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

Not Rated.
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,035 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,035
Hads: 2,475
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 15.61%
Wants: 245
Gots: 466 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Third Coast Old Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,035 | Hads: 2,475
Photo of SomethingClever
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz beer poured into Spiegelau glass

A: dark brown hazy not too bad clarity not much of a head

S: burnt sugars, a little cinnamon, some light hops resiny

T: lots of sugary prune, plum, raisin a little bit of a sour acidic taste on the end

M: medium to a little thin

O: This is a pretty good old ale I think like Old Stock Ale this would just get better with age.

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Photo of Ilafan
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm an IPA guy, myself, so when I tried this, I wasn't overwhelmed. For what it is, it is good. The tartness is tasty & well-balanced, and the high 10.20% ABV does not dominate. But, I like my beers a little less sour and fruity.

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Photo of mlockman
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank 9 months after bottling date, and I must say it is perfectly balanced. Hop-presence is certainly noticeable on the palate, but not at all overpowering. In fact, the subtle touch of hops keeps the flavor from being cloying, but it is definitely sweet; definitely did not feature a bitter flavor that some reviews led me to expect. Definitely going to have to get some more of these.

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Photo of hardysf
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown. Immediate smell of sweetness, toffee, caramel, and molasses.
Taste is initially sweet of caramel and molasses. Maybe some fruit. Very smooth mouthfeel. Rich and velvety. Finishes balanced and not overly sweet with some bitterness. A little booziness seeps in as well.

This was tried eight months post bottling. Have a few more for aging.

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Photo of Jjski
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An epic non barrel aged beer. Vintage 2014. New to Upstae NY, bells distribution
Garnet, brown
Aroma of banana bread, figs, caramel
Tastes of butterscotch brandy pudding on warm dark grainy bread
Feels smoothly viscous: perfect,

This beer already acts like a 4 year old bigfoot or curmudgeon. The tastes are different in each, but I am overwhelmed by the complexity exhibited in this freshly brewed, non-barrel elixir. hops are not as high as bigfoot, and old ale brashness is already a bit blunted. The effect is pulled off with deftness while retaining a huge flavor, malt forward and deep. If fresh American barleywine floats you , in its DIPA characteristics ( and I do like that), this beer strays. It acts old beyond its age. The hops are strong, but way muted , used for beautiful bittering. Not an aromatic hop hit.

I bought a case and will relish the effects age will have on this masterpiece.

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Photo of TBCE
4.91/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best brews I have ever had. Pours a dark amber color with a finger of foam. Smells of dried blackberries, orange, lemon, and caramel. Taste has small hint of sweetness and cocoa, along citrus flavors. Very complex. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and smooth. Overall an outstanding brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber with ruby brown highlights; a few fingers of fat tan head drape lace down the glass

S: sweet rich malts suggestive of dark fruit and caramel, somewhat earthy and rustic

T: full of fruit and malt, soft dates, caramel and toffee, edges of shellac and sweet herbs; modest bittering, vague hints of cocoa maybe?

M: full-bodied and smooth - intense mouthfeel - soft and lush caresses, lingering aftertaste begs for more

O: excellent - highly recommended - I had a bottle dated 10/08/14 , so with about 6 months on it - sublime drinking experience

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smells malty, can detect the yeast, as well as the aroma of wild berries. Taste follows up with that malty backbone as well as notes of honey, brandy, rhuarb, wild berries, and ethanol. Has a thick, bready feel with a heavy stickiness to it. This really illustrates what it means to have a 'complex' flavor. Maybe I was primed to think so by the name but this beer made me feel like a black bear scrounging for all the delicious goodies in the forest. So good, will buy again. Wow.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle pkgd 9/5/2014 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with ruby higlights. A half finger head that moves to a thin lace.

S - Dark fruit, mild booze, malts, plums

T - Follows the nose, with some butterscotch. The malts tend to the pale side.

M - Medium carbonation, sizable heft, it's coating, but doesn't get sticky.

O - A tasty barleywine, came across a dusty six while up in Ohio (havent seen it yet in NC) , going to age a few to see how they turn out.

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Photo of bman13
2.94/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Just doesn't do it for me for a barleywine. It's flavor is extremely cloying and overly buttery sweet for a beer. It really doesn't taste like a barleywine or let alone, a beer, at all. I love Bell's, probably one of my favorite breweries but i just really don't like this one at all.

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Photo of fx20736
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber, creme brulee head, gorgeous sticky lacing. Rich, toffee and dark fruit aroma. Sweet, sticky toffee, caramel, vinuous, orchard and dark fruit medley, vanilla notes. Citus rind bitterness on the end which balances the sweetness nicely. Touch of carbonation buoys the ale. The word for this beer is suberb. Superbly crafted and delicious. A Home Run all the way.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good looking beer. Dark. Fine pale head.

Nose is low-key. Suits me fine.

Intense taste. Just a huge beer. The alcohol amplifies it - POW. Very deeply malty flavor. Slightly sweet (Ovaltine? Really? Yup, but not in a bad way), then a big, big hit of bitterness.

Beautiful mouthfeel. Rich. Not cloying.

Not as sweet as many barleywines - for which: yay. Spiritually resembles the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottled poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Dark cherry red with a vanilla colored head, some minor lacing, poured a half finger head that faded after about 3-4 minutes

A: Sweet caramel candy aroma, alcohol on the nose, smells really strong.

T: Sweet flavors up front, then right into some bitterness, alcohol is really noticeable at the end, dry finish.

M: Nice mouthfeel, not big, slightly more than a medium mouthfeel, leaves a very dry finish, lots of alcohol burn on this for being nearly 5 months after the bottle date.

O: My overall impression is that this is a very rough, on the palate, beer, bitterness, alcohol burn, not an easy drinking beer, going to cellar the rest of my six-pack to see how this mellows out, it's definitely a big beer, a sipper. Warms up really nice, the bitterness subsides making it easier to drink. Still good, not as impressed as I thought I was going to be, but something I can see myself having again with some age.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To my limited palate, hoppy for a BW or for an Old Ale, (BA classifies as a barley wine but it is called an old ale - go figure), Fairly bold flavors, alcohol significantly present but not unpleasantly so. A sipper for sure, Fair amount of bitterness, not getting any caramel,

I intend to age rest of 6 pack and see if sweeter flavors emerge, Glad I bought, I'll judge after aging whether I'll buy again.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, this is a beautiful color. I like the aroma. Flavor was good, but not my style. Just too malty (I know this is how it's supposed to be). I couldn't tie it to any particular flavor that I am familiar with, just general maltiness. Nice feel too it. Alcohol wasn't very pronounced, although certainly present. I can certainly see why people like this one.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells in California, nuff said! Out of a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A small head forms and dissipates to a mere froth on top this chestnut brown beer. The beer smells fruity, like dates, raisins, grapes, topped with toasted brown sugar around its edges. I'd call that nice.

Third Coast leans to the sweet side. A slap of alcohol joins the molasses, dates, and brown sugar which tag along the ride for much of the journey. Yet not too sweet, and not too boozy. The beer also offers nutty flavors and a modest bittersweet finish, which keeps the beer in form. A little boozy, although not annoying boozy. The beer is full bodied and chewy, and is a pleasurable (slow sipping) drink.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage

Appearance - murky reddish brown liquid with tan head

Smell - raisin, caramel, brown sugar

Taste- molasses, brown sugar, caramel, raisin, fig

Mouthfeel - medium plus body, medium carbonation, sweet, sticky, upfront, astringent finish

Overall - this beer was okay, but I'm finding the flavors not to mesh well and unbalanced. Won't repurchase

Price Point - $3/12 oz bottle

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Photo of bubseymour
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sweet, big and very nice barleywine. Slight bitter finish but to me, this falls more in line with an Old Ale or English style BW vs. American BW as its listed. Very solid and enjoyable big beer.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bottled on date of 10.25.14

L - Creamy and thick, brown sugar, molasses. No head and some sharp bubbles. Lots of sediment/yeast floats down to the bottom

S - Sugar! Sweet, caramel. Slightly boozy

T - Caramel, toffee, sweet. Booze is pretty well hidden for 10%. Tasty!

F - Full bodied and thick. Low in carbonation.

O - An amazing beer fresh. I have 5 more I am going to age and crack 1 a year for the next few years!

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Photo of kissmybunniebutt
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautifully light Barleywine-esque ale. Rich and hearty but bright on the tongue. The aroma was sweet, figgy, and mildly sour. The texture just coated your tongue perfectly. Not too thick, not too thin. The ABV gave it a bite that really cut the richness well. Nicely done.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown/ruby draft pour (from October!) with off white head and great lacing in 12oz snifter. Baked plum pudding/sweet malt notes. Sweet malt and stone fruit flavors. More complex fruit and malt as liquid warms. Medium mouthfeel and a little alcohol bite. Overall, like drinking a lite barley wine style - complex and excellent.

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Photo of MIbeer27
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, dated 10/30/14

Bottle poured into snifter a deep amber color and a minimal, quickly dissipating off-white head.

Aroma is huge dark fruit (raisin, plum, fig) and caramel, bready malt, along with some brown sugar and faint alcohol.

Taste follows the nose exactly, joined only by some pleasant warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is massive and syrupy, with a medium-high amount of bitterness jumping in briefly, but ultimately giving way to the malt on the finish. Carbonation is on the lower end.

Overall, Third Coast Old Ale is my first experience with a barleywine and an excellent one at that. The drinkability of this beer is scary good and the syrupy mouthfeel is outstanding.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep cloudy brown with settling sediments. No, not the prettiest picture. Cane sugar smells and sweet maltiness with burnt sugar, some molasses, in the taste. Warming alcohol gives way to a moderate bitter finish. A bit chalky in the aftertaste. Very much an american barleywine, a a wonderful one at that.

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Photo of rangerred
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a tiny light tan head. Some splotchy lacing on top but good foam around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is dark fruit and burnt sugar. A touch of pine and oak notes but it is all very weak. I was really hoping the aroma would pop a little more than it does.

The flavor has a huge shot of hop bitterness right off the bat. The hops really overwhelm whatever subtle flavors might be present. As the beer warms, some more dark fruit and oak comes through but it is still hampered by the bitterness. Sweet and pretty thick mouthfeel with some alcohol warmth on the finish.

Overall, I had very high hopes for this beer and feel a bit let down. Maybe a couple years on this will ease the bitterness but I feel like there are some really good flavors buried in there.

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Photo of Ri0
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 12oz bottle into snifter, Bottled October 2014.

A - A murky brown/maroon with a thin 1 finger sand colored head. Spotty lacing and a thin ring form on the glass.

S - Wonderful aromas of sweet malts and dark sugars. Dates, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, toffee meld perfectly with mild hops.

T - It packs a good punch of sweet malty sugary sweetness, but the hops come in to give it a slight bitterness. Plenty of brown sugar, caramel and dark fruits. The hops are lightly citrus and bitter, just enough to keep this from being a sugar bomb. ABV is hidden.

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation, a bit syrupy on the finish.

O - The flavor in this is remarkable and one of the best BWs I have had when fresh. Feels like it has 1-2 years already on it. Not nearly as hoppy compared to other American BWs. Highly recommend.

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Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 1,035 ratings.