Old Cellar Dweller
Driftwood Brewery

Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller
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Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
American Barleywine
Ranked #81
Ranked #5,918
4.12 | pDev: 8.98%
Dec 11, 2022
Dec 26, 2008
Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller
Notes: Malts - Pale, Pilsner, Crystal Hops - Columbus, Cascade

This ale shows huge malt body, with notes of caramel and toffee, complemented by ample hop bitterness to support it. When young, it is a hoppy treat with plenty of citrus and pine; cellared for a few years and Cellar Dweller gracefully ages into a rich, round reward for patience, hinting at flavours of tawny port.
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Rated: 3.78 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Dec 11, 2022
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2019 Vintage - one year of cellaring.
Pours a just less than clear apricot amber colour with finger of white head.
Aroma of grainy caramel malt, piney hops with citrus, floral notes, orange peel, and tangerine.
Taste starts with rich caramel malt sweetness, overripe orange, orange peel, resinous piney hops, sugar coated grapefruit rind, slightly earthy.
Full sticky mouthfeel with resinous bittersweetness and lingering piney citrus hops sitting on palate.
Very much to my liking.
Dec 26, 2020
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Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
November 14, 2017, thanks to leftpaw for bringing this out. There is no vintage on this label, unlike the one in the picture that is a 2008. This bottle says 14% unlike the 11.6% referenced here.

Pours a dark amber color. The head didn't stay on it. Aroma of malty but bitter caramel and hops.

Taste took on those amber waves of grain and caramel and pushed a grapefruit rind bitterness. Slight dallop of prune on it. Mouth feel is full of the alcohol. Bitter C hops. Slightly lower than average carbonation. Plenty of stickiness to it, slightly viscous for a barleywine even. Takes on some darker bread toastiness later on. For me the significant downside of this beer was the alcohol heat that really obscured attempts at discussing any nuance in this beer. Has elements of dark fruit, caramel, toffee and bittering hops through the entire experience, but the alcohol burn seems the most prominent thing about this beer. Perhaps 11.6 would have been nicer than 14%.
Aug 21, 2020
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Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
2019 vintage at 11.1%.

Appearance - Pours a warm amber with two fingers of frothy white head.

Smell - earthy, leafy, and floral hops, toffee malts, plum, raisin, fig, orange and grapefruit peel, brown and candied sugar, and earthy yeast.

Taste - earthy, leafy, and floral hops upfront. The toffee malts, plum, raisin, fig, orange and grapefruit peel follow suit. The brown and candied sugar alongside the earthy yeast round out the brew.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes chewy with the all ingredients lingering.

Overall - A bold and dangerous brew. The ABV is well hidden in this one making this one a dangerous treat to drink at the moment.
Apr 05, 2020
Rated: 4.06 by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

Mar 02, 2020
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Reviewed by Hat_Fulla_Beer from Canada (AB)

4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
650ml bottle poured into tulip. 2019 bottle.

Pours a clear honey amber with two fingers of beige head that leaves some cool pagoda rooftop lace as it recedes.

Smells of freshly baked dinner rolls, brown sugar, marmalade, sultana raisins, orange flesh, grapefruit candy, and some soft pine.

Tastes of sweet bread, sugared raisins, caramel tarts, more marmalade sweetness, cocoa powder, muddled citrus oils and more pleasant piney hops.

Feels big and chewy. Full bodied with frothy carbonation. Finishes fairly thick.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. A big feast of a beer.
Feb 01, 2020
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Reviewed by Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A lightly burnt orange color, moderate clarity, off white foam with soapy lacing.

Aroma of orange marmalade and wet pine needles.

Flavor follows with tons of orange candy and grapefruit rind. Piney finish.

Smooth, warming, and sappy.

A delicious English style Barleywine which I assume did well in the bottle. This may have been pretty dang hot when fresh.

Huge thanks to Tim for the bottle! Cheers!
Nov 27, 2019
Rated: 4.24 by Eric_Standard from Canada (BC)

Aug 13, 2019
Rated: 3.01 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

Apr 21, 2019
Rated: 4.07 by IPAnicked from Canada (BC)

Apr 05, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by goalie35 from Canada (AB)

Apr 01, 2018
Rated: 4.71 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Mar 13, 2018
Rated: 3.86 by mattsander from Canada (AB)

Dec 18, 2017
Rated: 3.88 by Birdlegs from Washington

Jul 26, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by NickThePyro from Washington

Jun 26, 2017
Rated: 3.96 by byronic from Canada (ON)

May 11, 2017
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Reviewed by polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a clear amber color with a small but persistent head. Upon break there is decent lacing that sticks around the entire time I was drinking. The smell is a quite pleasant, a nice bit of piney hops, some lovely caramel malts, toffee, and brown sugar. Taste follows nose, however the hops come in much stronger, and there is a strong bitter/astringent presence from them. Malts come in second, and seem muted. Feel is quite nice, with a sticky and sweetness, along with a full body and about medium carbonation.

A nice beer, this was a 2015 bottle and I think it has probably changed from what others describe. Still, quite nice, and would definitely seek it out again.
May 07, 2017
Rated: 4.33 by GJKerr from Canada (ON)

Nov 14, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by SmithyAlan from Canada (QC)

Sep 26, 2016
Rated: 4.3 by M1A2 from Ohio

Aug 14, 2016
Rated: 4.21 by scott2269 from Ohio

Jul 31, 2016
Rated: 4.12 by DangerDawg from Ohio

Jul 17, 2016
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
650ml red wax capped bottle (2015 edition), thanks again to rogerdandy for laying this bad boy on me - very generous, as always! No time for this to spend dwelling in my cellar, no-sirree!

This beer pours a mostly clear, medium copper amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly ecru head, which leaves some random splatters of chunky lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready caramel malt, musty toffee, sharp piney esters, brown sugar, concentrated orange and white grapefruit citrus, and a bit of vinous alcohol heat. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, a twinge of earthy yeast, complex light and honeyed orchard fruit (apples, pears, oranges, and red grapefruit, I guess), edgy pine resin, more dark syrupy sugar, and a further leafy, weedy, and grassy green hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate for the job at hand, manifesting in a trim and solid frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, even with those prickly pine and testy boozy characters flitting about. It finishes on the sweet side, but in a running gun battle with the lingering hops and alcohol - ergo, s'all good, man.

Overall, this is a pretty pleasant and agreeable barleywine for we unapologetic hop-heads out there - no char, no sour, no funk, no 'sessionability', just a big, brash malt monster, and its unholy bittering harem (bride? fuck that!). Drinkable in its own crazy-ass manner, which is all I (and maybe you) need to know about this incarnation of Cellar Dweller.
May 27, 2016
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Reviewed by DaveBar from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 10deg C in a tulip. 2012 vintage so should be as good as it gets.

A- Opens well and pours no head at all. Medium brown colour and unfiltered

S- Lots of complexity here. Sweet

T- Substantial amount of spice. Nice cardamom. Has a heavy malt base. Lots of bittering hops. Nice blend

M- Sticky and sickly sweet

O- Nice brew but not my style. With 4yrs on the bottle it's not going to get any better so it's a pass for me. Don't seem to enjoy these barely wines as a whole. Some good examples out there but more often they are not go good.

Food Pairing

This pretty good brew went well with....... BBQ hot dogs! Grill them over coals then onto the bun. No toppings. Try it, you may like it. You would be surprised.

May 20, 2016
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Rated by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
2011 vintage
May 15, 2016
Rated: 4.06 by WastingFreetime from Wisconsin

May 08, 2016
Rated: 4.1 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

May 02, 2016
Rated: 4.09 by Corson from Canada (AB)

Feb 01, 2016
Rated: 3.1 by Whatup14 from Canada (QC)

Jan 13, 2016
Rated: 4.15 by datpingao from California

Dec 20, 2015
Rated: 4.09 by shoegueuze from California

Dec 19, 2015
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Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Driftwood Brewery 'Old Cellar Dweller' Barleywine sampled on *cask* at GCBF'12-'18 , plus some foil/waxed 650 ml vintage bottles , 2011 @ 14.0% gold foil , 2013 @ 11.6% red wax , 2014 @ 13.1% red wax (old label) , 2015 @ 11.4% red wax (new label) , 2016 @ 11.6% red wax , 2017 @ 11.2% red wax , 2018 @ 10.3% red wax , 2019 @ 11.1% red wax , 2020 @ 11.6% red wax , 2021 @ 11.0% red wax ,
A-pour is a dark amber from the cask/bottle to a dirty brown/amber in the glass with a small beige head leaving a minimal lace ring along the sampler/tulip
S-what a nose , dried fruit , brandy , so potent , layer upon layer , even some hops still
T-big tasting barleywine , a hop bite and sweet smooth malt backbone , the last mouth full is so potent
MF-ok carbonation , big full body , such a warming feeling inside
Ov-good beer fresh , but gets a lot better with some years in the cellar
prost LampertLand & from the cellar ,
2011 with 4 years , first beer to make it four years in my cellar
2013 with 4 years , smooth , warming , refined
2013 with 5 years , this could get interesting , yeah I said that
2013 with 7 years , I couldn't wait this long , (Thank You LP+)
2014 with 3 years , give it one more year in the cellar
2014 with 4 years , damn so good , worth waiting for
2014 with 6 years , (Thank you Liquor Plus+) , enjoyed twice , damn
2015 with 2 years , another year or two still ,
2015 with 3 years , could be the right time ,
2016 with 1 year , even after a single year the hop bite has mellowed
2016 with 2 years , still too early
2016 with 3 years , getting better , almost great
2016 with 4 years , such a great beer , wow factor+
2017 with 4 years , smooth enjoyable , needs more notes , oh look another one left
2018 with 2 years , needs time
2018 with 3 years , wow factor
2018 with 4 years , so good , wow+
2019 with 2 years , needs time
2019 with 3 years
2020 with 1 year , hhmm , oh look another one , it needs time
2020 with 2 years , looking forward to this one with time in the cellar
2021 fresh - oh yeah , good/great beer , hop bite noticeable
2021 with 1 year
Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 3.38 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Sep 22, 2015
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Reviewed by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
2014 - 13.1% ABV - 650 ml bottle.

A: Deep reddish amber. Negligible head that disappears quickly to a millimetre at most.

S: Sweet syrupy aroma. Mild alcohol. Hint of citrus.

T: Heavy alcohol that hits you off the bat. Surprising hop bitterness that blends nicely with the sweet malt backbone.

F: Thinner than expected with more carbonation than the average barleywine.

O: The alcohol is a little too pronounced for my taste, but the rest of the beer is quite pleasant. Definitely a slow sipper. I prefer English barleywines generally, but would be happy to give this another go with future vintages. Pleased to have received this in a trade from Corson.
Aug 05, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by tom10101 from Canada (QC)

Jul 28, 2015
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Rated by rogerdandy from Canada (AB)

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Had the 2010 Vintage recently and found it to be marvelous. Cellaring the 2013 and 2014 for a good while.
Jun 03, 2015
Rated: 4 by nathanmiller from New York

May 26, 2015
Rated: 3.63 by LoveStout from New York

Apr 11, 2015
Rated: 3.92 by acurtis from New Jersey

Apr 11, 2015
Rated: 3.87 by djrn2 from New Jersey

Apr 11, 2015
Old Cellar Dweller from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 151 ratings