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Leapbeer Reviews #349 & 350 Old Cellar Dweller 2012 & Old Barrel Dweller 2012 by Driftwood Brewing Company

Let me start off with saying I really didn’t want to open these beers yet. Driftwood marked the five year anniversary of their Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine with two iterations of this ale. Old Cellar Dweller has a ‘friend’ on the shelf by it this year, a barrel aged version named Old Barrel Dweller. They even did us the added bonus of sealing the tops of these two bold barleywine style beers in wax in an effort to encourage beer geeks to cellar them.  On top of that they even went so far as to release older vintages to private liquor stores to satiate the masses. While I am a fan of both of these beers I beg of you, if you MUST open one, make sure it is just one. I opened them both, for the blog, and I regret it. I regret not giving these beers time to mature and develop. That said, I do have other bottles of them that are sitting safely in the cellar. They are getting a minimum 6 month treatment (if not more).

But I press on, for science, with my review of these two beers. First up is the 2012 Old Cellar Dweller. This is a deep reddish brown and thick barleywine with a thin tan head on top. The aroma is equally complex, hops on the nose initially followed by brandied cherries and port or sherry. It is a big malty beer, giving hints of cherries, oranges, brandy and a latent bitterness. Despite its high test, this is remarkably drinkable. The alcohol (11.8% ABV) doesn’t hit you until its passing down your throat. The carbonation on this was thin, but still there.

Leapbeer #349 is 2012 Old Cellar Dweller

2012 Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

2012 Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale by Driftwood Brewing Company

Brewery: Driftwood Brewing Company of Victoria, BC
Released: December 4th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/11.8% ABV
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor Courtenay
Webpage:
http://driftwoodbeer.com/beers/old-cellar-dweller/
Other Reviews: BeerAdvocate & Rate Beer

Read more…

Leapbeer Reviews #42 – A Tale of Two Heavy’s part 2 Old Cellar Dweller

So last time I tried these I felt that they weren’t given a fair shake, so I’m going at them again. 1st up is the Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine style ale by Driftwood. Its definitely not as sweet when drank at room temp, and it actually has more of a ‘wine’ feel to it. At the room temp you get all the floral notes in the brew. The other thing different is the harsh bitterness, it is still there but more stunted. The way you’d think of Wasabi as hot for a brief period of time as opposed to habaneros as hot for a long period of time. Its still not an easy beverage to drink quickly, unlike the previous barley wine I had. This one, when served at the right temperature, is more of a drink to mull over. The flavors are beer, but refined. It is quite tasty. Now that I’m drinking it properly I really like it.

That said, I have a complaint. Dear Driftwood Brewery, I really wish you’d have put a proper serving temp notice on the bottle of this barley wine. Not that I am mad to be drinking it for a second time, but I feel that I wasted the previous bottle. I’ve seen some beer’s labelled with a serving temp suggestion, and this is one that could use that immensely. Admittedly you do have this info on the website, but I didn’t go to check that until after I’d finished the first bottle at a ‘normal’ fridge-chilled temp. Had I not been blogging about beers, I likely wouldn’t have even checked to see your site.

So, to sum up, I highly suggest trying this (if you can find it) BUT serve it at room temp (aprx 13 degrees)

#42 again, Driftwood’s Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine

3rd part of this is being written soon, so stay tuned. It’ll be hammertime again here soon.

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