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

Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale
2,714 Ratings
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,714 |  Reviews: 1,108
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Chrispy_Creams
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of blissfulNemo
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Viperman1316
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crosenkrantz
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

It is an acceptable barleywine. I think that the flavors and aromas last too short and the beer becomes too alcoholic after a while. Not too hoppy. The mouthfeel is OK.

 168 characters

Photo of aclockworkchris
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tried a 2015 aged bottle. Definitely worth the wait. This beats out the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot by a long shot, comes short of Founders Curmudgeon, but still a spectacular old ale.

 178 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Sanchezrox23
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mayank
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have loved this strong barlywine Ale with its Carmel overtones with some slight fruity flavors and mild hops.

111 characters

Photo of dcotom
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 9/05/14, sampled 10/05/17. Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a glass goblet. Pours the color of caramel sauce, with lots of tiny flecks of suspended material making it quite hazy in appearance. The two-finger light tan head settles within a few moments, leaving minimal lacing. Smooth, with luscious notes of caramel, tart cherry, and dark fruit. Creamy mouthfeel, quite a bit of dry bitterness and alcohol bite, and a touch of lingering fruity tartness on the finish. With three years of age on it, this should be savored like the fine cordial that it brings to mind. Unquestionably world-class.

 603 characters

Photo of jkblr
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 10/12/16 poured into a Bell's snifter at fridge temp 10.2% ABV. The beer pours dark brown with amber highlights if held to light. The head is light brown in color, and short lived settling to a pencil thin ring and paper thin island in the glass. Aroma is heavily caramel with a hint of booze. The flavor is hoppy caramel up front transitioning to bitter, slightly boozy, brown sugar at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and amazingly dry for what it is. It's a bit sweet on the tongue but, once you swallow, sweetness is gone. Overall, excellent. This is a fantastic beer, at a fantastic value. It's not as bitter as most American barleywines. It kinda straddles the fence between English & American. It tends to sit some in the Midwest due to the price ($16-18/6pk). I bought mine aged 7 months in a walk in cooler at a local store, which is probably why it still has some hop character at a year old. Recommended.

 970 characters

Photo of SayBoom
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of unclekeith
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (2016) into a snifter

Dark amber, with an ivory 1-finger head - quick to fade to a ring leaving some nice lacing; sweet fruit, caramel on the nose, similar on the palate with bitterness from the hops, full bodied, alcohol well hidden, but it warms, not much sweetness, feels to me more English than American - very nice BW. A longtime want that delivered

 370 characters

Photo of Jglaser451
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work----Thanks Randy!
This fine old ale pours a rugged tarnished copper color with a nice head
of off white foam that settles to a thick ring and slight pool with subtle lacing.
Nose of caramel, toffee, prunes, piney hops, and strong booze. Flavors
exceed the nose with toffee and caramel taking the overall force of the taste
with pine touched hops and fig notes mingling with herbal notes and strong
searing booze. Excellent mouth feel for the style; low carbonation, medium full
and sticky body, and a hop and malt laden finish that is seared in with alcohol

Overall this is a classic from a classic brewery that gave rise to more
breweries dabbling in the old ale and barley wine style of ale. Also one
of the first old ales I ever tried and liked back in the early 90's.
Balanced and delicious.



 889 characters

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of MurphDog14
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Andy_Luft
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single-serve bottle into a tulip.

The pour is pretty darn close to perfect--definitely spectacular. A deep, hazy/murky mahogany with just a touch of garnet highlighting, with a finger-and-a-half tan head that gives way quickly, but steadily, to exquisite lacing throughout the drink. It leaves a steady trailing of froth as it is consumed.

The aroma is strong, forward, and complex--perhaps just a touch "busy." Malts very forward with burnt sugar and caramel notes, followed by cocoa, tobacco, anise, some surprisingly-present hoppiness, and just a touch of solvent booze. If beers that lack "nose" turn you off, this is the beer for you, because not only are all of these elements noticeable, but the aroma is about as "in your face" as I've had with this style.

The flavor is right up against the line between "old ale" and "barleywine." This one is definitely a batch that could use a touch of aging, so I won't mark it down for the "bite," but there is no doubt that this is a "burner" rather than a "warmer" in its youth. The early "strike" of the booze notwithstanding, there is a great measure of complexity going on here to match the "nose." Malts are again very forward, with toasted marshmallow, cocoa, bourbon, and then creamy vanilla notes, followed by anise, tobacco, leather, and oak. Very evocative of a barrel-aged offering, no doubt because of the extra booziness. Very sweet initially, but with a sneaky hoppy bitter finish that becomes more pronounced at higher temperature. Maybe a few too many things going on to be a truly special offering.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly, and disappointingly, thin. The carbonation is nice, and, combined with the "lean" of the booze, helps prevent the brew from being sticky, but I wanted a little more chew.

Overall, this is a fine fusion of the old ale and barleywine traditions. I want to try one after it's had some time to mature, because I suspect it will get a "spectacular" instead of "pretty damn good" rating when I do.

 2,017 characters

Photo of Lahey
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I really enjoy this beer. Dated october 2015, its old but still tasty. Lots of dark fruit, caramel malts. Ive only had one other olde ale (curmudgeon by founders) but this is excellent, even with floaties in it. I'll buy more if available.

 239 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/3/2015. Poured into tulip glass. It pours a dark copper color with orange hues, and a finger of creamy, khaki-colored head and lacing with good retention. The nose features sweet malt, caramel, tobacco smoke, and a slight char. The first think I taste is caramel on the tip of my tongue but at mid-sip it becomes quite bitter with a lot of char. As the glass warmed, I began to taste more dark fruit: black cherry and raisin, as well as some licorice. The taste became increasingly complex. This is another beer that should sit for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before drinking. It has a medium, fairly creamy mouth feel, with pleasant carbonation, and you can both taste and feel its 10.2% ABV. While I'm generally more a fan of English Barleywines than the American variant, I'm liking Third Coast a lot!

 823 characters

Photo of JoeLev
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Benish
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 2,714 ratings
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