Monday, July 20, 2009
Back Burner Barleywine, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood New York
The bottle of "Back Burner Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale" that I had in my reserves was brewed early 2008. I kept it around to see how it would age and recently had the chance to enjoy the result of my patience.
It pours a hazy caramel with a caramel tinted tight head.
The aroma is burnt sugar and caramel right off, but not overly sweet smelling. Instead there are molasses tones coupled with mild hop.
It has a creamy full body and an unexpected spice on the palate/mid tongue where a peppery liveliness reveals itself. Molasses arrives at the back of the mouth with the burnt sugar. The very end results in more sweetness and the peppery spice lingers in the mouth.
The aftertaste reveals bitterness and malt that carries the spiciness. It's not as thick as expected, keeping the palate from getting overwhelmed.
Enjoyable aged or "as-is", it's a wonderful beer!