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

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Style:
Barleywine - American
Ranked #36
ABV:
12.6%
Score:
92
Ranked #3,292
Avg:
4.34 | pDev: 8.29%
Reviews:
14
Ratings:
41
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  21
Gots
  0
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Notes:
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 41 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the Eccentric Cafe. Ohhhhh, it was delicious.

This pours a dark amber with nice foaming that dies down to thin lacing

There’s an amazing nose to this. Lots of bourbon notes, vanilla and toasted coconut. Warms wonderfully. Vibrant and effervescent.

Dec 01, 2019
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce crowler into snifter, filled on 9/26/2019. Pours crystal clear dork ruby red/brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with solid retention, that reduces to a minimal spotty lace cap that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big orange, grapefruit, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, apricot, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of licorice, molasses, leather, tobacco, cocoa, smoke, pine, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness. Mild booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with big strength. Taste of huge orange, grapefruit, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, apricot, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of licorice, molasses, leather, tobacco, cocoa, smoke, pine, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness. Light pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, peppery bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of orange, grapefruit, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, apricot, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, biscuit, brown bread/crust, licorice, molasses, leather, tobacco, cocoa, smoke, pine, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready/grainy, fairly sticky/resinous/tannic, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Light increasing warmth of 12.6%, with mild lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged American barleywine. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mellowly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Amazing balance of rich malts, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel presence/integration. Light residual sweetness with lingering bitter/tannic dryness. Not overly sweet/heavy for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing American style example all around.

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you strohme2 for this
16 oz crowler, filled 9/23, poured into a tulip

A- Dark ruby red/brown with a small tan head.

S- Caramel, bourbon, toffee, some oak with some nice piney bitterness.

T- Caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, toffee, some oak, all balanced with some piney hops.

M- Smooth, medium body, carbonation is a little on the high side.

O- A tasty barrel aged barelywine, ABV is fairly well hidden for almost 13%, easy to drink.

Oct 28, 2019
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a murky brown color that was close to black. There was a little head at the top of the glass.

Smell - The nose was primarily composed of booze and caramel. Overall, it leaned toward sweet.

Taste - The initial impression was caramel magic! There was sweet caramel for days. Other notes included leather, bourbon, and just a hint of heat in back.

Mouthfeel - Like caramel, the beer coated the tongue in sweet booziness.

Overall - This beer was beyond fantastic. I need to find it bottled.

Aug 04, 2019
Photo of beersampler6
beersampler6 from Michigan

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow this is an exceptional beer! I was a little wary since I wasn’t a huge fan of Bell’s regular Third Coast Ale, and was hoping that my relatively negative, disappointing impression of that brew was just because I hadn’t waited long enough to allow it to age. But this one was a completely different experience. Tried it on tap at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Looks very nice, deep rich dark brown, almost opaque color with just a little lingering head and very scant spotty lacing. Looks almost like a black coffee or tea. Smells of some very nice bourbon, oak, caramel, toffee, coffee, milk chocolate, raisin and vanilla. Taste follows the nose, along with some brown sugar, nuttiness, malt and maybe a hint of faint distant hoppiness. The flavors are complex, well-blended, smooth and so tasty. The sweetness is well tempered and never cloying. I think the addition of the aging helped to smooth everything out. Nice smooth mild mouthfeel, just enough carbonation. There’s definitely some warming alcohol here and this beer opens up its flavors as it warms towards room temperature. Definitely a sipper.

May 09, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like boozy caramel, dark fruit, plum, toffee, bourbon, creamy vanilla, and oak.

This a delightfully malty treat, with candied caramel, vanilla cream, sticky toffee, and very light chocolate all coming through here. There's a touch of oak, and a bit of silky bourbon adding more caramel tones. Any hop character that was once in this beer has completely faded.

This is creamy and full bodied, with a great level of drinkability, and a certain wonderful silky feel to it.

Third Coast is already an excellent beer, and this really improves on it.

Feb 10, 2019
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What once was old just got older, ...and stronger, ...and much more complex as the famed Third Coast Old Ale of Bell's Brewery takes an extra long nap in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels to soak up all that extra booze soaked oak nuances for a succulent and devilish charm.

Bronze, burnt orange and goldenrod in color, the rusty tinged Bourbon Barrel Aged Third Coast Old Ale carries a dainty froth over an appearance of prune juice. A plethora of fruit begins with cherry, apple, grape, date, fig and raisin across a caramelized breadiness and into a boozy, nutty and savory bourbon character. Once the sweetness coats the tongue, a full and malty taste of maple, caramel, toffee, brown sugar and honey create a cakey taste to set the stage.

And that whole melange of dark fruit, pitted fruit and vinous fruit surround a full flavor of rum cake and coffee cake for a fruity and nearly pastry-like session of sweetness and modest tanginess. The earthy taste from hops and malt forge for a taste of sweet fresh tobacco on the late palate. A stemmy, tea-like bitterness comes with a light and leafy herbal taste and a strong linger of unmistakable bourbon.

Full bodied, sweet and richly textured on the palate, the beer never really approaches cloying while providing a high sense of port wine and sherry. Spicy with bourbony warmth, a linger of oak, fruit and malt sweetness has impressions of whisky soaked fruit cake early, often and extending deep into an aftertaste that makes that holiday dessert much easier to drink than to eat.

Dec 20, 2018
Photo of TLove
TLove from District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wonderfully rich and complex, this is one of the finest quality bourbon ales i've ever had. Earthy, slightly sweet, high ABV, and a lot of barley.

Appears deep caramely-brown in color with a thin head and rich lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, molasses, and Stronachie (a scotch).

Taste is full of woody residue, caramel, bourbon, lemon, and reduced cherries. Really complex and incredibly well-balanced.

Sweetness doesnt linger on the palate, but runs well through the mouth. Good carbonation to taste ratio.

Drinks well, but is a very dense, complex beer to swallow.

Apr 19, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown from Ohio

4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At The Oak Cafe. Pours a ruby brown in color with a short lived head. Smell is bourbon soaked dark fruit and malt. Taste is very balanced and complex. This could be sipped all day, I'm really enjoying this. I don't know if the barrel aging brings out flavors in Larry's beers that aren't in the original beer, but they become more complex. Don't get me wrong the beers are already amazing, but the barrel aging takes these to an unholy level.

Mar 14, 2009
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at the Bell's tasting at Brews Cafe on 3/6/08: This beer is a hazy dark brownish-orange color with a compact beige head that recedes slowly. Small patches of lacing on the glass. Chocolate malt, oak, and rich caramel in the nose. Full body with sweet malt and caramel flavors offset by bourbon and hops. The finish is oak and vanilla with a lingering malt aftertaste. Pretty enjoyable overall.

Nov 24, 2008
Photo of mrkrispy
mrkrispy from California

4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade.

Smells of a malt complex and the alcohol and bourbon immediately hit you. Smack!

Malty body, slight sweet. Nutty and a bit woodsy, earthy even. Bourbon characteristics throughout, very very interesting. Caramel or toffee, hard to tell with the bourbon biting the palate. Definitely hot, from the smell to the taste. I felt a bit warm after the first few sips.
Body actually seems somewhat thin due to lots of carbonation and no head whatsoever. Unexpected.

A very fine beer, and a great showing for an Old Ale. Far more complex than usual, but the barrel aging is a bit unrefined. It may need to sit for a few more months.

Apr 30, 2008
Photo of prototypic
prototypic from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It arrived a reddish-brown color. Head was a little off white and somewhat minimal. Perhaps a finger deep. Retention was short and left very little lacing.

Smell: Bourbon aroma rolls off the top and is strong. Mostly caramel malts with perhaps a hint of roasted malt in there. Dark fruit (mostly plum) smell mixes well and adds complexity. Slight alcohol aroma is noticeable.

Taste: Bourbon flavor is noticeable immediately, but blends very well with caramel malt and light dark fruit flavors. Roasted malts are not apparent in taste. A hint of vanilla and alcohol on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thick and definitley a sipper. Carbonation is very good. No clue how strong it is, but it tastes strong. Perhaps limits drinkability a little. But, it's very easy to drink and certainly a unique gem. If you happen to see, you should definitely try it.

Mar 09, 2008
Photo of mcallister
mcallister from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with very little head. Brooding deep mahagonny in color. Very still and absent minded.

Another masterful blended barrel aged Bell's beer. Sweet toffe and caramel with full bodied vanilla bourbon tones and oak to follow. Dates at the peak of season with rum soaked raisin, and fig undertones.

Well balanced again. Loads of oozing sweet overly ripe date flavor. Maple and brown sugar. Just can't say enough about the barrel aging done by Bell's. Malty and thick with the usual toffee, fig, caramel, raisin, big bourbon with a slightly hot finish. Hops are well faded in this one. From what I can gather this was probably aged in barrel for around 10 months?

Mar 07, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou from District of Columbia

4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4$ pint at maduro at the pre-taste party...split with blackie to limit the damages and increase the number of beers to try

appearance: big bodied as usual, mahogany-garnet body with a strong beige lacing, very murky body

smell: fantastic...strong oak and vanilla, smooth bourbon, big boozy malt design, thick caramel, dark grape, fig, booze soaked plum

taste: great version of this beer - i saw similarities to weyerbacher insanity...the bourbon effects are smooth and very complimentary, tcoa maintains its big caramel base with an added effect of oak, vanilla, and general woodyness

moufheel: smooth and thick

drinkability: pretty good

Aug 12, 2007
Third Coast Old Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 41 ratings