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Bourbon Barrel Backburner - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Backburner
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%


Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  14.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 07-17-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a cloudy, muddy brownish-copper with a thin layer of head. The nose is quite complex, containing nutty, caramel, malty and maple notes. The dominant flavor is sweet maltiness with a subtle but clear hint of bourbon from the barrel-aging process. This is certainly a hearty offering, but it remains quite drinkable in spite of its full-bodied nature.

Excellent effort from a great brewery – maybe the best barleywine I have ever sampled.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2013 03:32:51 | More by 57md
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8.5 oz pour into a snifter at the Tap and Mallet. From notes last night.

A: Pours a hazy ruby brown with no room for any head. Hardly any visible carbonation. Head leaves some lacing behind.

S: Center stage on the aroma is the barley wine characteristics. Bourbon is certainly present but doesnt overpower the base. Complex aroma, loads of roasted malt and a slight hop backing.

T: Similar to the aroma this stays pleasantly focused on its barley wine roots. Bourbon smacks you in the face once you swallow but the aftertaste comes back around to the malty goodness. Mildly sweet.

M: Full body with low carbonation. Very warming on the belly and a touch hot on the tongue. For the ABV its reasonable.

Overall a very well done beer. You can really tell a good beer went into those bourbon barrels. To anyone into a rich and complex beer, I'd recommend this in a second.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2013 02:43:03 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at khyber - served in tulip

Clouded caramel-gold pour with a one-finger crop of tanned head resting on top. Wisp of lacing on top, leaving little lacing behind.

Bourbon-forward nose with alcohol heat, vanilla and oak. Caramel and bready malts with raisins and dates. Borderline cloying sweetness and burnt sugar with toffee.

Alcohol heat kisses the tongue up front with bourbon and toasted oak. Sweet vanilla meshes with toffee and dark fruit with candi sugar. Full, burly backbone with toasted malts, caramel and burnt sugar. Continuing alcohol warmth from the barrel with lingering sweetness in the finish.

Fuller body, medium level carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Pretty solid barrel treatment, although I understand the "cloying booze-bomb" reputation this beer seems to possess.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 13:43:34 | More by xnicknj
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's during Baltimore beer week. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark reddish amber color with a small layer of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sweet with a mild hop bitterness and lots of warming alcohol. I'm getting some brown sugar and dark fruit along with the bourbon note.

Taste: Brown sugar and dark fruit sweetness right off the bat. There is a slight hop bitterness throughout the sip. I'm getting some fairly warm bourbon, good for a cold night. Along with the other sweet flavors I'm getting some caramel and a touch of coconut. Slightly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit on the syrupy side of medium with lots of tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice bourbon barleywine. The high abv was apparent, but I still liked it and it wasn't too harsh. The flavors all mixed together well.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2012 02:46:29 | More by oline73
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10oz snifter
Draft at Ernest & Scott Taproom in Wilmington, DE

A: Murky opaque dark ruby red brown color. Basically no head. Thin ring of off white around edges. Appears to be low carbonation.

S: Vanilla. Candied sugar. Not tons of bourbon oaky notes. Sweet maltiness. Toffee. Caramel.

T: Some piney hop bitterness on tip of tongue. Then it's all very sweet malt: caramel and toffee. Wish there was more bourbon flavor, actually having some heat would be nice surprisingly. Sticky toffee pudding.

M: Full bodied and chewy.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2012 17:30:16 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep ruby color with lower carbonation at first but then as the beer warmed the carbonation dialed in. It finishes with a medium tan cap, light bubbles and minimal lacing. This was from a growler and shipped for a week so I am going to give it the benefit ofthe doubt.

S: Big bourbon and holy sweetness. Loads of caramel, some toffee with a larger than life vanilla presence and a touch of American oak to round it out.

T: Immediate caramelized sugar and bourbon, big caramel, light dark fruits and some piney hop notes in the mix but they all fall prey to the vanilla and relentless bourbon notes. The finish is a lingering syrupy, sticky sweetness with oak, caramel, bourbon and vanilla all playing a factor

M: Big bodied but I thought it was a tad thin. Very warming, numbs the tonugue after a bit, loads of sticky sweet sugar, pine resin, bourbon reside on the palate.

O: This is very much a raw, in your face bwine. A treat to drink but man will this kick you in the balls! Well done and considering how much I enjoy the traditional and oaked Backburner this was a must try for me. My only complaint was the bourbon heaviness but then again if you like bourbon heavy bombs this is for you. This must have been on a new barrel because the influences were extreme.

Serving type: growler

09-24-2012 13:14:29 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mgironta
mgironta

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured with a one finger white head that took awhile to dissipate. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy dark chestnut color with no real visible carbonation. The nose was really pungent. I got rum soaked raisins and lots and lots of bourbon. It was really enjoyable. The taste was just as good. I got huge notes of bourbon and raisin with lots of booze. The body was pretty thick overall, but for a barleywine it wasn’t as thick as I’m used to. The brew finished long and boozy. I really enjoyed this brew. I would definitely have this one again, even in August. I definitely have to get my hands on the regular version and see how it stands up to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2012 02:55:01 | More by mgironta
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.28/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a very cloudy, dark copper color with mahogany edges and a half finger, off-white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Surprisingly good retention considering the high abv.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Huge bourbon barrel aroma with lots of charred oak, toasted coconut and vanilla as well as a very prominent spicy bourbon character.  Underneath, there are some burnt sugars, caramel malt sweetness, toffee and leather. It takes a while to open up before you can smell anything but bourbon barrel, but once it does, there's even some dark fruit.  Hints of raisin, fig and plum as well as a ton of sweet booze.

Medium bodied with a blast of super sweet, hot booze that dominates the flavor.  Everything else from the nose is completely overpowered until it warms up substantially.  Really, really hot and unpleasant.  It doesn't even have good bourbon flavor, just overwhelming alcohol heat and sweetness.  The oak barrel is present as well with roasted wood flavor but only has a subtle vanilla character and not much else.  Way too hot and sweet with little flavor until the palate adjust and it warms up considerably.  Mildly earthy with some leathery malt, peppery spice and faint dark fruit notes but it's completely overpowered by the cheap bourbon flavor.  Overall this is an overly sweet booze bomb that's tough to drink.  I can feel all 14.1%!

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2012 02:43:26 | More by corby112
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler to CBS snifter.

A - Medium toffee-brown colour; very slightly translucent. A small layer of cream coloured bubbles scattered across the top of the beer.

S - Sweet caramel initially, followed by bourbon, oak and lighter vanilla notes. Some brown sugar and toffee aromas present in the background. The barrel qualities definitely dominate the nose.

T - Barrel characteristics up front - bourbon and oak with a touch of vanilla. Caramel, toffee and brown sugar come through in the background from the base beer. The ABV is very well hidden. The barrel dominates the base beer in this one and it is somewhat one dimensional, although still enjoyable.

M - Medium body with watery at times. Light carbonation.

Serving type: growler

09-03-2012 18:57:31 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's Taproom in Asheville. Review from notes. Served in a goblet.

A - dark brownish amber, almost a plum color; soft off white head; decent retention

S - caramelize apples, bread, candy sugar, dark fruits

T - burnt sugar, alcohol, bread, sweet caramel, dark fruit, raisins, plums, figs

M - incredibly warm, borderline boozy, full bodied, moderate carbonation

This is a BIG beer. It has great flavor, solid body, and smooth drinkability. The alcohol content is definitely noticeable and at times can detract from the flavor, but overall it was a great barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2012 13:58:42 | More by tdm168
Photo of B33R501
B33R501

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know. Has this brewery made a beer that's impresed me yet? I will say I absolutely love how Creme brûlée smells. In general, maybe along with Founders the most overrated brewery on the planet. OK, they are now #1, Founders #1A, maybe Troegs is #2. Troegenator's an old favorite, but the dreaded NN remains the most overhyped, underwhelming beer on planet Earth. But, as usual, I digress. Is that spelled correctly? Whatever.

Murky brown, oak aroma. Taste caramel, oak, bourbon notes. Butterscotch and toffee, which I usually love, but very average here. Dry with a little hop bitterness in the finish. Hot, but this is 14% abv.

Overall not nearly in the same class, ok not even in the same ballpark as Weyerbacher Insanity and or Central Waters BBB. But it did deliver the alcohol, and I didn't waste alot of $

Defines mediocrity. But it looked pretty. Insert (comment) here.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2012 20:57:06 | More by B33R501
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger.

Beer is murky brown with a small, off-white head. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell is full of bourbon and the oak. The oak in particular is very strong. Some caramel malt as well.

Taste is barrel dominated. Lots of bourbon, lots of oak. Some vanilla. A decent amount of caramel malt. Booze. Fairly sweet. Goes down easier than 14.10, that's for sure.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. A big beer.

Overall, quite tasty, but the barrel is very dominant and overpowering. It is a tasty drink but not exactly nuanced. If you are fine of bourbon barrel aging generally, this is enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2012 23:16:07 | More by jrenihan
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Premier Gourmet in Amherst, NY...

A: Pours a deep red, almost brown. It's a great mahogany color. There is a half finger of light tan head that fades into a thin ring along the edges of the glass.

S: The nose is sweet and syrupy, mixed with spice and booze. It has a huge malt backbone that has been sitting in a barrel for quite some time. It smells boozy, but not too overwhelming.

T: It starts out with a quick hit of sweetness, but the booze come on strong within nano seconds. It's hot and spicy, a touch fruity, syrupy, and sweet.

M: Full bodied beer. It starts off sweet, and then the alcohol takes over. It's not overly cloying, and the flavors shine through once you have had about half a glass, and you can begin to appreciate this beer. It's hard to drink, but it's good.

O: This is a rough one. It's boozy, but it's delicious. Sit and sip this one for a little bit. The flavors are way better as it warms. Eventually you reach a point where it's sweet, fruity, spicy, and hot. Damn. This beer really grows on you. I want more of it.

Serving type: growler

08-13-2012 01:11:48 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at premier gourmet and consumed 1 week after purchasing.

The beer pours a clear, rich mahogany with a thin white head that fades instantly. The nose has big notes of vanilla, coconut, oak, buttery bourbon barrel caramel, and of course...a stinging alcohol. However, despite the alcohol's intensity, this beer doesn't smell like rubbing alcohol by any means. The taste carries the same bourbon barrel characteristics with huge molasses sweetness, fig, coconut, and an insane amount of vanilla on the back end. When the beer warms a bit it's like consuming dessert and your meal... at the same time. It retains its velvety smooth mouthfeel even with its huge %abv. Although this beer isn't quite barrel aged naked evil status (my personal favorite in this beer category), it's pretty damn close and for a better price/availability.

Serving type: growler

08-05-2012 20:48:42 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at The Cask Republic. According to the bartender, this was aged for 8 months in Jim Beam barrels.

A: Clear mahogany body with only a thin cap of off-white bubbles that quickly recede into a delicate ring, and eventually into oblivion. Nice color at least, with some sticky alcohol legs. I guess it's no worse than average for its strength.

S: Smells more like cheap bourbon than beer. Seriously, I'm getting flashbacks to dorm room shots before frat parties. The booze is absolutely dominant, with only some secondary notes of mint, vanilla, and oak coming through as well. The mint is intriguing, but can't save it.

T: Watered down bourbon - like you put in one too many ice cubes, forgot about it, and let it warm up to room temp. I like bourbon, and usually love bourbon-forward beers, but I don't like beers that taste like crappy watered-down Beam. The base beer just doesn't add anything. Pity.

M: Thick, viscous, and nicely carbonated. One unqualified high point for the beer.

O: I was really, really excited about this one, but it just didn't work out. You'd think a 14%+ beer could stand up to any amount of barrel aging, but the bourbon absolutely took hold here, and not in a good way.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 01:58:55 | More by woosterbill
Photo of swetsastonic
swetsastonic

New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

excellent beer. the aroma is similar to some of the greats. perfect amount of bourbon taste in it. not overpowering, but still the focal point. I'm a big fan of the traditional backburner, but this is a whole different animal. happened to find it on tap at a local bar. it's beautiful. the only possible criticism is that it could have a bit more bite, but really, that's only if I'm nitpicking. drink it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 01:38:28 | More by swetsastonic
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Different than the oak aged bottles more commonly found. Bourbon aromas significant. Dark with little head though some lace. Smooth above average mouthfeel. Alcohol well hidden by big chocolate and spice. Sweeter side of everything which made it dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2012 12:19:16 | More by Sammy
Bourbon Barrel Backburner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.