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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Third Coast Old AleThird Coast Old Ale
2,745 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,745 |  Reviews: 1,114
Photo of valdieu2
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Alcorn
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JennieKoeper
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, gem-like copper with fine carbonation. The syrupy pour builds a slight, dark beige head and leaves a thick, viscous film on the Stone snifter. Ruby red highlights and spotty lace are also notable.

Rich malt is followed by raisins, brown sugar, licorice and slight rum notes.

The flavor is dominated by black tea with modest bitterness and wood. Some pine and caramel is also detected in this very dry beer with a late, lingering finish.

Dry, with a smooth cotton texture, and a full, almost dense, body. Alcohol is less than anticipated.

This is a good sipping beer that improves with warmth, allowing a myriad of subtleties to be detected.

 651 characters

Photo of blackcompg
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Pours nearly 2 fingers of soft, foamy khaki foam, body is a slightly hazed beautiful rich garnet with dark amber highlites. A solid cap remains through the session and leaves some gorgeous lacing behind.

Smell - Brown sugar, warm toffee, sweet cherries, amaretto, fruit cake, light floral hops, just a wonderful and complex nose on this.

Taste - Oh my goodness, begins bourbon soaked figs, raisins and ripe plums, then burnt toffee and molasses, then big bourbon barrel oak with some unsweetened vanilla, and the finish is bittering floral hops, tart plum skins and dried plum pits. What a great and tasty transition. There is a touch of heat throughout, but this is a wonderfully welcome addition to the flavors, not overpowering in the least, the perfect cool weather warmer.

Mouthfeel - A bit above medium, all the flavors are very full and bold, filling the mouth. Carb is on the lighter side, and is almost silky smooth with a few edges at the very end of the sip. This is a wonderful sipper.

Overall - I just bought one bottle of this, but I want to get my hands on alot more - some for now, and a 6xer or so to sit on for at least a year. Great complexity, big bold flavors, but so well balanced - you will taste every one of the flavors I've described. The transition is also so nice, starting sweet, then savory, then bitter and drying - begging the next sip. What a wonderful beer for the cooler months, purchase this when you see it, highly recommend!

 1,513 characters

Photo of djwhit24
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of redliner8
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Christov
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tanish brown with a creamy 1/2 head, some minor lacing.

Smell - Fruits, cherry, grape, caramel malts. Bready, slight alcohol armoa. Some molassas, brown sugar. Alittle vanilla and a borubon oaked smell also.

Taste - Very malty and loads of cherry, grapes and some vanilla. Nice mix of sweet sugars and bitter fruits. ALcohol comes out as it warms and adds a warmth. More smooth and and oakey then most barleywines ive had. Nice mollasses and caramel notes round this out.

Mouthfeel - Sweet sugars and malty caramel coat tounge with sweetness. Fruits add a bold and bitter flavor to tounge. Palate gets more sugars and a oaked flavor. Finish is sweet, caramel and oaky.

Overall - Very smooth and one of the more drinkible barleywines ive had. Smooth, flavorful and easy to drink. Really enjoy the oaked flavor it brings, along with the balance of sweet and bitter. Excellent beer, worth a drink.

 934 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Took me a minute to realize that this was different than the "Old Ale" I had on tap at Bell's cafe in Kalamazoo. This one pours deep, muddy copper-brown color, opaque and cloudy. Looks very thick and viscous with minimal carbonation. A hard pour produces a creamy tan head that lasts for quite a while.

Aroma is full of many different things - what stands out the most are booze-soaked raisins, burnt brown sugar, rum, and bitter black cherries. Quite a nice combination of smells. Little bitterness or floral notes are picked up on the nose, but they are definitely there in the taste. First sip hits with a heavy, warming alcohol presence, much like that of rum or wine, but is quickly tamed by the sweetness present from the fruity elements - raisins, lots of plums, figs, and caramelized sugar. Slight hops are present, citrus-heavy and leafy, which combat the sweetness quite nicely. The beer finishes on a malt-heavy note, caramel and sugar, with a tight bitter bite at the end. Thick and syrupy body, chewy and pretty heavy on the mouth.

This beer is a sipper but it is totally delicious. Something to warm you up on a cold night, and a nice alternative to sipping a glass of whiskey or wine. I plan to age some of these and see how they turn out.

 1,256 characters

Photo of joecast
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12 oz bottled April 2012
Glass: Snifter
From: Tippins Market in Ann Arbor (found it hidden on a self apparently been there about 10 months)
Price: $3

Appearance: brownish-ruby red. nice finger of tan head that fades slowly to a lacing on the sides. Pretty clear.

Smell: Sweet smell, some brown sugar maybe some fruits, a touch of alcohol

Taste: Of wow, that's good. opens up with some vanilla, followed by dark fruits and a slight bitterness, has some burnt wood characteristics in there and a good kick of alcohol. delightfully complex beer. 10 months even on a store shelf did this one well. I would like to try some older, more properly aged.

Mouthfeel: a little syrupy but creamy at the same time. I marked it down here because I think it could be a little heavier.

Overall: Very impressed with this one. I have had it fresh a few times and loved it, but age does it justice as Bell's suggests. Another winner by Bell's (they have quite the winter line up.) Can't wait to put some of this away for a year or more.

 1,030 characters

Photo of ncketchum
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9970, served cellar temp in a Duvel tulip

A - pours a deep red, good amount of sediment, big creamy head with lots of lacing, good retention

S - nose is terrific, raisins, caramel, cherry, bready malt, hints of vanilla, no booze noted

T - similar to the nose with the sweet dark fruits and caramel but with a strong hop presence following the initial taste.

M - age has lent a degree of smoothness that was not present when I've had this fresh. Thick and slightly syrupy, no alcohol to speak of

O - excellent, smooth, balanced. This is a great Bells offering, especially with some time under its belt

 611 characters

Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Anonymous1
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of DukeX13
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of beerFool28607
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of josephwa
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - rusty color with perfect amount of head. The head remains strong until the finish.

S - I get a very sweet smell, nutty aroma, some of that typical old ale smell and a hint of clove.

T - The bitterness and sweetness are well balanced. Not as sweet as I would like. Has a nice wood taste to it.

M - Love the carbonation on this one. Nice and thick body as well. I get some heat on this one.

O - Overall a lovely old ale!

 427 characters

Photo of icecreammatt
1/5  rDev -75.7%

Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of gutbuster
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DMarlinJ
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of YCantWeNotBeSober
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2012

A - Pours a dark ruby red,

S - Sweet malts, dark fruits, pumpernickel bread, vanilla

T - Starts with sweet plum flavor fading to sweet malt. Vanilla notes are quickly overtaken by generic hop bitterness melding with a little bite from the alcohol.

M - Well carbonated for the style, somewhat sticky

O - Overall a decently complex beer that ultimately clashes malty sweetness, bittering hops, and booziness that would seem to benefit from some aging.

 472 characters

Third Coast Old Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 2,745 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.