Old Cellar Dweller | Driftwood Brewery

Old Cellar DwellerOld Cellar Dweller
BA SCORE
4.13/5
138 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:
#2,873
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
138
pDev:
8.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
43
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 138 |  Reviews: 51
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 mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of DaPan
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris for this bottle.
2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured murky dark brown and settled almost completely opaque with just a slight ruby glow around the edges. A thin layer of cream coloured head formed on the pour.

S - Sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar and a big hop profile with a citrus aroma.

T - Follows the nose. Sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar with some generous hopping that lends a big bitterness and some citrus flavours.

M - Medium, almost full body. Chewy. Light carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

 539 characters

Photo of ericj551
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of injuredreserve
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

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 largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of thefullpython
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of cbnz
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of 604growler
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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 GrindFatherBob
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of KalanM
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 1,132 characters

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 tigervette
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of jrenihan
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 548 characters

Photo of montrealbcr89
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 1,073 characters

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Old Cellar Dweller from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 138 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.