1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bourbon Barrel Backburner - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Backburner
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.

94 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112


2.28/5  rDev -44.5%

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%!

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


2.73/5  rDev -33.6%

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.


07-26-2012 01:58:55 | More by woosterbill
Photo of B33R501


3.05/5  rDev -25.8%

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.

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

New York

3.14/5  rDev -23.6%

On tap at Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, NY.

Pours a deep dark red color, with a little bit of visible carbonation, small half inch head, and not really any lacing.

Smells insanely sweet and boozy, some caramel, booze-soaked dark fruits.

The taste is similar. Just way too boozy, I wish it hid the alcohol better. Wet brown sugar, alcohol, caramel, booze, booze, booze. Some sweet bourbon flavors are hidden.

Thick, full, syrupy body and mouthfeel. No carbonation noticed. Not all that drinkable.

Maybe it's just me, this beer rates pretty high, but I really didn't like it.

03-06-2013 00:24:19 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of aszatk01


3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

10-27-2013 01:43:38 | More by aszatk01
Photo of RMoeNay


3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

07-26-2012 03:53:40 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

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


3.74/5  rDev -9%

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.

02-05-2013 13:43:34 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

01-17-2013 22:47:09 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of andant

New York

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

11-22-2012 22:34:04 | More by andant
Photo of JReites


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

05-05-2013 05:06:45 | More by JReites
Photo of krome


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

08-05-2013 16:06:55 | More by krome
Photo of smutty33


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

05-01-2013 17:34:23 | More by smutty33
Photo of jgunther71


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

08-15-2013 14:12:08 | More by jgunther71
Photo of spycow


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

05-03-2013 06:38:06 | More by spycow
Photo of seplo


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

05-20-2013 23:16:21 | More by seplo
Photo of infi

New York

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

09-18-2012 22:58:16 | More by infi
Photo of Googs

New York

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

01-05-2013 10:02:37 | More by Googs
Photo of sludgegnome


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

11-01-2013 22:44:15 | More by sludgegnome
Photo of KAF


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

07-03-2014 01:34:12 | More by KAF
Photo of BobCobb


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

09-08-2012 04:00:12 | More by BobCobb
Photo of mgironta

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

08-17-2012 23:16:07 | More by jrenihan
Photo of inlimbo77


3.98/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

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


4/5  rDev -2.7%

02-25-2014 22:35:12 | More by Griffith
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bourbon Barrel Backburner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.