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.
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.
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.