I unfortunately missed the first installment of this series which was Mars (The Bringer of War), a Double IPA. I did manage to snag this at the Binnys downtown about two months ago at this point since as usual I am behind on turning my notes into reviews. Bell’s is currently in the process of releasing a series of beers that’s paying homage to the Planet series by Gustav Holst. Venus is a Blonde Ale brewed with honey, apricot, cardamom and vanilla. Venus comes in at 7.5% ABV and doesn’t list an IBU.
Appearance: Slightly hazy with lots of floating particles from the various additions in this beer, most likely from the apricots. 1/2 finger head deep gold/light copper color.
Nose: Lot of apricot right up front with some lemon and citrus fruits as well. Smells a little sour but really mostly just apricot juice. You get the Cardamom in the nose as well and just a little bit of vanilla and malt. Not really all that pleasant to smell.
Taste/Mouth: It’s pretty bitter and sour tasting, not like a bitter IPA or sour like a Flemish beer instead its very off. Really dominating taste of apricot juice hard to pull out very many other flavors it is so overwhelming. Not really very enjoyable at all. Medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel with a very weird and un-enjoyable finish. I suppose some of the honey and vanilla are noticeable at points during the tasting, especially more when it began to warm up a bit. Regardless the combination of flavors is not good.
Price/Availability: Around $3 for the 12oz bottle and it is for one time only during Bell’s Planet Series.
Overall: Pretty hard to drink this beer, as a matter of fact I drain poured the majority of it. I like the idea of the series and despite this one being a major miss I will purchase other Planets as they become available. I guess since Venus looks like an apricot they felt they should dump apricot juice into the beer dedicated to it, not sure why vanilla, honey and cardamom were decidedly brought into this mess though. Sorry guys, love plenty of your other offerings but this one was a big time miss.