Thursday, September 3, 2009

Third Coast Old Ale

Over the river and through the woods... Well, almost. Back in the mid 90's before I got married, I picked up my then girlfriend in Queens on the way to my grandmother's house in Southern New Jersey. Well, we got out of Queens and into Brooklyn when my car (you've heard about this monster before) started to die on me. I turned onto a 4 lane divided highway that didn't have much traffic, trying to find a service station, and the car just kept getting slower and slower, and things like the electric windows stopped working. I was almost dead when I spotted an NYPD car monitoring traffic in the median. So the car died as I pulled off to the side of the road on the shoulder.

I got out, walked the tenth of a mile, and told the police officer my sob story situation. He told me that because I wasn't on the road in the path of traffic he wasn't able to call a tow truck for me. Seriously, no shit! I guess I turned white enough and my "what am I going to do now" crying (not literally) got him to change his mind. Not long after, we were in the tow truck on the way to a service station that happened to be open at 7pm on a Friday night (presumably waiting for people like me). Hekim Shirim Mobil. I might not have the names spelled correctly, as I couldn't locate that station in New York, but it's at least 90% correct, and that should be enough to let you know what I was up against next. But it wasn't too bad. I needed a new alternator, and I don't feel like I got ripped off.

Then, with a delay, over the Hudson River and through the NJ Turnpike woods, reaching grandma's house late, but at least the wolf was gone by then. He got tired of waiting!

I'm drinking Third Coast Old Ale brewed by Bell's Brewery in Comstock, Michigan. Again, these guys put a package date number, mine being 8863 corresponding to 12/04/2008. For this beer, they suggest that you can even age a few.

There is a fruity, caramel, malty, spicy aroma, nice and inviting. Wow! Big brandy rum-like opening on the flavors. Candy, sweet caramel and plums come in after that initial POW! to give a lot of complexity to the beer. You can further taste woody and spicy black pepper in the background. I will say that despite the giant noticeable 10.2% alcohol content in this beer, it is still very creamy and pretty smooth. A ton of flavors brewed very well together make this a good beer, although I'd like mine without as much alcohol (or disguised better). For sure it's OK for just one, but sip it gently. If you buy a 6 pack of these guys, you can do what they say and age a few for future special occasions.

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