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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

1,928 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,928
Reviews: 963
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 193
Gots: 259 | 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: 1,928 | Reviews: 963 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark orange/brown color with a medium tan head. The aroma reminds me a lot of grapefruit for some reason. The taste was very good - I usually do not enjoy Bell's beers, but I have to give this one a thumbs up. The 9.0% alcohol is very well masked and it is quite easy to drink. I will have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2003 13:44:43 | More by clvand0
Photo of elmocoso
elmocoso

Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good BW. It poured a cloudy light chocolate color with a nice, finger-thick head. The head receded but there was a constant, tight-knit doily laced across the top of the beer.

There is a very malty aroma to it. Sweet, berry-ish, a very intrigrated smell of alcohol (not suprising) and caramel/molasas?.

The taste is flavor packed. Very sweet and tangy? and the beverage gives me a slight warming in the stomach.

This is a great BW, as i said before. Difinatly a sipper, though. There is a lot going on here and you have to savor it in order to get it all.

Thanks FM

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2003 20:54:17 | More by elmocoso
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is mostly malt, some caramel and roast qualities and some fruitiness. Medium to thinning tan/brown head that thins to almost nothing. Dark amber and mildly cloudy. Pretty intensely fruity for taste (dark berry, currant) and dark malt each pushing limits but backing off before becoming too biting, thereby allowing an enjoyable smoothness to appear. Just a touch of flavor of alcohol, but warmth more evident. Pushes texture too, but again before too much. Rich, chewy like almost sticky. Mild carbonation but became more evident as warmed and toward bottom of glass.
This is not my favorite style, but I liked this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2003 14:50:53 | More by garymuchow
Photo of marburg
marburg

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer! I dig this one, definitely one of Bell's better offerings. In a lot of ways, it's like Two-Hearted's big brother. Light, amber color. Little head. Big hoppy flavor but, compared to some others, is very drinkable. Definitely some fruit in there -- too powerfully bitter for that citrus grapefruit flavor you get from IPAs, but more of an old fruit taste that gets cleansed by the huge bitter backend that just rolls over the tongue as you swallow this guy. Quite drinkable as far as barleywines/old ales/beers of that ilk go.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2003 10:01:59 | More by marburg
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shoo-ee momma.

Man, what a beer. Pours out to a cross between a cloudy apple cider and what could pass for liquid caramel. Very slight, light brown head. Taste is very complex. Fruit-like taste, with plums and raisins present and caramel as well. I am not a huge fan of barleywines as their drinkability is tough due to being such big beers, but this one is an exception. You could have several if you wanted to. This is a unique offering from the rest of the Bell's line. The yeast profile is different. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2003 18:02:16 | More by proc
Photo of Stubbie1
Stubbie1

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color. A thick off white head comes to the top. A small lace was left at the top to the bottom.

Aroma. Carmel, Hops and malt come to mind. Also noted a hint of fruit.

Taste. It is a wonderful taste. The sweet caramel comes front with the hint of fruit and finished with a slight touch of bitterness from the hops. A full-bodied beer. The alcohol is well hidden and warms the beer gut when it hits. Another fine brew from Kalamanzoo

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2003 17:34:59 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of Scooter77
Scooter77

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is such a great barley wine. Pours a deep, amber color with a small off-white bubbly head that doesn’t seem to linger around for too long; minimal lace is left on the glass. Aromas are of sweet caramel, hops, raisins, and hints of chocolate. Taste seems to be quite similar to the smell. Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, leaving a thin film on my tongue, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I could drink this exceptional beer any day of the week. Thanks to fellow BA, Senior for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2003 08:48:38 | More by Scooter77
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangish-brown color with minimal head. The aroma is caramel malty, spicy, with a bit of graininess and a hint of raisin. There is a definite alcoholic aroma as well. The flavor is of sweet caramel malt, fruit, and a spicy bitterness throughout. It finishes very dry, alcoholic and bitter. The bitterness is one that sticks with you. It is a full-bodied beer, with a thick mouthfeel. I enjoyed this beer; I would definitely sample this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2003 05:23:54 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep bemired brown color, lots of dross, the head behemothic in size, frothy in texture and as it decays leaves a nice lace to cover the glass. The aroma of raisins and plums, sweet malt, black strap molasses, hints of fusel alcohol, a real “Big” nose. Start is like drinking maple syrup, thick and chewy, and the alcohol bitterness hits you immediately. Finish has a pleasant hop spiciness with the acidity moderate and the aftertaste dry as a bone, also alcohol bitter, a real “Belly Warmer”. Robust as any barley wine I’ve tasted, and one not meant for the weak of palate, or those not into alcohol, I love it.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2003 12:58:13 | More by Gusler
Photo of TXHops
TXHops

Texas

4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Original Gravity: 1.094
-Final Gravity: 1.018
-ABV: 10.2%
-ABW: 8%
-Attenuation: 80%
-Real Extract: 7.7 P
-Calories: 307
-IBU’s:
-Malts:
-Hops:
-Color:

Third Coast Old Ale is Bell’s (Kalamazoo’s) September-May seasonal. It pours a translucent orangey-reddish brown color with a really foamy head of miniscule bubbles that last well (this is all decanted off the trub). A huge waft of Belgian aromatic malts (I’m guessing here) greets my nose before I even get close enough to sniff. It smells like Chips Ahoy cookies…

The taste is big, though not exactly like the nose. The large aromatic, cookie-like maltiness is there, but so is a big shot of hops that were lying hidden under the beautiful aromatics, offsetting the potentially saccharine sweetness suggested by the aroma. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light, considering the OG and the ABV! This beer is WAY more drinkable than it ought to be for a beer its size. It’s like Bo Jackson if he were fermented: way too agile for that frame. I think that the relatively high degree of carbonation on this beer helps to belie its strength somewhat. The bottle conditioning softens what would be prickly carbonation, if this beer were force-carbonated. Adding the yeast trub to the glass turned this beer downright murky, but made the head invincible and took the fresh cookie aromatics to a whole new level. Interestingly, this beer has just a touch (ever so subtle) of the coriander taste that overwhelmed my first sample of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. I can barely pick up a touch of something unusual in the nose—just enough to get me wondering. The aroma is confirmed, if ever so briefly, in a very quick sensation between the initial taste of the beer and the finish. During that half a second between my swallow and the aftertaste, there’s a hint of something vegetal and coriander-like, instantly reminiscent of a Belgian Wit. Then it’s gone and everything’s awesome again. Other than that glimpse into what I now believe to be a peculiarity of Larry Bell’s yeast strain, this is an amazing beer. The taste will take a slight hit for that little bit of “nuance” that comes back in my burps to remind me that all’s not well in Kalamazoo land. Otherwise, this is an excellent beer and one I’ll search out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2003 20:05:17 | More by TXHops
Photo of jackndan
jackndan

Illinois

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

Bell’s Third Coast Ale: On cask. This is a great example how a well-poured cask beer can bring out a complexity, and a refreshing taste that might otherwise not have been in the bottle. Golden/hazy color, with (as my notes indicate) Guinness rings around every sip. This beer has a wonderful hops taste, but is not at all dominated by the hops. In fact, it has a sweetness that helps to balance out the hops. Cool and refreshing, very nice.

Serving type: cask

02-23-2003 19:37:55 | More by jackndan
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trbeer for this wonderful beer.

Pours a cloudy amber-brown with a small head that doesn't seem to last. The smell is mostly hops with a hint of sweet malt. Very complex in flavor. Sweet, sherry, port, malt and hops are all flavors that stick out to me. My favorite part is the aftertaste, nice bitterness. It does have a nice warming feeling in the end. Don't have too many of these, they will bite you.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2003 17:54:57 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect dark violet/burgundy color, with an impressive, thick cocoa/tan head. Aroma is majestic, and rich with flavorful connotations: sweet, sharp, and fruity, suggesting cherries, grapes, port wine, brandy, with a hint of anise, and chocolate. Mouthfeel is dazzling in complexity, full, rewarding , and greatly alcoholic, taste is magnificent, dark, sweet, profound, and strong, accompanied by a lively hop ride on the tongue, awash in sweet, liquory flavors. Alcohol content is not given on the label, but it has to be formidable, for a burnt quality lingers in the finish, and hangs around the mouth. Wonderfully warming, expertly crafted, another prodigious acheivement from Larry Bell & Co.
All larger praises must be rescinded, as we hail the king of American barleywines!.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2003 11:48:42 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of cretemixer
cretemixer

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep murky auburn with a ton of yeast sediment suspended thoughout . A thick ivory head finally settles to about 1/4 inch leaving a thick clingy lace.

An earthy malt aroma with a sharp fruity bite is foremost. Alcohol and prunes too.

Taste is smooth, fruity and malty. A hop bite thrown in makes for a nicely balanced barley wine. Caramel and grapefruit flavors take over as the beer warms a little.

Smooth and creamy thick, but not overly sticky. A subdued carbonation is there too.

Way too drinkable for 11.5%abv, but we all have our crosses to bear.

I'd put this right behind Bell's Expedition Stout as my favorite Kalamazoo product and consider myself very fortunate to have these fine beers available to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2003 16:03:55 | More by cretemixer
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle 2001 vintage, pours a cloudy dark red color with chunks of yeast floating around. Small creamy off-white head that doesn't last. Sweet candy like citrus aroma, sweet roasty caramel-grapefruit flavors, nice balanced and complex, full bodied with a slick thick creamy mouthfeel, resin coats the tongue, nice smooth lasting finish, this is a very drinkable barleywine I have to be careful.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 13:54:11 | More by maxpower
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Much smoother than other examples of the type I have tried. Cloudy orange with thick off white head. I was surprised at how much carbonation there was. The beer was thick, not as syrupy as Old Crustacion, but thick none the less. Flavor was slightly hoppy, with a taste of toffee settling down at the back of your tongue. I really enjoyed this beer, and the nice ABV sure helped.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2003 00:30:47 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of BitteBier
BitteBier

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber brown pour with two fingers of creamy head that stays around for a while and shows some nice lacing too. Clean, hoppy notes dominate the smell, complemented by floral scents, fruit esters, and a bit of sweetness. Malty, caramely taste plays off against the strong hops quite nicely. A warm, astringent finish--no suprrise given the alcohol content. Good mouthfeel and drinkability as well; the best beer I have had of this type.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2003 18:07:19 | More by BitteBier
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle believed to be 2001. Into the glass with caramel color that can't be seen through. Wonderful aroma with butterscotch, apricot, and caramel smells. Not much of a head retention. Amazing caramel, creamy, buttery, butterscotch flavor. Tastes like the old ale equivalent of Expedition Stout. Silky smooth but rich with flavors that make you want to sip slowly. I grabbed the last one in the cooler at the store and I'm happy I did. $2.59/bottle. I'd put this in upper class of Kalamazoo's offerings. I'd say that this would make a nice beer to sip while reading at the fireplace except the taste would take your attention away from the book.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2002 20:45:17 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, with a thin white head. Smells malty with a hint of alcohol. Tastes amazing malty caramel taste, so damn smooth, Complex malty flavor with a little bit of hop bite. I love this stuff, thank you Ohio Politicians for changing our ABV laws.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2002 20:35:45 | More by jtw5877
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's time KBC started vintage dating this stuff. I love the home-made package aesthetic, but I want some basic information here. FYI this was from 2001.
Beautiful reddish amber tea-brown color. Aromas are luscious and promise caramel and bitter burned sugar. A big winey, oaky blast of vanillin and peat slide, despite their breadth, effortlessly across the palate. Slippery sweet. Here's a beer that can't be tricked. No amount of hops or roast will cover a whimpy malt investment. In this case it is delivered in abundance. One of the best strong ales I'm likely to aquire.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2002 17:33:29 | More by putnam
Photo of Jon
Jon

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Here's an excellent barleywine from Kalamazoo. Pours a deep copper/brown color with a nice off-white head that leaves nice lace. The smell is big on hops and some caramel malt -- very pungent. Taste is similar; lots of bitter hops and big malt profile. Mouthfeel is rather oily and syrupy, and perfect for the style. While this tastes great, it's certainly not a swiller. Sip and enjoy what is perhaps the Midwest's finest barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2002 20:08:04 | More by Jon
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a stiff egg custard-colored head that fades slowly. Great big huge malty aroma starting with chocolate. Grapefruit peel hops join in. Flavor adds in some toastiness. There's a real earthiness there in the malt and something that hints of smokiness. It finishes with the thin bitterness of the hops and alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2002 23:21:32 | More by aracauna
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The hazy ruby hued brew is covered by a dense, thick light beige head that persists well and leaves lace. The aroma is comprised of pronounced toasted nuts, dark caramel sweetness and mellow butterscotch. When they're combined the malt aroma reminescent of peanut brittle. A round, citrusy Centennial hop nose similar to that of their Two Hearted Ale emerges to contrast the rich malt aroma. Trace fruity esters are overpowered but add additional complexity. Very unique and enjoyable aromawise. Chocolate sweetness is perceived upfront in flavor, then is ensued by dryish biscuit and deep caramel. Mid palate sweetness becomes fruitier and date like, then is quickly offset by moderate and clean hop bitterness. Hop flavor is both citrusy and piney, but is refined enough not to deter from the richly nutty overall malt profile. Moderately bodied for style, w/ a smooth, but surprisinly crisp mouthfeel that helps facilitate dangerous drinkability. Finishes w/ a hint of pleasant molasses like sweetness and roasted nuttiness lingering. Third Coast Old Ale is a truly unique and outstanding barleywine. Its inherent nuttiness and deep caramel sweetness is balanced by a citric hop character. Delicious! I'm glad I bought a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2002 18:42:39 | More by marc77
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an obscure brown with a huge, chunky, sticky head. Caramel malts shout over the murmurings of currant and plum and licorice. Hops are there to balance all this sweet malt out and let your tongue know everything is all right. This brew would definitely benefit from some aging and I only wish I had some to age. The quintessential big, comfortable chair and fireside reading brew.

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2002 23:46:05 | More by inebrius
Photo of Murph
Murph

Arizona

4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright amber color with almost no head but a decent lace. Smell is sweet caramel maltiness with a touch of bittering hops thrown in. Slightly bitter at first but then followed up by some very nice maltiness. Raisins, dark fruit, caramel, and some faint chocolate dominate the malt. The brew finishes with just enough hops to clean the tongue off. The mouthfeel is good and creamy and surprisingly clean and unsyrupy. The hops at the end of the brew seem to cleans the tongue and leave a pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste. The great mouthfeel make this barley wine very easy to drink. Yet another excellent brew from Kalamazoo. Thanks to Deuce for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2002 23:12:57 | More by Murph
Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 1,928 ratings.