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Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

249 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%


Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 72 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Southern Tier Oak-Aged Back-burner

From 3/22/14 tasting notes. Split this one with my bro. This was poured out of a 22 oz bottle into a couple pint glasses.

A) Darker amber with a little haze. Not much head, maybe half a finger. A light tan collar remained. No lacing noted.

S) Nice sweet malt, good amount of the oak, and hint of raisin and dried cherries.

T) Follows the nose... Loving the sweetness of this brew. Light hop bitterness. Very woody.... The alcohol is very well hidden, even as this warms.

M) Smooth with a woody coating for your palate. Medium bodied with lighter carbonation.

O) I'd go for this again... A very nice barley wine to sip on. I've probably over scored a few barley wines in the past compared to this one, because it's definitely right up there.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 14:22:13 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of glass_house
glass_house

Ohio

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. draft at Caliente Pizza and Draft House, Pittsburgh.

Beautiful dark amber, lets just enough light through to make it glow. Did not get much aroma to speak of, just a hint of malty bready sweetness...but I was also surrounded by fresh hot pizza so perhaps that made it tougher to pick up the subtleties. Very little head, and only a slight ring stuck around, with minimal lacing.

Slick smooth mouthfeel. On the heavy side of medium-bodied with very little carbonation. Taste was dynamic enough to impress, but not overly complex. Starts out with a caramel-toffee-vanilla malt presence accented by faint dark fruit. Just enough hops to offer some balance. Oak comes through smoothly on a dryish finish. The barrel aging definitely mellows this out a little. The alcohol is not "hidden" by any means, but it didn't strike me as particularly boozy.

Overall, this more than lived up to expectations. I went out specifically for the tapping of this keg and I'm happy I did. I will most defnitely be seeking this out in the future--would love to try it from a bottle as well.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 14:44:01 | More by glass_house
Photo of Roguer
Roguer

Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark nut brown appearance, cloudy. Minimal cream head.

Heavy oak and vanilla on the nose; heavy malts, but nothing stands out; slight booziness.

Extremely smooth and very tasty. Vanilla, oak, and caramel stand out. Whatever edge the beer may have had has definitely been smoothed by age.

Not a thick feel - about medium - but complex and sweet. Makes this beer a sipper.

I'm surprised to like this beer so much. It reminds me quite a big of Burton Baton. Definitely recommended.

Bottled Feb 2012; 23 months old.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 21:49:24 | More by Roguer
Photo of BastardKing24
BastardKing24

Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer while looking for something tasty, and it looked to fit the bill. Oak aged barleywine, yummy

Appears out of the bottle in a dark red fashion/amber, with not alot of head to speak of.

Smells danky, loads of caramel malty goodness with a good hop bill to back it up. Also I can pick up oak too, it shows up right along with everything else so I can't wait to taste it. Dark and ripe light fruit smells also contribute.

Taste is very good with a tongue tickling burst of caramel, oak, cherries, and a sort of port like sweetness that sets this apart from beers like bigfoot or old guardian. Also is a decent hoppiness to the tune of fruity hops with low bitterness. This tastes more like an english barleywine.

Feel is low carbonation and a slick mouthfeel that coats the tongue and fills the cheeks full of flavor.

Glad I got to try this as I think its one of the better barleywines I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 00:51:24 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep murky burnt amber brown color, very nice looking. Head is small only a finger on an aggressive pour but leaves some lacing behind.

Aroma is wonderful sweet brown sugars, caramel, maple, molasses, figs add fruit notes. Rich sweet malt notes some light wood earthy vanilla hints mingled through out hops are way underneath a deep citrus, probably more when fresh but this has been aged some and is perfection now.

Taste is like the nose big huge chewy sugary malts. Can defiantly taste the oak and vanilla more then you smell it as it mingles through out the sugary molasses. Finish is dry oak and vanilla a lingering sweetness and a light alcohol burn that blends well.

Mouthfeel is big almost full with carbonation level that is mellow. Smooth easy sipping brew.

Overall, the shop employee recommended this not sure how old it is but he said it had some age on it and it was drinking well, well he wasn't lying this is great. More like an English Barley Wine as the hops have matured past in your face bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 19:17:15 | More by mntlover
Photo of Ieatlambfries
Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber. Fluffy tan 3 inch head, which left sticky lace that clung though the whole beer.

Smell was dominated by hop oils. Dark fruits and malt were present.

Citrus hops hit you up front, followed by sweet malts, and dried fruits. Dates and honey, with an oak finish on the exhale. Warming alcohol is ever present. Yet still very drinkable.

Chewy mouthfeel, followed by slick hop oils that leave an oily resin on the tongue.

Overall quite an enjoyable Barleywine. One of the more balanced I've tasted. Quite drinkable despite the abv. Usually I like to cellar a Barlywine for a good year, but this was able to be enjoyed right away. I suspect the oak has tamed some of the over the top hops and sweetness that Barleywines usually display.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 01:43:52 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This ones got at least a year on it, which is typically how I like American Barleywines. Poured into a snifter

A- pours a slightly hazy auburn brown with some ruby hues, creamy off-white head that reduces to a small layer skimming the top

S- the malty notes have definitely kicked in, lots of sweet caramel malt with some oaky vanilla aromas, toffee, woodsy earthy tones, some piney hops are present but the caramel malt has taken over

T- surprising fruity notes up front with notes of citrusy hops and some fruity esters, the caramel malt kicks in mid-palate with some bready malt notes, dark cherry. The citrus flavors reappear near the backend with a dry finish with a linger of vanilla oak

M- medium body with low carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel with a fairly slick finish

O- big caramel malt flavor with a nice citrusy flavor to compliment, a bit of age has been nice to this beer, very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 01:33:07 | More by Treyliff
Photo of BrewMaven
BrewMaven

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Last of my Syracuse trip purchases.

Poured into a pint glass an hour after removal from fridge. Poured
a deep clear amber with a pretty tall off white head that receded to a cover.

The worlds weakest beak is picking up some ripe fruit aromas.

Right up front this may be one of the most flavor intense beers I've had in quite a while..a mouthful netted a nice hit of ripe plums and dark cherries followed by a caramel sweetness in the middle. Finish is showing a slight hop presence with more lingering sweetness.

Viscous, malty mouthfeel with gentle carbonation.

This is good...REALLY good.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 22:39:22 | More by BrewMaven
Photo of Kuaff
Kuaff

Alaska

4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter, cellar temperature. An oak-aged barleywine? From a brewery I already know to be awesome? You could say I'm looking forward to this one... Let's get it on.

A pour of this barleywine creates a two-finger, sort of tan off-white head that slowly recedes. It's the color of a wall or piece of paper that once was pure white, but has been forgotten by time, faded and yellowed with age. The body is deep, dark ruby red. A murky, thick red that I can only barely see through.

The aroma delivers strong raisins, cherries and vanilla upfront without messing around. Some resinous hops mixed with maple syrup and leathery bourbon are enhancing things even further... caramel and butterscotch too... oh man, this is amazing.

The flavor is brimming with vanilla, cherries, plums, caramel, and woody hops. As if all of this wan't enough, the finish adds some sensual sweet breadiness.

Thick and syrupy feel. Sticky, too. I love it.

I kinda knew I was gonna love this before even cracking it open. And I did. Oh yes... I did.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 01:56:53 | More by Kuaff
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to snifter at World of Beer Tioga. Pours a reddish brown, clear, with nearly no head. Aroma of sweet hard candies, bit of dank hops, but heavy on the caramel malt. Flavor is toffee, biscuit, hard candy, dry oak, vanilla root beer. Plenty going on but super sweet. I sould have shared this with someone, but it was only my wife and I at the bar and she won't drink it. Slick mouthfeel with lowish carbonation. Not bad, but just a bit much for me. On the sweet side and a bit more oak than I would have wanted.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 18:35:27 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddish caramel brown hue with a big thick light brown head and fantastic lacing

S: Amazing sweet roasty caramel malts playing off the dark fruits and cherries; the oak aromas bring it all together--God, this smells good

T: Roasted toasty malts up front followed by some subtle sweet fruitiness--cherries, raisins; the oak character dries the finish

F: Full bodied and fairly chewy though a touch too dry on the finish because of the wood aging

O: This is a damn nice barley wine and the year I let it age has done some nice things to mellow it out a bit

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 00:49:21 | More by dbossman
Photo of NewGlarusFan
NewGlarusFan

Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint glass

A) Pours thick a very dark brown color like caramel or maple syrup. Not too cloudy thick two finger head that lingers and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S) Toffee candy, caramel, brown sugar, Citra hops, oak

T) Sweet batter, same as aroma and a strong oak finish very pleasant.

M) low carbonation thick

O) Very good beer can't wait to have again. It's a great option for an American style barley wine

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 15:04:05 | More by NewGlarusFan
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a Gobet of this for 5 bucks at the Beermuda.

A - Pours a rustic deep brown mildly hazy with a pillow like inch plus of head
S - Smells of aged citrus hops, butterscotch candies, bready malts, oak notes, and a decent amount of sherry.
T - Taste is smooth the hops are fairly aged and take a back seat but still have a tropical tone. The oak is also mixed well within giving a slight woody taste but the majority of the flavors are a sherry and a mild stingy medicinal cherry aspect.
M - Like the regular Backburner the body is thick and syrup like but goes down smooth.

Overall like the oak aged Pumking the oak really does round out the hops and malts, making some flavors stronger and some secondary flavors come to life. Truly a world class Barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2013 05:03:39 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown. Cream colored head that disappears after half a minute or so. Minimal lacing. Some visible carbonation. A little cloudy

Smells of toasty malts. Vanilla and oak notes. Toffee and caramel

Taste follows the nose to the tee. Lots of toasty bready malts. Almost a fruit bread flavor. Woody oak with hints of vanilla. Sweet caramel and toffee in the finish. Slight alcohol heat

Feels full-bodied and coating. Some warmth and tingly spice from the alcohol

Overall not too bad. Approachable for those starting their forray into barleywines. not overly complex. The oak smooths the beer out and adds a nice secondary flavor profile. Affordable (8.99), easy-drinking and tasty but not the greatest

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 22:32:36 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of JWeldon
JWeldon

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a tulip at 46F

A: pours a dark, reddish amber with a half-finger of light khaki head

S: fig and raisin, bready with hints of oak and cherry

T: Dates and raisin with cherry, toffee and oak

M: medium bodied with a big malty beginning and a light hop finish. Balanced booziness

O: A solid beer, but not a showstopper. I definitely enjoyed it, and it gained some complexity as it warmed up from the 46F pour temp. There’s just a “stand-out” element missing that places it behind other barlywine-styled brews I’ve drunk.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 22:46:24 | More by JWeldon
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle I believe

a: This was a slightly hazy caramel color with golden edges; it poured with a small but long lasting sticky head.

s: Lots of caramel and brown propped by surprisingly strong given the age of the bottle, leafy lemon rind hop aromas. There was also some mild toasty oak.

t: Big bracingly sweet molasses and caramel dominate. Towards the middle and finish there was grassy, oaky, alcoholic bitterness that mellowed the sweetness very nicely.

m: Not thin, but thinner than expected.

o: I'm very glad I found one of these but I wish I had more. Great beer with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 10:52:16 | More by DIM
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Red-brown in color. Good clarity. A quarter inch of beige head quickly dies, leaving only a few small spots of lacing as a legacy.

S: Chewy brown caramel, brown molasses, brown sugar, toasted bread crust. Toasted oak and light vanilla backing. Fig and date fruitiness. Subtle citrus and earthy leaves from the hops.

T: Brown sugar, molasses, and chewy caramel up front. Toast and bread crust. Oak has an established presence on the mid-palate. It comes across as toasty and lightly seasoned with a warming hint of vanilla. Touch of spicy alcohol toward the back end. Just a slight suggestion of citrus peel a subtle herbal, oily spice coming from the hops. Fading finish of caramel, bread crust, and toasty, seasoned oak.

M: Thick in body. Viscous and very chewy. Light sensation of warming alcohol and a gentle touch of hop astringency that has almost been ironed out.

O: A sure winter sipper of a beer. It’s very nicely balanced and the oak is well integrated. Alcohol is very tame, even at the 9.6%. A solid buy when it’s available.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 23:01:20 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of gillagorilla
gillagorilla

Maryland

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (bottled on 2/28/13)

A: Pours a nice tan 1 finger head that has nice lacing. It is a solid murky amber brown color.

S: Sweet, sweet malt with some nice tropical fruit notes in there with some taffy and licorice.

T: Very light barleywine flavor. Not very sweet but a very nice even controlled flavor throughout. Easy to drink. Almost creamy tasting. A bit of taffy and licorice as well.

M: Nice solid carbonation that you can just feel in the pressure of it. It isn't so much on the tongue but just in the texture of the liquid.

O: Finally, a good beer in the past few days, it might just have been that I needed a break from stouts. This seems like a light barleywine, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It is a full and flavorful BW that is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 00:43:40 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling dates

A: Pours an orange-ish brown with ruby highlights when held to light. 1 fingers width of light tan head dissipates down fairly quickly, but leaves lots of lacing.

S: Caramel/toffee, very nutty, apple, candied sugar. Quite sweet, along with some floral hops, and subtle oak that I probably wouldn't have picked up if I hadn't known this was the oak aged version.

T: Follows the nose. Candied sugar, caramel and toffee, nutty. Some hop bitterness on the finish. Again it is quite sweet, deliciously so. I often find American Barleywines too hop forward and at times astringent. That is not the case with this one, as although the hops are certainly more prevalent than most English Barleywines, they still take a back seat to the sweet malts. Nice balance of flavors here.

M/D: Full bodied, appropriately low carbonation that makes it quite smooth, ABV is very well controlled, and drinkability is excellent for the style.

O: Excellent American Barley Wine, one of the best Ive had. Id drink this again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 01:18:55 | More by zac16125
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle (repeatedly poured) into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color with a beautiful glow. Given the small glass size, there isn't much head - just a thin off-white film, and even that retains itself poorly. The beautiful shade gives it a few extra brownie points.

S: Lots of caramel, toffee, and earth in this one. The hops seem faded at this point (not unexpected) with only faint notes of melon, peach, and lemongrass. I also pick up additional oaky, vanilla tones as it opens up in the glass. Competent without bowling me over in any way.

T: This opens very fruity on the tongue. There are still some front-loaded hop flavors (it's almost like a lemon cake, in a manner), without any obnoxious bitterness anywhere on the palate. Finish is subtly oaky, but more dominated by sweet, buttery vanilla - and after some time, some boozy touches. The end result is a very sweet brew best suited for dessert, but with a surprising drinkability level. Not amazingly complex, though.

M: It's thick yet soft on the palate - as a barleywine should be - though perhaps a bit too prickly at times. Once carbonation softens, the full texture is allowed to shine through. Oak helps to dry the finish up slightly; this is why it's relatively drinkable.

O: This seems to strike a middle ground between the hoppy American barleywine and the sweet, desserty English barleywine - and truth be told, I'm more reminded of the latter here. Oddly for the style, this is best when it's very cold; it becomes rather imbalanced and even harsh when warmed up sufficiently.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 22:46:16 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown in color with a reddish hue and a slight haze. Poured with a short beige foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet caramel malt, prune and ripe apple aromas with spicy herbal and citrus hop aromas in the background. Vanilla aromas surface and intensify as this warms. Full bodied, chewy feel with lazy rich carbonation and a pleasant spicy tanginess. Vanilla, ripe fruit, apple and prune flavors throughout. Bready and caramel flavors up front. Tangy, peppery, herbal flavors through the middle that transition to citrusy, bitter hops at the end. Finishes with a sticky sweet maltiness on the edges with a delayed hop bitterness down the middle. Incredibly malty yet a plethora of flavors and hop character.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 19:55:31 | More by IronLover
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hustlesworth

Ohio

4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-pours a clear ruby red with an amazingly thick and creamy cap of beige foam. This head is just ridiculous. Outstanding retention and bubbly texture and thick blankets of everlasting lace. Absolutely perfect for the style. ***theres STILL a gulp of foam left at the end of the glass. Gosh.

S- hops dominate the aroma, as shown by the IPA-esque foam. Clean and floral bitterness and very very spicy peppercorn and chile. Bold alcohol vapors seem barrel-concentrated similar to whiskey and the oak aromas are powerful and smoothly sweet in the form of cured wood and earthy tannins, but low on vanilla. Half dried orange and sun dried tomato with some mild sandalwood, caramel and toffee notes. Very spicy, earthy, woodsy and manly.

T- as spicy as it smells from this combination of bold hops. Intense oak flavor has been absorbed into every corner of the flavor profile. Huge tannin character and again, low on sweetness. Slight smokiness lends a suggestion of a less peaty Islay scotch and the hops play out a grassy lemony bitterness along with the bitterness of alcohol. Peppery and warm, very bitter but balanced by the oak flavors and concentrated grainy malt. The finish is long and whiskied, with the lingering taste of a saturated barrel and golden raisins.

MF- very low carbonation fades to almost nil by the bottom of an 8oz snifter, adding more whiskiness to the whole shebang. Backburner doesn't feel as hot as it smells and tastes but still has some warming effect on this cool summer night. The body is thickly malted and akin to a thin syrup which is completely acceptable considering the angels have taken their share and surely some H2O along with it. Eisbock concentrated feeling. Sticky and dry, tannic and unashamed. Not for Lil bitches.

D- could be the oakiest beer I've ever had and it's dope when you think of it as a whiskey although it has a distinct freshness to it also. The sheer amount of tannins has my pilot light flickering. A little more sweetness in the flavor would be appreciated but it's a beast as it is. This is a cigar beer if I've ever had one. Something dark to compliment the spiciness.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 02:52:47 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber tinged deep brown with a billowing one and a half finger off white creamy head that takes forever to settle,just great clarity and a great head.Toasty oak and alcohol soaked dark fruit in the nose,as it warms a real alcohol zip comes into play.A full creamy feel with low carbonation.Flavors are lightly toasted with a shot of vanilla and raisin,it's not overly sweet though as there is a earthy more toasted finish.I like this better than the standard version,it doesn't seem to be as sweet,the oak is not overbearing.another great one from ST.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 23:09:05 | More by oberon
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany body with unexpected clarity. Poured a one finger cream-colored head that has now dissipated to a thin film of suds, leaving good lacing.

Aroma: Rich malts oozing with caramel, apple and a touch of hearty spice (like one would find in hot cider). Not much in terms of hops and reminiscent of a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Of the many flavors, the oak is the most prominent. It brings out an almost cinnamon or nutmeg spice note in the grain. This creates a sort of cinnamon apple flavor that gives it an almost candy-like quality. Although it is hard to define what hop flavor is present, it is easier to detect the bitterness that is contributed by them. The bitterness starts about halfway through and continues on through to echo in the aftertaste. This strikes a good balance with the somewhat sweet malt flavor. Once the hop bitterness has faded after each sip, the heat in the back of the throat kicks in. Although I’d classify 9.6% ABV as being only in the upper middle part of the craft beer strength range, it definitely packs a punch in this Barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Almost full in body but not quite heavy feeling. The carbonation is on par with what is expected from an oak-aged brew and brings a lightness to the drinkability. Although classified as more of a sipper, it is easy to take this beast down.

Final Thoughts: I’d been curious to try Backburner for a while now (well ever since I grew to appreciate this style) and while not the beer I expected, it did impress. Just when I’d begun to peg the American Barleywine style as nothing more than citrusy malt-bombs, Backburner comes along and redefines that trend. With characteristics of both an American Barleywine, English Barleywine, and Scotch Ale, Backburner is a treat for those seek out the finer things. Would I drink it again? Sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 19:54:19 | More by JamesMN
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P: Murky mahogany color with a fast fading taupe froth. Wet lacing forms on the sides.

S: Heavy wood aroma, vanilla, sweet roasted caramel malt, creole spices, roasted barley, and a faint old milk aroma.

T/M: Super sweet upfront with toasted caramel, syrup, brown sugar, drinks similar to really sweet tea but with loads of smoldered barley and wood. Hops are earthy and very mild while faint chocolate lingers in the backdrop. A nice full body with moderate carbonation.

O: I hate to say it but I'm not a fan of this one. I like that the oak cuts the sweetness but its just too understated for the brigade of sweetness that attacks the palate. It's like drinking overly sweetened tea. Well put together and easy drinking gives this a bump in points. I read reviews about a strong hop profile so I really want to try a fresh version.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 03:30:40 | More by Hopswagger
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Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.