing, very drinkable, and no challenge to finish a bomber. version 1.0 shows need for improvement, but it's on the plus side of southern tier releases. solid good effort.. the previous reviewer thinks this will age well, i do not. take your chances, people.

Photo of Viggo
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this into a New Belgium goblet and it is dark and murky. The head doesn't last long and sits down to nothing but a light lacing. Wow do I love the smell of barleywines. The aroma is strong and sweet. The plums and black cherries hit you first then comes malt and booze. It sends chills down my spine cause I know what the first sip is going to bring.

Wow, this is a gentle back hand to the taste buds. You expect it to be uber sweet with the first taste then here comes the hops. If there is a Jekyll and Hyde brew this is it which honestly adds to the enjoyment of this barleywine. I really enjoy the hops in this one and almost wish there was just a bit more to duke it out with the sweetness.

There is just a bit of heat on the finish but it for sure doesn't linger like other big barleywines. I really wish Southern Tier was here in Texas, damnit.

Photo of axeman9182
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a murky dark brown, with just a hint of orange highlights when held to the light. The first pour didn't produce much, but when my glass was mostly empty I poured the remainder of the bottle in and was rewarded with three fingers of foamy off white head, with some solid lacing left behind. First pour was a 3, second a 4, so we'll split the difference. Nose is a little bit too boozy for my liking, but there's also plenty of toffee and some citrusy american hops. The alcohol is a little bit more restrained in the taste, but not enough that I'm willing to bump up the score. Toffee and booze give way to a bitterness that, while potent, isn't quite up there with say a fresh Bigfoot. The same bitter grapfruit note from the nose comes back to close things out. The body is rich, as one might expect, but it feels somewhat spry. I credit this to the carbonation, which is a bit higher than I might expect for a barleywine, but I find it works really well. The only thing holding back the drinkability is the amount of alcoholic heat I pick up on Backburner, otherwise it's a very solid American barleywine.

Photo of Atron67
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle that ive had for a year or so. drinking out of a harpoon tulip glass (100 barrel series style)

A- pours a dark opaque brown, slightly muddy looking from the side but actually appears to be particulate free when held up to a light. clear red shines through when held to the light. overall a pretty solid representation of what you would expect. a tan/cream head on top that built up a little then was stuck around for a little while. nothing big but for a style with so little head expectationgs, is pretty reasonable.

S- mainly a huge maltiness. ide say oaky, but maybe its moer just tannic. but not the astringent version. that of aged hops (cellared version remember, although only a year) not really much presence of floral hop character. although the malt profile that does shine through is distinctly bitter and not reminiscent of the more english styles of barleywines. there seems to a be a 'copper' tanginess to the scent as well giving a 'peppery' character similiar to other highly malted beers or like that of a bock. although bocks tend to be less forward.

T- pretty strong malt flavor throughout. starts off with a strong maltiness. not quite tongue assault, but its strong. contains that peppery character common to the more intense varieties and the tannic character i expected from he scent. doesn't actually ever materialize the highly bitter aspect however. all of this is pretty accentuated by the mild fine carbonation that gives it a little acidity, but lets it stick to its characteristics of maltiness. the finish is not sweet, however its not nearly bitter. its peppery character really defines the finish. has a bit of complexity in the maltiness.

M- has a thick body, but isn't syrupy. medium/light carbonation.

D- is a pretty solid barleywine that i might be drinking out of season right now, however its quite tasty and enjoyable though not really mind blowing. its a better experience in the style, however being one of my favorite styles, i have pretty high expectation.

Photo of association330
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. screen-printed bomber. Labeled "First Brew of 2008".

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber, with a thick tan head. Leaves a good, creamy cap and nice lace.

S - Erupts from the bottle the moment you crack it open. Caramel malt dominates, with toffee and slight dried fruit notes - solid complexity. Some pine and slight grapefruit rind reveal an American hop variety. Alcohol is perfectly hidden, becoming a bit more noticeable as the beer warms.

T - Malt sweetness up front. Alcohol comes off as a moderate woody/boozy taste. Finishes hoppy, semi-bitter, and dry. A hint of fruity sweetness lingers.

M - Nice chewy richness, but not syrupy. Carbonation begins a bit lively, but softens as you savor. Warming/numbing alcohol is almost immediately apparent.

D - A pretty nice barleywine here, and it would make a good nightcap. Boozy taste was a touch overdone, but not overpowering.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

Two fingers of slow rising tan foam bubbles reach the top of my goblet and just sit there for awhile then start t fade turning rocky as they do. Lots of scattered lace is left. Body is of the deepest brown, almost black showing hints of ruby when held to light. Nose has tones of sweet cherry pie, phelonic spiceyness, and even a citrus rind hop presence. With first sip you get an initial dry slightly sweet spicey feel that is the base of this brew. Then you get a distinct hop burst that really takes over mid-palate and controls the rest of the way. A bit oily are these hops, almost reisen like. Alchol lingers in the backround. Mouthfeel has a nice hop dryness. Nicely drinkable barleywine.

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

A - rich dark brown color with a large light tan head

S - dark fruits, brown sugar, citric hops, alcohol warmth.

T - Similar to the nose, rich sweet malts, some citric hops, some warming

M - medium full body, nicely carbonated, sweet aftertaste, warming effect.

D - a nice overall barleywine.

Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, Southern Tier is steadily making its way up my list of favorite breweries; they have not disappointed me yet and Back Burner further strengthens their bid (march madness has gotten to me) for a top 5 spot. Anyway, moving along...

The beers pours the darkest red I have ever seen; its has a deep ruby color that appears to let light in but not escape. It has a nice off-white head with great retention and leaves a considerable amount of lace. The aroma is heavily of roasted malts, hops, some tart fruits and lots of dough/ bread. The flavor is very sweet and bitter; hops, tons of barley, biscuits, and fruits (berry fruits). It has a great start and finishes with a noticeable amount of alcohol burn. Leaves your mouth dry initially but the flavor last for a long time afterwards.

Incredible beer.

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?

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

A - Pours murky amber in color into my snifter with about two fingers of dense tan head that has excellent retention and very sticky lacing.

S - Lots of sweet caramel malts, toffee, vanilla, apricots, cherries and a touch of alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel/toffee malts up front, mild piny and citrus hops, raisin, cherry, plum and even apricot are all present, and a warming presence of alcohol.

M - Really well balanced, not too hot, very smooth, slightly sticky.

O - Solid offering from Southern Tier, not overly impressive but very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice ruby/brown color with 2 fingers worth of head that leaves some nice lacing

S: I'm picking up some sweetness along with malts and other than that, not much at all. Possibly some faint hoppiness

T: Same as the smell, an overload (not in a bad way, though) of malty sweetness. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen behind the sweetness. It's a good thing I like sweet beers, or else this one might get cloyingly sweet

M: Thick and heavy, with medium carbonation. Coats the mouth with sugary sweetness, although it's not as bad as some of their blackwater series

D/O: One is definitely enough because of the sweetness and abv, but other than that, this is a great barleywine. I'm not sure how this would age, I'm afraid it might get even sweeter. Drink this one up for sure

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

A: pours a very dark ruby brown with a one finger off white head. Very thick lacing coats the glass walls

S: smells like a very nice barelywine. Malts are dominate but blend well with the potent earthy hops. Hints on pine, biscuits, yeast, lemon zest and tart fruit

T: tart fruits mixed with a bready, buscuit undertone. Earthy, piny hops come through on the backend. Alcohol warms the throat as it goes down.

M: light carbonation with a heavy feel on the tongue and bitter to the cheeks

D: at 10% abc it's pretty easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden at first but comes on as you drink it. Probably couldn't drink more than one glass.

Overall a very nice barleywine. Not one of my favorites but I wouldn't shy away from having again.

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

A: dark brown with lighter highlights and an off white head that stays with lacing and a ring on the edges.

S: smells of honey, caramel, roasted malt.

T: delicious barleywine, but it's missing the fruity notes.

M: standard carbonation with a medium-heavy body. Good for the style.

O: very good beer, best of the night so far on a barleywine tasting with a few other decent ones.

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.

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