Third Coast Old Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale
2,798 Ratings
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

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."

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,798 |  Reviews: 1,136
Photo of Latarnik
3.54/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

High B- / WORTHY

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Photo of n2492004
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TBoneJones
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Plenty of smooth caramel flavor with the dried fruit undertones as advertised in the description. There’s light fig and banana. Tasty stuff and I repeat each sip in quick succession for more. Hops tingle in the mix. It’s a sweet one, but this is a barleywine through and through. This does seem like one of the few that would show new benefits with some age.

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Photo of SB2017
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wonderful color, almost syrupy, but with a meager foamy head with no lace. A woody, sour nose with a lot of malt. Heavy on the malts on first taste. Sweet, savory, and almost like chewing on cedar. This beer is nuts. So much flavor, utterly distinct, boozy, with a delicious finish.

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Photo of BeardedWalrus
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VABA
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Beer pours a dark amber color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has fruity and boozy hints
T-Taste follows the nose with a fruity and boozy flavor
M-A medium bodied beer with generous carbonation
O-A good barleywine

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Photo of archero
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SadMachine
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bl00
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

North coast 2015 Old Ale. Pours a color somewhere between mahagony and ruby, half finger of tan head, mostly fine bubbles. The head does not dissipate.
Nose is cedar, red apple, something like allspice. There is a sweet note at the back, it reminds me of vanilla but writing it off like that doesn't do it justice. As it warms I get more red wine notes.
Taste is raisin, bitter cinnamon, light notes of apple and orange, woody finish. Winey notes again as it warms.
Mouthfeel is full, soft carb, finishing dry.
This beer is really complex and just as enjoyable. Broadly speaking it checks all boxes of a good barleywine, though there are some other notes that make it stand out. I don't believe I've had it fresh but now its time to seek it out

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Photo of Livyatan1996
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

i've had an itch for some barleywine and finally stumbled across these. two in my hands, one for god knows when and this one becoming my poor decision for the night at 2 months old. dumped into a tulip a deep reddish brown, a bit of a head came and went with little bits of lacing sticking firmly behind. nose keeps moving from sweet brown sugar and caramel to raisin to some earthy hop. bit of booze soaks the whole thing. taste is a slowly sweeter blend of toasted grains, dark fruits and brown sugar. bitter aftertaste that sort of sticks to your mouth. full bodied and sorta crisp at times. already really enjoy this and i'm excited to let it hang out until 2021 or so.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottled on 10/11/2017 into a DFH tulip. Small head over a cherry mahogany body which dissipated quickly with little lacing. Smell got much more pronounced as it warmed up since I started this in a very cold attic before moving to a warmer setting. Smell was of nicely sweet fruit with a slight, not overpowering, booze tinge. Taste was more hoppy than the smell but it in no way detracted from the sweet flavors. Absolutely no alcohol burn. Mouthfeel was fine albeit slightly thin.

Overall this was a bit of a letdown because my hopes maybe were higher than was reasonable. Then again, maybe additional aging will get this to the point I wanted it to be since this is still young. Will revisit this in a year.

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Photo of EMV
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clouded caramel brown pour with 1 finger of foamy white head. Great sticky lacing.

S: Dark sugars and toasted malts... caramel and sweets.

T/F: Follows the nose. Rich toasted grains/malts and brown sugar. Molasses, caramel, and raisin. Dark fruits like plum in the background. Sweet up front with some hopping for bitterness and balance. Very mild spice. Medium to thick bodied... leaves a sticky coating on the tongue. More sugar and fruit at the finish.

O: A pretty outstanding barleywine. Well balanced and dangerously drinkable at over 10% ABV. Curious to see how this'll taste after a year or 2 in the cellar.

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Photo of HellsRanger
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was totally surprised, and upset at the same time to see someone else had the same idea I had...and it was to age this beer, and that is exactally what "HopsAreDaMan" did !!! Kudos to you are Da Man !!! We were right in doing this !!!
I myself did not aged as long...I started with a 10/03/15 Third Coast, but still the same results.
I found the aged old beer was by far the best, and more complex of the two "new vs. old, and cant wait to do this that I now it works for the best on this beer.
What else can I say...other than try this beer in the CELLAR for sure!!!!
Way to go again, fellow cellarer. Yahoo drink up & enjoy!!!!

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Photo of beersampler6
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm. Not so great. Very disappointing, and from what I’ve read it’s supposed to be better - and even more so with some aging (which I’ll have to do next time). Thinner tan-brown, almost honey color with some good head and a little spotty lingering lacing. Smells of yeast, dark fruit, a little malt and fruity hops. Tastes similarly, except the yeasty sweetness is very upfront. Just a little plum and raisin with brown sugar and caramel. Smooth mild mouthfeel, good carbonation. A decent beer but still disappointing to me.

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Photo of spiejak
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ElGallo
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Vylo
4.9/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of kdivers
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been holding to an old bottle of this for years. Finally decided to crack it tonight, in a side-by-side tasting with it's newly born brother: a 2014 and a 2018; a four-years-old with a brand-spanking-newborn.

Appearance: beautiful light-cherry color that was nearly transparent with the new, and opaque for the old, with a beautiful beige head that nicely complimented the liqueur. There was almost no head retention for the old one, and lasting head for the newborn.

Aroma: Out of the gate, and cold, the aroma of the newborn is awkward, yet the aroma of the old one is complex. Interestingly enough, nearly the reverse is true once they reach room temperature: the newborn is bright and complex, whereas the old one is still very mellow, with tons of dark fruit aromas coming through, and sweet to boot. I was getting a bit of sourness in the old as well, like sour cherry.

Mouthfeel: as expected, the newborn is bright and lively, medium bodied, while the old one is incredibly smooth and sits heavier on the tongue.

Taste: Newborn: almost harsh, and definitely awkward, with a very bitter bite to it and with a bit of ripe fruit coming through. Old: lots of dark fruit, a bit candied, but not as sweet as some barleywines, the difference of which I appreciate.

Overall: Although it may not be realistic, I chose to rate this beer based on the best qualities of both the old and the newborn, making it an all around amazing beer. I loved tasting it in an old VS new side-by-side tasting, but if I had to choose I'd take the old over the new, hands down. It seems that this beer needs time to settle down.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a dark rusty copper color with a tan head.

Smell - The beer had a great barleywine nose, with definite caramel sweetness.

Taste - In the initialtaste, there was caramel and a significant amount of oak. Also amongst the sweet barleywine notes was raisins and a light bitter resin presence in back. The profile was a dry gentle warming presence.

Mouthfeel - For the style, the beer seems a tad thin.

Overall - This 2012 aged like a champion.

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Photo of MaximalC
2.9/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

*Bottled 9/11/2017

Pours a beautiful, translucent, tawny color with a finger's worth of fine, khaki froth. Rich, complexly sweet aroma smells of raisins, caramel, prunes, dates, peat, toffee, peanut brittle, and even melon.

The taste is much less sweet than the aroma would suggest, with a significant helping of resinous as well as slightly skunky, Saaz-like hops to counter the toasted bread and caramel of the malt profile. I'm also detecting a borderline alarming dose of what tastes like all-spice and aspirin. Medium-heavy body and fine carbonation make for a smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

In spite of the lovely presentation, the taste leaves much to be desired. The hopping is excessive for a barleywine, even after a year of age, and the bizarre spice character is a nonstarter. The sum total evokes a botched attempt at a Christmas ale as much as anything. Not exactly the best thing Bell's has done.

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Photo of dsippel
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 2,798 ratings