Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
4.19/5 rDev +4.5%
Appearance- Pours up a couple fingers' worth of head which dissipates rather quickly. The head is light beige while the body is a sickly, chestnut brown which glows a dark amber when held up to the light. It would not appear that any lacing will be left behind.
Nose- Delicious. I hope that this is the coconut bomb that the nose seems to indicate. Lots of coconut, toasted almond, followed by toffee, caramel, and vanilla. Subtle hints of citrus (lemon) seem to appear after I swirl the beer vigorously.
Taste- Subtle notes of caramel, toffee, and vanilla start off the palate with some light alcohol. The coconut of the nose starts to follow these notes and become more dominant. Slight instances of oak start to appear but nothing too conspicuous. It somewhat defines the finish and blends well with the slight heat. This is pretty much a malt bomb with hints of oak (I'm guessing oak chips instead of a barrel). Solid beer that could potentially be really good to great if more of the coconut from the nose would show itself. Nevertheless, this is a really good barleywine. There's no messiness and the integration is amazing. There is a slight thinness and this beer suffers a little from the lack of complexity you get from a lot of barleywines. But for the price, I'm not sure if it can be beat. I think I will have to check out Deschutes' Class of '88 Barleywine to test that thought. Not a world class beer but I'm still pleased with this purchase.
Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with lots of syrup in the texture. Probably a little bit more than medium bodied. A little watery. Almost no carbonation but that isn't a big negative for a barleywine.
Drinkability- Smooth, easygoing. It's almost easy to forget that this is a barley wine. And the price is plus. 8 bucks for a 10% bomber that reflects the style well- definite win.
Overall- Very solid. This is a must try. It won't knock your socks off, it's not the most amazing barleywine, but it could be a repeat purchase- it's that mellow and tasty. I will be buying a bottle to cellar but it probably won't cellar long as the balance is amazing. I wouldn't be surprised if this had a little age on it already as I can't find a bottle date.
08-11-2013 06:14:43 | More by artoolemomo
4.1/5 rDev +2.2%
A - poured a dark translucent amber with a loose head, about one finger, produced with a vigorous pour. It subsided quickly to a nice foam cap. The cap remained throughout definitely a plus coupled with some lacing.
S - notes of hops come first then followed by a wall of malt sweetness, and fruity nuances. The hops are a piney resinous character while the malt provides a nice raisin and dark fruit aroma. It is rounded out by vanilla and whiskey notes.
T - Taste is very mellow, I would even say refined. It is malt forward, with notes of toast, biscuit, brown sugar, and raisin. There is a slight grassy hop flavor and even slighter Bittering hops. I think the barrel aging does a lot for the balance, making this very smooth tasting.
M - mouthfeel is a little light for the style, low carbonation. Went down really fast for the style, I would have expected more of a sipping experience, this drank like a much lighter, lower abv beer.
O - it's a very balanced BA barley wine, more of in the English style in my opinion, certainly more malt forward and low hop flavor/bitterness. It was missing some just overall body and there was nothing really lingering on my pallet afterwords, but nonetheless enjoyable if your looking for a more relaxed barley wine experience.
08-05-2013 02:44:08 | More by MaineBrewing
4.4/5 rDev +9.7%
There isn't much to say about the pour and appearance as it's relatively non-descript. It comes out as a very thin pour with a dark chestnut color. The head is thin and doesn't retain well. The slight head never really forms, but never really goes away either, leaving a thin ring of white bubbles.
It picks up in the nose as a ton of malts and an equal amount of hops comes wafting up from the snifter. Sticking your nose deep into the snifter reveals a good does of caramel malts and some alcohol astringency which masks the Centennial hops. The citrus scent is still there, but it's been governed well.
The taste. Three letters...WOW or OMG. It's stellar. Caramel malt overload with brown sugar, vanilla, and the citric hops. Alcohol is there, but isn't overwhelming, nor is the hop flavor. Strangely, I guess due to all the malts and sugar, it takes on a Belgianesque fruitiness. Really sublime taste.
For the type, it's the smoothest, easiest drinking barleywine I've ever had. It's mostly sweet and while there is bitterness, it never punches you in the gut like other barleywines. It's full bodied, very sweet, only slightly bitter, carbonated only slightly, and amazingly, it's kind of creamy.
It's an amazing beer overall and one of the top rungs of the barleywine ladder. It's easy to drink, has well-hidden alcohol content, and won't make your lips, tongue and throat numb.
08-04-2013 03:41:14 | More by RickS95
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.