Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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:
930
Avg:
4
pDev:
14%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
130
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 509 | Ratings: 930
Photo of roopy40
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Looks like a light brown, but when held up with light in its background, a reddish-amber hue appears. Beautiful, white, creamy head forms and looks like the top of a meringue pie.

S - Good balance of fruit and hops. I think raisin and alcohol is definitely present.

T - Now you certainly taste the fig, raisin, and spice with a nice hop finish.

M - Thick, but smooth and well carbonated. Definitely a medium to heavy body, but it is very pleasant and feels wonderful going down. A friend and I could not get enough of it.

D - Very high on the drinkability chart and especially dangerous when you consider the high ABV of this wonderful barley wine.

Overall, I am again impressed with ST Imperials. I confess to not having tried dozens of this style, but I sure am enjoying them and will continue my journey.

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Photo of rebelthrower
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark red/rust in color. Off-white head that took a while to dissipate.

S-Smells sweet, strong barley and a little bit of hops

T- Rich with malt. Alcohol is not as strong as originally expected. a bit spicy on the tongue.

M- Mid amount of carbonation. Body wasn't to heavy. Nothing stands out as a unique taste.

D- Easy to drink. Not overwhelmed with alcohol. Overall the beer is pretty good. I was expect more though.

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

2007 Vintage Backburner Bomber (First Brew Two Thousand Seven on bottle)

Visited the family in Connecticut today and came back with a sweet haul, including this fine offering from Southern Tier, courtesy of my brother Matt. Nasdrovia Bro!

A - Reddish brown and clear, barely any head to speak of, but this is fine for a barleywine.

S - Grainy, toasty, with pleasant fruity esters. The hops are there, but seem to be performing the difficult task of masking the alcohol in this huge brew rather than being up front and in your face as you would find in a Bigfoot.

T - Toffee, caramel flavors dominate, with a nice dark fruit finish. Dried apricots, raisins, and sweet malts with the slightest hint of citrusy hops. The hops were probably more prevalent before aging, but time has given this a wonderful balance. Mellow malty, fruity flavor at the onset, with a mild citrus hop finish that lingers nicely on the back of the tongue.

M - Thick, smooth and chewy with a wonderful warming quality. Perhaps the best aspect of this deceptively mellow brew. Like butter on bread (which isn't to say diacetyl--it's just so smooth).

D - Wonderfully drinkable at a sipping pace. A quality barleywine to be savored on a cold winter's night--or, if you're like me, whenever you feel like it! (this is my favorite style after all...)

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Photo of Guzzler78
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been eying this one since it came out, finally pulled the trigger.

Appearance: A dark amber color. A 1/2" white head that reduces to a small layer over top of the beer, fair lacing

Smell: Sweet maltiness, floral and citrus hop aromas, dried fruits

Taste: Complex-sweet malts, citrus, dark fruit and a bit of tropical fruits and of course a nice hop bite

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and viscous feel. Somewhat dry finish

Drinkability: A good barleywine, glad i tried it would drink it again for sure. Could drink two or three glasses for sure

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Photo of Brouwerij78
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One word...Meh...too pricey. I would probably not buy again but would be interested to see what it tastes like on tap. It is a heavier beer, with a bit of an aftertaste (not a particularly pleasant one). Overall, save your money - there are better barley wine style beers out there...try Victory Old Horizontal instead.

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Photo of sawbones420
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a complete slut for Southern Tier, so I'm getting around to reviewing all of their bombers, slowly. I don't drink much barley wine these days, mostly on account of the fact that they make me feel like hell the next day, even when keeping my consumption way down. Southern Tier makes me so happy, however, so I'll take my chances on a Sunday night...

What the hell is an Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale anyway?

Pours a dark mahogany color into my trusty Brooklyn Brewery snifter (my favorite glass of all time). Head? No. I'm starting to think my dishwasher leaves a thin film of soap on my glasses though, as I almost never get much in the way of head retention.

Smells deep, dark, complex. Fruit, hops, sweet malt and alcohol come through. Most notable are those hops, though. Not used to such a strong presence in a barley wine.

First sip is potent. A robust malt flavor hits the sides of the mouth, while the sharp hop presence centers the brew nicely. There's a whole lot going on here. The alcohol warms the back of the tongue and the throat as it slides down, leaving quite a bit to think about. On another sip caramel comes through prominently in the middle part of the tongue. Sweet to be sure, but not too heavy/syrupy to make you feel bloated.

I love beers where every sip offers something new and different from the last. It's interesting how your mouth adapts to this brew as you drink it. Definitely an awesome take on the style and a must for anyone who considers himself a fan of barley wines.

Oh and the burps taste like hops. mmm

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

s -- bottle, in a three philosphers glass.

a -- dark brown, with a small head.

s -- it smelled like alcohol asnd fruit.

t -- this is one of the better barley wines, with a fruity alcohol taste that is not too overpowerful.

m -- not much carbonation, but a smooth feel.

d -- one bottle is enough for this night.

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Photo of yinzer
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe the bottle to be fresh, I haven't aged it.

appearance: clear dark copper with small tan head

smell: sweet carmel, a bit nutty, some hops notes - a small amount of pine

taste: seems to have a balance of toned down flavors. Sweet malts, with mild hop flavor, slight dirty hot alcohol and nice Chinhook finish. I'm not sure what makes this an Imperial BW. Nothing seems to be doubled.

mouthfeel: full and rich, nice carbonation.

drinkability: All in all I'm finding it a nice sipper. I might buy one to age for six months.

In general I’ve never found any of Southern Tier’s beer to be the standard for any style. But I do like their beers, maybe because I have a sweet tooth as they aren’t dry and have a good malt feel to them. I do wish that this beer have more hop aroma, and mid-addition hop flavor, but I have been on a Wet Hop binge and maybe I’m being unfair. I do find some slight hot alcohol notes in the finish, which I find as a flaw. I do recommend this beer.

And cudos to those who are saying asking- "Why would you want to age this beer since aging it will tend to lessen the things that you want more of" ;p

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Photo of jmacdaddy2008
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a couple of the Southern Tier beers last night and I really like their imperial line.

Their Barley wine has a nice color. Deep amber with a thick head when dissipated it leaves some big bubbles and film on the side.

Has a strong smell of spiced fruits and malty richness. Gets better when warmed in my snifter.

Good full bodied taste, almost creamy feel on the palate. More of the spiced fruits and typical flavors of a strong Barely wine. Definite sipper, has a slight burn from alcohol, but still well hidden

Overall, this beer will only get better with time, but found it hard to age because of the good drink ability.

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Photo of mjgooner13
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A coke a cola type color, a dark maple with hints of red on the sides. Left some nice lacing as i continued to drink.

S- had the usual sweet barleywine smell, of sweetness from some dark fruits and maybe some toffee.

T- Taste was not as sweet as the smell, which I think in this case is a good thing. Up front I get the same fruity tastes from the nose, some malt as well as licorice on the end. It was pretty well balanced throughout without really being dominated by anything.

M- Medium bodied and the alcohol was masked pretty well, so it went down quite smooth, which could make this one a bit dangerous with the 9.6 abv.

O- Def enjoyed this one, well balanced, hides the alcohol although you can pick it up a little bit, certainly wouldn't mind having one or two of these on a rainy day.

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Photo of ErikFort
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 batch. Pours a beautiful dark copper. Nose is slightly harsh, molasses and raisins but very noticeable alcohol. Complex, malty taste, like hoppy brown sugar. Surprisingly light mouth feel. Would be a great barley wine in a year or two.

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Photo of torchednoodle
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jctribe25 for this beer.

It's a decent barleywine. Pours a dark brown copper. Taste is of sweet raisins and fruit. There's some mild burn from the alcohol, but it really hides the alcohol pretty well considering 10%. Carbonation feels very good. The group I drank this with enjoyed this beer, but we agreed that it wasn't a standout compared to the other beers we were drinking that day.

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Photo of johlendorf
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into pint glass. Another strong delivery from Southern Tier.

A = Honey colored, slightly cloudy. Little head, lacing, or carbonation.

S = Plum sweetness, floral and hops.

T = Crisp and clean throughout. Dark fruit up front followed by citrus and slightly piney hops. Well balanced with maltiness throughout.

M = Feels solid. Satisfying on a cold rainy day.

D = Caution, sharp turn ahead! Deceptive for a 10%.

Really enjoyed this. I'm a fan of this style beer and BackBurner did me right.

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Photo of tekn0ph1sh
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this Barley Wine. However it was my first so I really didn't have a lot to go on.

It poured a brownish ruby color in a tulip glass. It had little to no head and almost no lacing.

It was a very pleasant tasty sweet beer that went down easy. The alcohol was well masked. I even tasted it warmed up. A friend of mine received a glass of it as a miss pour and did not care for it so he pushed it over to me. Even after sitting 30-40 minutes in a bar in FL without the AC on it was still very tasty.

I went to see if I could procure a couple of bottles of this and unfortunately there were none to be had.

Definitely a do again.

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Photo of bryangb
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle with a DOB of 2%2F28%2F13. Poured fairly aggressively leaving about a finger and a half of head. Color is a gorgeous dark amber. Smell%3A malt%2C barley%2C subtle hops%2C booze. Taste%3A Very smooth. Moderate body. Malt and barley up front. Hops peak through with medium bitterness. The booze comes towards the back end. Perfect amount to retain the beer's smoothness yet remind you you're drinking a barley wine. Booze flavor becomes more present as you let the beer warm. Up there on the list of recommended beers to try

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Photo of mattp
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bomber at Olivers along with a Hoppe Ale from Southern Tier. The pour is really nice with a fruity aroma and thick head. The color was lovely, a dark red/brown vision of substance. The mouth feel reminded me of Middle Ages Druid Fluid. It felt rich enough to just about chew. Very nice. As you would expect from a barleywine there was a nice bitterness and an appropriate malt balance. A nice sipping beer if you are only having one that night. It was kind of humid last night and a lot of condensation formed on the bottle. When I poured I found a chunk of the painted label stuck on my hand. Different.

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Photo of mcmidc
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber color with a small tan head that lingered surprisingly. The smell is of fruits, and raisans with some hops and alcohol in the background. Tastes spicy with primarily plums and raisans that is spicy. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with spices running rampant. Drinkability is pretty good for a 10% beer and it's pretty smooth. Really becoming a fan of Southern Tier they put out some really good brews. I'll drink it again.

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Photo of xcrunner78
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of a carmel malt with a hint of dried fruit and hopped very lightly. A tan head on top of a dark amber color. It has a very carmel, malty flavor that leads into some hopness and leaves a sugery carmely taste on the palate. Thick body and really smooth with a lot of alcohol.

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Photo of ccarney2
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Darkish deep amber orange color that is very cloudy. Pours about an inch of off white head when poured violently. Head quickly dissipates into a thin film that leaves hardly any lacing. Not too unexpected with the style and gravity.

Smell - Dark fruits with lots of cherry and plum to start. Alcohol is definitely evident, but so are a moderate amount of sweeter hops. Maybe a bit of caramel/vanilla scent, something sweet.

Taste - There is a big sweetness off the bat with this barleywine, that doesn't really fade too much. Alcohol flavor lasts throughout also, with the same characteristics of the smell here as well. Cherry, plum, and raisin dominate the palate. Kind of one dimensional in terms of flavors.

Mouthfeel - Moderate to high carbonation, with a pretty viscous and thick coat left on the tongue.

Overall - I feel like this is a slightly better than average beer. I don't have too much to compare it to stylewise, but I will say that you know how much alcohol you're taking in while drinking this. Southern Tier does not normally disappoint, and they didn't necessarily here either, but they also didn't really excite me either.

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Photo of Rguardian989
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

presentation - 2008 bottle served into a snifter

appearance and smell - awesome mahogany color with a tan head that lingers for a little while before settling to a film on the top of the beer. leaves a pretty good amount of lacing for a 10%'er. for some reason i get a pretty strong chocolate note in there from the first sniff. lots of dark fruit and caramel. lots of caramel... defintly some hop complexities in there but still overtly sweet.

Taste - taste is sweet with a bit of a bitter bite that lingers on for a little while. dark fruits and caramel again are both in the flavor. the alcohol is appreciated in the flavor but it doesnt cut in more than a little bit in the overall flavor, thus it is pretty well masked.

mouthfeel and drinkability - good level of carbonation with an underlying hop bite. alcohol makes its statement but is quickly washed away by the sweetness again. very smooth. i could and did drink a whole bomber of it over the course of this evening. the 10% is making me very loose so i wouldnt press onward if i had more of this delicious barelywine.

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Photo of wkcyr4
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz. bomber into a Brandy Snifter:

A: Amber body, thin tan head, a little bit of retention on sides of glass.

S: Bourbon like, woodsy aroma very sweet and inviting.

T: Boozy, strong alcohol taste. Sticky much like an aged DIPA to me. I love it!! Leaves me wanting more.

M: Smooth, syrupy and full. Caramel notes come to the front upon letting it warm.

D: Easy sipper, for sure, but be careful not to get too confident or this one will bite you in the ass ! Very drinkable, in moderation of course.

I like this very much. It warms you on a cold Illinois evening. Only wonder how it would be after some lay down time? I believe this will be the only indulgence of the night. A solid effort from ST. Very strongly reccommended.

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Photo of CrumpledFish
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark amber with a fairly thin white head.

S: Quite a malty smell. Caramel?

T: Very sweet, but in a good way.

M: Smooth. Almost no carbonation detected.

O: I like this beer a lot. The sweetness means it would be hard to drink more than 1 or 2, but it's good while it lasts. It actually reminds me quite a bit of Spaten Optimator, a doppelbock.

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Photo of DrKnoskelson
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle

A - Nice amber red/brown color. Pours even, decent head. No lace in glass.

S - Very pungent aroma. Pronounced malt nose with a hoppy back-bone.

T - Initial hop bitterness melts into sweet malt taste leads.

M - Subtle alcohol presence that develops with time.

D - While I was somewhat disappointed in Southern Tiers Barleywine, this is a good brew. I was hoping for hops than malt. Low alcohol taste makes this beer easy drinking.

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Photo of claykeller
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 22oz bottle with a couple pours into the Sam Adam's glass.

Appearance: Dark amber with reddish tinge. 1 finger thick head, left broken lacing down the glass.

Smell: Malty and caramel. Slight pine smell. Can taste the alcohol but not very strongly.

Taste: Very sweet and malty. Too far on the sweet and malty side for me. I could be biased since I love hops though. I can smell some hops, but can just barely taste them.

Mouthfeel: Thick and rich.

Drinkability: I really couldn't drink the whole beer due to how sweet and malty it was. I would have wanted some bitterness to balance it out and it would have been fine for me.

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Photo of lincoln44
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Bronze amber color, clear but deep mahogany appearance. Not much head after the pour but may be contributed to the temperature. Nice lacing stuck around afterward.

S- Spicy, sweet, and slight floral hop aroma all combined. Picking up a roasted malt flavor, must have been used for color and depth.

Taste- Rich sweet and spicy taste. The hop flavor must be from the Chinook as it is spicy and not as aromatic yet still enjoyable. Kind of a woody taste coming through on the tail of it all.

M- slick feel from the high residuals and hop oils. Carbonation is right on for this style.

D-Not my favorite barley wine but enjoyable nonetheless. Spicier and woody taste compared to the BW I am familiar with. Overall decent brew but I don't think I would be searching for this one every time I go to the store.

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Backburner - Barleywine Style Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.
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