Barley Mowat 

Dwellers of Cellars and Barrels Both

with 2 comments

Everyone in the beer world loves December, because that’s when all the good stuff comes out and beer geeks everyone get worked up into a tizzy. Except me; I kinda hate it.

Don’t get me wrong: I love great beer, and all these barley wines, imperial stouts and winter warmers are definitely great beer. I also love to cellar beer and that, my friends, is where the problem comes in. That means I have to buy a lot of this beer, and that means running around chasing delivery vans (or relying on the always awesome Sharon), and all that means I’m going into debt this December. Thanks a lot, guys.

It didn’t used to be this bad. Driftwood would drop out OCD, I would buy a couple of cases, and I’d be happy. I would try Phillips and Howe Sounds’ offerings, declare them decent-but-not-cellarable and we’d move on to next year.

Oh, how things have changed. Not only have the minor breweries gotten better, but now Central City is bottling Thor’s Hammer, and Driftwood made two, count them, TWO versions of OCD. Gah. I guess I’m eating cat food for Christmas.

All bitching about my ruined finances aside, how are these beers? Does a few months in bourbon barrels (and a double-shot of malt) make a huge difference? Short answer: yes. Long answer: Yeeeeeeesssssssss.

Tasting notes:

OCD: Nose is light caramel with lots of CO2 fizz. On the palate I get lots of that same caramel, but hints of vanilla with a bit of toffee finish. Hops are pretty well stacked up here, but should fade and mellow over time. This year’s release is very similar to the 2011 version. In short, they’re both built to age for a long time, so much so that I wouldn’t consider the 2012 terribly drinkable right now.

OBD: Nose is BOURBON! Whoa! Also in there are caramel, liquorice, dates and some plum. I wonder if molasses sneaked into this mix? Carbonation is much lower than OCD. The taste is dominated by bourbon alcohol, with an astringent oakiness towards the back. Hops are lacking, but definitely there. Over a glass, this sucker builds a nice whisky burn in the back of your throat. Unlike OCD, this is a beer for drinking right now, but the whisky will fade and mellow with ageing. The question is whether it will ultimately turn into a sticky sweet mess or not.

Coles notes:

Brewery Driftwood Brewing
From Victoria, BC
Name Old Cellar Dweller Old Barrel Dweller
Style American Barley Wine American Barley Wine
SOA Now Silver Silver
SOA Potential Gold Silver
Drink 2013 to 2018 Now to 2014
Relative sketchiness of the wax
seal compared to 2012 Singularity
Availability Most LRSs, but OBD is going fast
Cost $12.00+ per 650ml bomber
Similar Beers (you can buy) Central City Thor’s Hammer, Phillips Trainwreck, Howe Sound Wooly Bugger
Chuck says MINE! They’re all mine! Get your filthy hands off them!

Like you expected anything else.

Written by chuck

December 6th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with ,

2 Responses to 'Dwellers of Cellars and Barrels Both'

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  1. Did you have one of those recently? Would they be good to drink this xmas? I don’t have a cellar and the most temperature constant place is the vegetable drawer of the fridge and I don’t want them there forever.
    I saw plenty of these two 2012s at a private LRS in East Van last night for $14. There were also 2 bottles of the 2011 OCD, no wax on these ones, just gold colored aluminum foil, got one of those.

    Maybe I have to ask my friends if I can dig a hole in the yard, because there was also some Lustrum. 😉


    27 Nov 13 at 09:38

  2. @Frank_Z – How timely, I just sampled a Barrel Dweller. It has improved, but not massively.

    I would be wary of older beers in stores. They don’t typically cellar properly, instead storing stock either way too warm (on the floor) or too cold (in the fridge). They’re probably still worth picking up, just don’t judge the beer based on store samples.


    27 Nov 13 at 17:27

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