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

Not Rated.
Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)

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274 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 22
Gots: 44 | FT: 5
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: 274 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dan25D


2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

04-02-2012 21:23:54 | More by Dan25D
Photo of BluBeers


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

03-31-2012 01:56:06 | More by BluBeers
Photo of GrindFatherBob

New York

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

03-28-2012 02:15:55 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of chevre


4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-27-2012 22:54:36 | More by chevre
Photo of Brutesling57


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

03-27-2012 21:30:59 | More by Brutesling57
Photo of kawilliams81


3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a dark copper with a 2 finger light tan head. Nice thin leopard spotting of lacing around the glass.

S- oak/wood, citrus and some dark fruit.

T- sweet caramel, citrus, and wood. Has some hop bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. There's a hint of alcohol.

O- good Barleywine but not very complex. Wish this beer picked up some more flavors from the oak.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 00:37:19 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of PeteRiz


3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

03-25-2012 17:42:36 | More by PeteRiz
Photo of ConorThomas


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

03-23-2012 23:29:39 | More by ConorThomas
Photo of silentjay


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep, yet still translucent mahogany with a two-fingered khaki head that quickly settles, leaving behind chunky lacing.

oaky aroma (virgin oak maybe, not getting much liquor characteristic) gives a sugary, vanilla aroma on top of the malty, fruity, and caramelly aroma.

starts fruity, woody, and sweet. sweet dark fruits come in next with some caramel, vanilla and toasted malts. boozy from start to finish.

medium bodied with subtle carbonation, yet not quite providing the syrupy body that would make this ideal.

adds a bit of complexity on top of the base beer, which was lacking a bit in that department. Doesn't quite become a complex, savory monster as many oak/barrel/bourbon aged barleywines are able to. It's better than the original, but not worth seeking out extensively.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 03:55:40 | More by silentjay
Photo of ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-20-2012 21:31:37 | More by ShemRahBoo
Photo of Jsmitty1967


4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-20-2012 12:30:42 | More by Jsmitty1967
Photo of BEERchitect


4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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


3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
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 Motozappa


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon the eyeballs: Slightly unimpressive with deep amber color & little, if no lacing.

Upon the schnozzola: Fruity like fermented figs, alcohol is apparent, an earthly oaken odor, vanilla validation, whiffs of wine & the tannins transpire (either from new oak or vintage vino barrels).

Upon the taste-buds: Wow pow, it's hard to tell what prevails at first, but there's a definite presence of sweetness, turning earthy, with fig notes, then fig newtons (a mild breadiness arises), a warmth, then alcohol & then back to a lingering, yet mild sweetness :)

Within the trap: Very light carbonation & perhaps not quite enough? Smooth and mildly creamy. A little warmth, probably from the high alcohol content at 9.6%

Drinking vessel & package: Tulip/Goblet from a 22 ounce bot.

All in all, a pleasure to slowly swill, but although it is well crafted & very complex, it's perhaps too much so for my liking in the Barley Wine style!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 18:25:01 | More by Motozappa
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 02/15/12

A: Pours a dark amber color with almost no head

S: Very malty with notes of caramel, oak, vanilla, and hops

T: Again very malty. Starts with caramel sweetness, tobacco, oak, vanilla, some alcohol, and then finishes with hops but isn't overly bitter

M: Medium-full bodied with light-moderate carbonation. Slightly slick from the hops

O: Very much like the base beer, only with added notes of vanilla and oak. I like the complexity of this, even though it's difficult to get past the sweetness in some cases. The oak and vanilla come out more and more as this warms up, so it's good to let this sit for about 20 minutes before it really shines and becomes a different beer than the regular

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 03:13:48 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of vitters03


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

03-10-2012 22:56:20 | More by vitters03
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.2%
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
Photo of joshtrich

New York

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

03-07-2012 00:30:14 | More by joshtrich
Photo of coz


4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-04-2012 21:56:35 | More by coz
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -16%
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
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up just because. Poured into a tulip glass after being forces to bowl, I hate bowling. This beer has an awesome color, deep transparent garnett red, it glows. Some puffy head, a little bit of lacing, actually more like speckling. Aroma has some pine, pith, rich malty toffee and caramel notes, and oak essence, did I just right oak essence? Well oak, its there actually it kind of takes away from the rest of the aroma. Some good things, balanced hops, citrus, pith, pine, rich caramel like malt, syrupy, sappy. Some bad things, the oak / wood flavor is a bit artificial and wood chip - E tasting. Aside from that I really enjoy the balance of this beer, some A - Barleywines are just too hoppy / bitter and this is nice. A rich full and slightly slick mouthfeel, its good, it isn't hot, and the alcohol hides well. I think this beer wwould be great in 6 months, perhaps the wood would relax at that point.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 04:17:02 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 HopNelius

New York

4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a 22 0z bottle and into a snifter.
A-Burgendy color, small head, little carbonation.
Smell- notes of dark fruit and malt.
Taste-figs, rasins, caramel, malt coming through, alcohol is there but comes at end and warms you, very well balanced.
Mouthfeel-quite pleasant lighter than I would have thought.
Overall-A great Barleywine style ale. I have been drinking a lot of Barleywine's lately and this one was a pleasure to drink, very drinkable but yet still complex enought to make it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 13:51:28 | More by HopNelius
Photo of Bierguy5


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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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Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.