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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 mvdillman
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

mvdillman, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of ColSanders123
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

ColSanders123, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of BeerAcolyte
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

BeerAcolyte, May 09, 2012
Photo of scottypinthemix
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

scottypinthemix, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of hilgart1
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

hilgart1, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

BeerImmediately, May 15, 2012
Photo of casualfan
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

casualfan, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Kelp, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This barley wine as poured at the ACBF 2010. The color of the beer is a dark brown color almost black. The head is minimal and doesn't leave much lacing. The smell is a little on the sweet side, some hops in there too. The taste has a burnt bitterness that fades into a subtle sweet aftertaste. This brew is average to me. I would try it again to give it another shot.

Knapp85, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of tat2dhllblly
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

tat2dhllblly, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Dactrius
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Dactrius, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Cask Republic into a tulip.

A: Crystal clear ruby-brown body under a finger of tan foam. Great retention and lacing. Lovely.

S: Sweet, fruity caramel malt; dates, raisins, and citrus; spicy alcohol. Not great, but pretty good.

T: Dark fruits are dominant, followed by bready malts + citrus hops. Pretty tasty, but far from memorable.

M: Hugely carbonated, with soft fine bubbles exploding throughout the (maybe) medium body. Intense, but overdone.

O: I enjoyed this beer, but it doesn't really stand up well to the myriad of great barleywines available. While I was a fan of the citrus fruitiness of the hops, I didn't feel that they added enough hoppiness or bitterness to contrast meaningfully with the fruity sweetness of the malt. Completely solid, but completely forgettable.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of brewdude1982
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

brewdude1982, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of oakbluff
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish ruby, good clarity. Minimal head. Nose- toffee, hot piney hops. Taste- sweet caramel malts, nuts, with a sharp hop bite on the finish. Medium bodied and carbonation. Drinks quite smooth but is missing something. Just not all that complex for a big barleywine.

oakbluff, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, moderate carbonation, orange-brown, slightly cloudy

Smell: pineapple, pine, malt, hops, and dark fruit

Taste: hops, alcohol, sweet dried fruit, pine, caramel, and malt

Mouthfeel: harsh/bitter first sip then smooth with a bitter aftertaste, medium heavy in body

Drinkability: One is enough for me. This one definately lands on the bitter side of barleywines. This does have a good flavor combination and the alcohol is not hidden. To me this is not as experimentive as other barleywines I have tried.

tigg924, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Capone's a few months back.

A: The barleywine is a deep amber color, brown with enough reddish tint that it could be a black cherry cola. A finger and a half of head topped the beer but did not retain for very long, nor did it lace.

S: The nose is replete with lots and lots of malts, grainy, bready malts with dark alefruits and a citrusy undertone.

T: This is a wickedly sweet beer. The malts drip with green grapes, sweet and biting. Dark fruits contribute to the sweetness. The malts coat the tastebuds with their intensity. Cold, the hops add a note of bitterness but it isn't enough to put a dent in that malt profile. If you are patient enough to really let the ale warm up, a citrusy hop profile appears with a dash, spicing up the taste significantly.

M: This is easily mistaken for an English barleywine, with the focus on lots o' malts.

D: Let this beer warm up for a rather long period of time. It releases more of the hops and those hops are desperately needed to overcome the malty sweetness.

akorsak, Jan 01, 2008
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.

claspada, Nov 17, 2010
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 Crosling
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby/brown color. Aroma is mainly dominated by sherry-like oxidation. Flavor is also dominated by sherry-like oxidation, but also has some nice elements of raisins, dark fruit, caramel and mixed nut. Decent finish as well, which lasts pretty long. Very oxidized, but still pretty good.

Crosling, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Neffbeer
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from last winter, poured into a snifter.

A: It pours a deep amber color with great looking mahogany highlights. A strong pour yielded a one finger white head that fades pretty quickly. It left a small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of sweet malty goodness; caramel, biscuits covered with fig jam, vanilla, raisins, and some faint notes of booze.

T: The flavors follow suit on the palate. There is a heavy wave of caramel followed by raisins, figs, vanilla, and sweet booze. It finishes sort of sweet with a little kick from the alcohol. Overall a pretty smooth drinker.

M: Medium to heavy in mouthfeel. There are still some residual sugars here that really add to the overall viscosity.

O: A decent barley wine that comes off a bit on the sweet side. It is not crazily complex by any means, but manages to get the job done.

Neffbeer, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of mdwalsh
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A little light and a little heady for a barleywine, but the texture, active carbonation and clarity look okay to good. The head is over two fingers, but it's going down pretty quick. Too quick, there's now no head.

S: There's the remnants of hops, but it's not super big part of the aroma. It's piney and fruity, a little sweet. I don't get a whole lot of bready caramel like I like in barleywines, but it's alright. There is a sort of funky, solvently type smell to this beer that I just can't get behind.

T: Hmm, maltier and richer than the smell would lead me to believe, but I'm still not liking the way the hops work here. I get a little alcohol or solvent on the tip of my tongue, and over bitterness on the back of my throat.

M: Not particularly big for a Barleywine, I would think of this more of an Imperial Amber or something on those lines. It's full bodied, but not heavy, it isn't really encouraging me to "sip"

D: For a 10% ABV beer, this is pretty drinkable. Body is overwhelming, and it doesn't have the overwhelming sweetness or hoppiness of many Barleywines, RISs or DIPAs. I guess I would say if I wanted a beer to get real messed up on, this would be the one.

mdwalsh, May 21, 2010
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.

KarlHungus, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of matty
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
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!!

matty, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Oxymoron
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recently tried this fresh, but have hadn't aged. And it does not age well. Pours a darker shade of amber with a light brown hue throughout. A fizzy white head that quickly dissipated and not much lacing to speak of.

The nose was light for a barleywine, but some malt notes with a slight grainy backing. Some biscuit and light nutty notes. Some yeasty notes along with some lighter plum and fig phenolics. No real hop aroma to speak of. (The aged sample has big butyric notes).

The taste comes out more than the nose indicates. The malt is more represented with a more complex caramel flavor. Some sweet caramel, would have liked to see more depth with a more melanodian/kettle caramel thing. Some sudsy notes in the flavor that leaves a filmy finish. The bitterness comes out, but doesn't really balance to the malt well. Some light citrus hops but limited. Yeast notes and some oxidation but not overly off. (The aged continues with butyric but also a nasty sudsy thing).

The body is moderate to big. Some complexity but would like a bit more. Carbonation is a bit high, but helps the bitterness. Would like more finishing hops though. Overall not a great barleywine, but IMHO try it fresh.

Oxymoron, Jan 19, 2009
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.

rapidsequence, Jan 02, 2011
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 869 ratings.