pdoyleusa (17) - Clinton Twp., Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2004
Did I mention before? .... that bell’s makes the best stouts worldwide?
The hops arrive right up front, with the malt --rather than after. Sweet and malty with the upfront balance of bitter/citrus hops with the skunkyness expected of a saaz. This could be my all time fav, if not for the chery stout. just try it... you will enjoy.
ale aficianados only! TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 24, 2006
I love the state of Michigan for many reasons. From its beautiful lakes, it’s fertile farm lands, to the Motor City. Those are all good reasons to want to visit MI, but as a beer lover, there are about 70 more. Michigan is teeming with brewpubs and breweries, the beer hunting grounds are happy. One brewery in particular, makes this beer lover extremely happy, and that is the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, of Kalamazoo, MI. The owner is a man named Larry Bell, and to us beer lovers, he and his Bell’s beers, need no introduction. The Kalamazoo Brewing Company has a reputation of being one of the finest micro breweries in the US, and it is personally one of my, if not, my all time favorite brewery. I have visited the Eccentric Cafe, the brewpub attached to the brewery, and toured the brewery on several occasions. One of my favorites(they all are, they don’t brew a beer I do not love) is Third Coast Old Ale.
Third Coast Old Ale is a barley wine by style, and it is an outstanding, authentic example. This style of beer is a rich, strong, warming ale, that was called barley wine because its alcoholic strength approached the threshold of wine. This beer is rich and malty, with a big, warming, high octane finish, Third Coast weighs in at over 10% abv. This beer pours to a beautiful, opaque caramel color with a slight tan head, and virtually no carbonation. The nose on this beer is incredible. Waves of malt aromas flood the nose. Sweet malt, caramel, butter scotch, toffee, and "fresh bread" malt aromas marry with peppery hints of alcohol. The palate is HUGE, rich and complex. Layers of malt flavors coat the tongue. Sweet malt, toffee, vanilla, fresh bread, and more butter scotch malt flavors. This is a big, hefty brew, the mouth feel is very viscous, syrup like. This beer finishes with more big malt flavor, and a long, warming, high octane burn. Hops are in this beer just to balance, but young, this beer is a bit cloying.
I suggest that you let this beer age a year or two if you find the sweetness a bit too much. Barley wine is one of the few beer styles that will improve with age. This is a sipping brew, it should be enjoyed as a night cap, or as a beer to sip and savor by a snug fire. This beer is perfect on a cold fall eve, and great in the winter months as a winter warmer as well. I really wouldn’t pair this with food, but if you had to, it would be desert. I would match this with creme brulee, or fruit cake.
mike5326 (1754) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - MAY 17, 2010
Perfect ale. That’s all their is to say about this beer. Nice brown color. Its taste is like heaven. beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUN 24, 2003
Wow, this is one excellent barleywine! Pours out an absolutely amazing dark caramel brown turning nearly black creating a beautiful tannish head of even, creamy thick foam about a finger high. Lace so finely stitched together it would make any embroidery connoisseur gleam of envy as it sticks in small curtains and has the staying power of a champ The perfect sight of creamy richness.
The aroma is soooo nice, all dark of caramel malt, deep and earthy, very rich with notes of maple, wheat, plum, raisin, dark chocolate, nuts, cookies, and a ever so faint trace of hops. Even the hint of alcohol seems darkened. I could smell this all day, if there was a way I could strap a glass of this to my face just under my nose I’d do it!
Hello flavor city! Deep, dark, rich, creamy, everything a growing boy needs. Mostly darkly sweetened caramel malt with rich packed flavors of robust, medium earthy tones throughout. Notes touching on plum and raisin, some maple syrup, dark wheat, and a bit of chocolate in there as well. Absolutely fabulous! Ohh, then there’s the beautiful finish of altogether sweetly earthed, perfectly bittering dry of hops just noticeable enough to make your eyebrows raise right off your forehead, so damn nice and perrr….fect! Mustn’t forget to throw in the nice little warming quality this has showing up ever so daintily as it gets sucked into your system and every pore in your body screams for more.
Super nice surprisingly light feel, smooth and creamy, lightly dancing mixture of bitterness, sweetness, and dryness. The feel is so surprising for something that seems to come across with so much robustness and heaviness making this unbelievably drinkable beyond comprehension. I’d like to try and think of one word to describe this beer, but can’t. So really all I can think of is Larry, in a word “Thanks!”
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - JUL 7, 2003
tap from the Eccentric Cafe in K-Zoo, ok.. if you are going to get beat up by a beer... then go buy this one.. open it.. and let the lil rocky jump out of the bottle and sock you right in the mouth, hard hitting, very sweet, syrupy, lots of toffee and caramel dance on your tongue, medium hops that are right in their place, and a spice or black pepper in the end... this is the beer i went back home for!! and i was not dissapointed
KPD (58) - Michigan, USA - OCT 22, 2011
I’ve had it in my cellar for about 10 months, pours a dark amber, clear, with moderate/ low carbonation, aroma is sweet caramel toffee with alcohol up front with a dark fruit in the background . Drink this at 55-60 degrees, the aroma is outstanding. Smooth malty alcohol flavor with lingering alcohol and sweetness. Great beer, when it comes out this year I think I buy a case with 6 pack for years 1-4. Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - MAR 18, 2003
Pours a dark, cloudy amber color with a small, lingering off-white head. It has a big, malty aroma with a touch of hops and alcohol. Full body with little carbonation, the flavor is thick and syrupy with sweet malts. The hops kick in a little in the finish, but there is also a nice lingering sweetness of plums and raisons. Wow! One of the best American barley wines I have had. The alcohol is well hidden and despite its big flavor the beer is quite drinkable. Outstanding! Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 18, 2004
Dark burgundy color, huge foam, a cappucino cap, cast in a light tan hue, beautiful and bubbly, leaving attractive lace.
Aroma: deep and vinous, to put it simply, awash in dark fruits, cherries, berries, plums, brandyish and with potent alcoholic notes, warm and wondrous.
Taste: again, to be simple:transcendent. Warm and fruity, good initial hop play on the palate, settling back soon, and letting the malt, dappled with caramel and fruit, take charge, washes over the palate with every sip, juicy and generous with flavor, and alcohol eventually inches in, 1/3 through. Sublime balance, never too strong, but never, ever flagging in flavor. Full bodied, eternal finish, extreme satisfaction.
This was long-ago decided to be my favorite barleywine, though I've yet to compare it against a new contender, Bell's Batch 6000. Only KBC itslef could give my fave BW a run. noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - AUG 29, 2005
Poured a chestnutty brown, a bit hazy, with a fair head that faded fast with little lacing. Aromas were malt, bread, caramel, alcohol, some dark fruit and cherry, earth, wet meadow, chocolate and coffee. Absolute spectacular, chewy malt taste -- chocolate, smoke, cherry, moist tobacco, bourbon, scotch, coffee, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, barley and tempered hops. Moderately bitter finish. Mouthfeel like velvet, thick and chewy, leaving lots of flavor behind. This had a spectacular roasted malt flavor! Bravo! Kalamazoo has yet to let me down. BeerBaron617 (358) - Royal Oak, Michigan, USA - JUL 3, 2008
I bought this not quite knowing what it was. I just knew it was from bells and it had a higher than average ABV. So I decided to get a sixer, and I am so happy I did! This stuff is fanatastic! It’s subtle plum and raisin notes make it taste like candy in a glass. I actually think I prefer this to Hopslam, because of it’s sweetness. Another big winner from Michigan’s best:-)