It might be a bit warm outside for a big, bold Barleywine, but what the heck, I’m going to try this one anyway.
From the website, southerntierbrewing.com, we find this description of the Back*Burner.
Long ago, British farmhouse brewers made special ales using the first runnings of the mash. These beers, now called barley wine, are brewed in the tradition of days past. Our first brew of the year, this ale is conceived in three small batches with voluminous amounts of barley and hops. A lightly sweet and warming ale, reminiscent of dried fruit and rich grains. Our barley wine style ale is a tribute to days remembered, and a celebration of things to come. We hope that sipping this rare brew leaves you feeling gracious for another trip around the sun.
Sounds good. Let’s sip.
This beer comes in a 22 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 9.6%.
It poured a deep burgundy color. Almost a grape color to be honest. The head was off white, smooth, slightly creamy and very nicely sized. The retention time was decent and the lacing was ok as well. A very noticeable amount of clear alcohol legs adhered to the sides of the snifter also.
The nose brought forth a solid bit of rich, dark fruit. Mostly raisins, grapes and dark cherries I thought. A sturdy amount of caramel malt sweetness was noticed too. Some piny and earthy hops helped balance and tie everything together. An admirable and commendable fragrance with this one.
The taste seemed to let the raisins, grapes and the very sweet caramel malt dominate. Man, it was rich!!! Almost too much for my liking. After it warmed a bit, some breadiness helped calm it down a touch, but not much however. The earthy and piny hops that were discovered in the nose were nowhere to be found in the taste. Maybe the slight bit of age on this beer pushed them to the side. Whatever it may have been, I was a bit overcome with the strong sweetness and dark fruits.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Very smooth, dry and chewy. As was to be expected the carbonation was a smidgen on the low side. A good deal of warmth was felt and a favorable amount of flavor was left covering the palate after each sip had passed on into my belly.
Well, this beer was pretty good I guess. I was a little bit confused with the overabundance of richness that it possessed however. That made the brew a little bit tough to drink for me. Especially since it had such a pleasurable amount of hops in the bouquet that I thought might be more prominent in the taste. Oh well, it would still be worth a try if you favor Barleywine styled beers I guess. I have another bottle of 2012 Back*Burner that I’ll hold onto for a couple of years to see if it might calm down a notch or two. Have any of you guys every tried the Southern Tier Back*Burner and had a similar experience or was it just me? I would love to hear a second opinion. Feel free to leave a comment if you wish.
Thanks for reading everyone. I really appreciate it.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 3.5 out of 5