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

Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale
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American Barleywine
Ranked #34
Ranked #2,678
4.13 | pDev: 9.93%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale
Notes: 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."
Reviews: 1,154 | Ratings: 2,844 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of officerbill
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle opened in 2020
L: Dark root beer with a thing tan head that quickly disappears
S: Plum, cherry, burnt sugar, dates, figs, raisins
T: A rich punch with cherries, plums, molasses, almost ripe peaches backed by a warming alcohol
F: warming. Smooth with little carbonation. Tart at the front, but soothing at the back
O: Damn, this is good. Picked up a 6 on a whim and I'm glad I did. This barleywine has been aging for 5 years and is excellent. Warming alcohol, rich stone fruits. You don't notice the 10.2% ABV until about half-way through. Third Coast comes close to being the perfect cold weather beer.

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Photo of mpruden
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass on a windy, rainy, midwest winter evening, after returning from a cold, wet run.

Appearance: A pleasant cloudy brown, light tan head remained a few minutes, some lacing.

Nose: Sweet dried fruit, and a bit of floral — very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, plenty thick.

Attack: Both rich and gentle, very flavorful, some caramel and dried fruit.

Finish: The hops show up here, but not in an overpowering way.

Overall: An outstanding ale — perfect to warm the heart and soul. I’m pretty sure this will be my favorite American Barleywine. I'll be buying this and enjoying it every winter.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter from a 12 ounce bottle dated 10/18/2018. A dark red fruit punch looking color with suspension and light carbonation. Smells like a sour fruit punch but sweet. Tastes a little like a sour fruit punch with alcohol. It's different and might require some getting used to. The mouthfeel is good. It's thin and easy to drink. Overall I'm not a fan as I couldn't get used to the taste. And I have one more to drink.

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Photo of cratez
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Rating from notes. Consumed November 2013. "An outstanding, robust barley wine with rich aromas and a decadent palate. Could maybe use a bit more hops, but overall this is an impressive beer."

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Photo of huston84
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep burgundy and brown. Murky with lots of bits floating about. Very interesting to look at. Thin head with moderate lacing. I don't get much smell coming from the glass but there is some malty smell. Taste is cherry and wood, maybe leather. Something very tart at the beginning but the overwhelming taste is sweetness. I do not enjoy this very much but there's no denying that it's something different and special.

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Photo of Nass
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2018

The pour is brown. The taste is candied brown sugar, caramel, molasses, roasted malts, plum, & dates. This is one of the better barlywines that I've had. Cheers! A-

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottle

A: Pours a deep ruby/mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Dark fruit, molasses, caramel, toasted malt, grain, and some lighter floral and earthy hops

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some toasted malt and caramel, then picks up the dark fruit and molasses. Bitterness is moderately aggressive at first and then settles down as a very light sweetness kicks in for balance. Finishes with lingering dark fruit, light bitterness, and the floral and earthy hops

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. On the smoother side

O: A solid old ale that makes for a good sipper and cold-weather brew. Definitely one of the hoppier/more bitter old ales out there, at least when fresh. Recommended

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Photo of CharlesForbin
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Age 15 months. This beer is best served not too cold as most barley wines. Cloudy in appearance. Alcohol is very well masked. I'm not tasting the "hop bitterness" on the label but I do get the "caramel" base. Comparing this Sierra Nevada Bigfoot I like this better. Dangerously easy to drink. If you like the style you need to try this beer but let it warm a bit in the glass as it is a much better experience.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8/7/13; drank 3/17/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque purple/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a minimal khaki head; decent lace.

Rich caramel, autumn leaves, brown sugar & molasses notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Brown sugar & molasses flavors up front; dry autumn leaf notes on the finish.

Substantial autumn vibes; tasty & approachable. Aging just fine...

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Photo of Wolvmar
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 2019 Review
2019 vintage bottled 9/11/19
Really not much to add to prior reviews other than:
Slightly sharper hops bitterness
Still huge caramel malt
Probably a bit boozier than aged bottles
Really like this beer and very accessible. Highly recommend trying it.

Second Review:
Oct 2015 vintage that has cellared for 2+ years.
Pours light brown with red tinge. Slight head with a little bubble lacing as it’s drunk.
Nose is still full of dark dried fruits with alcohol less present than on newer vintage. Maybe a little more malt coming through than I recall.
Taste is similar with Carmel and dried fruit dominating the front end. Slight alcohol and hop bitterness on the finish.
Beautiful mouthfeel. Not chewy, not syrupy, but great thickness with just the right slight carbonation. One of the best.
Overall, a really good beer that definitely gets better with age. The alcohol mellows and the fruit, caramel and malt come through even more. I recommend it fresh, highly recommend it aged a year or two. Have another bottle to try after a third year!

First Review:
Sep 2016 vintage. Pours light brown with a good head. Not a lot of lacing but solid pour. Decent nose with fruit, caramel and some alcohol. Tastes similar with caramel base, malt, hints of dried fruits very smooth and full feel. Not watery but not overpowering. Definite bitterness at the finish with alcohol taste present but at the right level.
As others have, I can't wait to try some bottles I have aging. This is one of my favorite beers and seems to get better every time I try it.

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Photo of kitch
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 12 fl. oz. bottle, batch 13615, packaged on 30th October 2014, so almost 5 years. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: A careful pour leaving much of the sediment in the bottle, it was a deep copper amber colour with no head but some sparse spotty lacing.

Aroma: Malty, sweet, dried berries, dark fruit, blackcurrant, plum, prunes, fig, caramel, syrupy and a touch floral.

Taste: Moderately sweet, dark fruit, plum, prunes, raisins, fig, caramel, brown sugar, candied orange liqueur and a hint of mixed berries.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Yes, definitely pleasantly surprised by this as it has aged well. I’m pretty sure I meant to drink this earlier, but I simply forgot about it. In any case I’m not a huge fan of Barleywines, but this was a very nice sipper with great complexity.

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Photo of RockyM72
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Very dense and hazy, Copper in color with the visible presence of small particles stuck, with no movement at all due to the thickness it literally looks like a jar of caramel. Little to almost no head that dissipates almost immediately.

Smell: Lots of caramel. Bourbon, hazelnut, coffee, dark chocolate, walnuts and a hint of cinnamon Complex but very well balanced.

Taste: Heavy caramel, with dark chocolate, spicy, black pepper and dry finish and a nice (not exaggerated) alcohol presence.

feel: Very dense, thick, smooth. Complex. Almost perfect.

This is my entry door to the style, if this is the standard then I’ll be all over it from now on, great beer. I would love to try this one aged on bourbon barrels.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Bell's...

What I liked most about this beer was the look and smell. It has a nice copperish color, hazy, with very little foam. The smell is distinctly caramel with light boozy notes, those same boozy notes are well hidden in the taste. It didn't overpower or distract from the surprisingly bitter taste it started off having, but tamped down as it warmed in my pint glass. Overall, this is a very nice beer, one I have to keep an eye on as my daughter-in-law tells me she has to try this. I will definitely be on the lookout for more than one.

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Photo of draheim
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz (bottled 9/5/2014) into a tulip. Pours a hazy mahogany with just a wisp of foam—more like a thin film—on the surface.

Aroma is sweet and fruity, rich and complex. Heavily malty with floral hop undertones. Caramel and raisins.

Taste is likewise malty and sweet—figs, dates, caramel and vanilla balanced by a gentle hop bitterness. Lots of sugars but not cloying.

Mouthfeel is full bodied yet finishes semi-dry. Hop bitterness keeps it fairly light on the palate. Very drinkable.

Overall a very nice old ale that has aged well.

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Photo of JohnFred4
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Copper, ruby, orange, thick like a milkshake, almost no head.

Smell: Rum, raisins, figs, syrup, floral, mist.

Taste: Figs, raisins, salami, cocoa, Sprite

feel: Crisp and effervescent finish, surprising for what is otherwise a heavy mouthfeel.

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Photo of darktronica
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Ale in the name, but American barleywine in the descriptor, so I'm expecting something in between, which it generally delivers. Always more oxidized than I would want if judging it as an American barleywine, but more like what's expected if leaning in to the old ale title. A nice, basic barleywine that's generally pretty easy to obtain for a good portion of the year.

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4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells does a nice job on so many of their releases .
This American Barley Wine is exactly as described on the back label . Caramel sweet base upfront with a sharp hop bitterness on the backend . Does well with aging .
I’ll test that with a few ..
Beautiful rich caramel color
Decent head though I slow poured into a chilled glass
Smell is wonderful
Definitely a bitter bite
Overall I’m enjoying it very much :)


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Photo of Indydanh
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have a 2015 edition that has been in my basement. As of 2018, it has really mellowed out. I remember more of a raisin profile before. It is very tasty with good legs and fig -like sweetness. I can just tell this is a higher ABV than average but no burn going down.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -1%
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 VABA
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
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 bl00
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +2.9%
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 -2.7%
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 +2.9%
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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Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2844 ratings