Here is my review of another beer from the Bell’s planet series, this is one Jupiter (The Bringer of Jollity), a brown ale. I did drink and write my notes for this beer when it was fresh, I am just behind on my reviews, just wanted to make it clear I wasn’t reviewing a shelf turd. Jupiter is a big imperial brown ale which like the rest of the planet series is inspired by Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite “The Planets”. Jupiter comes in at 8% ABV.
Nose: Chocolate, malt sweetness, brown sugar, a little coffee and espresso. Primarily dominated by chocolate in the nose and you can definitely sense some heat from the alcohol in the nose.
Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black with a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing as you drink, nothing crazy. The labels of these beers look really nice when they are all lined up.
Taste/Mouth: Mellow brown ale flavors. Chocolate comes over from the nose, mostly milk chocolate flavors. Again some espresso and coffee notes popping up with some malt sweetness and caramel/toffee flavors in there as well. Very mild hop bitterness and really no alcohol present in the flavor of this beer surprisingly at 8%. On the back end you get some nutty and brown sugar flavors as well.
Price/Availability: Around $3 for a 12oz bottle and is a one off brew part of the planet series.
Overall: A very solid beer. Not mind blowing and certainly not a style I often seek out but usually enjoy when I drink. The best beer in the series I had up until this point for sure as the others I had were drain pours. I would drink this again if given the opportunity but would probably not seek it out.
First Smuttynose beer I will be reviewing for the site and it is their mud season hoppy brown ale, Durty. I actually had this when it was originally released as a short batch in bombers a year or two ago. I was visiting friends in Amherst and managed to snag the last two bombers of it on the shelf at a favorite liquor store of mine up there. That being said I wished the bombers were a little fresher but it was definitely an interesting beer and I had a feeling they might bring it back in bombers again at some point. Instead they brought it back as a Spring seasonal in six packs. Durty comes in at 8.4% ABV and 97 IBUs.
Appearance: Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle. It is very dark in color, very dark brown almost black. Pours a big 2-3 finger thick creamy head. Smuttynose doesn’t filter any of their beers as far as I know and you get some floating stuff in this one as well.
Nose: Roasty malt right up front with coffee and caramel. The nose is mostly malty and smells similar to a stout. You can pick up some earth and pine hop notes deep in the nose, expected to pick up more hoppiness as this one is pretty packed.
Taste/Mouth: Roasty malt and caramel definitely carry over into the taste, chocolate and coffee as well. Hops come in more on the taste than nose. You definitely get a bite from the bitterness throughout the mouth of this beer which is pretty full. Drinks a bit like a stout. Definitely hides the 8.4% pretty well don’t really get any heat on this at all.
Availability/Price: This is a Spring seasonal now so availability on this one is probably coming to an end for 2014. Smutty is pretty fair on there prices, six pack of this is probably around $9-$10 which is good for a 8.4% beer.
Overall: I am glad they decided to brew this one again, not sure if it will be too successful though as it is such a niche style. It is okay, glad I only bought one as I don’t think I would want anymore than that especially in one sitting. It is definitely a beer I will have maybe 1-2 of every year when it is released and that’s all I need. Fun concept just don’t really know if the beer world needs hoppy brown ales.