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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

877 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 877
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 71
Gots: 105 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 877 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChadQuest
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a touch sweet for the style, with less of a hop bitterness bite, maybe falling closer to the English side of the spectrum. The fruity presence in this beer is massive and juicy. much caramel going on in the sweetness. Such an easy drinking 10% BW alcohol wise, but its getting kinda cloying after half a 22oz. There is a light hop touch of predominently citrus notes to help the balance but it's not the amount you'd expect from an american BW. Dinkability is great during one glass but suffers after that point from the sweetness.

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.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber served in a snifter. Poured a brilliant reddish copper with a quickly dissipating head. Malty aroma with some burnt sugar. Some citrus hop aroma comes out as it warms. Definitely on the malty side. Full bodied and rich mouthfeel. More burnt sugar flavor, medium hoppiness. Hops come out more in the finish with a drying finish. Also a bit of smoke flavor in the finish. Pretty easy drinking for 10%, but I found it a little lackluster.

Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Great looking beer. Deep rich caramel-red-brown. About two inches of head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S- Also smells great, although the aroma isn't too strong. Big citrusy hops with a strong caramel-malty backbone.

T- Some molasses, citrusy hops, some pine, caramel sweetness. Some alcohol too. Some rum raisin in there too. Roasty/peppery finish. Bitterness is pretty low. Robust and flavorful, I really like this.

M- Medium bodied, coats the mouth well. A bit of prickle from the carbonation.

D- Just a great beer. I keep looking for more flavors. Sweetness makes it a bit hard to have a bunch though. Not as grassy/earthy/piney as other Barleywines I've had. Kind of like a big, imperial APA, really.

Photo of climax
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cherry wood color gleaming from inside the snifter is bright and vivid. Head formed pretty easy after a gentle pour. Retention isdecent for the ABV, and blobs of bubbles cling together after it's all settled down.

The aroma is as bold and flavorful as it should be. Subtle hints of mint, citrus, and earth bring hop presence to a huge malt bill. Big notes of ripe red grapes, tootsie rolls, and cherries make up the bulk of the nose. Malt backing comes from caramel and graham cracker, while a bit of wood/root flavor adds some aged flavor and sophistication. The alcohol is in there, but adds merely a whisper of warmth.

This one seems much more on the sweet side than a lot of barleywines. It's never cloying, but there's a load of unfermented sugar in here, giving it an almost maraschino cherry character from start to finish. The taste seems a little less complex than the aroma, but it's a tough act to follow.

The body is a bit on the thin side for a barleywine IMO. More viscosity is always a plus for a sipper like this, yet I am enjoying it after a meal and it's quite easy to keep at it. The gentle carbonation adds just a fluff in the beginning and then the dryness keeps things crisp through the finish.

All things considered this baby's got a load of flavor. It's definitely on the sweet side and gets a bit cloying as the bomber wears on, but it never stops being a pleasure to drink.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

A-Pours out a seriously dark,murky,maroonish brown with with 1 1/2 inches of slightly off white foam that showed moderate retention and left concentric,sticky rings of lacing.

S-Dark cherry,rum soaked raisin,baked sugar,plum,caramel apple and slight hop notes.

T-Ripe,red apple,brown sugar,bitter,citric hops,molasses,toffee and pipe tobacco finishing with an earthy herbal finish.

M-Medium bodied with good balance of flavors.Not overly sweet with a substantial citric hop presence right now.I think some age would benefit this a great deal.

O-Really nice.I wasn't aware that this had been retired so I'll probably pick up a few of the remaining bottles at my local shop.

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

bomber (22oz) served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a luscious, murky mahogany tone with a finger plus of a beige/tan-colored head which quickly retreats into a collar around the glass. spotty lacing evident; nothing to write home about on that front. both somewhat subpar showings (head retention/lacing) forgivable with respect to the strength/style.

fairly pungent nose is rife with caramel malts and a discernible hoppy presence.

taste follows through as expected with a malt-forward, hoppy profile with the hops becoming most notable mid-palate. pretty good balance between the malty sweetness and hop bitterness, the latter resonating through the finish. not as big an alcohol showing as you might expect for a 10% ABV... pretty tasty - might be a bit overdone with the hops considering the style (IMHO... though i admittedly prefer the english version, so i should keep that in mind) - but enjoyable nonetheless.

medium-plus bodied, a touch syrupy. easy drinking for a barley wine. looks like i'm going even 4s across the board on this one. recommended, especially to a barley wine fan.

Photo of cowboy83
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Evarigan
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of julielynndubee
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of n00blar
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of phisig137
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Pours a mahogany color, fading to deep gold around the edges... great range of color. One finger head quickly dissipates, and leaves nothing behind.

S- Complex burnt sugars, resinous hops, a touch of leather, and a fair amount of alcohol/hooch.

F- Big flavor, but lacking. Lots of unfermented sugars here, with caramel hints. Solid hop bitterness, with only a touch of piney flavor. Sweetness is overwhelming on the finish. Unfortunately the alcohol is quite hot and forward.

M- Thick and lucious, creamy and smooth. Very nice.

D- A bit low due to the alcohol presence.

Overall, I'm pretty disappointed in this one. Usually Southern Tier has some phenomenal beers, but this one just doesn't stand up to the rest of their lineup. It is worth a try for the price, but I won't be rushing back.

Photo of paulys55
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of seangibbs60
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of cwd
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of bbeane
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... starts with a small head that disappears quickly. Beer is dark amber colored, very cloudy

S- I could smell a malty sweetness as soon as I popped the cap. Actual wiff from the snifter is super aromatic of mostly sweet maltiness with a very subtle bitter backbone

T- A little more bitterness accompanying the huge malty sweetness then the aroma lets on. Both combine nicely leaving behind a balanced aftertaste in your mouth along with a bit of boozy heat

M- Medium body with light carbonation

D- Tastes great, though I couldnt consider it too sessionable at 10% abv. I would def consider buying again. Not ST's greatest work, but very worthy to say the least

CHEERS!!

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A-Hazy copper-brown beer, murky, remiscent of iced tea. Almost non-existent head, tan colored what is there.

S-Murky, sticky hops, resiny. Malty semi-sweetness, slightly toasty with a nutty, fruity one-two punch mixed in there.

T-Earthy and herbal hop flavors welcome in a reign of aggressive hop bitterness. This bitter is certainly necessary, as it's trying its hardest to balance a big malt presence, toasty and nutty in character, with a slight bready sweetness. Raisins in there, as well. Finshes bitter, with a slight fruitiness and a linger herbal nuance.

M-Medium full body, moves around surprisingly spritely, with a surprisingly lively, yet not overwhelming, carbonation.

D-Decent. A strong example of an amped-up American barleywine with its rediculous bitterness and hop presence. Drink up :D

Photo of sjones5045
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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

Purchased from Table & Vine in W. Springfield, MA for $6 a bomber.

At the pop of the cap you know that you wont be disappointed by this beer. With a hiss, the aroma immediately hits you with big fruity, malty, and hoppy notes. Ok, that was only my review of the popping of the top. On to the appearance-

Out of the bottle backburner pours a copper-like hue, but in the glass with more volume it develops a very nice ruby hue. With a hard pour the beer mustered about 1 finger of head which produced some nice brussels lace but still disappeared rather quickly.

The smell as mentioned previously, does not disappont. I'm proud to declare that I successfully was able to guess 2 of the 4 hop varities in this brew before looking at what it was brewed with (I guessed chinook, and amarillo). The willamette really made sense after reading it on the bottle, and the centinnial as well.

This is certainly an american style barleywine rather than an english... Very hoppy as expected, but to be honest... the combination of hops seems a little odd initially- although it seems to work better by mid bottle or so. I'd predict that this would be much better with some age under it... maybe a year or two? Malt-wise- subtle notes of caramel with a slightly chocolatey finish. The 10% abv is apparent, but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel when young at least is a bit lacking, but I predict that some age on this would yeild a much better result. The hops are so potent that they tingle around the edges of the tongue and you can practically feel the enamel stripping off your teeth... I suppose that's a good thing if you're looking for a hop bomb, american style barleywine. I tend to prefer the english variety, but again, with some aging, this might be spectacular. Also, the initial sips with the head present are very creamy, and I enjoyed those most.

Overall a very respectable offering from southern tier, and probably worth seeking out if you're a big American style barleywine fan. I know that I'll be picking up some more if I get the opportunity, but this time I'll wait at least a year before opening and let this develop a bit further before I revisit.

Photo of Sparty55
4.25/5  rDev +6%

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

Appearance: Dark orange-red, very hazy (almost opaque), with a thick off-white head that sticks around for a bit and leaves some lacing. Very good appearance.

Smell: Crisp hops up-front, with a nice solid caramel maltiness underneath. Slightly sweet.

Taste: Strong bitter solid hops on the front, very heavily malted in the middle, with a sweet aftertaste. Strong flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Pretty much your standard barleywine, but it doesn't quite gel as well as I'd like it to -- the hops and the malts seem like characteristics from two separate beers, and don't reinforce one another the way I'd like.

Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy hops and low carbonation. Slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A very nice barleywine, one of the better examples of the style. Well worth trying if you can get it.

Photo of briiguy
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.