Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Back Burner Barley Wine (review)

Beer Review #81

I rarely go to the local craft beer seller with a game plan. Sometimes I have a general idea of the style of beer I'm in the mood for, but beyond that I prefer to let each visit to the distributor be an adventure, a chance to browse the shelves and see what catches my eye. By no conscious plan of my own, my last three beer reviews have been of Southern Tier Brewing Company products. Make that four...

Today I'm tasting Back Burner Barley Wine Style Ale. My experience with Barley Wine is limited to reviews of Uinta 20th Anniversary Barley Wine Ale and Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot Barleywine . Southern Tier last brewed Back Burner in 2012 and limited distribution to keg and 22 ounce bottles. For this January 2016 revival, Back Burner is now available in 4 packs of  12 ounce bottles, which is how I'm enjoying mine today.

Back Burner pours dark brown with traces of mahogany and a finger of light-tan foam. This beer was brewed with blackstrap molasses and locally harvested maple syrup, however neither make a pronounced impact on the aroma which leads with some red-wine fruitiness, caramel, and a surprising amount of citrus hops. The mouth-feel is a bit heavy with some creaminess. Taste is surprisingly bitter with a fair dose of ethanol that reigns in the sweetness of raisin, molasses, plum and caramel malt. Also expect some pine-heavy hops.

10.5% ABV

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