Thirsty Thursday–Third Coast Old Ale

Third Coast Old Ale from Bell’s Brewery

I don’t care how hot and sultry it is. Gimme an old ale. Thank goodness it’s Thursday.

I’m weirded out by my dance with Bell’s Brewery. I heard all these amazing things about it. I traded for a bottle of Expedition Stout and it was truely amazing. Then not distributed in North Carolina, I had to wait until, finally, it came. I rushed out and picked up the Kalamazoo Stout, and felt let down a bit, which sometimes happens when you get surrounded by buzz. On another occasion, the amber seemed bland, even muddy. Then, blind during my BJCP exam, I found the Kalamazoo phenomenal (and wholly a different beer than I had met with great expectations a few months before). Later I yawned at a bottle of porter. This is not what I wanted.

Regardless, there are a number of Bell’s beers I look forward to. I happened across a sixer of Third Coast Old Ale this past week and happily shelled out over $12 for one of my favorite styles interpreted by such a lauded brewery.

The aroma made me smile. I love that smell. Rich, sweet, caramelly malt melded with raisins and love. Then came the flavor. Wham! More of the same, but with a crunch of hops I hadn’t expected. Too much for the style, in my opinion. And the alcohol kicked up a touch further than necessary. Yes, you guessed it. I’m a little disappointed. A lot of bitterness in the finish, which hangs around far too long. And then, if I don’t take a sip for a few minutes, there’s a sticky sweetness on my lips. Fortunately, this beer is not cloying, as that’s no fun, despite my severe sweet tooth. However, it’s a little over the top in keeping the sweetness in check.

An Old IPA is perhaps a better category. That said, I look forward to trying this next year. That’s when I’m opening the last two bottles. I think the age should take the edge off and provide an amazing little sipper. Somehow, despite mis-steps, I have no hard feelings, and still want to dance with this brewery.


4 Responses to Thirsty Thursday–Third Coast Old Ale

  1. Dave Buning says:

    Hey, J.
    I’ve been trying to catch your musings on brewvana every once in awhile. A very entertaining read. Well, I have a Third Coast Old Ale waiting for me and was actually considering using that as my toast to Mr. Jackson (a bit late). Your review convinced me to let it cellar awhile longer. (Though, according to the BJCP guidelines, it’s a classic example of a barleywine, not an Old Ale.) I think a Belgian is more in line with what Michael Jackson would have preferred, anyway, so I’ll choose me one of those. Cheers! Dave

  2. […] and when I saw the words “old ale” on the label, I quickly plunked down my cash. I came home and tried it, and I thought, what the hell? Then Dave chimed in and said that the BJCP listed it as a classic example of an American Barley […]

  3. […] Third Coast with a Little Age It’s been nearly a year and a half since I picked up that sixer of Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale. […]

  4. […] I found a disturbing and and posturing slut of a beer in the first bottle. […]

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