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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
93
outstanding

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 52
Gots: 31 | 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)
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of injuredreserve
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

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.

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of thefullpython
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of cbnz
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of 604growler
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/5/12 just catching up.

2011 Vintage

Thanks to Mages64 for grabbing 2 of these for me, you're a great dude.

A- clear ruby with an inch and a half of beautiful beige head, decent retention, sticky lacing

S- sweet and biscuity malts, huge citrus hop character

T- I can vividly remember the maltiness of this, it was fucking huge and bready. Big hop bitterness, tropical, grapey, citrusy, floral. Alcohol was well hidden for 14%, didn't really burn or anything.

M- Sharp, coating, well integrated heat, lingering bitterness entwined with the giant malt base.

O- probably my favorite of the american variety of barleywines that i've come across. would love to get more if possible.

Photo of KalanM
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***2008 Vintage***
For my 100th review on Beer Advocate we're breaking out a gem.

A: A solid chestnut brown, a bit tawny and ruddy hazed brew with a hint of lacing and variable bubbles, each glass has an island of foam adorning the top.

S: Scent of fruit cake, deep malts, dark dried fruits of raisins, dates and currents and an alcohol ester similar to a dark rum. Some notes of acrid dark coffee and sweet from start to finish.

T: The fruitcake taste is still there with rum raisins especially. Dark acrid coffee with deep dark toffee, not as sweet as the nose would suggest. Alcohol does show through - but that's reasonable at 12%. Really hangs on at the end with an acrid dry flavour that clings to the sides of the tongue.

M: Burst of fizz at the front of the palate, with a pleasant coating throughout the drink that allows those flavours linger. Alcohol esters are vaporized, giving a small amount of heat.

O: Great sipper that is best enjoyed slowly with great cheese, the saltiness allows the sweeter notes to develop. Would be great to try a vertical tasting of OCD vintages to see how it develops in the bottle.

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.

Photo of tigervette
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of jrenihan
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage.

Beer is orange/caramel in colour, with a minimal white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell contains caramel and bread, and seems sweet. Very malty. A bit of fruit. Fairly simply but good, quite rich.

Taste contains caramel, bread and some fruit (apple, a hint of cherry). Booze. Sweet. but not insanely so. It tastes as if there was a strong hop component when bottled, but only traces of that are present now, a very slight bitter element.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Sticky but fairly smooth.

Overall, very good.

Photo of montrealbcr89
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle into a snifter. A deep orangey-red with minimal head.

S: When I poured it, there was a ton of citrusy/tropical fruits on the nose. Big grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Smelled similar to an IPA. As it warmed up, however, the malt started to appear. Coupled with the fruitiness, there was caramel, toffee, and brown sugar.

T: Right off the bat there is big bitter, fruity characteristics. Again, ver IPAish. Towards the back on the tongue emerged the malt character. That sweet toffee and brown sugar really made its presence felt towards the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied. Creamy mouthfeel. I started drinking this beer probably seven minutes after taking it out of the fridge. It was super drinkable then. Once it began to really warm up, however, it got a little more boozy, and turned into more of a sipper.

O: Definitely could have drank the whole bottle to myself (really tasty), but is better enjoyed when shared. Have another one that will be sitting in the cellar for a few years to see how this thing changes. Highly recommended.

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MaxStout for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a slightly salty flavor on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager in a recent swap. This brewery has done nothing but impress the crap out of me. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintate: 2011
ABV: 11.8%

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Head fades to a faint wisp and ring, leaving some lacing on the top of the glass. Opaque burnt umber in color with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bold nose of caramel malts, linght melong aromas, piney hops and some spicy alcohol for sure. Bold stuff and quite nice.

TASTE: Bold flavors again, following the nose nicely. Caramel malts and some melon sweetness up front, then a spicy booze kick at the swallow. Big and intense aftertaste of bitter floral hops, piney flavors, spicy booze and a touch of honeydew sweetness lingers nicely on the palate. Very bold flavors and increadibly balanced as well. Really, really good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, quite oily as well, goes down smooth with a burn at the swallow and finishes quite sticky on the palate. Heat lingers as well as a spicy dose of alcohol.

OVERALL: Really flavorful and a creamy, oily palate as well. Bold and surprisingly balanced, this is a memorable beer for sure. Though the style is usually quite boozy, this one is perhaps a little too hot still and could use some time to mellow. It is excellent right now, but will probably be world shattering in a year. Either way, this is yet another Driftwood beer I'd like to drink on a regular basis. Thanks again Rutager. Fantastic beer.

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

***2010 Vintage***

Thanks to glouglouburp (ratebeer) for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Burnished light copper is the color of the body with a nice thick head that latches a bit to the sides.

Smell: Burnt sugar, caramel, malt candy, fleshy fruit and dare i say hops?

Taste: Wow, that's sweet baby! Sweet malt, a rustic feel, intense, bitter orange flesh that reminds me of hops a bit. Sugar throttles in the middle right through the end bringing with it some leafy herb bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The feel is long and it just rakes the palate yet doesn't quite rip it apart thankfully.

Overall: Not for the faint of heart and it needs to be shared. Still, i enjoyed this one quite well.

Photo of Stizz19
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one. Served in a tulip.

A - A hard pour rouses a thin tan foam that settles to wisps and a thin collar. Transparent amber-orange body.

S - This must be fresh, as the Columbus hops are front and center here, imparting earthy and spicy notes with perhaps a touch of orange. Underneath there is a hefty caramel and brown sugar malt backbone that has a slightly burnt character to it.

T - The malt steps up, with more of a bready character and a tad less sugary flavor. Hops add a mild herbal flavor but mostly contribute bitterness in the finish. Gets sweeter as it approaches room temperature, but thankfully never gets cloying.

M - Smooth, lightly toasty, texture, medium-full body, with lower carbonation, and surprisingly little heat for the listed 14%.

D - This is definitely a sipper, between the high alcohol and the fatiguing hop bitterness. If you like barleywines in the Bigfoot tradition you'll probably dig this, but if you prefer sweet barleywines I'd recommend sitting on this for a year or two. Unfortunately my tastes tend toward the latter.

Old Cellar Dweller from Driftwood Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.