Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
09-11-2012 01:33:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
03-19-2012 17:15:12 | More by BEERchitect
4.05/5 rDev 0%
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.
06-16-2013 23:09:05 | More by oberon
3.4/5 rDev -16%
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.
03-04-2012 21:16:12 | More by WVbeergeek
3.78/5 rDev -6.7%
this cant have spent too much time on wood, as the oak properties are way behind the malt, and the carbonation on this is still so robust. the color is a hazy dark amber, and its real heady for an oaked brew. the nose is slightly fruity, almost dried cherries or figs on it, with all the grain taking on a sweeter, molasses sort of complexion, with just a faint staleness. the flavor is rather uniform, with a real fruity finish and an impressively light body for both the alcohol content and the norms of the style. dark caramel sweetness from the grain, it tastes like unfermented wort, but the finish is much more resolved, dryer, and honestly rather clean for the start. cherry and maybe raisin fruit flavors as well. tons of bubbles on it, a well hidden abv, and a dangerously drinkable lighter body. i could stand to see a little more of a prominent oak profile on it, may mellow the grain sweetness, but i think the beer is solid as a more drinkable barleywine. not southern tiers best, but a beer not to pass up if you havent had one.
06-09-2014 20:07:31 | More by StonedTrippin
3.63/5 rDev -10.4%
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.
04-13-2012 23:58:06 | More by weeare138
4.3/5 rDev +6.2%
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.
07-08-2012 16:10:13 | More by barleywinefiend
4.1/5 rDev +1.2%
(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.
08-20-2012 15:59:28 | More by rhoadsrage
4.2/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
05-24-2013 03:58:21 | More by superspak
4/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
03-08-2012 14:11:52 | More by avalon07
4.28/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
08-23-2013 05:03:39 | More by DrDemento456
3.1/5 rDev -23.5%
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.
07-21-2012 14:51:58 | More by OWSLEY069
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
A: Pours a clear amber with a fizzy khaki head that dissipates quickly.
S: Muted aromas of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, chocolate, toasted almonds, charred oak, and mildly herbal, citrusy hops express themselves on the nose. As the beer warms a bit, a touch of prickly, warming alcohol becomes more apparent.
T: Notes of brown sugar, toasted almonds, charred oak, caramel, toffee, nougat, woody spices, chocolate, herbs, and lemon are underpinned by somewhat prickly alcohol. The finish is gentle and warming with a nice juxtaposition of citrusy, herbal hop and sweet, toasty caramel malt flavors.
M: Fairly full in body and a little sticky. Carbonation is crisper than I would generally expect for a beer of this style. Alcohol is subdued. This ale can hit hard, though it is very smooth, straight-forward, and drinkable compared to many other American barleywines.
O: A nice, approachable example of an American barleywine that displays just enough depth and complexity to remain intriguing. I could see this being a good introduction to the style for ale drinkers wanting to try something a bit stronger and heavier.
05-11-2014 16:00:55 | More by mrfrancis
Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.