It’s been nearly a year and a half since I picked up that sixer of Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale.
I bought it without knowledge of that specific beer. I just saw the words old and ale tied together and bought it. I later learned that it wasn’t an old ale, but a barley wine.
And even as a barley wine, I didn’t much care for it. The hops were just too flippin’ crunchy, distracting and off-putting. At the six-month mark, I tried it again for The Session on barley wines, and called it “crunchy, posturing, unpleasant.”
So how is it now?
The sky didn’t open up and the angels didn’t sing, but I quite enjoyed it. The big crunch has mellowed, and there’s a more enjoyable drinking experience to be had. It’s still hoppy, mind you. Delightfully hoppy. The aroma is delicious. But the mouthfeel is now in a place where I can find pleasure. And that’s what was making it such a task finishing off those green bottles of yesteryear.
I have one bottle left, and I’m truly looking forward to it. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe next year. Decisions, decisions…