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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 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 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 DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into snifter at tap and mallet Rochester ny. Pours a hazy burnt orange with nice lacing. Sweet malty syrup and an almost citrus hop aroma. Taste is somewhat mild toffe at first but finishes with a big toffee caramel hop flavor with a mild vanilla woody oak. Its easy to drink....really easy but hits hard. Its better as it warms. Nice barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 23:26:27 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was served from the tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY into a Great Lakes Brewing snifter. The brew glowed a golden ruby red, holding a two finger tan head of tight bubbles. This left spotty froth around the glass as it went slowly away. Carbonation appeared light, and no haze or sediment was noted. The nose blows your socks off!! There was the deepest butter and oak, mixing and flourishing with freshness and robustness. It was musky, yet warming and spicy. There was maple syrupy sugars and thickness, and light booze to the back. Our first impression was that it was boozy and buttery, but not nearly as good as the nose. The flavoring opened with light caramel grains and syrupy sweetness. The booze cut everything, moving to the peak with unforgiving fusel bite. Black pepper, oak, paler malts, and faint honey flowed on the back. The booze really killed a lot of any remaining flavoring, leaving booze, wood and caramel to the very end. The aftertaste rumbled on with vodka, nail polish, plastic phenols, and more even oaky musk. The body was thinner than expected, with medium carbonation. There was light coating, but ultimately fusel bite to suck the palate bone dry. There was nice slurp and smack, but thin on froth or cream. The abv was appropriate, and the beer was very slow drinking.

Overall, by far the best thing about this brew was the nose. This is the closest nose we’ve found to be nearly as oaky and smooth as the Bourbon County series. The rest of the tasting falls from there drastically. The flavoring is hugely boozy throughout, with fusel fire burning away the rest of the palate, and decimating all flavor. The feel was also thinner than expected, again, taking away from the experience.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2012 20:33:00 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Southern Tier brewery.

A - Poured a mahogany brown with a thin cream cap. Very pretty beer.

S - Lots of oak, buttery caramel, vanilla, rich candy toffee, burnt raisins, licorice, alcohol.

T - Super dense malt, oak was very heavy, vanilla, burnt brown sugar, candy toffee, burnt raisins, pine and hints of citrus.

M - Full body, creamy feel, low carbonation, warming.

This beer is either way too young or just doesn't work. Very raw and powerful flavors all around. Nothing seemed to mesh well. I'd like to try a bottled version with some time on it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 23:38:14 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow bourbon, small dark fruits, and alcohol. In the taste, alcohol to oaky bourbon, dark fruit, and licorice. An alcohol bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol like aftertaste. Too big, like a shot inside a barleywine. It's just too much for me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2012 14:51:58 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Served in a goblet. 

A- deep chestnut hued red brown. Thin layer of cream head. Nice lace. 

S- citrus and floral hops, sugar, vanilla. 

T- so smooth! Big hops but smoothed out by the oak. Caramel, biscuity malt, vanilla. Only hints of the near 10% abv. Long smooth sweet aftertaste. 

M- medium to full feel. Nice dose of carbonation that makes the flavors tingle. 

O- one of my favorite barleywines that I've tried. Robustly hopped and so smooth with the nice blended flavors of oak. Excellent and highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2012 23:09:19 | More by ThickNStout
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weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dense mahogany with a small white cap that slowly fades into a gentle cap. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of dense caramel, fruit, vanilla, oak, whiskey, peaches, pineapple...sheer sweetness.
Taste is of the aromas with a candy sweetness that lingers with heat.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, sweet, and hot.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2012 23:58:06 | More by weeare138
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It never gets old, the effect that oak has on alcoholic beverages. Whether it's bourbon, scotch, wine, or beer- the maturity and control that the wood has over the beverage is undeniable and regal.

Pouring with a bright garnet hue, the beer shows surprising clarity as the carbonation penetrates the liquid en route to build a dense and creamy light tan, almost yellowish head. The barley-stained foam laces the glass and retains with confidence and masculinity.

The full spectrum of ale aromas rise from the glass with individual scents of molasses and toast, plumbs and raisins, malt and grain, citrus and pine, rum and oak... the complementary notes go on and on with balance, strength, and most importantly void of off-character.

Much the same can be said for flavor as the plethora of taste begin as caramel, molasses, malty sweetness, and medium toast. More fruity esters of plumbs, grapes, dates, figs, prunes, raisins, and cherries carry the sweetness across mid palate and begin to weave into the rummy alcohol taste. A balance of hops deliver notes of grapefruit, pine resin, and grassy elements, again at mid palate and fuel a medium bitterness in finish to complement the receding malty-dry taste.

Very full flavored with creamy and supple carbonation that's mouth coating, robust, and strongly textured. The beer remains creamy and full until deep into finish where the hop bitterness, alcohol warmth, and toasty-dryness closes the taste with a malty, semi-dry texture.

This oaked version of Backburner remains well balanced between malt and hops for a perfect after dinner substitute to port wines or sherries. The complexity of oak gives an overall woodish taste and powdery texture but also amplify the caramel, vanillans, and char while rounding off the rougher edges of grassy and sharp citrusy hops.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 17:15:12 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber with garnet highlights and a quarter inch cream colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving a ring around the rim.

Aroma is sweet malt, caramel, booze, and a but ifsoft grapefruit. There's a slight hint of vanilla and pine.

The flavor is somewhat dominated by booze, with a backbone of fairly sweet caramel malt and a hint of vanilla. Citrus hop is present throughout. There's a hint of oak at the slightly bitter finish.

Body is moderate, with fairly low carbonation, ending with alcohol warmth.

Overall, a pretty tasty beer. Alcohol is definitely evident. I expected a little more hop presence for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 00:53:22 | More by barczar
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear copper with barely any off-white head that almost completely vanishes with no lacing.

S: caramel and vanilla at first followed by woody oak notes. There is also a strong aroma of sweet peaches and orange. Light alcohol aroma on the finish. Smells quite good.

T: again, caramel and vanilla at first with some woody flavors. Bubblegum and peach flavors come through mear the finish with a light alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick carbonation with mid-low carbonation, this beer just avoids being too sticky sweet.

O: a good beer, overall. I really like the peach aromas, though I'm not for sure if they're intended or not. Still, it's not cloyingly sweet like many Southern Tier beers.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 23:45:01 | More by n2185
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at South Park Tavern. Clear mahogany, with some ruby edges. White head disappears immediately, but leaves a few spots of lace.

Great oak aroma, dark candied fruits. Figs and plums. Caramel malt as well. Great nose.

Some darker fruits and figs up front. Huge malt character, without a great deal of sweetness. Nice oak character with drying tannin, but manages to not be overwhelming.

Medium body, with lower carbonation. Some warmth from alcohol. Great oak character. Awesome beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2012 02:10:28 | More by Bierguy5
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 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 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
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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
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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.