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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

07-17-2012 12:19:16 | More by Sammy
Photo of spycow


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

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


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

01-23-2013 02:34:12 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

07-31-2013 15:18:11 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of oline73


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4/5  rDev -2.7%

11-07-2012 21:53:46 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of DrunkinYogi


4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

07-27-2012 19:04:42 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of oriolesfan4


4/5  rDev -2.7%

10-31-2012 04:50:20 | More by oriolesfan4
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 barleywinefiend


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

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


4/5  rDev -2.7%

11-01-2012 05:01:03 | More by duceswild
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

09-01-2012 13:58:42 | More by tdm168
Photo of rolltide8425


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

11-04-2013 01:20:21 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of ShanePB


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

07-31-2013 17:25:47 | More by ShanePB
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 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 KAF


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

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


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

04-12-2013 13:19:35 | More by IPAchris
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 Griffith


4/5  rDev -2.7%

02-25-2014 22:35:12 | More by Griffith
Photo of AngusOg

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.7%

07-31-2013 20:30:56 | More by AngusOg
Photo of outoffocus


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

04-20-2013 13:33:54 | More by outoffocus
Photo of ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

08-31-2012 22:11:42 | More by ShemRahBoo
Photo of jbaker67


4/5  rDev -2.7%

02-03-2013 18:36:15 | More by jbaker67
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
« 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.