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Third Coast Old Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,937 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,937
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 193
Gots: 264 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
From Bell's website:
"Third Coast Old Ale is a cellerable American-style barleywine that has notes of dried fruit and caramel embedded in a rich malt background that will grow more complex over time."

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Third Coast Old Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,937 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of icecreammatt
icecreammatt

California

1/5  rDev -75.7%

11-13-2012 00:50:32 | More by icecreammatt
Photo of mwar
mwar

Kentucky

1.75/5  rDev -57.5%

05-19-2013 13:53:37 | More by mwar
Photo of spamages
spamages

Michigan

2/5  rDev -51.5%

11-16-2011 21:04:25 | More by spamages
Photo of DavyJones
DavyJones

Pennsylvania

2.25/5  rDev -45.4%

04-13-2012 01:17:46 | More by DavyJones
Photo of mwbrady12
mwbrady12

North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -45.4%

07-17-2013 00:36:27 | More by mwbrady12
Photo of alysmith4
alysmith4

District of Columbia

2.45/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not uaually a fan of the Old Ales, and this beer just confirms that. Very syrupy sweet and thick with low carbonation. Lots of cherry flavors came through, and it reminded me of a cough syrup I used to have as a kid. Similar medicinal notes as well.

I only had one, but it was hard to finish. The high ABV set the night off right, and made it easy to graduate to a lighter, more complex beer. Would not try this one again though.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 19:49:49 | More by alysmith4
Photo of ambiguousfigures
ambiguousfigures

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

07-22-2014 16:36:59 | More by ambiguousfigures
Photo of Josbor11
Josbor11

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

02-13-2014 21:14:41 | More by Josbor11
Photo of mmulebarn
mmulebarn

Minnesota

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

11-15-2013 00:02:11 | More by mmulebarn
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark reddish brown, pretty much opaque. Good sized tan colored off white head.

S - Nutty and malty. Lots of brown, caramel notes and maby a little bit of wild funk or possibly a butter aroma. I wish I had someone here who could recognize diacetyl as I think that may be what I am detecting, but I have never been able to pick it out.

T - Buttery. Lots of hops, almost fatty and greasy flavor. Makes me wonder if I had poor luck and got a really oxadized bottle.

M - Very slick and mouth coating.

D - Not sure what to think about this. Right now I feel like this beer was a horrible mistake. I don't know if it was infected, abused, or just bad but I got this one from the Bells Store in Kalamazoo so it shold be as good as it gets. Maby with a few years of ageing it would turn into something a bit more satisfactory.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 04:16:45 | More by nickfl
Photo of innersanctum
innersanctum

Illinois

2.53/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My neighbor was awfully kind to offer me a bottle of BB's old ale, "Its like an amber ale on steroids!".

Let me offer the fine folks at Bell's the dignity they deserve and mention this just isn't my type of ale. Mouthfeel on this one had a definate sense of burnt carmel and raisin with lots of alcohal. The lack of head and lacing did not bother me, but it might bother you. Sediment is very obvious at the bottom of the bottle.

In all fairness, Bells recommends aging the ale so that could have voided the warranty right then and there, but I did sleep very well last night. Also, pay attention to the review conducted by Alström Bros and suggest following their leed, after all I did drink this at the end of a hot August day so a little bit of willpower could have helped.

This one is my own damn fault, and oh neighbor please don't forget about me with your wonderfully aged old ale in the depths of winter.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 14:37:59 | More by innersanctum
Photo of rockwell
rockwell

Georgia

2.53/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle has #7695 on it which I assume is the batch number.

Pours a deep, cherry-oak color with a almost burnt-orange head. Also has two-fingers of solid foam, with intricate lacing.

Roasted notes on the nose, with hints of cherry and tobacco.

Something is very unbalanced in this beer. First few drinks are very hot. The malts seem to be fighting with the hops and not balancing each other out. Very resiny, lots of herbal, earthy undertones. But the finish has a very weird, alcohol/hop kick to it that is throwing the whole thing very much out of balance for me.

I had very high hopes for this after the initial pour, but overall seemed to be unbalanced. I'll revisit this with another batch to make sure I didn't get a mistreated bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 02:28:57 | More by rockwell
Photo of froggyfrog
froggyfrog

Pennsylvania

2.58/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle packaged Feb. 8, 2006. Beer served in a snifter glass Nov. 17, 2006.

A: Floodwater mud and rust with a 12 iron head composed of silken web-like threads of viscous fluid which slather the glass and adhere to the walls when swirled.

S: Brown sugar and alcohol prevail.

T: Unexpected. Still somewhat sharp in flavor, this beer is overwhelmed to a degree by hot alcohol. Thin caramel and earthy hop oils argue for time. There is also a spot of sticky dark red fruits like plum or cherries.

M: Slightly conflicted. Weight is thin yet lips are left sticky with a dry alcoholic finish.

D: I like a strong beer but this felt overpowered by raw alcohol and not balanced by an appropriately aggressive flavor profile.

While obviously a well-made beer, this Old Ale really didn't hit on any of the flavor components that I was looking for. To echo the advice of previous reviewers: Cellar this beer - 9 months is not enough.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 04:34:44 | More by froggyfrog
Photo of jackieT
jackieT

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

01-01-2014 17:47:06 | More by jackieT
Photo of marcb105
marcb105

Michigan

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

11-09-2013 21:39:04 | More by marcb105
Photo of plinythederek
plinythederek

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

02-25-2013 02:16:54 | More by plinythederek
Photo of Jade
Jade

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

06-21-2013 01:50:08 | More by Jade
Photo of RMelyon
RMelyon

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

06-22-2013 00:02:23 | More by RMelyon
Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
Minnesota_beer_guy

Minnesota

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

02-15-2014 02:14:30 | More by Minnesota_beer_guy
Photo of CraftAle
CraftAle

Michigan

2.8/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I didn't enjoy it. Taste was all sweetness and alcohol. Tasted some hops early on, but sweetness completely hid them as I drank more.

I'm a big fan of Bells, especially Two Hearted Ale, so I don't mean to say that this is a poorly done brew. If this is typical of Barley Wine, then I won't be trying others. In my opinion, it needed a lot more hops to balance the malt sweetness.

Double IPAs can have the same malt and alcohol, but offset it with hops, and be more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 21:46:16 | More by CraftAle
Photo of CWiggins
CWiggins

North Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the six Bell's taps at Tyler's Taproom in Durham. I've now sampled them all! Old Ale is one of my favorite styles; I try each new version I come across. Bell's Third Coast is served in a Bell's tulip glass with approximately ten ounces at a time.

It's dark brown with nut-brown highlights, and the foamy head is tan and short-lived. Aromas of dark, sweet fruit and roasted malts rise up from the brew during a deep sniff. The flavor is sweet and malty with a surprisingly hoppy finish. Upfront, the malts are heavy and complex, and the fruity esters are certainly noticeable. When those characters mellow just before the finish, hops takes over and provides a very bitter finish. The mouthfeel is thick and a little chewy. This makes for a great stand-alone drink for a cool/cold evening.

My only complaint about this brew is the intense hops at the finish. I prefer Old Ales that are malty, smooth, and well-balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2007 22:55:27 | More by CWiggins
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a nearly opaque reddish/brown color. A large beige head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes to leave some sticky lace.
S: Musty, dank, and metallic. Sweet caramel malt, bread light chocolate. Fruity hops are a bit to prevalent. Hot alcohol.
T: Again, a metallic twang up front. Light toasted caramel malt and chocolate. Bitter hops show itself towards the end, and takes over a little to much for my tastes (especially for the style). Again, hot alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Crisp, but smooth. Way to much alcohol for this to be enjoyable. It is hard to finish the bottle.

I am really not impressed with this. A sub standard Old Ale that lacks substance and subtleties. Not bad, but not something I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 04:57:56 | More by champ103
Photo of ph2001
ph2001

Oregon

2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle in snifter

no head, a very hazy deep amber color. smells very sweet and malty. looks thick. the 10.2% is not too noticeable in ti. there is a strong sweetness and maltiness to it. the hop flavors are subtle and nice. it finishes with a strong spicy carmel flavor that stands out quite a bit. it could be more balanced but it might just need some time on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 18:11:42 | More by ph2001
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this stiff brew into a tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was cloudy with a tan head that was decent enough. The beer smelled bready or yeasty. The tast of the beer was rather bitter with a slightly nutty finish. Therre was alo an acrid aftertaste that might have just been from the high alcohol content. I will not buyy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 17:58:32 | More by Minkybut
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

OG=1.098, 9.0% ABV.

Murky, dark-amber in color, forming a tall, rocky, whipped dark-beige head with awesome holding power and sticky sheets of lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma...intense floral and piney hops, sticky amber malts, molasses cookies, faint sensation of alcohol, pumpernickel bread dough, caramelized sugar, dark honey. Mouthfeel is syrupy and oily with a dense body and slick finish. Taste...as per aroma...there is also a peculiar resinous buttery hop note towards the end with the suggestion of almonds. The hops predominate initially, creating the sensation of West-Coast intensity and harshness (i.e-Centennial). The suggestion of ripe dark fruits doesn't quite have the intensity to balance the hop levels. The alcohol is harsh and medicinal, with no fusels. As it warms, it worsens...there is no improvement in balance, and the alcohol becomes even more dominant. This is definitely a sipper for a cold, lonely winter night as you watch the snow sadly obscure your recently shoveled driveway.

This is a hearty Olde Ale. I have drank cellared versions of this brew and aged bottles are better, however the young batches just don't have any balance and are harsh and medicinal. If you like west-coast offerings along the lines of Stone, you will enjoy this one. This is my least favorite of the otherwise exceptional Bells lineup, but still a kickass brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2003 00:26:15 | More by Mitchster
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Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.