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Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Backburner - Barleywine Style AleBackburner - Barleywine Style Ale
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
940 Ratings
Backburner - Barleywine Style AleBackburner - Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
southerntierbrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Retired after 2015 - new recipe/beer coming out in 2016 with a new listing.

Added by BeerTruth on 04-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
512
Ratings:
940
pDev:
10.2%
Bros Score:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
75
Gots:
131
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
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Ratings: 940 |  Reviews: 512
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Derek, this was good drinking for a young fresh BW.The malt and fruity yeast was enjoyable in the aroma, there was lace on the opaque brown. Amarillo and C-hop. Appropriate above-average carbonation. Above average mouthfeel.Some complexity and significant fruitiness to taste.

 283 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Thin head on a minimally hazy deep amber. Clearer than expected for the style.

S: apricot, syrup/molasses, terpentine (mild), sweet caramel malts.

T: Lots of sweet caramel malt, mildly boozy with some semi-sweet dark fruit like plum, apricot and fig.

M: May be the easiest to drink barleywine I have had. The usual sharpness than one has to get used to as they drink one of these isnt there. This one is smooth and likely this has to go along with the clearer body as oppose to others in the style. Light to medium carbonation and medium body.

Overall: very drinkable, more so than most, without lacking the flavor of a solid barleywine.

 644 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Pours a clear copper brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a thin cap. A foamy curtain of lace lines the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and zesty herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, grapefruit, and citrus zest. A mild citrus zest bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine that has a very nice sweet but hoppy flavor. Taste is better than the smell but good stuff all around.

 616 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This barley wine as poured at the ACBF 2010. The color of the beer is a dark brown color almost black. The head is minimal and doesn't leave much lacing. The smell is a little on the sweet side, some hops in there too. The taste has a burnt bitterness that fades into a subtle sweet aftertaste. This brew is average to me. I would try it again to give it another shot.

 368 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

While this was overall a good beer, I was expecting more after having the Unearthly, Choklate, Pumking, and Jahva.

Pours a deep clear brown. Plenty of foam and good retention.

Smell is quite malty and very boozy. This is a 2008 bottle but it seems that the hops have faded. There is a little european hop nose, so I checked the bottle and sure enough they used Willamette hops, interesting.

The taste is again boozy but also malty. Not overly hoppy like some other reviews have said. Again, this is probably 8 months old, so who knows.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy, alcohol taste and effects keep it from being as drinkable as it could be. Enjoyable.

 654 characters

Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down leaving bits of lacing on the surface.
S: There are relatively sweet and moderately strong aromas of caramel and raisins in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and is quite malty. Some notes of dark fruits are also perceptible.
M: It feels full-bodied and a bit sticky on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The beer definitely feels strong from the warming sensations but the alcohol is very well hidden from both the smell and taste.

 670 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With fortified malt sweetness and a peripheral dance of hops about the edges, Southern Tier nails the flavor profile of American-style Barleywines with this nearly-balanced example.

Pouring a deep ruby or mohogany hue and with the signature haze of hoppy ales, the beer forms a masculine appearance and carries it well with a dense tanish head, long-lasting retention, and classic rings of lace as the beer fades.

The mouthwatering sweet sent of caramelized barley, toffee, and even molasses all take turns sharing the nose. Not to be outdone are the deep spicy hop notes of pine and citrus. Alcohol aromas are evident in a very rummy, cherry, and raisony way.

The focus toward sweetness continues with a balance of malty richness and toffee sweetness. The taste of heavy caramelization chases the beer from inital sip until the savory finish. A rise of citrusy grapefruit and orange zest complement the sweetness with an awakening sharpness and acidity that develops nicely into a clean resiny bitterness in finish. Estery with fruit complexities of cherry, raisons, and rum continue to blend in and out of the malty make up.

Big and bold, the early weighted creaminess is slow developing into a long and lingering finish of near-cloying and resiny-dry balance. Alcohol abrasion and biting hops deny the smooth and deeply developing finish of classics like Bigfoot Barleywine and Behemoth Barleywine.

Regardless, fresh varieties yield a brighter and hop-forward citrusy component while older versions prove smoother and more rounded. Should pair well with Stilton or Maytag Blue cheeses.

 1,593 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Hitachino glass. Color is the darkest possible shade of orange. Plenty of intricate lacing, good retention overall.

Toffee caramel notes with some orange peel and pastry. Spun sugar or cotton candy. Alcohol is in the background if you look for it.

Hoppy bitterness with a huge, rich maltiness. Citrus is in there somewhere, followed by leafy hops. Rich, spicy, a little doughy. Long bitter aftertaste. Very smooth, velvety feel, the bottle doesn't last too long. Very drinkable barleywine...

 509 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a caramel color with a very modest head that manages to dot the chalice with lace

Smell: Rich and deep aromatics, with fig and dates, treacle and a hint of piney hops

Taste: With a sweet treacle beginning, the dark fruits move to prominence by mid-palate, with a balancing earthy/piney bitterness as well; after the swallow, the flavors are nicely balanced and the finish is prolonged; almost like bread pudding in a bottle but with a bit of tobacco on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A really fine, well-balanced barleywine

 622 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some nice foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some floral malt also discernable. Taste is also a well balance mix between some caramel malt with some notes of toffee, dry fruits with a floral and bitter hoppy ending. Body is slightly above average with some great carbonation and no alcohol was showing. Extreme take on the style but still well balance enough to be enjoyable.

 516 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy/garnet color with a small, thick, foamy head. It left sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of rich malt, very biscuity. Also, good caramel and floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet malt. It was very rich with some fruity flavors. Just enough bitter hops to add some balance.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. Certainly a very malty one.

 435 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but probably from early 2011. Pours fairly crystal clear dark ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, molasses, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, molasses, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, molasses, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of fruitiness and dark/bready malt flavors; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice well aged barleywine style. All around good balance and complexity of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. This definitely tasted older than a 2011 bottling, but there is no real way to know for sure.

 1,528 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared some of this with ThePeskyDingo.

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Pours a 1 finger tan head. Decent retention with thick lacing. Color is a very cloudy dull copper. Kind of a sweet look to it.

Aroma: D*mn it's hoppy. Floral hops to the max backed up with a bready malts.

Taste is major floral hops again. Has some alcohol, grapefruit, and so major citruses to it. Very bready.

Mouthfeel is very bitter. After a while it smooths out a tad, but still remains bitter. The 10% abv comes out here a lot. Leaves a boozy aftertaste.

Overall, I really enjoyed all the hops in this beer. At 10% abv, I think having an entire bomber of this would take a while to finish. I highly recommend this one.

 705 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear. Deep mahogany in color. The yellowed tan head rises two or more inches at the first pour, then dies down to a solid finger's width, and then a creamy half-inch cap that holds a solid surface covering for some time. Lacing is quite nice. Given the strength, the head retention and lacing are quite impressive.

Smell: Sticky sweet with a distinct caramelish maltiness and citrusy/tropical fruits that include tangerine, pineapple, melon, papaya, and coconut as well as some apples, pears, and red berries. I can only assume that the fruitiness is a combination of yeastiness, citrusy hops, and sugary malts, as well as some alcohol. It's certainly bold and complex, but also welcoming.

Taste: The sweetness found in the nose appears on the tongue. It's caramelish and sticky, and even a subtle touch chocolatey. The fruitiness is right there with it, however, cutting through the sugar with gently acidic citrusy juiciness. And by mid-palate it's become more about the fruitiness (still very solidly backed by sweet caramel malts)! Bitterness then steps in, and you're ushered to the finish with an added brush of grassy and herbal character to boot. The caramel tumbles with the fruitiness. The bitterness tumbles with the sweetness. The alcohol steps forward and then vanishes just as quickly as it came. It's a long and drawn out finish with just about every note that's found in the nose making an appearance at least once or twice if not more. Really rich and full!!!

Mouthfeel: Viscous, to say the least. There are a lot of unfermented sugars in this baby. It's almost like tasting wort. The creamy, very fine-bubbled median carbonation just barely cuts through, and it's super creamy and remarkably smooth across the palate.

Drinkability: Overall it's a bit too much to drink beyond a short apertif, settling night cap, or relaxing, slow sipper - but guiding wisdom tells us that drinkability has much more to do with its special and unique qualities - and how much we enjoy it in those moments - than anything that has to do with quantity or length of time. I could easily enjoy a small glass of this for an hour. It's rich and full and complex, and very interesting and satiating. There are barleywines that are better rounded and far more balanced, but there's still something here that makes it very worthwhile. Certainly worth trying!!!

 2,369 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear medium to dark amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduced to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toffee malt sweetness with some notes of bourbon and vanilla - quite sweet and malty.

T: The taste is very similar to the smell with lots of malt flavors including caramel and toffee tastes and some bourbon notes - there are some light amounts of bourbon and vanilla. Very interesting with some notes alcohol near the finish.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some alcohol heat in the finish.

O: This beer drinks more like a bourbon or a whiskey than a beer, this is definitely a slow sipping beer to enjoyed over quite a bit of time. I like the hints of bourbon like flavors and smells but this beer is big and does not hide the fact.

 1,069 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 940 ratings
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