Back Burner (-2015) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Back Burner (-2015)Back Burner (-2015)
941 Ratings
Back Burner (-2015)Back Burner (-2015)

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerTruth on 04-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 941 |  Reviews: 513
Photo of bamadog
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is from January 2010, and with a recent batch of cooler nights, I figure it's a good of a night as any to crack it. Review is from notes taken on 9/23/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep coppery color with some hints of ruby to it; body presents a little a bottle murky, but you can still see light through it despite the cloudiness; starts with a 1/2 finger light tan, creamy head that fades relatively quickly to a thin, uneven skim with a thick, foamy ring around the surface; plenty of tiny spots and oil lingers on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smell is fantastic, very big, robust -- I can smell it from the table; plenty of hop presence to it still and it is fairly citric and reminiscent of oranges, and with the big, sweet caramel maltiness backing it up, it is like candied fruit; warm toffee (and caramel, as already mentioned) sweetness, and a bit of a warm baking spiciness to it.

Taste: Taste is very good, and the hop presence has managed to really hold up well and there is still a good bit of herbal and fruity bitterness to it; very sweet, rich and deep maltiness is the strongest aspect to it along with the hops, and they are just as the nose suggests -- caramel and toffee with a bit of the warm baking spices to them; alcohol is still present, but more in the back and as a warming presence as opposed to a big isopropyl-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Body is just over what I would consider medium in weight, and the carbonation is still present, but comes across as soft and it provides just about the right amount of carbonation; a moderately thick and sticky coating is left all over the mouth, and it allows the bitter hops to linger well into the aftertaste; belly is left a little warm from the nearly 10% ABV.

Overall: A great beer to be sure, and well worth picking up. I'm a pretty big fan of ST's bigger beers, and this one definitely runs with the rest of them. It's a sipper, to be sure, but it won't be a problem to finish the bottle by myself over the course of the night.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Nothing too special looking upon the pour. Looks like a dark ale without any head or lacing. Nice clarity with streams of bubbles... a mahogany color, just not striking.
Scents are deep and sweet. Big malty presence with some obvious alcohol but it is enticing enough.
Flavors are very much on the malty side of things. For me this is drinking like a big ol' doppelbock and that's not a bad thing. I was expecting something hoppier from a Southern Tier brew, and this does have its share of hops in it, but malts are the feature ingredient here. Raisin is a prevalent flavor here, along with sweetened coffee phenomena.
I could see having a craving for this kind of thing but in that mood I am more likely to reach for something a little more Belgian in style. Someone looking for something more English or German in character should have a fine time with this brew.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last one left from the case that i bought the day it was released. "FIRST BREW TWO THOUSAND & SEVEN".

Pours a caramel mahogany amber color with better than a full finger foamy, yet fairly stiff, light tan head that lingers nicely leaving sheets of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is classic and true to style. The aroma is sweet and malty, butterscotch and caramel. Lightly carbonated with a slight tang of alcohol and hops. The mouth feel is medium-full bodied and altogether creamy and smooth. Full flavored, the taste is sweet, and inviting with sweet notes of caramel and butterscotch. A real crowd pleaser. A really fine drinker...the 10% ABV has aged into oblivion. I think it's possible that a person could crack a couple of these open, given that they were close to an easy chair. Highly recommended!

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Photo of pwoods
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Deep mohagony pour, completely opaque. Shortish light tan head on the pour with good retention. Nice lacing.

S: Super sweet malts with dense bready aromas. Hops are light but present and floral. Just a touch of alcohol in the nose.

T/M: Sweet malts with a great alcohol complexity. Hops are a bit bigger with a nice bitterness and a citrus twist. Dense dark moist bread and dark fruits. Body is nearly full and a bit chewy.

D: Big beer but still drinkable fresh. Definitely have to take your time, though.

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Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Jason1337
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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

A thin beige head gives way to a lasting skim atop a boldly cloudy, dark bronze beauty of a barley wine.

The nose is full of alcohol spice/warm, fig, some caramelish sweet, stone fruit, alcohol, hints of tart yeast, light hoppy floral/bitter, and alcohol. My nose just caught a buzz.

At a cool temp. this beer is a nice blend of sweet, some fruity notes, and a bit of alcohol. As it warms the component flavors come out to play, and they play well. Warming vapors spread a wonderfully thick mix of sweet caramel, peach, bread dough, nice floral notes that hang in to crest with a very tasty herbal bitter into a finish that may not be epic for style, but is clean, tasty, and interesting. At room temp. the alcohol comes back to master the sip, but it is now a beast, and the master's whip yields a complex and brilliant sip.

Mouthfeel is suitably viscous, acceptably low carb., and provides a nice taste platform and quite good finish.

Can I think of five other barley wines I would prefer to sip? Yes. Ten? Perhaps. Quite drinkable, though alcohol is hardly hidden.

Impression: With a couple years on it this may be exceptional. Now it is a bit hot. Lotta good flavor here, I recommend this one, and will certainly buy more for the cellar.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes. 22oz into chouffe tulip.

A- Looks like apple juice. 2 fingers of a creamy head. Sandy/eggshell white... color of whipped butter? Great lacing, impressive.

S- Pineapple, cherries, a fruit salad. Very sweet.

T- Given the reputation of ST, I expected this to be sweet. It is. Very sweet, almost syrupy. However, there's some good heavy hop action that provides a much-needed counter. Bitter bitter hops, right where they need to be. I believe this one was dry-hopped, and the pine-resin taste saves this beer.

M- Hot, big, bold, potent. Pretty good, if a bit too sweet.

D- Moderate. Good, one of the better balanced ST beers, the serious hops really tie this one together. Still, not my favorite and I doubt I'll be revisiting this one too often.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark burnt reddish/orange with a large tan head. The head is long lasting and leaves good lacing. The smell is lighter than I expected,but there is some hop and dark fruit aromas. The taste is very good,almost Bigfoot like, with bitter hops,dark fruit,cherry,vanilla, and an oak woodiness. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well. What can I say? This is a damn good beer from a brewery that produces some kickass beers.

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Photo of BlissJunkie
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Backburner pours a beautiful dark ruby with a generous head that dies down a bit slowly after pour. Lacing is very grainy with a medium stickiness. Smell is very hoppy which excites me when it comes to Barleywines. Very sharp citrus odor with a subtle malt undertone. You can definitely tell this is an American version. The taste of this barleywine is a powerful hop explosion of grapefruit/pine. A hint of malt in the aftertaste, just enough to make this very well balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit chewy but quite smooth. This goes down all too easy for a barleywine at 10% abv so take your time and enjoy this one. Definitely look forward to aging. Good work again Southern Tier, Keep it up.

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Photo of redleg411
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of shoretaxi
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of bigleague
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of webmanspidey
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a Chimay chalice. A dark caramel/amber color with a slight head. Smells sweet and rich.. taste is much of the same. Full bodied, very rich, heavy, and malty with a mild hoppy bitterness in the background. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming, yet the overall characteristics of this make it a very slow sipper.

For this most part, I think this beer is pretty par for the course for the style. A solid offering.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant looking for the style. Amazingly clear with a deep yet bright amber hue. Massive off white head. I love it. Nose is familiar yet unique. Classic big malt aromas of dark fruit bowls mixed with honey roasted peanuts. Touch of licorice combines with the nutty notes making a scent i've smelt before but can't put my finger on. Oak present on the nose as well, big time actually as the beer breathes.

First impressions on the first sip: thinner body then expected with a dominant oak taste but not overbearing. Not a small body so to say but a little thinner than most barley wines. Oddly subtle for such a fresh barley wine, I can only imagine this with a year on it, probably drinks too easily (but probably delicious) Some deep fruit flavors come through and those that do really play well with the oaky flavors. Some cola flavors with deep dark raspberries. A bit of honey on the front end.

A very complex brew with a lot to it if yo really want to look into it. I'm really interested as to how age would effect this one since it's already received some benefits of being aged in oak barrels.

A very earthy beer with flavors that remind you of a camping trip gone right. I like it.

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Photo of Stigs
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber, poured into a mini Chimay goblet...sampling about 8oz of this

A - poured a thin layer of offwhite foam which sped away quickly. the liquid is a cloudy very dark burnt amber. looks like just about every other barleywine ive ever had.

S - loads and loads of dark fruits...fresh grapes, raisins, also apricots. some brown sugar thrown in as well.

T - more of the fruits, but throw in more sweetness and also a pleasantly surprising chocolate near the end. very small amount of hops creep in near the end and also some citrus here and there. great balance.

M - sticky, real sticky. pleasant aftertaste, and just about perfect carbonation...maybe the tiniest bit overdone and a tad bit thin.

D - not a huge fan of barleywines, but liked this. alcohol is very well hidden, the taste isnt too over the top with sweetness, and a pleasant mouthfeel. another pleasing release from Southern Tier.

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Photo of silentjay
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

nice dark mahogany with a decent sized light khaki head that dissipates quick, but leaves intricate lacing on the glass. a beautiful pour.

aroma is very malty and fruity. raisins, and other dried, sweetened dark fruits like plums. alcoholic as well.

taste is very malty sweet. lots of caramel, some dark fruit, and a bit of floral and piney hops try to balance the sweetness. They fail, as this one is a bit too sweet and alcoholic for my liking.

Can't knock the body, as it suits the style being heavy-medium bodied with just enough carbonation and a lot of sticky, syrupy residue.

Very sweet and with burning alcohol prevalent throughout, this is one to nurse, but lacks the complexity I would want in a sipper. Not bad for the price, but not my favorite of the style, nor my favorite of ST's portfolio.

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Photo of bort11
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Mild creamy tan head, very nice retention. Color is a dirty coppery orange.

Smell has candied orange and caramel aroma. Taste has a orange rind flavor with some candied sugars. A little mint. Mild sweet apples with cinnamon.

Creamy mouthfeel and medium body.

Blipped "Brain Burner" by No Age

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

Pours a dark amber color with no head and no lacing. Some small white bubbles sit on top. Aroma of dark fruit, brown sugar, lightly piney from the hops, slightly floral. Taste is very sweet, noticeable alcohol heat (which I get in every ST Imperial Series other than Unearthly), a nice dose of sticky, piney hops, caramelized sugar, and light fruitiness. This is a pretty tasty beer, but nothing surprising as ST's hop bill seems to be the same on all their hoppy brews. Not a complaint, just an observation. Viscous mouthfeel, low carbonation, alcohol heat comes out especially as it warms. This is a tasty barleywine. I am enjoying sipping on this one slowly.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 9-14-09

Pours an ultra-cloudy red/brown color, with a thin white head that bubbles away. Boozy looking, with no lacing whatsoever.

Smell is great strong malt and super booze, with a hoppy fruitiness to keep things even. A year in the cellar has added just the right amount of age.

Taste huge booze, in a good way. Lots of peaty malt, a little smoky, tons of bitter hops, and slight coffee at the very end. One of the best I've had.

Mouthfeel is dead nuts for the style, slick to go with the hops and alcohol.

Drinkability is quite good, considering.

Overall, an impressive Southern Tier. Get some, but age it first.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good barleywine. Received as part of a random trade during Dark Lord day. Reminds me of a good middle ground between English and American barleywine.

The beer pours very dark for the style, and almost looks layered like a black and tan. Very deep and dark plum color towards the dark, almost opaque brown, and at the bottom it appears more of a dark amber. Probably just the light shining off the table. Good carbonation, but little head. Decent lacing, and what little head pours has a good staying power.

The smell is not all that impressive. Has malty backbone, showing off some of the earthy, ripe dark fruits. Soft notes of fig, prune, and blackberry. Some herbal hops as well. Everything seems very soft and muted, however.

The taste is great. Everything the aroma has and more, and the flavors intensify on the palate. The malts are the obvious focus on this beer. Rich and sweet, kind of bready, more like an English barleywine, along with the same dark fruits mentioned in the aroma. As it is swallowed, the hops flavor hits strong with a huge piney and herbal hops flavor, like Chinook and/or noble hops. Nice catty bitterness with a hint of a grapefruit lingering in the finish. Very good balance, even with the obvious stress on the malts.

The body is huge. Nice and dextrinous. Sweet, but not aggressively so, to the point where it gets to be cloying. The alcohol is fairly well hidden for a 10% barleywine. Easy to drink as well. I wasn't in the mood for anything too strong, given the recent turn back to spring time, but this still hit the spot. I'm glad I was able to drink this, and don't regret not going to the store for something lighter.

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Photo of biggred1
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Derk cherry red with strawberry blonde highlights and a creamy tan head that leaves splotchy rings of lace on the glass. The aroma is caramel slathered toast with a touch of buttered rum and mascerated dark fruit and plenty of citrus fruity hops. Caramel malty flavors with a strong hit of juicy hop bitterness to cut the sweetness. This beer is certainly in the mold of SN Bigfoot, a hop forward strong and complex ale. Medium full bodied and smooth with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Another bullseye from Southern Tier.

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Back Burner (-2015) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 941 ratings