Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
89
very good
509 Reviews
Backburner - Barleywine Style AleBackburner - Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
509
Ratings:
932
Avg:
4
pDev:
14%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
131
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 509 | Ratings: 932
Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to liquidarrogance for this...
Appears a semi transparent caramel toned brown with a small whit cap that quickly fades. Spotty bits if lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, molasses, dates, nougat, and fried dough. Wow...reminds me of a fried snickers bar.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a caramel infused cherry flavor pulling through with tobacco leaves and vanilla nougat.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, slick, and oily on the finish. Light traces of the 10% abv is evident with warmth and lip smacking goodness in the swallow.

 570 characters

Photo of Derek
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A twist-top bomber?

A: Dark copper-brown, off-white head, some retention, good lace.

S: Plenty of fresh hop aroma: pine, peachy-appricot, woody spice; brandy.

T: Assertive bitterness, piney, light citrus, amarillo-aspirin, burnt toffee, light fruityness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. Some BW's need some age on them, but this one is really great fresh.

M: Moderate body (well-attenuated), slightly creamy, hints of hop acidity, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable... the 10% could really catch up to you!

 529 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a two finger light tan head that faded quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Caramel nose. Flavor is caramel and some molasses and alcohol. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

 277 characters

Photo of corby112
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/brown color with a foamy off-white head, slight lacing. Pleasant aroma of hops, alcohol and dark fruit. Very quaffable for a barley wine especially at 10% ABV. Tons of hops up front with dark fruit and a nice alcohol warmth in the finish.

 257 characters

Photo of dar482
2.69/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

This was bottled 2/15/12. Basically two year old bottle.

The beer comes in a super hazy copper color with ruby red coming through in the light. Not much of a head.

The aroma has oak chips, tons of oxidation, wet leaves, cardboard. A tinge of dark toffee sweetness.

The beer follows with oak woodiness, some syrupy caramel sweetness, but the beer is generally dominated of oxidation. Chewy leaves, potpourri flowers, wet cardboard. Not much bitterness with a slightly empty finish.

I would not recommend empty this beer as there lacks sweetness and the oxidation tastes horrible. Tons of oak, oxidation, without much sweetness. I had to pour it out.

 653 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drunkmonk!
Poured dark amber to brown with a small cream head. Nose is strong on the citrusy hops, grapefruit, some tropical fruit nots, pineapple and mango. Taste is quite similar with light cocoa undertones and citrus notes as well as a bit of caramel and dried fruits. Sugary mouthfeel with a bit of peppery tingling in the background, finishes with a nice citrusy dry hoppiness. Alcohol is very well hidden for the strength. Very drinkable!

 454 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

85 ibu barley wine style. Hopped with Chinook and dried with Amarillo and centennial.

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with virtually no head.

S: Pine and spruce on nose.

T: Huge sticky pine flavor and palate. Bitter and dry with some dried grapefruit. 10.0 abv. Deep caramelized flavor with some bitterness that ends with a touch of lemon citrus. Some alcohol warming but otherwise very drinkable considering abv. Big dry pine bitterness from hops.

M: hearty malty mouthful. Reminds me of a arrogant bastard.

D: very good drinkability even for high abv%

 559 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a warm deep reddish-brown body with a sea of tiny bubbles. There is a sticky light tan head that makes sheets of foam on the glass after each sip.

S-The sweet slightly floral smell of caramel malt has a cream note to it with a faint watermelon smell that soon blooms into a musty green pungent hop nose.

T- The taste of sweet caramel malt has some notes of dark caramel malt sweetness in the background followed by a spicy hop finish with some earthy pine hops. The hop bitterness along with the malt sweetness both linger a bit after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real alcohol heat.

D-The malt flavors are robust and the hops flavors are just as robust and more complex. This is a nice hoppy beer to sip by the fire on those subzero nights.

 841 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish body with slowly receeding one-finger offwhite head and lace rings. A great floral hop smell along with bready caramel malts. Medium to full chewey body with a strong wood presence as well as a bit of yeast and caramel/honeyesque sweetness. Feels sticky and balanced from minor citric hops in backbite and finishes a little crisp as well thanks to carb and well-hidden ABV. A well-balanced sweet and fruity beer that has a nice finish and is worth trying at least once.

 487 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Capone's a few months back.

A: The barleywine is a deep amber color, brown with enough reddish tint that it could be a black cherry cola. A finger and a half of head topped the beer but did not retain for very long, nor did it lace.

S: The nose is replete with lots and lots of malts, grainy, bready malts with dark alefruits and a citrusy undertone.

T: This is a wickedly sweet beer. The malts drip with green grapes, sweet and biting. Dark fruits contribute to the sweetness. The malts coat the tastebuds with their intensity. Cold, the hops add a note of bitterness but it isn't enough to put a dent in that malt profile. If you are patient enough to really let the ale warm up, a citrusy hop profile appears with a dash, spicing up the taste significantly.

M: This is easily mistaken for an English barleywine, with the focus on lots o' malts.

D: Let this beer warm up for a rather long period of time. It releases more of the hops and those hops are desperately needed to overcome the malty sweetness.

 1,041 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark amber color with an off-white head with great retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a lot of malt like I expect in a goodn barleywine and fresh hops. 

T- The taste like the aroma has a ton of rich malty flavors up front. The finish features some bitterness from the hops and a good amount of lingering warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is fantastic. It is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation creating a perfect texture.

O- Overall, Southern Tier Backburner is a fine barleywine. It is a little maltier than most barleywines made here in the states, but it is deliciously crafted. I'm interested in seeing how this one ages as well. Recommended!

 742 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle I got with that great trader, russpowell. Thanks Russ!

A lovely deep red pour, 2 finger head of foam, excellent lacing...great way to start things off.

There's heaps of caramel and bready malt in the aroma intertwined with a rather small amount of hop bitterness. It smells more like an English BWSA than an American but the bread seems to be a bit too strong on my nose buds.

More of the same in the taste but it seems to work better on my palate than my nose. Caramel is huge, bread is big but not as big suggested by the smell, the hop bitterness is done very lightly, adding just a touch to stop this from becoming too sweet. Goodly amount of alcohol shining through bringing lots of warming. I'm a fan of the malt as well as the hop so I'm enjoying the sipping session I have going on here.

Close or at full bodied, carbonation is on the light side, very nice mouth feel and pretty easy to drink considering the abv. I like!

 948 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. L: A dark, slightly hazy pour supports a clingy 2” cream colored white foam collar. S: Wine and fruit aromas. T: A big malty palate with toffee, large pitted fruit, cola, and a long, lingering bitter hop finish. F: Full body, soft palate, medium carbonation. Has a wine like warming. O: A big, well balanced beer.

 335 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear burgundy chestnut brew. Head holds relatively steady, but tending towards a layer of small bubbles, with plenty of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is syrupy upfront for a moment, and then is overpowered by an extremely artificial-seeming fruitiness, with warmth coming on at the end. Mouthfeel is average to good, nothing particularly notable, and drinkability is quashed a bit by the fruitiness that (looking at the ingredients) probably is coming from some hop or another. Regardless, this one just didn't do much for me.

 685 characters

Photo of barczar
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not sure where the bottling dates are coming from, but I see none. Also, not listed as retired on untappd. Guessing this is at least a year old, as it was on clearance.

Aroma is rich with deeply caramelized malt and huge dark fruit character. Notes of raisins, prunes, plums, and dates abound.

Flavor falls comparatively short in complexity, with raisins and dark cherries dominating, and a hint of cardboard oxidation drying out the finish. Could age longer. Wish I knew how old it was.

 489 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, I'd guess and say it's about a year old if not older than that. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with a half inch tan head that went away quickly. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like caramel malt, molasses, apricots, plums and a bit of pine hops. The taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's also the addition of some cherries, toffee and orange peel flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. It's easy enough to drink. I think it's a good overall brew, I'd buy it again in the future. It's certainly worth trying.

 629 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid dark amber with just a half inch of foamy white head.

S - Smells like a nice dry hopped barleywine. Citrus rind with a sweet strong malt base and a bit of brown sugar goodness.

T - Wow who knew a little bit of dry hopping can make such a strong great tasting barleywine? Great hop presence of grapefruit and citrus along side of a great malt base. Sugar residue makes this beer have a sweet finish and hops strong enough to cover up the high ABV. Perfection.

M - Medium to heavy a definite sipper but easy sipper.

Overall it's a damn near perfect barleywine. Sweet, hoppy, and delicious. With an 8 dollar price tag it's not too expensive to enjoy on an occasion. Would recommend it to others.

 706 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a carameled, maple syrupy ruby color. Very faint head and no bubbles or lacing. Great color though. The aroma is a cinnamon spicey citrus and a dash of caramel and figs. Starts with some warm fruits and a light touch of Chrstmas seasonings. Cinnamon, nutmeg, with some caramel plums. Good, warm, and spicey sweet. The palate has some complex alcohol notes. Some brandy or mabybe cognac and some warms peas with some orange zest. Sippable andnice to look at in a snifter.

 476 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Palm snifter at The Local Miami.

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before slowly meandering down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a light sheet of surface foam. Spotty resilient lacing.

S- Piney hops lead the way with some cereal grain malt sweetness bringing up the rear. Makes for a pleasant balance. A bit musty with some alcohol fume.

T- The bitterness clamps down hard almost making my jaw tense up. Definitely a hop-forward barleywine but there's plenty of biscuity malt to complement. The alcohol is noticeable but easily managed.

M- A bit creamy, thick and sharp all at the same time. Medium carbonation and a fuller sort of body for the style.

O- Haven't had this in years and I've never had it on tap so it was a nice reminder of how awesome ST can be.

 849 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of long-lasting, foamy/creamy head. Very good lacing.

S: A strong aroma of hops, caramel, and some sugar.

T: Tasted of hops - a lot of hops - caramel, malt, and sugar. Nicely complex. Actually gets better as it goes along.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: One of the more drinkable American barleywines around.

 460 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very rich, clear looking amber/ruby color with a gorgeous rocky, creamy off-white head and minimal to no carbonation.

S - Has a moderate barley aroma, rye, citrus, and pine. It's not overly aromatic, my nose had a hard time picking up much more.

T - Very nice taste with caramel malt underneath throughout the sip while the citrus and pine hops flow over the top trying to squash it down. The tongue is immediately hit with caramel/toffee sweetness and some brown sugar which lingers to the end. There's also traces of raisins, mild green apples, and is mildly earthy. The hops enter after the start and exit before finishing with lipsmacking toffee sweetness. There's a coating of citrus, orange, and toffee bitterness left at the end.

M - Creamy and velvety on the tongue, heavy body, sticky sweet.

D - ABV is not so apparent, has a nice hop/malt pairing with neither dominating the other.

Had on tap but would love to have some bottles on hand to stick in the cellar for a few years to see where it goes. Backburner has always been one of my favorite Barleywines.

 1,083 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. 17-07-07 printed on the bottle.

(A)- Pours a thick & dark mahogany amber color that actually cascaded for a second or two as a decent off-white head formed. Decent retention. Left some lacing here & there.

(S)- Toasted & floral-like figs & raisins with bits of vanilla, toffee, and roasted cocoa.

(T)- Thin, yet dry & syrupy. Lots of fig & raisin with some toasted toffee & caramel.

(M)- Kind of a lackluster carbonation level. Like I mentioned earlier, its rather thin & syrupy in consistency & texture.

(D)- A decent aged barleywine that unfortunately, might be too old, but I cant know that for sure. Very syrupy & thin for a beer that should have a good kick to it. Enjoyable, but I would easily gravitate towards other offerings of the style. I would welcome the opportunity to try a fresh one for comparison.

 858 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: hazy orange color with a thinkg white head.

Smell: Malty goodness. Some hops to balance the beer/

Taste: Oak, vanilla, malty sweetnes.

Mothfeel: This is a big beer that is very balanced. It s an imporession to wo worka n qiimqnten sign,

 280 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, moderate carbonation, orange-brown, slightly cloudy

Smell: pineapple, pine, malt, hops, and dark fruit

Taste: hops, alcohol, sweet dried fruit, pine, caramel, and malt

Mouthfeel: harsh/bitter first sip then smooth with a bitter aftertaste, medium heavy in body

Drinkability: One is enough for me. This one definately lands on the bitter side of barleywines. This does have a good flavor combination and the alcohol is not hidden. To me this is not as experimentive as other barleywines I have tried.

 529 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a two-finger head that fades down to one finger. Nice presentation.

Aroma is full of cascade and centennial hops in the nose with a bit of sweet malt and alcohol warmth.

Taste is strong and full of sweet, caramel-like malt with raisin. Hops are quite strong here as well.Very mellow with only a hint of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is full of the lingering smorgasboard of flavors mentioned above. Very nice.

I like this barleywine. It's very mellow and easy to drink even when it's young. A bit of aging should expose the malt even more.

 577 characters

Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 932 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!