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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.

1,987 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,987
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 199
Gots: 272 | FT: 16
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
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Ratings: 1,987 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutHunter
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 6 pack of this during the holidays and have been nursing it since. I like barley wines but I don't get to try them often so this is a treat. Its in the single digits in mid Michigan so a big barleywine seems fitting. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into my chalice. Batch# 9958, Born on August 25th, 2010. 6 months old. Price $14.99.

A- I really like the label on this beer. It reminds me of skiing down the runs at boyne mountain, looking down them and seeing the branches and roots sticking out of the snow, good times. This beer pours a deep brown mahogany color with a thin layer of tan head that faded to a super thin ring that left a little lacing.

S- The aroma is full of malted barley, it really does dominate the aroma as I have come to expect from American Barleywines. I also picked up some brown sugar, dark fruits and a hint of caramel.

T- Just like the aroma the malted barely dominates the taste also. Caramel sticks out more then it did in the aroma. The caramel is followed by some nice dark fruits and a slight hint of citrus hops that has faded. There is some boozyness to this brew as expected but after 6 months it has toned down a little and is quite pleasant and a little warming. The flavors are complex and balanced nicely.

M- This brew is thick and chewy, just how it should be. It also has descent carbonation.

D- This beer is a sipper so I would probably only have one unless I was on a mission to get drunk. A little too sweet and warming to have more then one.

Overall I would say this is the best barleywine I have had to date, I liked it a lot. The flavors are on point, complex, and balanced very nicely. This is truly the cognac of beers. I noticed that after 6 months the booze calms down a little and lets more dark fruits and caramel flavors come through more. I will be setting aside a bottle or two to see what another 6 months does to this brew. It's a little pricey at 15 bucks a 6 pack, but it's worth every penny, this is a beer I would love to have in my fridge at all times and I would for sure buy it agian. Great job Bell's, making great beers like this is why you are my favorite brewery.

StoutHunter, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of EricCioe
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this in anticipation of the great blizzard of 2011. I've had a few since the snow started and I got snowed in and had nothing to do but warm up with this and some vidya games.

It pours a dark amber brown but for the few I've had I can't get the head to stick around. There is little lacing. On the nose the predominant notes are more English barleywine than American: big bready notes, raisins, toffee, biscuits, a nice mixture of sweet smells with a little bit of wonderful head behind it. It reminds me of J.W. Lees on the nose, which is one of my favorite noses on all beers. On the tongue the same sweet bread as the nose is the first thing that stands out, but underneath and behind that is a wonderful, subtle hop white noise. In the mouth it's kind of syrupy but there is a nice alcoholic, carbonated spikeyness that follows it and sticks around forever. There are other beers at similar alcohol levels that are more drinkable than this, but that's part of the charm for it this week. The alcohol that kind of kills the large-scale drinkability is the thing that warmed me up after a stroll through 3 foot drifts.

One of my favorite barleywines, a nice quiet corner of the Bell's catalog.

EricCioe, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of ramseye4
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=Gorgeous. Pours a beautiful medium brown with an incredible 2 finger head that sticks around. Great lacing. One of the best looking beers I have ever seen.
S=deep malted barley, a bit of sweet fruit, lots of caramel
T=This is a bit of a doozy, as a lot of barleywines are. Very heavy on the malt, with a lot of alcohol, very boozy. Some darker fruit in there as well. Definitely a sipper.
M=Very highly carbonated, sticky, full bodied
D=The strong alcohol taste and high ABV make this one you would only want one or two in a night

ramseye4, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of HOPPYKC
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this bottle into a pint glass. it did not have a bottled on or bb date but it did have the markings under the ABV that is: 9958.

A- Poured this into a nice pint glass. It pours a think and plentiful dark amber. It gave a nice inch maybe a little under in tan head that dissipated quickly. A nice opaque brew is left, that when held under light shows a lot of sediment left in the glass. Im guessing this is a bottle conditions brew.

S- I get a nice full flavor that is nice malted barley. Hops are backing up the front note and give a nice aroma. Citrus almost of orange of something heavier... Another grapefruit. I do get a bit of an alcohol aroma from this brew, I am not surprised, its a good 10.3% ABV.

T- I think i am getting this brew as fresh as it comes. It has been at my local store for maybe a week and it was almost gone so i felt compelled to buy it. I get a lot of malt. Nice, roasted. A bit of toffee and carmel. But its all light. I get a lot more hops that i thought i would from a barley-wine. It is fully encompassed, hops, malt, citrus, a dry and grain like finish. It is definitely complex, there is a lot going on here and its hard to put your finger on it.

M&D- A full character. I'd love to have this beer all year long. It is a great beer for a long night especially when its cold. I think the people in Michigan got something right. Maybe its in the water. I get a nice hit in the back of my throat, a bit of carbonation makes it tickle all the way through the drink. I would love to let some of these bottles age a bit and see how it mellows a bit. Up front, it is definitely something i would like to see after it had mellowed a bit.

HOPPYKC, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of janders1
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- I poured this into a snifter and this beer is a nice golden brown with a medium head and lots of carbonation. You can also notice some sediment on the bottom.

S- I spent a lot of time smelling this beer. It has a very high alcohol content and you can smell a little bit of the alcohol in the aroma. To me this beer has a very strong apricot smell to it also.

T- This is definitely a beer to sip on. It has a very strong aftertaste with hints of caramel and malts.

M- After a few sips, the alcohol definitely gets more noticeable, but it is still not overpowering. The carbonation is strong and tingles the tongue.

D- This beer is easy to drink and is a pretty good barleywine.I would definitely recommend this. Bell's Brewery doesn't really make a bad beer

janders1, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler into my trusted irish pub pint glass,wonderful garnet ruby hue. A nice tan head that recedes to a nice ring leaving behind good lacing.
Very thick caramel aromas seem to dominate with some dry stone fruit for good measure.
The flavors that are most out front for me are a nice sweet caramel,dried stone fruit & a dark bread. A lingering hop bitterness seems to finish this.
Excellant carbonation and a thick creamy chewy mouth with just a hint of hop oil.
So, the abv on this is well hidden for me but causes pause for drinkability. Home, check, ok procede.

welldigger888, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark tawny orange color with a healthy sized, creamy, foamy, fairly thick and dense, white head. Plenty of sediment. Great retention leaving a nice layer of lace.

S - Strong caramel smell along with rum soaked golden fruit and orange aroma. Some toffee and other citrus (grapefruit). Faint alcohol presence.

T - Like the nose, there is a large caramel presence with citrus flavor, some rum soaked golden fruit, and hints of alcohol. Some toffee. Hops are there, but not strong, slight herbal and floral flavor. A bit of spice and some spice.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Warming and slick.

D - Definitely wanted to sip this. A little to sweet, coating and warming for me to drink too much of this.

Notes: 9525 bottled in Jan. 05, 2010. Not bad. Hops and alcohol had a slight presence even after a year. Not my favorite beer but not bad. Fruity and caramel with some flavors resembling some spirits. Worth a try and if the price were good, I would get it again.

FreshHawk, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the Root Cellar. Batch #9958.

Pours dark brown, but when put to the light it's a gorgeous, cloudy mahogany. Nice tan head with good retention.

Sweet caramel, light fig, prunes and a nice peppery hop aroma.

Wow, the complex caramel backbone on this one is amazing. That's how it starts, amazingly dark and sweet. As the flavor settles, toasted malts come forward and lead into mild bitterness from the hops.

The mouthfeel is great. Thick and chewy with ample carbonation. Very enjoyable.

beachbum1975, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Modest head that settles to a single layer of minute bubbles. Leaves a thin blanket of lace on the glass after each sip. The color is ruby-brown. Light passes, but not enough to determine the clarity.

Brandy-soaked raisins aroma. Rich, molasses-like nose that portends of the alcohol kick to come.

Rich flavor that starts off barely sweet with lots of darker caramel. The alcohol is potent and evident, but it isn't the predominate flavor. The finish is surprising--lots of peppery hop. The aftertaste is a balanced blend of the malt and hop. The body is rich without any oiliness. A stunningly easy barleywine to drink.

smcolw, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark, wood-stained brown, that became more ruby-red in color as I peered at it in front of a light source. The healthy beige, one-inch head left behind a substantial amount of gooey dried bubbles as the beer melted away into a froth.

S: Deep dark caramel scent, partnered with tons of dark fruit such as raisons, prunes, dates, and a good amount of high-pitched bitter hops.

T: Very malty as opposed to hoppy on the taste. There was not a bit of roughness to this ale at all... quite the contrary actually. For my tastes, I actually wished the hops had more kick to them. If you really like your barleys nice and malty, then this is your brew. Dry on the finish, yet still smooth as hell.

M: The alcohol heated up after a few sips, but still deserves applause for its subtlety overall. The carbonation was nice and prickly for the malt-bomb that this was, and the lacing was ridiculous.

D: Not the best barleywine I've ever had, but it's damn near up there as one of the smoothest. Bell's doesn't produce many duds.

Chaney, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle as a single from Corks and Kegs in Richmond, VA - packaged approx 1 year ago

Poured into a DFH snifter, very cloudy reddish brown with little chunks of love floating around and the head was slow to form and hefty

The nose on this brew is of minty champagne with loads of malt. It was unlike anything I've smelled in the beer world. I called the wife over more than once to smell!

Amazing to drink, very smooth, ethanol is present but not overwhelming for a 10.2%. Big malt flavors

I had a hard time putting the glass down with this beer


engagechad, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of slowbie
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Bottle has a batch number of 9970 which according to the website means it's been in the bottle for 3 months.

Pours a light brown color with a smallish head that dissappears quickly.

Aromas of dark fruits, bready malts, and alcohol.

Taste starts with the dark fruits but fades to hops and malts fighting it out. Not a harmonious blend IMO.

Good mouthfeel for a barleywine, thick enough but not too sweet. Moderate carbonation suits the style well.

Good drinkability. I might have caught it at a bad age but I am not very impressed by this beer given it's rating.

slowbie, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was from batch #9958. It was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It was very murky raisin in color and didn't let much light pass through it. It smelled of sweet malt and candied fruit. It didn't feature any type of hops at all. It was kind of candied sugar and molasses like in terms of the nose. I'm sure it mellows out with time. It drinks kind of sweet and has the candied fruit thing going again. The alcohol was definitely present as I tried to pick through the flavors. It dranks well for both the style and content. I think I need to try this with some age on it. It was pretty good but still pretty fresh for a barleywine so that may have affected what I thought. It would have been more drinkable if the alcohol weren't so noticeable. It was good though.

aasher, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Kvlterbm
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (batch 9958) to snifter.

A: Deep, cloudy brown/dark amber with some notes of ruby red. Barely any head, but that's to be expected.

S: First thing I picked up on in the nose was a huge aroma of sweet malt. Dark fruits, fig, a lot of raisin, molasses. The hop aroma is a lot more subtle than I expected. The booziness definitely comes through in the smell, but it's pretty well hidden.

T: Flavor follows the aroma very well. Brown sugar, sweet, caramelly malts, raisin. Some bitter, spicy hops at the back of the tongue make themselves known, but they don't dominate the taste at all. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M: Slight carbonation and a bit of a lingering warming feeling left from the booze. Smooth and creamy. Aftertaste of the sweet malt and raisin with a slight hop presence.

D: Great for sipping. You'll feel the alcohol more than you'll taste it. Definitely very drinkable, but one is enough for me.

I was expecting a more hop-forward barleywine, but this was a great surprise. I'll absolutely be buying this again, as well as committing some bottles to the cellar. Can't wait to try it again as it ages.

Kvlterbm, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of ne0m00re
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle of Batch 9970.
A: A dark--almost brown--amber, it poured with a one-finger creamy head and some lacing.
S: Raisin and brown sugar caramel, slightly buttery cinnamon, almost rummy alcohol, nice green earthy hops, good.
T: Boozy rum or whiskey like baileys, maple syrup, dark caramel and brown sugar, a more pronounced roasted "creme brulee" lingers long.
M: Thicker mouthfeel, creamy carbonation.
D: OK. Only one is good.

ne0m00re, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of portia99
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (batch 9958) generously gifted by nonstick. Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a rich, coppery, red and amber hued brown body with a short but creamy head that leaves behind a finely bubbled collar and a couple of loose islands on the surface. Seems to be a good amount of floaties in the body of the beer - wasn't a gentle pour, however.

S - Alcohol, raisins, caramel, molasses, grassy/citrusy hops, a bit of bitterness and a touch of roasted malts. Mild vanilla-ey creaminess joins the party as the beer slowly approaches room temperature.

T - Very well balanced. Nice bitter hop presence that fills the mouth ahead of the sweeter malt flavors. Caramelly malt clings to the back of the citrus-edged hop bitterness and smoothes and gently sweetens. Roasted malt bitterness lingers into the finish and leaves a lasting impression.

M - Medium/full bodied with a carbonation level that approaches medium, but settles just below that threshold. This results in a very smooth and creamy feel on the tongue. Bitterness overtakes the smoothness in the end and lingers far into the aftertaste.

D - 10.2%...hard to believe. I'm a big fan of hoppier barleywines and this is definitely no exception. Not as hoppy as the biggest examples in this style (read as Bigfoot), but I'd still say this is safely balanced on the hop side of the equation. Thoroughly enjoyable fresh (as this one is)...I imagine it will age well too for those who like the hops a little less dominant. Either way, great barleywine - hope to have this one again soon.

portia99, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of bushbeer75
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle poured into a snifter

Batch #9358 packaged 9/23/09 [per Bell's website]

Bells Third Coast Old Ale poured a dark brown with a reddish hue and produced a small creamy tan head that retreated quickly leaving a ring of bubbly lacing in my snifter. The nose is of sweet malt, molasses and fresh raisins with a slight aroma of alcohol in the background. The flavor matches the nose, with a taste of dried fruit, caramel and brown sugar added in a rich malt background. Medium to full body, moderate carbonation and"just-right" alcohol warmth.

Third Coast Old Ale is a very drinkable ale that should grow more complex with an additional year of aging...can't wait to taste how this Ale will mature over time. My favorite offering [to date] from Bells.

bushbeer75, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of jpro
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on New Year's Eve at the VooDoo Lounge in West Ashley... served in an imperial pint glass...

A: Deep red with a sudsy / rocky off white head; no lace gets left on this 10.2% puppy!

S: Rich, sweet malts and earthy hops...

T: Brown sugar; sweet / thick malts; some caramel; spicy hops along with a touch of alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium bodied and perfect carbonation; a very smooth barleywine, although there is a small amount of alcohol burn on the finish.

D: VERY drinkable for the style; probably the most drinkable barleywine I've had... GREAT stuff - I'd like to cellar some and give the aged version a try, too. Mmmm...

jpro, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Vec2267
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Burnt orange / caramel color. Slight head. Given the ABV probably about as much as can be expected.

Caramel and alcohol on the nose.

Heavy caramel flavor. Some dark fruit notes. Rich intense flavor.

Very syrupy and smooth.

A very enjoyable beer, but the ABV certainly comes into play.

Vec2267, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of lester619
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark mahogony brown with a bit of a reddish tint. Very thick and syrupy pour. Big dense fluffy head and thick lacing. Really nice. The smell is fantastic. Like a great smelling fresh IPA, but much sweeter and more complex. I pick up rasins, lots of citrus, molasses, some chocolate, maybe even a faint hint of apples and pears. A ton going on in here. This stuff does a number on your tastebuds from the begining. Very thick and sweet to start out. Syrupy viscuous malty sweetness. A huge toungue ripping herbal bitterness with traces of oak and other earthy notes. It mellows a little with some less intense fruity citrus flavors, but there is a hard alcohol aftertaste when all is said and done. I'm not exactly sure how you quantify drinkablity. If it means could I have a second one, then hell no. This is a huge ass-kicking beer to say the least. It's my first barley wine and I'm sure I need to aquire more of a taste for them. This is probably the most hard-core beer I've had to date.

lester619, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of sprucetip
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A finger of tan head falls fast. Chestnut color turns reddish copper when backlit. Also proven to be quite clear when backlit.

Thick, rich, heavy caramel right out of the gate! Boozy too, and woody, though I"m not aware of any barrel aging. Not particularly complex, but I like it.

Hoppy bitterness rises to the occasion and lies just beneath the more prominent caramel and sweetness, balancing the huge malt bill expertly. The hop bitterness and even some fruity hop flavor increase through the middle and into the finish, joined by some dark fruity notes. Boozy, too, but not too too much.

Medium carbonation, strong warming, thick viscosity, and rich full body leading into a mildly bitter and slightly dry finish.

Really nice, very rich, smooth and balanced sipper. Glad I tried it, and I'm gonna lay some down for some points of time in the future.

sprucetip, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Suds
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had hit-or-miss experiences with beer from Bells. Any Old Ale, however, gets me excited. This one is a very deep, dark, mahogany color. Lots of floaties in the beer, however, with some slight haze. The head is initially thick, but fades quickly. Malt-forward smell, with a toasted, bready, cracker-like scent. The taste is sweet...sweet and very malty. Solid and balancing bitterness. Clean...restrained fruit character. Alcohol is very present, especially in the warming (which occurs immediately with the first sip). Full mouthfeel. Quite drinkable. This one is great for the holidays.

Suds, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to gratefulbeerhead for this gem. Eric thank you so much! Batch 1303 bottled on December 28th 1993.

A- Bottle hissed as the cap was popped...sweet! Pours a murky brown color with amber highlights when held to the light. No real head on this bad boy just some light bubbles on the top of the beer. Very very light spots of lacing with a lot of legs on this beer.

S- There is no real metallic over or undertones to this which I expected. While there is it is very light and in the background. Also, there is oxidation to this beer which gives it a light musty cardboard aroma which isn't off putting but very much there. Now the alcohol is very much apparent as well which seems to be overpowering and tingles the nostrils from the front of back being a little overpowering at first but calm down once the beer sits a little. Darker fruits such as plums, figs, dates, and light raisin notes soaked in alcohol also pop up and play hand in hand with the overall alcohol aroma. There is no hops whatsoever in this beer after 17 years of sitting around. Oddly for me I found a light almost bready base malt background buried deep in the backing of the aroma. Overall not what I was expecting. I actually think the aroma was better than I thought it would be (mostly due to the rusting on the cap itself).

T- This is where I think it got interesting for me. The inital taste for me was a lot of wet cardboard which was a major blow I thought. I let this one breathe for a little bit before taking another sip. The second sip had a lot of alcohol vapor attack my mouth before the beer even hit my lips. Once the beer hit my palate I got a ton of rum soaked figs and plums in the front with the alcohol being a little on the medicinal side. The alcohol transforms in the middle of the beer to bring forth more of a sweeter overall taste that mixes with a very light bready base malt. The ending of this beer comes through with some stale overall qualities. Raisins seem to be the biggest flavor but with a light medicinal alcohol hint to it. This isn't off putting at all but I would say adds to the overall dimension to this beer. There is a return of light wet cardboard notes but these only hint along with a light metallic tone that hints for the first time as the alcohol picks up in a borderline sickly sweet tone.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is very low with this beer almost being flat. Sweet alcohol, light wet cardboard, and darker fruit left on the palate. Some light metallic lingering, sweet alcohol, hint of cardboard, and stale raisin left in the aftertaste. The off flavors in this beer I expected for the age. These don't really add too much of a distraction to the original flavors I think (which of course are more malt forward). There is medium heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol which I expected this to just make my palate bone dry.

D- This beer I think has stood up as well as a beer can for 17 years. I think it might be a year or two past its prime but still a nice sipping beer. The oxidation was almost like a base undertone for the entire beer. It didn't ruin the beer like I have said but added a little more depth to this beer. The drinkability I think is compromised a little by this as once the beer warmed to warm temp the cardboard became more intense. Overall I think this beer was a nice gem and just goes to show that Bell's was in it for the long run even 17 years ago.

alleykatking, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of silentjay
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a murky, muddy brown with a very small head which quickly settles to a spattering of film and leaves some spotty chunks on the glass.

very fruity smell with a brown sugar coating. some leather or rawhide as well. not my favorite, but very good for the style.

very fruity and leathery, again, with yogurt covered raisins, plenty of molasses and brown sugar and dark caramel. a bit of spicy hops come through and it finishes very sweet with toffee and molasses
with a touch of chocolate.

full bodied with just enough carbonation to make a presence and a bit syrupy swallow.

drinks rather well.. booze is evident throughout, can be a touch harsh at times, keeping this to a slow sipper, as it should be.

silentjay, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of drizzam
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my good friend Cdkrenz for this generous offering!

A - Pours with a cloudy dark brown body, topped by a light tan one finger foamy head. When I poured it, it almost looked like this brew was on nitro. Excellent head retention and very generous lacing.

S - Sweet and alcoholic all at once. Caramel malt accented by a mild dark fruit aroma...and of course, that boozy alcohol aroma you might expect from a beer with 10.2% ABV.

T & M - The aroma was true to the taste. Caramel malt plays nicely with a dark fruit component. There seems to be a bit of piney hop toward the back end to help add to the complexity. Of course, that boozy alcohol smell presented itself with a warming effect in my throat and stomach. Creamy, slick mouthfeel.

D - This is a good barleywine from Bell's. Sure, there are better ones out there, but this one is no slouch. A highly drinkable example of the style.

drizzam, Dec 26, 2010
Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 1,987 ratings.