Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
4.6/5 rDev +14.7%
2007 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, fruit, a good amount of hops and a little bit of alcohol.
T: The taste starts out sweet up front with strong flavors of brown sugar, caramel & dark fruit. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. There's a hearty malt character and no trace of the alcohol that you get in the smell. The after-taste is slightly sweet.
M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a really good beer to drink for a long time and yet another excellent big beer from Southern Tier.
03-23-2009 03:10:27 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.22/5 rDev +5.2%
A - One finger of off-white foam on top of a hazy, dark brown body with amber highlights. The head settles quickly and leaves light lacing on the glass.
S - Caramel and brown sugar aromas dominate with background notes of mustard, blue veined cheese, and caraway seeds with a hint of vanilla.
T - Sweet, bready malt and thick caramel up front. Some brown sugar appears in the middle with spicy hops and some mustard notes. Finishes with more brown sugar and caramel as well as spicy, earthy hops flavor and fairly strong bitterness. Lingering caramel takes on a more burnt, molasses like flavor in the aftertaste along with a hop character that becomes mustardy and tobacco like with a lingering note of blue cheese.
M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.
D - Quite drinkable for a beer of this strength and for the style. The alcoholic strength is, oddly, only really apparent in the nose and blends nicely with the thick, rich malt in the flavor profile. The caramel and brown sugar character is rich and simple but character is added by the spicy hops and the darkening of the flavors in the finish. The hop bitterness is surprisingly smooth and restrained for an American barleywine and this allows the beer to be unusually quaffable.
09-02-2010 06:13:23 | More by nickfl
4.7/5 rDev +17.2%
Appearance is deep ruby almost a mahogany brown like color, with a large billowing beige head leaves fine bubbled lacing all around my glass with each sip in very even patterns. Aromatics are wonderful with layers of over ripened fruits reduced in a red wine with plums, raisins, and figs really standing out. Sweet waves of malts arise with hidden layers of hops I'm getting pine and citrus mainly, but the hop profile is so well played here. Flavors blend so harmoniously with abrasive big hop additions leaving slick bitterness throughout each sip, and big chewy malt layers of caramelized brown sugar with fruit additions again naming the figs, raisins, and plums. Complex hoppy flavors blend into the huge malt profile with herbal, citric, and coniferous qualities. A great barleywine as complex as all hell while still remaining painfully drinkable. Mouthfeel is huge with residual sugars sticking to the palate the hop oils from the boil and dry hopping really help lubricate things a bit. Carbonation is dead on even with every sip yet there's enough to send hop burps your way, like I said big chewy body. Drinkability is amazing especially for a barleywine at 10% I could get mangled on this brew without ever realizing my glass was being emptied. Even if your not into the bigger beers this one forms it's own path and really opens my eyes, well made I definitely applaud Southern Tier's latest efforts with all of the Imperials. By the way this was in a 22ounce bottle with a twist cap, WTF? Picked it up in Boardman, OH at Vintage Estate for 6.99 easily would have paid 13 without thinking it over down here in the Burgh thank god for Ron Bush and company. This was one of the Southern Tier's I never found in the Burgh.
10-31-2007 19:28:07 | More by WVbeergeek
3.93/5 rDev -2%
Thanks to koopa for this one, cheers Dennis!
Pours a chill hazed chestnut with a finger of chunky tan head. Tons of sticky lacing lines my glass along with great head retention
S: Figs, plums, a whisper of booze & breadyness, fades a bit as this warms...
T: Follows the nose, a bit of raisin & leafy hops as well up front, very English up front to me....More fruittyness with a touch of persimmons, cinnamon & dryness, plus doughyness as this warms. Finishes with slight smokeyness, toffee, then more figgyness
MF: Semi-chewy fairly low carbonation, nice balance
Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style. This hides the Amarillo & Chinook hops too well, I will rate this a decent English Barley wine or a middling American BW, I prefer to be optimistic on this one!
08-27-2009 05:04:05 | More by russpowell
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
Clear, crimson hued, slim, creamy head.
Aroma: rich, pungent, dark fruit meets brandy...cherry notes, sweet, but not too syrupy, rounds out dryly in the end.
Drinkin'...plump on the palate, and right quick, alcohol comes burning in, blazes the back of the mouth. Profusely malty, gathering sweetness, growing texture, bitter hops scouring the tongue.
Flavor lasts long in the mouth. Persistent finish. Big, hot, wet and juicy. Mmmm-mmm.
07-10-2008 04:54:59 | More by feloniousmonk
4.13/5 rDev +3%
enjoyed the 2012 oak aged version chilled in a tulip with tenderbranson69 from the bomber.
The color is deep cocoa brown with tranfslucent clarity and thick cap of tan. The smell is caramel with a touch of alcohol and slight hint of wood with a nice fruity tinge of yeast and light malt caramel odors with mild vinous yeast element giving that dried fruit you may excpect in the nose. The feel is sweet but potent with moderate bitterness and somewhat dark fruit essence with good balance of bitterness from hops w/ a semi-dry finish
The taste is familiar in that it has that dark fruit tinged flavor with lots of caramel up front with a good amount of alcohol and light flavors of malt with a gentle roasted taste in the background an almost port-like with a nice blend of hops giving the barleywine a slight pine accent to the mild toffee elements in the malt. Overall a pretty tasty barleywine and respresents the style well
05-30-2013 14:04:32 | More by Slatetank
4.33/5 rDev +8%
The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich, warm, malty scent that boasts of pale and caramel malts along with a loads of hops. It's bitter in the nose, yet the sweet smell of malts also stands out. The taste is wonderful. It has a bitter hop flavor at first and slowly moves to warm burnt toffee in the finish. It's rich and full bodied; a slow drinker, but one that's quite enjoyable. This is a tastey barleywine. I've got one stored away. I can't wait to compare. It's full flavored and full of hops; a great drinker.
10-18-2007 02:43:41 | More by WesWes
4.22/5 rDev +5.2%
The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, malt, pine and citrus hops. There is a great combination of fruit and malts that I really love in a barleywine. The flavor is caramel malt with a good amount of piney hops. Very soft mouthfeel and low carbonation.
05-31-2010 18:14:32 | More by Mora2000
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
4.13/5 rDev +3%
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.
10-19-2008 21:58:01 | More by smcolw
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
4/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
08-12-2008 04:09:06 | More by GClarkage
3.93/5 rDev -2%
Pours a dark amber/brown color with a foamy off-white head, slight lacing. Pleasant aroma of hops, alcohol and dark fruit. Very quaffable for a barley wine especially at 10% ABV. Tons of hops up front with dark fruit and a nice alcohol warmth in the finish.
11-27-2008 17:42:03 | More by corby112
4.22/5 rDev +5.2%
Thanks to liquidarrogance for this...
Appears a semi transparent caramel toned brown with a small whit cap that quickly fades. Spotty bits if lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, molasses, dates, nougat, and fried dough. Wow...reminds me of a fried snickers bar.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a caramel infused cherry flavor pulling through with tobacco leaves and vanilla nougat.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, slick, and oily on the finish. Light traces of the 10% abv is evident with warmth and lip smacking goodness in the swallow.
04-18-2010 03:42:49 | More by weeare138
4.1/5 rDev +2.2%
Thanks to Drunkmonk!
Poured dark amber to brown with a small cream head. Nose is strong on the citrusy hops, grapefruit, some tropical fruit nots, pineapple and mango. Taste is quite similar with light cocoa undertones and citrus notes as well as a bit of caramel and dried fruits. 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. Very drinkable!
03-06-2009 05:25:08 | More by barleywinefiend
4.25/5 rDev +6%
Bomber bottle, (gotta love 22 ounce bombers of Barley wine!, I remember the days of 7.5 ounce Old "Crusties...") this one pours a rich, dark honey tone of amber. seems pretty clear and it supports a long lasting dark tan head, that slowly goes holey and leaves tons of sticky sheeting and dense lacing. Nose is of dark toast, brandy and some alcohol. This is a very tasty, full bodied, malty BWine. Rich and smooth and thoroughly dangerous at 10%. Real nice winter beer/sipper from STBC, go get some and enjoy with care!
11-09-2007 00:39:19 | More by Billolick
3.63/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
08-24-2008 20:44:00 | More by Georgiabeer
3.53/5 rDev -12%
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.
01-01-2008 00:09:06 | More by akorsak
3.95/5 rDev -1.5%
Served on tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY
A: Pours a clear medium to dark amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduced to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toffee malt sweetness with some notes of bourbon and vanilla - quite sweet and malty.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell with lots of malt flavors including caramel and toffee tastes and some bourbon notes - there are some light amounts of bourbon and vanilla. Very interesting with some notes alcohol near the finish.
M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some alcohol heat in the finish.
O: This beer drinks more like a bourbon or a whiskey than a beer, this is definitely a slow sipping beer to enjoyed over quite a bit of time. I like the hints of bourbon like flavors and smells but this beer is big and does not hide the fact.
09-26-2012 02:28:40 | More by dbrauneis
4.35/5 rDev +8.5%
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a warm deep reddish-brown body with a sea of tiny bubbles. There is a sticky light tan head that makes sheets of foam on the glass after each sip.
S-The sweet slightly floral smell of caramel malt has a cream note to it with a faint watermelon smell that soon blooms into a musty green pungent hop nose.
T- The taste of sweet caramel malt has some notes of dark caramel malt sweetness in the background followed by a spicy hop finish with some earthy pine hops. The hop bitterness along with the malt sweetness both linger a bit after the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real alcohol heat.
D-The malt flavors are robust and the hops flavors are just as robust and more complex. This is a nice hoppy beer to sip by the fire on those subzero nights.
01-26-2008 03:31:53 | More by rhoadsrage
4.47/5 rDev +11.5%
Pours a two finger light tan head that faded quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Caramel nose. Flavor is caramel and some molasses and alcohol. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.
12-21-2008 23:16:57 | More by jdhilt
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.