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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

248 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 248
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: 248 | Reviews: 72 | Show All Ratings:
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
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness

New York

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A dark chestnut brown/cherry wood pour into my Bruery tulip. The light tan head fades rather quickly, but leaves some nice sticky lacing that doesn't want to let go. Shines a beautiful ruby red when the light hits it.

S- Caramel, vanilla, figs, prunes, toasted and charred wood. Little hints of cherry lollipops, subtle sweet, candied citrus, and black licorice. This is deeper than a Leonard Cohen lyric.

T- Licorice covered in caramel... sweet and citrusy! Some grapefruit, orange peel, and vanilla. Wonderful dried fruits! Notes of cherry, plums, figs, and red grapes. Some hints of melted buttered popcorn and toasted oak.

M- Bitter/citrus/sweet/licorice... but with a buttery feel. On the thick and oily side which is nice! No sign of carbonation, and the alcohol doesn't really show it's head.

O- Silky smooth, sweet, bitter, citrusy, with enough notes to keep even the best playing!!! Awesome blend of caramel sweetness, bitter citrus/pine, licorice, and buttered popcorn. Nice mouthfeel! Nice stickiness!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 23:45:59 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of jtingue
jtingue

New York

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

Growler fill from the brewery. Poured into a pumpking chalice.

Appearance. Copper brown in color. Pours with 3 fingers of off white head, which dissipates quickly leaving some nice lacing down the side of the glass. A thin, frothy layer of head remains for a while.

Smell. Caramel and toffee are joined by a faint toasted oak and some mustiness, which I often recognize in Southern Tiers oak aged beers.

Taste. Starts off with a semi-tart grape flavor. Some of the more sugar-sweet flavors of caramel come in. This is balanced, and eventually overtaken by a slight oak soaked bitterness. The oak, however, is not as musty as I found it to be in their other oak aged beers. The slight fruity tartness comes back, this time soaked in rum. The finish is dried a bit by the alcohol presence, and contains a lingering ripe berry flavor.

3.5Mouthfeel. A moderate to thick body is broken up and made light by a moderate amount of loose carbonation.

This one really benefits from the aging, in my opinion. The original was dominated by a persistant presence of the yeast that was used, while this was much more balanced by the oak, fruit and caramel flavors.

Serving type: growler

05-28-2012 22:25:55 | More by jtingue
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

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

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 02/15/12.

A: Pours a ruby copperish-red with a puffy 1.5 finger slightly yellowed head. Beer is fairly clear with a small amount of visible carbonation. A little lacing after the 2nd pour from the bottle.

S: At first I got hop but there is a lot of carmely malt in there as well. Hints of oak come through. Lots of dark fruits like fig, raisin and plum make an appearance. Alcohol is fairly hidden behind the fruit and oak.

T: Smooth flavor of dark fruits and hop with an oak backing. Pretty mild flavors that collaborate well together. Hops are bold but don't overpower, malt is sweet but not overly. Oak kicks in to mild out the booze.

M: Fairly thick on the palate, low carbonation. Nice and warming in the stomach. Real easy drinking for 9.6%

Overall a fantastic barley wine made better with some oak additions. A must for anyone who likes barley wines or for those who dont think they like the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 21:44:12 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of rlee1390
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 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
Photo of prototypic
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
Photo of weeare138
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 philbe311
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
Photo of BeerLover99
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
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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 silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
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 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 Motozappa
Motozappa

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -2%
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
BEERMILER12

Maine

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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 avalon07
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
Photo of WVbeergeek
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
Photo of pmlondrigan
pmlondrigan

New York

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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
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 HopNelius
HopNelius

New York

4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
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
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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Oak-Aged Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.