Beer Review: Bell’s Mercury (The Winged Messenger)

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Doing my best to grab all the Planet series beers from Bells. This is the third beer in the series I believe. Mercury the Winged Messenger comes in at 4.8% and doesn’t list its IBU.

Appearance: Small head, little to no lacing and a lot of floating debris in the beer. Straw yellow pale in color.

Nose: Yeasty, fruity, some banana and clove notes. White grape, spicy farmhouse notes as well. Smells a lot like a Czech Pils to me.

Taste/Mouth: Tastes like a bad Hefe honestly. Earthy and musty yeast flavors, spicy phenols, grape and kind of skunky like a Czech beer. Really weird and definitely not what I expected from this beer. Don’t like the finish either, leaves a very strange flavor in your mouth.

Price/Availability: One time only for the planet series and around $2.50 for a single 12oz bottle.

Overall: Another letdown from this series. This was more drinkable than Venus but that is not saying much as that beer was just an instant drain pour. This is a pretty big miss from Bells and another miss in a series I had high expectations for. I only drank about half of it before I poured this one as well.

Grade: C-

Beer Review: Dark Horse’s Smells Like a Safety Meeting IPA

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From the midwest, Michigan to be specific I have Smells Like a Safety Meeting from Dark Horse Brewing Co. Dark Horse is perhaps most known for their Crooked Tree IPA which has some notoriety as one of the best Midwestern IPAs. This beer was actually originally called Smells Like Weed but the government didn’t like that name so when they decided to bottle it they were forced to change the name to Smells Like a Safety Meeting. My girlfriend actually had this on draft recently, before I did this review so when I saw this at my local shop I decided to grab one for a review. Smells Like a Safety Meeting comes in at 8.5% ABV and does not provide IBU. Note: I drank this fresh and am posting the review a while after I drank it.

Appearance: Surprised by the color of this one, very dark for an American IPA (which is what its listed as but its 8.5% so I would call it a double). Pretty hazy deep copper, light amber color. Really looks more like an American Amber Ale than an IPA/Double. Nice thick 1 finger head and decent lacing.

Nose: Smells really great. Really dank resin, huge pineapple, citrus fruit and pine. Also a good amount of malt in the nose some sweetness and caramel. Definitely could be perceived as smelling like weed!

Taste/Mouth: Pretty damn malty I gotta say. Caramel up front with some decent bitterness. Get citrus and pineapple carrying over from the nose. Has a good mouthfeel very full and thick, along the syrupy side but its not unpleasant. Masks the 8.5% really well and is well balanced but toward the malty side of a Double IPA, which isn’t my favorite rendition of the style.

Availability/Price: It was around the NY/NJ area when it was released on draft at quite a few places. Bottles made their way shortly after and was able to grab it pretty fresh less than a month old. Bottle ran me around 2.50$.

Overall: A decent offering from Dark Horse. The nose is definitely where this beer shines, its very pleasant. The appearance bothers me quite a bit and the fact its listed as an American IPA. Looks too dark and is a bit malty in my opinion. It was enjoyable and I would buy/drink it again but I don’t think I would seek it out.

Grade: B-