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.