Old Cellar Dweller | Driftwood Brewery

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Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller
BA SCORE
4.13/5
Exceptional
141 Ratings
Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
driftwoodbeer.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This intense concentration of malt and hops is delicious when fresh but can be layed down for years. Enjoy with care!

Added by BDTyre on 12-26-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#4,059
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
141
pDev:
8.96%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
43
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of pudoo
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of SonicAlligator
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of EskimoDave
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Larz_73
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of atomeyes
4.94/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of Mages64
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of thefullpython
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of jmdr
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of drpimento
4.75/5  rDev +15%
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.

 563 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of smekermann
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

 2,320 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 487 characters

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of sukwonee
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Kmat10
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of rogerdandy
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

105 characters

Photo of 604growler
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of PacNWDad
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of JimmyTango
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DaPan
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of schnarr84
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of canucklehead
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 279 characters

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Old Cellar Dweller from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 141 ratings