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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

864 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 864
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 68
Gots: 102 | FT: 8
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
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Ratings: 864 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keaston
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visited the brewery, tasted this and brought home a growler of it. I figured I'd review it while doing some homework.

A - Poured into my Middle Ages imperial pint glass. Mahogany brown with ruby highlights. A 1-finger tan head quickly gives way to a thin lace on top.

S - Rich and inviting. Caramel and dark fruit underneath a floral and citric hop aroma. I could smell this beer all day.

T/M - Toffee sweetness, almost like malt syrup, is first and foremost. Hops are there for balance and linger for a bittering finish. Alcohol is very well hidden, mingling with the bitterness only at the very end. Definitely can feel the 10% more than I can taste it. All around a very tasty barleywine, though not as complex as the nose might indicate. Mouthfeel is very good, with just the right amount of carbonation that is gentle on the tongue and does not obscure any flavors.

D - Since the alcohol is so well hidden for the style, this gets a high drinkability mark. Goes down very smoothly and quite tasty, nothing except the sheer inebriation would keep me from drinking more of this but alas, not today.

Though not saying much, this is probably the best barleywine I've had and I'll definitely look into getting a bottle of this sometime in the near future. If you have a chance to visit the brewery, do it.

keaston, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Guarddog
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Guarddog, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of HerbCarroll
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

HerbCarroll, May 27, 2013
Photo of Wedgie28
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
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'!

Wedgie28, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Wheeble
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First off, let me just say that I absolutely love Southern Tier. I have yet to have a "bad" beer from them, in fact they are still one of my favorite breweries.

Besides from that fact, I was kind of disappointed with this beer.

Bought a case of 12 22oz bombers

It might just be my taste, or my assumption of what a good barleywine is supposed to resemble, but I felt this was over the top.

It reminded me of Bigfoot Barleywine from Sierra Nevada, which for all intensive purposes I do not recognize as a barleywine

Initial pour was great in my snifter, medium to light initial head, very minimal retention and lacing.

Color was perfect, yet lacking in that classic barleywine bottle conditioned yeast haze I expect out of a traditional english or european BW.

Smell is floral and phenolic, but a little spicy

The first sip was very reminiscent of a cascade hopped pale ale, which kind of puzzled me. It finished very dry and a tad bitter, which I have almost come to expect from American Barleywines.

The second sip just reiterated that taste.

The body of the beer is definitely there, but even after multiple gulps it left a dry taste in my mouth almost to the point where I wanted a glass of water to rehydrate the taste buds.

Drinkability is lacking. I have an entire case of this beer, and I am hoping that me saving it for the next year or 2 will really reduce the bitter characteristic and mellow out the beer for the better.

Maybe I am spoiled because when I think of barleywines I automatically jump to the 10-15 year old aged classic Thomas Hardy's or J.W. Lees, but it seems to me that most american barleywines are overhopped and underaged, and for one of my favorite styles and even favorite breweries I am kind of disappointed.

I keep thinking to myself, "the 5 gallon batch of barleywine I brewed last July that I let sit till Christmas was much better than this", and I am not saying it as a personal preference, I am saying that as far as friends and connoisseurs that have tasted this beer and compared it to my own agree.

Wheeble, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of renniksdb
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, clear mahogany appearance. Little to no head.

Has a light citrus (grapefruit) scent. Definite aromatic hop presence.

Medium body. Not syrupy, but noticeably thicker.

On first sip, it starts out sweet with a mix of oaken caramel malt and sweet grapefruit. Then goes to bitter citrus and finishes up with a sweet, mellow aftertaste. A good mix. Without the bitter break it might be too much sweet.

Though it weighs in at just over 9%, for a Barley wine it doesn't have a very alcoholic bite. I'd say that's neither good nor bad...just something I noticed.

Certainly a well done brew. Seems like it would go well with more hearty and savory dishes, or at least something to counter the strong, sweet character of the beer.

renniksdb, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Rubihahn
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Rubihahn, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Marcusr76
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%

Marcusr76, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of ian1976
4/5  rDev -0.2%

ian1976, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of jpnasty
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer but i wouldn't say I really loved it. Of all the southern tier products I have had this is probably my least favorite. First off this doesn't really drink like a barley wine to me, it just feels to tame. I like my barley wines to be right up in your face and make you know that you are drinking a barley wine; this on the other hand drank like a very malty IPA. Maybe a year or two in the basement would bring out some of the more complexity and strength I expect from a barley wine.

jpnasty, May 11, 2008
Photo of Iha
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Iha, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of mike1426
5/5  rDev +24.7%

mike1426, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of LisaSmeraldi
1/5  rDev -75.1%

LisaSmeraldi, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of overgrownmoose
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

S: Bomber poured into wine glass. Served at 45*F.

A: Deep red-brown glow. Almost no head.

S: Very malty. Weak notes of caramel, molasses, and an almost unidentifiable floral smell.

T: Dominated by sweet malt. The hops could use a slight boost to get within style. The alcohol makes itself known but isn't harsh.

M: Smooth and thick, bordering on syrupy. Just enough carbonation to give a light sparkling on the tongue.

O: An above average example of a high gravity beer. It is slightly sweet for my taste, but fits the style well.

overgrownmoose, Feb 12, 2013
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Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.