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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 UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a medium citrus zest bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but really doesn’t come across as oak-aged in the aroma or flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 01:33:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
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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 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
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WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been in love with the Backburner, and when the base beer is as good as it is I believe you shouldn't mess with it. However, there's exceptions to that just looka at what Founders does with variations of Breakfast Stout. Pours a deep ruby red mahogany brown hue with a cream colored khaki head with fine speckled laicng forming on the sides of my glass. Aroma has oak and vanilla with hints of booze, caramelized sugars with a rolling breadiness. Also in addition there's a subdued earth, citrus pith, and herbaceous flavor combination that gets a bit jaded by the loads of vanilla and charred oak flavors, making the beer a bit dysmal for me. I like Unearthly but not a fan of Oak Aged Unearthly, this is basically the same type of oak flavor, it just doesn't do anything for me that the base beer meant so much. Mouthfeel burns a bit a, quite booze ridden with dry oak chip finish going on, cloyingly sweet at the same time not enough hops balance things out. Overall I don't like the booze level and the overt sweetness found in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 21:16:12 | More by WVbeergeek
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barleywinefiend

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark amber color with good carbonation leaving a small dirty white cap, some bubbles and a light amount of lacing

S: Nice and sweet. Notes of caramel, oak, vanilla, pine resin are most evident

T: Wow. Me likey from the first sip. A nicemalty sweetness with some wood tannins, toffee, caramel, liht raisins and light vanilla kick with booze. The beer is a bit sticky, sweet and coating but drinks well and super tasty. The finish is a little sticky but very persistent on the oak.

M: Medium to full bodied with light-moderate carbonation. A bit slick, sticky

O: I will drink this again and again. My biggest inital complaint with non BA version is that it super bitter, like Bigfoot, which I can not stand. The oak really rounds out the beer and makes it very plesant and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 16:10:13 | More by barleywinefiend
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rhoadsrage

Illinois

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

(Served in a snifter)

A- The slightly dense deep aged copper body has a sticky light beige film on top that last a bit.

S- The soft rich buttery toffee aroma has papery oak notes and some cream and dry hops notes in the finish. There is some raw oak aromas with green raisins and vanilla that come through as it opens.

T- The pine wood pungent hop flavor dominates the slightly sweet malt notes that follow in the finish. There is a soft raw oak, paper straws and green raisin hint that comes through in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is a bit dry and most of the flavors are very soft but the big pungent hops seem to dominate everything. The raw oak notes do add a nice character to the beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 15:59:28 | More by rhoadsrage
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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
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superspak

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/15/2012. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big orange zest, caramel, raisin, molasses, toast, toffee, oak, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of malt notes with moderate hop and oak balance. Taste of orange zest, caramel, raisin, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, floral, pine, oak, grass, and floral earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange zest, raisin, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, light pine, and hop earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of deep malt flavors with moderate hop balance; and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and moderately full bodied; with a creamy, fairly slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent barleywine! All around nice balance and complexity of malt flavors with moderate hops; and dangerously smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 03:58:21 | More by superspak
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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
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avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A hoppy smell, of course, with a somewhat sweet aspect to it as well.

T: Tasted of hops (not as much as I would have thought), malt, caramel, the advertised oak, and that sweet, fruity, almost citrusy quality. The oak may have actually mellowed this beer a bit too much, but it's still a good flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, clean finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not my favorite barleywine, but drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 14:11:52 | More by avalon07
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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
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prototypic

Ohio

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

Oak Aged Backburner pours a darker copper color. It’s clear for the most part. Looks a little red when held to light. An off-white head tops it. It rises to about a finger and a half in height before falling back to a surface covering. Held there for a bit. Lacing was on the lighter side.

The nose is good. It features a pretty sweet caramel malt scent up front. There might be a hint of chocolate there, as well. Oak is very much in the mix. One whiff reveals it adds a lot of character. Dark fruit notes of raisin and plum are apparent. There’s a hint of a spirit, but it’s tough to tell what it is exactly. Hops are noted. Grapefruit is the most notable hop scent. Alcohol is held in check for the most part. It’s not all that noticeable. Smells good.

The flavor is likewise good. I like it. The malt base is mostly caramel. It’s sweet. Chocolate malts are also noted. Tastes like cocoa. Dark fruit flavors of plum and raisin are easily noted. The work very well with the malt base. Oak definitely adds character and quality depth. The oak flavor is quite good. Hop flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, and pine are all noted. It tastes a little bitter, but it’s negated quite a bit by the strong malt presence. Alcohol is blended pretty well. Doesn’t seem like 10% territory. Finishes sweet and oaky with a touch of citric hop flavor.

Oak Aged Backburner has a medium body that is definitely smooth. Carbonation is light and restrained. For a big Barleywine, this is surprisingly easy drinking. I’ll polish off this bomber with ease.

I’ve always been a big fan of Backburner. Needless to say, an oak aged version was very intriguing to me. It definitely delivers, but it isn’t quite as good as Backburner. I think the oak flavor tends to mask some of its dark fruit and hop flavor. It’s still very good though. Definitely a worthy endeavor. Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 04:30:01 | More by prototypic
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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
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Bung

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Into Founders snifter. Dark brownish red pour. Thin layer of white on top.

Aroma, toffee like maltyness, quite a bit of herbal and red fruity hops.

Taste, some herbal and piney hops initially. Large brown sugar, caramel and toffee follows. Fig. Some woodiness, peat, cocoa even.
Time has been kind to this, making it somewhere in between an American and English Barleywine.

Med-full body, just enough carbonation. Coats well, not too sticky. Alcohol is very well hidden.
Overall very good.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 03:04:43 | More by Bung
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. DOB 02/15/12

It pours a clear reddish brown with a quickly-dissipating off-white head. It leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is nice. Very American-tinged which I usually appreciate in the aroma of barleywines. Nice hop smells, though not super hoppy with some candied orange sort of smell. It pairs with just an amazing malt smell and beautiful oak notes. This brew smells amazing imo.

The flavor is good too. More earthiness, more cloying caramel-like sweetness, but overall nice. Fruit notes creep in after a few quaffs. I feel like the oak doesn't shine as much in the flavor. I think my tolerance for alcohol flavor is strengthening because this one doesn't seem to bad, at least i a not getting any annoying alcoholic notes like others have had.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 18:57:37 | More by crossovert
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philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A finger and a half worth of khaki colored fluff with lots of big chunky bubbles sitting on top... Modest retention gives way to a full slightly fluffy lacing... The color is a medium brown... Lightly carbonated with only a couple stray bubbles rising at various paces...

S - Caramel... The oak character stands out as well... Dark fruits... A bit of booze... Some subtle woody notes... Very nice... Very complex... Each whiff reveals something new...

T - Wood, oak, and booze to start... Brown sugar... Caramel... Walnuts... Very light dark fruit notes... The booziness and oak linger on the palette and punish the tongue in a rather pleasant way...

M - Medium bodied yet surprisingly light.. Light carbonation... Sleek... Smooth... The finish is a bit chalky...

D - Very nice offering here from Southern Tier... I wasn't even aware I had purchased the oak aged version until I took my first sip... Lots of good things going on here, but perhaps a bit too young... A little time in the bottle could round this one into elite Barleywine contention...

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 01:17:56 | More by philbe311
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rlee1390

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear amber, two finger head that tries to be tan

S-Oak caramel, toffee, hops are present.

T-Oak, caramel, darker malts, some bitterness, grassy, raisins and chocoalte.

M-Medium bodied, chewy with some carbonation

O-I've had the regular Back Burner but never reviewed it. Should seek it out for comparison.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 00:43:45 | More by rlee1390
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
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jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

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

Beer is a very dark amber, with a moderately sized beige head. Good lacing, OK retention.

Lots of oak in the nose, along with caramel malt, vanilla, some dry dark fruit. Nice smell, the oak is strong but blends in well.

Taste consists of caramel, oak, raisin, vanilla. Some bitterness from the hops, and perhaps a bit of grass and citrus peaking through the rest of the beer. The hope and the barrel leave the beer not as sweet as it probably would be otherwise (which I think would be quite a bit, given how my mouth is getting dried out).

Beer is full bodied, but a little thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation. Dries out the mouth in a big way.

Overall, pretty good. Glad to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 18:09:54 | More by jrenihan
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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
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BeerLover99

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: tan/rust body, trace white head,
dainty lacing ring

S: oak, barley, mild whiff of caramel/toffee

T: sweet caramel, big oak, solid barley, malt,
little boozy, oily/mild bitter finish.

M: med body, oily/mild tongue prick mouth
smooth

O: Usually LOVE every bomber by Southern Tier,
but this one was just above average.
I would get again, since it is one of my fav styles.

NICE, NOT MUST HAVE!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 15:36:55 | More by BeerLover99
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.