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Old Cellar Dweller - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 53
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 12-26-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pudoo
5/5  rDev +19.6%

pudoo, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of SonicAlligator
5/5  rDev +19.6%

SonicAlligator, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of EskimoDave
5/5  rDev +19.6%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Larz_73
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Larz_73, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of atomeyes
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tried this side by side with the Old Barrel Dweller.
I actually liked this more.

The dry hopping was amazing. A beautiful tangerine nose with a faint hint of raspberry. The beer had a great balance of sweetness with a bit of hoppiness. the alcohol was there but not too hot.

a beautiful sipper on a cold Ontario winter night. would drink again and again. one of the best barley wines i've had.

atomeyes, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of Mages64
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage red wax from firefly.
Appearance: deep brown with Marion edges. Big fluffy head with lots of lacing.
Nose: big pine hop nose, alcohol heat, malty and caramel. Some brown sugar notes too.
Taste: huge hop flavor with a solid malt backbone. Hops and malt are super balanced and play immensely well together.
Mouthfeel: alcohol heat is noticeable but I love my barleywines with some booze underneath. Full and thick with tight carbonation.
Overall: one of the best non barrel aged barleywines I've had.

Mages64, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer! Poured at a good temperature with a smallish, foamy, cream-colored, short lived head and no lace. Color is a clear honey amber. Aroma is malt, caramel, bread dough, resin, pumpernickel.. Flavor's much like nose, complex, mammoth; has sweet/bitter/tang all intertwined and up front along with hop. Body is full and while very bitter, there's enough sweet to round it off and just right carbonation to keep it lively. Finish is like flavor, very long and surprisingly only slight alcohol warmth for its strength. Would love to get some more to lay by.

drpimento, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of oldp0rt
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

oldp0rt, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of thefullpython
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

thefullpython, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of jmdr
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

jmdr, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of smekermann
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage

My problem with barleywines is that they're generally too sweet and cloying, making them about as appealing as wearing a wet pair of underwear on a chilly winter evening. Admittedly, I'm not a barleywine connoisseur; I've had my fair share of them, but I don't really go out of my way to try them. I've had Thor's Hammer recently, which fit my previous description (sweet, cloying) to a tee and before that I've had releases from Stone, Rogue and North Coast most of which were pretty damn enjoyable, and in Rogue's case, sort of mouth-destroying. I don't mind that, though. I enjoy and respect a beer that can take me down in one bottle, which is why I guess I respect this style of beer.

Old Cellar Dweller is probably the best barleywine I've had so far. This is obviously very subjective, but it hits all the right notes with me: it's dry as a bone, it's bitter as hell (100 IBUs) and it's insanely boozy (again, this is the 2011 version so it's 14%). It doesn't try to hide the booze, which doesn't really bother me. I'm not sure how you'd even begin to hide booze in beers over 12%, really.

The taste is pure malty, roasty bitterness with a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste and maybe an even fainter hint of almond. The reason this beer is somewhat dangerous is that it's not cloying; it's surprisingly dry for being 14% and full-bodied, but given the circumstances, it's outright drinkable. Don't be fooled, however: this is a beer that should be shared between at least 2-3 people or to be enjoyed over a period of several hours, preferably with a nice medium to full-bodied cigar.

Overall, I think this beer is fairly comparable to XS Old Crusty. It's probably a more ass-kicking beer (14% abv versus 11.2% or whatever Old Crusty is nowadays), and it has only 10 less IBUs than Old Crusty. It also is slightly more enjoyable in terms of mouthfeel and aftertaste. Old Crusty pretty much assaulted you with hops and burnt malt. This does almost the same thing but it feels... classier, somehow; more balanced. This is based on what I remember of Old Crusty, as I haven't had that beer in a couple years, so I may be talking out of my ass. Nonetheless, if you like Old Crusty or beers similar to it, you should give this a shot (if you can find it). It's a really impressive take on the style.

smekermann, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 11.5% abv per the bottle

Served in a lost abbey teku - rich garnet body, nice bubbly beige lace. Layered aromas of dark fruit, sugars, caramelized grapefruit, booze. The 2012 vintage I had on tap recently was noticeably hoppier than this slightly aged bottle - I tend to prefer the fresher batches it would appear (surprise, surprise as aging beer is stupid). Regardless, this is exceptionally complex and layered - glazed citrus, sugars, pine sap, booze soaked dark fruit.

dirtylou, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of JonnyBeers
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

JonnyBeers, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of sukwonee
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

sukwonee, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Kmat10
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Kmat10, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of 604growler
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

604growler, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of PacNWDad
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

PacNWDad, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

IanSpindler, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of JimmyTango
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

JimmyTango, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of DaPan
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

rodrigueZflyingf0x, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of schnarr84
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

schnarr84, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of sammytag
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The 2010 Edition. @ 11.8% abv.

a - Beautiful. A clear, deep amber. A torrent of tiny bubbles rise from the walls of my glass. A firm, white head hangs around. First barley wine of the season. I'm psyched.

s - not what i'm accustomed to as far as barley wine goes. very fruity. Powerful grapefruit note and a blast of herbal hoppiness dominates. I'm getting ready for a big hop bite.

t - Wow! Huge hop flavour, a rich malty backdrop serves to exalt the interplay of hops. i'm at a loss for words as to how to characterize the absolute forcefulness of grapefruit and apricot. So prominent, aggressive and palatially challenging. Unique for a barley wine, in that there are no detectable dark fruits (date, prune, raisin) that i've come to expect from a BW. This is all light fruit, married to a robust, peerless hop symphony. The hops are aggressive in flavour, but the bitterness is light, and just right. A boozy sweet alcoholic finish is the perfect conclusion. Very complex. Poetic, almost.

m - perfect. there's no other way to describe it. The carbonation perfectly compliments the flavour explosion occurring in my mouth as this thick, thick beer hits the tongue.

d - i would drink this every day if it wasn't $12 a bottle. Being from edmonton, I declare this brew the Yin to Alley Kat's Olde Deuteronomy's Yang. My god. Unbelievable.

I would recommend drinking this at cellar room temperature - cool, but not cold. It's truly symphonic. Drink with dark chocolates and rich desserts, or all on its own. Tastes like it will definitely stand the test of time. Try it.

sammytag, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of the 2009 and it is good. Complex and full of big nuances( lots of hops but the malt end is big and creates a long finish). The smoothness on the mouthfeel only adds to the drinkability. One of the best BC barley wines and it will only get better in the cellar.

canucklehead, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of cmadd
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2011 bottle picked up from Brewery Creek.

A: Clear amber nectar. Varies in hue from deep red to light gold. Poured into a snifter with about a finger of head and receded to wisps of lace.

S: Beautiful grapefruit nectarine and citrus hop with an alcohol kick. The hop aroma is a very powerful one dimensional Columbus hop. In the background there's the light nutty toffee of pale malt.

T: Follows the smell pretty directly. Sweet hoppy citrus and nectarine. Pale malt's sweet nuttiness holds up the backbone. This is a huge beer with a lingering bitterness from the hops and malt that plays a little rough. Balance spot on. Not cloying.

M: Mouthfeel was spot on, but not overly remarkable. Still notably good.

O: Wow. This might be one of the best barleywine I've ever had. I enjoyed the fact that it showcased the Columbus hops and the pale malt. I will definitely be putting some down to see what emerges when the beer settles with age and the hops diminish. Driftwood is putting out some really stunning beers.

cmadd, Dec 29, 2011
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Old Cellar Dweller from Driftwood Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.